Book Review: Till the Dead Speak by Jerri Alexander

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RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

TILL THE DEAD SPEAK by Jerri Alexander is the second book in her Killer Affections romantic suspense series. Murder, money laundering and old secrets are all set in an on-the-beach restaurant/bar under the sun in Malibu.

The owner of “The Cage” is found on the beach and ruled a suicide by drowning. Charlie was dying from cancer, but all his employees and friends knew he was terrified of the ocean and would never have killed himself that way. Part-time bartender, Lincoln ‘Linc’ Hawkins just doesn’t buy it and since he still has time off for rehab from the FBI, he decides to investigate for himself and the new owner, Charlies’ granddaughter, Samantha ‘Sam’ Anderson.

Sam did not even know Charlie existed until she is notified by his lawyer that he left “The Cage” and his home to her. When she tries to get information from her grandmother, she is stonewalled. The moment Linc picks her up at the airport there is an attempt to harm her and when they check out Charlie’s properties they have been trashed. Someone is searching for something and Linc and Sam have to figure out what as they try to fight the immediate attraction they have to each other because Sam plans to return to her life in Texas.

There are several mysteries that need answered and the author does so at a steady pace throughout the book. The title is very appropriate because everything past and present ties back to Charlie and his death. I loved the loving and fun relationship between Sam and her grandmother.

The romance was going well until they both backed off for differing reasons, but all their friends could see they should be together. I do feel they should have discussed their problems a bit sooner in the story because I feel their romance resolution came together a bit abruptly at the end. This book is part of a series, but can easily be read as a standalone. I am also hoping I was reading an ARC, because it could use another proofread. A steady, entertaining romantic suspense otherwise.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com

Feature Blog: The Huntress/FBI Thriller Series by Alexandra Sokoloff

The Huntress/FBI Thriller Series:

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cold-moon #3    bitter-moon #4

 

I had always planned on doing a Feature Blog about this series and since I just posted my review of the fourth book in the series, Bitter Moon, I decided it might as well be now. I was lucky enough to be asked by Alexandra Sokoloff if I would be interested in reviewing her third book of the series, Cold Moon, many moons ago. Besides being the first book that I would seriously review for publication, it was also my introduction to Net Galley. I fell in love with both the series and the site!

If you are a reader like me, I could not start on the third book, so I went back and purchased the first, Huntress Moon and the second, Blood Moon. I am very happy that I did. This series, at least in my opinion, cannot and should not be read as standalones.

The characters, both main and secondary, are complex and three dimensional within the series. For me, that is one of Ms. Sokoloff’s greatest strengths in these stories. The plots are fast paced, intriguing and believable, but it is the characters that keep drawing me back. There is explicit violence in each book, but one of the main characters is a psychotic, serial-killer, vigilante so it is to be expected.

This is a must read series for me and I anxiously await the publication of each book. Ms. Sokoloff’s writing is superb. I recommend you start now. Four books is doable!

Book Review: Bitter Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

This is one of my “Must Read” series and I am always anxiously awaiting the next book. BITTER MOON (The Huntress/ FBI Thrillers, #4) does not disappoint! Alexandra Sokoloff has once again written an amazing plot and character study of a victim turned vigilante serial-killer and an obsessed and conflicted FBI agent balanced on the edge.

This fourth book of the series is told in alternating voices between Cara Lindstrom in the Past at age 14 and FBI Agent Matthew Roarke in the Present. In the past, Cara is sent to a group home after release from juvenile prison and as she begins to attend the local high school, she is once again confronted by her visualization and/or conception of evil she calls “It”. In the present, Roarke is on leave from his job and is trying to decide who he is and what he wants for his future. A cryptic call from a detective with unknown motives drags Roarke into Cara’s past and the still unsolved present day mystery of a sexual predator preying on young girls.

The two plot lines intertwine past and present without being confusing in any way. This in depth look at Cara’s past was extremely interesting. It was the turning point in her short life when she decides to no longer be a victim, but to actively seek out and destroy “It” in all its manifestations. Cara is one of my favorite characters. Victim, psychotic, seer, killer, predator. Every scene and situation makes me reconsider my feelings for her.

I recommend this series highly! I also feel this series should be read in order. The character evolution in both main and secondary characters grows with the series. There is graphic violence throughout the series, but I don’t feel it is ever gratuitous. Once again, waiting for the next book!

Book Review: Vengeance by Shana Figueroa

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

This book is NOT what I was expecting! VENGEANCE (Valentine Shepherd #1) by Shana Figueroa is going to be one of those books and series you are either going to love or hate. Love because of the great characters and plot, hate if you are not into explicit sex scenes in all variations, F/F, M/M, M/M/F and M/F.

P.I. Valentine Shepherd is thrust into a case when her attorney fiancée is run down and killed while trying to get information from an informant to clear his client, Max Carressa, billionaire heir, who is suspected of killing his father. When the informant is shot and killed, Val is chased by the cops who killed him. Max comes to her rescue and they both are on the run now as they try to unravel the reasons for the conspiracy between a mayoral candidate, a crime boss and Val’s dead ex’s attorney dad.

There is also a subplot that will arc over the whole series. Val has been able to have visions of the future since Junior High. She has always considered it a curse as well as a help at times. It seems she has not able to see the future of those she loves before they die, but she has been on occasion able to alter her future in the visions. Max also has the ability to see the future, but he sees it in a series of numbers that he uses in business and he has never been able to alter what he sees. There is a mystery person, who wants these two together no matter the cost.

The plot and subplot are full of great twists and both unfold at a very fast pace. It is a P.I. thriller with psychic abilities in the main characters. Val is a strong female lead character. She was a Sergeant in the Army and then started her own P.I. business with her best friend Stacey. Val will pick herself up and plow ahead through any adversity. Max is super-hot, super-rich and has been severely abused his whole life. He has hidden out in drugs, alcohol and a fast lifestyle until he meets his “Red Raven” vision, Val.

I loved Val and Max and the plot had me reading long into the night. There is a lot of sex throughout, but there is a very unique reason for it. I can’t wait to get the next book in this series. Unique and hot!

Thanks very much to Forever (Grand Central Publishing), Net Galley and this author for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Feature Blog: AVON KissCon at the CCPL

avon-kisscon-logo KissCon Diamond Jubilee 11/10/16

I had a blast at the AVON publisher KissCon event at the South Euclid/Lyndhurst CCPL! It was a Diamond Jubilee Celebration and I got to meet two of my all time favorite authors and made new friends with some others. Thanks to AVON for bringing this event to Cleveland and special thanks to our wonderful and award winning Cuyahoga County Public Library system for hosting!

The first hour was a pay for event with food trays, beverages, wines and a meet and greet one-on-one with the authors. We all received an AVON Diamond Jubilee tote full of goodies, a free anthology and a coupon for a free book of our choice.

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img_0266 Susan Elizabeth Phillips!

img_0264 Linda Howard!

img_0274 Jill Shalvis!

img_0272 Shelley Shepard Gray!

All of the authors were great, but I have been reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Linda Howard for years, so of coarse I was fan-girling!

The second hour was free for everyone who registered and it was all the authors seated in a panel format. We had a fun Q&A game, the authors talked about their current books and the audience got to ask questions.

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The full panel of authors included: Shelley Shepard Gray, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jill Shalvis, Linda Howard, Linda Winstead Jones, Jennifer Ryan, Katherine Ashe and Toni Blake.

I now have another list of books to add to my TBR and new authors to try. It was a great night! Thanks to AVON and the authors for coming to Cleveland.