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review 2018-08-14 17:57
Eternal Beast
Eternal Beast - Laura Wright
Mark of the Vampire, Book 4

I Picked Up This Book Because: Continue the series

The Characters:

Grey Donahue:

The Story:

I’m having a tough time with this one. I feel like it must have been very interconnected with book 3 but I read that back in 2013 so I remember nothing. So that aside I’ll try to stick to what I know from this story alone. The Order are jerks (mild word choice) who want to subdue the impures and annihilate the mutori. Well guess what Gray and Dillon are. Gray is not only an impure but the leader of the resistance. Dillon is one of the few mutori who have lived to maturity under the unscrupulous rule of Cruelen (this is probably spelled very wrong).

So now we have Gray fighting the order, Dillon and Gray fighting their feelings for each other. Dillon, and her brothers, struggling to hide their existence from the order. Oh and Dillon has a problem with shifting. She gets stuck as a jaguar at least twice in the book. It’s a lot and that’s to say nothing of any additional characters.

The story leaves us in a place where I want to read the next book. Hopefully it won’t take me 5 years to do so.

The Random Thoughts:

The Score Card:


3.5 Stars
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review 2018-08-11 21:53
A Tangled Ruse
A Tangled Ruse - Laura Beers

Lady Rachel has recently escaped an attempted kidnapping with the help of Agent of the Crown, Shadow.  She was taken hostage by those who would like to see the French influence the English Parliament.  Now, it has been determined that Rachel should be kept safe at her uncle's estate in Scotland until the French threat passes.  Rachel is left with an Agent and bodyguard David as well as a threat to neighbor and older brother of Shadow,  Luke Beckett, the Marquess of Downshire to protect Rachel.  However, when the lonely and brooding Marquess first meets Lady Rachel, he believes that she is just like every other English Lady and she only wants him for his money.  Upon meeting Lady Rachel, he believes she is a horse thief responsible for the slew of missing animals around town.  Rachel believes that Luke is a horse trainer. Luke keeps up the charade by calling himself John. As Rachel and John spend time together, Luke realizes that Lady Rachel is kindhearted and adventurous.  Before Luke can let Rachel know of the ruse, a French threat is exposed on the shores of Scotland and Rachel is endangered once again.

The fourth book in The Beckett Files, A Tangled Ruse continues to excite and entertain.  I highly recommend reading the rest of the books in the series- and in order to catch up on the Beckett family.  I was eager to continue the story with Lady Rachel who, despite her upbringing, desires more.  I enjoyed her attitude of being willing to continue on with life and waking up her sense of adventure even after  being kidnapped.  Along with getting to know more about Lady Rachel, the story dives into Larson's past and we get to meet Jonathan and Eliza's reclusive older brother, Luke.     Unlike the other Beckett's, Luke is not an Agent of the Crown but the Marquess of Downshire  and his father's heir.  At the start, Luke's attitude is distrusting of women and he is a loner and rough around the edges, hiding himself away at his stud farm.  When Rachel comes on the scene, the writing creates the feel of a life-like Beauty and the Beast, complete with large library. The writing also offers plenty of masterfully crafted witty back-and-forth banter between Luke and Rachel as well as mounting tension as the French threaten to invade Scotland's shores creating a way for the rest of the Beckett family to come into the scene.   Woven in with historical elements of the Napoleonic Wars and the madness of King George III, A Tangled Ruse is more than a regency love story. With an exciting conclusion, a sweet romance and plenty of spy action, A Tangled Ruse is a great addition to The Beckett Files.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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review 2018-08-07 22:33
Desperate Girls
Desperate Girls - Laura Griffin

Desperate Girls is a bit of a mixed bag. We have some courtroom drama, a bit of action and suspense by way of an escaped murderer set on getting revenge, some hot and steamy romance, and a little more suspense with an interesting twist. This is my first read by Laura Griffin, and I have to say I was impressed. The story moves at a good pace, there are no big lags, and the flow is good. Brynn is a strong female lead, which I always enjoy, and Erik is the very definition of a protector. They have great chemistry and just fit so well together that you can't help but want to see them together. The big bad in this one is about as bad as they get, and the tension builds as he tries to get to Brynn. I would've liked to have seen a bit more from Corby given his intelligence level, but it was still an entertaining read. We do get an intriguing twist at the end - one that I didn't see coming until it was right there. All in all, I enjoyed the book and will certainly be watching for whatever comes next in this new series. 

