Review: Their Final Moments by Jane Adams


Print Length: 353 pages
Publisher: Joffee Books (May 3, 2019)

From Goodreads.com: HE WANTS TO CAPTURE THEIR FINAL MOMENTS ON FILM SO HE CAN WATCH THEM AGAIN AND AGAIN

DECEMBER: Detective Mike Croft is in pursuit of a serial attacker whose victims are all young blonde women. But forensics on the victims reveals an even more horrific scenario. Many miles away, in Wiltshire, a young woman dies in a burning car. In Norwich, an actress is found dead in her own home and a teenage boy runs away from a past he doesn’t know how to face. Can DI Mike Croft work out what links these events? Then a greater threat emerges. 


JAKE BOWEN: filmmaker and serial murderer. There is no pattern to his victims. He doesn’t care who dies, so long as their final moments make good film, and Jake is very imaginative in deciding how his victims will die.

MIKE CROFT FACES A RACE AGAINST TIME TO STOP A KILLER. BUT THEN THE KILLER COMES FOR HIM.

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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

I can already tell from the number of four and five star review given that I will be in the minority with this one. However, I found Their Final Moments to be excruciatingly long winded. There were too many characters to the point it felt overloaded and confusing, especially as the story shifted between different people throughout the book.

And somehow, even despite that it managed to be boring plot wise. The first half of the book is two different departments investigating two entirely different cases that have little to do with each other (just a minor overlap of secondary characters), and included pages upon pages having to deal with characters that had nothing to do with the overall story and who in fact disappeared entirely before the second half.

Also for the record, even though I know this will be considered a spoiler, but I feel it needs to be said as a possible trigger to some people. He's not making the films so he can re-watch them and remember them. He's making them because he sells them. That's right he makes and sells snuff films. And that right there was enough to be a huge turn off as well. 

DISCLAIMERI received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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                                   Next Girl to Die is available from Amazon.com

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Review: Tick Tock (DS Grace Allendale #2) by Mel Sherratt





Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Avon (April 4, 2019)

From Goodreads.com: In the city of Stoke, a teenage girl is murdered in the middle of the day, her lifeless body abandoned in a field behind her school.
TOCK…
Two days later, a young mother is abducted. She’s discovered strangled and dumped in a local park.
TIME’S UP…
DS Grace Allendale and her team are brought in to investigate, but with a bold killer, no leads and nothing to connect the victims, the case seems hopeless. It’s only when a third woman is targeted that a sinister pattern emerges. A dangerous mind is behind these attacks, and Grace realises that the clock is ticking…
Can they catch the killer before another young woman dies?


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This book was just the right amount of murder, police work, and intrigue that I started off enjoying it immensely. However, the ending just killed it. There was really no reason to explain how the killer was able to manipulate people the way that they did. It felt like there had been this huge thing building up throughout the book that the ending felt felt anti-climatic. Even the why of it didn't feel like it was explained successfully. Looking back, I am also a little confused about the first chapter (its sort of a prologue if you will). Considering, I would have thought considering that the jump would have been obvious and they would get their first lead sooner rather than half-way through. 

I also found that sometimes the story jumped points of view from Grace to the killer, and those occasionally weren't obvious at first. In fact there was one scene that I had to re-read and had actually marked as not making sense due to something that was said when I realized it made perfect sense coming from the killer. 

All things considered, I do see a lot of potential in this author and this series, so I would give this author another chance. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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                                  Tick Tock is available from Amazon.com

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Review: His Convenient Royal Bride by Cara Colter


Print Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Romance (May 1,2019)

From Goodreads.com: From small-town waitress… 

To royal bride!

Since leaving her cheating fiancĂ©, sensible Maddie Nelson is back waiting tables in her hometown. When a gorgeous stranger needs a guide for a few days, she decides to throw caution to the wind, never expecting him to be Prince Edward Alexander of Havenhurst. And he’s in need of a convenient wife! Now Maddie must decide if their powerful connection is enough for her to swap her cafĂ©…for a crown!


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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This is one of those stories where people are either going to love it, or hate it. It was a cute story-line, after all who doesn't a love a small town girl to Princess love story? It was also a quick read, the kind that is perfect for the beach or a rainy day. 

However, for me at least, this story just didn't work. It was an okay enough read when it was just Ward and Maddie getting to know each other. But when they became husband and wife is when the story started falling apart. They went into their marriage thinking of it more in terms of a business arrangement - but then sparks fly when they kiss. Believable sure. 

What isn't believable is when Prince Edward begins to ignore and avoid her causing Maddie to throw herself into re-decorating their castle apartments (the ones the staff has suddenly been banned from because that's not suspicious or all). They have little to no interaction, and when they do he's cold to her. There is no chance for their relationship to develop. In fact, I stopped even seeing any chemistry between them when they did talk. 

So of course when suddenly they start sleeping together we are lead to believe that they have fallen in love. When I still don't buy that they even really know each other. A little drama occurs, the make up and ride off into the sunset. 

