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review 2020-02-24 22:07
About that cliff I've been hanging around...
Criminal Intentions: Deep Spiral - Cole McCade

Well here I am back with Cole McCade's latest episode of 'Criminal Intentions, Season Two' and while I thankfully feel that I can take a tiny step back from the edge of the cliff and maybe even breath a bit...not much but I'll take what I can get. 

 

Now before I get into my review for Episode 5, Deep Spiral...let me just say yes, I did read the preview at the end of this episode and I also read Cole's Q&A which comes right after the preview and I have my theory on what it all means and I'm going to have faith in Cole and stick with what I'm thinking until I'm forced to do otherwise...that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

 

Ok, now that we're done with the elephant in the room let's move on to this episode...holyfreakin'motherof$#$*&*%(*$(#!!!!...seriously if ever an author has f*$#ed with my emotions it's Cole McCade, without fail each episode in this series is a roller coaster ride of epic proportions and...well, quite honestly "I LOVE IT!"...what can I say I'm a glutton for punishment, so bring it on.

 

As it says in the blurb Seong-Jae and Mal are faced with one of the GRK's proxie's in a hostage situation and for most of this episode things were tense...very, very tense and when all is said and done we're left with the distinct impression that Seong-Jae and Mal are very much on the GRK's radar. As for Aanga Joshi...well, he definitely engendered some compassion from me. I think we can all agree that realizing that the person you love not only loves someone else but even if they didn't you would still not be right for them is a very emotional thing for anyone to have to acknowledge but I don't think Joshi's going to have the time to worry about that...things are happening.

 

Meanwhile back in Baltimore...things weren't any better. There really wasn't a lot of forward movement in the plot where Anjulie is concerned as a matter of fact her issues seem to be compounding and what will happen with Huang is still not clear but damned if Sade didn't prove what many of us have already suspected... they are not to be messed with. 

 

'Criminal Intentions' is without a doubt the type of series that takes a person on one hell of an emotionally draining roller coaster ride only to leave you sitting in that roller coaster car screaming... "Again!!!! Let's do it again!!!!" and as much as I hate the wait each ride has proven to be worth it.

 

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A copy of "Criminal Intentions: Deep Spiral" was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-02-24 21:00
A sheriff, a hockey player and a cowboy are in a bar...
Changes Coming Down - Kaje Harper

I know we've all heard that joke but in this case it's not a joke but the beginning of a new series by Kaje Harper...but...before I get into my review...

 

I'm going to tell you a quick story that sort of relates to this book...

You see Scott Edison, our hockey player is playing for the Toronto Marlies and he's working really hard to achieve the dream...every little boy who has every laced on a pair of skates and held a hockey stick has probably had this dream. Scott's waiting for that day when he gets his big break and is called up to play in the NHL and not just for any team...nope, Scott's dream is to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs and now for my little sidebar story...

 

I was actually going to write this review yesterday but as is often the case fact turned out to be stranger than fiction when the Leafs played the Carolina Hurricanes and it happened that both of the Hurricanes goalies came up injured so apparently in a situation like this the team can draw on pretty much anyone to fill the position and that's what Carolina did they called up the zamboni driver to be their goalie and not just any zamboni driver nope, since it was a hometown game for the Leafs they used their zamboni driver and as I'm sure most hockey fans already know...the Leafs lost...final score 6-3 for Carolina and now that the laughter has died down I'm going to try and get serious about my review. Sorry, I just needed to share this because...for years now people have said that the Leafts are jinxed and after this I think they might be right but also...Scott you seriously need to reconsider your life choices. 

 

Ok, enough of the sidebar stuff let's talk about what truly matters here...this book. I'm a fan of Kaje Harper. I adore her series 'The Rebuilding Years' I've read the e-books and loved it so much I have the audiobooks as well which made the decision to read 'Changes Coming Down' pretty much a no-brainer for me. 

 

Casey's a sheriff, Will's a cowboy and Scott plays hockey (as I've mentioned) so honestly each of these men have cause to want to stay 'in the closet'. It's not right and it's not how the world should be but it is how the world is in far to many places and while I'm not a fan of staying in the closet and I can't say that 'it worked' for me in this case what I will say is that it suited the situation and the dynamics for want of a more practical way to express things. 

 

In spite of the fact that the relationship between these three worked and I liked the story I was really hoping that they'd give me more feelz than what I got. Which isn't to say that I won't read the next book because I definitely want to read the next book. There are questions to be answered still and our threesome is definitely in the midst of some life changing events and while I may not be 'in love' with them yet. There's some very strong like going on for my part and I'm curious to find out how things turn out for them and what else life has in store for them as a trio and as individuals.

 

Ms Harper had a fair bit to lay out here with the relationship dynamics, background for the MCs individually and as a threesome/thruple/menage/trio/traid whatever name you choose to give them and then there's each man's story as it pertains to them but also as it effects the relationship and for me it was nicely done.

