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Friday, September 19, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Escape (Kindle Worlds - Wayward Pines story) by T.R. Ragan

Kindle Edition
Published September 2nd 2014 by Amazon Publishing. Kindle Worlds

     Synopsis: This story is a sort of fan fiction for the 3 book series Wayward Pines. This story features Ashley and Dan and how they plan to escape the town after Pilcher has let the abberations in past the gates.

The beginning seemed a bit amateurish but about halfway through the writer got into the swing of the story. I wish the author would have said at what point in the 3 book series this story takes place. I have read all three books in the Wayward Pines trilogy so I already knew what was going on in the real reality of the series. This alternate reality seems to have taken off right before Ethan Burke makes his big decision after the death of Pilcher and the release of the abbeys into the city.

Although, this ending wasn't as satisfying as the ending of the real series, I think this is a good representation of the series and what it stands for.

5 Stars 

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.

Note: Sorry for the blurry photo. I took a photo of my Kindle and it isn't quite up to par.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Hard Return by J. Carson Black

Hard Return (Cyril Landry #2)
by J. Carson Black (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 321 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Thomas & Mercer

     Goodreads synopsis: Cyril Landry has been a dead man since he escaped a firefight off the coast of Florida three years ago. In all that time, the former Navy SEAL has been living off the grid to protect his wife and teenage daughter, who have mourned him and moved on.
     Five days a week, Landry watches from a distance as his daughter Kristal leaves school, his only chance to see her. One day a shooter in black unloads his M-16 on the students, killing eight kids, including Kristal's boyfriend, Luke. Landry takes out the gunman with a single sniper shot before melting back into the city. But this wasn't a typical massacre, and the clues add up to only one conclusion: someone knows Landry's alive, and wants him dead again. Teaming up with Detective Jolie Burke, a homicide cop who plays by her own rules, Landry must find a way to protect his family, and avenge Luke's death.

I don't really think the cover of this novel does it justice. Just based on the cover, I would not have picked up this book. But based on the blurb, that is what will hook people. You don't need to read Cyril Landry book 1 entitled: The Shop in order to read this one. The author does a good job of getting the reader up to speed about what is going on and who it all concerns. I do think the revelation of the killer was a bit on the "ah, come on" side of annoyance. The man didn't step into the novel beyond what people said about him until he was revealed the killer. 

Besides that little niggle, the book had me captivated right from the start. I understand the man, Cyril, wanted to keep his family safe so he pretended to be dead but why go to such lengths? He lost three years of his life that he could have spent with his family. Couldn't he have done something else to maintain this needed structure in his life? But that is neither here nor there. Another thing that I just didn't get was that Cyril had a relationship with a lady at the beginning of the book and then had similar relations with the lady cop, Jolie Burke. I guess I don't understand his devotion to his wife and kid if he can so easily rush into relationships that go nowhere.

I could definitely see this book on the big screen. It has everything a great thriller movie is all about. So if  you love a mystery and a thriller all rolled up into one, check out Hard Return. You won't be sorry.

After reading this I picked up book one in the Cyril Landry series called The Shop.

5 Stars.

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.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Made for You (The Best Mistake #2) by

Made for You (The Best Mistake #2)
Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: October 28th 2014 by Forever

Some mistakes are worth making...
Lauren Layne's Best Mistake series continues with MADE FOR YOU.

Brynn Dalton is all about lists and always doing the right thing and she believes these lists will bring her to the right man. She soon discovers that these lists are what is keeping her from true love.

Will Thatcher is a name from the past for Brynn. He is her old nemesis. They would throw verbal insults back and forth sort of like boys pulling girls pigtails in grade school. Will has been in love with Brynn since he first laid eyes on her in high school. So he devises a plan to make Brynn finally notice him as a man.

I did not understand Will and Brynn's relationship. They threw verbal insults around and never once really spoke to each other saying how they really felt. Then they were both upset when they didn't know why the other didn't love them. If these two had just broken down and spoken to each other in high school, none of this would have had to happen.

Will was the man responsible for Brynn turning to her lists to keep her life in check. And Will was the one mistake that Brynn couldn't stop thinking about. 

Once I got past the absurdity of it all, I really enjoyed this book. I was finding myself wondering when they were just going to get on with it already and realized they loved each other. I almost thought they might never allow themselves the luxury of kissing because they both were so obstinate. 

Great read if you enjoy romance. I didn't not really like the flashback parts and skimmed through them to get back to the real story of now.

