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review 2019-07-21 18:52
Have you ever had that nagging feeling at the back of your brain...
In Safe Hands - Michael Pauley,Victoria Sue

You know the one that says 'I've been here before or I've done this before or just generally geez this is really familiar? Well that's what I got when I went to write the review for this story and what it came down to after pondering things for a day is this...

 

I really enjoy this authors 'Enhanced' series and what I realized was that if we gave Maverick some kind of enhanced ability this story would work very nicely into that series. Which is not to say that I didn't enjoy the story but more that since it isn't a part of the 'Enhanced' series for me it would have been more enjoyable if it hadn't felt like it should have been.

 

We have Maverick (Mav) Delgardo a strong, heroic, brooding, former soldier who's been injured in the line of duty and bares the physical proof of it. It's only been a few months so he's also still struggling to adjust to the changes this has brought to his life.

 

When Mav's sister ask for his help with a case in her efforts to get her very fledgling PI business off the ground in spite of his less than stellar mental state Mav knows it's time to man-up, after all it's just for a couple of days to babysit the lead singer of a band that's fallen from grace...really, what could possibly go wrong...one should never ask or even wonder about this.

 

And if you ask Deacon Daniels, he'll tell you the real question is 'could something, anything possibly go right?' Down on his luck doesn't even begin to explain Deacon's life. It's a grocery list of one bad event after another with the occasional bright spot thrown in just to give him hope and keep him going.

 

I really, really liked Deacon for me he was the bright spot in this book. Not that he was overly full of sunshine and light but that he was a character who was strong and determined not to let life break him.

 

Deacon's lost everything, his band, his money and the niece that was entrusted to his care by his deceased brother and now all he's got to show for it all is a stalker who seems to want not only him dead but anyone connected to him and the scandal that destroyed his career.

 

I liked the relationship that was developing between Mav and Deacon. While it was quick and intense truthfully so was the situation they suddenly realized they were entangled in. 

 

Other than the too strong resemblance to the 'Enhanced' series that this story held for me, the only other thing that was slightly problematical for me was the narration. Michael Pauley was the narrator for this story and this is by no means the first audiobook that I've listened to that was narrated by him...more like number 9 or 10, but be that as it may, this time around the narration wasn't working for me. That's not to say that it was bad just that for whatever reason I wasn't connecting with the voices so this unfortunately also contributed to the lack of connection that I felt with the story. 

 

While I wouldn't exactly call this one a win nor would I call it a total loss...when it comes right down to it...it just wasn't the story for me...another time...who knows it might have gone better.

 

*************************

An audio book of 'In Safe Hands' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2019-07-21 18:24
Outcast Witch Rises to the Top; People Try to Kill Her

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.45 out of 5 stars

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Catherine Baker hasn’t been very attached to the magic world for years, aside from her witch friend Morgan, her fairy cousins, and her boss who’s a librarian AKA magic historian.

But who needs the magic world after what it did to her? Her boyfriend, Alexander, outted her to the witch community for using forbidden magic to defend herself. And the martyr-loving jerks outcasted her for it. And needless to say, her relationship ended.

But she’s fine with that. She’s scraping by with her waitressing job and has two cats that she loves. If only she can quit smoking so her bank account would be a bit fuller.

But when Morgan dies, Alexander shows up in her life yet again to urge her to run for Morgan’s job as Titania– the ambassador between the fairy world and the magician community on Earth.

Catherine would have just told him to go to hell if her boss and cousins also didn’t want to her to become the next Titania. She eventually agrees.

But complications ensue when her estranged father runs against her, sponsored by necromancers who put a price on her head.

As she fights to become Titania, Alexander is appointed as her bodyguard to keep her safe. Catherine has convinced herself that things with Alexander are completely over, but slowly it becomes very clear that things are just getting started.

 

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review 2019-07-21 16:52
It's been 5 long years and I love you just the same...
Bad Influence - K.A. Mitchell,Scott Drummond

ok maybe it's just a bit of like.

 

But it has been five since I read this book...5 years and more than a few other books so for me it was almost like listening to a whole new story but ironically I ended up with essentially the same results so I'm going to borrow a bit from my review from 5 years ago and add to that for this audio book review. 

 

Let's start with the story here's what happened 5 years ago...

The first 70% of this book gets 3 stars. While I really did like Silver & Zeb better than the couple in book 3 (Gavin & Jamie) the story felt stilted and I kept reading and reading and in spite of the fact that things were happening it felt like the story was going nowhere and there was no progress being made. Thus resulting in me frequently wandering away to do whatever popped into my head.

Finally the last 30% grabbed me and held my attention so while my rating overall will stay at 3 stars. There is a section of the story that gets a solid 3.5 stars from me. I liked what was happening. The progress being made, Silver and Zeb finding a way back to each other, trying to work things out and...

