RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
I was a huge fan of B.A. Paris’ “Behind Closed Doors” and was anxious to read her next release.
THE BREAKDOWN was a letdown for me. I did finish reading it and was pleasantly surprised by a tiny plot twist in the ending, but the main character’s overall responses and reactions to what was happening to her were repetitive and wore very thin by halfway through the book. I believe I would have enjoyed it more if it had been a tighter plot and novella length.
The story is told by Cass, who returns home on stormy night via a road through the woods. She almost wrecks avoiding a car pulled to the side. She stops, but when the driver doesn’t come to her car, she continues home and forgets about it. She is later horrified to realize the woman in the car was a new friend that was murdered sometime later that night in her car. She is wracked with guilt and tells no one, not her husband or best friend, who worked with the murdered woman.
The reader also learns that Cass has been forgetting small things and is worried that she may be experiencing early onset dementia like her mother. This makes Cass a possible unreliable narrator. As she becomes more afraid and paranoid some of her reactions are just not believable. This is when I would have liked less Cass and fewer pages.
I finished to see if my assumptions were correct and they were. There are not that many characters in the story, so it is not hard to figure out, especially if you read a lot of this type of book. As stated earlier, there is a small plot twist at the end that did surprise me, but there is a lot of emotional drama to get through for the surprise. This was just an average thriller for me.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
Unique! Entertaining! Snarky! Smokin’ hot sex scenes! Fairy Godmothers, vampires, shifters and everything in between. This is a paranormal world with a fairy tale twist that I can’t wait to get more of!
VIKTOR (Happy Evil After Book 1) by Sarah Marsh is a novella beginning to a new series that I devoured! This author has a unique voice and easy to follow world-building in this paranormal romance series that keeps you turning the pages.
The character that will connect all the books in this series is Pandora “Dori”, who is a dark Fairy Godmother. She has never fit in with the rest of the Godmothers. She comes to realize that like herself, different doesn’t necessarily mean always and forever bad. She decides to help others deemed ‘not worthy’ of a happy ending to find one with her black matchmaking mastermind notebook.
Viktor likes his scary boogeyman reputation. It keeps others away and leaves him to do what he likes. He has almost completed his revenge on the vampire coven that turned him. Only one remains, Conrad Daire, who is now head of the North American coven. Few realize what lies behind his façade, but Viktor knows him for the psychopath he truly is. As Victor enjoys a drink at The Pit, in pops Dori to tell Viktor how he can ruin Conrad’s happily ever after.
Halle Briggs is a beautiful leopard shifter. She is the beloved daughter of the head of the leopard pard and has become the prize that Conrad wants for saving her father’s life years ago. Halle has spirit and hates Conrad, but sees no way out until a certain dark Fairy Godmother pops in to tell her that she will be rescued, but she needs to do everything in her power to make sure she stays with Viktor. She will have to fight for her happily ever after and her mate.
This novella contains so much and yet is extremely well paced and never seems rushed or missing information. The sex scenes are explicit and sizzling, but I did not feel they were gratuitous. I just fell into this new world and was very sorry to see the end. I will definitely be following this series into the future and hope it continues to make me cheer for the unlikely H/h’s and laugh out loud at Dori’s matchmaking and snarky attitude.
Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
TEMPTED BY THE GARGOYLE (Boston Stone Sentries, #1) by Lisa Carlisle is the action packed, sexy hot novella length introduction to the paranormal world of gargoyle shifters that protect the human world. If the rest of the series is as well written and imaginative; this is going to be the “new” paranormal series to follow.
Larissa Riley is a Boston police officer who is still trying to deal with being present at the Boston Marathon bombing. Her emotional problems broke up her last relationship and her best friend is still going to rehab for her leg injuries. Larissa knew that day something big was going to happen because she had been having premonitions since she was young, but she fights them so the premonitions were never clear or focused. She has always been different.
Now, she is having that same overwhelming feeling of dread on the night of the red Supermoon. Janie wants to go out dancing after spending so much time in rehab and the Supermoon is supposed to allow you to find your soulmate. Larissa can’t say no and the two set out for the new gothic themed bar downtown. Larissa feels a gorgeous stranger watching her from across the bar and goes to confront him.
Roman has a bad feeling about this night and since he is the commander of the Boston Stone Sentries, he has all of his gargoyle shifters out on patrol. Black magic sweeps past Roman and goes straight to Larissa. Roman tries to figure out what is different about the beautiful woman and if she is a threat or being threatened.
Larissa and Roman soon find the city under attack from demons. Larissa is confronted with other beings and has to decide quickly who she can trust while also learning that she is more than human. Roman begins to realize that Larissa is his life mate and knows he has to keep her safe and in his life as they fight to defeat the demon invasion.
