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review 2017-08-21 04:32
Night Shield by Nora Roberts
Night Shield - Nora Roberts

Jonah Blackhawk is a former juvenile delinquent whose life got on the right track with the help of Boyd Fletcher, the man who eventually became Denver’s police commissioner. He loves Boyd like a father and feels like he owes him a debt he’ll never be able to repay, which is why he agrees to Boyd’s latest request: work with the investigating team looking into a string of robberies committed by people who seem to be using Jonah’s clubs to scope out their victims. Specifically, he’d like Jonah to allow the detective in charge to work undercover at his newest place.

What Boyd doesn’t immediately mention is that the detective in charge is Ally Fletcher, his daughter. There’s an immediate spark between the two of them, but Ally’s a professional and Jonah isn’t really a fan of cops (other than Boyd) and secretly feels that his past makes him unworthy of someone like Boyd’s daughter. Still, Ally’s undercover work puts her and Jonah in frequent contact, and it isn’t long before Jonah’s employees put two and two together and decide they must be dating.

Funny story: I bought this book thinking it was Night Shadow, the one with the hero who’s a superhero. I didn’t realize my mistake until much later, even after reading the description on the back. I still need to track that book down.

Every time I read a Nora Roberts book with a cop heroine I find myself looking for hints of her In Death series. I could see some of that here, in the way Jonah and Ally interacted, but there were a lot of differences too.

Ally had a good childhood and a huge and happy family. If she wasn’t wealthy she was at least really well off. As a result, although parts of the way she lived her life reminded me of Eve Dallas, she tended to be a lot better at self-care and letting Jonah help her. She also didn’t seem to have nearly as much of a chip on her shoulder where Jonah was concerned. Jonah, meanwhile, has a lot of Roarke’s confidence and arrogance, but also moments of insecurity. Whereas it was Roarke who primarily pursued Eve at first, here Jonah started things off but then Ally had to do more of the pursuing, because Jonah didn’t feel he should date or sleep with Boyd’s daughter.

Although I enjoyed the romance overall, things progressed a little quickly for my tastes. I snickered a bit when Jonah said he liked Ally for more than just her looks. He barely knew her! And I laughed when Jonah lamented that it was “over for him” - apparently just sleeping with Ally was enough to push Jonah past being attracted to Ally and straight to being head over heels in love with her. The bit where Jonah met Ally’s family was cute, though.

One thing that bothered me: both characters did things that might be considered sexual assault. The reader knew that both of them were saying “no” when they really wanted to say “yes,” but it wasn’t like the characters themselves were mind readers. Jonah kissed Ally right after she told him to back off. “He felt her body jerk against his. Protest or invitation, he didn’t care.” (74) Yeah, he should care. And later Ally came onto him strong and licked the side of his neck while he kept trying to turn her down. Both scenes were relatively mild - the second one, for sure, was probably supposed to be sexy, with the heroine taking charge - but I still found myself wishing they’d been written differently or removed.

The suspense aspect wasn’t very good, little more than a device to put Ally and Jonah in close contact long enough for them to fall in love.

All in all, this was okay. Not great, but not bad either. My favorite aspects were the way Ally’s family interacted and Boyd’s fatherly discussion with Jonah (so sweet!). Best line: "Don't grin at me when I'm having a paternal crisis." (170)

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2017-08-20 12:44
The Strange Files of Fremont Jones
The Strange Files of Fremont Jones: A Fremont Jones Mystery (Fremont Jones Mysteries) - Dianne Day

This story was creepy but not really scary. It did keep my interest though and when I wasn´t reading I was wondering about what would happen. I´m glad I finally read it since I´ve had this book on my to-be-read list for a really long time. Fremont Jones reminds me a lot of myself, strong-willed and different. I love that she left her home to support herself and decided not to be married. She wanted to be her own person without the limits of societies ideals. I can´t wait to see what happens as I read more of this series.

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review 2017-08-18 17:41
TechnoThriller – The Masters’ Key by Helen Hanson @HelenHanson
The Masters' Key: A Masters CIA Thriller - Book 2 (The Masters CIA Thriller Series) (Volume 2) - Helen Hanson

The Masters’ Key by Helen Hanson is FANTASTIC!

This is one of those reviews that, if I was on my toes, would have been written back in May of 2015, and is part of my Blogging Shame Challenge.

Helen Hanson is firmly on my grab-every-time-I-see-one-of-her-books list.

The Masters' Key (Masters CIA Thriller, #2)

Goodreads  /  Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA

MY REVIEW

I love conspiracies and political thrillers. The Master’s Key by Helen Hanson is filled with over the top suspense.

 

Technological terrorism that is terrifying to even think about.

 

We have betrayal, computer attacks, revenge, malice, and so much more.

 

The characters run the gamut. From good to bad:  the evil bitch that’s pissed she didn’t get her way, the greedy partner, the CEO whose demands cross the line, the sick woman who’s heart is pure and the man who loves her.

 

The Masters’ Key is very frightening…filled with the technological implications and disasters that can occur when a psycho has you in his sights. I love trying to figure out characters motivations, but this psychos thoughts are so far past my understanding. Would anyone be safe, anywhere, if he wanted to get to you? I don’t think so.

