Monthly Archives: December 2016

The Killer Inside (Detective Jessica Daniel, #1) by Kerry Wilkinson

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The Killer Inside (Detective Jessica Daniel, #1)The Killer Inside by Kerry Wilkinson
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Detective Sergeant Jessica Daniel has been called in to head up an investigation when a body turns up inside of a locked home. With very little to go on in the investigation things really heat up when a second body is discovered putting even more pressure on Jessica to get the case solved. To make matters worse there seems to be a journalist that knows more than he should and now the headlines have turned into the Houdini serial killer on the loose.

The Killer Inside is the first book in the Detective Jessica Daniel series by Kerry Wilkinson. While I thought this got off to a somewhat strong start I can’t say there wasn’t a bit of room for improvement in the future editions with Jessica leaving me to rate this one at 3.5 stars.

The story is compelling enough with a killer on the loose that somehow gets in and out of homes without a trace with no signs of a break in. I did sometimes feel though that things just didn’t quite seem completely believable with a detective on a case. Also, I did have my suspicions of the killer fairly early on too but I don’t believe it was completely obvious either. In the end I’d continue on with the series to see just how Jessica grows as her story continues.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

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Dead and Breakfast (Merry Ghost Inn #1) by Kate Kingsbury

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Dead and Breakfast (Merry Ghost Inn #1)Dead and Breakfast by Kate Kingsbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After a messy divorce Melanie West decides to take her grandmother up on opening up a bed and breakfast in the small town on the Oregon coast. The ladies have already named their upcoming B&B the The Merry Ghost Inn due to the rumors that the house they’ve purchased is haunted and it doesn’t take long for them to start hearing the ghostly laughter.

Unfortunately, while Melanie and Liza are in the middle of remodeling to get ready to open the Inn they come across an actual skeleton in a hidden closet. The police are called in but seeing that the body had been there for years the case gets put on the back burner for a more recent homicide that needs solving so Melanie and Liza decide to do some investigating of their own to try to help since they won’t be able to open until the case is solved.

Dead and Breakfast is the first book in the new Merry Ghost Inn series by Kate Kingsbury. I found this cozy mystery to be quite charming with likable characters and a fun setting. Liza is one of those grandmothers that you just fall in love with as a character, a bit of a spitfire and feisty but a very loving grandma nonetheless. And who doesn’t love a fun read that includes a ghost in the mix?

The ladies so their bit of investigating simply by asking around the small town and stumble across a few clues in their home so the story comes across as something that could happen. A somewhat simple mystery that if following the clues you should be able to figure out but still a fun read following along with this pair as they solve the case. I will certainly be looking forward to more adventures happening in the Merry Ghost Inn in the future.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Going All the Way (Knights of Passion, #1) by Megan Ryder

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Going All the Way (Knights of Passion, #1)Going All the Way by Megan Ryder
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Stacia Kendall was just fired from her job as an image consultant on what became a losing political campaign with the blame falling onto her. Feeling a bit down and not knowing what she’ll be doing next Stacia finds herself flirting with an attractive man and thinking maybe a one night stand is just what she needs right now.

Sneaking off after her night of passion Stacia finds herself being sent to a new job consulting for a baseball player who’s image needs work. Out of the political arena Stacia still wants to prove herself to her overbearing father a prominent and powerful Senator. When Stacia arrives to fulfill the contract though she finds none other than Jason Friar, the man she just left sleeping in his bed.

Going All the Way is the first book in the Knights of Passion series. This one was just an OK read in my opinion though. The story of the female character working with the hot, broody athlete is not a new one but the question I always have in this case is why would a professional female put her job on the line crossing the line between private and professional relationships? With this particular story though at least the characters had started their physical attraction before working together to save me from completely disliking a strong woman crossing that line. Otherwise, the writing and characters in this story were done well so it’s just my own opinion of that professional line crossing that brought my rating down a bit.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Call Me Daddy (A Cass Adams Novel Book 2) by Kelly Stone Gamble

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Call Me Daddy (A Cass Adams Novel Book 2)Call Me Daddy by Kelly Stone Gamble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cass Adams had thought everything in her life had changed for the better until she was out for a drive and managed to hit a man with her truck. The town still sees Cass as all kinds of crazy after the murder of her late husband but thankfully this is quickly ruled as an accident.

Things get a little hectic after the accident even though Cass wasn’t to blame when they find out that the strange man was Roland and Clay’s surprise half brother Britt. Britt has come to town to track down his half brothers in hopes to get them to donate a liver to the father they hadn’t seen in years and on top of it all Cass needs to tell Clay he just may be a daddy soon.

Call Me Daddy is the second book in the Cass Adams series by Kelly Stone Gamble. In the first book, They Call Me Crazy, we met Cass who talks to dead people and had been medicated by her former husband and a lousy town doctor for years but now is coming to terms with her problems.

