Monthly Archives: April 2015

Medium Dead (Dr. Alexandra Gladstone, #4) by Paula Paul

Medium Dead: An Alexandra Gladstone MysteryMedium Dead: An Alexandra Gladstone Mystery by Paula Paul

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Medium Dead
Author: Paula Paul
Series: Dr. Alexandra Gladstone, #4
Pages: 188
Publisher: Alibi
Date: April 14, 2015

Summary:

Sure to delight readers of Jacqueline Winspear and Ellis Peters, Medium Dead features Queen Victoria herself—and she’s rumored to have slain a local psychic in Newton-upon-Sea. Now the task of clearing her name and catching the real killer falls to Dr. Alexandra Gladstone.

Under Victoria’s reign, women are barred from calling themselves physicians, but that hasn’t stopped Alexandra Gladstone. As the first female doctor in Newton-upon-Sea, she spends her days tending sick villagers in the practice she inherited from her father, with her loyal and sometimes overprotective dog, Zack, by her side.

After the corpse of village spiritualist Alvina Elwold is discovered aboveground at a church boneyard, wild rumors circulate through the charming seaside village, including one implicating a certain regal guest lodging nearby. Tales of the dead Alvina hobnobbing with spirits and hexing her enemies are even more outlandish—but as a woman of science and reason, Alexandra has no doubt that a murderer made of flesh and blood is on the loose.

Finding out the truth means sorting through a deluge of ghostly visitors, royal sightings, and shifty suspects. At least her attentive and handsome friend Nicholas Forsyth, Lord Dunsford, has come to her aid. Alexandra will need all the help she can get, because she’s stumbled upon dangerous secrets—while provoking a deadly adversary who wants to keep them buried.

Review:

This is the fourth of the Dr. Alexandra Gladstone series, but it is the first one I have read. I rarely (okay, NEVER) read books out of order, but I made the commitment to review this book before I realized it was part of a series. I’m glad I did. There is enough backstory that I did not feel I was missing something that kept me from understanding and enjoying to book. And yes, I most definitely enjoyed the book.

There were a couple of things I would like to find out from the previous books though. One, what, if any, relationship was there between Alexandra and Nicholas before he became the Earl? And two, where did Alexandra get Zack the dog and why does Zack hate Nicholas? There has to be something going on there.

Anyway, as anyone with a passing interest in Queen Victoria knows, she was deeply in love with her late husband Prince Albert. So much so, that she delved into mysticism and mediums to try to contact him from the grave.

Well it just so happens that there is a medium living in the town where Alexandra is a doctor. The Queen arranges to spend time with Nicholas’ mother in order to consult the medium . . . and the medium ends up murdered the very next day.

Now let me say, the medium wasn’t very likable and won’t be missed, but murder is murder and the culprit must be found.

But could it really be the Queen? And if it is, does anyone expect her to be held accountable for her actions?

Speaking of unlikable characters, I don’t like the Queen. I don’t like the butler. And I really don’t like the Earl’s mother.

But I love Alexandra and Nicholas and I really like Alexandra’s maidservant Nancy. Nancy is bossy and can even take Alexandra by surprise with her managing ways.

The relationship between Nicholas and Alexandra is understated, but still the affection between them is obvious. Nancy and Alexandra grew up together and even though they are servant and mistress, they are also family. It is these relationships that are the backbone of the story, but the mystery itself is well handled.

I have to say I didn’t see it coming.

I should have. The hints were there, but it was handled so well I was completely surprised.

I guess you can’t compliment a mystery better than that.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Filed under Historical, Mystery, Realistic

Still the One (Animal Magnetism, #6) by Jill Shalvis

Still the One (Animal Magnetism, #6)Still the One by Jill Shalvis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Still the One
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Animal Magnetism, #6
Pages: 320
Publisher: Berkley
Date: April 7, 2015

Summary:

Darcy Stone is game for anything — except sexy Navy veteran and physical therapist A.J. Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately, Darcy can’t refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.