As I said, it will work for a lot of people. And a lot of people will love this story. I just wish there was more depth to it. More to the characters, and definitely more to their story. I would however give this author another chance. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                      His Convenient Royal Bride is available from Amazon.com


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Review: One Night for Seduction (Wicked Dukes Club #1) by Erica Ridley


Print Length: 204 pages
Publisher: Web Motion (April 16, 2019)

From Goodreads.com: When the Wicked Duke dares the Duke of Colehaven to find a suitor for an unmanageable ward, Cole immediately accepts. He's on a winning streak, and besides, how unmarriageable can a pretty young lady be? He appoints himself bodyguard and duenna, only to discover his own desires may be the greatest danger of all.

Supposed wallflower Diana Middleton lives a double life, bringing dishonest businessmen to justice. Shaking off a meddling duke should be child's play. Yet the more they lock horns, the more she wants to lock lips. Her scandalous secrets would derail his political career. But surely there’s no harm in one little seduction…


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

At first I liked this book. I love strong, independent women who don't conform to the rules society tries to put upon them. Even though I was a little confused about what and how exactly Diana was doing her "inspections", I was refreshed by the fact that she was trying to make a difference in people's lives. I was even endeared to Cole, the humble Duke who has worked hard to prove himself worthy of the title and of chairing committees in the House of Lords. Even their first meeting was much different from the standard presentation in historical romances. I thought to myself finally. I have finally found the book that is going to break my unfortunate three star or lower streak.

And yet. I was wrong. *sigh*

While its admirable that Diana cares so much about people being wronged, she just is not all that intelligent when it comes to the bigger picture. She becomes so focused on herself - her independence as a spinster, her defending the common folk against a perceived wrong - that even when a golden opportunity is presented to her she can't see it for anything other than a man trying to control her. The back and forth between them on the subject of marriage became so tiresome that I almost wished he would tell her to go to hell and marry someone else just for spite. After all, a man has his pride too right? 

I am however, a fan of this author's work. So while this one didn't gel for me the way I would have liked it to, I know there will be those that love this story and these characters. I will also not let this bump deter me from reading more from this author or in this series. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                             One Night for Seduction is available from Amazon.com

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Review: The Earl's Countess of Convenience by Marguerite Kaye


Print Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Historical (May 1, 2019)

From Goodreads.com: A countess in name only…

…tempted by a night with her husband!

Part of Penniless Brides of Convenience: Eloise Brannagh has witnessed firsthand the damage unruly passion can cause. Yet she craves freedom, so a convenient marriage to the Earl of Fearnoch seems the perfect solution! Except Alexander Sinclair is more handsome, more intriguing, more everything than Eloise anticipated. She’s set her own rules for their marriage, but her irresistible husband might just tempt her to break them!

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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I hate it when authors do this. When they take characters with amazing chemistry, have them fall in love despite the fact that they were both at the onset found the idea of marriage objectionable, and then forget to have them communicate! It does not add drama to your story, all it does is aggravate the reader! *deep breath* Ok, so its likely I'm in the majority with that opinion as I know there are plenty of people out there who do enjoy just the exact thing I have spoken about, and for them, this story will likely be a four or five star read. 

I can't say I don't understand why Alexander won't reveal what he truly is - he can't. But the fact that these two repeatedly show they have feelings for each other, just to then argue, insist that its not true or its somehow wrong, its tiresome. I expected his cousin to be more of a threat than he was as well - it seemed as though he just accepted things at face value without doing any research of his own. I would have been much more interested had he tried to prove their marriage was false. But no, its just round and round these two characters go. Even when they finally do get their happily-ever-after, I just rolled my eyes. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                The Earl's Countess of Convenience is available from Amazon.com

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Review: Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter, #1) by Jeff Lindsay



Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Vintage Books (June 28, 2005)

From Goodreads.com: Meet Dexter Morgan, a polite wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules. He’s a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likeable: he only kills bad people. And his job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami police department puts him in the perfect position to identify his victims. But when a series of brutal murders bearing a striking similarity to his own style start turning up, Dexter is caught between being flattered and being frightened–of himself or some other fiend.
         
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My Rating: 1 star out of 5

I remember reading this book sometime before the show premiered, so when I found the entire set for kindle, I was super excited.

Unfortunately, after reading this one, I can't remember what I first enjoyed about it. Perhaps its just that I have grown as a reader and the things that once appealed to me no longer do. This time around, I found the story to really be rather juvenile. The characters are all exceedingly one-dimensional (especially the characters of Deborah Morgan and Detectice LaGurta - honestly I wondered who tied their shoelaces for them). And then we have dear, demented Dexter. 

Gone was the suave anti-hero that I remembered. The serial killer with a code. Time and again we are subjected to his inner musing (mostly being reminded about how he is incapable of human emotions, and how much smarter he is than everyone else, which considering his coworkers doesn't take much). 

