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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Book Review: Lethal Code by Thomas Waite

Lethal Code
by Thomas Waite (Goodreads Author)
Expected publication: September 23rd 2014 by 47North (first published July 22nd 2014)

Oh my gosh. Talk about waiting until the last minute to save the day. A lot of crazy things happened in this novel. And according to the author, this is a great possibility in life. That is scary. I pray a day like this never happens.

This book takes on the point of view of quite a few people. But it is relatively easy to know who is who when the POV changes. It took me awhile to wade through many of the parts in Afghanistan because that segment didn't particularly appeal to me. Ignorance in this case is bliss. 

I enjoyed all the twists and turns that came with a novel like this but killing 14 SEALS is just beyond wrong. It couldn't have just been one or two of them?

If you enjoy thrillers, definitely pick up this book. Amazing!  4.5 Stars. 

I received this book as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank the author, publisher, Amazon and Net Galley for allowing me to read it.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Review: Summer At Castle Stone by Lynn Marie Hulsman

Summer at Castle Stone
by Lynn Marie Hulsman (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published July 24th 2014 by HarperImpulse

I will be the first to admit, this story had me worried. In the beginning section it was quite slow and I wanted to kill nearly every writer, publisher and agent the book referred to. I mean, are people in the publishing world really this cruel?

By 66% in I knew this book would make it. The story started rolling and I was hooked. The character of Tom perplexed me. He didn't react in the way normal guys would. I couldn't figure him or his motivations out. And the whole thing about the Irish way of life.. What was up with that. I couldn't believe anyone would keep Lord Tony and Maeve, Tom's mom apart. They were so obviously meant for each other. 

I knew Shayla would be sent back to NYC but I was afraid Mags might turn out to be one of those backbiting publishing types. So glad I was wrong. This book had me tearing up and choked up in the end. And only the really good books can manage to accomplish that. 

Great story. 4 stars. 

I received this as an ARC from Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank the author, publisher and Net Galley for allowing me to read this title. 

BOOK REVIEW: Blue Ridge Reunion by Mia Ross

Blue Ridge Reunion
by Mia Ross (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by Love Inspired (first published January 1st 2014)

Goodreads synopsis: Book 1-Barrett's Mill: In the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a family legacy leads to love. Chelsea Barnes never expected to see her high school rival, golden boy Paul Barrett, again. But when Paul applies for a loan to renovate his family's historic mill, it's Chelsea who the bank sends to her tiny hometown to assess the property—and Paul. It's her chance to prove herself to her boss, and Chelsea won't let Paul stand in her way. Paul would do anything to restore the mill for his ailing grandfather. Even allow the lovely Chelsea to help. Together, they just might build something beautiful…a happily-ever-after.

I enjoyed the small town feel of this story more than anything. I am so glad Barrett's Mill is getting an entire series. Yay! It seems everyone knew Paul and Chelsea were made for each other except Paul and Chelsea. Even when they were in high school, the town just knew. And now that Chelsea is back to assist Paul in getting a bank loan from her father's bank, the connection is sure to only get stronger. And Chelsea finds that she likes the country life a lot more than she thought she would. She was sure that the city was for her when she left Barrett's Mill after graduation. But now that she's back, the lure of the big city has left her and she has fallen for not only the town, but golden boy,Paul.

This was a wonderful, heart-warming novel that I definitely had to pass along to a friend and share the experience. If you like inspirational romance, you will truly enjoy this book.

4 Stars.

Book Review: Break Me Slowly (Shattered #1) by Joya Ryan

Break Me Slowly (Shattered #1)
by Joya Ryan (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 165 pages
Published March 10th 2013 by Bear & Gunner Publishing LLC

Goodreads synopsis: Graduate student Katelyn Gunn is headed for her first day of assistant teaching when she is almost hit by a car. The nervous and inexperienced Kate is shocked to realize that it isn’t the near death experience that has her heart racing, but the sinfully sexy man behind the wheel. Adam Kinkade is ultra-wealthy, devastatingly handsome, and the most powerful distribution mogul in Chicago—he is also the first man who ignites emotions inside of her other than fear.  Adam is a man used to getting what he wants. And he wants Katelyn—naked and often. Willing to stop at nothing to possess her, he relentlessly pursues Kate only to discover that it is she who possesses him—completely.