 

Situations were well represented and clear and not to downplay it but there's also a bit of a mystery going on here and in spite of the fact that it was maybe a bit obvious as to the why and who of it, I really didn't find myself disappointed over it since the mystery part of things never felt to me like it was a priority in the story but more like a secondary aspect that helped to facilitate everything else.

 

'Changes Coming Down' is a solid beginning to a new series by Kaje Harper and I honestly can't wait to find out what the changes will be? Here's hoping that the next book is in the works.

 

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An ARC of 'Changes Coming Down' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-02-24 18:15
Five jobs, five chances at redemption and this is job #2…
Pros & Cons of Deception - A.E. Wasp,Walker Williams

Deception’s the theme for this job and the man that Charlie thinks can pull it off is none other than…’Bond’…Wesley Bond. What can I say he couldn’t resist, and neither could I.

 

Wesley’s a computer specialist. Some might call him a ‘hacker’ who specializes in the redistribution of wealth…a modern-day Robin Hood if you like. I prefer computer specialist since computers are his weapon of choice for his undertakings whether its redistributing someone’s finances or gathering information. Give him a computer and he’ll give you results and he’s going to need them if he wants to be successful in his mission to take down modern day slave traders.

 

We’ve not only got everyone back on board for this mission, but the team is growing. Along with Steel Alvarez comes Breck the man he rescued and fell in love with, in the previous book and with Breck, comes his best friend and fellow victim from book #1 Danny Monroe.

 

Wesley’s assignment takes the team to a vacation resort on a tropical island and while for some it’s a working vacation for Wesley and Danny the sexy, funny, smart, gorgeous and did I mention sexy? ex-prostitute…if you want to know what else you missed then do your homework and go back and read/listen to the first book…now, where were we…oh…that’s right Wesley and Danny, they’re going undercover as…you guessed it lovers…let the fun begin.

 

Once again A. E. Wasp has created a story that’s filled with action, adventure, drama, intrigue, suspense, danger and more than a few laughs. As Wesley and Danny begin their pretense of being lovers…which, is really not a hardship for either man given the strength of their attraction to each other.

 

Considering the fact that Wesley is the ideal image of what Danny wants in a man…he’s smart, sexy and those baggy clothes that he hides under haven’t really done their job because Danny’s sure there is one sexy toned body underneath it all.

Now if Wesley could just keep from being so distracted by Danny and keep his feet out of his mouth whenever he talks maybe he could actually figure out how to let Danny know what he really thinks of him and how he really feels…then their relationship could be more than pretend.

 

While I enjoyed Wesley and Danny’s relationship follies. This time for me the real star was the mission and the hijinks that were involved. In both the previous story and this one the times when these men were working together and wearing their communication devices were hilarious no to mention that this time around with the exception of Wesley and Danny the men were cast into ‘jobs’ that…well, let’s just say their qualifications were dubious at best and circumstances more often than not were entertaining awkward…between the scantily dressed bartender, militarized daycare and what sounded like a bathroom mishap worthy of Abbott & Costello with some interesting B&E on the side…well, things were entertainingly dicey at times.

 

The real mystery for me so far is…who is Josy, really? Because I’m pretty sure she’s not just a housekeeper/cook/den mother for these men and then there’s the question of Leo’s phone friend…’you can call me Al’, ok…but Al, I’mma just wondering what’s your real name?

 

Once again, the narrators were Alexandre Steele and Tor Thom and once again, I was delighted with the audio performance of this story. I’m looking forward to the next adventure in this series and I have zero doubt that I’ll be holding out for the audio book. After listening to the first two books on audio, I truthfully can’t imagine that I’d enjoy reading these stories nearly as much as I enjoy having them read to me.

 

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An audio book for ‘The Pros & Cons of Deception’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-02-24 17:57
It’s Charlie’s Angels meets Mission Impossible with a little touch of the A-team thrown in for good measure…
Pros & Cons of Vengeance - A.E. Wasp,Walker Williams

and it’s all done in a very sexy and humorous way…

 

‘Pros & Cons of Vengeance’ was very reminiscent of shows/movies that were not only a part of my youth, but shows/movies that I loved to watch. While ‘Charlie’s Angels’ was the first of these shows to come to mind for me and for what I think is very obvious reasons…first we have the mysterious Charlie and while this Charlie is dead we never did meet the original Charlie from television and then we have his ‘lawyer’ Miranda “Bosley” and a cast of 5 angels vs the three female angels that the television Charlie had.

 

It’s when we come to the angels that we start to deviate to other shows/movies…such as Mission Impossible or Oceans Eleven. Shows/movies where the team is comprised of men who each have their own unique talents and for the most part tend to walk on the wrong side of the law but ironically they also seem to have stronger moral fiber than many who claim to be on the right side of the law.

 

Regardless of any reflections of past shows/movies that these stories seemed to bring to mind for me the stories themselves were refreshingly original.

 

I was surprised to realize that “The Pros & Cons of Vengeance” my first time reading this author and happily it’s turned out to be a good time. Stories that contain a bit of romance, adventure and intrigue are among my favorites and always have been going all the way back to the days numerous shows/movies that this story engenders memories of.

