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review 2019-04-05 16:26
One More Sleepless Night by Lucy King
One More Sleepless Night (Mills & Boon Modern Tempted) - Lucy King

She's going to take her life back... one sizzling night at a time! It used to be Nicky Sinclair's nightmares which kept her up all night; those 3 am silences were her worst enemy. So now she's following doctor's orders – rest, relaxation and plenty of therapeutic Spanish sunshine. Only she hasn't counted on sharing her tranquil retreat with her best friend's brother Rafael, whose presence is anything but peaceful! With his beguiling eyes and smoldering smile, he quickly becomes a very welcome distraction. After all, if she's struggling to sleep, why not find something else to do with her time..?! 

Goodreads.com

 

 

 

On doctor's orders, 29 year old Nicky Sinclair, photojournalist and creative, adventurous, globetrotter type, takes a trip to Spain to try to relax and hopefully experience a break from her insomnia troubles of late. With help from her best friend, she lands a nice place to stay. Just as she's getting comfy though, there appears to be a second, unexpected tenant ... Rafael, the brother of Nicky's best friend!

 

After a misunderstanding involving a pan swung at Rafael's head and some expected arguing back and forth about who has rights to the vacation spot, they settle on a way to share the place. No surprise, Rafael has a flirty side to him that he just can't help but shift into. He has a corporate job he takes very seriously, but having casual hookups with pretty ladies is how he lets off steam on his off-time.

 

Nicky admits she appreciates the look of him, but claims her sex drive has puttered out. Rafael claims he sees her as a sexy siren but she snaps back she's "about as attractive as a sack of potatoes". If that doesn't dissuade him, she has her grandmotherly way of speaking that ought to seal the deal ... "Heavens!" "My goodness, me!" When she really lets her true emotions fly, Nicky admits she did "ogle his bottom". The minx! LOL

 

There's a period where Rafael seems confused with what to think of her or how to act, claiming "should've realized there was something not quite right with her", even going so far at one point as to call his lust for her an "aberration".

 

Odd pairing, these two, for sure. But not in a cutesy, "isn't it great when opposites attract" way... this reader just did not click with this pairing. They had the ideal setting, just not that great a story or character development between them. The dialogue was also pretty cliche for much of the book, which distracted from the plot's potential momentum. It had its fun moments, but Rafael came on pretty strong and Nicky flip flops on what she thinks she wants.... that dynamic sometimes works in romance stories but here the balance felt constantly off just a hair... enough to make the whole thing a bit of a flop.

 

It's decent for a light and breezy poolside read, but don't expect too much more from this one.

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review 2019-04-05 15:40
'Til We Meet Again by Kimberly Raye
'Til We Meet Again (The Circle) (Silhouette Shadows, No 60) - Kimberly Raye

Her dreams had warned Mishella Kirkland of his coming, and those same dreams had driven her far from home. But the handsome man who claimed she needed protection was hardly the terrifying creature Mishella had conjured up in her anguished night thoughts. In fact, the man who stood before her was dangerously alluring… Raphael Dalton spoke of an unbreakable bond between them, a centuries-old love that had drawn him to protect Mishella from an unspeakable fate. Mishella’s very soul cried out to believe this captivating stranger. But was he truly her guardian, come to watch over her, or was he her greatest threat?

Goodreads.com

 

 

 

Portrait artist Mishella (Shelly) Kirkland has been having a recurring dream starring a certain mystery man. Now this very man, Raphael Dalton, stands before her, claiming she is in danger. He also reveals to her that they have a centuries-old bond between them -- dating back to the Spanish Inquisition -- that compels him to protect her.

 

Mishella is unsure whether to trust him or not, but her defenses weaken some when she discovers they both share the power to heal with touch. Raphael theorizes that they both came into it accidentally, the power originating from a demon who hated to see it used for good. Mishella is tempted to use her healing touch to hopefully cure her step-sister, Stacey, who is battling multiple myeloma, but Mishella's prophetic dreams have warned her that using her power will bring evil to her door. Is Raphael this source of evil, or is he honestly there to help?

