Clockwork Image (Steam and Shadow: Book 4) by L.G. Rollins

Clockwork Image (Steam and Shadow Book 3) by [Rollins, L. G.]

4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: July 25th, 2019

Genre: Steampunk, Paranormal

Series: Steam and Shadow

Masked by Moonlight—Book 1

Buried in Blue—Book 2

Waltz of the Crows—Book 3 (review here)

Clockwork Image—Book 4

Where you can find Clockwork Image: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Vandals and Vampires Beware: 
Tressa won’t let anyone stand in her way.

After years maintaining engines and repairing machines, Seawoman Tressa Wimple has come into a shockingly large sum of money. It only takes Tressa a single breath to decide what to do—she will donate it all to Westwood Orphanage, a home for children who are otherwise bound for the streets. They saved her and her brother many decades ago; now, she wants nothing more than to reach out a hand to the small and helpless of London. 

All her plans are derailed, however, when a faceless adversary decries Westwood and claims that the orphanage is a front for something far darker; as dark as an alleyway where Tressa first rescues a boy from a vampire. With the help of her brother, Jasper, and the tall, alluring Brox, Tressa determines to get to the bottom of the claims and protect the children, regardless of the risks. 

When all that is dark is forced into the light, Tressa must face her most combustible problem yet: her own past.


First Line:

Seawoman Tressa Wimple closed her eyes and listened to the boiler.

Clockwork Image by L.G. Rollins

My Review:

Seawoman Tressa Wimple has lived for 20 years on the sea, fixing machines and maintaining engines. Landbound, Tressa is surprised when she comes into a considerable sum of money. She decides to donate that money to the orphanage that raised brother and herself. She wants to give back to the place that took her and her brother in. But her memories of Westwood are not all sunshine and rainbows. Something happened to Tressa there, something terrible. Something that was supposed to be stopped 20 years previous. Determined to solve the mystery, Tressa is helped by her brother and a mysterious, attractive man named Brox. What she finds hidden inside Westwood is evil at its purest. Will Tressa have the strength to confront her past? Will she be able to help the children?

Clockwork Image is a novella that takes place in the Steam and Shadow world. For a book that was 127 pages, the author was able to pack a punch. The plotlines were fast-paced. There were not any dropped storylines. Which I was thankful for. Lately, I have read a few books where some of the storylines disappeared. That drives me nuts!!

What I also liked is that while this book is 4th in the series, it can be read alone. Some of the other characters from the previous books to make an appearance, but they are in and out. The author didn’t linger on them. Again, something that I enjoyed.

I liked Tressa. She was at a loss on what to do with her life after her career ended. She wanted to do good for Westwood even if she had bad memories of the place. So, donating the money she came into seemed like the best thing. I got her confusion when things started happening. Everything seemed to be pointing to that mysterious event in her past.

I did have a small complaint about the event. The author did a great job of keeping everything wraps, but she did it too well. The clues were leaked too far apart. I did start to lose interest in that storyline.

The steampunk angle of the book was terrific. I loved that Tressa spent her entire career maintaining engines and fixing boilers. The author went into detail about what Tressa did while at sea. Tressa fixing Brox’s engine and the beginning scene fascinated me.

I loved the romance angle. I liked that Tressa was struck by Brox as soon as she saw him. I didn’t like that she had such self-doubt about how he felt about her. I liked that Brox wanted to court her. I mean, he asked to kiss her!! But what I liked the most was that there was no sex. It made for a refreshing read..

I do want to comment on Jasper and Tressa’s relationship. At the beginning of the book, I didn’t know what to think about how they interacted. But, everything smoothed out by the end of the book.

The end of Clockwork Image was explosive!! The twist that the author threw in took me by surprise. I couldn’t believe what I was reading!! Of course, I should have known. What happened to that little boy at the beginning of the book should have clued me in.


I would give Clockwork Image an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Clockwork Image. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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The Other Brother: A Billionaire Romance (Beta Brothers: Book 4) by Hazel Kelly

The Other Brother: A Billionaire Romance (Beta Brothers #4) by [Kelly, Hazel]

4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of Publication: July 4th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Beta Brothers

My Best Friend’s Ex—Book 1

Friends with Benefits—Book 2 (Review Here)

Professor with Benefits—Book 3 (Review Here)

The Other Brother—Book 4

Where you can find The Other Brother: Amazon | BookBub

Book synopsis:

I never imagined I’d hit rock bottom. 

