Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Review: The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication date: May 9th 2017
My rating: 4 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25644437-find-her

Amanda Quick, the bestselling author of ’Til Death Do Us Part, transports readers to 1930s California, where glamour and seduction spawn a multitude of sins…

When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…

The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…
 


My Thoughts:
Irene Glasson has come to California to escape a dangerous killer. She reinvents herself from personal secretary into an up-and-coming journalist for a small time gossip paper. While she’s on the hunt for a story she finds herself embroiled in another murder mystery, but this time she’s got Oliver Ward on her side. They work as partners to catch a murderer, all the while a simmering attraction brews between them!

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Girl Who Knew Too Much. It’s the perfect summer read! An engaging mystery set in the 1930s on the California coast. Dramatic cliffs overlooking the blue-green ocean are the backdrop for the Burning Cove Hotel, a Spanish style beauty that caters to the rich and famous, including glamorous silver screen stars.  


Big Sur, CA

Oliver Ward, a once famous magician and illusionist extraordinaire, is now the proprietor of this luxurious haven, and he has a strict policy excluding reporters and photographers.  That doesn’t stop Irene Glasson, from getting her scoop, though.  Unfortunately, her private invitation is marred by the murder of a woman and Irene is caught in the middle of a dangerous situation all over again. 

I love the time period this mystery is set in: the 1930s is a time of art deco, dressing up for dinner, dancing and cocktails, and old Hollywood glamour.  Burning Cove Hotel with its elegant old world Spanish style may have looked like:

DSC06132
Courtesy of Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/daeJfG


The setting was fantastic, but the mystery and romance are what kept me glued to the pages.  Filled with thrills and danger, attraction and romance, The Girl Who Knew Too Much is a fast, addictive, fun mystery, and I loved it!



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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Mini Review & Giveaway: The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart

The Darkest Corner (Gravediggers #1) by Liliana Hart
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: May 23rd 2017
My rating: 3.5 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25644437-find-her

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Liliana Hart’s first book in her sexy, suspenseful Gravediggers series, THE DARKEST CORNER, features an elite group of mysterious men who might be dead to the world, but are also tasked with saving it—and no one can ever know.

The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise…

Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.

Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and drop-dead gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.

Deacon is on a mission to stop the most deadly terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s perfect day. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart.


My Thoughts:
Tess is a feisty, but sweet woman with an unusual job as the town’s mortician, but more unusual is the five men working as her “assistants”. There’s really no need for all the help when the small town of Last Stop doesn’t have that many deaths.  Not that Tess is complaining, they’re all easy on the eyes with their bulging muscles, and good looks, but there’s only one that captures her interest: Deacon Tucker.

Deacon and his team are stationed at the mortuary as a cover for their real assignment, tracking terrorists and thwarting their plans.  The team is multi-national and highly covert.  For the last two years, Deacon’s had to yearn for Tess from afar, unable to do anything about it, because of the classified nature of his job. But now the higher ups think Tess can be an asset on the case they are now working, and Deacon’s able to finally get able to get close.

The Darkest Corner was entertaining and fun. I’d call it more a romance than romantic suspense, but it was pretty action packed in the end.  I’m looking forward to Miller and Colin’s story next.




 About the Author:
Liliana Hart is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than forty titles, including the Addison Holmes Whiskey and J.J. Graves Mystery series. Since self-publishing in June 2011, Liliana has sold more than four million ebooks. She’s hit the #1 spot on lists all over the world, and all three of her series have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Liliana is a sought-after speaker who’s given keynote speeches and self-publishing workshops to standing-room-only crowds from California to New York to London. Please visit her at lilianahart.com, facebook.com/lilianahart, and twitter.com/liliana_hart.

Look for Gone to Dust (Book 2) June 20th!




The publisher generously provided a Paperback Copy of The Darkest Corner to giveaway to one lucky reader. The giveaway is open to US residents only. Fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Friday, 19 May 2017

What I've Been Reading: Will Trent series by Karin Slaughter

So I've been a little lazy about posting reviews lately, but part of that is because I've been swept up by a series!  I tried Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter about a year ago and couldn't get into it, but her Will Trent series is another story altogether! I'm completely addicted to this series, and I'm already on book six as I write this post!

(Click on cover for Goodreads link)


So what is it I love about this series?

  Each mystery grabs you, takes hold until you know the culprit, the motivations, and the final outcome. I have to say book three, Undone, was at times very disturbing. Some of the disturbing nature is the fact that I've seen news stories that echo the crimes featured. Real life can be absolutely frightening!

The characters! 
(I've hidden some of the kind of spoilery information)
Will Trent is very much the underdog hero! He's dyslexic, and feels stupid because of his disability, yet because of his seemingly uncanny detecting abilities, he's one of the top Agents in the Altanta GBI. Will tries to hide his dysfunction, but that doesn't always work out, and soon others figure it out and help, to his great dismay.  There are reasons he still feels inadequate in spite of all his successes, and one big reason is Angie Polaski (see below).