4 Stars.

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

BOOK REVIEW: Take Down (Men of the Sisterhood #3) by Fern Michaels

Take Down (Men of the Sisterhood #3)
by Fern Michaels (Goodreads Author)
ebook, 94 pages
Published January 1st 2014 by Zebra Books

Goodreads synopsis: Christmastime is here, and justice is the gift that keeps on giving for the Sisterhood and their menfolk in the third part of an exhilarating series by #1 "New York Times "bestselling author Fern Michaels.Victory is sweet, but for the Sisterhood and their allies, it s also short-lived. Now that they ve convinced some coldblooded slum landlords to pay very dearly for their crimes, they re ready for another mission. While Jack Emery prepares a Christmas feast at his house, the gang gathers to provide one of their own with a yuletide miracle.
     Nikki, Jack s wife, has been handling class-action lawsuits filed by victims of Andover Pharmaceuticals. A new leukemia drug was supposed to save children s lives. Instead, it destroyed them. Andover is fighting the suit with all its wealth and influence, and Nikki is losing hope. It s time for Jack and his crew to give Andover a taste of its own medicine and show them that messing with the Sisterhood s other half has all kinds of unpleasant side effects

In respect to the other two books in this series, I have to say that this one was the best of the bunch. I think this series might have been better served if it was put into a sort of bind-up that publishers do when sticking all stories into one book. I think this would have made a lot more sense that way. I know that since I was not familiar with the Sisterhood series, of which this is a spin-off, I had a heck of a time getting up to speed with everything in the beginning.

I like how book two and three focused more on Jack Emery and how he was taking charge of this new business and what he was putting into place to help his wife (and the wives of a few other Men of the Sisterhood) get a couple of the court cases they were working on to come to a good conclusion. This series reminds me of the show Leverage where a group of people come in and pretty much force the bad guys to do good even when they don't want to.

Book three made up for the slowness of books one and two and I found myself really looking forward to what the outcome would be. Was I the only one that kept seeing Aaron Hotchner from Criminal Minds as Jack Emery? In my mind that is who I visualized when reading this series.

This was a fun ride even with the slow places in the plot.

4 Stars.

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Review: The Knight of Castle Kildare by Erin Moira O'Hara

The Knight of Castle Kildare
Published June 16th 2014 by Penguin Books Australia

Goodreads synopsis: Modern woman Kate Manning has always been fascinated by Sir Caleb, a fifteenth century knight whose portrait hangs in the mysterious Castle of Kildare. Now the new owner of the castle, Kate finds herself even more drawn to him, until one day the unbelievable happens: Caleb steps out of the portrait. 
   Frozen in time since a gypsy cursed him hundreds of years ago, Caleb awakens at the touch of the most desirable woman he's ever seen. Yet to end the curse and free himself from the portrait forever, he must claim the heart of a woman with Romani blood – not this flirtatious blonde who tempts him beyond belief. 
   As Caleb fights against his growing feelings for Kate, he must also find a way to keep her safe from those obsessed with the castle's hidden treasure. There are some willing to do anything to unearth it, no matter who gets in their way...

In the beginning this story had hints of Picture of Dorien Gray, but how could I not see the similarities considering Sir Caleb was stuck in a painting for 500 years. But that is where the similarities parted ways. I found this story cute and interesting. This gal, Katie, had been obsessed with the painting of Sir Caleb since she was a child. It was her mission to get Sir Caleb out of the painting and back into real life lifting the curse.

The story was easy to follow, the writing was done well and the characters were well rounded. I wouldn't mind seeing follow up stories based on these characters. Maybe a Miles and Sara story or the continuing adventures of Katie and Caleb. Just a real fun read and I would totally recommend this book to anyone who loves romance novels. I almost think the story was wrapped up too neatly and the guy at the end, the sentinel, who whisked in and saved them was just a little too pat for me but all in all, just a wonderful story. 

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 it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review: Countdown: The Men of the Sisterhood #2 by Fern Michaels

Countdown: The Men of the Sisterhood #2 (Men of the Sisterhood #2)
by Fern Michaels (Goodreads Author)
ebook, 152 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Kensington books

Goodreads synopsis: In the second episode of a spectacular new series from New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels, the men in the Sisterhood's lives join forces to protect the underdog and see justice served. . . 
It takes a special kind of man to love and be loved by one of the Sisterhood. The women's escapades have brought them worldwide fame and created a bond among their menfolk too. But now, Jack, Ted, Harry, Joe, Bert and Abner have formed a secret group of their own and they've got a project in mind--taking down some of Washington D.C.'s most ruthless slum landlords. 
First step: making reparations to the tenants who've suffered. Second step: making sure the bad guys pay. Ted, Jack, and company must find a way to hit the villains where it hurts most. Good thing these modern-day Robin Hoods have learned from the best, and that the Sisterhood can always be counted on to help fight for what's right.

This story starts off almost where the last book left off. And if you haven't read that book (Upside Down) in a few weeks, you might find yourself lost like I did. I think a little recap of what all had transpired in the previous book would have been good considering many people don't read series back to back. You definitely can't read this as a standalone

The beginning up until about 56% in (I read this on my kindle so I only have percentages and not page numbers) a lot of the story seemed amateurish with abrupt and unbelievable dialogue. It all sounded forced and as if the author was just trying to get the story done to meet a deadline and not craft the text like is her normal fare. I totally loved Forget Me Not. It was an outstanding novel and I know she has this greatness in her, but it was not apparent on this beginning half. After 56% things started making sense. I have not read any of the "Sisterhood" series so this fact alone may make my experience with the "Men of the Sisterhood" a bit different than someone who was up on every book. I think they are like to book 23 or something amazing like that. Kudos to the author for her  stick-to-a-tiveness.

