Tuesday, December 19, 2017

"The Wife Between Us" by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

  Buy "The Wife Between Us" Jan. 9th 2018 on Amazon: click here

"He used to touch me that way. I told him once I loved the subtle, sexy feel of his fingers there. I get up, moving quietly in the darkness, and retrieve my burner phone and my laptop from the bottom dresser drawer. Richard cannot marry again. I begin to make my preparations. The next time I see her, I will be ready."........ 

She is about to marry the man of her dreams. At times she doesn’t feel she’s good enough for this man who expects perfection. Is Richard too good to be true, or was his ex wife so horrible he had to leave?

Vanessa is the first wife. Richard cheated on her, then tossed her from her life of luxury with him. Forced to live with her elderly aunt, and take a job where she caters to former high class friends. Drinking is her friend. Plotting and obsessing about her replacement is controlling her life. To what end though? It may not be for the reasons you'd assume. 

The first half of the book alternated between one life and another. With a huge surprise leading into the second half of the book. The final part was just so clever.

Where do we go from here? Two wives and a husband. Who is the victim, who is the manipulator? We love someone and overlook the small signs of danger, cheating, fear of loss. A thought provoking suspense. Just when you think things are figured out, you’ll never see the twist coming. Original story line considering that divorce, cheating,and remarriage is so common.

Thank you Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen Netgalley, St. Martin's Press

"Titch" by A. Ireland King


This short story is available on the authors website: click here!

"I stop walking and meet his eyes, realizing this is my one chance to get out. My voice comes out quieter than I intend. "I don't work for you anymore." Bronco laughs. "What else are you going to do for money?".....

"This short story introduces us to a key character in the debut novel “The Whisperer” by the author, A. Ireland King.

“Titch” is Andy Laidlaw’s nick name. Growing up as 1 of 10 children in total poverty he finds himself working for a thug named Brunco. He’s done it to protect his family. Afraid Brunco will use his younger siblings in his gang, Titch has half heartedly followed Brunco’s orders.

An opportunity arises for Titch to change his life. Does he? I found this short background story interesting. I look forward to finding out what is set in motion by Titch and his life changing decisions.

Thank you A. Ireland King.

Monday, December 18, 2017

"Two Girls Down" by Louisa Luna


"Vega washed her hands in Cap's bathroom. She looked at herself in the mirror and thought about death. Which is what she usually did when she looked in strange mirrors in strange bathrooms. It made her think of hospitals and morgues, how a body could look peaceful but only in the way a piece of luggage looks peaceful-it was simply an item that didn't move."....

Kylie and Bailey are 2 little girls left alone in the car outside a KMart. When they disappear, they’re great aunt hires a well known bounty hunter. Alice Vega is good at finding lost children.

When Alice comes to town she gets a former cop, turned private detective, to help her with the case. Max Caplan has a few of his own secrets, like why he really left the force. A drinking problem, a divorce, and maybe a desire to redeem himself in his daughters eyes.

The characters felt real. The story was one you just fall into and can’t let go until you know the truth. Alice is a tough girl, but is she tough enough to overcome the obstacles to the missing girls? The girls grieving mother is falling apart at the seams. Media coverage isn't helping the stress and strain its putting on everyone. Everyone who knows them is suspect. 

Descriptive, detailed account of a town that could be Anywhere, USA. With rampant drug issues, an overworked, understaffed police department, they’re going to need the likes of Vega and Cap if they ever hope to find these little girls again. They can get answers in ways cops might not be able to. The police aren't exactly thrilled to have them involved and it shows. Even the FBI is coming to town for this. Getting everyone to work together will be tough. 

A thrilling suspense story from start to finish. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next, or how it all would end. The story definitely took a turn I didn’t see coming. It didn’t end the way I expected either. I love a good book that is not always predictable.

Thank you Louisa Luna, Doubleday Books, Netgalley.

