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review 2020-01-14 17:46
Cross Her Heart
Cross Her Heart - Melinda Leigh

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

So I really liked this first book though I think that things got a bit too convoluted towards the end. I will definitely read the next book though because I like how Melinda Leigh set this up and I adored the characters of Bree and her partner from the Philadelphia police, Dana. I was okay about Mike (the other lead I guess you could say) but not that focused on him while reading this. 

"Cross Her Heart" starts with a bang. Bree Taggert grabs and hides her little sister Erin and and her baby brother Adam when their father starts hitting their mother. In one dark moment though both parents are lost to Bree. We fast forward decades later with Bree dealing with a stake-out with her partner Dana. We know that Bree lost her parents and due to that it has left her feeling shy about romantic relationships. She also doesn't have the closest relationship with her siblings either. When Bree gets a call that something has happened to her sister, she's thrown about the fallout and wants to do what's necessary to figure out who is behind it.

Leigh also shows us the third person POV of Matt Flynn. Matt is best friend's with Erin's husband, who has gone missing after Erin's murder. Matt previously worked as a K-9 unit with the sheriff's department before something happened that had him leaving. 

I really liked Bree. She is very good at her job and it shows in this when she starts investigating her sister's death. I also was relieved there wasn't any big romantic things with Matt in this first book. Obviously Leigh is setting it up this way, but to me this book read more thriller/suspense. Some authors I have found have a hard time balancing romantic suspense in their books. 

I thought the other characters like Dana were great and I look forward to reading more about the sheriff department characters and the town.

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review 2019-12-20 12:44
Seconds to Live, A Scarlet Falls Novel by Melinda Leigh
Seconds to Live - Melinda Leigh

Seconds to Live, A Scarlet Falls Novel by Melinda Leigh is a suspense-filled story that kept my attention. I gave it four stars.

 

Detective Stella Dane was promoted only six months before. She's working with senior detective, Brody McNamara and they are investigating when a body was discovered on a baseball diamond. This would be the first time she would work a case alone. Brody's girlfriend's father was seriously ill and he would be taking some leave to be with her.

 

The killer recorded the newscast of the discovery of the body. "How could he make his message clear? Some people were unworthy of life. There were consequences for bad decisions. People should be punished for their sins. What would it take for the world to understand?" He realized that Detective Dane was the one who needed to be convinced.

 

I purchased a copy of Saturday night and it was finished by early Sunday morning.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Seconds-Live-Scarlet-Falls-Book-ebook/dp/B017IKQW56

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review 2019-12-20 12:38
Seconds to Live - Melinda Leigh

Seconds to Live, A Scarlet Falls Novel by Melinda Leigh is a suspense-filled story that kept my attention. I gave it four stars.

 

Detective Stella Dane was promoted only six months before. She's working with senior detective, Brody McNamara and they are investigating when a body was discovered on a baseball diamond. This would be the first time she would work a case alone. Brody's girlfriend's father was seriously ill and he would be taking some leave to be with her.

 

The killer recorded the newscast of the discovery of the body. "How could he make his message clear? Some people were unworthy of life. There were consequences for bad decisions. People should be punished for their sins. What would it take for the world to understand?" He realized that Detective Dane was the one who needed to be convinced.

 

I purchased a copy of Saturday night and it was finished by early Sunday morning.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Seconds-Live-Scarlet-Falls-Book-ebook/dp/B017IKQW56

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review 2019-04-16 17:09
Midnight Exposure by Melinda Leigh - My Thoughts
Midnight Exposure - Melinda Leigh

I guess I'm not having much luck with romantic suspense this week.  I DNFed the last one and this one... well, it was just alright.  Nothing exciting really.  Definitely not enough to make me overlook the things that bugged me.

And what were those things?  Well, for one, I was getting a whiff of the misogyny that so turned me off the previous book. While the hero, Reed, did his best to be respectful and look for consent etcetera, his inner thoughts were just a tad too leery for me to be totally comfortable.  When it's the bad guy, it doesn't bother me, but in the hero?  Nope.

Then there was the instalove.  I didn't buy it. 

There was also a scene set in a Wiccan shop that was run by a woman who the author described as 60-ish.  You would have thought this woman was a doddering old fool, just because of her age. I'm here to tell you, (at 62), that we are nowhere near as ready for the home as this woman was depicted.  And maybe I could have glossed over it, but the heroine came across as rather judgmental and mean in her thoughts about the woman.  It was a small thing, but it really irritated me.

And then we came to the end.  I like my thrillers to come to a conclusion. This did not. All of a sudden, the people in danger were rescued, the bad guy got away, the MCs declared their love for each other and decided to move away.  Oh yeah, the bad guy got away.  It was totally unsatisfying. I went online and discovered that book two in the series concerns the brother of the heroine taking up the chase for the bad guy. I have it in my TBR, but honestly?  I'm not that anxious to read it. 

