Sunday, 29 November 2015

The End of All Things by Lissa Bryan

The End of All Things by Lissa Bryan
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly Daniels, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food. With her is Sam, a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. He becomes her companion and a reason to continue when giving up sometimes seems like the more attractive option. Still dazed with shock and grief, she hopes for the world to go back to normal soon.

She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier who is intent on making his way to Florida before the winter sets in. Justin coaxes her out of her hiding place and convinces her to join him on his journey, because a warmer climate will be their best chance against the extremes of Mother Nature.


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I read Shadows Have Gone, book three in this series at the beginning of this year and I found the book very good. But it has taken me ages to get to reading the first book in this series. But now as I'm going through my NetGalley books have I finally gotten to this one.

What I like about this series is that there are no zombies or any other kind of monsters, if it is a "monster" is it people that still have the flue or ordinary people that have turned ruthless to survive. Carly and Justin have a rocky start, but they she slowly learns to trust him and realize that he is right, that they must leave Juneau if they are going to survive. I found that part and then ending the best in the book, Unfortunately, I started to get a bit annoyed somewhere along the way. Annoyed that Carly was so incompetent and Justin was so well trained in surviving. Could be the scout in me that just found her unbearable ignorant sometimes. Either way, it seems that she has lived a very sheltered life and hardly set foot outside a town. One moment that really mad eme annoyed were when Justin ripped a wedding dress to pieces to use as a bandage for future needs and she got upset because he was ripping apart someone's dream. I mean, come on, they are on the way to Florida, she doesn't know the women whose dress it is and they are trying to survive.

And, then we have the romance part. I can understand the need for human contact, for warmth and for the basic need like sex. But suddenly it's a love story. It's a Hallmark movie. After that part, the story just felt meh! Fortunately, the ending was tragically good. yeah. Except for one thing that I didn't like, someone that I liked very much died.

Thanks to The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Friday, 27 November 2015

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

In this enthralling and atmospheric thriller, one young family’s dream of a better life is about to become a nightmare.

Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.

When Ben inherits land in the village of Swannhaven, in a remote corner of upstate New York, the Tierneys believe it’s just the break they need, and they leave behind all they know to restore a sprawling estate. But as Ben uncovers Swannhaven’s chilling secrets and Charlie ventures deeper into the surrounding forest, strange things begin to happen. The Tierneys realize that their new home isn’t the fresh start they needed . . . and that the village’s haunting saga is far from over.

House of Echoes is a novel that shows how sometimes the ties that bind us are the only things that can keep us whole.


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House of Echoes is not a book for those that can't stand a story that takes its time to get to the action. Sometimes slow buildup works and sometimes it doesn't and I think the slow buildup worked quite well, for the most part, even though even I felt sometimes that I wanted to get to the point.

But what I really liked about this book is despite how normal everything seems and how lovely the Crofts and the close town Swannhaven seem to be, you just know that something is wrong. You just don't know what it is, but there seems to be some big secret the people in the village have. You get some clues in the letters that are alternating the chapters from the 1800 century during the terrible Winter siege when Swannhaven was attacked by Indians and the people starved.

I was quickly pulled into the story, I have a weakness for books with families moving to an old house with a history and the Crofts sure has been true a lot since it was built in 1800 century. The two sisters that were the last Swann's died two years prior and Ben and Caroline are the first to live in the house that is not part of the family. And at first everything is just fine, but slowly, slowly things start to happen until the very end when everything is revealed. The ending is really no big surprise, I mean there are clues throughout the book that there is something very wrong. I admit that it felt sometimes like it took some time to get somewhere despite how well-written the book was. I did enjoy the story, but I felt sometimes a bit impatient and it never got truly thrilling though it got a bit intense towards the end. I think I actually was most worried about the dog Hudson throughout the book. Animals in books like this have a tendency to perish.

I'm impressed with this debut book by Brendan Duffy and will without a doubt read more from him.

Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Time to Die by Caroline Mitchel

Time to Die by Caroline Mitchell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Don’t ever cross his palm with silver.
He will reveal your most shameful secrets.
He will predict your death.
He is hiding a secret.
He is hiding a monster.
And all his predictions come true.

Investigating a series of chilling murders, Detective Jennifer Knight finds herself tracking a mysterious tarot card reader known only as The Raven.

As the death toll rises, Jennifer and her team build a picture of a serial killer on the edge of sanity, driven by dark forces. But these are not random killings. And the method behind the madness could be the most terrifying thing of all …
Especially when it seems the death of one of their own is on the cards.

**********

I had hoped this book would be better than the first one, and in the beginning, it actually looked like it would with a tarot reading man called the Raven whose predictions about deaths seems to come true. But after a while, I just felt that the story started to drag.

The chapters shift between Jennifer Knight and Bert, the tarot man and it worked OK in the beginning but somewhere along the way I just got tired of the alternation. Could be because I found the story just dull and I wanted it to wrap up so that I could move on.

There is a side story with a sect that I found uninteresting, I just never saw the point of it. But I should have know that there would be some connections to the tarot murder case. I mean why else add a side story to a crime book without having something to do with the main case. But I guess the biggest problem I had with the story not that interesting to read about, and that I'm sick and tired of main characters being chosen by a killer as his nemesis or something. Sending letters with a raven feather in them to Jennifer just made me mentally sigh because I have read so many books lately with the main character being the target of the killer they are chasing that it's lost its appeal.

Jennifer Knight also has some personal problem with her father returning to town and wants to have contact with Jennifer and her sister. But Jennifer just doesn't want to forgive him, and I can understand that. I just wish she could understand that her sister is a grown up woman with two kids and that she can't tell her what to do. And, perhaps she should tell her the truth about the fire on the boat. Secrets tend to come out sooner or later.

Anyway, I was a bit surprised towards the end when something was revealed about on of the characters in the book, I didn't expect that I must admit. I expected a must less surprising end, but it makes sense that there is something more to the tarot killings.

Would I continue with this series? No, I don't think so. I just can't seem to warm up to Jennifer Knight or the rest of characters and neither this book or the previous was really that interesting. At least the first book had a grand finale, this book lacked that and also lacked a really interesting story.

Update: I'm glad I read the next book in the series because unlike this one I quite liked that one!

Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island and she thinks this will be the chance for her to rebuild her failing business. Rick, her partner, and ex-boyfriend have tried to destroy her career after she left him when she realized he had been swindling money from their company. Deacon Whitney, the man she is working for is planning on renovating the derelict Whitney estate on the island. The problem is that the place is said to be haunted by the lady of the manor that was killed a century before...

**********

The thing I really enjoyed about this book was the nerdiness and the banter. Deacon Whitney may be a billionaire, but he is also a computer geek with who loves old cult fantasy movies like Flash and Kull. He is a rich guy who dresses in superman t-shirt. I thought I was over that whole rich guy, poor girl thing, but that was before I finally found myself reading a book about a nerdy billionaire. There is a lot of flirting between Nina and Deacon in this book and really funny nerdy banter between them.

We also have Jack and Cindy, Cindy is cleaning up the place and Jack is the architect and they have a past history, well Jack asked Cindy out on a couple of days and then she never heard from him again, and she is still pissed of despite the fact that it was years ago. And Jack just doesn't understand why because he doesn't remember that. So Cindy is making him really miserable and he can't understand why because people usually like him.

Then there is Dotty, Deacon's fun loving and impulsive cousin that arrives at the island to write a book about Catherine and Gerald, the women killed and her husband, the suspected killer. She instantly befriends Nina and Cindy and the three of them are having a blast, well when they are not being spooked.