Monday, December 4, 2017

"Timeless" by Simone Elise


"I knew as soon as she turned the tables on me and pushed me away that what I'd done was a mistake. She had disappeared like she promised. And I knew she was going to keep her word about never seeing me again. Years had passed since the day she left me in prison, and no matter how many men I hired to find her they pulled up nothing."......

Six years ago Jackson went to prison. The love of his life, Amber, went on to another life. A life different than the one she had with Jackson, the biker, leader of the gang Satan’s Sons.

Now he’s out. Amber has been hiding. She’s also been keeping a secret. Will she let Jax back into her life? Amber's’ been on both sides of the law. Jax is definitely not on the legal side. Choices will have to be made.

With Jax out, and part of his crew being Amber's brothers, it’s definitely a family affair. Bad boy bikers and a little romance. A genre I’m always afraid to mention. Too many people say they don’t read the romance genre, myself included. Within those lines fall bikers, and rock stars. I almost always end up getting hooked into these story lines. This one was no different.

Just a brief look at where Jack and Amber are going. A great ending, with a great set up for the next part of their lives. The possibilities are infinite. Can't wait for another in this series.

Thank you Simone Elise and Inkitt Publishing

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

"The Easter Make Believers" by Finn Bell

"What would you do if you were given the man who did it, on his knees, gun to his head? If you knew how slim the chances were of him ever being convicted. If you knew he wasn't going to change or ever feel sorry, that he enjoyed doing it and would do it again as soon as got out. If he was smiling unrepentantly, looking up at you, confident that you can't do anything to him because good , normal people never do. Would you pull that trigger?".....

When the Chen family is held hostage by gang members, detectives Nick Cooper and Tobe White are brought in. They work the gang unit, and the ones inside the house are familiar to them.

When it’s over, one gang member is missing, and one family member is missing. Are they dead or alive? Nick and Tobe are investigating every possibility.

There is a bit of “food for thought” banter between the detectives. How people come to be the way they are. What happens to children who are young victims. I found this to be an interesting part of this story.

A snow storm descends on them as they search for Remu and James Chen. Scared for James life, they take a huge risk in the storm.

With things I most definitely didn’t see coming, and an exciting story line. The ending was a shock. Well written, intriguing characters, made this story set in New Zealand, a page turner.

Who lives, who dies? Who makes a choice to change the lives of the family involved. Can James save his family? Will the detectives find Remu and James in time, before more people die?

Thank you Fin Bell for another thrilling book!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"The Girl Who Lived" by Christopher Greyson


"Faith glanced at the spot near the trail head where Kim had parked that night. For the millionth time, she wished she could turn back time=prayed that she could go back and do something, anything, and prevent Kim's death She could have thrown a tantrum when she saw Rat Face-insisted they turn around and go home. She could have suggested they call someone, convinced Kim to stay home in the first place."....

In this thriller novel we meet Faith Winters. She’s being released from the mental hospital on the tenth anniversary of the brutal murders of four people. One being Faith’s beloved sister, Kim, her father, and two family friends.

Faith is a wreck. A drunk, self destructive woman. Does Faith know deep down who committed the murders? Is someone worried she might remember? Her bad behavior keeps those she really needs from believing most of her story as events unfold. 

Released and sent home, Faith decides to try to track her sisters killer. Returning to where it all happened makes Faith relive so much of the tragedy. With a distant, but helpful mother, there aren’t many Faith will be able to rely on. She has a hard time relying on herself. How far can she get? Will she end up dead, back in the mental hospital, or solve the murders, once and for all?

Enthralling from the very beginning. Faith is a character you can’t help but become invested in. Is she innocent? Is she a victim? Is she crazy? What would you be if someone murdered those you loved?

What if Faith really saw the murderer that night? He will not have forgotten that she is “The Girl That Lived.” Lots of action, and some surprises. Who can she trust? Everyone seems to have a secret.

