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Search tags: Pip-Ballantine
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review 2017-07-13 11:38
Fast
Some Kind of Hero: A Troubleshooters Novel - Suzanne Brockmann

This is the 17th book in the Troubleshooters series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To avoid spoilers, and for reader enjoyment and understanding of this fabulous 5* series I recommend reading in order.

 

Shayla helps her neighbor Peter, when she sees him on the side of the road trying to flag help down.  Then they get to know one another and the heat is on!  The attraction is mutual, if not surprising.

 

Peter cannot find his daughter.  With her missing his life feels out of control.  His neighbor comes to his aid, and he is attracted to more than her body.  Her mind is such a sexy thing.

 

This is such a great addition to the series.  This story has it all.  I loved the character interactions, the sexy times, the recurring characters visiting & more!  Hard to put down a Troubleshooters book, and this is no exception.  If you were looking for a summer read, look no further!  I give this amazing story a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publisher.

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quote 2017-03-05 06:50
“I want what you have with Sam. I want someone who won't freak out when I have a night like tonight. I want trust and respect and ... I want someone who'll say I love you in front of a crowd of co-workers and friends.”
Headed for Trouble - Suzanne Brockmann

~~ Suzanne Brockmann, Headed for Trouble

(Troubleshooters series, book # 16.5)

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review 2016-10-31 16:43
Adventures in Audio
Phoenix Rising - Philippa Ballantine,Tee Morris
A Conspiracy of Alchemists - Liesel Schwarz
The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter: The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, Book 1 - Rod Duncan

Mr Ceridwen and I have been listening to audiobooks on our (somewhat long) drive up to the cabin, which has been generally enjoyable. We got through the entire "Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire" series, which was absolutely a great time. Good narrators, very interesting alt-history, a semi-twist ending I didn't see coming, very astute observations about gender, and on. Well recommended all around. So then we cased around for the next steampunkery to fill the hours. 

 

I downloaded A Conspiracy of Alchemists first, but holy God was the narrator bad. We just couldn't stop laughing at her hiccoughing reading style. Then we moved on to Phoenix Rising, which opens with a relatively fun rescue sequence, and then settles into ... a whole lot of not so very clever bickering. The main characters, named Books & Braun (gag), are a fussy librarian and a stabby brute, but, get this, the DUDE is the fussy pepperpot and the LADY loves explosives. Oh ho, I bet you thought the lady was the librarian, but you would be wrong! See our fascinating gender reversal! 

 

I actually fell asleep while listening. 

 

Which, look, I generally think whether I like this sort of pulp mid-list disposable reading is more dependent on the angle of the sun or the barometric pressure than, say, actual merit. Because this stuff is all more or less the same -- somewhat formulaic, dependent on action, sometimes quippy, little bit of romance for the ladies, etc -- so I wonder sometimes why I bother reading (or writing) reviews. Something called Conspiracy of Alchemists is going to be a three-star outing, shitty narrators notwithstanding, and that I thought Phoenix Rising boring and trite might because I ate something like all the doughnuts when I stopped in Hinckley and hit Toby's bakery. Noms. 

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review 2016-08-21 16:31
Book Review: Harbinger
Harbinger - Philippa Ballantine

When an attack hits the northern citadel they're staying, Sorcha and Merrick see the lines upon lines of souls of the dead, geists and geistlords, waiting to cross and wreck havoc and death upon the world. Sorcha and Merrick will face what they truly are, learning their powers and limits, as they race with Raed Rossin to save the world from the breach happening again. There is one man working all the powers he can to bring the geists and more to this world for him to rule.

I have waited long enough to read this one. It's bitter sweet as I love this world and characters, and this is the last book. *sigh*

We see the world as it's falling apart around our characters. Things are not looking good, and they may not all live to see what happens to the world when the Otherside crosses over. Maybe they don't want to see it. But they all will do everything in their power to stop it from happening. There are even a few geistlords that live upon the human realm and don't want the Otherside to cross, as they have to many enemies there. You know one of these geistlords as the Rossin. The Rossin has his own set of plans that do parallel what the Deacons and Raed want, not to let the geists cross.