 

Here in ‘Pros & Cons of Vengeance’ the author had a really big task to accomplish since it is the starting point for everything that comes after. The reader never actually meets the mysterious Charlie since everything begins with his funeral. This was seriously one ‘reading of the will’ that I would have loved to attend because basically it’s also a case of ‘blackmail from beyond the grave’ as it says in the blurb 5 jobs, 5 chances for redemption. Each man is given a mission and once he accomplishes it, Charlie’s lawyer Miranda Bosley will wipe the slate clean of whatever it is that Charlie has on them. So not only do we get the story/1st mission, we also get to meet a very ensemble cast of characters…there’s the 5 men in question and a group of supporting characters who will also recur in future stories.

 

‘Vengeance’ is the first mission and it’s assigned to ‘Steel’ Alvarez ex-Special Forces close protection specialist. His assignment, should he decide to accept…nothing too complicated, just take down a seemingly untouchable senator with a proclivity for abusing young male hookers. Needless to say, Steel’s all in on this one and that’s before he meets Breck Pfeiffer one of the senator’s most recent victims. However, Steel’s no fool he knows he can’t accomplish his mission without a little…ok maybe a lot of help from his ‘friends’?

 

‘The Pros & Cons of Vengeance’ for me was one of those stories that I could just sit back, relax and enjoy. There was action, intrigue, romance and laughs so may laughs and in the good way. The story was laced with a solid dose of humor and it was the kind that kept me smiling and laughing.

 

I won’t say that I’m fussy when it comes to comedy, but I feel like it’s one of those things that you either get or you don’t. I’ve read books or watched shows/movies that were suppose to be humorous and I haven’t even cracked a smile while everyone else is rolling on the floor and the opposites happened as well, for me it just comes down to you get it or you don’t. I got it…seriously or maybe not so seriously in this case I got it.

 

As well as a new to me author on this one, I got not one but two new to me narrators by the names of Alexandre Steele and Tor Thom. I have to admit not being familiar with either narrator I can’t say who voiced what throughout the course of the story but I can safely say that I enjoyed the narration in it’s entirety, which is a huge relief for more than one reason…one of course being that I had to listen to the story and thankfully because these two knew what they were doing, I don’t need to worry about getting anything wrong about who did what, that I did or didn’t like.  I can just summarize with I enjoyed it all.

 

This story was simply delightful and add to that the fact that as I said back at the beginning for me it was very reminiscent of so many shows/movies from my youth shows/movies like Charlie’s Angels, Mission Impossible, Ocean’s Eleven with a touch of ‘A-Team’ and ‘The Avengers’ and no I don’t mean the Marvel Avengers. The thing about all of these shows that I loved was that they had a touch of everything in them…there was action, adventure, romance, mystery suspense and humor (sometimes more than others but there was usually at least a light touch of humor). It’s a good recipe for any story if it’s done right because really it offers a little bit of something for everyone if it’s done right and so far it seems like the author has found a good mix to create something that a lot of people should enjoy.

 

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An audio book for ‘The Pros & Cons of Vengeance’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2020-02-22 01:51
Weekend Plans
C S Lewis - Colin Duriez
The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday - Saad Z. Hossain
The Shooting Party - Isabel Colegate
Good Behaviour - Molly Keane,Marian Keyes
All the Hidden Truths: one shocking crime: three women need answers: Winner of the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Debut of the Year! - Claire Askew

It's Friday night after a crappy week at work, which saw a departmental restructure that can only be described as A Game of Thrones...but without dragons, and therefore just stupid. So, I have resorted to watching films (The Two Popes is excellent) for comfort since I've come home, and I am planning to make the most of the weekend before work brings another week of madness (I have some new people starting and need to travel abroad for a meeting with another colleague, while trying to keep an eye on goings on ... preparing for another new start and the company's big office move in three weeks' time). 

 

Anyway..... It's also Granite Noir weekend. So, I am out with friends tomorrow to see Dial M for Murder at the theatre, then have a guided walk around town which is lead by one of my favourite local historians, and lastly, I have finally managed to get a ticket to Katheryn Harkup's Poisoned Tea Party on Sunday. I've been to her Poisoned Cocktail Evenings before but have never been quick enough to get tickets for the tea party.

I am very excited.

 

As for reading, I really, really want to start the Kelly book, but I just can't at the moment - it's a mood thing. 

The C.S. Lewis biography has turned out to be surprisingly good so far. Nothing entirely new, but I very much enjoy that Duriez has included quotes from correspondence that gives much more insight into Lewis' life so far, and has refrained from giving meaning or interpreting events in his life against Lewis' later work and faith. This is something I very much appreciate. He is also not coming across as a "fan-boy" of Lewis', which puts Duriez at an advantage (imo) over other biographers I have read. 

 

And I know that I won't have much time to read anything else this weekend, but I really want to pick up something else. Something from the category of "comfort read".

And of course, I will need a book for the flights on Monday/Tuesday.

And this month's book club read is due on Wednesday.... Erm.

 

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