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review 2017-03-23 19:16
Strong Collection of True Crime Stories
You Belong to Me and Other True Cases (Ann Rule's Crime Files: Vol. 2) - Ann Rule

"You Belong to Me" starts off with a longer story and then the anthology showcases other true crime stories. I didn't think that some of them fit with the overall theme I got from the first one though which is one reason why I lowered it half a star. And then I lowered it another half star when I realized one of the stories appeared in another collection before, and some of the stories to me, in my opinion felt like filler. 

 

"You Belong to Me" (4 stars)-This story is heartbreaking. Rule traces one man whose dream was to be a Florida highway patrol officer and his young family. At first you wonder what is going on, until you realize that the man (Tim Harris) is odd and then you realize he is very very angry. This guy gave off so many red flags I was astounded that no one saw how on the edge he was until the very end. We then transition to Lorraine Dombroski Hendricks life and you start to feel uneasy about how she was going to end up meeting Harris. I think what gets me the most about this story is how everyone ignored all that was wrong with Harris cause he was a police officer. He ends up abusing and stalking his wife while seeing another woman and it's not until his wife's brother in law (also a police officer) steps in that she can get actually get some help.

 

"Black Christmas" (5 stars)- This is seriously heartbreaking. A family is murdered over a misunderstanding. I just can't even get more into it than that besides don't always open your door to deliverymen.

 

"One Trick Pony" (3 stars)-I swear I read this story in another Rule anthology because I had it down cold from beginning to end. That's the main reason why I gave it 3 stars. I hate it when authors do this. 

 

"The Computer Error and the Killer" (5 stars)-Once again this was heartbreaking. Because of one computer error a man who had no business being allowed out in the public after being found criminally insane. I just shake at the things that used to go down in the 1960s and the 1970s. I hope things have gotten better with tracking people. I hope. 

 

"The Vanishing" (3 stars)- This case was a bust. You find out what happened, which made me wonder why Rule even included it in this collection. 

 

"The Last Letter" (4 stars)-This whole true crime was just sad from beginning to end. One woman who put her life on hold for a guy who wasn't worth it, who in the end goes and kills her rather than have her find out how worthless he really was in the end. 

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review 2017-03-23 15:08
What Angels Fear (Sebastian St.Cyr #1)- C.S. Harris
What Angels Fear - C.S. Harris

The list of my literary boyfriends just got longer. Seriously, forget the Christian Grey's of the world. I would much rather have a Viscount Devlin. Will he dethrone my current favorite, Uhtred? Only time will time. Honestly, that's going to be pretty difficult but I'm will to let Sebastian try. I do realize they are just fictional characters in books. 

 

I had a slow start to this book. Most of that was due to a lack of reading time on my part. Last night I found myself stuck on a couch nursing a quad strain so I had some time. Fast forward to this morning where I'm looking for an IV of coffee because I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish reading. Once I got into this story, I couldn't stop. The action was nonstop. I had to keep reading. 

 

The one thing that held me back a little was my lack of knowledge about Mad King George and the Regency period. I may have to do a little bit of research before continuing on with the series. 

 

If I had my way (or the budget), I would be rushing out to my favorite used bookstore today. Stupid work. 

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review 2017-03-22 21:05
It seems the circus has come to town...
The Mystery of the Curiosities (Snow & Winter Book 2) - C.S. Poe

While I enjoyed 'The Mystery of Nevermore' book 1 in C. S. Poe's Snow & Winter series a tiny, tiny bit more than this one that does not mean that 'The Mystery of the Curiosities' was anything less than enjoyable. 

 

I think possibly part of my added enthusiasm for the first book was just the joy of discovering a new author who was writing a new series that I wanted to read...see all the shiny new that's going on here? I was dazzled...that's right I suffer from magpie syndrome. However, while this book isn't the shiny new of a first book in a new series by a new author it still holds it's own with a well written story about characters that I truly like solving a well done mystery. Ms. Poe had me guessing right up until the end when I knew who did it and why only to find out things were not as they seemed...well done, I love a mystery that keeps my brain guessing from start to finish.

 

While I did get a bit frustrated with Seb for his perpetual lies of omission and half-truths, I do have to admit were I in his shoes I'm not sure I would have done any better and I think that while I don't advocate his behavior I probably felt a little more lenient towards him once my initial frustration wore off and I was force to admit that while his decision making skills weren't always stellar neither were they malicious or intended to do harm...in fact, it was quite the opposite he wanted to resolve things in the hopes of keeping anyone else from being hurt...so his intentions were good...mmmmm...I think there's a road somewhere paved with good intentions...just sayin'

 

Apart from the mystery and just the story in general one of the things that I truly loved was the approach that the author took with Calvin's PTSD. It wasn't made light of with implications that little more than some good sex would fix it. While Calvin doesn't want to seek medical help neither is Seb willing to give up on getting him to reconsider this decision. There is real concern for Calvin on the part of his partner, Quinn and Seb's father and not just Seb, but as we all know you can't help someone until they want to be helped. So to me Seb was being realistic about things in that he wasn't forcing Calvin to do something he's not ready to do but neither was he willing to stick his head in the sand and just hope it'd go away.

