The Cyprus Papers by C.W. Bordener

The Cyprus Papers

2 Stars

Publisher: C.W. Bordener

Date of publication: November 11th, 2017

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Where you can find The Cyprus Papers: Amazon 

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A consortium of people determined to keep a secret safe. A woman hell-bent on exposing the truth. A relentless assassin hunting her down. 

The odds are heavily stacked against Emily. Armed with fortitude and determination, she does everything she can while the world around her crumbles. 

Back Cover:
Emily, a consultant specializing in financial forensics, discovers an unspeakable plot of ambition and greed. Her investigation uncovers a paper trail of obscure evidence that her client, a congressman, and hopeful presidential candidate, is part of a corrupt consortium of individuals with links to international tax havens. 

As she learns more about her client and the consortium, a deadly cover-up quickly reaches her colleagues and inner circle of friends. Unsure of whom to trust and where to go, Emily is forced into hiding. 

With her life in the balance, she searches for the internal fortitude to battle and expose the consortium. Hindering her investigation is a ruthless assassin with his sights trained directly on her. While the people around her continue to perish, Emily stands up for what she believes is right, trying to preserve her moral compass amidst the chaos.

My review:

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The Cyprus Papers is a slow-moving espionage novel. With a strong female lead, it failed to keep my attention. I almost DNF’d the book. But I didn’t. I made myself read the book through to the end. I will say that the book started picking up towards the end but by then, it was too little too late. I could not connect with the main character. The plot fizzled towards the end of the book.

I did like Emily but I could not connect with her. I felt that she kept making the same bad decisions over and over. I also felt that she should have heeded the man with the gray and black hair’s warning. It would have saved her a lot of pain.

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I did admire Emily’s obsession to get the job done. I mean, if I had an assassin coming after me and I had people warning me to stop investigating things, I would have noped the heck out of the assignment.

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I also thought Emily was toxic to her friends. Every single one of her friends that she told about her assignment turned up dead. You would think that she would have stopped after the last death but no, she didn’t.

I know that she was written to be a tough woman but man, she was running rampant around Washington and Virginia. Bodies were piling up. I was surprised that she wasn’t arrested during the book.

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The ending of The Cyprus Papers was boring. The plot fizzled out after the scene with the assassin. As with most of the book, I had to force myself to keep reading it. I figured what happened at the end of the book would happen. I wish it was done differently. I did see an opening for a book 2 but I am not sure if I want to read it.

What I liked about The Cyprus Papers:

A) Strong female character

B) I guess that’s it

C) Yup, pretty sure about that

What I disliked about The Cyprus Papers:

A) Failed to keep my attention

B) Couldn’t connect with the main characters

C) Plot fizzled towards the end of the book

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

Surprisingly, there are no trigger warnings in The Cyprus Papers.

I would not recommend The Cyprus Papers to family and friends. I will not be rereading this book.

I would like to thank the author and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Cyprus Papers

All opinions stated in this review of The Cyprus Papers are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

The Schoharie by Diane M. Johnson

The Schoharie

3 Stars

Publisher: BookBaby, Independent Book Publishers Association, Members’ Titles

Date of publication: October 5th, 2017

Genre: General Fiction, Horror

Trigger Warning: Talk of Rape, Domestic Abuse

Where you can find The Schoharie: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Thirty years ago a major Thruway bridge was built across a small creek near the town of Fort Hunter, New York. It had its problems with construction delays and local protests, but it was built and it was strong.

Thirty years later the bridge collapses when spring floods transform the meager creek into a raging torrent. The collapse takes several lives and almost includes the life of Aaron Bonner, volunteer firefighter, who swears he saw a vengeful Indian spirit take the bridge down. He just needs to convince Sheriff Ben Harrigan that the same Indian spirit seeks more vengeance. But the sheriff knows that Aaron is just like his father, who tried to sabotage the bridge when it was first built, while in the throes of a mental breakdown. Has Aaron gone crazy? Or does the sheriff have something to hide?

