Archive for February, 2014

The Stranger You Know

Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan is chasing a serial killer whose MO has a striking resemblance to an old unsolved murder – one her partner, Detective Inspector Josh Derwent was suspected of committing.  Josh is left off the investigation and, not believing he’s guilty, Maeve is torn between following orders not to give him information and her loyalty to him.  Can Maeve solve the case and keep everyone safe?

The fourth book in the Maeve Kerrigan series, it was the first one I’ve read and it was easy to pick up the story as the characters are well defined and the plot well thought out.  The twists and turns were well thought out and I was left guessing throughout and I didn’t see the ending till it was laid out.  I’m a fan now and will be hunting down the previous books.

Ebury Press

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

Alluring Ties is a companion novella to the Bayou Stix series. It’s Book 2.5 Bayou Stix. In Alluring Turmoil, we were introduced to Lexi Sloane’s two best friends, Bradi and Erik. Alluring Ties will take you on a journey into their pasts and bring you to their present.

Alluring Ties Cover
Bradi St. James is a force to be reckoned with. She’s strong, independent, and has something to prove. All of her life, she’s watched the world around her and is determined to have a different fate from what she’s grown up with. The path you’ve always believed to be the right path, may not be your destiny after all.

Erik Jenson is a kind man. A nurturer and the kind of friend everyone wants to have. Growing up surrounded by friends and family who support him, he’s a confident man. The choices he must make and the chances he must take as he lives and grows make him the strong, loving man he becomes.

Alluring Ties contains explicit sex, including some male/male, strong language and is not intended for anyone under the age of 18 or anyone who does not like M/M romance.

Alluring Ties is NOT a full length novel, but is a companion novella to the Bayou Stix series.

It is recommended to be read in this order:

Alluring Turmoil, Book 1 Bayou Stix

Alluring Seduction, Book 2 Bayou Stix

Alluring Ties, Book 2.5 Bayou Stix

Alluring Ties Teaser 1

There are some situations which are not for everyone included in this novella: cheating, male/male romance and sex, and like all of Skye’s books, explicit language and hot ass sex.

If you can’t handle it, don’t read it. It’s that simple.

Branded Cover

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Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

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About Abi and Missy

Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

Abigail Ketner

Is a registered nurse with a passion for novels, the beaches of St. John, and her Philadelphia Phillies. A talented singer, Abi loves to go running and spend lots of time with her family. She currently resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, triplet daughters and two very spoiled dogs.

Melissa Kalicicki

Received her bachelor’s degree from Millersville University in 2003. She married, had two boys and currently lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Aside from reading and writing, her interests include running and mixed martial arts. She also remains an avid Cleveland sports fan.

The Spook’s RevengeIt’s hard to know what to do when I am asked to review the thirteenth and last book of a thirteen book fantasy series which is evidently very popular among its intended YA audience – especially when I haven’t read any of the preceding twelve!  The first thing was to read it, and this I did, although I found it not exactly smooth going, in some parts considerably more engrossing than others.

Delaney does a good job of putting together his sentences, and his grammar is impeccable, as one would expect from a retired English teacher. But I’m still not sure about the novel’s overall structure, and whether it provides a satisfying conclusion to such a long series. A major character dies, and although he’s given a fair bit of exposition, I doubt if the manner of his death is sufficiently heroic for the fans.   Another thing that did concern me, right at the start, was the map included at the front, with rivers branching as they flowed down onto the plains from the mountains rather than the other way round, and those branches ending nowhere in particular. This was intended to represent a county, somewhere in northern England, at some point in what felt like the seventeenth century because of the social structure, apart from the absence of firearms. It is however, a fantasy world, its human population plagued by boggarts and very old-fashioned witches.

Tom, our lead character, is apprentice to a spook, a person whose job it is to deal with such incursions of the Dark. He is apparently a teenager still, and prone to acting without a whole lot of thought – it is apparent to the reader that a great evil cannot be destroyed without another taking its place, but Tom plainly doesn’t get it. Personally, I tend to the theory that “destroying the ultimate evil” is generally a bad idea when writing fantasy, even if Tolkien did it… And, like in many of these fantasy worlds, there seems to be no ultimate good to balance it. Why is it so easy to write about devils, but so hard to write about the divine (God or gods, whatever)?

Published by Random House

Supplied by Random House NZ

Reviewed by Jacqui

The hotly aticiciated sequel to For Always,  And Forever picks up where For Always ended.

While Stephanie and Jordan are finally a couple, they still carry the same baggage they had before. Can their love survive the ghosts of their past and the challenges of the future?

And Forever is expected to be released in July 2014.  Below is the prologue of And Forever.

Prologue

            The scent of death lingered nearby. Always. Only I didn’t attract it, I repelled it, like a deflector shield. This was my lot in life, to extend the days of those I loved. That theory came from Jordan; the keeper of my heart, and the love of my life!

I sighed. I didn’t realize I did it until Jordan apologized. Again.

“I’m sorry Steph, I don’t want to be distracted.”

“I know. I understand. Promise.”

He misunderstood. It was a contented sigh. One that said I was thrilled my boyfriend was driving me to school. The sigh was a sign of how surreal sitting next to Jordan and knowing that he loved me was. How I couldn’t believe in a matter of hours he’d be leaving me alone on the college campus, and I intended to savor each minute with him. The sigh was the only chance I had of getting any of those sentiments across because he didn’t want me to talk while he was driving. I knew just being in the car together was challenging for him.