 

I love Seb and Calvin the passion is there and it's wonderfully tempered with humor and sweet yet sometimes awkward moments of them sharing their feelings whether saying 'I love you' or when Calvin is trying to explain how much he needs Seb to be safe or Seb seeking Calvin's forgiveness for something that he new he shouldn't have done long before he ever did it. These two tug at my heartstrings and make me smile contentedly as I travel along with them to solve their latest mystery.

 

While 'The Mystery of Nevermore' gave us the shiny new 'The Mystery of the Curiosities' proved that this author's candle is still burning bright.

 

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

An ARC of 'The Mystery of the Curiosities' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-22 18:23
Wild
Wild - Eve Langlais,A.C. Arthur,Kate Douglas Wiggin

Wild brings together the writing talents of Eve Langlais, Kate Douglas and A.C. Arthur. All are great authors in their own right but with story collections like this there's bound to be some that a reader will like more than others.

First up is Catch a Tiger by the Tail by Ms. Langlais and I had to stop myself from laughing out loud in public. The heroine (Lulu) is kick-ass, funny and the back and forth with her male counter part ispriceless. The hero wasn't too shabby either. Brody the were-tiger accountant has a lot to meow about and as a matter of fact his tiger meowed a lot. Well, I guess tigers can meow , especially if they are were-tiger. Anyway, this first entry has a great plot-line, a descent dose of action and and characters that the reader would like to see in further stories. Especially, that sexy alpha Fabian. Now, he's one character to meow about.

Next up is Wild Passions by Kate Douglas. I have to admit that this entry did not capture my attention like I'd expected. Like all of Ms. Douglas' entries, this one was well written with well developed characters but there was just too many to keep track of in such a short story. Like most readers, I expected the head shifter in charge to have his HEA but that just didn't happen. So, I kept reading expecting a three way relationship to develop but that didn't happen either. I found the heroine (Meg the character that I assumed to be the heroine) boring. The secondary female characters stole the spotlight consistently throughout the story and I was foolishly hoping that the male leads (Traker the Alpha and Zach the fiancé) would hook-up or that Zach would be a were or just something that would draw more interest. Don't worry too much about this because there are plenty of other characters with personal issues that will keep readers entertained.

The final entry is Her Perfect Mates
by AC Arthur and this was a treat to read. It was a little dark and a little edgy with strong leads. The heroine (Caroline) is a great pairing with the two male leads (Malec and Channing). I truly wouldn't mind reading more tales centered around all the characters of this novella. Her Perfect Mateshas weres (both wolf and feline), Greek mythology (with a pissed off Zeus) and enough male character with issues to write many more stories about.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for honest review.

Source: spbookhoarders.blogspot.com/2017/02/review-wild-by-eve-langlais-kate.html
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review 2017-03-22 00:31
Compelling historical novel with some Chinese folklore
Dragon Springs Road - C. Janie Chang

I don't remember what exactly drew me to this book exactly but it seemed like it was time to pick this one up. At a time of great change in China (the book begins the same year the last Chinese Emperor, Puyi, ascends the throne), we are introduced to Jialing, a child abandoned by her mother. Jialing is Eurasian, at a time when mixed children of low class were often especially vulnerable to abandonment, put to work in factories or even sold to brothels. However, Jialing is lucky because her mother left money behind and she is found by a family willing to take her in as a servant.

 

And so we follow Jialing throughout her life as she grows up among the family and is lucky to receive an education. However, she cannot forget her mother or let go of the search. And so guided by an animal spirit, Fox, we follow Jialing in her journey for answers and happiness.

 

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the book. It's a compelling time and it's not something I knew much about. Major overarching events (the abdication, unrest, etc.) are in the background but a good reminder of the uncertainty that the characters faced was not limited to the story at hand. Jialing was sympathetic. Even though her quest to find answers takes quite a while to pick up (and arguably there's not a lot that happens conflict/story-wise) I found myself intrigued by where Jialing and the story was going. Secondary characters are also well-drawn: when it comes time to say goodbye to some I found myself a bit sad even if it seemed the characters themselves weren't very attached to each other.

 

However, the book does seem to grind to a bit of a halt maybe two-thirds of the way through. I wasn't quite sure where the author was going although the book eventually picks itself back up again. I'm not sure I really liked how that was constructed although it ties into the resolution for some of the secondary characters. The ends were perhaps a little too neatly tied together for me but overall I liked the book a lot.

 

I suppose the book is somewhere between a 3.5-4 stars but I decided to bump it up because all in all it was a good read. Be aware though, as you can imagine some of the topics might not always be pleasant. As a poor, mixed race servant girl, she doesn't have the protection of money. There is some violence, an attempted rape, a murder, a groping, deaths (both natural and unnatural), etc. The details aren't graphic but they're there.

 

So if you need a historical fiction read with a bit of Chinese folklore thrown in, this would be a nice pickup.

 

 

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