Thank you Christopher Greyson, Netgalley, Greyson Media Associates

Saturday, November 11, 2017

"A Kiss Before Killing" by Keith McCarthy


"Eisenmenger had left his small house fifteen minutes before, aware that he was late and therefore hurrying. He walked quickly to the end of the mews, looked right and left, saw nothing coming and stepped into the road. The car that hit him must have come out of nowhere. Having hit him, it disappeared into the same place and he was left sprawled on the tarmac, bleeding from an abrasion on his left temple and feeling intense pain in his chest and right knee. He was concussed, with the world whirling around him. He smelled the tarmac and heard nothing except an internal screaming in his skull."...... 

A prisoner, Edward Marsham, attempts suicide in his cell, and later dies from the complications. A pattern is emerging and other patients have died as well. People that were thought to recover. Head of the hospital, Dr. Woodfored, is suspicious. Is it a staff member?

The police investigative team consists of DCI Beverly Wharton, and her new sergeant, Tom Bayes. As pieces start to come together, another body sheds light to their suspicions. This horrific discovery has them pushing as quickly as they can for answers. A torso with no head or limbs is found. Are their others? Is it 2 cases or one? Lucky for Beverly, she has a top notch retired pathologist at her disposal, Dr. John Eisenmenger. He works special cases upon request.

The water is a little muddied by the fact of Beverly inclinations to carry on relationships with co- workers. Will this interfere in the investigation? Is there more than one killer out there, or is it all connected in some twisted way? Dr John is helping with the hospital cases, and Beverly’s dismembered case. Maybe he can tie things together.

Beverly and Bayes are not a great team. He’s a know it all, and she enjoys watching him trip himself up with upper authority. Will they ever make headway?

Gruesome at times, but definitely a page turner. In the end nobody is in the place they started. A dark road, and a dark read.

Thank you Keith McCarthy

Sunday, October 29, 2017

"Vigilante Assassin" (A Jake Wolfe Novel Book 2) by Mark Nolan

"Cody howled some more, Jake petted him on the back for a while and then faced Stuart's grave again. "Rest in peace, Marine. Fair winds and following seas, brother. We've got it from here. Semper Fidelis, until we meet again..."

Former marine, Jack Wolfe, and his war dog, Cody, are back for the second book in this series. Jack’s had a violent past. Cody has been a hero and Jack’s savior. Cody’s Veterinarian, Sarah, has become part of their lives.

All of Jack’s past is not behind him. There are still terrorists that would like to see him dead. His friends that believe in him, tend to give him side jobs and a place to live. He’s got an ex that about ruined his life, or made it miserable enough.

The new side job involves helping with an investigation. Jake and Cody are called upon when Lauren Stephens awakes to find her husband missing. A search of their large mansion turns up a gruesome discovery.

I love Jake’s character. I love his dog, and the fact that even the dog’s character has been so well developed. You can’t help but get caught up in Jake’s life, and love for his dog.

Lauren’s husband, Gene, has been keeping secrets. Now they are about to be discovered. Jake’s no fear of constant danger puts him and Cody at risk, no matter what they’re doing. The story isn’t just about what happened to Gene. There are twists and turns leading to the mafia and a Russian gang. Everything gets wrapped up, neatly tied together.

An exciting, fast paced story line. A stand alone. Definitely recommend reading the first in the “Jake Wolfe and Cody” series, “Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie.” A previous book that got me hooked into hoping this would be a series.

Thank you, Mark Nolan

Sunday, October 22, 2017

"Right Behind You: (Quincy and Rainie Book 7) by Lisa Gardner

                                                                                      Buy "Right Behind You" now on Amazon: click here!

“Family. Something that can be found. Something that can be made. The caseworker has preached it to me for years. But I never really believed. Even when Rainie and Quincy first sat me down, I remained skeptical.”.....

This is the 7th in the Quincy and Rainie series. (FBI Profilers) Definitely a stand alone book. I’ve not read any of the previous books, but will now. I want to know Quincy and Rainie better.

