Book Review: An Uncommon Honeymoon by Susan Mann

RATING: 5 out 5 Stars

Susan Mann had me once again turning pages well into the night in Quinn and James’ latest exploits. This is such a fun series with a couple that takes you on their CIA over-the-top missions. The plots have serious background premises, but are entertaining and balanced with a lighter side at the same time. James is your secret agent dream come true and Quinn is great as a covert research librarian.

AN UNCOMMON HONEYMOON (Librarian and the Spy Escapade #3) by Susan Mann has the big marriage scene between Quinn and James and it is everything I was hoping for, beautiful, fun and filled with love.

As they are on their honeymoon in the Turks and Caico’s, they are approached by Dave Flores, a former CIA operative now working for a group that rescues children caught in human trafficking. Quinn and James were invited to a party that Dave would like them to surveil, but Quinn meets two of the children being held at the compound and vows to help them get free. The plot has child slave trafficking, drug trafficking and a Russian crime lord. The child slave trafficking is handled seriously and with heart by Ms. Mann, while the Russian crime lord and his minions get the action packed, super spy treatment.

Quinn and James are just perfect together. Their love for each other is always present, Quinn is always James’ equal in any situation and they are seriously sexy and hot. I especially love the sometimes witty, sometimes steamy banter between these two. All of the secondary characters that I have come to care about in the two previous books make an appearance. This series does continually progress forward in Quinn and James’ relationship and abilities, so I really think it is more enjoyable to read in order.

I am waiting anxiously for the next installment!

Thanks very much to Kensington Books, Zebra Shout and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Broken Bones by Angela Marsons

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

BROKEN BONES (D.I. Kim Stone, #7) by Angela Marsons is an intricately woven web of clues under investigation by Kim and her team that brings together international sex slavery, illegal immigrant exploitation and prostitution into a realistic and brutally honest story. Once again, I can highly recommend this book and series!

It is Christmas and as D.I. Kim Stone is leaving the station, she finds a baby abandoned on the steps. As the team comes together to watch Kim deal with a baby, a call comes through for Kim and her team of a murdered prostitute. As Kim and Bryant follow the trail of clues, they get pulled into a world of not only prostitution, but also the grooming and entrapment of young girls into modern day slavery and gangs.

At the same time, Stacey and Dawson investigate to find the mother of the abandoned baby. Their investigation leads to a factory of Romanian workers that just does not seem quite right and a dead Romanian man, who appears to be a vagrant. As they work the clues, they are introduced to a world of illegal immigrants forced into indebtedness that will never be overcome and is therefore just a form of slavery.

At first, there appear to be too many threads to follow and I was not sure of how all of the plotlines would come together, but under the deft plotting of Ms. Marsons everything all tied together beautifully with a very surprising ending. I believe all of the issues covered throughout this book were handled with truth and empathy, including the revelations in the main characters lives. Kim, Bryant, Stacey and Dawson are a realistic group of investigators/characters that have all grown in various ways throughout this series. Another great addition to the series that can be read as a standalone, but I believe if you give it a try, you will become as hooked as I am and read the whole series.

Thanks very much to Bookouture and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. I hope this series continues on for many years to come!

Book Review: Serenity Avenged by Craig A. Hart

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

SERENITY AVENGED (The Shelby Alexander Thriller Series Book 3) by Craig A. Hart places Shelby’s pregnant daughter in danger due to his ex-wife’s debt to a sadistic crime boss named Darkmore. Ex-boxer and retired fixer Shelby Alexander has once again found himself to be anything but retired and at peace.

When Leslie, Shelby’s daughter, goes into early labor he heads out of Serenity and drives down state. When he arrives, Leslie is stable, but his ex-wife has led serious trouble to her door. Due to a hidden gambling problem, Helen borrows money from a loan-shark. When she can’t pay, the threats begin and Darkmore sends his nephew after her and uses Shelby’s abducted daughter as collateral.

Shelby teams up again with his best-friend, Mack, a retired detective to save Leslie using Helen and Jimmy, Darkmore’s nephew as bait. With lots of fire power and Jimmy’s inside help Shelby is determined to save Leslie and her unborn child.

I love reading these fast paced thriller stories featuring Shelby, who is not your usual hero. His character is so interesting and well defined. The plot is action packed and suspenseful with a truly terrifying and evil antagonist featured in this book. The dialogue is entertainingly sarcastic at times which smooths some of Shelby’s rough edges. This book can be read as a standalone, but the characters grow and interact more in each book, so I recommend reading them in order.

