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Review: No Mercy by John Burley

Monday, September 1, 2014



Blurb: When a brutally murdered teenager is discovered in the woods surrounding a small Ohio town, Dr. Ben Stevenson—the town’s medical examiner—must decide if he’s willing to put his family’s life in danger to uncover the truth. Finding himself pulled deeper into an investigation with devastating consequences, he discovers shocking information that will shatter his quiet community, and force him to confront a haunting truth.

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My Rating: 1 star out of 5

Review: This novel left a lot to be desired, even though the concept held definite promise. To begin with, in the first chapter, the Ben is thinking about going to see his son's baseball game, he even goes so far as to talk about how his arm was so good he had been promoted to pitcher. The whole thing is brought on by the fact that traffic is backed up and he hopes he'll even make it on time to see his son play. A few sentences later, and that baseball game has suddenly become a wrestling match, before going back to a baseball game.. only this time Ben is at home telling his wife not to worry about the safety of their son because he was going to be at an "away" baseball game. All of the sudden, it seemed that Ben (the Father) never had an intention of attending his son's game, even though that was one of the first things on his mind. This kind of oversight in editing usually does not bode well for the rest of the book, and I almost quit reading then and there.

On the plus side, these were the only errors of this type that I came across while reading this novel. 

On the other-side? There was a lot left to be desired. 
To begin with, there was a lot of medical jargon. Which, yes I get that the main character worked for the coroner's office and therefore would know all of the proper terms, however, I found it very annoying to have to repeatedly use the dictionary feature on my kindle to determine what a particular word meant. I wish the author would have found a way to both keep the "proper medical terminology" as well as a "layman's term" so that those of us without a lot of medical training would be able to understand the extent of some of the injuries. 

Then, the plot of the story was (to me) completely unrealistic. I don't want to say too much and give too much of the story away, however, I will say that it seemed as though the author really didn't have a set "killer" in mind when the story was written, so they had to think quick and alter the story to have someone be guilty. And even when that happened, there was no justice, no real ending or closure for the reader. 

Overall, it was a definite disappointment considering all of the rave reviews and the promise of the blurb. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has NOT altered or changed my review in any way. All thoughts expressed in this review are 100% my own.



Review: Elicit by Rachel Van Dyken

Monday, August 11, 2014


Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher:Rachel Van Dyken (August 11, 2014)

From Goodreads.com: Cursed, numb, rejected, scorned, wicked, sinister, dark, twisted...my name is Tex Campisi and this is my legacy. I killed my father in cold blood and lost my soul right along with him. 
I crave war more than peace, and I'm about to take my place in history as the youngest Capo dei Capi in the Cosa Nostra...that is until someone stops me, saves me from myself. 

But the only person able to do that...is my best friends sister, Mo Abandanato, and she just ripped my heart out and asked me to hold it in my hands while she put bullets through it. 

Im cursed so I did it. 
I'm numb so I held it. 
I'm wicked so I liked it.
I used the pain Mo caused as a catalyst to turn into my biggest nightmare--the five families greatest enemy. It's my turn to take a stand, knowing full well I'm going to lose my mind to the madness that is the American Mafia. I've always been told Blood is thicker than life. I wish I would have listened. Because regardless of who you love? You will betray. You will kill.
Blood Always Wins. 
The only way out is death...yours.

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My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

NOTE: While for the most part, these can be read as "stand alone" novels, it is best if you read them in order. If you are new to the series, you can read my reviews of (and buy the books direct from Amazon) Elite (book 1), Elect (book 2) and Entice (book 3) by clicking on any of the links (they will take you to a new page) 

My Review: I've had a chance now to "recover" from reading this novel, and I say that with the best possible meaning. Because Elicit is part of the Eagle Elite series, I've had a chance to get to know the characters, their stories, their struggles... and I thought that made me prepared for Elicit. I was wrong. 

I know I say it a lot when it comes to Rachel's books, how they are the best ever, or how its my favorite book in a series, and I mean that for each book. The problem is.. Rachel just gets better and better with each book she puts out! 