The story starts with a little girl, Sharlah, and her older brother, Telly. A tale of an abused and neglected childhood that ends in murder.

As time goes, Sharlah is fortunate enough to find a family that wants her. Quincy and Rainie are her current foster family. Thank goodness for their background, it’s going to take everything they’ve got to protect their family.

Telly isn’t as lucky as his little sister. Something has set him off. He’s now being hunted by law enforcement. Is he guilty? Can Sharlah save him? Is he coming to take back what he’s lost? What did Telly do?

I was so entranced from the very first page! Such a sad series of events that then turned into a thrilling story line. People are murdered, innocent and the guilty. It’s a twist to find exactly who is innocent.

Yes, it’s a tragic tale of the aftermath of abuse, but it’s also a tale of the people who have the hearts to save them. Great ending! I love the well developed characters. You just step into the story and it sweeps you away.

I’ve read other Lisa Gardner books (DD Warren series), and I’m never disappointed. Always exciting story lines, clever twists. If you like a good crime drama, FBI, police stories, Lisa Gardner has just the book for you.

Thank you Lisa Gardner, Netgalley, and Penguin Group Dutton

Monday, October 16, 2017

"An American Cage" by Ted Galdi


"Danny wants to hit him in those ugly chops. But that would be a bad idea. Danny isn't a fighter. He'd never been in a fight in his life before prison. And all the ones in there he lost. Badly. He feels powerless. Shoulder's shaking, Danny steps away from the other two.".....

Danny, Phil and Monty. Three inmates about to make their escape from a Texas prison. The stakes are high, if they’re caught. With a plan to make it to Mexico, the story follows twenty-four hours in the lives of these three men.

Each with a unique story, and a common reason to want out of their confines. Can they depend on each other? Will they make it to Mexico? They each have a plan. Not everyone is as forthcoming as they may seem. They're are some outsiders mixed in that may cause the plans to change. 

When the plans get changed up a little, two of the three are going to have to figure out what’s next, and quickly. I found the characters a little on the thin side at first. Made it hard for me to like or dislike them. As time went on though I developed an empathy for 2 of them. One was nothing as he appeared, which made the story far more interesting.

Great twists, unexpected outcomes. Is there a cage in when you're locked up? Is there a cage in your head? Who holds the keys? At the end of the day is everyone alive, and will there be another cage? I actually ended up really enjoying this book.

Thank you Ted Galdi, Netgalley, and Precipice Books

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lisa Gardner Summaries and Checklist (Ultimate Reading List) by Sir Reed A. Lot


This is a useful way to keep track of a favorite authors book series. Since I’m a fan of crime/detective, I found this to be an interesting list. Title, along with a short synopsis, makes it easier to keep track of the series.

There are other authors also with “Reading Lists.” I’m currently reading a book by Lisa Gardner: "Right Behind You." I could have done the research myself, but this was time saving, and convenient. Check out the link and see if your favorite author has a time saving list!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

"The Dark Lake" by Sarah Bailey

 Buy "The Dark Lake" on October 3rd on Amazon: click here!

"Regardless, everything I know and remember about Rosalind tells me that this is a crime of passion. Or maybe revenge.".....

Detective Gemma Woodstock relives the memories she has of Rosalind Ryan, a beautiful girl she attended high school with. Rosa is found dead, and Gemma is investigating. The story is told in the present with a look back on Rosa's life and the affect it left on Gemma's life. Gemma goes through the investigation as if it's surreal, and as if she's in some kind of shock. Will it hinder or help her find the killer? Will Rosa's past somehow collide with Gemma's?

Rosalind had left town after high school, but returned to teach drama. What happened to Rosa while she was in Sydney? Why did she return to her hometown? Why would anyone want this woman dead?

From a wealthy family, her dad and three brothers are left in shock, and grieving for her. Not everyone was close, and there may be a secret or two.