This series also reminds me somewhat of daytime television with it’s family drama and problems involved but it’s actually an incredibly funny read. The setting is a small town where everyone knows everyone… perhaps a little too well at times which brings in the drama. And now with this edition we take a look at family and what that means to the characters so mixed in with the humor is some nice wisdom about family.

I’m a fan of this series and would recommend this to anyone who wants a good lighthearted laugh with some really zany characters and situations.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

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Love and First SightLove and First Sight by Josh Sundquist
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Will Porter was born blind and at an early age his parents decided his best chance would be to attend a school for the blind to learn how to cope with is ability. Now at sixteen though Will wants nothing more than to fit in with normal kids his age and attend a regular school. His first day at his new school though has him accidentally groping a fellow student and making another cry.

Will does start to slowly fit into his new surroundings though making a new group of friends. As he finds his footing Will also starts to develop a crush on Cecily when the two are paired for a class project. Just as Will thinks he’s becoming adjusted his parents spring a new experimental surgery on him where there is a chance that Will may gain eyesight for the first time in his life but are the risks worth it?

Love and First Sight is a young adult coming of age contemporary read with the twist of having the main character have the disability of being sightless. Will was an extremely likable character from the start with his quick wit with dealing with the obstacles in life that his disability quite often with a lot of humor to keep a reader smiling and chuckling.

The one thing I didn’t quite enjoy with this one was the added drama towards the end with Will and Cecily, it just didn’t seem to fit Will’s personality with all he had to deal with in his life. The build up to this was fairly obvious that something was going to come about with Cecily’s character and knowing it was coming I was a bit disappointed with how it got dealt with. In the end though I did enjoy the rest of the story and felt the characters and their journey was a likable one.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Where Nothing Ill Can Dwell (The Bard Nebula Book #1) by Crista McHugh

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Where Nothing Ill Can Dwell (The Bard Nebula Book #1)Where Nothing Ill Can Dwell by Crista McHugh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Miranda Prospero has grown up on an uncharted planet on the fringes of the Bad Nebula with her mother who had needed to go into hiding when she was framed on her home planet. Now the time has come that Miranda’s mother has been waiting for to obtain her revenge on those that ran her off years ago when their spaceships come near the planet they’ve been hiding on.

As the ships crash land upon the planet Miranda finds herself coming across other humans for the first time, including a young man just her age that is immediately taken with Miranda. Miranda begins to sneak off to meet and help him and the two begin to grow closer but her new friend is the son of the man Miranda’s mother is seeking revenge from and a part of the bigger plot she’s concocted.

Where Nothing Ill Can Dwell is the first book in the Bard Nebula series by Crista McHugh. The story within is a new modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s classic The Tempest taking the tale into outer space with all that you would find on a strange planet, aliens and other strange lifeforms. The book has multiple POVs so that you know what is going on with each of the characters at different times in the story.

I actually really enjoyed this one and the creativity with changing the story to fit characters being in space, such an interesting idea and it made the story pop out just that much more with the space ships and aliens mixed into the complex revenge plot. Fun setting, interesting characters and story, would recommend to those who enjoy ya sci-fi or retellings.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

The Dead Seekers (Dead Seekers, #1) by Barb Hendee and J.C. Hendee

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The Dead Seekers (Dead Seekers, #1)The Dead Seekers by Barb Hendee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mari Kaleja has spent her life seeking revenge on whatever creature had killed her entire family when she was only ten years old. Having watched the attack and being the only survivor Mari had been pushed away and told she was cursed so revenge is the only thing she ever focused on since the incident in the woods. Mari has heard tales of the Dead’s Man and has followed the path to his doorstep seeking her revenge but before she kills him she must know for sure that he is the one that stole her family’s lives.

Tris Vishal is the one who is known as the Dead’s Man. He was born stillborn but regained life only to grow up knowing there was something completely different about him. Tris has the ability to control and vanish ghosts that have a hold still on this plain so he has put his abilities to use traveling from village to village helping those in need. When Tris meets Mari he asks her to accompany him on his latest task but he can see the hatred in her eyes and only wonders why.

The Dead Seekers is the first book in a new series but it is set in the world from the authors previous series the Noble Dead saga. I have not read the other series myself but one of my biggest concerns with this read was the lack of world building in the story so perhaps it would have helped to read the other books. This story however is different in the fact that those contain vampires and Tris has the ability of controlling the dead so they don’t seem connected otherwise.

Other than the world building I was also left with wanting more of an explanation to Tris and his abilities in the story. We do get to slowly know more about Tris and his upbringing and how he came to do what he does currently in the story but there was still more explanation that could have taken place to understand who or what he is. However, Tris himself does not really know about his powers so I think this is why there isn’t a better explanation.