Of the three books in the Shattered series, this is definitely my favorite. There is just something about take charge Adam that just spins my wheels, I guess. lol.  It would be nice to have someone so certain you were the one for them and know that they effect you in the same way you do them. Adam did go a bit overboard a few times with Katelyn but I thought this was a fantastic guilty pleasure read. I will certainly pick up as many of Joya Ryan's novels as are out there. I am just enjoying all I have chosen so far. 

I read this trilogy between other books I was "supposed" to read. I think reading Joya Ryan novels just keep me excited about reading. Thank you for making reading such a pleasure.

4 Stars!

Book Review: Imagine That (Covington Falls Chronicles #3) by Kristin Wallace

Imagine That
by Kristin Wallace (Goodreads Author)
Published July 1st 2014 by Smashwords Edition

Goodreads synopsos: Children’s author Emily Sinclair was supposed to be the next J.K. Rowling…Until her second book flopped and her imagination went on the fritz. Like the storybook heroes of her childhood, Emily sets out on an epic adventure to find inspiration again. Till a dead car lands her in Covington Falls, a small Southern town with a healing power of its own. Soon Emily is taking up her quest, looking for inspiration driving a mobile library van, as a companion to a crotchety old woman and her insomniac dog, and as a very ungraceful baker’s assistant. Of course, what really sparks her romantic fantasies is a valiant hero, though he wields a paint roller instead of a sword.

This is my third Kristin Wallace book and let me tell you, this girl delivers. I don't think I have come away from one of her books without grabbing the tissues because the waterworks are on! She just knows how to grab you in your heart and squeeze. It is just an amazing ride to read her books. This book was just as wonderful as the rest. And I dearly hope there are more in the works. I hear she may have a novella in a Christmas anthology, crossing my fingers!

Emily has lost her mojo. Her parents and siblings are all literary authors. They write books nothing like Emily does. She is all about fantasy and YA and excitement and her families books are just, in a word, boring! And they do not support Emily emotionally one iota. And that is just sad.

Emily is looking for experiences to wake up her sleeping writing demon and the reason it is sleeping has everything to do with old emotional pain caused by her sister stealing her man all those years ago.

Her help her deal with all the pain is Nate but he is just as conflicted since his ailing mother is on the doorstep of death. And he is faced with caring for a younger sibling all on his own while owning a thriving house painting business.

In a high school yearbook these two would have been voted least likely to hook up but somehow God makes even the most unlikely things work out for his good.

Just a wonderful, heart-wrenching story. This series is a must read!

5 Stars

BOOK REVIEW: Her Last Whisper (Dr. Charlotte Stone #3) by Karen Robards

Her Last Whisper (Dr. Charlotte Stone #3)
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Ballantine Books (first published August 12th 2014)

Goodreads synopsis: The last time criminal psychology expert Dr. Charlotte “Charlie” Stone helped capture a serial killer, it was nearly the last thing she ever did. Now she’s determined to stick to research—and leave risk-taking to the law. But when dangerous duty calls, she can’t refuse. And there’s no greater danger than the Cinderella Killer, a charming predator who lures beautiful, single women to their deaths. FBI agent Lena Kaminsky fears her missing sister has fallen prey to the seductive psychopath, and desperately needs Charlie’s unique skills before it’s too late. Joined by Special Agents Tony Bartoli, Buzz Crane—and her ghostly bad-boy lover, Michael Garland—Charlie heads to Vegas to track down Lena’s sister before the Cinderella Killer seals her fate. But it’s Charlie who ends up gambling with her life, when the lethal Lothario decides she’s just his type

I really didn't know what to expect when I picked up this novel. I had not read the first two books in the series so I was thrown into the fray after two books of experience between criminal psychologist and serial killer expert Charlie "Charlotte" Stone and Michael Garland, suspected and convicted serial killer. 