Gemma has her own hidden facets, a child, a secret love. How will this case change her? Change her life? There are secrets at the “Dark Lake.” Some fascinating twists will have you wanting to reach the last page as quickly as possible.

Thank you Sarah Bailey, Netgalley, and Grand Central Publishing.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Cold Comfort (A Bridgette Cash Mystery Thriller) by Trevor Douglas


"She shared Hoffman's concern about catching the killer, but right now she was far more concerned about stopping the next killing. As the ambulance's engine started, she began to formulate a plan.".......

Detective Bridgette Casseldhorf is new to the force. Paired with a detective on the edge of retirement, Bridgette will have to stand her ground with him. Taking in clues at a murder scene, Bridgette thinks it may be the work of a serial killer. Her more experienced partner, Detective Lance Hoffman, is dismissive of her ideas. It might be a long 3 months until his retirement. 

As the clues unfold will Hoffman realize Bridgette might actually have something to contribute to this case? Will there be more murders? Is there a serial killer on the loose in Hartbourne? Can these Hartbourne Metropolitan Police detectives find a way to work together peacefully, and solve a horrific crime? 

Just a few chapters in, and I was hooked. There are a few surprises you won't expect that involve Bridgette. I liked getting to know her. The characters had layers added to them smoothly, as the story carried on. A possible serial killer won't be the only danger Bridgette faces, old family secrets will add to the story line. She also comes to the attention of a couple people she'd be better off not ever meeting. 

What a enthralling crime story. I look forward to seeing Bridgette evolve as a detective, and if she will find her foothold among the men in the squad. I've been reading crime novels for at least 35 years. It's not often I can find a story that is unpredictable and captivating. 

Thank you Trevor Douglas.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

"Sunday Morning Coming Down" by Nicci French ( A Frieda Klein Novel 7)

"The shapes weren't looking at the walls. They were looking down. and Karlsson followed their gaze. This didn't make sense: why were the boards up? Why was the smell so strong, so terrible? Karlsson felt a ripple of dread and then, as he glimpsed what lay in the gash in the floor, a rush of relief that ran through his body, like a pulse of electricity. He leaned on his crutches, utterly confused. "........

This is the 7th book in the "Frieda Klein" series. The tale opens with the body of a man, a friend and protector to Frieda, found beneath the floor in her home. Her home has been invaded by a murderer. Someone is coming close to her, but she's having a hard time sorting it out.

With her friend DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) Karlsson behind her, as well as several other friends on the case, there is hope he can solve this before the killer makes another move. They know who the killer is. They know why he killed the man under the floorboards of her home. The trouble is everyone was convinced this killer died seven years ago. Is he alive? Is someone wanting them to think he's still alive? Revenge? 

Those close to Frieda are at risk. Her niece, her friends. They are truly at risk and suffering, as Frieda does for those she loves. I love the consistency from book 1 to book 7. Stand alone, or depth adding to the characters, if you've read the others. I could read book 1 and then book 7 with clarity. Just enough past intrigue to make me want to see what I've missed in between.

I enjoy detective series immensely, and this one does not fail to entertain. I've not read books 2-5 yet, but I have purchased them. I'd love to know the sequence of events in Frieda's life from the first book, through to this one. What a great ending! Not what I expected. 

Thank you Nicci French, Netgalley, and Penguin Random House UK

Monday, August 21, 2017

"Blind Jimmy and the Blind Ballerina" by Eddie Owens


"I got him outside and there wasn't a taxi in sight. Typical. I leaned him against a lamp post and lit a tab. I might as well smoke while I waited. I rang a taxi and watched as he threw up in the gutter. Oh well, at least he didn't do it in the taxi."......

This story takes place across the pond. Twenty six year old "Fat Jimmy," is a hard drinking, hard living guy by day, and a mouthy comedienne at night. He so wants to be famous that it brings out the desperation in him. His best friend Lenny, also is following the same career path, but with a little less conviction.

