Category

Mystery

Mean Streak – Sandra Brown

Mean Streak – Sandra Brown

Mean Streak

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Oh Sandra Brown! Good ol’ trusty reliable Sandra Brown. Always a good read! No exceptions for this gripping romantic thriller with its twists and turns and steamy love scenes. I really enjoyed it.

While training for a marathon in the freezing conditions of the North American wilderness, Dr Emery Charbonneau loses consciousness and wakes in a cabin with a head injury, being nursed back to health by a rugged and extremely mysterious man. However, mystery man isnt giving even giving her his name, and is refusing to take her back to civilisation. What does he want from her? Was it him that knocked her out? Who is after him? Why is he hiding? And why can’t she stop thinking naughty thoughts about him?

I really enjoyed the story and the twists and turns. But I have to say it. I HATED mystery man’s twist. His reasons for hiding out were just such an anti-climax that I had to deduct a whole star.

Otherwise I enjoyed the character development. The romance was entirely unbelievable, but that was the fun of it! There were some steamy scenes, and I absolutely loved the other twists that took me by surprise.

The medical information that was in the book was well researched which I appreciated. The nurse in me approved which is always good! It had quite a lot of violence and action scenes which were also well done. If it weren’t for that awful twist involving mystery man, I would have rated it higher.

The audio version was fantastic, I really enjoyed the narration.

Would I recommend Mean Streak?

Yes it was a great romantic suspense. A solid 4 stars! Typical reliable Sandra Brown! One day I will read all of her books!

Mean Streak was purchased by myself, at my own expense at audible.com


If you enjoy Mean Streak you may also enjoy:

White Hot      To die for

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One for the Money – Janet Evanovich

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum #1) – Janet Evanovich (1994)

One for the Money

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

One for the money is one of those popular books that it seems everyone has read except me. So when I was going through a reading slump and couldn’t get into any book that I started reading, I thought I would try this one. Its been on my to read pile for SO LONG. I decided to go the audio version. And I made it through!

Stephanie Plum gets sacked from her job and being desperate, approaches her cousin for a job at his bounty hunter business. Originally intending to go for a filing job she takes up bounty hunting when she sees that she can get a cool 10k for bringing in a particular suspect who has jumped bail. However, the subject is ex cop Joe Morelli who had a fling with once when they were teenagers. So with a trusty gun and the help of a few friends to navigate through the biz, she is on her way to catching the suspect. However she gets herself into a bit of trouble with a psychotic stalker first, and ends up relying on the very person she is meant to bring in. And of course, sparks.

I get it. I really do. Back in 1995 this would have been a great book. Amazing even. But now, in the 2010’s, it is full of inappropriate sexism, sexual harassment masked as “sexual tension”, annoying characters, and bad fashion that belongs back in the 90’s.

Having said that, I can look past all of that and put myself back in the 1990’s and appreciate this book for what it is, an entertaining read that you can just enjoy without getting too much into it.

Sure, Stephanie Plum may be a touch on the annoying side, but for the 90’s, she is kick ass.

I loved the fact that there are no mobile phones, and technology feels like it belongs back in the stone ages. And hey, it may be interesting to see what Stephanie got herself up to in the next 20 years, with the 24th instalment of the series having just been released last year.

The audio version was pretty good. There are two different ones apparently and I chose the more recent. Although reviews for the latter one seem to be better from what I have seen.

Would I recommend One for the Money?

Yes, I think so. Although you may need to ask me after a few more books.

I purchased One for the Money at my own expense at audible.com


If you enjoy One for the Money, you may enjoy:

To die for   Orphan X

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Heir of Novron – Michael J. Sullivan

Heir of Novron (Ryira Revelations #3&4) – Michael J. Sullivan

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Surprisingly it didn’t take me long to get through this huge conclusion to the adventures of Hadrian and Royce. And I must say it was my favourite of the trilogy.

What DOESN’T happen in this epic adventure! A captured princess, an enslaved empress, a magical horn and a dangerous adventure to a lost magical city. Twists and turns, romance, ups and downs… a fantastic read! How could I NOT give it 5 stars!?

I must admit, I did see a fair few of the twists coming, especially the BIG ones! But it didn’t stop the goosebumps from happening.

Loved the romance in this one. It was a slow burn, but ultimately very satisfying.

The main plot and subplots are so well done. Really well written and extremely enjoyable. There is so much humour from the majority of the characters and there was numerous occasions where I burst out laughing.

Again Arista is my favourite character. I just think she is amazing. And yet again, the boys Royce and Hadrian make the most entertaining duo.

I really enjoyed the audio version. Even though I could have read it in paper format at least 3x as quick, there is something wonderful about a good fantasy book done well in audio. It holds my attention slightly more than other genres. And I knew I would enjoy this one as I loved the first two with the same narrator.

