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review 2017-04-19 01:11
I saw that one coming
Echoes in Death - J.D. Robb

Well, it played much like I expected. It's a pretty piece of hipocresy, or character-centered morality; but then Eve's un-compromising posture has been shifting as she becomes a more rounded human being instead of sorely a cop, so I don't quite get where the reader's rage is coming from.

 

It's no great height in this long-runner, but it's not dreadful either. And if anything, I would have expected haters of this one to give up volumes ago

 

around the time the whole Homeland bit came to light and she got Roarke to erase those files, I reckon.

(spoiler show)

 

Wait, I'm editing because I saw some valid poits raised: flateness of lines; missed sassy, capable Peabody, got some secretary sim instead; too much going about the redecoration (about the only comment on that that served any purpose was some off-handed line about how the study now felt integrated to the style of the house intead of separate); and too much damned rape and/or child abuse going in this saga lately. Eve says at some point that she misses greed or rage classic, and I think we do too...

 

So yeah. I still stand by and say it wasn't horrid, but it is getting a bit flat.

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review 2017-04-18 22:54
Review: Stolen by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins Sexy Space Odyssey #2) by Nina Croft
Stolen by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins’ Sexy Space Odyssey) - Nina Croft

Ruby finds herself back where it all started. Her mission may be back on track but now she may be in more danger than ever before.

Here we get to see more of the other creatures Ruby and her friends have to deal with and the villains they have to defeat. There were a few twists along the way that kept the story interesting and a pretty awesome, action-packed, nail-biting ending, which was another cliffhanger.

We also got to see Killian in a more redeeming light, which was good of course. Unfortunately Ruby continued to act like a child in a chocolate factory regardless of everything of what was happening to her. I mean, I get that there are certain things that get some people off, and hey! More power to them for enjoying what they like when it comes to sex. However, I wished she started acting more like a hero and less like a lioness in heat. All in all a good continuation to the story and I’ll definitely read the final book.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2017-04-15 18:10
For police procedural lovers looking for characters they can relate to. And some great secondary players.
Marred - Sue Coletta

I’m reviewing this book as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team and was provided with a copy of the book that I freely chose to review.

I read and reviewed Sue Coletta’s Wings of Mayhem, book one in The Mayhem Series (check the review here), and was impressed and intrigued. Now, on the occasion of the launch of the second book in the Grafton County Series, Cleaved (yes, I’m reading and reviewing that too, try and stop me!) I managed to catch up with the author’s first book in that series, that chronicles the lives of Sage and Niko Quintano, a couple who now live in Grafton County, New Hampshire, where they took refuge after something horrific happened to Sage. Niko is the new sheriff and Sage is a successful author of crime novels, although, unfortunately, she ends up playing the part of the victim in real life more than once.

Sage and Niko are trying to recover from their personal tragedy, as Sage lost a baby she was carrying when she was assaulted but they are both keeping things from each other, in an attempt at protecting the other. During the book, they’ll realise they are stronger together and the best way to beat evil is to be honest with each other and to share the truth, however hard it might be to hear.

The novel has strong elements of the police procedural genre. Niko is an accomplished detective, although sometimes hindered by his personal feelings and his inability to see and accept the unacceptable, and as there are not as many crime fighting means in a small town, he gets to share his expertise (his training one of the deputies gives the reader the perfect opportunity to eavesdrop and learn, although it might be a bit too much detail for those with no appetite for the grosser things in the art of detecting) on issues such as blood spatter and how to process a crime scene. Frankie, his fiery and fashion conscious deputy, is a fabulous character who takes no prisoners and tolerates no fools. Sadly, that means she has little opportunity for career advancement, as tact is not her strong suit, but through the novel, we get to understand her better, see her softer side, and she’s great at one-liners and gritty and witty repartees. Although Niko might complain about Frankie’s evident disdain for authority, he enjoys the banter and their relationship is one of the fun and lighter elements in the novel. The crimes are gruesome, bizarre and puzzling, as it appears the killer is trying to send a message but nobody knows what it is or who the intended recipient might be. There are red herrings and confusion, as it becomes clear that these crimes relate to what happened to Sage years back, in Boston, but we don’t know how or why. Lies and withholding of information don’t help and Sage does a fair deal of amateur investigating too.

