Book Review: To Catch A Spirit by Carrie Pulkinen

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

TO CATCH A SPIRIT by Carrie Pulkinen is a paranormal contemporary romance that pairs two unique characters in an emotionally charged romance and ghost story.

Allison Gray is a psychic who works to help heal people, cleanse antiques of trapped spiritual essence and is afraid of ghosts after a failed ghost-busting assignment. While attending a party with her best friend, Tina, Allison is immediately struck with emotions of loneliness and despair emanating from their host. She wants nothing to do with the new playboy billionaire in town. Instead, she goes to console a crying woman sitting on the stairs only to have her disappear right before her eyes.

Logan Mitchell is the playboy billionaire throwing the charity party. Logan has moved to Detroit to start out on his own and away from his controlling father. Underneath the shell, Logan is hiding being an empath who has no control over his gift, which has led to attacks of OCD symptoms and other problems. When he sees Allison, he knows she is different and he can’t stay away even with a frightening recurring dream, which is the reason he doesn’t do more than one night stands. Before he gets the chance to introduce himself, she runs out the door.

I loved Allison and Logan. Their relationship was immediate, but it was believable because of their gifts. The author wrote about OCD, fears and suicide with great empathy. The H/h were sympathetic and not just caricatures. The sex scenes were hot and steamy, but never overdone. Both of their best friends were also realistic and fully fleshed out. There were a few times that the story slowed down and was a little repetitive, but overall it was well written. The plotline is predictable, but with the handling of the H/h’s gifts, it is still very entertaining and well worth reading.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: The Girl In the Maze by R.K. Jackson

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

THE GIRL IN THE MAZE is the debut book by R.K. Jackson featuring Martha Covington. This book was an enjoyable mix of thriller and mystery with a little psychic/seer thrown in on a Georgia coast island.

The island and its inhabitants are descendants of plantation slaves who are self-sustaining and still follow their old religion and belief system. Martha is out of inhouse treatment for schizophrenia suffered during college and is working an internship for the historical society to interview and write a book on the GeeChee people of Shell Heap Island as a test to see if she can maintain a normal life and return to college for journalism.

There is a battle between the town council and the GeeChee for control of development on their island which leads to dirty money, corruption and murder. Martha is caught in the middle and doesn’t know if her disease is taking over again or if voices and visions she begins to hear and see are due to being more, like Lady Albertha, an old seer in the GeeChee community.

Martha is a wonderful character. She is brilliant, driven, and at the same time doubts herself due to her illness. The plot flows with many rich characters and twists. The writing is very descriptive and you feel immersed in the small Georgia town, the island and traveling in the marshes. I am looking forward to reading more about Martha and where the author takes her.

Book Review: Retribution by Shana Figueroa

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

This is only the second book in this series and it is already one of my “must read” urban fantasy series! RETRIBUTION (Valentine Shepherd #2) by Shana Figueroa gave me complex characters, a plot that continues to surprise and kick-butt action. This second book, while still having smokin’ hot sex scenes, is more focused on the world-building and plot.

At the end of the first book, P.I. Valentine Shepherd walks away from her relationship with Max Carressa. Val can see the future, but it is usually only death and destruction outcomes that she sees. She has tried to change the future and has managed a very few times to accomplish it, but usually the worst outcome occurs. She has seen their future and rather than try to change it, she walks away.

Six months has passed. Val has a new case of a girl who has disappeared. As she follows leads on the girl, Val is abducted and remembers nothing that happened to her for 12 hours. When she tries to piece together what happened, she finds two uploads on the internet of the missing girl and herself, unconscious and being sexually abused. Now all Val wants is revenge and she needs Max’s connections and help.

Max has tried to move on and has become engaged and adopted a dog to try and get the normal life he has always craved, but he is hiding an Oxy addiction that he is using to bury his real feelings. When Val calls, he knows he will do anything to help her, no matter the cost.

The first third of the book, I was so involved with Val and Max’s pain and self-destruction. They were both hurting so desperately and wouldn’t admit it to each other. The main plot of the book, a mad scientist with psychic abilities who wants to experiment on Val and Max is resolved, but you still have the overarching series story of the cabal that wants Val and Max together to steal their future child.

The secondary characters are just as complex and you never know if they are helping or hurting Val and Max or strictly out for their own gain. The plot twists and weaves all of these characters into an intense story that moves at a fast pace throughout. I love this series and cannot wait for the next book!

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

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.