Wednesday 29 November 2017

Review: Darkness at the Edge of Town by Jennifer Harlow

Darkness at the Edge of Town (Iris Ballard #2) by Jennifer Harlow
Publication date: November 14th 2017
Publisher: Alibi
My rating: 4 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
A complicated, charismatic forensic psychologist tries to rescue her brother from the clutches of a maniacal cult leader in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the author of Beautiful Maids All in a Row.
After catching an infamous serial killer, Dr. Iris Ballard has become a TV sensation. Exhausted from her appearances on the talk-show circuit, she’s looking forward to some quality time with Luke Hudson, her former FBI partner and on-again, off-again lover. The last thing Iris wants is to get pulled back to her dying Rust Belt hometown, but after the frantic call from her mother, she doesn’t have a choice.

Iris is a disgrace in Grey Mills, Pennsylvania, but her twin brother has gone and outdone her. Billy has abandoned his fiancée, drained their checking account, and quit his job to join a cult called the New Morning Movement. Expecting to find something sinister at play, Iris is eager to destroy the quixotic hold they have on her brother. And that means outwitting the cult’s cunning, sadistic founder, Mathias Morning.

Iris has logic and reason on her side. But Mathias doesn’t play by society’s rules. Just as Iris begins to lose hope, her investigation leads her to cross path with the DEA. And now she needs to save Billy’s life before they’re both caught in the crossfire.

My Thoughts:
Darkness at the Edge of Town takes us back into the life of Iris Ballard not long after the events in the last book where she and her best friend and former FBI partner, Luke took down The Woodsman.  Iris is just finishing on the talk-show circuit, and planning on spending a time with Luke when her mother calls begging for Iris to come immediately and help get her twin brother, Billie, out of the clutches of some cult.

Iris, although not pleased, rushes back to her hometown, a town that holds many a bad memory, and discovers her brother has been going through some tough times, and is vulnerable. Just the kind of prey a manipulative cult leader like Mathias, the New Morningstar’s charismatic leader, and his followers are in search of.   Iris must put her natural talent and training as an FBI profiler to use, to stay one step ahead and outsmart Mathias. The more Iris finds out, the more she’s worried for her brother.

I couldn’t wait to get back to Iris and Luke after the events in Beautiful Maids All in a Row.  It was clear that the feelings between Iris and Luke were finally going to come out soon.  I had hopes that their unrequited love would go somewhere, as they’ve clearly been tortured by being apart.  I think my biggest complaint with this installment is that there wasn’t more Luke in the beginning, but boy-oh-boy was I thrilled with how things played out once he’s fully in the picture again!  Luke is everything I want in a man, or fictional hero!  Totally devoted, protective, while fully confident and proud of Iris’s abilities.  They knew each other so well, had a wealth of history between them. The irresistible pull of attraction a palpable thing between them!  I just love a friends-to-lovers sort of romance!  The love between them was obvious to anyone looking, and yet each were hesitant to take the next step.  I read with bated breath every interaction and crossed my fingers they wouldn’t screw things up!

The romance isn’t the only pull in this story.  I was awed by Iris’s skills in reading people, and treading in just the right way to get what she needed.  It was unfortunate that others in law enforcement didn’t always heed her advice here. 

This is the second book in the series, and I don’t recommend reading this as a standalone.  The mystery/conflict part could be read and understood, but you’d miss the best part: the history and relationship between Luke and Iris.  Their interactions and final outcome wouldn’t mean as much without the first book for reference.  I loved both books!

Initial impressions:
Loved, loved Luke!! Iris is pretty bad-ass and great, too, but I LOVED Luke!

Connect with Jennifer Harlow

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Winter TBR


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week they post a new top ten list and ask fellow bookish folk to share their lists on that topic.

This week's Top Ten post is: Ten Books on My Winter TBR 
(Click on title for Goodreads link) 



I thought I'd put a mix of review books and ones that I own in my Winter TBR, these five are review books which are at the top of my pile. Can you believe that I've never read a book by Rachel Gibson before? I had been meaning to read her books for some time now and when I saw this latest book I knew I had to read it. I really loved Jennifer Castle's You Look Different in Real life, so I can't wait to be back with another one of Castle's books. And doesn't the Woman in the Window sound fantastic? I rarely read many mystery books, but when I saw this book I knew I had to read it! 


The Serpent King and The One That Got Away have been two books that I've been meaning to read for sometime, I think my Winter break will be the perfect time to start them. Warcross and One and For All, I've been really looking forward to reading too, the reviews have also been pretty good for the so far to, let's just hope I end up loving them too! And I can't contain my excitement about To Kill a Kingdom, I am so proud and happy for my best friend and her debut book!

Which books are on your Winter TBR pile?

Friday 24 November 2017

Review: Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai

Wrong to Need You (Forbidden Hearts #2) by Alisha Rai
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: November 28th 2017
My rating: 4 stars

He wasn’t supposed to fall in love with his brother’s widow… Accused of a crime he didn't commit, Jackson Kane fled his home, his name, and his family. Ten years later, he’s come back to town: older, wiser, richer, tougher—and still helpless to turn away the one woman he could never stop loving, even after she married his brother. Sadia Ahmed can’t deal with the feelings her mysterious former brother-in-law stirs, but she also can’t turn down his offer of help with the cafe she’s inherited. While he heats up her kitchen, she slowly discovers that the boy she adored has grown into a man she’s simply unable to resist. An affair is unthinkable, but their desire is undeniable. As secrets and lies are stripped away, Sadia and Jackson must decide if they’re strong enough to face the past...and step into a future together.