The story was a little rough around the edges, but no story about a hard life trying to rise to the top wouldn't be. A fall out with a former friend, costs him some rungs on that ladder to fame and fortune. "Fat Jimmy" really isn't a very nice guy, or a good friend. His view of women is kind of ugly.

The more I read, the more I disliked him. Then it took a turn, and I started to like him a little more. There is some humor throughout that made me laugh. The underlying theme though is the true story. What would you do to move up? Human nature and all its ugly sides.

When "Fat Jimmy" gets a chance at a television show, it will either make or break him. Lots of little back stories concerning his family and where he came from. Maybe he will find someone to put him on the chosen path. How will it end? Will "Fat Jimmy" find his "Blind Ballerina?" Will he find fame and fortune? In the end I actually enjoyed the overall tale.

Thank you Eddie Owens

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"The Art of Hiding" by Amanda Prowse


"She looked out, seeing the building through the eyes of her boys had lived in splendor, in a gracious house, attended a beautiful school and had taken their leisure among the pale Bath stone buildings of an orderly, prosperous city. And all for what? They had ended up back at the beginning, her beginning, and one she had fought to escape.".......

What starts out as a typical day for well to do mom, Nina, ends in tragedy with the death of her husband. She's left to cope with her two sons, as secrets her husband held are revealed soon after the funeral. 

Their entire lives will change, and Nina will have to find a way to create a new life for Connor and Declan. Losing the luxury they're so accustomed too, only to have to return to her roots. The ones she thought she left behind, even the people she thought were her past. 

The story was thoughtful and tragic. Children paying the price for their fathers decisions and secrets. Can Nina accept what was and let it go? Can she find it in herself the strength to create a new life? How will the boys lives change from the only one they ever knew? 

Finns death changes the way Nina and her children relate to each other, and other family members. Will there be a life raft to this family? Will their burdens be theirs to carry alone? It captivated me from the beginning. Where do you go when you lose everything that makes up the fibers of your life?

Thank you Amanda Prowse, Netgalley, and Lake Union Publishing. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

"Blue Monday" by Nicci French


"He'll probably be dead by now. I feel sorry for the poor bloody teacher who let him go. She's become a hate figure." Frieda didn't really hear what he was saying. She was scanning the story about Matthew Faraday who had slipped out of his Islington primary school unnoticed on a Friday afternoon and been last seen going towards a sweetshop a hundred yards or so away.....

This is the first book in this series where we meet Frieda Klein. She is a psychotherapist, with her own interesting history and thoughts. She leads a controlled life, one she is giving a try at sharing. The story takes place in London. When a 5 year old disappears, Frieda makes a connection to one of her patients. The man describes a child he sees in his dream that matches the missing child. 

This book is a great set up and introduction into Frieda and her character. There are currently six more books after this one. As a fan of series, with criminal story lines, I look forward to seeing where this series takes us. 

Frieda is reluctant to help the police? DCI Karlsson tries to appeal to her. A past similar crime reminds him of this one. Could Frieda help him unravel the puzzle? Leaving her carefully constructed world isn't easy for her. Is her patient responsible? What will she risk to find the answers? Suspense, and a few shocking surprises will keep you glued to this story. Is Matthew even still alive, or does a monster darken her office? Her personal issues, and her own changes, make Frieda an interesting character.

This first book drew me in so much, that I purchased the next five in the series, and have the seventh one lined up to read through Netgalley! 

Thank you Nicci French, Netgalley and Penguin UK Publishers 


Monday, July 31, 2017

"Chase and Chloe" by Simone Elise


"I stomped on my cigarette and headed towards him. If he knew what was good for him, he would take my warning and back off. Chloe had put her life on hold because of us. Chase loved her, and considering Chase had always given things up for us, this was nothing. I wouldn't rest until Chloe was back where she belonged.".......