To be honest, the only thing I expected less was him. 

From the moment our eyes met across the zucchini, something woke in me and started dusting away the cobwebs I’d let gather around my heart

Not that there was anything loveable about the guy. He was gentle as a scorpion when I met him, and his venomous words stung me more than once. Which was fine. Really. Detesting him made it easier to do my job. Easier to sleep at night. 

But it was all a front, a costume, a lie. He’d simply been a beast for so long he didn’t know how to stop stomping around his castle, his grudges clanging behind him like a rusted ball and chain. 

Yet even the most hardened men can change. Even the most stubborn can learn to admit when they’re wrong. 

Not that Ash was wrong very often. At least, not when it came to me. 

And now I feel hopeful again. Beautiful. Enchanted. 

All because of a beast. 


First Line:

I’d never felt less beautiful.

The Other Brother by Hazel Kelly

My Review:

The Other Brother was the last book in a weeklong romance binge. Yes, I binge-read a ton of romance novels over the past week. I thought that The Other Brother would be the perfect end for this marathon. And it was. I enjoyed reading it.

The Other Brother’s plot was simple. Piper is a chef who is down on her luck. Forced to drop out of culinary school, she works two jobs. One at a sleazy diner and the other for a catering service. Due to circumstance beyond her control, she is forced to live with her ex-fling, who is the diner owners son. He abuses Piper. Piper meets Ash at an upscale grocery store she goes to unwind/escape. After that humorous encounter, Piper meets Ash at an event she’s catering for. Ash makes Piper a job offer that she can’t refuse: Become his live-in chef. What both Piper and Ash don’t expect is them falling for each other. Can their love overcome everything that life throws at them?

I liked Piper. She was trying her best to go forward in her chosen career, but it seemed life was determined to keep her down. She endured so much in those first few chapters. She was working horrific hours to pay bills and keep herself fed. Her roommate emotionally and physically abused her. She was starving. So I was glad when she remet Ash at the function, and he offered her a job. I was thrilled that she had a safe place to live and she could eat!! I liked that she wasn’t afraid to tell Ash where to go. I was surprised at specific things that were revealed about her, later in the book. My heart broke for her.

Ash was a grump the entire book. At first, I was put off, but as the book went on, I found out that there was a reason for his grumpiness. Ash had been hurt by his ex-fiance and best friend. He figured the best way to deal with his pain was to shut everyone out, which worked fine until he met Piper. His grumpiness, which did bother me at the beginning of the book, became an endearing character flaw.

Piper was Ash’s chef. He tried his hardest not to blur the lines. I loved watching him fall for her. The deal was sealed when he came to her aid at the supermarket. That was when I knew he had fallen for her. Piper falling for Ash was as impressive. Like Ash, she tried her hardest not to blur the employee/employer lines. She didn’t want to lose her job if things fell apart.

Ash and Piper had major sexual chemistry. From the moment they first met, it was crackling between them. So, I wasn’t surprised when that chemistry translated into hot sex scenes. I had to put my Kindle down a couple of times; they were that hot!!

The Other Brother can be read as a stand-alone book. The author does have the characters from the other books make an appearance in this one. But, and this is important, she doesn’t have those characters overwhelm the book. Instead, they make small cameos and then leave. I loved it!!!

The end of The Other Billionaire was great. I loved that Piper was able to achieve her dream and Ash was able to let the past go. It was the perfect ending for the book.


I would give The Other Brother an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Other Brother I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Red Dawn Rising (The Four: Book 4) by Margaret Watson

Red Dawn Rising (The Four Book 4) by [Watson, Margaret]

4 Stars

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of publication: July 9th, 2019

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

Series: The Four

The Third Eye—Book 1: review here

An Indigo Wind—Book 2: review here

Dark Matter—Book 3: review here

Red Dawn Rising—Book 4

Where you can find Red Dawn Rising: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Musician Cassidy Drake has no idea who she really is until a brutal attack on her mother reveals truths she never could have imagined. Finn Brody, the mysterious man she meets at the hospital, suspects Cassidy’s true nature when magic erupts around them. 