I absolutely loved the heck out of Hate to Want You, I loved the tension that Rai had created between the two families, the heartache that they had to endure over the last few years, but the constant pull between our two main characters Livvy and Nicholas, despite everything that had gone down. Despite Hate to Want You building some of the bridges somewhat between the two families, there was still so much damage that had been done and still so much that I needed to find out about. I was hoping things would appear clearer in Wrong to Need You, but oh my poor heart really had to deal with a lot with several revelations chucked along the way. 

I really liked Sadia’s character in the first book, so I was overjoyed to discover that the next book would focus on her and Jackson. I was dying to learn more about Jackson’s character, it was obvious there was more to him than everyone was judging him for, and he’d always been there for Livvy when she needed him, so I knew there was a delicate, considerate guy lurking underneath. I was thrilled that Sadia was able to bring that out in him, both had been through a rough couple of years, Sadia trying to manage the café and looking after Kareem and Jackson never settling in one place long in enough. I know there were a couple of complications thrown in the mix, with what had gone down and how long Sadia and Jackson had known each other, but through all the heartache and the grief, both Sadia and Jackson really just deserved their own happiness. I loved how Rai slowly built up the relationship between them, with them slowly letting each other back into their lives and repairing the trust between them, the heat and chemistry that was building beneath was smoking hot! That I practically lived for these scenes! Also, did I mention that Jackson is my new favourite? Seriously don’t let his tough demeanour influence you, beneath the muscles and murderous looks is really a sweet guy, I loved that Rai was able to show this side of him. 

Wrong to Need You was another brilliant follow up story in what is becoming one of my all time favourite series, Rai once again upped her game in this book by giving us such a thrilling ride with Sadia and Jackson’s relationship, it had its heartbreaking moments, but also scenes which were super hot! I could not have asked for a better couple and slow burn romance than this. Despite Rai giving us a lot of answers with this latest instalment, she’s once again left me yearning for more, for more swoony romances, more characters like Jackson and more of the Chandler and Kane family! 

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Review: The Lullaby Girl by Loreth Anne White

The Lullaby Girl (Angie Pallorino #2) by Loreth Anne White
Publication date: November 14th 2017
Publisher: Berkley
My rating: 4 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD
Detective Angie Pallorino took down a serial killer permanently and, according to her superiors, with excessive force. Benched on a desk assignment for twelve months, Angie struggles to maintain her sense of identity—if she’s not a detective, who is she? Then a decades-old cold case washes ashore, pulling her into an investigation she recognizes as deeply personal.

Angie’s lover and partner, James Maddocks, sees it, too. But spearheading an ongoing probe into a sex-trafficking ring and keeping Angie’s increasing obsession with her case in check is taking its toll. However, as startling connections between the parallel investigations emerge, Maddocks realizes he has more than Angie’s emotional state to worry about.

Driven and desperate to solve her case, Angie goes rogue, risking her relationship, career, and very life in pursuit of answers. She’ll learn that some truths are too painful to bear, and some sacrifices include collateral damage.

But Angie Pallorino won’t let it go. She can’t. It’s not in her blood.

My Thoughts:

Some spoilers ahead if you haven’t read the first book.

The Lullaby Girl takes us back to the life of Angie Pallorino, and after the events of the last book her career as a detective is in jeopardy.  She’s being accused of excessive force in taking down a serial killer!  Really?  I sort of thought this was ridiculous, and even if she did fire off a bunch of rounds into him, hello, he was a really bad guy and deserved it!  This is important to Angie, but she’s distracted by her own mystery, and getting to the bottom of her identity; what happened the night she was abandoned at the hospital takes precedence.  She remembers blood, gun fire, and lullabies sung in Polish.  

Maddocks has his own hands full with the bar code girls; girls forced into sex work on the Amanda Rose. All evidence is pointing to organized crime, and Maddocks is trying to find the responsible parties so no other girls will suffer or die.  Angie’s past and this current case have some disturbing things in common, and it soon becomes evident that Angie is in danger.  The ending wrapped up with some exciting and tense moments and had me on the edge of my seat!

All this is taking place while Maddocks and Angie try to navigate their new relationship.  I was afraid Angie was going to get skittish and push Maddocks away for good, but thankfully that wasn’t the case.  She did have her moments, but she did think things through and thought of the big picture before ruining things.  Maddocks was a prince! I just loved this man! He realizes some of the reason Angie’s in hot water is because she was trying to protect him and his daughter; it touches his heart that she put herself on the line for him like that. He also is pretty understanding that Angie has issues because of her past, and cuts her a lot of slack.  I know these two have what it takes for the long term! They just sizzle and spark every time they’re together!

The Angie Pallorino series is captivating and thrilling, with flawed, but likable characters.  It’s must for anyone who enjoys a well written police procedural, but truly, the romance is my favorite part, and I hang on every interaction between Angie and Maddocks! I’m anxious to find out where Loreth Anne White takes Angie and Maddocks in the next book, especially with how things turned out here!

Connect with Loreth Anne White:

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