The story in itself wasn't that surprising. I mean it was easy to see the how it all would turn out for both Nina and Deacon and Jack and Cindy. I mean I like them, but the book is very much a paranormal romance, with a big emphasis on romance. The paranormal part was just not the books strongest part, for instance, I suspected the ending quite soon, there was in my opinion just two ways it all could end and my suspicion turn out to be the right one since. And all the parts when there are spooky things happening, well it was was never in any way terrifying. I think humor just got in the way to really make it a good haunted house story. But if a less terrifying paranormal book about a haunted house you are after then this is a very good choice.

I was quite pleased when all the women Nina, Cindy and Dotty instantly like each other and there were no women that were a jealous bitch, then Regina turned up. So typical. Also, it was hardly surprising that Rick, Nina's ex would have a role to play in this book.

So all and all, the humor was great, the character likable, the romance kind of OK despites its obvious pairing, but the story a bit weak. I was just never worried that something would happen to the main characters and the ending was just not that thrilling. One thing I liked was that is a stand alone paranormal book and not part of a series. There are so many series out there that it's nice with a book that isn't planned to be part of a series. As far as I know at least...

Thanks to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Her Final Breath by Robert Dugoni

Her Final Breath by Robert Dugoni
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite has returned to the police force after the sensational retrial of her sister’s killer. Still scarred from that ordeal, Tracy is pulled into an investigation that threatens to end her career, if not her life.

A serial killer known as the Cowboy is killing young women in cheap motels in North Seattle. Even after a stalker leaves a menacing message for Crosswhite, suggesting the killer or a copycat could be targeting her personally, she is charged with bringing the murderer to justice. With clues scarce and more victims dying, Tracy realizes the key to solving the murders may lie in a decade-old homicide investigation that others, including her captain, Johnny Nolasco, would prefer to keep buried. With the Cowboy on the hunt, can Tracy find the evidence to stop him, or will she become his next victim?


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I found this book to lack the intensity from the first book. Tracy Crosswhite has returned to work after catching her sister's killer and now she must deal with the case she had before she traveled home when they found her sisters body. Because the killer has struck again and it seems that they have a serial killer loose that is targeting exotic dancers.

I had a much harder time getting into the story in this book, I just felt that the case wasn't that interesting, at least not as interesting as in the first book. And, part of me feels that the angle with the main character being targeted is used way too many times in thrillers/crime novels. And also having an enemy in the force that tries to get the main character fired, well that is something else that I have found happens too often. I mean I understand that there have to be some drama and its good to have and enemy or two thrown into the story. But arrogant cops and ambitious journalists are used a bit too often. Or it could be that I've read so many books with that kind of angle that it's becoming a bit tiring.

But at least, the story picked up towards the last part of the book when everything started to come together. I like that the loose ends from the first book are taken care in this book and that the ending wasn't all too obvious even though I had a suspicious feeling towards the end before the confrontation who the exotic dancer killer was and I was right. Also, I was a bit worried about Roger the cat during the book. And. that's typical me, being more concerned with the pets than the people.

But still I enjoyed reading this book and I would without a doubt read more in this series. I just hope for a more compelling storyline in the next book.

Thanks to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Evil Games by Angela Marsons

Evil Games by Angela Marsons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The greater the Evil, the more deadly the game…
When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work. 

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment. 

Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time - it’s personal.

**********

I found the first book, Silent Scream, OK, but the story in Evil Games is so much better. And, Kim Stone that sometimes annoyed me in the first book didn't annoy me at all this time, on the contrary, I came to like her.

A rapist is killed by his victim, but this open and shut case feel wrong for Detective Kim Stone. Before the woman killed her rapist did she have a session with her psychologist. could it be that the psychologist planted the thought about the killing? And, if so, why would she do that? Kim Stone and her team must also put a child molester behind bars, but it seems that the man in question wasn't alone...

It was easy to get into this book and I think that you don't need to read the first book to be able to enjoy and keep up with what's going on. What I liked about this book was that I found the story interesting from the beginning not like with Silent Scream where it took me around half the book to get into the story. There are some very tragic and intense moments in this book. Kim Stone is still a very special character, she doesn't let people into her life, but there are moments in this book when she lets down her guard a bit.

