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text 2018-02-15 08:36
BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Devil's Gold (Black Rose Mystery #1) by Amanda McKinney
Devil's Gold: A Black Rose Mystery - Amanda McKinney

Despite being chronically late, occasionally disheveled and a tad disorganized, Dixie Knight is one of the top private investigators in the country, and when a young woman goes missing in the small, Southern town of Devil’s Den, Dixie takes the case. She expected it to be another ordinary missing person case—until Lizzie Meyers is found naked and beaten to death at a local, seedy motel.

While visiting relatives on his two-week leave, Marine Liam Cash bumps into Dixie at the local bar, and his attraction to her is immediate. When Liam connects Dixie’s current case to two unsolved murders in his hometown, he steps in to help find the killer, and keep her safe, whether Dixie wants him to or not.

After another woman is found brutally beaten, Dixie turns the town upside down trying to solve the mystery—could it be the rumored witch that lives in the mountains; the rich, neurotic doctor’s wife; or the perky, blonde receptionist at the local medical clinic?

Time is running out and Dixie knows she has to put the pieces of the puzzle together before another body turns cold in Devil’s Den.

 

Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2018/02/blog-tour-review-giveaway-devils-gold.html
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review 2018-02-12 09:37
Edge of Darkness by Karen Rose
Edge of Darkness (The Cincinnati Series) - Karen Rose

Adam Kimble has been slowly crawling out of the dark hole that's been his life for the past year or so, ever since he witnessed a little girl slaughtered live, on his computer screen. He also desperately needs Meredith Fallon (in more ways than one), but has been keeping his distance in order to actually deserve her. Then someone makes her a target, and Adam will do anything to keep her safe, to keep her alive...Even if his year "of atonement" isn't over yet.


Another intense, thrilling, gut-wrenching book in Karen Rose's opus. This is what she does best, really. This perfect mix of thrills and chills, twisted suspense, and emotionally (and sometimes physically) scarred characters that somehow manage to find one another when the time is right, and then have to keep each other safe in order to have a shot at the life they deserve.

This story concludes (I think) the Cincinnati arc of this interconnected series with the big loose end left from the previous three books, namely the kingpin, the elusive supposed cop that terrorized a young girl instead of helping her.
Turns out, this person really exists, is even more evil than everybody thought, has fingers in more pies than previously believed...And the reveal of this person's identity is both a shock and a relief to at least one person involved in the investigation.
I must say I figured out who it was a little over halfway in, but I didn't mind. I was looking forward to seeing how they'd catch the bastard, and what would happen at the climax. Yes, Ms. Rose does her suspense well.

Her other forte are her characters. People you both want to hug and smack around at the same time. Flawed, layered, with real-life issues...I knew there was something off with Adam from the start, but I never suspected it ran so deep. Yet his issues were rather well-balanced with the issues of his heroine, Meredith. What a coincidence these two characters, that were so adept at wearing masks to hide what was truly going on, both having deep psychological issues, found each other and turned out to be perfect for one another.
Yes, the fit was a bit too cookie cutter perfect, but the romance still worked out nicely, because of the similarities and their "shared issues". And yes, in the end, I was glad they found one another.

Turns out the only uncoupled characters are Sloan and Dolores, Dani and Diesel (as star-crossed romances go, this one takes the trophy), and agents Troy and Quincy. I really hope Ms. Rose revisits the Cincinnati characters in the future (as she did with most of her Chicago crew in this book, which was a bit much, if you ask me), so we get to see these "loose" characters get their shot at happiness. :)

Yep, I liked this one, despite the overabundance of characters. They were mostly old friends, and well, the story itself was strong enough to sustain it.

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review 2018-02-10 13:06
Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose
Monster in the Closet (The Baltimore Series) - Karen Rose

A monster killed the mother of two little girls, Jazzie and Janie with Jazzie being witness to who the killer was. Unfortunately, the kid hasn't spoken since that terrible day...Until she meets equine therapist, Taylor Dawson who's come all the way from California to enter the internship at Healing Hearts with Horses at Daphne Montgomery-Carter's stables.

Taylor also has an ulterior motive for being where she is...She wants to know her real father, the man she'd been taught to fear and hate by her mother, Clay Maynard, since her mother had confessed that the fear and hate had been based on a lie on her death bed.

But father and daughter might not get a long reunion, since the killer is now gunning for Taylor in fear of what little Jazzie might have seen...And said.


First of all, the blurb is off. A lot.

Second of all, I wasn't that convinced by this book. Yes, the suspense was good, but unfortunately we knew who the killer was from the start, removing the aspect of anticipation and guessing. And the motive was rather flimsy.