Cassidy and Finn are drawn into a battle neither of them want. But they are essential in the quest to stop the evil fae queen from conquering the human world. Joined with the rest of The Four, can they defeat an entity with vast, unimaginable power? Or will they be the first casualties in the coming epic battle for survival? 


First Line:

Niamh stood over Brody’s body, holding her blade.

Red Dawn Rising (The Four: Book 4) by Margaret Watson

My Review:

Red Dawn Rising was at the top of my must-read books for the second half of 2019. I was anticipating this book. I had so many questions from the previous books, and I was hoping that they would be answered in this one. Oh, boy, were they!!

The plotline of Red Dawn Rising was fast paced and engaging. It answered every single question that I had from the previous books, including who Finn was. There was zero lagging of the plot and no dropped storylines. I loved it!!!

Finn’s backstory was heartbreaking and surprising. I would have never figured out that he was a Fae prince. I also wouldn’t have figured out that he was Niamh’s nephew. Which made what happened at the beginning of the book even more heartbreaking. I loved how patient he was with Cassidy (she wasn’t easy to deal with). I loved him.

I wasn’t a fan of Cassidy for a considerable part of the book. Something about her rubbed me the wrong way. She left a bad taste in my mouth during the first few chapters of the book. She kept denying what was right in front of her face. Until she came face to face with Sloan. After that, she became more likable but still. I wanted to shake her and say, “Listen, girlfriend, these people have been through stuff and know things. Listen to them.” By the end of the book, though, she came through. More than came through!!

Finn and Cassidy had intense sexual chemistry and attraction. The author kept them at such a high-level of sexual attraction/chemistry that I was almost expecting them to combust when they finally had sex. Then she amped it back up. I loved that she made them wait until halfway through the book to have intercourse. The reason why it was interesting. Finn and Cassidy were melded. Let’s say that it was intense and magical. Of course, Niamh feels it, and of course, she sends out her assassin to deal with it.

Naimh was someone that I wouldn’t mess with in real life. She was scary. I mean, she killed her FAMILY because she felt that she was the rightful ruler. She was unhinged by the end of the book. I did feel bad that things had to go down the way they did. But it was the only way to stop her. She was insane.

The end of Red Dawn Rising was intense. The whole battle scene with Niamh was intense. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it. There was a death that I didn’t see coming. Talking about breaking my heart!! The epilogue was bittersweet. But it was fitting for the series.


I would give Red Dawn Rising an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Red Dawn Rising  I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

For Baby and Me (Welcome to Otter Tail: Book 4) by Margaret Watson

3 Stars

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of publication: September 12th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Welcome to Otter Tail

An Unlikely Setup—Book 1 (review here)

Can’t Stand the Heat—Book 2 (review here)

Life Rewritten—Book 3 (review here)

For Baby and Me—Book 4

Where you can find For Baby and Me: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Nick Boone is a brilliant architect, focused completely on his job. In his personal life, he’s a serial dater, with no interest in marriage or even a long-term relationship. And fatherhood? Absolutely not. He has no idea what family even means. 

But even a single-minded boss like Nick can’t abandon his employee Sierra Clark on the night her parents are killed. When her deep distress melts his professional distance, long-simmering attraction takes over and he indulges in a night of comfort and connection. 

He has no idea how deep that connection is going to run.


My review:

I didn’t like For Baby and Me as much as I liked the rest of the books in the Welcome to Otter Tail series. Which made me sad because the other books were so good!!

I thought Nick was a grade A jerk in this book. He was condescending towards Sierra. I couldn’t believe that he thought that throwing money at her would take care of everything. I wanted to smack him upside the head during certain points in the book. I couldn’t believe that he didn’t understand why Sierra was so reserved with him. That whole speech in the hospital made me go “Are you effing kidding me. You put her through hell and then expect her to open her arms and let you in.” Yeah, I was kinda mad about that. But, I do understand where he was coming from. What he went through as a child traumatized him.