A near death experience triggers Aaron’s sensitivity to supernatural forces at work in the town of Fort Hunter. But his father’s history of mental instability makes Aaron doubt his own sanity. He confides in Sheriff Harrigan, the father of his girlfriend, in a moment of desperation– but memories are long in small towns like Fort Hunter, and the sheriff remembers well Joe Bonner’s attempt to sabotage the original construction of the bridge. He was there. And it was his fault.

Harrigan knows the town isn’t being attacked by an Indian spirit seeking revenge. He knows Aaron is suffering from the same mental illness as his father. But when other things begin to happen– things that can’t be explained by a man experiencing a nervous breakdown– the sheriff must come to terms with his own role in Joe Bonner’s mental collapse in order to save himself, his daughter’s boyfriend and the rest of the town.

My review:

I shouldn’t be allowed to read NetGalley’s Read Now emails after a certain time of night. Because I end up requesting books that I would not read. I wake up the next day with buyer’s remorse and a bad feeling about the book. In a lot of those cases, my bad feelings and/or buyer’s remorse aren’t warranted. But in this case, my feelings were right. I could not get into this book. I wanted to but there was a disconnect. I couldn’t get into the plot or connect with any of the main characters. The only one I connected with was the villain and even then, my connection wasn’t strong.

The Schoharie is loosely based on a real-life event. On April 5th, 1987, The Schoharie Creek Bridge collapsed, killing 10 people. The author nailed it with the description of the bridge collapse and the vehicles that went over. But, my fault with the story wasn’t with that. It was with the story intertwined with the collapse and the events that happened afterward.

Aaron Bonner fell flat in my eyes. I did feel pity for him when his backstory was explained. He had to deal with what his father did. When he started having the same mental issues that his father did, I wasn’t surprised when people started whispering behind his back. The only ones that wanted to help him were Will and Barbara. They knew that more was going on than Aaron having a mental breakdown.

I didn’t like Sheriff Ben Harrigan. His dislike for Aaron was obvious. I was led to believe he didn’t like Aaron because Aaron was dating Ben’s daughter, Sara…who was still married. Instead, it was revealed, later in the book, that Ben felt guilty for Aaron’s father’s death. I wish that it had been stated clearly in the beginning. I also didn’t like him because he refused to see that his daughter was married to an abusive man. Up until the middle of the book, he kept pushing for her to stay with him. WTF? He did redeem himself slightly at the end of the book when he set things in motion to help Aaron but still. Too much harm had been done.

I did think that the author did a great job with the paranormal aspect of the book. I liked that Aaron’s being able to hear dead people (Six Sense anyone???) was used in a way that helped. I liked that Will Cuddy decided to help Aaron prepare for a battle with the Indian sorcerer/warrior.

I figured out who was controlling the Indian sorcerer pretty early in the book. I also wasn’t surprised to see that this person was responsible for what happened to Aaron’s parents. What got me, was that all this started because Aaron’s father was walking across this person’s land. Made me shake my head in disbelief.

The end of The Schoharie was pretty typical for a book like this. The author did do a great job of wrapping up all the storylines. But it was the end of the book that gave me the chills.

What I liked about The Schoharie:

A) loosely based on a real-life event.

B) paranormal aspect of the book was fantastic

C) Native American mysticism was great

What I disliked about The Schoharie:

A) Aaron Bonner’s flat character

B) Ben Harrigan. Just didn’t like him

C) The bad guy. He came across as a petty man

I would give The Schoharie an Adult rating. While there is no sex (just kissing), there is graphic violence and language. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are trigger warnings in The Schoharie. They are domestic violence and talk of rape. If you are triggered by any of these, then I suggest not to read the book.

I am on the fence about recommending The Schoharie to family and friends. If I did, I would let them know about the triggers. I am also on the fence about rereading this book. I would be willing to read other books by the author, though.

