Book Review: Serenity By Craig A. Hart

serenity

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Serenity turns out to be anything but serene for Shelby Alexander.

This is the first book in The Shelby Alexander Thriller Series and I can’t wait for the next! Shelby is an ex-boxer and a former fixer, who has retired to his old hometown of Serenity, Michigan. All he wants is a little peace and what he gets is a young woman who dies in his arms and a drug war in his backyard between the local Ellis family who have always been in trouble with the law and a new group trying to take over from Detroit.

This thriller takes off right from the start. It is extremely fast paced and full of action for its short length. In between the bullets flying, you get to know Shelby and a great cast of memorable secondary characters. Shelby has a bartender girlfriend, Carly, who is 30 years younger and the same age as his daughter. He has a long-time friend, Jerry “Mack” McIntyre, who is a retired Detroit policeman. Jerry’s wife, Gloria is best friends with Shelby’s ex-wife, Helen. The Ellis clan is savage and the local sheriff is questionable.

Craig A. Hart has written a debut to this series that satisfies on every level! Action packed, a cast of characters that are colorful and three dimensional, a unique setting, and a protagonist that I want to continue to follow.

Thank you very much Mr. Hart for allowing me to read an eARC of this book for free for an honest review! I can’t wait for more from Shelby!

Book Review: Christmas Surprise on MacLean Mountain by Randi Alexander

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Not only is this the most emotional Christmas novella I have read this year, it is one of my favorite contemporary romance novellas of this year! CHRISTMAS SURPRISE ON MacLEAN MOUNTAIN by Randi Alexander is a lot of emotion packed into a very few pages.

Doctor Booker MacLean gets a call three days before Christmas from his estranged wife for a meeting. He hardens his heart for what he expects to come, but he is completely unprepared for he finds.

Sybil MacLean knows she made a horrible mistake in not trusting her husband over rumors and leaving seven months ago. She wants him back, but she wants his forgiveness and love, not just acceptance due to her secret.

This is a powerful story of a man raised to be logical and unemotional in his decisions. His pride could be the end of the happiness and love her truly wants. It is also a story of forgiveness and understanding of differences. Ms. Alexander’s usual stories are hot and steamy. This novella has no sex and yet is not really sweet because it is so emotionally charged with real feelings and emotions that make the H/h come to life. This HEA had me in tears, in a good way. A beautiful Christmas story good for the whole year!

Written for The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: Dark Water by Robert Brynzda

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Once again, Robert Brynzda has me reading late into the night on the edge of my seat!

DCI Erika Foster is back in DARK WATER, the third book in the DCI Erika Foster series. This is one of my favorite British police procedural series. Erika is an amazing character who is flawed, driven, and at times extremely brusque and yet I cannot stop wanting her to succeed in her personal life as well as professional. She also has a great cast of secondary characters surrounding her that are all unique in their own ways.

At the beginning of this story, Erika is in a new district and no longer working murder investigations but instead is working major organized crimes. To put a major drug dealer behind bars, the local quarry is dredged to recover drugs hidden in the depths. The drugs are found, but so is the wrapped skeleton of a child. Erika cannot get the sight of those small bones out of her mind and fights to get the case assigned to her and to have Peterson and Moss moved to be on her team once again. The bones are 26 years old and the case has already destroyed one DCI’s career, but Erika and her crew refuse to quit.

This is a complex case with many plot twists and surprises. When you think you have it figured out, it takes a sharp turn in another direction and yet in the end, all the little threads come together in a very satisfying climax. With a fast paced plot and interesting, intriguing characters, Mr. Brynzda has delivered another exceptional addition to this series.

Thanks very much to Bookouture and Net Galley for allowing me to read and review this eARC in exchange for an honest review. This is an excellent book and series!

Book Review: Flawless Danger by Rachel Woods

RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars

FLAWLESS DANGER (The Spencer & Sione Series, #1) by Rachel Woods is a thriller/mystery with romantic elements that I have very mixed feelings about. The writing is well done with very short change of point of view chapters to keep the story moving. The characters are my personal problem. Just as in Gone Girl, if I don’t like the characters, I don’t enjoy the book. No matter how many times you tell me Spencer had a terrible childhood, and it was too many times, I couldn’t warm up to her.

The thriller/mystery has Spencer being blackmailed by Ben Chang to get close to Belize resort owner, Sione, and steal back an envelope he claims belongs to him. She is also sent on side delivery jobs for him to three women with a bag containing a fake passport and money. All these women end up murdered. This lands Spencer in the middle of a power struggle between Ben and Richard, who is Sione’s father. Although Sione is trying to change his life, all of these men are dangerous and deadly criminals. And Spencer is no saint, either. It is sort of like a criminal soap opera.

The plot was what kept me reading, but it does drag at times. I would not call it a romantic suspense, as some have, because the love is all based on omission and lies so that was a problem for me. If you are into these types of characters, you will enjoy this book and there are more to follow because this does end on a cliffhanger of sorts.

Feature Blog: DCI Erika Foster Series, #1 and #2 by Robert Bryndza

     

I am currently reading Dark Water, which is book #3 in this series, so I just wanted a short preview of the first two amazing books in this series to appear on my site. Both books received a 5 Star rating from me and many other reviewers. Robert Bryndza has written a series with a multi-dimensional strong female lead character, interesting secondary characters and fast paced, unique murder plots.

Book #1 – The Girl In the Ice

This book was extremely hard to put down. It was fast paced, intriguing, gripping and just a great all around read. This is the start to a new series that I strongly recommend.

DCI Ericka Foster  is back on the job after terrible personal tragedy to investigate the death of the socialite daughter of a rich, political family. Politics and class hamper their investigation at every turn because the dead girl is somehow tied to the murder of three prostitutes murdered in a similar fashion. The killer knows Erika and her team are close to uncovering the truth which means Erika needs to be eliminated from the case, permanently.

DCI Erika Foster is a strong female protagonist. The cast of supporting characters in her investigative unit are all interesting in their own right and I can’t wait to learn more about them in future books. The plot was fast paced and besides the investigation into the murders you get a glimpse of how the rich and powerful can interfere with justice. Excellent start to a new series!

Book #2 – The Night Stalker

I am in love with DCI Erika Foster and all the wonderful, flawed characters and suspenseful, exciting plots. This book had me reading past my bedtime and checking all my doors and windows.

The very first chapter raised my blood pressure. Don’t we all worry about the shadows in our room or under our beds? The Night Stalker has a list and is ready to eliminate each in turn. As Erika and her team try to figure out a motive and find their suspect, The Night Stalker contacts Erika personally. Is The Night Stalker a stone-cold psychopath or a victim out only for revenge? Erika has to decide, but her own feelings are not as clear cut on this subject as she would like. The chase to stop a killer and save her friend, Isaac Strong, from prosecution for these murders is on and you will not want to put this book down.

I cannot recommend this author and series enough! Mr. Bryndza writes a British police procedural with characters that I feel are so lifelike that I can see them really working away in England to solve murders. The plot pace is fast and his writing crisp. I am going to be anxiously awaiting the next book and what decision Erika makes in regards to her future.

This is a must read series for me!