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review 2018-12-13 07:12
Ranting Thoughts: Midnight Sacrifice
Midnight Sacrifice - Melinda Leigh

Midnight Sacrifice

by Melinda Leigh
Book 2 of Midnight

 

 

One by one, people are mysteriously disappearing from a small Maine town.  Four months ago, a ruthless murderer killed two people and kidnapped three more, including Danny Sullivan's sister, who barely escaped.  Unfortunately so did the killer, vanishing without a trace into the vast wilderness.  When the police fail to find his sister's captor, Danny returns to Maine to hunt him down.  He begins his search with another survivor, bed and breakfast owner Mandy Brown, but her refusal to cooperate raises Danny's suspicions.

What is the beautiful innkeeper hiding?  Mandy Brown has a secret.  But sexy Danny Sullivan, his relentless questions, and the desire that simmers between them threaten to expose the truth.  A revelation that puts her family in danger. As more people disappear, it becomes clear the killer is planning another ritual--and that he's circling in on Mandy.



I seem to be in the minority about this book (and maybe the series overall).

In a nutshell, this book was too long for the material it presented, with our heroine rehashing her own "woe is me" story on repeat several times.  Mandy probably could have been a better character to relate with if she'd just get over herself.  She was a great independent and strong type, with resources and skills that many women would kill for.  But her unwillingness to speak up about the threats she'd been getting from the antagonist, Nathan was what bugged me the most.  What she knew, and the fact that she'd been getting threats, might have been helpful--after all, everyone thought that Nathan might be out of the area or dead, so the manhunt had been called to a temporary halt.

Instead, she spent the entire book moping about how her life had turned out, about how she and her family are now in danger from a crazy man out to make human sacrifices, about how she'd do anything to protect her family... and yet when she's questioned, she adamantly denies the fact that Nathan could still be alive.  I guess I just didn't understand her logic, because allowing someone to know that her family might be in danger would have gotten her more protection.  Accepting help from someone who could keep an eye on her property and her family could have kept her brother safer.

Giving the authorities, or even our main hero, the information necessary to help find Nathan is probably a better way to make sure her family stays safe.  Because no matter what she was thinking, the fact that her brother was already on Nathan's radar meant that nothing she could do, including keeping silent, would ensure her brother's safety--as is ultimately proven by the end of the book.

But she decided to go the stubborn, independent, stupid route of, "I can take care of myself and my own."  Except that she wasn't equipped to do any of that, nor did she possess the skills necessary to combat a half-maniacal, determined psycho killer.

But anyway... in the end, it was all a moot point.  It didn't even seem like anything Mandy knew about Nathan could have done much to help capture him--simply it would have proven that there was a chance that random hikers disappearing wasn't just another case of "hikers disappear in the mountains all the time," due to getting lost or eaten by a bear or whatever.  But the whole "if we find Nathan's secret girlfriend, then we can find Nathan" thing was a waste of story line, because it went nowhere.

Which brings me to how laughable the entire law enforcement investigations turned out.  As Danny kept bringing up, over and over again, the last time a couple hikers/campers disappeared, it wasn't by accident or due to nature.  So the fact that every cop so readily dismissed a second set of campers disappearing, only months after the first incident involving disappearing campers and ritualistic sacrifice of living humans...  It occurred to me that everyone in this book was in denial except for Danny and Jed.  It seemed like there had been no effort put into the entire investigation, whether on the side of the manhunt to find Nathan, or even about the disappearance of the campers.

And while we might say that the entire town only had one cop who wasn't exactly top notch police material, there was also the state police that kept being referred to.  There was no talk about what they were even doing.

And when the first set of campers disappeared, I was actually quite surprised that a full scale Search and Rescue wasn't launched--especially when a child was involved.  This just reeked of poor outlining, to be honest.  Everyone was all, "They probably just fell in the river, got carried downstream.  We'll see them surface at some point."  But... what if they hadn't fallen into the river?  What if, psycho kidnapping for ritual sacrifice aside, they'd gotten lost?  We're just going to leave it to presumption that they probably just fell in the river?  The apparently quite shallow river?  And got carried downstream?

Is nobody going to even consider the possibility that they might be wandering lost?  Even if we don't want to contemplate the fact that there's a kidnapper out there, already running from a statewide manhunt?  Why would we take the chance that they could be lost and not send a team in to look for them?

And what if they DID just "fall into the river?"  Why are we still NOT looking for them?  What if they are still alive in the river?  What if they did just "get carried downstream" and managed to climb out of said supposed river scenario?  What if a child is shivering to death after being soaked in a river?

And nobody thinks it's worth it to further investigate?  Or send SAR out to find this child?

But anyway...

Meanwhile, Danny was pushy and one-dimensional.  He was the only person with sense in this book, but he let his emotions and his dick lead his actions.  But otherwise, he didn't really stand out much.

Every other character was also quite one-dimensional, truth be told.

I liked Mandy's brother, Bill.  And I liked the dogs.  There should have been more about dogs.  I have a hard time believing that someone who made a living out of training dogs didn't at least train a few for Search and Rescue.  Especially in a town where there are mountains and woods, and apparently campers and hikers get lost on a regular basis, and just fall into rivers and hypothetically get carried downstream, just waiting to be discovered later.

The logic holes in this book are insulting.

That's probably about it.

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/ranting-thoughts-midnight-sacrifice.html
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