I would like to thank BookBaby, Independent Book Publisher’s Association, Member’s Titles and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Schoharie

All opinions stated in this review of The Schoharie are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

The Crooked Staircase (Jane Hawk: Book 3) by Dean Koontz

The Crooked Staircase (Jane Hawk, #3)

5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Bantam

Date of publication: May 8th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, suspense

Series: Jane Hawk

The Silent Corner – Book 1 (review here)

The Whispering Room – Book 2 (review here)

The Crooked Staircase – Book 3

Where you can find The Crooked Staircase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

“I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead.” 

Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she’s breathing, she’ll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom–and free will–of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane’s husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane’s enemies are determined to see her dead . . . or make her wish she was.

Jane’s ruthless pursuers can’t stop her from drawing a bead on her prey: a cunning man with connections in high places, a twisted soul of unspeakable depths with an army of professional killers on call. Propelled by her righteous fury and implacable insistence on justice, Jane will make her way from southern California to the snow-swept slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.

My review:

I have mentioned in other reviews how big of a Dean Koontz fan I am. So I am not going to bore you all with my gushing over his books. Let it be known that I love his books. The Crooked Staircase is no exception. I was on the edge of my seat while reading it. Very rarely does a book make me sit on the edge of my seat and keep me there the entire book.

The Crooked Staircase is the 3rd book in the Jane Hawk series. The plot is continuous from the other books in the series. Jane is tracking down the top member of the secret cabal that is orchestrating murder/suicides all over the country. She has tracked down the top two members of this cabal and she is determined to find out what started this. Meanwhile, Gavin and Jesse are still protecting Travis. But, the cabal has found out where he is hiding. It is a race to rehide Travis. With the cabal breathing down their necks, Gavin and Jesse hide in the last place that anyone would expect.

I like Jane. I thought she was pretty good at keeping two steps ahead of the cabal. She had what seemed like an endless supply of burner phones, identities, and cars that didn’t rely on GPS. I did liken her to Wonder Woman during the middle of the book. She didn’t quit. She also was like quicksilver. The cabal couldn’t catch her, even though she did have a few close calls.

Can something become even eviler? Because the cabal reached new heights of evilness in this book. I can’t even explain it because I am still reeling from some of the things that they did. I loved it. I also liked that the real figurehead, Anabel, was introduced. I am looking forward to seeing where her character is going and what she will do.

Travis, Gavin and Jesse’s storyline was as good as Jane’s. Gavin and Jesse were tough cookies. They were prepared for anything. I wasn’t ready for what happened in their storyline. I can’t get into it but I was pretty shocked by what happened.

The twins’ storyline confused me at first. While I was confused by the storyline, I was upset when it ended. Very upset because I thought the twins had a chance. But, there is also something in that storyline that made me go “Hmmm“. It was at that point where I understood why the author chose to include them in the book.

I did wonder where the characters from book 2 disappeared too. I thought that they would be mentioned. That drove me nuts. I hope that they are in the next book. Because I need closure.

The end of the book was great. Everything was left up in the air. The author left me wondering “What will happen now”

What I liked about The Crooked Staircase:

A) It is scary intense and action-filled

B) Well developed characters

C) Great plotlines

What I disliked about The Crooked Staircase:

A) The twins storyline. Didn’t get it at first

B) Booth’s revelations. I actually felt bad for him

C) The dropped storyline in the beginning.

I would give The Crooked Staircase a rating of Adult. There are graphic violence and language. I would not recommend anyone under the age of 21 reading this book.

There are trigger warnings in The Crooked Staircase. They are: talk of past child abuse, torture, and implication of rape. If you are triggered by those, I would recommend to not read the book.

I would recommend this book to family and friends. I would include a note about the triggers. This is a book that I will be rereading.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House – Ballantine, and Ballantine for allowing me to read and review The Crooked Staircase.

All opinions in this review of The Crooked Staircase are mine.