If you didn't know... Michael is DEAD. He is a spirit. And he totally has the hots for our Dr. Stone. Charlie and the team at the FBI consisting of Tony Bartoli, Buzz Crane and Lena Kaminsky contact Charlie to assist them with another case, the case of Lena's missing sister! in Las Vegas, no less. It is a big step for Lena to ask Charlie for help. Lena has had a big chip on her shoulder since book 1 (Yes, I have read all the books by the time of this review). And I am shocked she would ask Charlie to help her. So, you can see how desperate Lena is. Turns out Lena's sister isn't the only missing person. There have been many over the years that were either not listed as missing or missed in the police system. 

Charlie is as insistent in this book as in the others that she wants a relationship with the handsome FBI guy, Tony, but she has yet to act on those feelings more than a kiss. I don't think Michael jumping into said FBI guy's body and putting the moves on Charlie counts.

The ending of this story is a bit of a shocker and it makes me wonder if another "Last" book is in the works. I mean, how can you end it like that, Ms Robards? What can I say. It left me wanting more Charlie and Michael stories. It is a truly outstanding series that really shows off the expertise of Karen Robards.

Great stuff. 5 stars.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) via Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank the publisher, author and Net Galley for allowing me to read this novel.

Book Review: Vain (Parts #1-#3) by Deborah Bladon

Vain (Vain #1)
by Deborah Bladon (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 77 pages
Published July 14th 2014 by Deborah Bladon

Vain (Vain)
by Deborah Bladon (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 105 pages
Published August 8th 2014 by Deborah Bladon

VAIN - Part Three (Vain, #3)
by Deborah Bladon (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition
Published August 25th 2014 by Deborah Bladon

Goodreads synopsis: Sex. That's all Noah Foster wanted when Alexa Jackson showed up at his apartment. After returning from a semester in Paris, Alexa is back in her hometown of Boston and looking for anything but the drama that surrounds Noah. He's intense, gifted, famous and a bastard through and through. Despite it all, Alexa Jackson was falling hard and fast for Noah Foster.

This was like the third erotic novel I had ever read. And the first two by Joya Ryan were awesome and just blew this one out of the water. The first thing that truly annoyed me was that Noah, the main character guy who puts the vain in the title, was constantly strutting around his apartment naked BUT he wouldn't go outside in public because he was too conscious of his facial scar from a violent attack from his past. That totally does not compute with me. I mean, put some clothes on, dude. Who opens their door to a delivery person and is stark naked? That is just wrong.

If I was this Alexa chick, I would have turn and run the other direction. The only thing she likes about this man is the sex and you really can't base an entire relationship on that. By book three, Noah still had not grown through the book series. He was just as stuck in his old ways as he was in the beginning. He was rude and uncaring at many points in this novel and that is just uncalled for when you claim that you love someone. It's not all about you all the time. Then low and behold when the epilogue  happens, Noah has changed. I was like.. WHAT? Excuse me, I would have liked to seen Noah grow into this change not just get a blanket "they lived happily ever after."

This novel really disappointed me. I am posting these three books in one review because they are basically one story all about the same characters.

3 stars (probably 2.5 but I upped it half a point for the outstanding covers)

Book Review: Irresistible Force (K-9 Rescue #1) by D.D. Ayres

Irresistible Force (K-9 Rescue #1)
by D.D. Ayres (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by St. Martin's Paperbacks

When adrenaline runs high, so does the force of desire…
Goodreads synopsis: For Shay Appleton, it’s love at first sight when a gorgeous stray dog is brought into the animal shelter where she works. She just knows he’ll make a terrific watch dog—and with an abusive ex who won’t let go, she needs all the protection she can get. But Shay never suspected that her new pet is actually a trained police K-9 named Bogart—until Bogart’s even more gorgeous, human partner shows up on her doorstep. Officer James Cannon is one tall, strong alpha male who’s convinced that Shay stole his dog. But once he gets closer to the suspect, he realizes that this stubborn, independent woman not only needs a guard dog, she needs James as well. It seems that someone from her past is stalking her, and threatening her life. When danger meets desire, will James risk his career and his best friend…to protect the woman who’s stolen his heart?

