Monthly Archives: January 2016

‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick

'Til Death Do Us Part‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick

Title: ‘Til Death Do Us Part
Author: Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: n/a
Pages: 352
Publisher: Berkley
Date: April 19, 2016

Summary:

Calista Langley operates an exclusive “introduction” agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. But now, a dangerously obsessed individual has begun sending her trinkets and gifts suitable only for those in deepest mourning—a black mirror, a funeral wreath, a ring set with black jet stone. Each is engraved with her initials.

Desperate for help and fearing that the police will be of no assistance, Calista turns to Trent Hastings, a reclusive author of popular crime novels. Believing that Calista may be taking advantage of his lonely sister, who has become one of her clients, Trent doesn’t trust her. Scarred by his past, he’s learned to keep his emotions at bay, even as an instant attraction threatens his resolve.

But as Trent and Calista comb through files of rejected clients in hopes of identifying her tormentor, it becomes clear that the danger may be coming from Calista’s own secret past—and that only her death will satisfy the stalker…

Review:

The description of this book is not correct regarding the “trinkets and gifts” Calista is receiving from what we would nowadays call a stalker. However, they are the same sort of thing. The term, which I had never heard before, is momento mori and I am completely creeped out.

Who knew there was ever such a thing?

It’s not like Calista doesn’t have enough problems. She is a businesswomen in an era when respectable people did not work, much less a woman. Her “introduction” agency is doing well, but the slightest bit of scandal will drive her clients away. She has a nineteen-years-old brother who is staying out late and probably associating with the wrong sort. She is being left funerary trinkets by an unknown person . . . one of them in her bedroom.

And then there is Trent. Trent, whose sister is a client of Calista’s. Trent, who thinks Calista might be after his sister’s money, or at the very least will introduce her to a fortune hunter. Trent, who is the most interesting man Calista has ever met.

Many of Amanda Quick’s books have a mystery and suspense element to them. This one, however, takes it a step further. I think it is the whole momento mori aspect that makes this book seem more disturbing than the others.

Which does not mean it isn’t good.

The primary characters are classic Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz. The hero is strong and protective and the heroine can think for herself. The secondary characters have well developed personalities and the villain is easy to hate.

The only difference is that the villain in this book is really, really creepy.

Which doesn’t mean that the plot is completely serious. Trent is an extremely popular author and everyone who meets him thinks he needs their advice on how to improve his books. Watching him trying to remain polite to his readers was fun to read.

All in all, this book was a pleasure to read and that is never a surprise by this author. It does not appear to be part of a series, but who knows?

By the way, momento mori jewelry can be purchased on Etsy and Ebay. I am NOT looking into it myself. Did I mention I find it creepy and disturbing?

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

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White Tiger (Shifters Unbound, #8) by Jennifer Ashley

White Tiger (Shifters Unbound, #8)White Tiger by Jennifer Ashley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: White Tiger
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound, #8
Pages: 336
Publisher: Berkley
Date: April 6, 2016

Summary:

A woman is lured into the shadows of a dangerous manhunt…
Wanted and on the run…

For twenty years, Kendrick, a white tiger Shifter, has been the Guardian of un-Collared Shifters who spend their lives living in secret—and in fear of being shunted into Shiftertowns. When Kendrick’s group is discovered and forced to flee, Kendrick is more desperate than ever to protect them

His only salvation was in a beautiful stranger.

In a diner in the middle of nowhere, lonely waitress Addison Price has seen a lot of unusual drifters come and go, but none has ever captivated—and intimidated—her like the imposing fugitive who wields a broadsword with incredible skill. But when he risks all to protect her, Addison’s fear turns to empathy—and empathy to desire as she learns more about her savior. Soon she’s more than willing to help the crushingly sensual white tiger and his cubs in a passionate bid for freedom. Whatever the cost.

Review:

I had waiting anxiously for this book ever since the first chapter was included at the end of Bad Wolf (#7.5) back in July. Talk about leaving a reader hanging and White Tiger is not due out until April. Therefore, I was thrilled to get an early reviewer’s copy a couple of weeks ago.

It was worth the wait.

The intense, exciting beginning just set the stage for the relationship that was already developing between Addison and Kendrick. But this book was not just about fighting the bad guys. It was more about protecting family, which may or may not have anything to do with blood. It was about trying to do what you think is the right thing, even if it means giving up what you really want.

And, it’s about finding out you can do the right thing and still get what you really, really want.
It’s about love and family and pack and, let’s not forget sex. After all, this is a Shifters Unbound book and the sex is always hot.

I think this may be my favorite Shifters Unbound book and I have enjoyed them all.

Now, how long until I can get my hands on the next one?

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

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A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox, #1) by Charles Finch

A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #1)A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Title: A Beautiful Blue Death
Author: Charles Finch
Series: Charles Lenox, #1
Pages: 309
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Date: June 26, 2007

Summary:

On any given day in London, all Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer, wants to do is relax in his private study with a cup of tea, a roaring fire and a good book. But when his lifelong friend Lady Jane asks for his help, Lenox cannot resist another chance to unravel a mystery, even if it means trudging through the snow to her townhouse next door.

One of Jane’s former servants, Prudence Smith, is dead — an apparent suicide. But Lenox suspects something far more sinister: murder, by a rare and deadly poison. The house where the girl worked is full of suspects, and though Prudence dabbled with the hearts of more than a few men, Lenox is baffled by an elusive lack of motive in the girl’s death.
When another body turns up during the London season’s most fashionable ball, Lenox must untangle a web of loyalties and animosities. Was it jealousy that killed Prudence? Or was it something else entirely, something that Lenox alone can uncover before the killer strikes again — disturbingly close to home?