Jordan still suffered the after effects of a terrible car accident that left his ex-girlfriend dead. Of course he was breaking up with her at the time because he loved me, and I pushed him into making a choice between us. When he served as my unexpected prom date, I made him admit his feelings. That’s what led to his break-up with Madison, leaving him in a swamp of guilt induced quick sand when she died. But we worked through all that.

I hoped.

I didn’t bother saying anything further to try and reassure him I wasn’t upset. I’d already been warned he couldn’t concentrate on the road and to keep the radio down. The problem was he wanted it down so low I couldn’t hear the music. I glanced at his hands on the steering wheel, his knuckles were white. He held on so tight I expected his fingers to cramp up. I hated that this was so hard for him. I wished I knew how to make it better, but the only thing I could do was stand beside him and hope in time he’d heal.

I turned to my window, watching the never ending expanse of trees zoom by. I wished for a brief moment I’d gone in the other car with my mother and her new, at least new to me, boyfriend Eddie. I’d been clueless about Eddie, but after her health scare last week, she came clean. She wanted to see him and had been ordered to take a few days off of work. Work is where they’d rendezvous during lunch. She’d been frightened when they first told her it looked like a heart attack and realized it was silly to keep him hidden away. No way I wanted to hear what cheesy, weird things they might be talking about. I mean it was my mom, gross. Still, I was happy for her. My father died a decade ago and as far as I knew she’d never dated before.

I chose to ride with Jordan, because even in the deafening silence, and the tension he carried on his shoulders every time we got in a car together, there was nowhere else I’d rather be. From the first moment he spoke to me, he owned my heart. It was branded with his name. I’d tried for four years to move on, to forget him, but that wasn’t an option for me. No one could hold a candle to him.

“Hey,” He pulled my attention back to the here and now. “You know I love you right?”

I smiled. Of course he knew that would make me smile, that’s why he said it. It felt like that’s all I’d done over the last week since he found me crying on the beach. I’ll never forget the wave of relief that washed over me when I found out he’d been spared from a terrible plane crash. He never made it on the plane because I called him at the last minute in an attempt to get him to stay. Thank goodness I did. I didn’t know where he was going or why, but Maria warned me that he was leaving, and it might be forever.

I always believed myself to be the root cause of the bad things that happen to people around me, Jordan thought I was what kept them hanging on. I didn’t believe him, at least not yet. But having him try to convince me otherwise promised to be amazing.

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shame and the captives

The inmates of an Australian POW camp are allowed out to work for farmers in rural NSW. Giancarlo, an Italian POW and anarchist, works for Duncan and forms a close relationship with his daughter-in-law Alice.  She finds Giancarlo bright and charming, quickly teaching him English while he shows her the other side of the war.  She is living with Duncan while her husband is a POW in Germany. 

The Japanese POWs feel ashamed at being captured, preferring an honourable death in battle or suicide rather than to live as a prisoner.  They despise their captors for treating them humanely and decide to stage a breakout where the can be killed for escaping and regain their honour.

The book is based on the Cowra POW camp breakout in Australia when a group of Japanese prisoners escaped during WWII.  Keneally describes the book in the introduction as being ‘a lie that tells the truth’.  The idea that if Australia treated its prisoners fairly their soldiers would get equal treatment is shown and as I’d just read The Long Road North, seems naive and sad. Two of the main characters had a son or husband imprisoned overseas and cherished t

The separate housing of the prisoners to accommodate their different needs is amazing but sad; with the Japanese treating other Asians like slaves.  The insight into their way of thinking is incredible in it’s so alien to the Western world and the differences in how war criminals were treated in the courts after the war are shocking.  The writing is a bit dull and boring but the subject matter makes it worth the read.

Vintage

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

Unmaking Marchant – Ella James

Posted: February 13, 2014 in release day, romance
Tags:

unmaking marchant

Marchant Radcliffe, owner of the exclusive Love Inc. brothel outside Vegas, is no stranger to darkness. He lost his sister in childhood and his parents in college. Since his best friend helped him finance the Love Inc. ranch almost ten years ago, Marchant has drowned himself in business—and he’s thrived, despite the heavy secret that has plagued him since his parents’ deaths.

Then, after ten years of good fortune, Marchant’s skeletons start to peek out of the closet, tossing him down a trail of ruin that begins with arson and could end with murder. Because he’s kept his struggles private, he has no one to pull him back from the brink.

Except for Suri Dalton.

After a breakup with her longtime fiancé, Suri, the daughter of one of Silicon Valley’s tech tycoons, has nowhere to go except her BFF’s new penthouse in Las Vegas. The last thing Suri is looking for is a man, but after drowning her woes in wine on the flight over, she stumbles into a torrid make out session with a beautiful stranger—who just so happens to be Marchant Radcliffe, a playboy and a literal pimp.

Despite an immediate attraction, Suri writes Marchant off as exactly the sort of guy she should avoid. Until Love Inc. goes up in flames, Marchant winds up at the bottom of a swimming pool, and Suri is the only one around to pull him out.

What happens when what you see isn’t what you get? What do you do when destiny is too alluring to resist and too dangerous to survive?

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AMAZON  ~ BARNES AND NOBLE

AUTHOR BIO

Ella James is a Colorado author who writes teen and adult romance. She is happily married to a man who knows how to wield a red pen, and together they are raising a feisty two-year-old who will probably grow up believing everyone’s parents go to war over the placement of a comma.

Ella’s books have been listed on numerous Amazon bestseller lists, including the Movers & Shakers list and the Amazon Top 100; two were listed among Amazon’s Top 100 Young Adult Ebooks of 2012.

To find out more about Ella’s projects and get dates on upcoming releases, find her on Facebook and follow her blog.  Questions or comments? Tweet or e-mail her.