I constantly find myself saying in these reviews that I really enjoyed this book. And I truly did really enjoy it. I think I have discovered over this reviewing journey that I become an excellent at selecting books that I know I am truly going to enjoy. I am adoring the whole K-9 concept (even though I am allergic to animals in real life)

There were many instances in this book where I totally did not understand Shay and her motivations. And I guess that is what makes a good novel when you question the characters and internally say, what the heck is wrong with you, girl? I definitely could see James as ranked high on my book boyfriend list. He was not only yummy but he had those great morals that we all desire in a mate. I also loved seeing James' family at the end of the book. Love those in the Cannon clan. I hope to see more of them in future books.

I look forward to the next K-9 novel and I have already picked up the previous D.D. Ayres book: Necessary Force.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) via Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank the publisher, author and Net Galley for allowing me to read this novel.

5 Stars

BOOK REVIEW: Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

Mean Streak
by Sandra Brown (Goodreads Author)
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by Grand Central Publishing

Goodreads synopsis: Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her. While police suspect Jeff of "instant divorce," Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won't even tell her his name. She's determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive. 

This was a thrilling ride of a novel. I found myself glued to each page as I tried to figure out exactly why the man with no name refused to tell Emory who he really was. I knew there was more to the story. And all of Emory's supposed friends turned out to be less than friendly folks.

Sandra Brown never disappoints with her storytelling. I was enthralled from the beginning and never put the book down until I was finished. If you're in a book reading slump, read this. This will definitely put you back onto the road to reading. That is what a good book does. It inspires you to be more and do more. Thank you Sandra Brown for such a refreshing and wonderful tome.

I received this book as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank the publisher, author and Net Galley for allowing me to read this title

5 STARS!! Go get this book today!!! You won't be disappointed.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Reviews Only You and Breathe You In (Sweet Torment Series)

Breathe You In (Sweet Torment #1)
by Joya Ryan (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 282 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Montlake Romance

Goodreads synopsis: For years, Amy Underwood has been wracked by guilt over her sister’s fatal overdose. With one last shot at redemption, she is determined to open a drug treatment center—even if it means her shameful secret will be exposed. But when she sneaks into the biggest political event of the year in search of funding, she quickly discovers that in the world of fast-paced politics there is always a price—and this one could cost her everything.

by Joya Ryan (Goodreads Author)
Published August 12th 2014 by Montlake Romance

Goodreads synopsis: Fate may be trying to hold back Paige Levine, but Paige has other plans. After a traumatic childhood, the spirited redhead worked her way through college—and into a job in the Governor's cabinet. But when a steamy scandal threatens to pull her under along with the guilty parties, Paige finds herself unemployed. Miserable, she seeks solace in tequila shots—and a steamy encounter with a gorgeous delivery guy. 

These two books contain many of the same characters. The action starts with Amy in Breathe You In, and then continues with the story of Paige in Only You.

I really enjoyed reading these two books. Yes, they are really sexy reads. But they aren't just all sex, sex, sex. There is a good story in there as well. I have to admit that both stories made me cry at the end and I normally don't pull out the waterworks for stories. So, yes, these were excellent books that I truly enjoyed. 

If you like books a bit on the steamer side, check these out. Highly recommended.

My favorite of the two was Only You! Love that Leo and Paige.