 

So let's just get this out of the way: This book was originally published back in 1995. Raphael, the perceived "hero" in this story (though Raye leaves enough doubt about his intentions to keep the reader curious til the end) is HILARIOUSLY 90s. I encourage readers to embrace that -- for sheer entertainment value -- rather than knock it. Half the fun in this story is snickering at the image of this long-haired guy, clad in jean-on-jean (bottoms and jacket) combo complete with white tee, telling Shelly things like "if you need me, you can reach me on my car phone".... I know, brace yourself for the heart flutters! LOL. So yes, incredibly dated by today's standards.... but if you can get around that / have fun with it, there's actually a decently entertaining paranormal style romance here ---- good vs evil, demons vs mortal, all that.

 

Raye's writing here is consistently compelling, even with the cheeze factor, you want to know how these two turn out. The dialogue is fun, if at times momentarily a tad silly. Plus, every so often the story flicks over to 15th century Spain to give little clues as to the origin of the gift of healing these two share... so we get historical fiction to boot! As far as how the sexy times scenes go, the first one I found pretty laughable (I kept picturing something like a Whitesnake video), even for a paranormal romance (or especially for a paranormal romance?)... I guess we're all a little awkward the first go round LOL... but after that, the few next times were respectably written.

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review 2019-02-08 16:31
Dirty Little Secrets - Jo Spain

In a rather privileged gated estate called Withered Vale,a woman's body is found in her cottage. Apparently she has been dead for three months and nobody of this small estate noticed anything. So Detective Frank Brazil and Detective Emma Child start their investigation into the death of Olive,one of the first inhabitants of this small community even before it became the living space for six more or less affluent families(singles,couples and families with children). Very quickly both detectives realise that all of the inhabitants have small(large and big)secrets and that kind Olive was perhaps no so kind and treasured as some would like them to believe. Each of these secrets are important on different levels but they do lead to weakened positions and uncomfortable situations. But the questions remains,who killed Olive? 

Every chapter is told by a different inhabitant (including the deceased Olive) and it works perfectly,it keeps you guessing who the culprit is (as the whole lot are basically suspects) and the ending is definitely a surprise. 

A very good mystery with strong and well developed characters,two very likeable detectives, Frank,close to his retirement and Emma,an ambitious young wolf. 

Just sorry to hear that Frank is retiring...

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review 2019-02-03 04:13
The ending is good
The Inquisitor's Wife: A Novel of Renaissance Spain - Jeanne Kalogridis

THE INQUISITOR’S WIFE  by Jeanne Kalogridis

The last 50 pages are heart thumping exciting. The rest of the book not so much.  I had high hopes for an interesting and illuminating story, but it was hard to get past the often jarring word usage. This book needed a good editor.

3 of 5 stars

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review 2018-09-21 01:32
The Confession
The Confession: A Novel - Jo Spain

I walked away with mixed feelings on this one. The bare bones of the story is absolutely brilliant. In the very beginning, Harry McNamara is attacked in his home. It's brutal, grisly, and chilling. His wife witnesses the whole thing, and her reactions during and after are suspect at best. We also know from the beginning that JP Carney committed the crime. The question is why. At this point, the story had me in its clutches. Unfortunately, it started to lose me rather soon after that. The story starts to move back and forth between the days following the attack and the backstories of the characters. Some of that back info is important to the plot and reasons for everything happening, and some is not. A lot is not. We do finally get to the why of it all, but the book takes the scenic route to get there. Granted, there were things in the past that the reader needs to know for it to all make sense, but I really did not need every detail of every time Julie doubted Harry or every time she looked the other way, nor did I need to know every job that JP had during the years leading up to the crime. Fair warning, be prepared not to like anyone in this one. By the time I trudged through the considerable history of Julie and Harry's marriage and JP's troubled life, I couldn't drum up much empathy for any of them, except for the real victim in this deadly game. In the end, I would give a solid five stars for the beginning and conclusion, but the middle was way too drawn out and had too much downtime for me. So, I ended up somewhere in the middle on The Confession.

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