These two have explosive chemistry as they burn up the sheets! Hot sex scenes that are well written abound in this novella. Lisa Carlisle’s world-building has fully fleshed believable paranormal characters. I had two small problems with the ending. It seemed to happen abruptly and there are a few questions not answered, but it is the start of a series so I can let that go this time. I cannot wait to get the next book in this new world!
Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
There are a large number of great authors and out of that group everyone has their favorites that just always deliver for them. You disappear into their fictional worlds with no difficulty and love all the characters no matter how long you have been away and it always feels like you just visited yesterday.
One of my favorites is Suzanne Brockmann and her latest romantic suspense SOME KIND OF HERO (Troubleshooters, #17) delivered. Once again she gave me a noble and hunky Navy SEAL to fall in love with right along with a unique heroine and a fast paced suspense plot. Even though this is the 17th Troubleshooter book, it can easily be read as a standalone, but I don’t know why you would not want to meet all the other great characters in this series.
Lieutenant Pete Greene “Grunge” whips BUDs into SEALs that are ready for anything. What he is not ready for is the sudden guardianship of his sullen 15 year old daughter, Maddie after the death of her mother. They are strangers that are having serious difficulties relating to each other. Before Pete can connect, Maddie gets into serious trouble with a girl she thought was her friend and disappears. Pete knows she is in trouble, but does not know how much and is desperate to find and help her.
Shayla Whitman is a romantic suspense author and Pete’s neighbor. She has seen him around with his daughter, but has always been too intimidated by his hero worthy looks to introduce herself until she finds out Maddie is missing. Being a divorced mother of two boys, she knows the terror of having a child missing and at risk and wants to help in any way she can. As Shayla and Pete work to find Maddie and figure out who she is running from and why, Shayla can’t believe she is actually living a real life romantic suspense story.
These two are just perfect together. They both have been hurt in love before and need to learn to trust and open up again. Maddie and her buddy, Dingo make great secondary characters. I really loved when Shayla kept sending Maddie text stories of her mom and Pete’s relationship to make her understand that Maddie and her dad did have common ground; they both loved her mother.
Once again, a great addition to the Troubleshooter series! Strong, fully developed characters introduced in this book and a few friends from previous books. A suspense plot that keeps the tension high and the pages turning. A must read series for me!
RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
WEAVE A MURDEROUS WEB by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks is a fast paced thriller full of duplicity and a twisted murder mystery featuring a strong, smart-mouthed female protagonist who narrates the story. Even though the main character is a lawyer and it begins with a custody case, it is not a legal thriller set in a courtroom. This book is the second in the Jane Larson series, but it is easily read as a standalone.
Jane Larson is an intense litigator for a major New York City law firm who does not like to lose. An associate in her firm asks Jane for her assistance for a friend in a simple divorce and custody case. The case turns out to be anything, but simple. Jane’s client, Gail Hollings is only interested in how much money her ex is hiding from her. The associate, Francine is more of a mother to Courtney than Jane’s client. The ex is a slimy attorney with mob associates and dealing drugs on the side until he turns up dead.
Jane finds that every person involved in this case has a secret or motive to hide and they all could be the killer. As she delves deeper, her friends and enemies warn her to get out, but Jane just has to figure out what is really happening and why. It could cost her more than just the case.
Jane is an intelligent, witty and dogged main character. Even after several attempts on her life, she just has to find the answers to what is really happening. The plot is fast paced and full of twists and red herrings. The only problem I had with this story was the number of characters involved. They all seem important, but you also need to keep a score card to keep all of their relationships straight. Other than that small point, I would definitely recommend this to all who love a strong female protagonist and/or a tightly woven thriller.
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
I was excited and surprised to see WIRED (Buchanan-Renard, #13) by Julie Garwood made available by Net Galley. I enjoy this series, but I have not read the more recent books until I requested this one. It was an O.K. romantic suspense, but not my favorite in the series. The suspense plot was well integrated and interesting with several subplots, but I had some problems with the H/h’s romance.
Allison Trent has a brilliant mind that can solve complex puzzles and problems. When she discovers computers, there is no program she cannot fix or hack. This is her escape from an aunt and uncle who have raised her sister and her after their parent’s death. She is also beautiful and is a model for a local designer part-time. Allison’s main fault is complying with people who take advantage of her rather than confronting them.
Liam Scott is a hot shot FBI fixer. His missions are all secret and he travels the world. He does not believe he will ever be willing or able to settle down in one town with one woman. He is assigned to recruit Allison for her super computer skills.
As in any romantic suspense, this would begin the back and forth romance dance, but Liam comes into Allison’s life and then disappears repeatedly. Allison keeps letting him back in and then regretting it when he is gone. He reappears to solve a problem or save Allison from bad guys and starts to realize he cannot stay away from her, but they never share their feelings until the end of the story. This is just not the type of relationship I hope for when reading this type of book.
For me, this is book was not up to my expectations from previous books in this series. The way Allison thinks was interesting, as was the suspense plot. The romance was lacking for me.
Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.