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review 2019-02-20 13:34
Interesting retelling of Beauty and the Beast
A Curse So Dark and Lonely - Brigid Kemmerer

It was not what she was expecting when she went to an unconscious woman's aid, to end up in a world with no technology, in a castle with two men and worrying about her sick mother and what had happened to the brother she was supposed to be keeping watch for.
For Harper her life had never been easy, her father had lost all their money, her mother has cancer and her brother has got himself involved in some very murky dealings, to add to it she has Cerebral Palsy, not that that has every got in the way of her doing what she wants (except where she had to do ballet and would have prefered more horse-riding, but the doctors insisted)
Prince Rhen is repeating his 18th Autumn over and over again and he can't break the curse that causes him to turn into a ravening beast mid-way through the month, where he has killed people. Harper is different and is making different demands from him that he's starting to actually think and try to work around his problems, but the Witch who cursed him has plans and his survival isn't one of them.
I liked it, though the ending with the obvious sequel bait felt a little added on. The characters had determination and gumption and I'm curious to see what happens next.

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review 2019-02-19 18:45
The Playing Card Killer (Fiction Without Frontiers) - Russell James


THE PLAYING CARD KILLER was one twisty-turny thriller of a ride!


Brian is tired of taking anxiety meds as he's been taking them his entire life. He decides to quit them cold turkey and see what life is really like. Unfortunately, his panic and anxiety attacks return and they seem worse than ever. Also, he can't sleep without having terrible nightmares wherein he's strangling people. When Brian learns that the victims he's seeing in his dreams are actually being killed, his anxiety ramps up to a previously unknown level. Is he murdering people while he's asleep in some kind of sleepwalking trance? How could he do such a thing? You'll have to read this book to find out!


It's hard to talk about this story without spoilers, but I'll give it my best shot. While I don't think this tale added anything new to the thriller genre, I do think it gave an unflinching look at anxiety and panic attacks. In fact, it personified them in the form of Mr. Jitters and that WAS new. To be honest, Mr. Jitters freaked me out. I've had personal, close up experience of what panic and anxiety attacks can do to a person and I've seen what the meds can do as well. There's nothing good about any of it and this book addresses those facts head on.


I loved the characterization in this book, especially that of Brian and Detective Weissbard. They came across as real to me, with real life concerns and problems. I could understand why Brian wanted to be off of his meds and why it was so important to him.


The only problems I really had with this story was that Weissbard's boss was a caricature of a "bad cop" and I thought that came across as a bit silly, even though I did hate the guy. Also, the real antagonist of this story didn't seem quite real to me at first, but as the tale progressed, I warmed up to him and I could see where he was coming from.


Overall, this fast paced story flew by and I enjoyed it. I think fans of psychological horror, serial killer stories and police procedurals would enjoy THE PLAYING CARD KILLER as well!





You can buy your copy here: THE PLAYING CARD KILLER 


*Thank you to Flame Tree Press for the paperback copy in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2019-02-19 07:41
Book Review - Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris
Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris

I loved this book immediately because it’s aimed at a more mature audience rather than other books I had read in the same genre, like Twilight by Stephanie Mayer. I find the vampires in this universe to be better developed, with hidden agendas and more well-rounded characters than their counterparts aimed at teenagers.

What I liked most is the way this book was plotted like a mystery. You throw in a couple of murders, set out an investigation combined with character development and the beginning of a love story, mix in plenty of tension, setbacks, and adventures, solve the murders in the end and you get a great book! I’m sure this was due to Mrs. Harris previous experience with writing mystery books.

This being said, it is a fast-paced, action-packed novel that keeps you on your toes. There were very few dull moments if any. If there was something I didn’t like I’d say it was the murderer. At the end of the book when the killer is revealed, although it’s no one you anticipate, it feels a bit meh. But to be honest I didn’t read the book to find who the murderer is, that’s just a subplot.

The action is set in a fictional small town called Bon Temps, somewhere close to Shreveport, Louisiana. The story is written in the first person and follows Sookie Stackhouse, a 25-year-old barmaid at Merlotte’s, the local bar and grill. Sookie lives with her grandma and has a unique ability (telepathy) that she considers more of a curse. Here’s a nice quote on how she makes fun of it:

“My brother, Jason, came into the bar, then, and sauntered over to give me a hug. He knows that women like a man who’s good to his family and also kind to the disabled, so hugging me is a double whammy of recommendation.”