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

The Neighbor by Joseph Souza

The Neighbor

3 Stars 

Publisher: Kensington Books, Kensington

Date of publication: April 24th, 2017

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Trigger Warning: sexual abuse, racism, and domestic violence

Where you can find The Neighbor: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In a taut psychological thriller filled with breathtaking twists, Joseph Souza explores the tangle of betrayal and deception between two neighboring couples, and asks how well we can really know others–or ourselves. 

It all seems so promising at the start . . .

When Leah and her husband, Clay, move from Seattle to Maine, she envisions a vibrant new neighborhood packed with families–playmates for her twins, new friends she can confide in and bond with. But while Clay works long hours to establish his brewery, Leah is left alone each day in a nearly deserted housing development where the only other occupants are aloof and standoffish.

Bored and adrift, Leah finds herself watching Clarissa and Russell Gaines next door, envying their stylishly decorated home and their university careers. But Leah’s obsession with the intriguing, elegant Clarissa grows until she’s not just spying from afar but sneaking into their house, taking small objects . . . reading Clarissa’s diary. It contains clues to a hidden turmoil Leah never guessed at–and a connection to a local college girl who’s disappeared.

The more Leah learns about Clarissa, the more questions emerge. Because behind every neighbor’s door there are secrets that could shatter lives forever . . .

My review:

The Neighbor left me with mixed emotions. It also left me with mixed feelings. I like reading mysteries/thrillers. I also like reading books that take current events and put a fresh spin on them. The Neighbor did that. That is not what gave me mixed feelings. I felt that part of the book was very well written. My mixed feelings were about the characters and their storylines.

The storyline of The Neighbor was promising. A bored housewife starts spying on her next door neighbor. She soon becomes obsessed with her. The secondary storyline was about a missing college girl and her disappearance. I would have been fine with those two storylines. With the secondary storyline of Leah’s secret, Clarissa’s secrets, Clay’s secret, I couldn’t keep focused on the book. I felt overwhelmed.

I like damaged characters. They make the books they are in more interesting to read. But Leah was just out there. She came across as creepy. Put it this way, if I had a feeling that my neighbor was spying on me, I would be uncomfortable. I would have distanced myself like Clarissa did. I do wish that her secret came out in full earlier in the book, instead of being dragged out. Speaking of that, I didn’t like the 180 her secret took. By the end of the book, my head was spinning. I couldn’t keep up with everything.

Clay drove me nuts. His trying to rationalize his relationship with Mycah was pathetic. As was his trying to drink his issues away. I also couldn’t believe that he didn’t put two and two together about part of Leah’s secret. I mean, her attitude towards sex was a huge clue for me. While I thought that he was a tool, he did stand by Leah when push came to shove. So, I didn’t completely dislike him.

I ran through a lot of emotions with Clarissa. At first, I felt bad for her. But when her character did a 180, I was surprised. Then I started to dislike her. She was manipulative and knew how to work things in her favor. So, I wasn’t surprised with what happened to her at the end of the book.

Russell was the only one that I truly felt bad for. He was manipulated by all the women in the book. I felt that he didn’t have a chance because no matter what he did, he was screwed.

I actually enjoyed Mycah’s character. She was a strong woman who didn’t stand down for anyone. She was passionate about her beliefs. I do think that she got in over her head with Russell and Clay. Even though I enjoyed her character, I won’t excuse her actions.

The thriller part of the book was well written. I do feel that it got lost with everything that was going on.

The end of the book confused me. While I understood what happened, I felt the book ended too suddenly. I was left wondering what will happen.

What I liked about The Neighbor:

A) Promising storyline

B) Strong characters

C) Engaging storyline

What I disliked about The Neighbor:

A) Felt overwhelmed with the storylines.

B) The characters drove me nuts

C) The ending confused me

I would give The Neighbor an Adult rating. There is sex. The sex scenes between Clay and Mycah were graphic and degrading. There is language. There is violence. I would not recommend anyone under the age of 21 reading this book.

