Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni


Print Length: 325 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (September 27, 2016)

From Goodreads.com: In San Francisco’s seamy Tenderloin district, a teenage street hustler has been murdered in a shelter for boys. And the dedicated priest who runs the struggling home stands accused. But despite damning evidence that he’s a killer—and worse—Father Thomas Martin stands by his innocence. And attorney Peter Donley stands with him.

For three years Donley has cut his legal teeth in his uncle’s tiny, no-frills firm, where people come before profits. Just as Donley is poised to move on to a lucrative dream job, the shocking case lands in his lap, and he must put his future on hold while putting his courtroom skills to the test. But a ruthless DA seeking headlines and a brutal homicide cop bent on vengeance have their own agendas. Now, as he unearths the dirty secrets surrounding the case, Donley must risk his neck to save his client’s life…and expose the face of true evil.


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
While this story is completely different from his Tracy Crosswhite series, it still brought to life the kind of characters and story that I have come to expect from this author. I loved these characters - from the unwavering faith of Thomas Martin to the banter between Peter Donley and Frank Ross - and all the sordid details that come to light during this investigation - The 7th Canon kept me glued to my kindle and up late reading. 

While this story has many twists and more than a few surprises, the one thing that (for me) kept it from being a solid 5 star read is that it becomes obvious from almost the beginning who is behind everything - and that (in my opinion) takes away from the story. I tend to prefer novels that keep you guessing about who the culprit is rather than tell you outright before the story is resolved. 

Overall, I do believe this story would appeal to those who enjoy a good mystery/ thriller novel with stand-out writing and a complex story-line. I would read more from this author! 

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 7th Canon is available from Amazon.com

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Review: The Devil's Work by Mark Edwards


Print Length: 376 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (September 13, 2016)

From Goodreads.com: When Sophie Greenwood returns to work after four years raising her daughter, she is ready for an exciting new challenge.
But after an unnerving encounter drags up memories she’d rather forget, things take a turn for the sinister. What is her ambitious young assistant really up to? And what exactly happened to Sophie’s predecessor? When her husband and daughter are pulled into the nightmare, Sophie is forced to confront the darkest secrets she has carried for years.
As her life begins to fall apart at work and at home, Sophie must race to uncover the truth about her new job…before it kills her.


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
This book was interesting on a couple of different layers. To begin with - you have the aspect of just what is really going on? Is there really some mysterious conspiracy happening or is the main character (Sophie) just paranoid? To this aspect, I really enjoyed this story as the author did a superb job of holding that balance between a "story" and "paranoia". It was easy to see why no one took her seriously when she came to them with her complaints/ideas/fears. It was also interesting just to see how quickly Sophie took this "trip into madness". 

On another level - if there WAS someone behind everything... who was it? Is it the most obvious candidate or someone else altogether? Or is it all happening just inside Sophie's head? 

The author did a great job of weaving together this story, using both the current things happening, alongside something that happened to Sophie while she was still in university. Together, they created a story that I was not expecting - but one that I very much enjoyed! 

Overall, I am certain that this book will appeal to those who enjoy a good psychological thriller, and I would read more from this author! 

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 Devil's Work is available from Amazon.com

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Review: The Pirate's Debt (The Regent's Revenge #2) by Katherine Bone


Print Length: 259 pages
Publisher: Katherine Bone (September 13, 2016)

From Goodreads.com: Lady Chloe Walsingham is an enthusiastic gothic romance reader and hopeless romantic focused solely on finding her perfect hero. She also happens to have a penchant for getting into trouble. So when the man she loves disappears after a scandalous duel, she decides to follow him to the ends of the Earth. To do so, however, Chloe must evade her brother, an infamous revenue man, and board a ship bound for Penzance. And nothing in her beloved books can prepare her for the harsh realities of wreckers who ply the coast. 

After his father destroyed the lives of countless innocent people, Basil Halford, Earl of Markwick is willing to do anything to earn back his honor. Betrayed by his blood and his reputation ruined, Markwick answers the request of a well-heeled duke and dons the Black Regent’s mask to repay the debt. His task? Rescuing a young woman who is chasing down a ghost of a man.

But a pirate has plenty of enemies, and Markwick isn’t any different. No matter how diligent a captain he may be, sailing to Lady Chloe’s rescue involves risking not only the Regent’s legacy but the last thing he can afford to lose…his heart.
 



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My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Once again I am completely blown away by the depth of the world that Ms.Bone has brought to life! This is a story that draws you in and allows you to completely lose yourself in a world where the line between "good" and "evil" can be (and often is) blurred. 