And we got to revisit old friends, from J.D. to Clay, and even Deacon made an appearance (along with the character traits that made him Deacon and were so conspicuously missing in his own book). It was nice seeing them all again, revisit their dynamics, learn some news, and have a really good time in their company. Yet the new addition to the "family" didn't convince me.
Taylor Dawson, Clay's long-lost daughter, left me rather ambiguous. I didn't really like her, and I didn't really not like her. She was an entity, an additional character to the story, a catalyst for the suspense, and features heavily in more weepy scenes (which tugged at the heartstrings and caused some leakage mostly because of the others involved in the scenes), but that was pretty much it.

The fact she was proficient in hand-to-hand and was a good shot felt more like a deus ex machina moment than the result of the big lie her Californian family has been living. And her so-called budding romance between her and Ford (Daphne's son) was more than flimsy. It felt more like getting-back-on-the-horse for Ford and exploring-new-territory for Taylor.
At least they decided to take it slow and see how it goes (after only knowing each other a couple of days) instead of going down the completely unbelievable route of being in love for life.

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text 2018-02-09 22:05
No rating: it's a trauma survivor's angry journal
BRAVE - Rose McGowan

I picked this up from the library just because I was there the day it came out, and I figured if I wanted to read it, I should get it while I could.

I'm feeling very mixed about reviewing it and I just will not give stars to this book. Not 5 not zero - I cannot rate someone's early healing journey in book form or otherwise.

This is a classic example of someone in an early stage of healing who puts all her shit out there. There's a point in every trauma survivor's healing when screaming into the void seems like the only way. It's just that it usually doesn't last forever, and I worry about what having a book -- which will be and has been reviewed -- will do to her, the person. It may not be a problem for years, but after reading this, I think there will come a point in Rose McGowan's life when her anger at seemingly every single person she's dealt with will settle a bit. 

She seems just as angry at some fans and paparazzi as she is at the men who sexually abused her. I get that. I've been there. It's easy to spew vitriol all over everything (whether everything deserves it or not.) At points in the healing process it's downright helpful. But it seems like maybe writing it down for all posterity is tempting the fate of her mental health. Where was the calm therapist who encouraged her to write it all down/get it all out, then put it away for a few years before going to a publisher? Was this published quickly because it "hit" at the right time with the #metoo movement? Does she not see that? 

The book is written well in early chapters -- in the places she's had more time and space to heal: her family and the horrible cult they were involved in. Then we move to Hollywood with her and everything devolves into an endless diatribe against almost anything that has to do with gender, power, television, hollywood, movies, people.... It really goes off the rails and I don't know that it's actually helpful to anyone beyond her, which is why this read like someone's journal entries in large part.

I may have also had a rough time fully appreciating because apart from some Charmed reruns, I don't remember ever seeing her in anything. So I'm not "a fan." I read it for the non-TV parts. While I think she makes important points in her own introduction about the societal pressures on women and girls to be beautiful and obedient, and while I agree that the culture makes this insidious whether I turn on my TV or not, she doesn't carry that helpful line through. She becomes her own worst enemy at times by overreacting to some things and putting everything on the same level. Being raped is far different from being told to wear a dress by a stylist you've hired, whether you were told to hire said stylist or not.

I also don't feel sorry for an actress working long (14-16 hour) days. Every woman I know works very long days and comes home to household duties or a second job or bills that can't be paid or elderly parents they care for or small children AND elderly parents, etc etc etc. Everyone I know gets paid far less than someone with a hit TV show, or even a TV show in reruns, so that part fell on deaf ears with me. I have to think that landing in Hollywood seems to almost require its own DSM category.

I'm not upset with Rose McGowan for wanting to write this book. I'm not upset with her for screaming her pain from the rooftops. I am wondering whether the publisher and publicist for this memoir will someday be added to the list of people who pimped her out because she could sell something, and this time it's a very precious personal story that should be hers and hers alone.

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text 2018-02-06 13:35
February Kindle Firsts aka free ARC for prime members aka now Amazon First Reads
Bone Music (The Burning Girl Series Book 1) - Christopher Rice
White Rose, Black Forest - Eoin Dempsey
Neighborly: A Novel - Ellie Monago
Tough Tug - Margaret Read MacDonald,Rob McClurkan
Go: A Coming of Age Novel - Kazuki Kaneshiro,Takami Nieda
Silent Victim - Caroline Mitchell

See https://www.amazon.com/firstreads to get one free if a prime member.  Yes, still all Amazon imprints.

 

Source: www.amazon.com/firstreads
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