I felt awful for Sierra. I couldn’t imagine losing my parents that way. I have also been in her shoes when I saw that stick go pink (my oldest was unplanned). I did think that she had high expectations for what Nick’s reaction was. I also think that her expectations kept getting smashed every time she saw him. I would have acted the same way towards him.

I did find their profession fascinating. I didn’t know that there was so much planning into going into building a house. I also didn’t know that contractors would switch out materials for ones that were not as good and pocket the money. I was fooled by who the person was switching out the material. I thought it was the other guy.

I felt awful for Sierra when she fell and hurt herself. I can relate to the stress she was under at the hospital. Not to feel your baby move is frightening.

I didn’t feel much of a connection between Nick and Sierra. The whole “I don’t want to be a father” vibe killed that romance for me. I will say that they had some pretty hot sex.

I did like the end of For Baby and Me. I loved the epilogue. Love, love, loved it!!!!


I would give For Baby and Me an Adult rating. There is sex (not graphic). There is language. There is mild violence. There are triggers. They would be the death of a parent. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread For Baby and Me. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.


I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review For Baby and Me.

All opinions stated in this review of For Baby and Me are mine.

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses: Book 4) by Janna MacGregor

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4)

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: November 27th, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: The Cavensham Heiresses

The Bad Luck Bride—Book 1

The Bride Who Got Lucky—Book 2

The Luck of the Bride—Book 3 (review here)

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke—Book 4

Rogue Most Wanted—Book 5 (expected date of publication: June 25th, 2019

Where you can find The Good, the Bad, and the Duke: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

A lady with a noble mission. A duke looking for redemption. A forbidden love that cannot be denied… 

Lady Daphne Hallworth is ready to celebrate the holidays with her family. But when they accidentally leave her home alone, Daphne uses the time to work on her dream—opening a home for unwed mothers. But her quest isn’t problem-free: She’s in a battle to win the property for the home against her brother’s best friend-turned-enemy, Paul Barstowe, Duke of Southart. And that’s not all: someone has stolen her personal diary, which holds secrets that could devastate her family. Daphne has always harbored private feelings for the man her family scorns…though perhaps striking a bargain with the handsome Duke will solve both their problems?

Paul, long considered good for nothing, aims to open a hospital to honor his brother and restore his reputation. So when a conflict over the land brings him straight into Daphne’s life, they make a deal: He will help her find her diary if Daphne can change her family’s opinion of him. But before he can win her family’s affection, he has to win hers first. Maybe love was the answer to their family feud all along?


My review:

Paul is a rogue who is trying to right all the wrongs that he has caused. Mainly the friendships that he threw away. But it wasn’t going to be easy. Those ex-friends detest him. Redemption comes in the form of Lady Daphne Hallworth. Daphne has had her journal stolen. A journal that has her very private thoughts and dreams in it. Paul would move heaven and earth to keep the wrong sort of people from getting a hold of that journal. Will that happen? Will he get the journal back? Will he be able to mend the relationships with his friends? And more importantly, will he be able to keep the happiness that he found with Daphne? Or will he be forced to let that go?

I hated Paul’s father. What he did to Paul when he was alive was awful. He was beaten for any little slight as a child. One beating was so bad that he couldn’t sit down without a pillow for a week. Once Paul’s brother saw what was going on, he stopped it. But he couldn’t stop the emotional abuse. The way that Paul acted in the first couple of books was a direct result of how his father treated him. Even after death, he was still torturing Paul. Those notes (actually the titles of them) were heartbreaking to read. There was an explanation towards the end of the book about why Paul’s father treated him the way he did. It was a weak explanation but it did bring some light about why Paul was abused.

I got shivers reading Paul and Daphne’s scenes together. Even before they kissed, you could tell that they wanted each other. But once they kissed, it was like a fire was set. Those scenes set this book on fire. What I liked is that the author kept the sexual attraction and tension going after they had sex. Every sex scene was on fire. There were a few times I had to put down my Kindle and go “Oh my!!

What I also liked about this book was that Daphne was the only one for Paul. He could see her across the room and no one else existed. Everything he did after a certain point in the book was for her. I loved it. I loved seeing that it went both ways. I loved seeing them interact like they were the only people in a room. It was romantic.