Would I recommend Heir of Novron?

Absolutely! I think this would be a perfect series to begin with if you are not too familiar with fantasy, or just a lot of fun if you are!

I purchased Heir of Novron at my own expense through audible.com


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The Night Stalker – Robert Bryndza

  1. The Night Stalker (Detective Erika Forster #2) – Robert Bryndza

The Night Stalker

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Oh Bookouture…. I think you are my absolute favourite publishers… Another great read!!

A great second instalment in the adventures of Erika Foster. I really enjoyed the girl in the ice, and am happy that there are a few more to get through in this series.

Erika and her delightful team are back solving murders and catching serial killers. When a doctor is found dead in his bedroom, naked, and with a plastic bag over his head, it’s up to them to piece the clues together and find the killer.

Great series, however not my favourite thriller series. Not sure if it’s something about slightly broody damaged female characters that has me a bit bored at the moment. Perhaps I need to step away from the genre for a while.

Having said that, it’s a solid thriller that will keep any thriller fan happy, lots of twists and turns, great secondary characters, a bit of blood and guts, violence and all together a great book that makes for some very entertaining reading! Not enough romance for my enjoyment, but yes, I know. She’s lost her husband recently. I get the no romance…

Would I recommend The Night Stalker?

Yup! Any thriller fan would enjoy this quick entertaining read!

Many thanks to the author and bookouture via netgalley for a copy of The Night Stalker in exchange for an honest review.

 


If you enjoyed The Night Stalker, you may enjoy:

Daisy in Chains

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Play Dead – Angela Marsons

Play Dead (D.I. Kim Stone #4) – Angela Marsons (2016)

Play Dead

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I like this series, I really do. But I don’t LOVE it. It doesn’t stay with me like some other series. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s Kim’s character, it’s defiantly not the writing which is great. I really can’t put my finger on it. But I do enjoy it, and for thriller fans this 4th novel surely will not disappoint.

Yes there is yet another serial killer, and it’s up to Miss Congeniality Kim and her team to figure out the pieces and put the puzzle together before more people die.

What I really did like about this one was the setting. Utterly fascinating! I never even knew that there were such things as “body farms” but of course it makes total sense. How do the scientists know how long it takes bodies to decompose in numerous settings? Because they test it! Of course! What an original idea for a setting, I was so impressed with it, even though, ewww gross!

I just don’t enjoy reading about Kim for some reason. I get she has issues and is all broody because of that, but she annoys me more often than not. I like the other characters, even though I wish there was a bit more spark.

It was a good story, but again, I figured out the twist too early. But I still enjoyed it.

Would I recommend Play Dead?

Yes absolutely! Even though the series doesn’t stay with me, it is a good thriller series that every thriller fan will surely enjoy. I will certainly read the others and have no doubt I will enjoy them too.

Big thanks to the author via netgalley for a copy of Play Dead for me to review.

 


If you enjoy Play Dead, you may enjoy:

   The Girl In The Ice   Little Black Lies

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The Stepmother – Claire Seeber

The Stepmother – Claire Seeber (2016)

The Stepmother

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Bookouture are just so darn reliable! I have enjoyed pretty much every book that they have published! This was a great psychological thriller that I just gobbled up like chocolate!

Jeanie moves to her new home, with her new husband and new step children. Things moved quite quickly when she met Matthew, and settling into the role of step mother is proving a bit more difficult than anticipated. Add to that the seemingly haunted house, strange happenings, and the fact that Jeanie has a few secrets that she hasn’t shared with her besotted new husband…

Loved the suspenseful writing in this one! It was gripping and I had a difficult time putting it down! The writing was frustratingly vague on certain details, it was so cleverly put together. You HAD to keep reading!

Loved the characters, the book is told by Jeanie and her little sister, chapter by chapter it goes from one character to another. I really enjoyed the layout. A little bit of info here, neglecting a bit of info there. So at the end it all weaved together. I didn’t see the twist until about 85% of the way through, which is strange for me because I generally guess from much earlier on. And the eerie tone of the book! SO GOOD!

Did I mention I loved the writing??

I want to talk more about the plot and characters but I just keep going back to the writing!

Yet, it was still a 4 star read for me. Solid, but there was just something missing that I can’t put my finger on. I just didn’t enjoy it enough to put it at the top of my list. But it was still a great reliably enjoyable read and I wouldn’t hesitate to check out the authors other work!

Would I recommend The Stepmother?

Yes any psychological thriller fans will enjoy this one with its eerie atmosphere, great story, characters, and did I mention the writing was awesome!?

Big thanks to the author Claire Seeber and Bookouture via Netgalley for a copy of this book to review.