Wonderfully written, this book not only keeps you on the edge of your seat, but it also keeps you reading and wanting more. I definitely could not put this down (and read well past my normal "bedtime") because I had to know what would happen next. Would Tex choose blood over family? Would Mo ever get her happily-ever-after (and if she did, with whom??!). What would the body count be at the end? 

This book has tons of cliff-hangers, hard choices, complete surprises, and ugly cry moments. All of which I want to gush about, however none of which I can talk about without spoiling it for others. The best I can say is bring tissues. No seriously. Bring tissues. 


DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has NOT altered or changed my review in any way. All thoughts expressed in this review are 100% my own.

Elicit (Eagle Elite #4) is available for purchase from Amazon.com

Review: The Dare (The Bet Series Book 3) by Rachel Van Dyken

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Print Length: 325 pages
Publisher:Rachel Van Dyken (July 8, 2014)

From Goodreads.com: Boring Beth Lynn has always lived up to her nickname… until she wakes up in a hotel bed next to a sexy as sin state senator she re-connected with at a wedding the previous night.

The biggest problem? She can't seem to remember anything about the night before except for crying into a box of cookies, and she’s pretty sure Grandma Nadine slipped something in her drink. And what should have been a one night stand turns into a six day adventure when Grandma whisks them off to Hawaii to save them from the ensuing media firestorm.

Jace isn't looking for commitment — he believes he made that clear when he left the wedding with Beth. Then again, he can't remember much of anything other than the way her skin felt beneath his hands. Now he's stuck with her at some lame couple’s retreat and trying his hardest to fight the attraction only a woman like Beth could invoke.

He doesn’t think it can get any worse.

But one spider attack… A donkey ride from hell… And an unfortunate episode with Viagra tea — and there’s one thing Jace knows for sure: He should never have agreed to Grandma Nadine’s suggestion in the first place.
 
Because if this isn’t paradise, and it isn’t a vacation — that only leaves one option.

Survival.

But to make it through alive… they might lose their hearts in the process.

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My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Another crazy, laugh-out-loud hit from Rachel Van Dyken! 
 
Honestly, I'm beginning to think that Rachel Van Dyken is not human!  She has a way of switching gears so quickly, and turning out another amazing story right on the heels of one from a completely different genre. 
 
As with each of her novels, all of the characters are completely believable, and she just sucks you into the world she has created and doesn't let go until the very last word. I found myself laughing hysterically at several parts, occasionally earning the odd look from the people around me (I really need to learn not to read Rachel's books whilst out in public)!

It was great to catch up with all of the characters from The Bet & The Wager again (especially good old Grandma Nadine.. seriously no one beats that woman), although now I'm going through a bit of withdrawl and will have to re-read the whole series again! 
 
Once again, Rachel has created a story that is sure to be an instant hit!


DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has NOT altered or changed my review in any way. All thoughts expressed in this review are 100% my own.

The Dare (The Bet Series Book 3) is available for purchase from Amazon.com

Review: Flossophy of Grace by Ruth J. Hartman

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Print Length: 110 pages
Publisher: esKape Press (July 29, 2014)

From Goodreads.com: What happens when a dental hygienist falls in love with her patient? That's what Grace Hart finds out when she meets Bruce Gardener. The problem? Grace's boss has a strict policy against relationships with patients. Can Bruce and Grace find a way to be together, without her boss finding out?


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My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Another laugh-out-loud hit from Ruth J. Hartman! 

I am an avid fan of Ms.Hartman's historical novels, so when I saw she had a contemporary novel, I had to read it! As always when I am reading one of her works, I found myself laughing out loud several times (and may also have gotten a couple dirty looks from people from being a bit too loud about it). 

From the endearingly sweet couple of Bruce and Grace, to the deviously annoying Dr.Beeth (yes his name does rhyme with teeth), this novel has something for everyone. You will find yourself cheering on the characters as they do anything to thwart Dr.Beeth's orders, and you may even find yourself contemplating giving Dr.Beeth a good smack upside the head (just remember, he's a fictional character as you can't)!

