Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Review: Abandoned by Allison Brennan

Abandoned (Max Revere #5)  by Allison Brennan
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Publisher: Minotaur Books
My rating:  4.5 Stars
Pages: 352
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo

Investigative reporter Max Revere has cracked many cases, but the one investigation she's never attempted is the mystery from her own past. Her mother abandoned her when she was nine, sending her periodic postcards, but never returning to reclaim her daughter. Seven years after the postcards stop coming, Martha Revere is declared legally dead, with no sign of what may have happened to her. Until now.

With a single clue―that her mother’s car disappeared sixteen years ago in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay―Max drops everything to finally seek the truth. As Max investigates, and her mother's story unfolds, she realizes that Martha teamed up with a con man. They traveled the world living off Martha’s trust and money they conned from others.

Though no one claims to know anything about Martha or her disappearance, Max suspects more than one person is lying. When she learns the FBI has an active investigation into the con man, Max knows she’s on the right path. But as Max digs into the dark secrets of this idyllic community, the only thing she might find is the same violent end as her mother.

New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan weaves the intimate, unputdownable story of an investigator confronting the most important--and most dangerous--mystery of her career.

My Thoughts:
As an investigative reporter for Maximum Exposure it’s Maxine’s job and passion to investigate cold cases and get answers.  Not only for justice, but for the family left behind without closure. But this case is personal.  Maxine’s mother, Martha, disappeared sixteen years ago and was finally declared dead, but they never found out what happened to her. 

After getting to know Max through the previous books it’s apparent her mother’s abandonment and then disappearance has cast a shadow over her life. We get glimpses of Martha Revere in the past and let me tell you she was a piece of work!  Self-absorbed without a care for anyone else, least of all her daughter.  She dumped Max off with her mother (Max’s grandmother) when Max was just nine and never looked back.  My heart hurt for Max.

After so many years of not knowing what exactly happened she gets a break in the case when Sean Rogan finds a clue leading back to the seaside town of Cape Haven.  Could Martha Revere have spent her last days there? And if so what was she doing there that led to her death?  Max is determined to find out exactly what happened.  Not surprisingly, Max’s digging around and asking questions ruffles a few feathers, but even more than that, it puts her in danger.  Abandoned had me on a knife edge with all the tension swirling, and things got very desperate by the end!

I’ve become very fond of Maxine through this series.  Yes, she can be hyper-focused on her mission to the point of stepping on toes or just bulldozing right over whoever gets in her way, but she does it out of the sincere belief that she’s doing what’s right. She’s honest and doesn’t play games, and I was glad that after Nick’s behavior in the last few books it seems Max might’ve finally found someone worthy of her.  I really love how far she’s has come as a person, and I’m interested to see how some of the new developments in Abandoned will affect Max’s life in the future.

Each book of the Max Revere series tackles and solves a mystery, but I can’t really recommend this as a standalone.  Max’s personal life and history are built upon with each new installment and that’s a huge part of what makes the series so addictive.  It is a series that I love and whole-heartedly recommend! 

Connect with Allison Brennan:

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Review: Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin

Desperate Girls (Wolfe Security #1) by Laura Griffin
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Publisher: Gallery Books
My rating:  4.5 Stars
Pages: 368
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo


Desperate Girls is a tightly wound, fast-paced romantic thriller that follows a desperate woman on the run as she hides from a killer’s symbolic revenge spree.

Defense attorney Brynn Holloran is right at home among cops, criminals, and tough-as-nails prosecutors. With her sharp wit and pointed words, she has a tendency to intimidate, and she likes it that way. She’s a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom, but in her personal life, she’s a mess.

When a vicious murderer she once helped prosecute resurfaces and starts a killing spree to wipeout those who put him behind bars, one thing becomes clear: Brynn needs to run for her life.

When the police come up empty-handed, Brynn turns to a private security firm for protection. But when she defies advice and gets involved in the investigation, even the former Secret Service agent assigned to protect her may not be able to keep her safe. With every new clue she discovers, Brynn is pulled back into the vortex of a disturbing case from her past.

As the clock ticks down on a manhunt, Brynn’s desperate search for the truth unearths long-buried secrets and reignites a killer’s fury.

My Thoughts:
Brynn Holloran is a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom, but her life is turned upside down when she finds out a defendant she helped put away has escaped and is wanted for the brutal killing of her co-counselor.  This guy tortured, raped and strangled women, and chilled her with his cold, deadly staring during the trial.  Brynn’s current boss is taking no chances with this dangerous threat and hires the Wolfe Security to protect Brynn. She balks at this level of action at first, but it soon becomes apparent the threat is very real!

Erik Morgan is serious when it comes to protecting his asset; lust and attraction have no place in his job, but Brynn ticks all his boxes.   She’s gorgeous, feisty and confident, and Erik can’t help but admire her conviction and determination, even if she is a pain in the ass to guard.  

Laura Griffin kicks off her new series with a bang! I didn’t want to put the story down when the danger kept coming!  Brynn and Erik’s chemistry popped, the tension building between them as they got to know each other in close quarters.  All the while trying to figure out the killer’s next move.

Desperate Girls was an exciting blend of danger, action, and romance! A definite recommend!

Friday, 3 August 2018

Review: The Cottages on Silver Beach by RaeAnne Thayne

The Cottages on Silver Beach (Haven Point #8)  
by RaeAnne Thayne
Publication date: June 19th 2018
Publisher: HQN Books
My rating:  3.5 Stars
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD 

Years after betraying her, he's back in Haven Point…and ready to learn the truth.

Megan Hamilton never really liked Elliot Bailey. He turned his back on her family when they needed him the most and it almost tore them all apart. So she's shocked when Elliot arrives at her family's inn, needing a place to stay and asking questions that dredge up the past. Megan will rent him a cottage, but that's where it ends-no matter how gorgeous Elliot has become.

Coming back home to Haven Point was the last thing bestselling writer Elliot Bailey thought he'd ever do. But the book he's writing now is his most personal one yet and it's drawn him back to the woman he can't get out of his mind. Seeing Megan again is harder than he expected and it brings up feelings he'd thought were long buried. Could this be his chance to win over his first love?

My Thoughts:
Elliot Bailey is back home in Haven Point after a case left him injured and in hot water with the higher ups at FBI.  He chooses to rent a lakeside cottage on Silver Beach instead of staying with his family, so he might have peace and rest, and finish his latest crime novel.  Elliot blanks out on the fact that Megan Hamilton might be close since she owns the inn until he figures out she’s in the cottage right next door.  He’s always found Megan attractive and unsettling which makes things a bit awkward, especially since she used to date his younger brother.

Also, there’s the fact that Megan’s sister-in-law disappeared eight years ago without a trace.  Suspicions and talk have followed Megan’s brother, Luke, in the years that have followed, and Elliot thinks Luke had a hand in her disappearance.

You’d think this combination would mean a lot of conflict between Elliot and Megan, but somehow there wasn’t much. The two end up spending quite a bit of time together living next door, where their mutual attraction grows and burns.  I enjoyed the close quarters of a road trip and how Elliot helped settle Megan’s nerves and insecurities with her gallery showing. Their romance sparked and simmered throughout, even while trying to uncover what really happened to Luke’s long-gone wife.

RaeAnne Thayne writes quaint romances with heart, with big loving families, close-knit friends, set in the picturesque town of Haven Point.  I enjoyed Elliot and Megan’s romance and hope to see more of them in future books.

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