If you enjoy The Stepmother, you may enjoy:

   Beside Myself   The Girl You Lost

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All is not Forgotten – Wendy Walker

All is Not Forgotten – Wendy Walker (2016)

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

I almost gave this one a miss. I had read some mixed reviews by some of my most trusted goodreads friends, and when I started the first few paragraphs I thought I was going to finish this book before it began. However I am glad that I stuck with it and read on. The second half was so much better than the first and ultimately I enjoyed the twists. However I couldn’t go above a 3.5.

Young Jenny is brutally assaulted at a party when she is 15 years old. Given a drug that creates an amnesiac effect, she loses her memory about the incident. However as the title suggests, all is not forgotten and even though her memory of the incident has gone, the trauma of it still remains. Told in first person by the therapist, the pieces of the puzzle soon begin to unravel.

I enjoyed the way that the narration was set out, with the therapist telling the story from his perspective, with everything second hand. It was a clever way to tell the story, however I didn’t much like the character and he tended to go on and on about stuff that was totally irrelevant. Never the less, once you got through the slow parts there was an interesting story underneath which kept me enthralled.

The graphic scenes, however I did not enjoy. Described numerous times and in extremely intricate detail, the gruesome sexual assault of the poor girl will be too much for many readers to tolerate. I found myself skipping over parts of the graphic detail just to move on to the next part of the story.

I was also disappointed that it didn’t delve into the amnesiac drug a bit more. It’s kind of the Tagline of the story, she is given this drug and it’s amazing, like it’s a huge part of the storyline. But I thought there was going to be more about it.

Would I recommend All is Not Forgotten?

Not for everyone. A gripping psychological thriller it was, but with extremely graphic rape scenes which will not be everyone’s cup of tea.

I have read Reece Wotherspoon’s production company is making it into a movie. I will definitely watch it when it comes out. She always does a good job with her book to movie adaptations and will hopefully weed out some of the duller parts.

Big thanks to netgalley and the author for a copy of All is Not Forgotten for me to review.

 


If you enjoy All is not Forgotten, you may enjoy:

See How They Run   Daisy in Chains

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One Fell Sweep – Ilona Andrews

One Fell Sweep (Inkeeper Chronicles Book #3)

One Fell Sweep

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I’m going to take a minute to appreciate just how FREAKING good this husband and wife author duo are. Seriously, when these two sit in front of their computer or however they get the words down, MAGIC happens. One Fell Sweep is the third instalment of the Innkeeper Chronicles, and in my opinion, the best of the lot. I’m not sure how they manage to keep getting better and better, book after book… But somehow it just happens. After this series and the Kate Daniels series, which I recently re-read because I love it so darn much, I am going to make it a mission to read every word they have ever written.

Dina is the inn keeper in Gertrude Hunt, the magical inn in Texas that is a pit stop for some very interesting creatures from all sorts of planets. Dina’s job is to keep the guests of the inn safe at all costs, and her job is near impossible with the arrival of a malodorous guest who has an unusual bounty on his head. Many of our favourite characters are back from the first two books, including one frustrating but seriously hot werewolf. Will Dina be able to keep everyone safe?

OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS AUDIOBOOK! I loved everything about it. The writing, the story, and the narration! Renee Rauldman and her Southern accent is SO EASY to listen to! The audio version was magical. I’m sure I would have still adored the paper version, but I just loved this audiobook!

I have no idea where they come up with the ideas in their stories. World killers?? Nano ants?? Seriously!! Obviously in this case two writers are better than one. Its just one awesome idea after the other which leaves you thinking, “HOW THE HELL DO THEY COME UP WITH THIS!!??”

Like the Kate Daniels series, the romance is like lighting a big fireplace in a living room. You start out shivering a bit, warm up quite comfortably, and then suddenly get so hot you start sweating! I love the way that they build the romance up over numerous books. It may start off as attraction between two people, but then it grows into something much deeper, with an actual RELATIONSHIP where people DO THINGS other than swoon over each other. In this case they kill things together and talk together. They don’t just make it a quick attraction with a happy ending, and although the wait for the pinnacle of the romance is frustrating, its SOOOOOOO much better for it!

Would I recommend One Fell Swept??

YES YES YES!! Read the above! ALL THE ABOVE!! You will start with Clean Sweep and Sweep in Peace first, or some things might get a touch confusing.

I purchased the audio version of One Fell Sweep on audible, at my own expense.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Ilona Andrews

 

 

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge (GoodReads).