 

I would like to reach into my Kindle, grab him around the throat, and…

 

Action packed. The tension level is off the charts, as I see the bad guys in every shadow, around every corner, and behind every door.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of The Masters’ Key by Helen Hanson.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 5 Stars

 

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review 2017-08-18 08:51
The Breakdown
The Breakdown - B. A. Paris

By:  B. A. Paris 

ISBN: 978-1250122469

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press 

Publication Date:  7/18/2017 

Format: e-book

My Rating:  5 Stars

 

British author, BA Paris (one of my favorites) returns following her sensational debut, Behind Closed Doors, on my Top Books of 2016 with another gripping second thriller THE BREAKDOWN – A fitting title for a mysterious car breakdown, to a possible mental breakdown. 

The dark truths behind a façade. From friendship, love, trust, deception, madness, jealousy, gaslighting, to murder. 

It is summer in July and Cass’s husband has told her to drive carefully. There is a storm coming. Secondly, he cautions her not to drive through the woods on her own at night. She promises. 

Cass leaves a party early to go home when it begins to rain. She should have waited out the storm with her friends. However, she does not heed the warning. At the very last minute, she veers off to the left, taking the shortcut, Matthew told her not to take.

An eerie setting, Cass is determined she will be home soon. Suddenly there is the wind and she is in her Mini. She fears she will be stranded in the woods. More thunder and lightning. The road is deserted. She does not want to wake her husband. He would be furious. She cannot call him. She sees a car up ahead. The car is stopped. It is a woman. A woman looks back at her, her features blurred by the rain.

Thinking she has broken down, she pulls in a little way in front of her and comes to a stop. She waits to see if the woman will get out of the car. She does not get out. Why can’t she leave the car? Why is she just sitting there?

Then Cass notices there is something off about the way she is sitting with her headlights on. A shiver runs down her spine. It does not seem right to drive off and leave her. Maybe someone is on their way to help her. 

She is afraid and does not want to stop and help because it could be dangerous. Everything tells her to go. So, she does. But the woman is still her on her mind and wonders if she could call the breakdown services to tell them or the police.

Then she sees a text from Rachel. The message was strange. Did she forget something? She racks her brain. Memories of her mum, uncomfortable ones flood her mind and she quickly pushes them away. By tomorrow she will have remembered.

Rachel is the sister she never had. Their mothers had been friends. Rachel had spent a large part of her childhood at their house and they always referred to her as their second daughter. 

Cass is a teacher and had to give up her job to take care of her mum. She and Matthew had not been on a real honeymoon because they had been busy renovating their cottage. Turned out when her mom died she had been wealthy instead of a penniless widow after her father passed away. Her mum had lived on so little when she could have lived in luxury. 

The next morning, she learns the woman is on the news. A woman was found dead. Blackwater Lane. Could it be the same woman?

A woman had been found dead in her car near Browbury in Suxxex. Did she commit suicide? 

Feeling overwhelming guilt, Cass thinks if she had stopped to check on her, things might have turned out differently. 

Her death was being treated as suspicious. Had the killer been in the same spot? Had he been lurking in the bushes waiting for the opportunity to kill. Murder. 

Cass cannot stop thinking about taking this road. What about the woman? She had left her to her fate. . . to be murdered.

Turns out the mystery woman was Jane Waters, a young mother whom Cass recently befriended. A mother with two-year-old twins. She is shocked. She recently had lunch with her. Her cottage was only a few miles from where she was killed. She was her new friend. They had met by chance at a party.

Between this, Rachel and her husband continuing to tell her she is forgetting things, she begins questioning her own sanity. Or, is she getting like her mom with early onset dementia? She is terrified. 

Rachel and Matthew do not like one another. There is mistrust there. Rachel disapproved of Matthew. Could Rachel be jealous that she has someone in her life?

Jane haunts her. The constant nagging guilt. She has to find out what happened. Should she contact the police? She was on the road at around eleven-thirty but another voice tells her not to because she kept this information to herself. Could she be putting herself in danger if the killer is still out there?

Now she is worried about her own safety living so close to the murder. Strange things begin happening. 

 




The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Cass has a surprise for Rachel. A house. She will give her the keys to her house of dreams. She will keep the secret. Her mum and dad would have wanted her to have it. 

Tension builds to the point of madness or is it paranoia? Either someone is gaslighting her with an evil plot to make her think she is crazy, and losing her mind or she is actually losing her mind.

From Matthew to Rachel, something is not right. Someone is manipulating circumstances and Cass soon does not trust anyone. 

From the intensity and worry of trying to solve Jane’s murder — could there be a connection with her husband, Rachel, and Jane? Nothing is as it appears and Cass feels like she has nowhere to turn. Why is everyone out to get her? Does someone want her money? 

Cass wants the truth no matter how it turns out. However, will she get too close to the truth and put herself in harm's way? 

Once again, the author delivers a brilliantly crafted intense psychological thriller grabbing you from the first page to the last. Enjoyed reading the inspiration behind the book by the author. 