I didn't expect the ending in the child molesting case, I felt totally left in the dark until it was revealed. I didn't for a moment suspect that it would turn out as it did.

It's a dark book, with some really nasty scenes and some really nasty people. Thankfully it also had some bright moments and it good to see that Kim starts to open up to Bryant.

Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Monday, 16 November 2015

No Honor Among Thieves by J.A. Jance

No Honor Among Thieves by J.A. Jance
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For the first time ever, Ali Reynolds and Joanna Brady, New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance’s popular series sleuths, join forces to solve a terrifying crime in this exclusive e-novella that has everything you want in a thriller—page-turning action, breathtaking twists and turns, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and…Legos.


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I have only previously read a novella by J.A, Jance, but that was with J.P. Beaumont. This time, I got to get to know two other characters Ali Reynolds and Joanna Brady from Jance's two other series as they join forces to stop LEGO thieves.

I find novellas the perfect way to get to know series, to see if I find the characters interesting enough to read the books and get to know the writing style of the authors. I found this story OK, well-written and quite enjoyable action-filled. I must admit that I wasn't completely taken with the story of LEGO theft. For some reason, it just didn't appeal that much to me. Perhaps I'm not just that interested in organized LEGO thieves.

Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!


Saturday, 14 November 2015

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In such a small community as the Falkland Islands, a missing child is unheard of. In such a dangerous landscape it can only be a terrible tragedy, surely...

When another child goes missing, and then a third, it’s no longer possible to believe that their deaths were accidental, and the villagers must admit that there is a murderer among them. Even Catrin Quinn, a damaged woman living a reclusive life after the accidental deaths of her own two sons a few years ago, gets involved in the searches and the speculation.

And suddenly, in this wild and beautiful place that generations have called home, no one feels safe and the hysteria begins to rise.

But three islanders—Catrin, her childhood best friend, Rachel, and her ex-lover Callum—are hiding terrible secrets. And they have two things in common: all three of them are grieving, and none of them trust anyone, not even themselves.


*********

Catrin and Rachel have been best friends since they were children but after Catrin's children died when Rachel was babysitting have their friendship abruptly ended. Now they both are suffering, Catrin by grief and Rachel by guilt. Then a child goes missing and that is not the first child missing on the Falklands since Catrin's children died...and then Rachel youngest child is taken and everyone thinks Catrin is behind that.

I had a hard time getting into the book. The story is very, very dark. The book is divided into three part, first Catrin, then Callum (Catrin's ex-lover) and finally Rachel. They all tell their story during the days that the child is missing. Catrin is consumed with the thought of killing Rachel, and I was a bit uncertain if I really would be able to finish the book while I read her part of the book. It was just so dark and there is a part in the book that involves stranded whales that really bothered me. I actually closed the book at that part and decided to read something else.

But then when I picked up the book again some day later and thought that I read some more to see if the story gets, well more "enjoyable", and the story started to get better when Callum took over the reins and you get some more backstory to everything. But it's the ending, Rachel's part that truly makes the book a 4-star book and not a 3-star book. The last 100 pages are packed with twists. You think that you have everything figured out and then something is revealed and you realize that nope you hadn't. And there is some ray of light towards the end that made me happy and when you think that everything is going to be fine BAM a new twist that I never ever saw coming!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The Raven Room by Ana Medeiros

The Raven Room by Ana Medeiros
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Anything you can imagine. Everything you crave. For the members of The Raven Room, it’s every fantasy fulfilled. But for some, that desire is a matter of life and death.

Drawn by needs he cannot control, Julian ventures to The Raven Room, a secret and exclusive sex club in the underbelly of Chicago. It goes beyond sex. It goes beyond kink. The Raven Room is the only place where Julian finds release from the dangerous urges that threaten to destroy the successful life he’s worked so hard to build.