 

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

 

 

Renée Raudman is a multi-award-winning audiobook narrator. She has earned a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The Last Secret by Mary McGarry Morris and Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien, as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for Joe Schreiber’s Chasing the Dead. She has also performed on film, TV, radio, and stage, including the recurring roles of Jordon on ABC’s One Life To Live, Phyllis on NBC’s Passions, and guest-starring roles on prime-time TV. She has been heard in cartoons (The Simpsons, Billy & Mandy), videogames, and on the E! channel. Her narration of Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper was selected by Library Journal as one of the best audiobooks of 2009, and her reading of Marthe Jocelyn’s Would You was selected by the ALA as one of the best young adult audiobooks of 2009 (GoodReads).

 

 


If you enjoy One Fell Sweep, you may enjoy:

Clean Sweep   Sweep in Peace   Magic Bites

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Ashes to Ashes – Tami Hoag

Ashes to Ashes (Kovac and Liska Book #1)

Ashes to Ashes

4 Stars (4 / 5)

FINALLY!! Back to reviewing following a long absence due to a difficult pregnancy and a huge bout of newborn sleep deprivation. I haven’t had much of a chance to do anything except rock a screaming baby lately, so its so nice to be able to read a book. Or I should say, listen to an audiobook. Finding time to sit and read is still a little bit beyond me at the moment. But hopefully soon!

I had listened to another book by Tami Hoag last year, and I always wanted to read another. So when I wanted something that would hold my interest in the endless hours of feeding my baby, I immediately thought of her and randomly picked and downloaded Ashes to Ashes.

Ashes to Ashes is the story of a serial killer, and the joint effort to find him. “The Cremator” is what the media have dubbed this killer, because of the people that he is setting alight. But he gets sloppy, and there is a witness to one of his crimes. Kate, the crime victim advocate, attempts to look after the witness, Angie. Kate’s past comes back to haunt her when an FBI agent Quinn is called in to investigate the case. In the meantime, more of Kate’s clients begin to disappear, she thinks that the killer may have a vendetta against her.

This was a great audiobook. I really enjoyed the narrator and the exciting story. One thing I really enjoy about Hoag’s books (so far) is that she introduces different complex characters, and any of them could be the killer. It isn’t blatantly obvious like so many other books, and that is really important to me. I love the surprise aspect, and because I read so many thrillers, I’m getting really good at figuring who the killer is!

Enjoyed the cute love lost, love found again romance aspect of this book. And I enjoyed how it was set amongst the murder mystery, but didn’t take anything away from it.

Would I recommend Ashes to Ashes?

Absolutely! To any thriller fan! Really liked the audio version, and I am looking forward to reading more by Tami Hoag!

I listened to this audiobook through Audible, at my own expense.

To The Sea – Christine Dibley

To The Sea – Christine Dibley

To The Sea

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I am constantly impressed with the new Aussie authors that are emerging! What a bunch of talent we have here!

This book was delightful! What captured me the instant I saw it, is the beautiful cover. It really captures the essence of the story. I quickly became engrossed in the beautiful saga of this family, and its interesting and perhaps magical history.

A teenager named Zoe has been reported missing, most likely drowned off the coast of Tasmania. Tony is the lead investigator in her disappearance and realises right from the start that there is something strange about the family that lives in the beautiful house by the sea. While investigating Zoe’s life, Tony is swept into the stories of the history of the family, from hundreds of years ago, up until now. And some of it is a bit beyond belief. Will he be able to find Zoe? Is she really dead, or is there something extraordinary happening?

The story is told from four perspectives. Tony, the investigator carries the weight of the plot in his search for the missing girl. Zoe’s aunt Sadie and her parents John and Eva have the remaining narratives, and fill in the story with important history, leading certain things to come together, and others that create even more mystery.

The writing of this novel is absolutely beautiful. It didn’t take me long at all to get engrossed in the story and just when I was getting into a nice groove, the tales within the story BLEW ME AWAY. I was utterly captivated by the stories of love, loss, betrayal and sacrifice. And the romance! There were a few romances weaved into the story and they were all sweet, one especially. However, with so many back stories I sometimes became confused with who was who and where I was in the story. I think this is my issue more than the writing though, I am a very fast reader, and I have baby brain! I’m not surprised I got a bit lost – I am surprised I can remember my name most days at the moment!

My only other criticism was the ending. It just didn’t do it for me. It was good, and I got it, I really did. But personally I didn’t find it ultimately satisfying. However, it didn’t diminish the rest of the story for me at all!

Would I recommend To The Sea?

Absolutely. If my ramblings have even remotely sparked your interest, then I have no doubt you will enjoy it. Definitely worth reading!

Many thanks to the author via Pan Macmillan for a copy of To The Sea to read in exchange for an honest review.

PURCHASE:

Pan Macmillan | Kindle AU | Kindle US


If you enjoy To The Sea, you may enjoy:

The First Lie

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