Amanda Wagner, the GBI's Deputy Director. Amanda hand-picked Will for her team and yet she sometimes acts like the "the worst mother he never had".  Amanda can be a cold-hearted old broad, cross her at your own peril, but oddly, she seems to have Will's best interests at heart. Well, most of the time.  

Faith Mitchell, a cop. (Highlight for spoiler) Will's partner. She can be like a grouchy older sister, but she's loyal and a great detective.  A fortuitous pairing for Will, even though they didn't get off on the right foot at first.   (end of spoiler)

Dr. Sara Linton *sigh* LOVE her! (Highlight for spoiler) She's grieved the death of her husband for the last few years. It's a sad story, but she meets Will and a spark is ignited! (end of spoiler) She has a sharp mind and is an excellent sounding board for these cases, which she seems to become directly involved with in some way or another.

 Angie Polaski, a woman Will has known since childhood, is a piece of work!  And that's putting it very politely.  I have some very choice descriptions that I won't write here. Suffice it to say that I can't stand her!  Angie's introduced in the first book, Tryptich, and even has her own POV, but it's quickly clear that she has a lot of damage.  I even felt a bit sorry for her at first, and maybe I will again at some point,(Highlight for spoiler) but when you're the victim of hideous treatment, and then you dish it on out to others, like Will, chipping away at their self-esteem, and hindering them from healing and moving on, I've got a BIG problem with you. Let's just say Angie is the character EVERYONE loves to hate on in this series! (end of spoiler)

I'm currently reading *listening* to book six, Criminal, and after that I have three more books left, including a novella, until 2018! I'm gobbling these stories up so it's going to be hard to have to wait for the next one. 

So, that's what I've been reading lately. What about you?  Do you get sidelined by a series, putting all other books to the side until you finish? Let me know in the comments below!





Monday, 8 May 2017

Review: Skitter by Ezekiel Boone

Skitter (The Hatching #2) by Ezekiel Boone
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Publication date: May 2nd 2017
My rating: 4 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25644437-find-her
Tens of millions of people around the world are dead. Half of China is a nuclear wasteland. Mysterious flesh-eating spiders are marching through Los Angeles, Oslo, Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, and countless other cities. According to scientist Melanie Gruyer, however, the spider situation seems to be looking up. Yet in Japan, a giant, truck-sized, glowing egg sack gives a shocking preview of what is to come, even as survivors in Los Angeles panic and break the quarantine zone. Out in the desert, survivalists Gordo and Shotgun are trying to invent a spider super weapon, but it’s not clear if it’s too late, because President Stephanie Pilgrim has been forced to enact the plan of last resort: The Spanish Protocol. America, you are on your own.


My Thoughts:
Skitter picks up pretty much right where The Hatching left off.  Spiders have come, overwhelmed and taken out large portions of the population on the globe.  Did I mention that spiders scare the HELL out of me? Oh, my goodness, yes!! And let me tell you, the last book was terrifying for anyone with a spider phobia, but the events and plight of some in this installment made my skin crawl in horror!  The world is up in arms wondering if the worst is over, but with new egg sacks, hot and pulsing to the touch, that scenario would be too good to be true.  Now the world has to wait and see what is coming next, and let me tell you, it is BAD!

While on one hand I thought the story would’ve benefited from eliminating some of the many POV’s, I get it was a way to give a window, a vivid picture into what was happening in different locations around the world.  Still, IMO I think if the story was more focused on just the POV’s I’ve come to know and care about, it would’ve had more impact.  I’d rather have more page count spent on them.  I wasn’t thrilled with the addition of POV’s that were just few short scenes and then killed off.  I want to be invested in my characters, worried about their survival, because I’ve already been acquainted with them. I was disappointed Melanie and Mike Rich’s connection from the last book wasn’t built upon, because there’s certainly enough room for a little bit of romance if you edit out all the POV’s that came to an abrupt end, ones I wasn’t invested in at all.  I still have hope for them in the next book.  There are a couple of other relationships I’d like expounded on, furthered, as well: Manny and the US President, Stephanie Pilgrim, and Julie and Pierre.  I guess we’ll see how it all shakes out.

Even with all of that, I found the story completely engrossing. At times I was filled with dread and wanted to yell: RUN!!  End of the world scenarios, be it from earthquakes, tsunamis, aliens, zombies, or in this case spiders, have always fascinated me.  I put myself in the situation, wonder what I would do; would I be smart enough, lucky enough to survive while so many perish around me? 

Everything is coming to a head, more desperate and frightening.  The choices made by the President where extreme, necessary, and terrifying! I hope all my favorite characters survive. I hope Gordo and Shotgun come up with an effective “Spinal Tap”, that Melanie figures out these spiders, I hope Mike and his group are able to wait it out in safety.  I wouldn’t say this ended in a cliffhanger, but everything is left up in the air.  I need the next book ASAP!


Connect with Ezekiel Boone:



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