After the 56% point, where newspaper editor, Maggie and co-hort, Ted get together, the story started to roll and it was an amazing finish. This section was easy to read, follow and understand and the dialogue was much more realistic.

I feel like I am being a bit harsh on a tried and true author like Michaels but I guess I just expect more from someone with such a plethora of experience. I will read the next book in the series to finish up the trilogy.

3 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.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Review: Blind Trust by Sandra Orchard

by Sandra Orchard (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 379 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by Fleming H. Revell Company (first published June 10th 2014)

Goodreads synopsis: Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can't believe that it came from her sweet neighbor. Or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker's investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor's innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue that is far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation--and strikes too close to home for comfort. As family secrets come to light, her world--and her budding romance with Tom--begin to crumble. To Kate, it's clear that she won't be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster's secrets. But is it too late for her and Tom? 

I was expecting more from this book. I am not sure why. I have never read this author before. There was a funny find/change error in this book. Every word that had an ff or ffi had those letters missing. And since Tom was an officer it always came out looking like o cer when I would read it. I know this is an advanced copy and not the final version but I hope this was corrected in the final draft that was published.

There was a bit of an amateurish feel to this book. Some things resolved fast while others were drug out at nauseam. And I swear there was a Scooby-Doo villain moment when the bad guy said something to the effect that he would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for that basted nosy girl. lol!

I am not sure if this was marketed as a Christian book but there weren't really that many instances where they referred to God or how they were trusting in God to help them through their situation.

All in all, I thought it was an okay read. Not sure I would recommend this to anyone as the two main characters never really connected in any tangible or emotional way.

3 Stars.

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

Thursday, September 4, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Midnight Vengeance (Midnight #4) by Lisa Marie Rice

Midnight Vengeance (Midnight #4)
by Lisa Marie Rice (Goodreads Author)
Published August 18th 2014 by Carina Press

Goodreads synopsis: Morton “Jacko” Jackman isn’t afraid of anything. He’s a former Navy SEAL sniper, and he’s been in more firefights than most people have had hot meals. Lauren Dare scares the crap out of him. Gorgeous, talented and refined, she’s the type of woman who could never be interested in a roughneck like him. So he’s loved her fiercely in secret, taken her art classes, and kept a watchful but comfortable distance. Until now. Lauren had finally found a home in Portland, far from her real identity, far from the memories of her mother’s death, and outside the reaches of the drugged-out psycho who’s already tried to kill her twice. One tiny misstep—a single photograph—has shattered it all. She has no choice but to run again, but this time she’ll give herself a proper farewell: one night with Jacko. Their highly charged emotional encounter changes everything. In Jacko’s arms there cannot be fear, there can only be pleasure. Anyone wishing her harm will have to pass through him, and Jacko is a hard man to kill.

When I started this book I was confused. I think since this is book #4 in the Midnight series, the beginning was referring to things that had previously happened. I believe the part in Chapter one in Jacko's point of view should have been the only part of Chapter One. Then after Chapter Two and getting Lauren's point of view then this bad guy POV would have made sense. I almost wished the book had started at Chapter two. It flowed well from that point.

I enjoyed the characters in this series. I like how the not so conventional leading man gets the dainty girl in the end. You could feel the characters grow and learn as they dealt with each other. I did think the two year struggle Lauren had was wrapped up pretty easily thanks to Bud. But the part at the end sure made up for that easy resolution.

I will definitely pick up books 1-3 in this series. Just my cup of tea. If you like romantic suspense then this is YOUR cup of tea too! Check it out.

4 Stars.

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Pleasures Of The Night by Sylvia Day

Pleasures of the Night (Dream Guardians #1)
by Sylvia Day (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by Avon Red

Goodreads synopsis: He comes to her in the twilight between sleep and consciousness to fulfill her secret desires. Lyssa Bates has never experienced such ecstasy. Captain Aidan Cross is on a mission but he has finally met his mate in Lyssa and this throws him off course. He is a guardian and she is a dreamer, and the passion that consumes them both, body and soul, could have dire consequences in a world of dreams . . . and in the waking one as well.

I actually liked the storyline about the Dreamers, The Elite Guardians, The Elders and the Key much more than I did the erotica part. I would read a follow up book if it had just that in it. Great read otherwise. Aiden is definitely book boyfriend material.

Aidan is a dream Guardian. He battles the Nightmares. And he and other Guardians battle these nightmares to keep them out of the real world. But it is a trial. Adian usually takes the desires of the dreamer and makes them real. He can make himself seem like whomever the dreamer desires. but Lyssa is different. She can see the real him. No one has ever been able to do that before. 

Aidan lives in the empty space in the inbetween. They call it Twilight. And the Elders have always told them to search for the Key and to destroy it because the Key would destroy them if it was ever revealed. The Elders have ulterior motives where the Key is concerned. The Key would make it possible for Guardians to cross over into the real world at will. Now they are left in the Twilight to be of assistance to the Dreamers.

I thought there was way too much hanky panky in this novel and not enough of this reality about the Dreamer/Guardian and the Elders. That part was quit inventive and imaginative. Great stuff. Wanted to see more.  Probably will no read a second book.

3.5 stars.