Review:

What to say? What to say? I almost didn’t finish this book. If I had not made a commitment to review it, I probably would have quit a hundred pages in.

And that would have been a mistake.

It’s one of those books that grows on you. It is slow moving, but not slow if that makes sense. The story takes time to build. It is a murder mystery, of course, although there is a touch of a relationship developing. It is far more concerned with friendships than romance and that is a nice change of pace.

Twice, I figured out who the murderer was and I was wrong both times. That, to me, is a sign of a good mystery. When the crime was finally solved, I never saw it coming. Again, a good sign.

So why did I almost give up on this book?

I think Charles Lenox is misrepresented. He comes across as a 60+ old man with a querulous nature who only wants the comforts of home. He’s an armchair traveler who never quite actually goes anywhere, no matter how much planning he does in arranging trips.

He’s forty-years-old.

Forty!!

I like him. He has a Sherlockian mind and, like Sherlock, helps Scotland Yard with crimes they cannot solve . . . whether they want him to or not.

But he does not come across as forty.

And that’s my only criticism of the book. Charles Lenox is just not believable in the way he is portrayed.

I liked the book, but I didn’t love it. I’m glad I finished it because it really was a good mystery. I’m tempted to read the rest of the series (there are nine of them so far), but I don’t feel compelled to jump into the next one.

Again, what to say? What to say?

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

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Alejandro’s Sorceress by Alyssa Day

Alejandro's SorceressAlejandro’s Sorceress by Alyssa Day
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

He’s a warrior, hardened by years of protecting his town from vampire attack. She’s a garden witch who sees the world in shades of sunshine and delight. Opposites don’t only attract, they go supernova in this sizzling tale of magic and mayhem.

REVIEW:

Okay, this book was fun. I mean really, basilisks in the garden?

Rose and her family are wonderful and Alejandro is the classic Latin lover. He is so, so serious about his job and Rose is comfortable with who she is and happy with her life. Of course, they fall in love.

I would love to read more in this series, but the author seems to have stopped after just this one book. Alejandro does show up in her new book, Dead Eye, which I highly recommend. Maybe there is hope for another.

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The Offering (Bannon, #1) by Desiree Bombenon

The OfferingThe Offering by Desiree Bombenon
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Jake and Amanda Bannon had planned to unplug in Oahu for a much-needed vacation, but the mai tais will have to wait—they have a kidnapping to solve.

Jake’s got a winning smile and a head for business strategy. His wife, Amanda, has a quick wit and a knack for sensing things before they happen. The Bannons may look like the perfect picture of a power couple, but when Jake and Amanda hang up their BlackBerries for a week of R & R in Hawaii, they never expect to need an arsenal of firearms, knives, and climbing gear to finish out their trip’s adventures.

As the couple clinks glasses on a breezy lanai overlooking the Pacific, terror is brewing on the Big Island. High in the steep jungle mountains, the Bannons’ friends from back home in Canada have crossed paths with a fate worse than they could ever have imagined. Depressed since her parents’ divorce, teen Taylor Wright met a fellow brooding soul online, Carlos, and agreed to arrange a meeting with him during her family’s Hawaiian vacation. Now the Taylor, along with her mother and stepfather, has vanished.

When Jake and Amanda receive an alarming call from Taylor’s father, they’re on the case. From shootouts to death-defying vertical climbs, the Bannons embark on a rescue mission to find Taylor and reveal the dark motives of Carlos and his voodoo cult.

REVIEW:

I couldn’t finish this book. From the very beginning, the writing felt stilted. The very small amount of dialogue was okay, but the excessive descriptions were difficult to get through. The main characters were not believable and I could not make myself waste anymore time on this book.

I received this book through NetGalley for an honest review.

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Dead Eye (Tiger’s Eye, #1) by Alyssa Day

Dead Eye (Tiger's Eye Mystery, #1)Dead Eye by Alyssa Day
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For Jack Shepherd, tiger shape-shifter and former soldier, life is heading for a dead end. Dead End, Florida, to be exact. When he learns that he inherited a combination pawn shop/private investigation agency from his favorite uncle, Jack’s first job is to solve his uncle’s murder. Because sometimes it takes a tiger’s eye to see the truth.

 

REVIEW:

I loved it. Absolutely loved it. I had no idea it was a spinoff from her Warriors of Poseidon series, but that just made it even better.

We know (and love) Jack from the Poseidon series, but Tess was new to me. She is not a shifter, but she has her own paranormal ability, although in her case it is more of a curse. If she touches someone, she can see how they die. Obviously, that limits her human contact.

There are murders, both past and present. Black magic and human evil.

And Fluffy . . . a stuffed alligator.

The book has a solid ending, but there is plenty of room for additional books. I cannot wait.

I have not read Alyssa Day’s Cardinal Witches series, but I understand that one of the characters shows up in this book as well, giving us a link between three series. And on that note, I am going to download this new-to-me series and start reading.

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Tank (Blue-Collar Billionaires, #1) by M. Malone

Tank (Blue-Collar Billionaires, #1)Tank by M. Malone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Money changes everything…

Years ago, Tank Marshall swore off fighting. He exercises iron control to keep his anger in check. But his mother was just diagnosed with cancer and the deadbeat dad he hasn’t seen in years is back offering an inheritance and a chance at redemption.

There’s only one person that keeps him anchored in the midst of the chaos. One person untouched by violence and money and lies. Emma Shaw.

But the one thing that Tank hasn’t learned yet is that when billions are at stake, there’s no such thing as innocent. Money. Changes. Everything.

REVIEW:

I liked the book, but I didn’t love it. I think my main issue was it was in alternating first person between the H/h. The story was good and I am very tempted to read the rest of the series. I’m just not sure if I will though. There is an arching story line that I want to follow, so I will probably pick up the rest of the series.

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