I will be anxiously waiting to read more of Shelby’s adventures in the future.

Book Review: Her Last Goodbye by Melinda Leigh

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

HER LAST GOODBYE (Morgan Dane #2) by Melinda Leigh has me very excited for this series! I loved this book even more than the first in this new series and I gave Book #1 a five star review. I love when I think I have figured out the ending and the author still has another twist in store for me that surprises me once again.

Morgan Dane and Lance Kruger are on the case of a young mother of two who has disappeared. Morgan feels Chelsea Clark would never have left her small children even though the sheriff believes she just walked away or the husband is responsible and the prime suspect. For Lance, this case brings up all of his memories of the disappearance of his own father many years ago.

As Morgan works the case, she becomes the focus of the violent predator and her children and grandfather are put at risk. Morgan and Lance will do anything, even bend the law, to protect those they love and catch the predator.

This is a fast paced and easy to read book that kept me turning the pages. The plot twists and turns so that even when I believed I had the case solved there was still more to come. Morgan and Lance are so realistically written that I feel I could walk right into their office. The secondary characters; grandpa, Morgan’s girls and extended family, Sharp and Lance’s mother are all great additions that add the true to life feel and dialogue to these books. I was also very happy that Morgan and Lance finally got their “Let’s Get It On” scene. Oh, yeah!

Another series to add to my must read list!

Thanks very much to Montlake Romance and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Deadly Secrets by Gordon Bickerstaff

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

If you are going to start a new thriller series or you want to try a new author of thrillers, you have got to read DEADLY SECRETS (Gavin Shawlens Thriller #1) by Gordon Bickerstaff. This thriller has an eerily plausible story line, intricate plot, twists and surprises that gave me chills just thinking about how this could really happen.

Gavin Shawlens is a brilliant scientist who studies protease enzymes. He is also part of a secret British organization, The Lambeth Group that monitors universities and research scientists’ discoveries that could possibly do more harm than good.

Gavin has been offered an opportunity to test a new additive that could revolutionize the entire food industry. At first he does not believe the hype, but when he discovers the wife of one of the company owner’s is an old flame that he never got over, he agrees to their proposal. With incredible global financial implications, the stakes are high and Gavin becomes entangled in a power struggle between a global corporation, the Russians and corrupt officials at all levels of government.

I have so many feelings to share about this book. The main character of this series, Gavin Shawlens is very human. He is no James Bond. He runs away from danger to save himself to the detriment of anyone with him, usually but not always. He is brilliant, but socially awkward. I cheered for him, I yelled at him and I was embarrassed for him. The other characters are just as well written. Some are so evil, to be almost unbelievable, until you consider what money and power are doing in the real world today.

The science based plot seems quite believable. The description of the deaths by enzyme were equal parts disgusting and chilling (and might be too graphic for some). When you think you are at the end, this author twists you around and the peril continues. I love when that happens.

This is a great start to a new thriller series with a unique author’s voice and hero!

Book Review: Cold Blood by Robert Brynzda

RATING 5 out of 5 Stars:

COLD BLOOD (Detective Erika Foster, #5) by Robert Brynzda had me turning the pages as fast as I could read them. This installment not only gave me my usual intense detective story, but more character development involving Erika, her personal life decisions and the contrasting study of the downward spiral of personal life decisions of an average young woman. This book alternates between the present investigation and the past evolution of the evil responsible for all of this violence.

Erika and her team begin working a gruesome case of dismembered bodies being found washed up on shore in suitcases in the present. Erika works the case with Moss at her side, while still dealing with guilt over Peterson, who is still on medical leave. The whole force must also, at the same time, deal with a major betrayal by one of their own which can have major ramifications far into the future.

As you follow the case in the present, you alternately follow Nina in the recent past. Every decision in her life moves her along a path of no return. Our lives change with every decision or fork in the road, every person we meet or fall in love with and this author has written a character that you cannot stop wishing for her to get a break or have someone intervene even with all the death and violence she participates in.

Mr. Brynzda has added more character development, moral and ethical decisions and depth to each main character in book #5 besides an interesting and fast moving investigation. This book is fast paced and engaging, but it is also more graphic in its violence than previous books in the series. He will definitely have me coming back for more.

Another great addition to this series!

Thanks very much to Bookouture and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.