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review 2018-08-06 19:43
Quote the Raven: Nevermore
In a Strange City - Laura Lippman

Not going to lie, this one so far is my least favorite of the series. It just drags and it's pretty obvious who has to be the bad guy because we are only introduced to one person who could have done it. Also for a book about Edgar Allen Poe this was boring. I have to admit though, I had no freaking clue the Baltimore Ravens were named for Poe's "The Raven" poem. How did I not know that? Interesting premise, but it just doesn't work.


"In a Strange City" has Tess and Crow dealing with the renovation of the house they bought. Tess has some downtime and gets asked about being hired to unmask the famed Visitor (a man who goes to Edgar Allen Poe's grave and toasts him, leaves flowers, and a note every year) that has become a Baltimore tradition. Tess is outraged about anyone trying to unmask this person so she decides to go with Crow to make sure that the Visitor is left alone. Instead two men meet at Poe's grave, and one is shot to death. With the police involved, Tess decides to track down the man who originally tried to hire her. She ends up running into the police and another private investigator on this one.


Tess is usually on her game, but in this one she gets beaten up twice and not really able to link things as well as she usually does (well not until the end). Tess and Crow seem to be solid, but honestly I needed him in a corner out of the way, he doesn't add much to this book. We hear about Tess's parents, but they are not in this one and her Uncle Spike has moved. So we have some of the usual characters missing and it is felt.


The writing is okay, it just felt like Lippman kept trying to loop in Poe references and it doesn't really work. When you see how Poe is involved I maybe rolled my eyes. 


The flow was not good though, the first part of the book really does drag. I honestly didn't think things picked up much until we dealt with a second murder that happens. At this point the book moves a bit faster and it feels as if Tess is rushing to just name the murderer already.

The ending was odd, no other way to call it. I just didn't see much of the point in this. It doesn't help that the so called Poe Toaster stopped being a thing in Baltimore in 2010. It restarted again in 2016 though lost it's flair for the unknown when the Maryland Historical Society picked someone to be the new toaster. 

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review 2018-08-06 19:30
Tess, A Case, and Her Family
The Sugar House - Laura Lippman

This one is heartbreaking though at first I was confused by all of the players. Lippman does a great job of showing the consequences that Tess has to live with when she refuses to let a case go. Tess's family pays for it and it leaves her slightly estranged from her father. Considering that we never really got a sense that Tess's father was disapproving of what Tess did for a living, it was surprising to see him and Tess fighting in this one. In the end, the ending was very well done and I loved how Tess was about dealing with an eye for an eye (messing with her family does not go unpunished).


"The Sugar House" has Tess being asked to look into a murdered girl by one of Tess's father's friends. The woman who asks, Ruth, believes that her brother was set up to take the fall for a girl the police say he took back to his house and murdered. While in jail he was murdered, and Ruth wants someone to pay. Tess initially thinks this case is going to be one long dead end until she finds out enough clues to trace the unknown dead girl to a house for young teens who are dealing with eating disorders. As readers know, Tess dealt with an eating disorder when she was young, she also finds out her long time friend Whitney dealt with one as well. 

When Tess starts to find links between the dead girl and possibly some people that her father knows, that is when things go from bad to worse.

We have the usual suspects in this one, Aunt Kitty, Jackie, Whitney, Uncle Spike and now we have Crow (he and Tess are trying again and are deliriously happy) and Tess's friends at the paper, along with her cop friend too. 


I do love how Tess is still haunted by the choices she made in book #1 and realizes she doesn't want to just look the other way again. She knows that some people did something terrible to this girl and it stings that her father is telling her to let it go and who cares. 

The writing was really good and I have to laugh at Whitney coming along as Tess's sidekick in this one. 


The flow was great and I maybe read this one too fast. I was so worried that something was going to happen to several characters in this one.


The ending was great and it's nice to see that Tess is earning a good reputation as a private investigator. 

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