This was also a story in which the characters "grow up" in a way. I can't reveal too much without giving away key plot points - however I CAN say that there is a key point in which the Heroine realizes that things are not always as they seem, and that real life can be much more exciting (not to mention dangerous) than a story while the Hero realizes there is more to life than what he expects. 

The action starts almost from the start; from ships fighting at sea, to the (many) problems being a pirate (even one with honest morals) entails. In fact, one of the things I most enjoyed about this story is that we get to see both sides of it as it is happening due to the point-of-view switching between Basil and Chloe. I LOVE when you are able to "witness" events as they unfold rather than reading about them as told from one character to another. 

Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend this story (as well as this author) to anyone who enjoys not only an action packed "on the sea" romance, but to anyone who also enjoys engaging historical romances as well. 


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.

                                                          ********************
The Pirate's Debt (The Regent's Revenge #2)  is available from Amazon.com

Review: The Pirate's Debt (The Regent's Revenge #2) by Katherine Bone


Print Length: 259 pages
Publisher: Katherine Bone (September 13, 2016)

From Goodreads.com: Lady Chloe Walsingham is an enthusiastic gothic romance reader and hopeless romantic focused solely on finding her perfect hero. She also happens to have a penchant for getting into trouble. So when the man she loves disappears after a scandalous duel, she decides to follow him to the ends of the Earth. To do so, however, Chloe must evade her brother, an infamous revenue man, and board a ship bound for Penzance. And nothing in her beloved books can prepare her for the harsh realities of wreckers who ply the coast. 

After his father destroyed the lives of countless innocent people, Basil Halford, Earl of Markwick is willing to do anything to earn back his honor. Betrayed by his blood and his reputation ruined, Markwick answers the request of a well-heeled duke and dons the Black Regent’s mask to repay the debt. His task? Rescuing a young woman who is chasing down a ghost of a man.

But a pirate has plenty of enemies, and Markwick isn’t any different. No matter how diligent a captain he may be, sailing to Lady Chloe’s rescue involves risking not only the Regent’s legacy but the last thing he can afford to lose…his heart.
 



                                                         *******************

My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Once again I am completely blown away by the depth of the world that Ms.Bone has brought to life! This is a story that draws you in and allows you to completely lose yourself in a world where the line between "good" and "evil" can be (and often is) blurred. 

This was also a story in which the characters "grow up" in a way. I can't reveal too much without giving away key plot points - however I CAN say that there is a key point in which the Heroine realizes that things are not always as they seem, and that real life can be much more exciting (not to mention dangerous) than a story while the Hero realizes there is more to life than what he expects. 

The action starts almost from the start; from ships fighting at sea, to the (many) problems being a pirate (even one with honest morals) entails. In fact, one of the things I most enjoyed about this story is that we get to see both sides of it as it is happening due to the point-of-view switching between Basil and Chloe. I LOVE when you are able to "witness" events as they unfold rather than reading about them as told from one character to another. 

Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend this story (as well as this author) to anyone who enjoys not only an action packed "on the sea" romance, but to anyone who also enjoys engaging historical romances as well. 


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.

                                                          ********************
The Pirate's Debt (The Regent's Revenge #2)  is available from Amazon.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Review: Her Halloween Treat (Men at Work #1) by Tiffany Reisz


Print Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Harlequin (September 20, 2016)

From Goodreads.com: Trick…or wicked treat! 

It was a devastating dirty trick—Joey Silvia just found out her boyfriend of two years is married. What. A. Dick. Joey knows her best chance to get over one guy is to get under another. Of course, heading home to her family's remote cabin in Oregon poses some challenges in the "available men" department…until she discovers this cabin comes with its own hot handyman! 

Holy crap, Chris Steffensen. When did her brother's best friend turn into a hard-bodied pile of blond-bearded hotness? He's the perfect Halloween treat—and a surprisingly dirty rebound guy. For a couple of weeks, anyway. Except that Chris has other ideas…like proving to Joey that this blast from the past is a whole lot more than a naughty Halloween hookup.


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This was a delightful surprise from one of my favorite authors! I first became a fan after reading The Siren, the awarding winning first book in her erotica series The Original Sinners. I was then treated to a heart-breakingly beautiful story in The Bourbon Thief, so when I saw she was writing a new series - I knew I HAD to read it. But I was also a little worried - would Ms.Reisz be able to pull off a sweet love story while still managing to keep her sexy scenes smoking hot? 