We see Sorcha face her other half. She finally remembers her childhood, that was blocked from her. But we see her have to work with who and what she is. She's special and can help or destroy all. Merrick, ah yes. We've known he was unique and powerful in his own way. And here we learn why, combined with what we see with him in the previous books. As I love both of these characters for what makes them special, I also love Raed. He never asks for to much. He does not want to rule, and remains of that mind. He would like to be freed of the Rossin, but not at the cost of the world, and sail the sea. The Rossin has his own plans and wants to be free too. I enjoy seeing these characters pass through different phases in their life and coming to peace with where they end. The events that leave them where they are, makes it easier for us and them to accept the peace.

Now that I'm finished I'm thinking back on the ending. I am starting to think the ending is longer than I originally thought it was. I think it started the final battle when Sorcha and Raed, individually, fought the last man between opening the breach letting all the geists and deadly powers into the human realm. But when we get to the grand finale, I felt it happened to fast. Even reading it felt like there were things skipped over in those flash moments that ended it all. That was a little bummer for me. But what lifted the ending was seeing how the characters plan to go on with their lives. There is an ending, a peace in a way. However, there is always that small spark that is left that leaves a small opening for the world and characters as they could be visited again by the author.

I don't want to say to much more as this is the concluding book of the series and I want you to enjoy it in your adventure with the characters and their big conclusion to attempt to save the world.

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review 2016-07-17 14:32
Book Review: The Ghost Rebellion
The Ghost Rebellion - Pip Ballantine,Tee Morris

Okay. I have to stop and bring my thoughts together. There is, once again, much we learn here as our Agents fight the best battle they can.

We follow two missions through this book. First and foremost in many eyes is what Wellington Books and Eliza Braun are up against. Following the trail of the isotope Blackwell created for in Dr. Jeckyll, Wellington Books and Eliza Braun find themselves in India where a person Jeckyll had been in contact with was heading.

Books and Eliza are trying to track down all on the list that are working with Dr. Jekyll. It's going a bit...rough. They are trying to clean up Dr. Jekyll's work and mess of super-enhanced people who go a bit mad and grow in size along with other abilities. This leads them to where one of Dr. Jekyll's patients had worked, and shared secrets with military in India. Not only are the medicines that Jekyll experiment with an issue, but there are experimental equipment that is now in the hands of the Ghost Rebellion forces. And this brings a new battle for Wellington and Eliza to battle, trying to get to Jekyll.

But reinforcements come! Well, one assassin that is, and the agents that remain in India. Yes, you guessed it by the mention of assassin. We get to see Sophia again. I really do love this woman, and seeing her personality clash with Eliza's is fun. I believe we will see her more in the last book to come as well - you'll come to the same conclusion in the end.

The second mission we follow is with Bruce and Brandon. They are sent to the arctic cold winter of Russia to find and obtain a Firebird feather to help cure the queen after the effects of Dr. Jekyll's serum in the last book. I have enjoyed the bold Bruce in previous books, but here I have started to see another side to him. Bruce seems to have a softer side here, a genuine person.

We get to see inside the House of Usher meetings too! And they are behind so much that Books has unknowingly stopped. Oh and a bit more on our dear Wellington too. There are major points shared with us that I just can't share because I don't want to spoil the book for you.

While the remaining agents are on their missions we see them deal with the great losses, and losses of those that were dear friends as well. There are connections to those we knew and the losses are still fresh in many hearts. The Ministry is reforming after the great losses felt preciously. It's a lot of work, and being in the state The Ministry is, anything can happen...

I want to add, I love that we have a couple that still function and interact as individuals paired together. They are who they are and love each other for that reason. Eliza and Wellington still banter and make me smile as they go through their missions, but they are more to each other as well. I enjoy writing of couples in this way.

For me steampunk is all about the gadgets. And Tee and Pip don't let me down! I love the gadgets created and used or seen with other agents. Awesome! But they also drew in the emotions from lose to love and blooming friendships into the book as well as the adventures and dangers continue.

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