There are triggers in this book. They are: sexual abuse, racism, and domestic violence. If you are triggered by any of these, then do not read the book.

I am on the fence if I would recommend The Neighbor to friends and family. While I wouldn’t reread this book, I would be open to reading more books by the author.

I would like to thank Kensington, Kensington Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Neighbor.

All opinions stated in this review of The Neighbor are mine.

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

A Guide for Murdered Children by Sarah Sparrow

A Guide for Murdered Children

Title: A Guide for Murdered Children

Author: Sarah Sparrow

Publisher: Penguin Group Blue Rider Press & Plume, Blue Rider Press

Date of publication: March 20th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Number of pages: 400

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find A Guide for Murdered Children: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

We all say there is no justice in this world. But what if there really was? What if the souls of murdered children were able to return briefly to this world, inhabit adult bodies and wreak ultimate revenge on the monsters who had killed them, stolen their lives?

Such is the unfathomable mystery confronting ex-NYPD detective Willow Wylde, fresh out of rehab and finally able to find a job running a Cold Case squad in suburban Detroit. When the two rookie cops assigned to him take an obsessive interest in a decades old disappearance of a brother and sister, Willow begins to suspect something out of the ordinary is afoot. And when he uncovers a series of church basement AA-type meetings made up of the slain innocents, a new way of looking at life, death, murder and missed opportunities is revealed to him.

Mystical, harrowing and ultimately tremendously moving, A Guide for Murdered Children is a genre-busting, mind-bending twist on the fine line between the ordinary and the extraordinary.

Trigger Warning: Child murder, rape

Continue reading

Mini-reviews

I have fallen very behind with my reviews. Not with reading the books but with posting the reviews on this site. My bad, I know. My troubles started in December and just snowballed. So, I am going to be doing a couple of posts with mini-reviews. Not my preferred way of doing things but I need to catch up.

So, here goes nothing:

The Recipe Box

The Recipe Box

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: March 20th, 2018

Where you can find The Recipe Box: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha “Sam” Mullins felt trapped on her family’s orchard and in their pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star’s New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family’s orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life–including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family’s history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.

Review:

The Recipe Box is a book that will make you cry. The characters were well written and had depth. I did get annoyed with Sam and her choices. I felt that she acted like a teenager up until Angelo left her on the bridge. The recipes at the end of each chapter were an added bonus and had me itching to make them. Also, starting the chapters with the recipe that was going to be featured at the end was great. Overall, a great book that I would recommend to family and friends.


Before I Let You Go

Before I Let You Go

4 Stars

Publisher: Harlequin – Graydon House (US & Canada), Graydon House

Date of publication: April 3rd, 2018

Where you can find Before I Let You Go: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhood, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break.

Review:

Before I Let You Go is a realistic look at addiction and how it affects the family. This book is not an easy read. I cried for most of the book. I cried for Annie and the trauma she endured. I cried for Lexie. I cried for the baby. I will warn that there are triggers in the book. They are sexual/physical abuse, drug use, newborn withdrawing from opioid addiction. I would recommend to family and friends but with a warning about the triggers. Overall, a good but hard read.


Darkest Night (Sons of Broad #1)

3 Stars

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

Date of publication: February 27th, 2018

Where you can find Darkest Night: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book Synopsis (from Goodreads):

In this first novel in the explosive, brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series from Tara Thomas comes a novel of deadly secrets and hidden danger. In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless killer is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close…

Exclusive bonus content available only in the print edition!

SHE THOUGHT SHE’D LOST HIM FOREVER
Tilly Brock has learned—the hard way—how to take care of herself. Once a pillar of Charleston society, her family lost everything in the wake of a shocking scandal. And then Tilly lost the only boy she ever loved.