WHAM, BAM THANK YOU MA'ME!!! Story over...the end. Again, again I get to the part where I'm truly beginning to enjoy things and it's over and so is my 3.5 star read and we remain at 3 stars only now for me it's 3 shakey stars that aren't shining quite as brightly. I'm sorry Ms Mitchell I know it's your story to tell but I needed just a little bit more. I was starting to genuinely care about these two characters as a couple and just when I was really getting into the story it just ends and I'm left feeling like someone kicked my puppy.

and between then and now what's changed...really only a couple of things...

one being that I found Silver to be for the most part a real attitude case but given the life the poor kid's had I'm not sure that I blame him for the attitude and I'm not sure if it's a case of I knew what was coming or listening to it on audio made the difference or maybe a bit of both but the ending was for me a little less abrupt and I wasn't left feeling quite so much like someone had kicked my puppy so that was a little better and also brings us to the subject of the narrator...new to me narrator Scott Drummond. 

 

I liked what I heard. Speaking strictly from the audio point of view this story was solidly narrated and while Mr. Drummond currently only has 7 books to his credit on audible of which this is the only one that interested me...not say that the others are good or interesting, they're just not in my wheel house, however, I can comfortably say that I hope to enjoy more titles narrated by him in the future.

 

At the end of this it comes down to an increased rating to 3.5 stars from my previous rating of 3 and I feel that for the most part it's because for me this worked a bit better as an audio book than it did when I read it originally...so, I'm going to take that as a win.

 

*************************

An audio book of 'Bad Influence' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2019-07-21 08:36
Quick Thoughts: Silence for the Dead
Silence For the Dead - Simone St. James

Silence for the Dead

by Simone St. James

 

 

In 1919, Kitty Weekes, pretty, resourceful, and on the run, falsifies her background to obtain a nursing position at Portis House, a remote hospital for soldiers left shell-shocked by the horrors of the Great War.  Hiding the shame of their mental instability in what was once a magnificent private estate, the patients suffer from nervous attacks and tormenting dreams.  But something more is going on at Portis House—its plaster is crumbling, its plumbing makes eerie noises, and strange breaths of cold waft through the empty rooms.  It’s known that the former occupants left abruptly, but where did they go?  And why do the patients all seem to share the same nightmare, one so horrific that they dare not speak of it?

Kitty finds a dangerous ally in Jack Yates, an inmate who may be a war hero, a madman… or maybe both.  But even as Kitty and Jack create a secret, intimate alliance to uncover the truth, disturbing revelations suggest the presence of powerful spectral forces.  And when a medical catastrophe leaves them even more isolated, they must battle the menace on their own, caught in the heart of a mystery that could destroy them both.



Silence for the Dead is one of those books that has a great premise and a gorgeous cover, and so you end up with some high expectations, especially knowing how well our author, Simone St. James, can write.  And it has all of this, but in the end, I felt like the book never reached it's full potential.  As much as I'm a weeny when it comes to ghost stories, I was really looking forward to this particular book because of the haunted hospital aspect.

But the book never truly got appropriately spooky, with maybe one or two scenes that came close, but didn't quite do it.  I had read this during the night and expected to fully be scared out of my wits, but even with the lights off, it didn't really do that much.

I will give the book props for touching upon the lack of medical and psychological treatment and care for the war heroes of WWI, the men who had come home with shell shock, and whom society were all unable to accept.  In fact, the story line involving the patients at Portis House seemed to be the stronger of the story tangents.  The way that these men were treated was the more horrifying of everything presented in this book, and even as you knew (and still know) how veterans of war were treated upon returning home with PTSD, it's still a shock to realize the extent of how terrible it all was.

Story-wise, it was a bit unfortunate that everything starts falling apart towards the end of the book.  The romance was also lacking some chemistry, and the men of Portis House ended up just fading into the ending.  Kitty's family issues were never truly resolved either, and her misgivings about men seemed dealt with too readily with the standard "love cures all" treatment.  The same could be said about Jake Yate's PTSD, wherein his fatalistic and suicidal desires were dissolved just because he met Kitty.

Still, I DID get hooked into the book, and the writing is still beautifully done.  The atmosphere created was a great attempt, and the book was still entertaining.  I DID still like Kitty and her gumption, though I found her lack of sense, thinking she could imitate a nurse without repercussions a bit irresponsible, though I appreciated her awareness that her actions could have gotten someone killed in the long run.

Another enjoyable book by Simone St. James, though not necessarily my favorite, and probably more disappointing just because of my own high expectations.


***

 

Booklikes-opoly 2019


Roll #13b:
Square: When? (34) | Read a book that is time travel or historical fiction, or a book with the word "when" in the title.

How it fits:  This book is historical fiction.
Count Page:  386
Cash:  $3

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/07/quick-thoughts-silence-for-dead.html
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review 2019-07-21 08:24
Quick Series Review: Circle of Evil
Chasing Evil - Kylie Brant
Touching Evil - Kylie Brant
Facing Evil - Kylie Brant

Circle of Evil

by Kylie Brant
Book 1: Chasing Evil | Rating:  3.5 Stars
Book 2: Touching Evil | Rating: 3.5 Stars
Book 3: Facing Evil | Rating: 3.5 Stars

Average Series Rating:  3.5 Stars


Circle of Evil was a pretty riveting crime thriller that follows the same two main characters throughout the whole trilogy.  The second and third books also throw in two other possible romantic pairings, but they aren't elaborated on much.