A.J. admits it — Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?

Review:

A great thing about Jill Shalvis’ series is I always feel like I’m with old friends. Characters from earlier books are an integral part of the plot. They’re just not the main characters.

And with that said, we’ve already met Darcy and AJ in previous books. Darcy is the crazy, globetrotting younger sister of Wyatt from Then Came You and AJ is his serious, uptight best friend.

So, of course, they fall in lust . . . I mean love.

After a terrible automobile accident, Darcy’s globetrotting days are over. Without AJ’s expertise as a physical therapist, even her days of walking would have been over.

The only thing stronger than the chemistry between them is how much they annoy each other.

Wyatt, talking to AJ about Darcy:

“She does seem to take some serious delight in screwing with you. What did you do to piss her off?”
“Breathe.”

So, of course, a situation arises where they need each other . . . and where they end up spending time alone in a hotel . . . and . . . you get the picture.

I love a snarky heroine and Darcy certainly fits that description. Unfortunately, her snark is brought on by a childhood of rejection from her parents. If her snark keeps people away, then they can’t reject her, right?

After lots of miscommunication and wrong assumptions (and why can’t couples TALK to each other? Oh yeah, there wouldn’t be a book then.), AJ and Darcy finally get their HEA. Neither one is confident they can make the other happy, but they are both determined to be there and do their best.

This was not my favorite book of the series and I think it was because it was too real. They know things are not perfect just because they have admitted their love for each other. They both know that due to their own personal issues, they will have to work at the relationship.

And that was just a little too real life for me.

Still the One is “still” a great addition to the series. Read the others first. You won’t regret it.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Realistic, Romance

Mate Bond (Shifters Unbound, #7) by Jennifer Ashley

Mate Bond (Shifters Unbound, #7)Mate Bond by Jennifer Ashley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Mate Bond
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound, #7
Pages: 320
Publisher: Berkley
Date: April 7, 2015

Summary:

To cement the leadership of his North Carolina Shiftertown, Bowman O’Donnell agreed to a “mating of convenience.” Two powerful wolf shifters, he and Kenzie keep the pack in order and are adored by all. Bowman would do anything to protect Kenzie, for in each other’s arms they’ve found far more than friendship. But as strong as their attachment is, they still haven’t formed the elusive mate bond—the almost magical joining of true mates.

Now with a monster ravaging the countryside and threatening the Shiftertown community, some in the pack fear that a pair without a true mate bond isn’t strong enough to lead. Bowman and Kenzie will have to rely on their instinctive trust in one another to save their Shifters—and the ensuing battle will either destroy them or give them the chance to seize the love they’ve always craved.

Review:

The actual “bad guy” plot of this book is secondary to the story. The real focus is on Bowman and Kenzie – two strong, alpha wolves who love each other and are not afraid to show it. They’ve been together for fifteen years and have a wonderful cub named Ryan.

What they don’t have is a mate bond. The mate bond is a magical link between two shifters and overrides all other relationships.

And that is the problem.

Although they don’t discuss it, Bowman and Kenzie both fear that the other will meet their “true” mate and their family will be torn apart.

Now this a romance, so I can tell you that they do not get torn apart without it being a spoiler. However,the author certainly keeps you wondering how they will manage to keep their family together.

Oh yes, everything else – mutant shifters, time mists, FAE, and non FAE, new friends and old – All these make for an excellent story, but it is the relationship between Bowman and Kenzie that make this book.

This is the seventh book in the Shifters Unbound series. It is set in a different ShifterTown than the earlier books which would make it easier to read as a standalone. I wouldn’t though. This series is great enough that you should read them all. Actually, I’m jealous of new readers. You have seven books to read at once. I had to wait for each one. That’s okay though. They’re worth it.

One last thing, anyone else want to try naked ziplining?

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Filed under Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance