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review 2018-10-15 17:40
Thoughts: Secret Admirer
Secret Admirer - Cynthia Eden

Secret Admirer

by Cynthia Eden


For some strange reason, I dropped another book from the 'Romantic Suspense' Halloween Bingo square and replaced it with Secret Admirer.  I don't know why, but I guess I was hoping that I'd find another Cynthia Eden novel I'd come to really like.  I suppose I would be more disappointed if I hadn't then decided to shuffle the initial book I'd considered reading onto a different Bingo square.

But that's a moot point.

I'm actually rambling because I needed a couple paragraphs to start off this post.  Secret Admirer has a summary blurb that is six paragraphs long, and sort of just takes you in circles, repeating itself a couple times.  So I needed a lead-in to basically tell everyone that here is my own half-assed summary of the book.


The Story
Alice May's fiancé, Hugh, died on their wedding day... the same day that she found out he was the infamous Secret Admirer, a serial killer who had murdered five other women, all who looked eerily similar to Alice in appearance.  A year later, Alice has left her home and is trying to start her life over, away from the stigma of having been engaged to a monster.

Along comes Zander Todd, a neighbor in a nearby cabin who has been helping her out whenever something in her home breaks.  What Alice doesn't know is that Zander is an FBI agent, assigned to get close to her and find out what she knows or might know about her deceased fiancé.  Because another murder has recently occurred, in the same fashion as the Secret Admirer killings from a year previous, and the FBI think that Alice might have had more to do with those killings than she'd admitted to.  That maybe she had participated and is picking up where her fiancé left off.

But as Zander and Alice begin to form a closer, more intimate bond, it seems that the real killer has set his sights on Alice now.  And so in order to keep her safe, Zander will have to admit his reasons for getting close to Alice in the first place, no matter that his intentions are no longer just part of his undercover act.


My Thoughts
There were two factors working against this book.

First of all, Cynthia Eden has already written this story once before in Die For Me - A Novel of the Valentine Killer.  Secret Admirer is essentially the same story with a different twist, but a lot of similar scenes.  Even one of the surprise twists in the end was pretty, unapologetically similar.  There were a few differences, such as the killer's media dubbed name, or how our hero and heroine meet.  But some other factors, such as the description of how the 'Secret Admirer' killed his victims, or staged their bodies seemed to echo the 'Valentine Killer.'  I couldn't get past how similar both books were.

Second of all, this book felt rushed.  Even if I had read this one before Die For Me, I probably would have found it mediocre at best because of how abrupt and over-dramatic it was written.  The romance was rushed and the ending resolution was rushed.  The conclusion was pretty predictable and I felt like our killer pretty much walked in with neon signs pointing at him--he was hard to miss.

Simply put, if more thought had been put into this book, like maybe giving us a better look at how our hero and heroine bonded for the past couple months before slinging the "I love you's" around, or even giving me a reason why our heroine, Alice, would so easily trust another man again after what she'd gone through with her fiance, I probably would have been a bit more accepting.  Simply citing that Zander is "just different" doesn't really cut it for me.  In essence, we were told that the two got to know each other over a course of two months, but we don't get to see any of that--only those first chapters where Zander flirts with Alice, promises that he's not out to hurt her, then she just automatically trusts him, and then they jump into bed together.

I wanted more from them than that, honestly.

On a side note, I will openly admit to being a fan of Jayne Ann Krentz and Jill Shalvis, two authors who's books are pretty much the same formulaic romances over and over again.  It sounds like I'm being contradictory, but in the case of JAK or Shalvis, I always come back to their books because they are charming and attractive in spite of their ever recycled material.

It's unfortunate that aside from being an echo of Die For Me, Secret Admirer was also not actually written all that well.  If it had been, I might have just mentioned the similarities briefly, and then moved onto talking about other parts of the book.  I have a pretty high tolerance for things like this.

Die For Me wasn't even really one of my favorite Cynthia Eden novels, truth be told, and I had found the heroine pretty depressing.  So this makes Secret Admirer doubly frustrating, because it just echoes a book I'd already read before, but didn't really care too much for, and doesn't improve on it.  Alice is no different from the heroine of Die For Me, so by default, that makes Die For Me the better novel because it was a bit more fleshed out than Secret Admirer, which is a disappointing, really.  I've been looking for another great Cynthia Eden book ever since her Deadly trio, which I had found very enjoyable and hard to put down--I still haven't found another Cynthia Eden work like that.

Fortunately, this book was extremely bite-sized and it didn't take long to breeze through it.

On a another side note, while writing this review, I had a moment wherein I couldn't remember the heroine's name.  Mere hours after finishing the book, and I could not conjure the heroine's name and had to go look it up.  This is how unforgettable this book is going to be to me...

 

 



 

Halloween Bingo 2018
(any romance which has a significant sub-plot that involves mystery, thriller, or suspense)


Other possible squares:  New Release; Genre: Suspense; Terrifying Women; Murder Most Foul

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/10/thoughts-secret-admirer.html
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review 2018-10-15 17:19
Thoughts: Front Page Fatality
Front Page Fatality - LynDee Walker

Front Page Fatality

by LynDee Walker
Book 1 of A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller

A fiery crash kills two young police officers. A horrific accident? Or something more sinister?

Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke is covering the deaths of two young police officers near Richmond, Virginia. On the surface, it looks like a tragic accident. But as she digs deeper into the investigation, Nichelle realizes that all is not as it seems.

Evidence goes missing.

A prosecutor vanishes.

Someone is trying to cover their tracks.

Nichelle is struggling to put the pieces together, until a seductive Mafia boss shows up with the headline tip of a lifetime. But each step closer to the truth becomes exponentially more dangerous. And her investigation soon transforms into a murderous game of cat and mouse.

 

 

On a side note:  I like the newer covers for this series.  It's been noted that LynDee Walker was able to get the rights to all of her books, thus giving her the opportunity to repackage her series.  Each book gets a brand new, grittier looking cover illustration, and the whole series gets a brand new title as well, having previously been known as A Headlines in High Heels Mystery, which I can see why it had been given this series title in the first place, but doesn't really show you that there's so much more to the story than Nichelle's love for fancy heels of all kinds.

 

Now, moving right along to the review:

 

 

Front Page Fatality is an extremely enjoyable and strong start to the Nichelle Clarke Crime Thrillers, and definitely has a lot of potential to continue on being great if the rest of the books follow along the same vein.

The story is fast-paced and the murder investigation keeps you on your toes.  To be honest, I really didn't know what to think and who I thought would end up the ultimate culprit of the murders, and of the drug evidence disappearing.  I wasn't surprised at the ending, but was kept guessing throughout.  As others have mentioned, this book feels much grittier than your typical cozy mystery, with constant action from the beginning, all the way till the end, and even a darker atmosphere than your typical, humorous cozies.  The characters are all interesting in their own way, and I hope to see more of them in the rest of the series.

I especially loved our heroine, Nichelle Clarke, who isn't the typical badass independent woman, nor is she a giggling, swooning damsel either.  Nichelle is resourceful, smart, and doesn't spend her time pining after the first man who gives her a mega-watt smile.  I also love that she's not out to be TSTL material, even though she DOES manage to get herself into trouble a couple times--at least she openly admits that getting herself killed was never the plan.

She also reacts appropriately when she finds a strange man in her home who shouldn't be there... sort of.  I would have liked a lot less talking and a lot more dialing of 9-1-1, but I'm guessing Nichelle had her reasons; though I don't really approve of her still finding Mr. "Call me Joey" attractive after he'd just broken into her home.  I DO appreciate her then spending the time searching her home and locking all of her doors and windows following that little incident, and keeping vigilant about it even a day or two later.

I also love Nichelle's relationship with Bob, her boss--a pseudo-father-daughter relationship, if you will.  I like how they kind of take care of each other.  I hope to see more of that in upcoming books.

The side characters could have been fleshed out a little more.  Grant Parker felt like he should have been more interesting than he actually comes off.  Nichelle's best friend, Jenna also feels like another tangent waiting to be told.  And then Nichelle's police detective source, Aaron ended up disappearing for a good portion of the book.  So, ultimately, as I'd mentioned already, I DO hope to see more of these people in future books, if only because there is SO much potential going on there.

The only one thing that DID bug me about this book were the constant commentary about Nichelle's co-worker, Shelby--it felt in bad taste, honestly.  What people do in their romantic and/or sex lives is no one else's business, and using that as an attack against Shelby so much was uncalled for and unnecessary.  No matter that Shelby was a big bitch to Nichelle all the time--you can dislike her for her general attitude and rude behavior, but there's no need to stoop to attacking her bedroom habits.

I had figured Nichelle to be above that, considering she'd been able to hold her tongue against Les, the temporary stand-in when her boss, Bob has a heart attack.  Les was a standard asshole who kept the insults coming and I had so, so wanted her to retort back at least once.  But she held her tongue every single time, even after he kept insinuating that she was playing hooky and not taking her job seriously enough.

Nichelle's behavior towards Shelby is a different matter, however, from the fact that Shelby's "sleeping with the boss to advance her career" side-fact had to be brought up at all.  Truthfully, I had been so ready to be happy about Nichelle and Shelby's relationship being one of friendly rivalry of some sort when Nichelle mentions how Shelby is good at what she does, and could even potentially work the police and crime beat if she got the chance.  But then we pull the slut-shaming card and I just felt a bit frustrated.

I appreciate that Nichelle and Charlie, a television news reporter, have the friendly rivalry going on, but Charlie barely makes an appearance in the book.  It would have been nice to see more of this between Nichelle and Shelby, rather than just making Shelby out to be the stereotypical "Mean Girl."

But anyway, this book was overall entirely enjoyable, and I was very satisfied with it.

 

 



 

Halloween Bingo 2018
(a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community)


Other possible squares:  Amateur Sleuth; Terrifying Women; Murder Most Foul

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/10/thoughts-front-page-fatality.html
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-10-15 15:00
Review: Bum Fight- an Unlikely Journey from Hopeless to Humanitarian by Rufus Hannah & Barry Soper

 

 
'A Bum Deal: A Memoir' is the story of the man who was the face of the infamous website BumFights, Rufus Hannah, aka Rufus the Stunt Bum. It chronicles his journey from early alcoholism and social misfit into a symbol of unrestrained greed and disregard for human life and finally a voice for others with similar troubles. It's a story that sounds clichéd in our times but still occurs all too often. And as is often the case, a human face and voice are what's needed to drive the issues home.

It almost seems Rufus was doomed from the start. Coming from southern working class parents with alcohol problems, he was born jaundiced due to his mother's drinking. Even so, they often resorted to the old southern remedy of lacing the baby bottle with vodka to keep the child quiet. Yet the parents instilled a work ethic into all of their children that served him well when little else did.

His journey takes him through failed marriages and jobs lost due to alcoholism across country and finally to San Diego where he meets Donnie, a fellow vet with similar problems. They migrate to Donnie's hometown of La Mesa where they manage an existence as the only homeless men in the town and are somewhat absorbed into the community. At the insistence of another resident they're hired on as handymen by Barry Soper, a local businessman. The three men are mistrustful of each other but over time they develop a real friendship- especially Rufus and Barry.

A chance encounter with a HS student with a video camera- Ryan McPherson- sets them on the path to notoriety together. Ryan's callousness towards the two men is apparent to Rufus from the start but as he supplies them with the necessities, namely booze, they feel obligated to go along. Heat from the cops forces Ryan to move operations to Vegas, where things start to spiral out of control. Rufus and Donnie realize the danger they're in and contact their friend Barry, who helps spring them and gets Rufus on the road to recovery.

This reads as a complete stream of consciousness work, as if Rufus simply talked about his life and the notes were sorted out. Events leap around a few times, especially in the beginning, as people and events are suddenly thrust upon you with little preamble. There's also some gaps left open towards the ending- especially his attempt to repair his relationship with his children, that's never followed up and leaves you wondering.

'A Bum Deal' is not exceptional but intriguing at times and insightful into the mindset of an alcoholic. Rufus' emotions are raw and unfiltered, underscoring his helplessness, frustration and acceptance of his situation as well as his struggle to get them under control to save himself. It also provides a few details about the BumFight phenomenon, but more importantly, it's about the redemption of a man who fell too many times to pick himself up without the help of someone who cared enough to do so. And who doesn't need a helping hand once in a while?

 

 

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review 2018-10-15 14:02
Review: Star Wars: Lando's Luck by Justina Ireland
Star Wars: Lando''s Luck - Justina Ireland

An all-new adventure starring Lando Calrissian and L3-37 onboard the Millennium Falcon.

When Lando Calrissian gets caught smuggling on the planet Hynestia, the queen agrees to let him go if he delivers something called the Solstice Globe to the Empire on her behalf. Lando is relieved that his punishment is a simple delivery mission-but he soon discovers things are not as simple as they seem. The queen's daughter, Princess Rinetta, has stowed away on the Millennium Falcon and demands Lando and L3-37 take the globe back to its home planet, which needs the globe to survive. Now Lando has to choose: Do what's right, or do what's best for Lando. But if he's lucky enough, he just might be able to do both....

 

 

 

*I received a free copy from the publisher and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!*

 

 

I love Star Wars and the Star Wars universe. I'm not a mega fan like some people but I still like it and enjoy it very much. It is something I share with my kids and family. So when this book came up for review I was excited. Since I read some excerpts from the book and liked them I was even more excited.

That being said... I really enjoyed it for the most part but towards the end it seemed to drag a bit. It almost seemed stuck. Which slowed down the book and the pace of it a bit.

Some of the characters came over flat especially if they were not main characters, but overall they were fun and easy to follow.

If you know Star wars you know the world and it was fun revisiting them.... the book also had some very awesome and fun illustration that I enjoyed.

The book is rather short (for me) with under 200 pages but that will make it the perfect size for some kids. But I think the book is pretty much for young and old if you enjoy Star Wars.

Overall fun great book.... though it has some slow moments.

I rate it 3★

 

 

Image result for star wars clone wars wookie gif

 

 

 

 

Buy Links

 

 

Amazon *** B&N 

 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2018/10/15/review-star-wars-landos-luck-by-justina-ireland
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review 2018-10-15 11:00
Blog Tour with Excerpt, Giveaway & Review! Bad Blood (Bad Duology #1) Shyla Colt!

 

 

Bad Blood
Bad Duology
Book One
Shyla Colt
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: 9/28
ASIN: B07G6TPBZ4
Number of pages: 230
Word Count: 53,317
Cover Artist: Dreams 2 Media

Tagline: He saved her life, and stole her Freedom

 

 

Book Description:

 

A reluctant knight

 

A magical descendant

 

A race against time

 

A freak accident thrusts Nakeeta Alva into a dangerous world of secrets, ancient spells, and a legacy she never wanted. The last in a magical line, she’s tasked with restoring the balance to a supernatural world poised for ruin.

 

Tasked with the care of their savior, Crewe’s main focus is survival. Used to giving orders, the knight isn’t prepared for the sassy witch’s mouth or her lure. The powerful woman reminded him of his humanity and challenged his beliefs.

Keeping her safe is his mission, but the real danger may be losing his heart.

Together, they will save the world … or die trying.

 

 

The first book in the Bad duology is a thrilling supernatural read. Keeta and Crewe easily draw readers into their story where readers find themselves engrossed in a fast paced plot that is full of intriguing elements and a world that is different from most other books.

 

The romance is full of suspense, action and passion as Crewe sets out to train Keeta for the part she plays in a prophecy to restore balance to the new world that she has been thrust into. The attraction that they try to deny steadily grows the more connected they become but both are a bit unsure where it will lead which keeps the emotional turmoil high as it piles onto the danger they face, the secrets that are revealed and a legacy that Keeta never wanted. There is never a dull moment to be found throughout the story as it starts off with adrenaline filled event and continues with lots of action and suspenseful events as their enemies try to stop them and betrayals and surprises keep the couple on their toes. The story concludes with a very exhilarating battle but readers should know that it doesn’t end there as the battle will continue in the next book where the characters set off to find the others that involved in the restoring the balance and I am looking forward to finding out what happens next.

 

 


Author’s Book Page – http://www.shylacolt.net/bad-blood

 


Add to your shelves –

 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41063720-bad-blood

 

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/books/bad-blood-by-shyla-colt

 

 

 


Bad Blood is the first book in the Bad Duology!

 

Bad Moon coming soon

 

 

AVAILABLE in print or ebook –

 

Amazon – http://smarturl.it/BadBloodColt


Kobo - http://smarturl.it/Badbloodkobo


iBooks - http://smarturl.it/BadBloodIbooks


B&N - http://smarturl.it/BadBloodBN

 

 

 

The crack of thunder, proceeded by a bright flash of lighting, drew her attention from the words that swam on the yellowed pages in front of her. Her skin prickled. Hairs begin to rise, and she shifted in her seat. “This storm is wrong.” She whispered. There was power building up behind the weather or perhaps causing it.

 

She stood and walked from the table, pressing her nose to the cold glass like a child. “Who knows we’re here?” Nervous energy added to her anxiety. Clouds raced over the sky, blocking out the full moon. A slash of lighting exploded, turning the clouds an eerie neon green. Swirling fog crept over the grounds.

 

“Wrong in what way?” Crewe joined her to watch the abnormal display.

 

“It’s unnatural? Can’t you feel it?” She opened their link, letting her emotions bleed into his.

 

He tensed. “Are we under attack?”

 

“I’m not sure.” The words felt like a lie. People didn’t work this kind of magic for shits and giggles.

 

“I’m not taking a chance. Let’s get to a more secure location.”

 

She smiled sadly. “There’s no place you can hide from magic. It’s specific like that. Standing your ground, and hoping you have enough magic to equal or overpower the other person is all you have. Focus. This is no novice.” Lighting struck the ground close to the castle. She twitched. It struck again closer, turning up the ground. A wind tunnel began to form. The base as dark as night.

 

“They’re calling me out.”

 

“Who?”

 

The evil feeling of black magic crawled up her spine. She knew the signature well.

“Genevieve. The Priestess.”

 

“Can you defeat her?”

 

“Before? No. Now.” She shrugged. “It’s hard to say. Why are you looking for me?”

 

“She must know who you truly are.”

 

“If she did. She never would’ve let me go.” She rubbed her arms to counter the chill setting in.

 

“How did you escape her the first time?”

 

She bowed her head. “I found a suitable replacement. I seduced a witch with latent powers, gave her a place to belong, and showed her all the pretty things that came along with the coven. Once, she was hooked, I was freed.” Her throat swelled. “I’m not proud of what I did—.”

 

“But we all do what we must to survive.”

 

Saline blurred her vision as she nodded. A boom went off directly above the house. The rumble seemed to shake the ground.

 

“She won’t stop.”

 

“You can’t mean to go out there.”

 

“I have to.” Her gut pulled her toward the front door. She turned, and the hem of her deep pink dress skimmed her toes. Better to remain barefoot, so she could tap into the earth's energy. Unlike tears before, she felt no fear. Calm descended over her as she made the long trek through the castle at a leisurely pace. Let her wait.

She no longer owns you. The voice inside enhanced her confidence and helped snap the lingering chains that held her tight to the way things once were. Once you’d given your submission to a person, it was hard as hell to take it back completely.

 

Crewe trailed behind her, brooding and apprehensive. It wasn’t in his blood to remain on the sidelines. He wanted to be in the thick of it, defending her. Her heart swelled. They reached the front door, and she turned to face him. Placing her hands on his chest, she looked up. “I know you’ll want to help, but this fight is mine.”

 

“If you’re hurt—.”

 

“All I’m asking you to do is be backup. Not the front line.”

 

His jaw clenched, and he nodded. He brought his hand up to his wrist, sank his fangs in and brought it to her lips. “Drink.”

 

She latched on to the sweet nectar and sucked it down in greedy mouthfuls. His power charged her like a battery. The wound healed and she pulled back, licking her lips. Centering herself, she used her power to push the heavy door open and stepped into the howling winds, head held high. Her feet padded along the wet stone as she moved toward the grassy knoll where a figure stood in a black dress, shrouded by darkness. She knew all the intimidation tactics, so she dismissed them. Genevie might be using the same old tricks, but she had a new bag of them to unleash.

 

Shield lifted, she flinched at the lighting strikes raining down on either side of her. The ground shook under the onslaught. She stumbled as the earth rocked, but never fell. Using her newly gained speed, would be giving away her hand. For now, she’d play the role to gather as much information as possible. Genevie threw back her hood and scowled. Her slender oval-shaped face was every bit as flawless as she remembered. No wrinkle dare mare her forehead or around her deepest black eyes. Full lips painted black turned down. Her eyebrows drew together as she looked at her with disgust.

 

“What do you want Genevie? Our business was concluded long ago.”

 

“And yet, I hear you of all the beings on this planet are the key to a revolution. I knew I shouldn’t have let you go. Of course, once I have your blood, there’s nowhere you could hide that I wouldn’t find you.”

 

“Here I stand in plain sight.” Keeta held up her arms.

 

“Do you think your vampire will help you?”

 

She smirked. “I don’t need him.”

 

Genevie blinked. “Bold. Have you forgotten who I am?”

 

“No. I’ve discovered who I am.”

 

“This is our chance to rule. The vampires are unstable. Soon the wolves will turn on one another to determine pack hierarchy. It’s the opening we’ve been waiting for. Humans will be the ones to hide in the shadows.”

 

“And you think witches, who mostly strive to keep the balance will be on board for this? The darkness needs the light to exist. What do you suppose would happen if you removed one?”

 


TOUR GIVEAWAY

 

$25 Amazon GC

 

www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112ffc1809

 

 

 


ABOUT SHYLA COLT:

 

Shyla Colt is the sassy USA Today Bestselling author of the popular series Kings of Chaos and Dueling Devils M.C. This genre-hoppers stories feature three of her favorite things: strong females, pop culture, and alternate routes to happy ever after. Listening to her Romani soul, she pens from the heart, allowing the dynamic characters, eccentric interests, and travels as a former flight attendant to take her down untraveled roads.

 

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, this mid-west girl is proud of her roots. She used her hometown and the surrounding areas as a backdrop for a number of books. So, if you're a Buckeye, keep an eye out for familiar places.

 

As a full-time writer, stay at home mother, and wife, there's never a dull moment in her household.

 

She weaves her tales in spare moments and the evenings with a cup of coffee or tea at her side and the characters in her head for company.

 


You can interact with Shyla Colt online


Website: www.shylacolt.net

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorshyla.colt

 

 

and

 

Twitter: @shylacolt

 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shylacolt/

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5034494.Shyla_Colt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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