Overall, not too bad of a start to the new series, I would be interested to see what happens with Mari and Tris in the later books after the ending of this one.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Little Heaven by Nick Cutter

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Little HeavenLittle Heaven by Nick Cutter

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

DNF @ 45%

 

Official Synopsis: An all-new epic tale of terror and redemption set in the hinterlands of midcentury New Mexico from the acclaimed author of The Troop—which Stephen King raved “scared the hell out of me and I couldn’t put it down…old-school horror at its best.”

From electrifying horror author Nick Cutter comes a haunting new novel, reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and Stephen King’s It, in which a trio of mismatched mercenaries is hired by a young woman for a deceptively simple task: check in on her nephew, who may have been taken against his will to a remote New Mexico backwoods settlement called Little Heaven. Shortly after they arrive, things begin to turn ominous. Stirrings in the woods and over the treetops—the brooding shape of a monolith known as the Black Rock casts its terrible pall. Paranoia and distrust grips the settlement. The escape routes are gradually cut off as events spiral towards madness. Hell—or the closest thing to it—invades Little Heaven. The remaining occupants are forced to take a stand and fight back, but whatever has cast its dark eye on Little Heaven is now marshaling its powers…and it wants them all.

Unfortunately Little Heaven turned out to be just not a book for me. This one gets off to an incredibly slow start that I had to force myself to continue reading. The actual plot described in the synopsis really doesn’t even start until 25-30% into the book with the beginning of the story being sort of a mashed up type of character building that I kept struggling to make sense of.

By the time the actual plot that I thought I was getting with this read began it really was just unfortunately too little too late to pull me into this book. The pace did pick up a bit but there were still random thoughts/remembrances the characters have that continued to make it drag to me. Those that are fans of the gory and gruesome may be entertained though but with not being connected to the story or characters I felt I was just continuing to read only to gross myself out. There are some disturbing things already happening in the first half of this so I can only imagine how it would turn out but after a couple of days of picking it up and putting it down I think it’s time to move on for me.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

 

Catwalk: Dream by S.Q. Orpin blitz with giveaway

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Catwalk, Dream
S.Q. Orpin
(Catwalk, #1)
Publication date: January 7th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

In a world of glitz, glamour, and excess, sizzling hot Casi Roberts is the reigning queen. Swimsuit model by day and club girl by night, 29 year old Casi thrives in the LA culture, on the arm of her celebrity boyfriend, Alix Grey. Documenting her charmed life on social media, Casi has mastered the art of hiding her insecurities in a world obsessed with youth and beauty.

Ruggedly handsome, blue-eyed, Kyle Jensen has built an enviable life in Blackberry Falls, WA. When Casi walks into his life, Kyle’s carefully crafted lifestyle begins to unravel, igniting a passion in him that is electrifying. Captivated by her beauty and seduced by her provocative nature, Kyle is left reeling from their chance encounter.

As Casi’s life implodes after a tragic accident, she finds solace in a passionate relationship with Kyle, but the temptation of the glamorous lifestyle she has been living and the pressures of her career, threaten to shatter that dream.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Kyle was kneeling beside the redwood bar, which had been recently added to enhance the terrace for the residents. He had his iPod earphones in, and she could hear the faint throng of heavy metal music. He didn’t hear her approach, and she took a minute to admire him as he leaned forward to secure a hinge. A smile crossed her lips as she strode to the bar and placed the wine bottle down. Having been caught unaware, he sat back on his heels, kneeling before her, slowly removing the earphones. He looked at her with distrust, his sea-blue eyes lingering over her bare legs in the short dress. He looked as if her actions confused him, and he was unsure what to make of the situation.

“Peace offering,” she said, glad her words and tone, for once, were not that of a stunted third-grader.

She gave him a bright smile, but he narrowed his eyes and said, “I don’t know what game you’re playing, but I’m not interested in your scam.”

Ouch, well that was well deserved. “I’m not sure what came over me the other day, and I apologize for what happened afterward. If you got to know me, you’d see I’m a much better person than that.” She extended her hand and said confidently, “I’m Casi Roberts. I’m twenty-nine, and I’ve been a model since I was seventeen. I live in one of the third-floor apartments with my boyfriend, Alix Grey, a well-known artist. I should be at his reception, but I felt like I should formally introduce myself.”

A smile reached his eyes, as he looked her over. He rose slowly and took her extended hand, leaning against the bar. “Hello, Casi Roberts. I’m Kyle Jensen, from Blackberry Falls, Washington. I’m thirty-three, and obviously, a custom woodworker. Do you come here often?” He gave a slight laugh at his pickup line.

“Only when I need to apologize for my bad behavior, so pretty much every Tuesday,” she joked back, shaking his hand, aroused by its strength and roughness.