Gripping, riveting, and maddening, the author takes readers on a twisty, dark and scary journey. A page-turner which will keep you on the edge of your seat turning into the night. Emotional and addictive— (great cover)! Would make a suspenseful movie. Love the author’s style. 

The setting reminds me of all the rainy stormy late nights stuck out in the dark deserted woods on the Silver Comet 150 mile bike trail in Atlanta, GA — I rode every week (alone) 8 hrs (for years) and often after the time change I would be stuck out after dark before returning to the end, where I parked my car. There was no cell signal since most parts were very remote. I literally could not see anything in front of me, and no one on the trail for miles and miles. Pitch dark in the middle of thunder and lightning and pouring rain storms. 

Everyone warned me to stop doing this, but I was an avid cycler. Later, of course, several women were murdered on the trail. (guess it was fortunate I moved to Florida ). Also hiking on a mountain top in the dark with thunder, lightning, and rain on so many occasions. When looking back on these times, I wonder how I survived. Young, crazy, foolish, and adventurous. Would love for someone to write a book about this trail. I definitely have some scary and chilling stories. 

In addition to the reading copy also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Georgia Maguire for a chilling performance. (love the accent). 

Fans of Wendy Walker, Mary Kubica, and Fiona Barton (also my favorites) will enjoy this top-notch psychological suspense thriller. Can't wait to see what's next! 

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy. 

JDCMustReadBooks 

 

 



On a personal note: 
My apologies for the delay in posting my review since I was fortunate to have read THE BREAKDOWN prior to the pub date back in March, and wanted to wait until closer to pub date to post a review. 

In early May-June, my dad became critical with congestive heart failure (I was his POA) and flew home rather suddenly to care for him (my mom passed away ten months earlier). Wound up remaining in North Carolina for another two months, was in a bad car accident (his SUV), and my dad passed away the same evening, planned a funeral, deal with the insurance claim, car repairs, and had to clear out and sell his home. (closed on it this week). Also being the executor of my dad's estate, dealing with probate, among other things. So just getting back home to Florida and returning to work full time, this week. 

Tons of reviews, book blogging, and lots of reading to catch up! (May-Aug)

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/06/02/TheBreakdown
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review 2017-08-17 19:21
Giveaway & Review – Dark Harvest by Chris Patchell @chris_patchell @partnersincr1me
Dark Harvest (A Holt Foundation Story) (... Dark Harvest (A Holt Foundation Story) (Volume 2) - Chris Patchell,Mark Cooper,Monica Haynes

Dark Harvest

by Chris Patchell

 

 

 

Dark Harvest by Chris Patchell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY REVIEW

 

Dark Harvest is an appropriate title for this bone chilling thriller. Think about it…

 

As soon as I opened the book, I felt sad for Becky and what’s about to happen to her. I’m not sure exactly what it will be, but I know it won’t be good. And I was right. It was worse than bad.

 

Marissa and Seth hooked up after rescuing Brooke, her daughter from a kidnapper in Book I, Into The Dark. It is not necessary to read Into The Dark first, but if this is your first foray into Chris Patchell’s work, why not?

 

Brooke and Marissa’s story picks up from Book I, but I will leave that for you to discover for yourself.

 

Seth & Brooke are flawed, damaged, carrying sad terrible baggage, doing the best they can as they struggle to bring their lives into some kind of balance. You don’t know what you would do in their situation until you walk a mile in their shoes, so don’t judge them too harshly.

 

Seth and Marissa work at the Holt Foundation, helping victims of crime when the police seem to be unable or unwilling to follow it through to the end.

 

Now, they are teaming up to investigate the disappearance of a very pregnant Becky. Of course, they’ll look at her boyfriend first. He’s got problems and secrets and I aim to learn them too.

 

We have a narcissistic self serving doctor…bury him under the jail.

 

Tory, is so damaged, desperate. I don’t know how to feel about her sometimes. Why do women fall into these love traps?

 

Human trafficking is terrible all by itself, but this goes to another extreme. And harvesting, I can see that escalating in a horrific manner as those with selfish agendas so easily cast others aside for their own agenda.

 

I love these dark and horrible suspense novels that have my emotions raging and running the gamut. Frustration, anger, sadness, empathy…The more I read, the more I can’t wait until the villains are discovered and whatever happens to them can never be enough.

 

On page 214 and…

 

I don’t want to go on, yet I can hardly wait. A race to the finish because nothing is going to stop me from knowing how this will end. I know good, bad, and horrible, terrifying things are coming. How it will play out, I don’t know and it’s the journey, as much as the end, that keeps me going. I am amazed how Chris Patchell, and all the other authors who write such fabulous novels, are able to weave a story together, adding this mystery, that horror, culminating in a tale that grab me from beginning to end.

 

Political and ethical questions come to mind, but that’s the great thing about fiction. It gets you thinking, questioning, pushing the envelope, because all things are possible.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Dark Harvest by Chris Patchell.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

 

Read more and enter the giveaway here.

 

  • You can see my Giveaways HERE.
  • You can see my Reviews HERE.
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  • Leave your link in the comments and I will drop by to see what’s shakin’.
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