BUT NOW THAT HE’S BACK IN HER LIFE
Keaton Benedict is Charleston’s most notorious bachelor. But in spite of all his advantages—the money, the women,the family name—he longs for more: the heart of the young woman he still can’t forget.

THE DANGER HAS JUST BEGUN…
When Keaton re-enters Tilly’s life, after all these years, she is torn between feelings of doubt and desire. Can they put the past behind them and learn to love again? Tilly is willing to try. But Keaton is afraid that a vengeful enemy is watching—and waiting to destroy them. Can the rekindled flame of their love defeat the deadliest rival and light their way forward in the darkest night?

Review:

I did like reading Darkest Night but it didn’t quite gel with me. I couldn’t connect with the main characters and felt that the story was a bit flat in places. I also felt that that the book raised more questions than it answered. Would I read it again? I don’t know.


The Lightning Stenography Machine

The Lightning Stenography Device

2 stars

Publisher: Painted Bling Publishing

Date of publication: March 19th, 2018

Where you can find The Lightning Stenography Device: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The first marketable thought to text device is released for public consumption in 2031. That same year, author Cassius Wagner will have a seizure. At least, that is what the novel says: the novel to which he awakens in fragments one morning after a late night of writing. This novel. Terrified to have a prophetic manuscript unfurling at his heels, his desperation to evade his fate prevents him from considering that his lover and editrix, Katherine Beauvoir, might be wrestling with a destiny of her own. Told in four psychedelic parts which peak with the fable of a sublingual Huntress as she fights to save her King, THE LIGHTNING STENOGRAPHY DEVICE blurs the speculative fiction and fantasy genres to explore the fabric of literature, and the boundaries of reality.

Review:

When I started reading The Lightning Stenography Device, I thought it was a great premise for a book. But, as I kept reading, the more confusing the book became too me.  At one point, during Cassius’s chapters, I had to stop reading and I almost DNF’d. But, I have a personal vow to never stop reading a book and I picked it back up. I will say that the book was beautifully written and was very descriptive. I do think that the author should have stuck to two people to follow. It would have made the book less confusing. I would not recommend this book to family and friends and I would not reread.

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Blood Veil

Blood Veil (Mission, #2)

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: April 3rd, 20108

Where you can find Blood Veil: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Celia: Having never known my parents, I’ve always felt like an orphan. All I want is a normal life. But after I’m attacked in my bedroom by one vampire—and rescued by another—it’s about time to give up on “normal” once and for all. Idris, the second in command of the Gregorie vampire clan, has come to my aid, but his motives for saving me are unclear. And what surprises me most is my attraction to his heated gaze. . . .
Idris: Terror. Curiosity. Arousal. These are the natural impulses of a human female, not the spawn of the ruthless Valarian king. Is it possible that Celia is unaware of her bloodline—and the power coursing through her veins? As the daughter of my archenemy, she was supposed to be my ransom. But how quickly the heat of desire changes everything. Now the family Celia has always craved is trying to kill her, and it’s up to me to save her again—when all I really want to do is make her mine.

Review:

A good 2nd book in the Mission series. I did think that Celia was a little too trusting and compliant. If I had a man kidnap me and tell me what Idris told me, I would have been actively trying to escape. I also thought that Idris had a big chip on his shoulder. The sex scenes were steamy. I was shocked at the twist towards the end of the book and can’t wait to see what book 3 will bring.


Joanna’s Highlander

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: April 10th, 2018

Where you can find Joanna’s Highlander: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Haunted by lost love, Grant MacDara still dreams of tenth-century Scotland. Nothing can soothe his aching heart—until a sharp-tongued, redheaded beauty leads a tour of senior citizens through his family’s North Carolina theme park, Highland Life and Legends. Though she’s the polar opposite of the lass he left behind, Joanna Martin is the most irresistible woman Grant has ever met. But when he decides that she’s worth the risk of loving again, he tries so hard to hold her close that she nearly slips through his fingers.