BOOK REVIEW: Exchange of Fire (SBG #1)

Exchange of Fire (SBG #1)
by P.A. DePaul (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition
Published August 19th 2014 by Penguin InterMix

Goodreads synopsis: Faking her death was easy, living with her past is harder, but nothing is more dangerous than falling in love…  Sandra Walsh was a deadly sniper for the Sweet Briar Group, a covert agency with assassins for hire, until her last mission went horribly wrong, accidentally killing an innocent girl. Knowing she’s a danger to her team, Sandra goes off the grid, becoming a Shade—an agent declared dead but secretly hiding among the living. She intends to honor her vow never to pull another trigger or have contact with the spy world again. Until she meets Casper Grady…  Grady is a former Marine with a troubled past and a debt to pay. His life mission has gone from protecting the nation to helping local children and their families. The moment he meets Sandra, he knows there’s more to her than meets the eye, but he can’t help but be drawn to the mysterious femme fatale. And when Sandra’s past suddenly catches up to her, Grady is determined to protect her at all costs, no matter how dark and dangerous her secrets are.

I really enjoyed this spy thriller with a touch of romance. This character driven story was just what the doctor asked for after reading Upside Down by Fern Michaels. It kept me from going into a reading slump. The action was fast and sprinkled throughout. The tongue-wagging sex was there too, can't forget that. Always a plus in a romance thriller.

I could have done without the parts where they kept taking the villain's POV. but besides that, I think Casper could be one of my book boyfriends. He was a really enjoyable character. I would love to see him in more titles. Just myself talking here. Swoon.

This book deals with a bit of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when Sandra/Wraith comes to terms with a teenager she accidently killed during on of her cover op missions.

If you are looking for a romantic suspense story with a touch of carnal sex, then this book is for you. 4 Stars. I could have done with a touch more hanky panky, but that's just me. lol

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank the author, publisher and Net Galley for allowing me to read this title.

P.S. I went ahead and picked up another book by this author because I liked this one so much.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Upside Down by Fern Michaels

Upside Down (Men of the SisterHood)
by Fern Michaels (Goodreads Author)
Published January 1st 2014 by Zebra Books

Goodreads synopsis: Behind every member of the Sisterhood, there s a man who knows better than to get in her way. Now the guys are bonding together, in the first in a thrilling new series from New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels. "Through public triumphs and private sorrows, the men in the Sisters lives husbands, friends, colleagues, and lovers have offered invaluable aid and support. In the process, they ve become an informal brotherhood of their own, able to relate to the unique challenges and rewards of life among the vigilantes.

I thought this book was okay. It basically was a transition book. There was a ton of explaining who everyone was in the beginning because there are so many players in this book. I felt like this book was the type of book that if you sliced a book into three equal parts, this book would be the middle segment. There was not a lot of actual story going on here. Just explaining and setting up stuff for later action.

Because of that, I didn't get a lot out of this book. I had not read any of the 23+ books that are previous to this series. I think this "Men of the Sisterhood" is a new segment of the "Sisterhood" series by Fern Michaels. I have only previous read her stand alone novels.

I will have to read the next book, Countdown, in order to see what the heck is really going on here. 3.5 Stars.

I received this book as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank the publisher, the author and Net Galley for allowing me to read this novel.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Don't Bet On It by J.L. Salter

Don't Bet On It
Kindle Edition, 73 pages
Published April 20th 2014 by Astraea Press

Goodreads synopsis: Chloe Watson wants to keep her place in line for the Electronics Super Sale, but really needs a restroom break. Will that handsome jogger be willing to stand still for fifteen minutes... for a $10 fee? Brett Hardy agrees, but bets it will take her much longer to return -- if Chloe wins, she owes him nothing... but if Brett wins, she has to accept his invitation to dinner.

I enjoyed this book ( I guess it is really a novella) but all the talk in the beginning from the character of Joan, best friend of Chole, almost made me want to stop reading. The last half of the story was much better than the first. I wish the main character would have been less judgmental but I guess that is what makes this story go forward.

The book was easy to read and had good flow. I think maybe Chloe needed another friend that supported her venture into this abnormal way of dating. I wish the story would have been longer because from what there is here in these 70-ish pages, it seems like this is only the beginning of the story. I will look forward to reading other titles from J.L. Salter.