Long story short, she’s a telepath and can hear what everybody around her is thinking without the option of turning it off. That impairs her social life and leaves no room for a love life at all. When she meets Bill Compton, the first vampire who comes to Bon Temps she’s instantly attracted to him because she can’t hear his thoughts and she finds this soothing. Sookie’s thoughts on that:

“Not one man in a million would have allowed me the time without speaking. I opened my mind, let my guard down completely, relaxed. His silence washed over me. I stood, closed my eyes, breathed out the relief that was too profound for words.”

Trying to put her ability to good use she enlists his help to investigate a couple of murders. That gets them both in a lot of trouble and its fun to see how they get through these misadventures.

Sookie has some of the best lines and her snarky side shines through:

“Eric appeared to be counting my eyelashes. I tried to keep my gaze on my hands, to indicate modesty. I felt power tweaks kind of flow over me and had an uneasy feeling Eric was trying to influence me. I risked a quick peek, and sure enough, he was looking at me expectantly. Was I supposed to pull off my dress? Bark like a dog? Kick Bill in the shins? Shit.”

Source: www.summonfantasy.com/book-reviews/book-review-dead-until-dark-by-charlaine-harris
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review 2019-02-18 22:04
4 Out Of 5 STARS for Do Not Disturb by A.R. Torre
Do Not Disturb (A Deanna Madden Novel Book 2) - A.R. Torre

Deanna Madden Series #2



๏ ๏ ๏ Highlights ๏ ๏ ๏


Psychological Thriller

Romantic Suspense

Erotic Cyber Sex


Homicidal Tendencies



With Audio Performed by Jorjeana Marie


๏ ๏ ๏ My Thoughts ๏ ๏ ๏


I didn't like this quite as much as the first book but it was still a solid follow-up to The Girl in 6E. Do Not Disturb has stepped up the romance a bit, between Deanna and the UPS guy, Jeremy. Also, we get to know the elusive hacker, Mike, somewhat. There is a new dilemma with a customer of Deanna's who just got out of jail for Rape and is hell-bent on meeting up her, despite telling him repeatedly that she doesn't do that sort of thing. Things escalate quickly, and she has to deal with the consequences of that. All of this is going on while Deanna tries to deal with her need to kill, plus her newfound need to escape her apartment.


The ending was definitely missing something for me, things tied up a little too quickly and I still wish this had a male narrator for the male parts of the book...but honestly, Jorjeana Marie does do a stellar job as the voice of Deanna Madden.



๏ ๏ ๏ MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏




๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏


Plot⇝ 4/5

Narration Performance⇝ 4/5

Characters⇝ 4.8/5

The Feels⇝ 3.8/5

Pacing⇝ 4/5


Theme or Tone⇝ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 4.2/5

Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 4/5

Originality⇝ 5/5

Ending⇝ 3.8/5 Cliffhanger⇝ "to be continued"

๏ ๏ ๏

Book Cover⇝ It also goes perfectly with the series...

Setting⇝ Mostly Tulsa, OK

Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)

Series Continuation⇝ Yes, No, Maybe or Probably

๏ ๏ ๏


๏ ๏ ๏ Links ๏ ๏ ๏


Kindle eBook | Audio

Add to Goodreads | Add to Booklikes 


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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review 2019-02-18 18:54
The Mouth of the Dark
The Mouth of the Dark - Tim Waggoner

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

I enjoyed the story of this father in search of his missing daughter, when everyone else is brushing this off as ‘she’s an adult, she must’ve gone with a boyfriend, she’ll surface again later’. In itself, it’s a sad illustration of how people can sometimes be very callous and not pay attention to others, including Jayce himself, who acknowledged that he hadn’t been very close to Emory and wants to find her in part because he’s feeling guilty about neglecting her.

The world of Shadow was also fascinating, in a (gruesome) way: a catalogue of all that can go twisted in people, but given a sort of physical shape. This made for a weird read, with gory and sexual depictions at times, the latter diving at times into the very disturbing—for instance, when Jayce finds a sex toy in Emory’s bedroom, or that specific flashback when he goes home and finds her in the basement: the whole sexual angle intruding in a father/child relationship cranked up the creepy factor fairly high here, and I can’t say I’m comfortable with that. This ties well into the horror part, though, but let’s just say one has better steel themselves against it. For me, it was disturbing (= sex conflated with parent/child) rather than horrific (= it didn’t scare me).

From a storytelling point of view, I had trouble with the timeline: the whole plot unfolds over less than two days (if you except the flashbacks), and I felt that this was too short for Jayce to go from ‘don’t know jack to Shadow’ to ‘oh one more disturbing thing… m’kay, let’s go on’. I also guessed pretty early what the big twist would be, so I wasn’t surprised at all when that was confirmed.

All in all, what I enjoyed most here was the world of Shadow itself, in all its bizarre glory.

Conclusion: 3 stars

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