Forced out of her job as a pharmaceutical sales rep by a conniving ex, Joanna is trying to make the best of her quiet new life. But one glimpse of Grant—who wields an ancient hammer like it’s just another appendage of his chiseled body—convinces Joanna not to give up on love. The one thing she can’t do is outrun her past as a loser magnet. And although Grant seems to be the last honorable man left on earth, this mouthwatering stud needs a crash course in twenty-first-century women before Joanna can trust him with her heart.

Review:

Great 2nd book in the Highlander Protector series. The chemistry between Joanna and Grant was electric. I did get annoyed by Joanna and her reluctance to let Grant in but once her past was revealed, I understood. I also got annoyed with Grant and his unwillingness to accept his role that the gods had for him. The sex was fantastic and I loved the ending.


Lost to a Spy

Lost to a Spy (All the Queen's Spies, #3)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: March 13th, 2018

Where you can find Lost to a Spy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Ladies in waiting can’t help noticing more than they let on. After so many years at the court of Mary, Queen of Scots, Emma Howard sees quite plainly that the royal couple is anything but happy. Reeling from a failed marriage herself, Emma sympathizes with her beloved queen. But the last thing she wants is for the king to be murdered, let alone to witness the shocking act herself. With her whole world turned upside-down, Emma is saved by the quick thinking of a lowly printer . . . who, unbeknownst to her, is one of England’s most daring spies.

At Queen Elizabeth’s behest, Tristan has been stirring discontent against the Scottish nobility. Now that the king is dead, his mission is even more critical. There’s only one complication: the exquisite courtier who’s unexpectedly fallen under Tristan’s protection. Emma rouses his body and his soul. But after she learns that he’s a traitor, the fate of two nations hangs on her response. Tristan’s prepared to risk his life in exchange for hers. Will Emma do the same for the man she’s come to love?

Review:

Fast paced romance that takes place in Tudor Era England. The chemistry between Tristian and Emma was off the charts. The sex was even better. The intrigue was suspenseful and I was literally on edge at the end of the book. Love this series and can’t wait to book 4!!


Kiss Me Back

Kiss Me Back (Panic, #3)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: March 27th, 2018

Where you can find Kiss Me Back: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The only thing hotter than the Miami sun is the sexual tension at Panic, the South Beach nightclub where love knows no boundaries.

Lola: I’ve seen the way women in line behind the velvet rope look at William Fox, like he’s an Armani-clad St. Peter at the pearly gates. Except Panic isn’t heaven, and this bouncer is no saint. He’s been tempting me to sin ever since I started working here, but Fox’s slick smile and bad-boy swagger tell me everything I need to know about him. Still, a girl has needs. And Fox looks ready to fulfill every last one—at least for a night. . . .

Fox: I’m not used to being ignored—especially by women—but Lola Daye is different. The pretty bartender with the red lips and icy blue eyes seems perfectly happy pretending I don’t exist. Too bad, because the more she ignores me, the harder I fall. So I’m floored when she answers my drunken, flirty text with a yes. Lola claims she only wants a fling, but after one kiss, our bodies are speaking the same language. And I’m ready to prove that what we have could be forever.

No cheating. No cliffhangers. And no dress code.

Review:

Sizzling hot romance. I absolutely loved Fox and Lola together. My only issue with the book was that Lola gave off the impression that she was embarrassed about being deaf. Other than that, loved the book. The chemistry and sex between Fox and Lola were off the chart. Loved the ending. Can’t wait to read book 4!!!


School for Psychics

School for Psychics (School for Psychics, #1)

3 Stars

Publisher: Simon & Shuster

Date of publication: April 3rd, 2018

Where you can find School for Psychics: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

An entrancing new series starring a funny, impulsive, and sometimes self-congratulatory young woman who discovers she has psychic abilities—and then must decide whether she will use her skills for good or…not.