I received this ARC (Advance Reader Copy) from Astraea Press in return for an honest review. I thank them and the author for the allowing me to read this title.

BOOK REVIEW: Crime Wave (Maggie P.I. Mystery #1) by Rose Pressey

by Rose Pressey (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 269 pages
Published July 23rd 2013 by Magical Press

Goodreads synopsis: Maggie Thomas doesn't know the first thing about being a private eye. She quickly discovers that running her uncle's faltering Miami Beach P.I. agency is nothing like watching detective show reruns. Even the private eye app on her iPhone can't help. But Maggie's first case is surprisingly easy... or so she thinks until she stumbles upon a dead body. With whizzing bullets, car chases, and spandex-clad bodybuilders, Maggie wonders if she's in over her head. Jake Jackson, the dangerously charming cop, thinks Maggie needs to stick to snapping pictures of cheating husbands and leave the detective work to the professionals.

I was happy to finally get to this book. I bought it right after it came out. In fact, there has been a cover change since I first bought it. I like the cover I have displayed here (more colorful) than the muted tones of the new cover. 

This is another one of those guilty pleasure reads. When I want to read something I know I'm going to like, I know Rose Pressey will deliver. The last book I read was too intense and heavy and this was exactly what I needed to get myself out of the emotional slump from the previous book. The grandmotherly Dorothy is just a hoot and a half. I love her. Reminds me a bit of of Grandmother Masur (not sure if that is spelled right) from the Stephanie Plumb mysteries. So good. 

I didn't understand Jake Jackson and his motivation to keep pursuing Maggie. I mean, Maggie was not nice to him over and over again but he kept at her. I wish all men were that determined to get to know someone. Because I don't think anyone else would have kept at it.

I enjoyed the mystery. I enjoyed the slapstick parts with Dorothy and Maggie. It was all good to me. I already bought book 2 in the series: Murder is a Beach. I gave this mystery 4.5 Stars. This book seriously kept me from going into a reading slump from the previous book I read. Thank you, Rose!

Monday, August 11, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Obsessed by T. R. Ragan

Kindle Edition, 370 pages
Expected publication: August 12th 2014 by Thomas & Mercer

Goodreads synopsis: Desperate for better ratings, radio psychologist Madeline Blair tells her listeners she’s being stalked, unaware that her long-time listener and biggest fan, Seth Brown, will do anything to protect her. When her publicity stunt is revealed, Seth becomes enraged by her deceit and dangerously unhinged. When her friends mysteriously begin to vanish and damning evidence points to Madeline, she turns to private investigator Lizzy Gardner for help. Lizzy knows her way around a murderer’s mind, after surviving her own horrifying ordeal at the hands of a serial killer years ago

I thought this book was interesting. There were quite a few characters that I enjoyed like Kailey (not sure if I'm spelling that right). I thought Madeline, the radio show host could have been redeemed but it was for naught, I guess. I wasn't particularly captivated by Lizzie. In fact, I kept getting her and Haley confused. There were quite  few times I thought I was following Lizzie and it was Haley. I have not read the previous three books in the series and I am not sure if reading those would make a difference in my experience or not, but it may.

The mystery was interesting. The bad guy/psycho just kept getting creepier as time went on. And mostly the story was good. I gave this book 3.5 stars because of the confusion about characters and the fact that  Lizzie, the PI, doesn't even meet Madeline until nearly half way through the book. There was a lot of unnecessary backstory about minor characters included. I would definitely like to see a spinoff series about Kailey in the future.