I would definitely recommend this novel to those who love a good, sweet romance.



DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way, all opinions contained in this review are 100% my own.



Review: Strung (Seaside Book 0) by Rachel Van Dyken

Friday, July 25, 2014


Print Length: 166 pages
Publisher: Rachel Van Dyken (July 7, 2014)

From Goodreads.com: 
Two brothers. 

Who knew that the sleepy town of Seaside, Oregon would eventually be the location of both our downfall and our redemption? 

Drugs, sex, lies, shame...it all led us to the Coast. It led us to her. 

And ever since we met her. 

Our lives have never been the same. 

You may think you know what really happened--but you don't. After all, there's two sides to every story. 

This is ours. 


This book is Tear (the first book from the Seaside Series) told from Alec and Demetri's POV.

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My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Whenever I pick up one of the Seaside series novels, it feels like a homecoming. Seriously. I have been with this group from the beginning and from the first chapter in Tear, I felt like I knew these people.

Reading Strung was exactly the same feeling, and it was one that I dearly missed! Even though Strung is essentially a re-telling of Tear, it is also completely different in the fact that it is written from the point-of-view of Alec and Demetri Daniels instead of Nat's, and that puts a whole different spin on things.This time, you get a greater insight and understanding into why they act and react the way that they do. You can feel a certain sympathy for their past, and the struggles they are still trying to overcome while in Seaside. You can almost feel their pain and self-loathing, and it never fails to amaze me the way Ms.Van Dyken can switch between the brother's personalities and still keep them so real and completely separate.

Once again Rachel has managed to pull off a gripping novel that keeps you hooked from the very first page!


DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has NOT altered or changed my review in any way. All thoughts expressed in this review are 100% my own.

Strung (Seaside Book 0) is available for purchase from Amazon.com

Review: Trapped at the Altar by Jane Feather

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (July 22, 2014)

From Goodreads.com:  The first in an all-new, sizzling historical romance series from New York Times bestselling author Jane Feather.

Torn between a true love and family duty… Ariadne "Ari" Carfax has never been one to play by the rules; she’s an heiress to the Carfax family, banished from London when Oliver Cromwell seized the throne from King Charles, who has since gained notoriety for pillaging, thieving, and ruling the Carfax Valley with an iron glove. All too soon, Ari finds herself in her family’s legendary vise, forced into a marriage to Ivor Chalfont, Ari’s childhood friend and confidante, against her wishes. While the Carfax family has only its own interest at heart—a union between the Catholic Carfaxes and Protestant Chalfonts will guarantee the Carfaxes’ reinstatement at London court, and the rehabilitation of their noble name—Ari cannot bear the thought of being separated from her secret lover/poet, Gabriel. She vows to fight her family—and Ivor—every step of the way, even when forced into the marital ceremony at her own grandfather’s wake, in a treacherous coup de etat that leaves her wed to another, and eternally broken-hearted. Sending Gabriel to the temporary safety of Lord Monmouth’s outpost at The Hague in Scotland, Ari resigns herself to her new life as Lady Ivor Chalfont—at least until the newlyweds travel to London, and she can escape her new husband and reunite with Gabriel. As the two make their preparations to travel, however, Ari finds herself entertaining entirely uncharacteristic thoughts about her new husband: she finds that she likes him as perhaps more than a friend, after all. Not wanting to be disloyal to Gabriel, but simultaneously more and more attracted to Ivor, Ari can’t help but give into the physical pull between her and her new husband, and the two embark on a tentative, post-marital courtship that just might hold the seeds of love…until, that is, Gabriel spots Ari in London and makes it his mission to get her back. Ari is caught between a lover who might be better left in the past, and a husband who she just might be able to love; who will win Ari’s heart? Set in 1600s England during the tumultuous Monmouth Rebellion, this is the epic story of what happens when the one thing we think we can trust—our hearts—turns out to be the most duplicitous

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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The first thing that I have to mention is that the synopsis NEEDS to be changed. Her name was NOT Ariadne "Ari" Carfax, it was Ariadne "Ari" DAUNT. I assume this error was due to the fact that Carfax was perhaps her original surname, but in the version I was given,her surname (and obviously that of her family) was Daunt, and I must admit its very discouraging to see it printed wrong.