Even the killings were not as I remembered, overshadowed by too much "telling" and not enough "showing". On the whole, the entire thing felt rushed and more than a little choppy. 

I will continue with the rest of the series, just so I can see how it differs from what I remember of the show. Hopefully it improves and I find that spark again.


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                          Darkly Dreaming Dexter is available from Amazon.com

   
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Review: Next Girl to Die (The Calderwood Cases, #1) by Dea Poirier


Print Length: 300 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (May 1, 2019)

From Goodreads.com: Solving the case will avenge her sister—unless the killer finds her first.
It’s been fifteen years since Claire Calderwood’s sister, Rachel, was brutally murdered in their small hometown in Maine. Claire has finally carved out a life for herself as a homicide detective in Detroit, but the past comes calling when the local police back home ask for her help with a murder eerily similar to Rachel’s.
Still haunted by Rachel’s cold case, Claire returns home, hoping to solve the crime and finally put her grief to rest. As she starts investigating, the last thing she needs is tenacious journalist Noah Washington asking questions she’s not ready to answer. But like her, Noah won’t give up until he finds the truth—and Claire reluctantly finds herself relying on him more and more when disturbing new details about Rachel’s death come to light.
When the killer strikes once again, Claire knows he’s not done. Now he’s set his sights on Claire, who will have to find the courage she needs to survive a deadly confrontation years in the making.


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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

The premise, along with the first couple of chapters had me excited for this story. Unfortunately, this story was just too choppy to hold my interest. I feel like another round of edits would have done wonders in helping with the flow. For example, Claire has a job in Detroit when she gets the phone call saying she is needed back in her hometown. The next thing the reader knows she is back on the island, having her furniture and her car delivered to her. What happened to where she was living in Detroit? What happened to her job there? Did she resign? Take a leave of absence? 

There are other instances where she meets with characters in one location, and then the next page over is running into them in a completely different area of the island with seemingly no time having passed in between. It became very frustrating to have to go back to try and see if I missed something only to realize it was never there to begin with. 

Even the final showdown with the killer left me feeling less than impressed. I don't feel like we ever got their motivation. Sure, we get a very generic answer, as well as the initial catalyst, but not what was so specific to each girl. What they had done specifically to be targeted by this killer and for those reasons. 

If I had to sum it up in one word it would be lackluster. However, I do see potential in this author and this series, so I would give them another chance when the second book comes out. 

DISCLAIMERI received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                                         *******************
  
                                   Next Girl to Die is available from Amazon.com

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Review: Debase (Elite Bratva Brotherhood #1) by Rachel Van Dyken



Print Length: 420 pages
Publisher: Rachel van Dyken (April 30,2019)

From Goodreads.com: From #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Rachel Van Dyken, comes the final book in the Eagle Elite Series and the first new book in the Elite Bratva Brotherhood...

With blood on my hands, I held her. 
With death in my soul, I took from her. 
With the devil in my heart, I coveted her.

There're many definitions of Hell. 
My list was exhaustive, my definitions tragic. 
Tonight I was adding something new to the very top. 
Girl number six thirty-two.

She arrived on my birthday, the same day, every year, I play Russian Roullete and pull the trigger.
She was my omen. 
My end game. 
She made it personal. 
And for the first time in my life, I gave in. 
A virgin mob boss with no soul.

My name is Andrei Petrov. 
They call me the devil.
All I want is for the pain to end. 
All she wants is for me to share it.

I am the last remaining heir to a dynasty that should burn in Hell. 
And my last wish remains for it to die with me.


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

FINALLY!!!!!! My FIRST above three star read of 2019!!! 

I have to admit I was hesitant to read this one. While some of Rachel's books are hit or miss, her Eagle Elite series has always been heart-wrenchingly primal. Their roads to happily-ever-after are long, they are dark, and they are far from easy. And being that I had lost my husband shortly before this came out..... I wasn't sure I could handle it. 

But I am oh-so-glad that I did. Sure there were moments that hit me like a ton of bricks. There were lines that I wish I could post, but can't because of spoilers. Just know that this one is every bit as emotional as the previous ones. Andrei is such a powerful character - flawed, broken, and lethal in every way. How often to read about a man as powerful as he is who actually prays for death? How often is your heroine someone like Alice? Someone who has been through hell at the hands of the people who should have cared for her, only to when captured by "monsters" smile about it? These two were like gasoline and matches. Only while they burned hot, they didn't burn out. I loved the banter between them. I loved the chemistry. But most of all? I liked watching the transformation of Andrei as he found heaven inside the hell of his creation. 

And of course, considering this is just the first book set in the already established world of Eagle Elite (and no you don't have to have read the novels from the original serious in order to enjoy this one, but I do think you will want to once you've finished this one) - we get to say hello to our favorite mafia families. The group texts are just as hilarious as always. The next generation is adorable, and the FAMILY that exists between all of these characters is truly amazing. As one character puts it - "I walked in with a guard and walked out with an Army". 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                                           Debase is available from Amazon.com

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