I was surprised by the ending which was a quite surprising cliffhanger. Even what happened to Madeline at the end was a surprise. So all that was good. I guess this book could use a bit of tweaking and it would be great.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank Net Galley, the publisher and author for allowing me to read this book.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Beach Bags and Burglaries by Dorothy Howell

Beach Bags and Burglaries (Haley Randolph #8)
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 29th 2014 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2014)

Goodreads synopsis: Part-time sleuth and full-time fashionista Haley Randolph just won an all-expenses-paid vacay at the Rowan Resort, a ridiculously exclusive island getaway that caters to the whims of millionaires, royalty, and Hollywood A-listers. With her three BFF's--Marcie, Bella, and Sandy--along for the ride, the only thing she's missing is the Sea Vixen, the season's hottest beach bag. . .The island has everything Haley imagined: pristine beaches, posh accommodations, and possibly Brad Pitt. But trouble soon looms on the horizon when Jaslyn Gordon, a maid at the island resort, goes missing. And while practically looting the resort for a Sea Vixen beach bag, Haley of course finds the maid--on the beach. . .and clearly dead.

I was disappointed with this novel. The author did not re-introduce us to the characters in the beginning. And the pacing of the story felt like she shot a starting pistol and said GO!  I felt like I was running through the first part of the book without a breather. I would have liked to have seen more parts were characters were re-introduced. Not everyone who picks up this book will have read the last book, if any of the previous books. I know I am bad about reading books out of order. And I can't believe I'm the only one.

I know this whole series seems to be about Haley's obsession with handbags, but it just seemed a petty indulgence to me not something she just couldn't control about herself.

I felt like there were way too many old flames, detectives, FBI agents, reporters and secret agents for my liking. I mean, can you say overkill? Especially in light of the fact the beginning of the book said his vacation was a no man holiday.

The vacation package that Haley suspiciously won from the department store where she worked seemed a bit over the top, and then that vacation package gets upgraded? Please. I would have liked to seen a bit more realism in this story. It was all a bit melodramatic. I know cozy mysteries are supposed to be mystery on the lighter side but this was just too much over the top for me.

I gave this book 3 stars merely for the fact that there were a few redeemable characters that appealed to me. This book just wasn't my cup of tea, so to speak. And I am a big fan of cozy mysteries.

I received this ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank the author, publisher and Net Galley for allowing me to review this title.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Last Town by Blake Crouch

The Last Town (Wayward Pines #3)
Kindle Edition, 285 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by Thomas & Mercer

Goodreads synopsis: Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrived in Wayward Pines, Idaho, three weeks ago. In this town, people are told who to marry, where to live, where to work. Their children are taught that David Pilcher, the town's creator, is god. No one is allowed to leave; even asking questions can get you killed.

This is book three in the Wayward Pines trilogy. I think it was a good read but not as good as book one and two. They were fast-paced and thrilling. This book was basically the meat of the series. After they know why they are in Wayward Pines and how they got there and what is outside the gate... what is next for them? How do they survive? 

This book, like the others, was well written and kept my interest the entire time. I can see why FOX wants to make it into a series. It's very intriguing. I enjoyed following Ethan, was baffled at the point of view of the main scientist David Pilcher, the man who thought he was God.

The ending, epilogue: was the shortest one ever. And it was quite interesting the way he decided to put an end to the story. Took me by surprise but was quite fitting. 

This is one of those books that really appeals to everyone. Read it and see.

4.5 Stars.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank the publisher, author and Net Galley for allowing me to read this title.

BOOK REVIEW: The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy

The Worst Witch (Worst Witch #1)
Paperback, 107 pages
Published November 25th 2004 by Puffin Bks (first published 1974)

Goodreads synop0sis: Mildred Hubble is a trainee witch at Miss Cackle's Academy, and she's making an awful mess of it. She's always getting her spells wrong and she can't even ride a broomstick without crashing it. Will she ever make a real witch?

This book was pretty short and it took me only an hour to read. I believe it is a middle grade or lower than that novel. It was a cute book where a gal who is just not very good at being a witch and then does something that makes her friends and teachers look up to her. Not much plot in this one but it was a fun read.