Chloe is just nineteen, and running from the hands of an abusive stepfather. An accident in the car she stole, to run away in, lands her right on the radar of a biker named Chase.

Chase isn't any run of the mill outlaw. He is the main outlaw. President of his motorcycle club, left to him by his late father. Chase's brothers are also part of his pack. On the other side Chase takes care of his family, mom, sisters and his brothers. So when he finds Chloe he is completely drawn into caring for this wreck of a runaway. 

Chase's lifestyle, and Chloe's abusive past, make for some roadblocks. Undeniably attracted to each other, there are things that will come between them. Especially when Chloe's step father comes looking for her. 

This bad boy biker romance was filled with action, suspense, and a few well placed surprises. Not overly done in the explicit department, which I appreciate as a reader. I don't want to read on and on about the sex. I want the story! 

Can Chloe find a way to Chase? His family will provide some of their own roadblocks. Can Chase break through to Chloe's heart? Trust issues abound. The law is never too far behind either.

Another great book by this author. I see the ending as a definite road to another "Chase and Chloe" book. 

Thank you Simone Elise and Inkitt Publishing

Friday, July 21, 2017

"Girl in Snow" by Danya Kukafka

For the first time in three and a half years, Cameron started to cry. The tears were hot on his cheeks. They dripped onto the portrait, creating lakes where there had been only paper. Because Cameron could only do such realistic portraits of things he had seen. Lucinda dead on the carousel was one of them."....

This mystery thriller starts with the death of fifteen year old Lucinda. Found lying on the play ground, covered by a layer of snow. This small Colorado town is about to become hot with gossip. Lucinda was a shining star, why would someone want her dead?

The narrowed suspect range from stalker, Cameron Whitley, to Jade Dixon-Burns, a jealous girl. Is one of them guilty, or are they looking in the wrong direction? 

Investigating officer, Russ Fletcher, is the ex partner of the father of one of the suspects. Why is Cameron a suspect? What will Russ uncover, and will he tells what he knows, or protect Cameron as a favor to Cameron's father? 

Told from each characters perspective. As the story goes, you learn of their secrets and ultimately what happened to Lucinda. A definite page turner. I loved these well written characters. I couldn't wait to find out what they were hiding. Let's say each of them held big secrets. 

Thank you Danya Kukafka, Netgalley, and Simon & Schuster Publishing.

"Not So Sweet Maria" (Sisters by Marriage Book 1) by Jessica Spencer


"She had only one dream. She would go to America, buy back the plantation, and try to run it. If she failed, she would go to France and make bonnets. She wanted to earn her own money. She was six months short of being twenty-one and in her fourth season. If the "ton" did not know about the proposals she received, they would have pitied her, or mocked her for not snagging a husband. 

After the death of her parents, Mary is sent back to England. Only 6 years old, she is now in the care of her grandmother, a duchess. Now, she will be renamed Lady Maria. What will life have in store for this child? The year is 1793. 

As Lady Maria grew, she became known as "Sweet Maria." Her suitors were many, both rich and in pursuit of marriage. Although her background was slightly riddled with gossip. Her father had married an American woman of all things. Scandalous to those around her. Still she was sought after by many men, continually turning them away. 

A independent and unique woman of her time. The story is flowing with descriptive words and places. Her man, if there will be one, will be her choosing, not one who has been chosen for her. 

Maria has plans for her life. One that includes going back to America to regain ownership of her late parents property. Will she make it? Will she find a suitable husband? Will she be the center of yet more scandal? I don't think she cares if she is. I enjoyed the suspense caused by Maria's desire to protect herself. 

This is so far out of my typical crime, detective genre. Every once in awhile I make friends with authors, (G.R. is an example, though I prefer not to mention them all outright), that intrigue me. It's a wonderful change of pace for me. This story is proof of that foray into the unknown for me. I don't believe I've ever read what is considered a "Regency Romance." 