I did like the storylines in the book. The author did a wonderful job of bringing them together. There were no forgotten plotlines. After the plotlines merged, the flow was flawless. It didn’t get choppy.

I will warn everyone that you will need a Kleenex or two while reading. There are a few scenes where I was moved to tears. The main scene, after Paul reads his father’s final letter, made me a sobbing mess. The other is the scene where he read his brother’s letter. Again, sobbing mess over here.

What I also liked about this book was that the villain in the other books was made into a hero. The author chose to give an explanation to his actions towards Emma and Claire. He was given a chance to redeem himself. I loved it!!

The end of the book made me happy. And the epilogue, I was ecstatic. Out of all the books I have read this year, this one has touched me the most. Paul deserved his HEA with Daphne. With everything he went through, that man deserved every bit of happiness that he could get.


I gave The Good, the Bad, and the Duke a 4-star rating. I enjoyed reading this book. The plotlines were wonderfully written. I came to care for the characters and got emotionally invested in backstories. You will cry during this book, so read with a box, or two, of Kleenex. Any quibble that I had with the book was minor and had no effect on my rating.

I would give The Good, the Bad, and the Duke an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is mild violence. There is no language. There are triggers. They are child abuse. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Good, the Bad, and the Duke. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Good, the Bad, and the Duke.

All opinions stated in this review of The Good, the Bad, and the Duke are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read The Good, the Bad, and the Duke?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

What About Us (Panic: Book 4) by Sidney Halston

What About Us (Panic, #4)

3.5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: November 20th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Panic

Pull Me Close–book 1 (review here)

Make Me Stay–book 2 (review here)

Kiss Me Back–book 3 (review here)

What About Us–book 4

Where you can find What About Us: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Irresistible beats and tantalizing bodies heat up the night at South Beach’s most scandalous new club.

Alex: I hate doing business in clubs. Especially one like Duality. I’m here to seal a deal, not indulge in whatever hedonistic illusion they’re selling. Until, through all the skin and sex on display, I see her. Helen Blackwood. The girl who once filled my youthful fantasies, whose name is now synonymous with pain. Her father’s lies destroyed my family, leaving me with nothing to lose. And yet I can’t deny my electric response to her touch . . . or my urge to protect her when I see the bruise on her face.

Helen: Growing up, life prepared me for society galas and powerful men, not minimum-wage jobs or drunk exes with anger issues. But I’m a survivor. So here I am, practically naked, serving drinks at a Miami nightclub. I don’t mind the stares. Apparently, Alex Archer does. After twelve years, we aren’t exactly friends, but money is something we both understand. Something he knows I need. I’ll be his personal assistant, even if it means working with the man I hate . . . and the man I still want. 

No cheating. No cliffhangers. And no dress code.

Don’t miss Sidney Halston’s Panic series:
PULL ME CLOSE | MAKE ME STAY | KISS ME BACK | WHAT ABOUT US


My review:

Alex is in Duality, trying to close on a business deal. He has no interest in the façade of sex and hedonism that the club offers. He wouldn’t be in the club but his partner is recovering from a car accident. Alex is more than surprised when he sees Helen working. Helen, whose father destroyed his family. Helen, who has galavanted around the world on the money that her father stole from his family. But, if she had that money, why is she working at Duality? Why does she have a bruise on her cheek? And why is she treating him like a long-lost friend? Alex is determined to find out. But, what he finds out goes against everything that he has thought he had known for the past 15 years. Can Alex reconcile what he now knows with what he thought he knew about Helen?

Helen is a survivor. She was forced to grow up when she was 18 and her father was sent to prison. But she got her life back on track. It took hard work but she did it. Lately, life seems to be biting her in the butt. Her drunken, abusive ex-husband has decided to throw her out of the house after he assaulted her. Then she runs into Alex, her first love and old friend, at the club. Alex makes her an offer that she can’t refuse. The more time she spends in his company, the more she starts to care for him. But she is wary. Alex and his family left her high and dry when she needed them the most. Can she trust Alex? Will Helen be able to see the truth of what her father did? Or will it drive an even bigger wedge between her and Alex?

The one thing I loved about this series is that the author made her characters suffer from real life issues. Take Helen for instance. She was homeless for a while when she was a teenager. Later on in her adulthood, she was the victim of domestic violence. Or Alex. He had some pretty bad anger issues. It was how she handled those issues that made me want to read more of the book (and the series).