4 stars.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank the publisher, author and Net Galley for allowing me to read this title.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The London Deception by Addison Fox

The London Deception (The House of Steele #2)
by Addison Fox (Goodreads Author)
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Harlequin Romantic Suspense 

Goodreads synopsis: The House of Steele works for the good guys--but sometimes it's hard to tell heroes from villains... The beautiful former thief had never met a lock she couldn't pick. Although Rowan Steele is now legit, she handles some of the family's most dangerous assignments. When she agrees to safeguard an ancient treasure, her heart--as well as her life--may be the price.

I enjoyed how Finn Gallagher and Rowan Steele met. It was unique and unusual. And it makes this book stand out. This is the second book in the House of Steele series which encompasses the same set of people/family. I believe there are two more books in this series too The Rome Affair and Manhattan  Encounter. The last book The Paris Experiment followed Rowan's brother, Campbell. This whole series is just a family affair.

Finn convinces the House of Steele siblings to send Rowan to London in order to have him and her travel to Egypt to authenticate some artifacts from a tomb. But Finn has other motives for getting her over there, personal reasons. I enjoyed following along as Rowen remembered her wayward days as a thief and how that past is what brought her to this current circumstance.

The story was easy to follow but the bad guy, although, revealed in a flashback earlier in the story wasn't really in the life of Rowan at the present and I thought that wasn't a really fair way to introduce the bad guy since we don't get to see how someone acts just how Rowan saw that person from the past and her recollection of them. (I'm  not telling you who the bad guy is.) :)

I already have the next two books in the series and I will definitely be checking them out. 

4 Stars

Monday, August 4, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Bound to Danger by Katie Reus

Bound to Danger (Deadly Ops #2)
by Katie Reus (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Expected publication: August 5th 2014 by Signet

Goodreads synopsis: At a benefit dinner, community activist Maria Cervantes overhears two men plotting a terrorist attack that could rock Miami to its core. But before she can alert authorities, she’s almost killed in a massive explosion—and wakes up in a hospital with no memory of what happened. As the sole survivor of the attack, she is now a person of interest to the NSA—and especially to Agent Cade O’Reilly. Because Maria is the one woman Cade has never been able to forget.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was fast-paced, fun, with a little bit of an unconventional hero, but maybe it's no so unconventional anymore. I enjoyed watching Cade as he tried to deal with the fiesty Maria. Like others who have read this, I found the love scenes, hot, hot, hot and the book well-written and unputdownable. It is a fast read. I call this type of book a guilty pleasure read.

It is the second book in a series and I didn't realize that at the time. I did not need to read book one to understand what was going on in this book. I think I got a bit of a spoiler into book one in the series about Maria's brother, Reis. Not sure. Will check that out and make sure.

My only negative niggle was that I did not enjoy watching the POV of the bad guys. I almost think those parts could have been deleted and this book would have been just as good.

4 Stars. I will check out more from this author.

I received this as and ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank the publisher, author and Net Galley for allowing me to read this title.

BOOK REVIEW: Fast Track by Julie Garwood

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published July 29th 2014 by Dutton Adult (first published July 23rd 2014)

Goodreads synopsis: Cordelia Kane has always been a daddy’s girl—her father raised her alone after her mother died in a car crash when Cordelia was just two years old. So when he has a serious heart attack, Cordelia is devastated, and the emotion is only intensified by the confusion she feels when he reveals the shocking truth about her mother.

I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed in this book... the beginning anyway. The first fourth of the book seemed rushed and almost, dare I say, unprofessional for someone of Julie Garwood's caliber. Where was the suspense and the getting to know each other again phase? Seems like this was all but forgotten about. I understand that this is an unproofed ARC copy and maybe there was still some structural editing to do. But when I get past that part, the rest of the book was done well.

I enjoyed both characters and the backstory, especially the family behind Aiden Madison. That part really was what kept me reading after my initial disappointment. I mean, I was really thinking this book wasn't even written by Julie Garwood for awhile. But when I finished the read, I was happy I had stayed with it. Interesting tale of Cordelia and Aiden.

I received this as an unproofed ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank the author, publisher and Net Galley for allowing me to read this.

3.5 Stars