Teddy Cannon isn’t your typical twenty-something woman. She’s resourceful. She’s bright. She’s scrappy. She can also read people with uncanny precision. What she doesn’t realize: she’s actually psychic.

When a series of bad decisions leads Teddy to a run-in with the police, a mysterious stranger intervenes. He invites her to apply to the School for Psychics, a facility hidden off the coast of San Francisco where students are trained like Delta Force operatives: it’s competitive, cutthroat, and highly secretive. They’ll learn telepathy, telekinesis, investigative skills, and SWAT tactics. And if students survive their training, they go on to serve at the highest levels of government, using their skills to protect America, and the world.

In class, Teddy befriends Lucas, a rebel without a cause who can start and manipulate fire; Jillian, a hipster who can mediate communication between animals and humans; and Molly, a hacker who can apprehend the emotional state of another individual. But just as Teddy feels like she’s found where she might belong, strange things begin to happen: break-ins, missing students, and more. It leads Teddy to accept a dangerous mission that will ultimately cause her to question everything—her teachers, her friends, her family, and even herself.

Set in a world very much like our own, School for Psychics is the first book in a stay-up-all night series. 

Review:

Loved the storyline but didn’t like the main character. Teddy drove me crazy for almost the entire book. I didn’t like her and thought she was very abrasive and self-centered. I did start to like her at the very end of the book. I thought the storyline, while not original, was very well written. It kept me captivated. I did think that the book raised more questions than answered them. Saying that, I need to read book 2 to see if they are answered there.


Dirty Games

Dirty Games (Dirty, #2)

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: March 20th, 2018

Where you can find Dirty Games: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Sometimes, to get what you want in business or in love, you have to get your hands dirty. Luckily for Finn and Justin, dirty comes naturally.

Finn Drummond is the baby in a family of sharks—which means he’s worked twice as hard to make a name for himself. After learning the tricks of the trade from his brothers, Finn’s just as ruthless and dominant. Out in the field, his appetites are legendary: for success, for money, for women and men. But when supplies from Drummond Charities go missing, Finn has to partner up with the smoldering ex–Army grunt who’s always challenging his authority—or giving him mixed signals.

Justin Miller wanted his attraction to Finn to be mutual, but the cocky brat always had a girlfriend. Who could blame Justin for trying to move on? Despite their history, they’ve got to work together to figure out who’s been derailing their humanitarian work. But after Justin and Finn are thrown together against gunrunners and kidnappers, their simmering chemistry turns explosive. Turns out, Finn knows how to handle himself in a crisis—and in the sack. Justin only hopes that hot sex is enough to persuade this spoiled pretty boy to do the right thing.

Review:

As much as I liked the first book in the Dirty series, I couldn’t make myself like this book. It seemed rushed with Finn and Justin’s romance forced. I liked Finn fine, it was Justin that left me with a sour taste in my mouth. I thought, like Alec, that he was going through the Drummond brothers. I thought that the substory line was interesting and I was surprised at who the bad guy was. I am looking forward to reading book 3.


So that’s it. All caught up on my NetGalley reviews. Tomorrow, I have 3 author reviews that will be going up. Then I am done. And I have learned my lesson. No putting reviews off or you end up with a backlog….lol

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

The Flight Attendant

3 Stars 

Publisher: Doubleday Books, Doubleday

Date of publication: March 13th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Number of pages: 368

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find The Flight Attendant: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room, a powerful story about the ways an entire life can change in one night: a flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man—and no idea what happened.

Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure; and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, already counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man with whom she spent the night. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And the blood, a slick, still, wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police—she’s a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home—Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first-class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it’s too late to come clean or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did? 

Set amid the captivating world of those whose lives unfold at forty thousand feet, those who spend their nights in far-flung cities, rolling suitcases trailing their every step, The Flight Attendant unveils a spellbinding story of memory, regret, and murder far from home.

Trigger Warning: Self-harming behavior, excessive drinking, talk of verbal abuse, talk of uncontested sex while drunk

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