When the police link the Raven Room to the death of a young woman, it threatens to expose a number of powerful people—people who would kill to stay anonymous...

Meredith’s body can’t get enough of Julian. He has opened her sexual horizons to tempting new possibilities. But out of bed she’s an aspiring journalist, and The Raven Room is the story she’s been looking for. By writing an exposé on the club and its elite clientele, she plans to launch her career.

As Meredith embarks on a sexual journey into the forbidden world that Julian inhabits, questions emerge, and dark appetites threaten to swallow her whole. How much can she trust the man who has laid bare her erotic nature and how much will she sacrifice in order to protect him?


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I've read a lot of NA and it just doesn't work for me. So I was a bit worried about this book since it was Erotica and BDSM and it's just not what I'm used to reading. So this is a review from someone that usually don't read this genre.

I was surprised and pleased how good this book is. As I stated above, this is not my genre of books. But after months of trying to read NA and being frustrated with the lack of a good story and plenty of one dimension character and boring sex scenes have I read a book that worked. So apparently a well-written erotica works for me. And, I think that this book works so good is that is has a very interesting story. We have a sex club with important members, a murder mystery, the mysterious Alana and Julian who has a dark past and together they make this story worth reading. I do admit that I after a while found that the sex scenes took too much place in the story. I don't mind the kinkiness, the three-way or anything, well the sex scene in the bookstore was a bit too much, I mean those poor books could have been hurt, but anyway no matter how well written they were I just wanted to know more about the case, about Alana etc. It felt sometimes that two (or three) people couldn't meet in this book without sex. So that felt like a draw back.

But despite that was the book good. I was surprised when I learned why Julian doesn't want to spend time with his best friends twins. I didn't expect that. Also, the ending, I was expecting something like that in a way. Hard to explain without giving it away. Let's ay it ended in a way that makes me really wanting to read the next book in this series.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a blog tour at TLC Book Tours.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The Crescent Spy by Michael Wallace

The Crescent Spy by Michael Wallace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Writing under a man’s name, Josephine Breaux is the finest reporter at Washington’s Morning Clarion. Using her wit and charm, she never fails to get the scoop on the latest Union andConfederate activities. But when a rival paper reveals her true identity, accusations of treason fly. Despite her claims of loyalty to the Union, she is arrested as a spy and traitor.

To Josephine’s surprise, she’s whisked away to the White House, where she learns that President Lincoln himself wishes to use her cunning and skill for a secret mission in New Orleans that could hasten the end of the war. For Josephine, though, this mission threatens to open old wounds and expose dangerous secrets. In the middle of the most violent conflict the country has ever seen, can one woman overcome the treacherous secrets of her past in order to secure her nation’s future?


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Josephine Breaux is a tough, fierce, compassionate and very brave woman. And despite the danger with her mission is she set to travel to New Orleans and go undercover at a newspaper. She's just such a character I loved to read about, a strong woman fighting for what she thinks is right.

The Crescent Spy was an easy book getting into and not an easy book to stop reading. There are a lot of action and many for me worrying moments in this book when I was concerned for her and Franklin her contact in New Orleans. Because going to New Orleans for Josephine means not only trying to win the city for Lincon it means going back and confront her past. And that hard since she has tried to move on from a traumatic event. In New Orleans, she has to confront the ghost of her past, a mother that meant the world to her and a man that could be her father that has let her down several times. Also, there is someone out there that could upset her plans that could reveal her. It's very exciting to read and you never know if she will be able to carry out her plans or even survive in the end.

I think the mix of present time for Josephine and the flashbacks to her past with her mother worked very well and I especially enjoyed and appreciated the fact that her relationship with Franklin didn't turn romantic. Well, it changed towards the end, but that I could take because it shows a possibility for the future (and for a sequel).

I found this book to be really good and well-written and I wouldn't mind reading more books about Josephine Breaux.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a blog tour at TLC Book Tours.