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.

Feature Post: Most Memorable and Recommended Book of 2017

As a book reviewer, I read soooo many books (NOT complaining, it is my JOY). I love all genres and am very lucky to have so many authors, publishers and friends who recommend and send me way too many books to read each year.

As this year winds down I have a lot of reviewer and book blogger friends choosing their favorites for the year in many different categories. I find that I am in agreement with the sentiment that invariably shows up on many sites stating that as a reader, I could never pick just ONE book as my favorite. This is truly how I feel, but I do usually have one that is just so memorable that I never forget the characters or plot and I always recommend it in the top spot to anyone who asks for a great read. Below is my choice for 2017 and a reprint of my review. I hope if you have not had a chance to read it this year, you will pick it up in 2018. You will NOT be sorry!

My 2017 Most Memorable and Recommended Book is:

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Paul Cleave is now on my MUST READ list and I feel he should be on every fan of thrillers book shelves, too!

I read “Trust No One” and loved it, so I was very happy to get this ARC of his new book. Now I can add A KILLER HARVEST to this year’s list of my favorite books. I am in love with this author’s writing, plotting and pacing. When you think you are at the climax or you have everything figured out Mr. Cleave continually throws another plot twist, big or small, into the mix which makes you even more anxious and desperate to continue reading.

Joshua Logan believes he is cursed. He was born blind and lost his biological parents at a young age. He was taken in by his uncle and aunt, who he now calls mom and dad, but he can never take his happiness for granted.

While investigating a suspect believed to be a serial killer, Joshua’s detective father is killed. His partner kills the killer, but the curse has struck again. Joshua’s dad left a specific request in his will. If he was ever killed, his eyes would go to Joshua for a transplant and a chance at sight. As the donated eyes are transported to Joshua’s operating room, there is a mishap and Joshua receives one of his father’s eyes and one of the serial killer’s eyes which were also taken for donation.

After the surgery, Joshua begins to have strange and disturbing dreams. Sometimes he feels like he is seeing his father’s death from his father’s perspective and sometimes from the killer’s. He is also able to identify people that he has never seen before. As Joshua tries to deal with all the changes in his life, the serial killer’s accomplice is out to avenge his friend’s death. Joshua and all those close to him are in danger.

You may believe that you know how this will end from the brief summary above and past thriller plots, but in the hands of this author, you are so wrong! I could not stop thinking about this book when I had to put it down and could not wait to get back to it. Mr. Cleave knows how to masterfully take the reader on a journey that makes the unbelievable possible. I definitely need to start working my way through this author’s past catalogue. I highly recommend this book to all and especially those who love older Dean Koontz and Stephen King works that take a normal situation and twist it.

Thank you so much to Atria Books and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. It was my pleasure!

 

 

 

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.