While I loved the banter and partnership between Cam and Sophia, the two of them DID take a little warming up to.  In the end, you're just glad that all the angst and all the avoidance and the non-communication going on between them were dealt with in the first book.  It took me a second, but I slowly realized that each chapter of the first book was set up to show a flash back of Sophia and Cam's initial relationship before the main investigation in the book starts.  At first I was a little thrown, and wasn't sure that I liked it, but I think by the end of the book, I found that those scenes were handled pretty well, and even added to my understanding of what was going on between Cam and Sophia.

It sort of gave their love story more depth than if they'd just met in that first book and fell in love immediately.  Meanwhile, some trigger warnings for this book, and the rest going forward, as there is a lot of mention of rape and violence, then pedophilia and necrophilia in the next books, even if not detailed.

I think I could have done without being in our serial killers' or rapist's head so much, to be honest.

The second and third books focused on the serial murderers and the investigation, which Kylie Brant has always excelled at writing.

Side characters were all wonderfully incorporated as part of the investigative team rather than just being background props to showcase our main couple.  This is what I like about Kylie Brant's romantic suspense crime thrillers.  The action also never seems to quit, and you're hooked wondering how everything will play out.

The one thing I DID feel I didn't care for was how over-powered the killer is in the last book.  Facing Evil just felt like a never-ending chase, and it was frustrating to watch as Cam and his team always seemed to be one step behind the killer the entire way through, and how their investigation just kept falling apart with each move forward.

Otherwise, I quite enjoyed this trilogy, even if it doesn't really live up to my love for Brant's Mindhunters series.

 

 

 

There’s nothing strange about bodies buried in cemeteries—unless they don’t belong there. And when six murdered women are discovered in other people’s graves, the hunt for a sadistic serial killer begins before he can claim a seventh victim.

Agent Cam Prescott of Iowa’s Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the search alongside forensic psychologist Sophia Channing, who knows the minds of psychopaths inside and out. And after a brief but passionate affair, she knows Cam almost as well. What she doesn’t know is that her high-profile involvement in the case has caught the twisted predator’s eye—and sparked his fury.

When Sophia suddenly vanishes, Cam and his team shift into overdrive to keep horrific history from repeating itself. But for Sophia, being trapped in the same isolated lair where so much innocent blood has been spilled may get her inside her vicious captor’s head—and may offer her the only chance she has to escape an agonizing and lethal fate.

 

Booklikes-opoly 2019


Roll #9:
Square: Beach Week 10 | Read a book that appears on any Beach Reads list, or a book whose author's first or last name begins with any letter in
B-E-A-C-H.

How it fits: Author's last name beings with a 'B.'
Pages:  324
Cash:  $3

 

 

 


 

 

Forensic psychologist Sophia Channing nearly lost her life to a serial killer. Fortunately, her own quick thinking—and Division of Criminal Investigation agent Cam Prescott’s efforts—rescued her from a horrifying fate. Together, Sophia and Cam jailed the sadistic predator and closed the case on his reign of terror.

But when teenagers make a gruesome discovery in the Iowa woods, Sophia and Cam realize they’ve only scratched the surface of an evil that runs even deeper and deadlier than one madman’s twisted desires. And they don’t come more twisted than the killer known as the Zombie Lover: Vance’s mystery accomplice, who’s still at large and stacking up bodies. With the law snapping at his heels and private demons screaming in his head, the Zombie Lover is hell-bent on carrying out a desperate, double-edged mission. He’s determined to terminate Sophia, then target medical examiner Lucy Benally, who he’s vowed to make his own…dead or alive.

 

Booklikes-opoly 2019


Roll #10:
Square: Mountain Cabin 16 | Read a book that is considered mystery / suspense genre, or which has a title that contains all of the letters in the word C-A-B-I-N.

How it fits:  Book is romantic suspense / suspense genre.
Pages:  288
Cash:  $3

 

 

 


 

 

A serial attacker is locked up, and his murderous accomplice has been gunned down. But the true mastermind behind their lethal reign of terror still hasn’t been taken in or taken down, so the harrowing case of the Cornbelt Killers isn’t closed—and one murderous woman is determined to keep it that way. The only thing more important to her than evading capture is hunting down her hit list of enemies, topped by Iowa’s Division of Criminal Investigation agent Cam Prescott and forensic psychologist Sophia Channing.

Faced with an opponent both quick-witted and cold-blooded, Cam and Sophia must scramble to keep up with this horrifying new threat. Little do they realize that in this game of cat and mouse, they’re lambs being led to the slaughter.

 

Booklikes-opoly 2019


Roll #11:
Square: The Lake House 19 | Read a book with a cover that is more than 50 percent blue, or by an author whose first or last name starts with any letter in the word L-A-K-E.

How it fits:  Author's first name starts with 'K.' / Also, cover is more than 50% blue.
Pages:  314
Cash:  $3

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/07/quick-series-review-circle-of-evil.html
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