Secondly, there was a  few inconsistencies with this novel that caught my attention whilst reading it. To start with, there were numerous instances of two words being used side by side that should not be there. One instance that I remember clearly was the passage that read "Face it, Ari. Accept it. We will be married this day week". This lead to confusion for me as a reader. Would they be wed this day? This week? This day next week?

Another word that stuck out like a sore thumb was when Ari (whilst speaking to Ivor) says, "You sound like my pimp". I am full aware of there being brothels during this time period, but not once have I ever heard the word pimp used in another historical or regency romance. It was like a bucket of cold water had been thrown over me, shattering the illusion that I was there with the couple. 

As far as the story itself... I didn't love it, I didn't exactly hate it. There were some scenes where the characters really stuck out to me, like when Ari came to the aid of her husband and their men during an attack, but for the most part there was just too much going on. On one hand this was a novel about a couple finding the balance between love and friendship, then there was the part about them reclaiming their family name(s) and reestablishing them in society. And then there was the third (and less talked about aspect) which was Ari's original love and plans with Gabriel (the poet she had loved at the start). I feel like the author tried to weave too many story-lines into one novel causing confusion, all cultivating in a rather abrupt and unfinished (at least to me) ending.

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has NOT altered or changed my review in any way. All thoughts expressed in this review are 100% my own.

Trapped at the Altar is available for purchase from Amazon.com

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Sneak Peek! Night of the Fallen {Dark Tides #2} By: Diana Bocco

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Title: Night of the Fallen {Dark Tides #2}
Author: Diana Bocco
Event organized byTasty Tours


Book Blurb:

Isabelle’s mission seemed so clear: kill the king of the vampires to give humanity a fighting chance. Except she didn’t count on falling in love with him. And she didn't realize he held secrets that could actually end up saving the human race.

As the kingdom falls and Isabelle’s heart is torn between two worlds, everything changes. There’s something more dangerous out there, a plague that might destroy both humans and vampires alike. The only way to survive it might be to find a truce between species.

Peace will require the ultimate sacrifice.

And change the future of the world forever.

You can purchase this book from Amazon


OR For more information about this novel, check out the Night of the Fallen's GoodReads Page.
You can follow more stops on the tour HERE.





GIVEAWAY! 
$10.00 Amazon Gift Card or Print Copy of CITY OF THE FALLEN, Dark Tides Book One




About the Author: 
I've been a fan of all kinds of dark creatures since I was a kid (even before I discovered Stephen King at the age of 10). If it crawls in the night and tugs at your covers while you're sleeping, chances are I've written about it. It's probably no surprise that I'm a big fan of old buildings, urban exploring and things that go bump in the night. Oh, and Halloween, of course -- but that should go without saying. 
 
Growing up, I wanted to be Indiana Jones. I ended up not pursuing a degree in Archaeology (although I toyed with the idea for a while) but I did become a huge lover of travel and history. Aside from traveling to all corners of the world, I've also lived in five countries in three continents -- including three years in Siberia and two in Vietnam. I'm currently living in Thailand. 
 
I have a soft spot for animals (which is why you can be sure that in my stories, the dog will always make it) and right now have three wonderful -- but slightly crazy -- dogs in my life. And yes, they move with me from country to country. Too bad dogs can't accumulate frequent flyer miles!

In my other life, I also write nonfiction: articles, books, and even quizzes for the Discovery Channel website. I really can't help it -- I'm a nerd at heart and love research and discovering new things. Could be the Indiana Jones in me pushing me along.
When it comes to life, I'm pretty fearless. I figure life is too short to live it too safely -- so I take risks and I try to have fun, whether that means snowshoeing in the middle of Siberia or going ghost-hunting in an abandoned asylum. And yes, I've done both.

You can learn more about this author by visiting: Her Website, or GoodReads Page

 

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