Apart from the police procedural aspect, there are also other elements that give the novel a distinct flavour. The strong relationship between the couple and their shared (at least in part) trauma plays a big part in the action and also in the reactions and behaviours of the characters, that at times might stretch reader’s suspension of disbelief but would fit in with somebody trying to survive to a horrible ordeal. This is not the typical novel about the lone detective, who lives only for his work and solving cases but is totally unable to have a meaningful relationship. Thanks to Sage’s memories we share some of the couple’s high and low points. Pet names, real pets and home life (including thoughts about the laundry) ground the characters and their relationship making them more relatable and real, rather than just case-solving automatons. Sage’s otherworldly encounters (she consults a spiritual guide and has a very special experience during the investigation, but I won’t spoil the story) are also outside the norm for a book otherwise very realistic and detailed.

The story is told from the points of view of several characters. Sage’s point of view is narrated in the first person and that makes the reader identify with her more closely. She is also a writer through and through and observes everybody around her, everything that happens and analyses her own thoughts and feelings in detail. Niko and Frankie are also given a narrative, although theirs is in the third person but still manages to make us see their different perspectives, helps us understand their behaviours and thought processes, and provides more information the readers can try and use to put together the jigsaw puzzle.

The book has a great sense of rhythm, and alternates very tense and dark scenes with moments of light relief (Frankie and the other deputies are always at hand with some strenuous comment or mishap, Sage and Niko also have their humorous moments and the novel is tongue-in-cheek about possible comparisons, including comments about Castle) and is particularly effective at dropping the readers right into the action and making them share the experiences and emotions of the characters.  The ending manages to be satisfyingly upbeat while also introducing a final disquieting note.

A recommended reading for those who love detailed police procedural novels (and TV series like CSI, Criminal Minds and yes, Castle), with characters who carry a heavy baggage, in a backwoods/small-town setting and with less down-to-earth elements thrown in too. A strong stomach is a necessary requirement. I’d also recommend it to writers keen on the genre as there’s much to be learned from the author.

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review 2017-04-15 04:42
CELEBRATE EASTER WITH THE RABBIT MAN, AND DUNCAN RALSTON!

cover, where the monsters live, duncan ralston

How far would you go for revenge?

Synopsis:

When a six-year-old girl is abused and left for dead by a pedophile known only as the “Rabbit Man” due to the claw marks left on her body, police follow every lead but reach only dead ends.

Hungry for justice, her grieving father abandons wife and child on a harrowing journey deep undercover into Miami’s sex offender colony under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. His purpose is simple: to find the “Rabbit Man” among them, and put him in the ground.

Months later, with no one to trust and the pedophiles he lives among growing suspicious of his actions, he learns nothing is simple where the monsters live.

 

Hoppy Easter! Come see what I put in your basket...

WHERE THE MONSTERS LIVE is NOT an extreme horror story, but I still want you to have a little ‘heads up’ before you start reading.

The story is not super graphic in an icky way, but it's emotionally graphic. WTML will sucker punch you right in the feels. It's a disturbing story, and the 'uncomfort' level rises drastically if you have a child of your own.
I didn’t notice just HOW 'emotionally graphic' it was until The Dark Defender woke up to ask me what was wrong, and I had tears streaming down my cheeks.

 

At one point I thought I knew exactly how this story was going to end (we’ll talk about that once you finish reading). That wouldn’t have made it a suck story – but I am happy that WTML didn’t go for the ‘ironic twist’, and I’m very satisfied with how it’s wrapped up – there could be a little wiggle room JIC case the story isn’t done with us yet.

 

Full review posted HERE - come join in on the discussion of WTML!

Source: beckisbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/celebrate-easter-with-the-rabbit-man-and-duncan-ralston
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review 2017-04-13 19:02
Arc Review: Rescued by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins Sexy Space Odyssey, #1) by Nina Croft
Rescued by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins’ Sexy Space Odyssey) - Nina Croft

I’ll start by saying this: H-O-T! Because it was. It was sexy, funny, and actually pretty interesting for such a short story. Ruby was an every-day woman that dreamed of traveling to other planets and when her dream became true it was definitely not the way she had wished it was going to be. Now this is an erotica more than a romance so if you’re going to read it don’t think there are going to be many tender moments and be prepared to read about a woman ready to live every moment as if it was her last (because it very well could be), threesomes, sex-crazed aliens, and insanely hot humans.

My 3-star rate is because I think stories that deal with rape and violence towards sex slaves have to be set up in a very specific way otherwise those issues may look as trivialized and it may look as if they are not being taken seriously and to me that was a problem in this story.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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