Life is meant to learn new things, both small and big. I've found a way to do that through reading. Being open to different genres broadens your view of the world. Reading this story is a wonderful example of that view. A world you know nothing about. Open the door, or in this case, the book, and take a peak inside another world. 

Thank you Jessica Spencer.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

"The Redemption of Charlie McCoy" by C.D. Wilsher


"As he mounts the stairs, he thinks about what Amy said. I'll never forgive you. He's not surprised. Any closeness he felt was a figment of his imagination brought on by being in proximity to her for two days. They were strangers. Any shot he he had for a relationship with Amy disappeared when he was sent to the joint all those years ago. You don't get second chances in life. Hell, you get damned few first chances.".......

Charlie finds himself in a rather sticky situation. Set up as a fall guy for a burglary, he finds a way out with a little insurance for good measure. He's got some information on some corrupt locals, who'd probably like to see him dead. Charlie owes some people, who want their money yesterday, making it easier to lure him in. 

Charlie McCoy also has a daughter, Amy, and an ex wife. Unexpectedly he finds he's going to have to be more of a full time parent. Amy is young, and in the dark about her fathers past. She asks a lot of questions, much to Charlie's annoyance. If anyone is going to change Charlie's life of recklessness it could only be Amy. 

Lots of action, decisions to be made. A new relationship builds between father and daughter. Overall a great story. Can Charlie turn this mess around? The bad guys aren't just going to go away. Some of the bad guys are hiding behind a badge. Who ever wanted him dead is hot on his trail. What will he do with the incriminating evidence? Can he protect Amy? 

I enjoyed reading the changes these characters brought out in each other as the story progresses. There were times I did not like Charlie at all. Poor Amy, not a chance to understand her father before she was dumped on him. It's not just a tale of a criminal and his exploits, but of family, and the lengths he'd go to protect his child. Can he keep them both alive?

Thank you Chris Wilsher

Monday, July 3, 2017

"Retaking Pervaiske" The Army of Orphans Book Two by F. B. Veneziano


"We all had our stories, Anton and I, along with our older sister, Irina, were given to the state by our father, an abusive drunk, and declared social orphans. Irina ran away with her boyfriend, Paul Orlik, while Anton and I were sent to a Skolainternat, a boarding school for orphans. Dmitry and Liza came home from school one day and found an empty house. They had been abandoned. Misha'a parents were killed in a bus crash. Natalia's mother left at the hospital when she was born. And little Anna went shopping with her mother one day. She was told to wait next to the bread while her mother picked up a few things. Her mother never came back."

It's the year 2048, 3 years since Anton, Irina, and Alex were first left in the orphanage. Picking up where the first book "Army of Orphans" left off, we find the kids living on their own. They've left the orphanage and are in hiding. 

They are helping people escape the oppressive state in which they live, Pervaiske, Ekrunia in Eastern Europe. Now they are known as the "Army of Orphans." With other children and the help of resistance fighters, they are trying to help others escape. It's been 30 years since the rebellion first began. Can Pervaiske ever be returned to its once peaceful state? 

I was glad to revisit Alex and his siblings. I wanted to know if they'd found a home or peace for that matter. Right off in the first chapter there is a life altering event for the three. 

Working with adults in a resistance group, it's a way of someone looking out for them, and at the same time using them for dangerous missions. It's getting more dangerous when the next mission involves weapons being held by the government. With family involved, the orphans take on some scary missions. 

The story is fast paced and engrossing. Plenty of action. You can't help but root for these children, and at the same time want some one to swoop in and save them all. 

There are real orphans in European countries who live like this, or something similar to the survivalist existence. I can't imagine any country ignoring the plight of these children. How does one overlook such a thing? The casualties of war torn countries. 

While this could be read as a stand alone, you really would benefit to read the the first book in this series, "The Army of Orphans: The Beginning." It is a trilogy, so there will be another book to follow. Looking forward to another story by this author. The ending will leave you wanting more!

Thank you F. B. Veneziano