He reached past her for the bottle of wine, and she could feel the electricity between them all the way to her toes. “Nice choice. Do you have a wine opener?” he asked.

“Damn it! I’ll be right back,” she said, as she ran down the stairs to her apartment.

Kyle shook his head and took out his phone, quickly sending a text to his brother. “The gorgeous woman who kissed me the other day, just came up to the roof where I’m working and brought a bottle of wine?”

Jake texted back, “She probably put a date-rape drug in it. Get out of there!”

Grabbing the wine opener, Casi glanced at her reflection in the mirror over the bar. “What the hell are you doing?” she asked the fresh-faced girl, staring back at her. She didn’t know what was about to happen, but for once she felt like living in the moment.

She hopped back up the stairs and handed him the wine opener. He kept his eyes on her, as he opened the bottle and filled the glasses. He took a sip of wine and said, “I’m not sure what you’re aiming for, but it’s not the first time I’ve heard mention of a boyfriend. You’re a beautiful woman, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to grab you and throw you down on the chaise and get to know you intimately. I have two weeks left on this job, and then I’m headed home. I don’t need the distraction of a spoiled model.”

Wow! This guy cuts to the chase. Casi set down her wine glass and stepped toward him. “Two weeks?” She cocked her head as she ran her hand over his chest, and looked into his deep, blue eyes, and smiled seductively.

Kyle put a firm hand on her hip, and moved her back. “Little girl, you need to take your games elsewhere.”

She again stepped forward. “I’m not a little girl, and I’m not playing games.” She brought his head to meet her, kissing him gently. She could taste the wine on his lips as she parted his mouth with her tongue. He hesitated and searched her eyes, trying to figure out what she wanted. He returned her kiss and pulled her closer. He trailed down her neck, as he caressed her back. He kissed her more passionately, growing in intensity, as he brought his hands under her dress and over the lacy panties she had carefully chosen.

She ran her hands over his t-shirt, feeling the definition of his chest muscles and toned abs, slipping her hands under his shirt to feel the heat of his skin. Casi liked to express herself sexually, an intimacy between lovers, but there was something different about Kyle. This feeling was foreign to her, the loss of control and willingness to let her body take over. She moaned as he slid his hands further up her dress toward her breasts, and she began to unbutton his jeans. He placed his hand on top of hers, stopping her from going farther. What the hell? Why was he stopping? Was he playing a game now?

Kyle stepped back and refilled their wine glasses. She wasn’t sure how to react to his apparent rejection. He turned back to face her and handed her the glass. The silence was suffocating. “Is this what you want? A quickie on the rooftop? Then you go back to your boyfriend, and I pretend like nothing happened for the next two weeks, and return to my life in Washington?”

Casi realized she hadn’t thought it through; this wasn’t a movie, magically ending with happily ever after. It was real life, messy and awkward. “That’s not what I want,” she surprised herself with the statement. “I honestly came to apologize for what had happened, but somehow ended up in the same place. Although I’m sure the sex would be mind-blowing for fifteen minutes, you’re right, we both have lives to return to.”

“Fifteen minutes? You’re seriously underestimating me.”

She loved the way his eyes crinkled when he laughed. She kissed him on the cheek and said, “Goodbye, Kyle, I have an installation to attend. I’ll be seeing you around.”

She straightened her back, and walked down the stairs to her apartment, feeling his eyes following her. As she closed the door, she realized she had been holding her breath. She walked into the bedroom and pulled the cotton dress off, exchanging it for the black jersey, halter dress. Black liner, red lips, chignon, and she was out the door in ten minutes.


Author Bio:

Canadian-born author, Suzy Orpin, has always had a vivid imagination and keen desire to write. Suzy views the world through her own narrative, weaving in the fascinating challenges, triumphs, and lifestyles of the people she meets. As a professional culinary instructor in Berkeley, California, Suzy is also intrigued by the diverse culture around her. Having travelled extensively through the Pacific Northwest, Suzy is drawn to the rich history and landscape of the area.

The Catwalk Series was motivated by an accident which redefined the life of her model-niece, Sterling. Wanting to give a voice to additional characters, Suzy expanded the original book, Dream, into a six-part series. Dream focuses on the struggle to overcome challenges and build a new life. Hope picks up where Dream ends, continuing to tell the love story of Casi and Kyle and the challenges they face. Casi and Kyle are the main characters in Trust, as well, but other key characters become an intricate part of the story.

All of the books are written in an omniscient viewpoint to give the effect of watching a movie, and allowing the reader into the thoughts of the characters. The story delves into deep, and sometimes, dark subject matter, weaving in back story and intrigue. The complexity of the characters was crucial to the plot, spanning almost five years, and told throughout the six books.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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