I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THE ANSWER WOULD BE YES! 

Don't get me wrong, this story is filled with the type of blazing hot sex scenes that her readers have come to expect, HOWEVER - the overall story-line itself is so sweet that I think this book may still appeal to readers who typically don't enjoy erotica novels that can occasionally boarder on the smuttier sex stuff. Those scenes are EASILY skipped if they aren't your cup of tea. 

I LOVED these characters. They were all well-developed and made for a thoroughly engaging story with some witty (and memorable) quotes woven throughout. Honestly thought - my two favorite characters would have to be Joey and her best friend Kira. There were just so much back and forth banter between them that I'm sure everyone has a friendship with at least one person like these two. One of my FAVORITE quotes between the pair was "I didn't say it was majestic. It's a dick, not a bald eagle in flight."

Overall, I am certain that this book will appeal to a variety of people, both those who enjoy the "dirtier" sex scenes, as well as though who enjoy a wonderfully written love story. I will definitely read more from this author! 

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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Her Halloween Treat  is available from Amazon.com

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Review: Chills by Mary SanGiovanni


Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (September 13, 2016)

From Goodreads.com: 
It begins with a freak snowstorm in May. Hit hardest is the rural town of Colby, Connecticut. Schools and businesses are closed, powerlines are down, and police detective Jack Glazier has found a body in the snow. It appears to be the victim of a bizarre ritual murder. It won't be the last. As the snow piles up, so do the sacrifices. Cut off from the rest of the world, Glazier teams up with an occult crime specialist to uncover a secret society hiding in their midst.

The gods they worship are unthinkable. The powers they summon are unstoppable. And the things they will do to the good people of Colby are utterly, horribly unspeakable…


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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Based on the synopsis, I had very high hopes for this story. Unfortunately - for me at least - it missed the mark by a lot. Don't get me wrong - it both started and ended on a strong note, but the rest of it felt very stagnate. Yes people died, yes there were good descriptions of the "murders", but it just felt entirely MEH. A lot of "gruesome" deaths does not a good book make. 

I think the main "issues" I took with this story can be summed up as follows: there is very little character development. And what bit is included takes so long to get from point A to point B that a lot of it is lost. I still don't understand why certain characters developed the way that they did.

 I also found it hard to "picture" these monsters as they are all so just... weird sounding. Yes I get they are supposed to be things from another world, but I can't picture a "spider hand" without thinking about "thing" from The Addams Family (don't get me wrong that was just one of a few different monsters described - but without spoiling everything it was the best one to pick). 

Overall, I am certain that this book will appeal to a variety of people, it just wasn't for me. 

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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Chills  is available from Amazon.com

Friday, September 16, 2016

Review: Jack-In-The-Box by William W. Johnstone


Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (September 13, 2016)

From Goodreads.com: 
She was a beautiful child, a perfect child. With her blonde hair and baby doll prettiness, she was the picture of angelic innocence. Phillip Baxter pushed aside his uneasiness about his strangely self-possessed daughter. She was just an ordinary kid. And, to his relief, she did act like an ordinary kid when he brought home a special present for her...

Alone in her room, Nora couldn't wait to open the antique jack-in-the-box. She couldn't wait to watch the hand-carved clown's head bob back and forth, its glass eyes staring at her, its lips drawn back into an insane grin. Any other little girl might have cringed in horror. But as Nora's wide eyes mirrored the grotesque wooden face, her pink lips were curving into the same malicious smile...

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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This was only the second story that I have read by this author, and unfortunately it will be my last. Jack-In-The-Box seems to have a very disjointed plot (that more often than not makes no sense), nor does it have a real conclusion. It would seem as though this author deliberately likes putting his characters through hell only to have nothing get resolved at the end. I loathe stories that do this that are not part of a collection as it makes me feel as though I wasted my time reading it. 

Also, (and this was a complaint I had about the other novel I read by this author) it was not mentioned that this story is actually a re-release of a story that came out in 1986 and therefore is NOT formatted for easy kindle reading. In fact, it would appear as though the pages of the original novel were scanned and then put together in ebook format. There was no way to enlarge the small text, and some of the pages were actually off center (the page itself seemingly tilted slightly to the side). 

Overall, I am certain that this book will appeal to those who enjoy a more "old school" horror novel, or ones that enjoy reading about children (and adults) hacking each other to death. It did have its moments, but it just wasn't for me. 

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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Jack-In-The-Box  is available from Amazon.com