I wasn’t sure if I liked Alex and Helen as a couple. I felt that she was going from one bad situation to another. He harbored so much anger towards her that I found it hard to believe that it disappeared overnight. Plus, he acted like a jerk to her at her work. In front of her boss and co-workers. Even they were like “Ummm, you sure about this Helen?” He treated her horribly all the way to almost the end of the book.

I didn’t feel the sexual attraction between Alex and Helen at first. I was too involved in with the drama. I did catch glimpses of it. It didn’t smack you in the face but it was there. I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not.

I did like the sex scenes. They packed enough heat to make me fan myself. They were super steamy. Loved them!!!

The end of What About Us was bittersweet. I liked what Alex did for Helen. But it was what Helen did for Alex that made the end of the book. The author did a great job at wrapping up all the plotlines. I do wonder if there is going to be a book 5.


I gave What About Us a 3.5-star rating. I enjoyed reading this book. I liked how the author had her characters suffer from real life issues. It made them more relatable. I also thought that the sex was steamy. But, I didn’t like how Alex treated Helen for 90% of the book. I also didn’t see any sparks between them until after the first time they had sex.

I would give What About Us an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is violence. There are trigger warnings. They are domestic violence and suicide. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread What About Us. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. But I would include a warning about the triggers.


I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review What About Us.

All opinions stated in this review of What About Us are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read What About Us?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk: Book 4) by Dean Koontz

The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk, #4)

Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Bantam

Date of publication: September 11th, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Series: Jane Hawk

The Bone Farm—Book 0.5

The Silent Corner—Book 1 (review here)

The Whispering Room—Book 2 (review here)

The Crooked Staircase—Book 3 (review here)

The Forbidden Door—Book 4

The Night Window—Book 5 (expected publication date: May 14th, 2019)

Where you can find The Forbidden Door: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

When this relentless rogue FBI agent comes knocking, her adversaries will have to answer—with their lives—in the latest thrilling Jane Hawk novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Corner.

“We’re rewriting the play, and the play is this country, the world, the future. We break Jane’s heart, we’ll also break her will.”

She was one of the FBI’s top agents until she became the nation’s most-wanted fugitive. Now Jane Hawk may be all that stands between a free nation and its enslavement by a powerful secret society’s terrifying mind-control technology. She couldn’t save her husband, or the others whose lives have been destroyed, but equipped with superior tactical and survival skills—and the fury born of a broken heart and a hunger for justice—Jane has struck major blows against the insidious cabal.

But Jane’s enemies are about to hit back hard. If their best operatives can’t outrun her, they mean to bring her running to them, using her five-year-old son as bait. Jane knows there’s no underestimating their capabilities, but she must battle her way back across the country to the remote shelter where her boy is safely hidden . . . for now.

As she moves resolutely forward, new threats begin to emerge: a growing number of brain-altered victims driven hopelessly, violently insane. With the madness spreading like a virus, the war between Jane and her enemies will become a fight for all their lives—against the lethal terror unleashed from behind the forbidden door.

Don’t miss any of Dean Koontz’s gripping Jane Hawk thrillers:
THE SILENT CORNER • THE WHISPERING ROOM • THE CROOKED STAIRCASE • THE FORBIDDEN DOOR • THE NIGHT WINDOW


My review:

I am not going to go on a crazy fangirl but I love me some Dean Koontz. I have fangirled in earlier reviews and in hindsight, it made me look like a nerd. So, yes I love Dean Koontz. And yes, I have read almost every single book that he has written. That includes what he was written under his pseudonym and excludes any books written from 2007-2017.  I have enjoyed reading the Jane Hawk series. So when I saw that The Forbidden Door was up for review, I jumped on it. And did a happy dance when I got accepted.

The Forbidden Door is the 4th book in the Jane Hawk series. Jane is trying to get to her son after learning that her friends died protecting him. Her son is safe with an autistic genius. A genius who is nervous about being in charge of a child but determined to protect him as much as he can. While she is traveling to get her son, the Arcadians are searching for her in-laws. They want to adjust Nick’s parents and use them to find out where Jane’s son is. They think that if they have the son, then they will be able to bring Jane to her knees. But, that is not the case. Nick’s parents have become ghosts and force the Arcadians to search for them. The Arcadians also have another huge issue, besides Jane trying to take them down. Recently adjusted people are being driven insane. They are committing heinous crimes. Can Jane reach her son before the Arcadians? Can the Arcadians contain the epidemic of adjusted people going insane? Will the Arcadians find Nick’s parents?


What I liked about The Forbidden Door:

I loved Jane. She was as fresh and as complex as she was in the first 3 books. I like that the author chose to highlight her maternal instinct. I also liked how he balanced it with her need to find justice for Nick’s and all the other adjusted people’s deaths. Her interactions with Luther, Bernie, Travis, and Cornell were awesome. Plus, I liked seeing a heroine that wasn’t afraid to use shady connections to help her.

I was so happy to see Luther make an appearance in the book. I had missed him in book 3. I was wondering what happened to Rebecca, Jolie, and Twyla (and yes, I am still tickled that I see my name in a book!!). My wondering about them wasn’t answered. I was glad to see that Jolie was safe. It was Rebecca and Twyla that was my concern. I wanted to know where they were. I am hoping that my questions are answered in book 5.

I loved that Cornell was in this book. I liked that the author went more into his background and his autistic tendencies. I liked, that in spite of his limitations, that he was able to hide Travis for as long as he did. His terror at taking care of Travis made me sad for him. He was afraid that he was going to fail him. He was a gentle giant.

Travis was a remarkable kid. It didn’t seem like all the upheavals that went on in his life affected him. The only sign I saw was when he called JaneMommy” instead of “Mom“. I am wondering if his character will be in book 5 and what will happen to him.

As with all books, the secondary characters are key to keeping the book flowing. The author did a great job at introducing various characters and keeping them constant for the entire time they are in the book. He also brought in secondary characters that were in the other books. Techno Arcadians and good guys.

There were 3 major plotlines in The Forbidden Door. What I enjoyed was that the author was able to bring them all together at the end of the book. I also liked that none of them were resolved. None. It made me very excited about book 5!!

The first plotline is the one involving Jane and her trek to get Travis. She revisited some familiar people. She also made some new allies. Ferrante was a remarkable one. His obsession with blood skeeved me out. What he asked Jane to do got me even more skeeved.

The second plotline involved the Arcadians and their search for Nick’s parents. I loved it because I had no clue where they went. That ending chapter, when all was revealed, was interesting. I am hoping that this plotline is revisited. I want to know what happens to Egon.

The third plotline involved the Arcadians and the people that they adjusted going insane. This plotline was introduced late in the book. I am curious to see what is going to happen with that. Will all the adjusted people start going insane? Or just the ones recently infected?


What I disliked about The Forbidden Door:

There were a few things that I didn’t like about The Forbidden Door.

I did not like the Arcadians. The single-mindedness that they showed to their cause. They kept using the brain-altering drug even though they knew that it was driving people insane. They turned almost a whole town to track Travis down. And how did that turn out? Not so great for their cause. I also didn’t like how Laurie was treated by Janis. And man, Janis’s psychotic break. It was awful.

I did think that the storyline with the Arcadians hunting down Nick’s parents was a bit drawn out. While I understand why it went on for so long, I started to get bored by it.


The end of The Forbidden Door was great. None of the storylines were ended. Instead, they were all left up in the air. Normally, I would be complaining about this. But because there is going to be a book 5, I know that the storylines will be ended in that book. So, it is fine with me.

I gave The Forbidden Door a 4-star rating. I liked the plotlines and the characters. The only thing that I didn’t like about The Forbidden Door were the Arcadians. I also thought that storyline about them hunting down Nick’s parents dragged on for longer than it needed to.

I would give The Forbidden Door an Adult rating. There is no sex. But there are scenes that discuss child sexual abuse and one man contemplating raping a child. There is violence. There is a disturbing scene where a man is attacked and his chin is almost bitten off. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Forbidden Door. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would include a warning about possible triggers (see above).

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Bantam, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Forbidden Door.

All opinions stated in this review of The Forbidden Door are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**