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review 2018-10-03 11:18
Hunted by the Past by Jayne Evans
Hunted by the Past - Jayne Evans

Lucy Smith's life is derailed when she has to babysit her nephew after her sister suddenly decides to prolong her vacation. Then she's cornered at a bank, having to shoot a cop to save her nephew...But despite what the cop, who survives, tells her, she's determined things aren't connected. Nothing is about to derail her meticulously planned life.
Then her car blows up, luckily without her in it, her nephew is once more almost kidnapped...And maybe, just maybe, her sister's disappearance isn't as innocuous as it seems.

And the only one Lucy believes can keep her and the little boy safe is the man she shot at the bank...



This story started off with a bang. Almost literally. The mystery was intriguing, the suspense was ramped up to a thousand, the hero was perfectly flawed and issue-filled, the little boy was utterly adorable...The problem, as mostly happens, was the heroine and her control-freak, disbelieving in spite of everything, tendencies. She was a lawyer, but she still presumed to know more than professionals in the field of law enforcement, and there's nothing you can tell me that will dissuade me from my conviction that the successful kidnapping attempt happened because of her and her I-know-better-than-everybody attitude.
The romance was rushed and rather unbelievable...Maybe because it was so rushed or maybe because of my dislike for the heroine, but the suspense worked.

Until the reason behind the kidnapping and murder attempts was revealed...And everything simply fell apart. It was so thin and seemingly conjured out of thin air and it didn't really make much sense. I'm still wondering why.

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review 2018-09-19 11:46
Woman Without a Past
Woman Without a Past - Phyllis A. Whitney

Even though I find Phyllis A. Whitney's books to be a little bit hit and miss, she's still my favorite author of old-school romantic suspense.  Where Victoria Holt's romances feel instantaneous and contrived, and Mary Stewart's plotting is often (sorry mom) ludicrous, Whitney's stories have so far offered much more consistently crafted plots, vivid settings, and haunting atmosphere.  Her romances don't always work for me (romances seldom do), but the characters do, at least, work up to HEA at a slower, sometimes more smouldering, pace.

 

Woman Without a Past almost got a pass from me at the bookstore because, geez, the title.  And then there's the cover.  Actually, it was mostly the cover, but the title screamed Amnesia story! and that's just a no from me on principle.  But the back cover rescued the book; a woman is recognised at her editor's office as being the long lost identical twin, kidnapped as a baby, from an old and prominent Charleston (South Carolina) family.  Strictly speaking, the title is not at all accurate. 

 

This book drips Southern Gothic.  From the prescient cat, to the rocking horse that rocks itself; from the old plantation house, to the slightly mad mother the family tries to keep locked away as much as possible and the cousin that believes she communes with the dead, this book honestly has it all.  Except romance; there's a hint of it here and there and there's certainly talk of it, but no actual romance until the very, very end.

 

In general, the story is well-written, and it's a good story.  But a couple of things worked against it; one is probably just a twist of timing, as I started it on the plane, and then struggled to finish it while jet-lag kicked my butt, leaving me with the feeling that it took forever to finish it; the second was my exasperation with the main character.  Everyone thinks she's strong and independent, yet at no point in the book did she actually act strong or independent.  She mostly just allowed everyone to roll over her.  It wasn't enough to make me actively dislike her, but it was enough that I was often impatient with her.  

 

As I said, not her best, but certainly not her worst.  Fans of true gothic romance will recognise shades of certain classics in this book; definitely worth a look if you see it in your library or on the bargain rack.

 

I read this for the Southern Gothic square of Halloween Bingo 2018.

 

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review 2018-09-08 17:39
A force to be reckoned with.
Past Tense: (Jack Reacher 23) - Lee Child

Jack Reacher is “a force to be reckoned with”. He moves along at a steady pace until he doesn’t. I have to admit this is my first Reacher novel, have seen the movies of course, but I enjoyed the read much more than the movies. He seems to have a bit of insight as to problems and trouble (hind brain), just shows up at the right time to handle said problem(s). This was an interesting read and at the beginning, I didn’t think I would enjoy this journey, but surprisingly, did. The path is a bit twisted, the outcome...well, let’s just say, “satisfying”. Good read with a bite.

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review 2018-07-31 03:20
The Ninth Man (A Dick Hardesty Mystery #2)
The Ninth Man (A Dick Hardesty Mystery Book 2) - Dorien Grey

I had mixed feelings about the first book in this series, The Butcher's Son, and some doubts that Hardesty had what it took to be a detective. This was a tighter story, and it shows that Hardesty really is a dog with a bone when he gets a mystery to figure out. The whodunit was pretty obvious from the start

though I had no trouble buying the reasons why Hardesty didn't seriously consider the perp right away, and I even started hoping that I was wrong after awhile.

(spoiler show)

It looks like he put the years between the first book and this one learning his craft pretty well. He can be awkward at the interviews at times, which is a nice personality quirk for a P.I. since you expect them to be smooth all the time. 

 

The reason behind the murders is a bit on the far-fetched side. 

I could buy a few of the tenants being terrible assholes, but all of them? Not so much.

(spoiler show)

I think it would've been better if there had been less people involved, just for believability. 

 

I was uncomfortable about Dick's and Tim's casual bigotry against femme gays. It happens, I know, but I'm hoping there's a character in later books who'll make him reconsider that stance.

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review 2018-07-31 00:05
good book and characters
Past Imperfect - Rowan Worth

Natalie seen the large dog at the bottom of the stairs of the back of the restaurant.  But she couldn’t do anything until she got off work. Natalie was always a sucker for the underdog even though it didn’t always play out well for her. Natalie works at the restaurant Treasures. The dog was hurt sdo Natalie decided to take the dog home with her. A sher boss-Gaspar - mentioned calling animal control. After looking on the internet, Natalie figured out “Fella”/Ripper was a wolf. Natalie seen s a couple of men in the alley at Treasures but Gaspar came to the door with a large knife and they quickly left. Then a while later Natalie is walking Fella and she notices Fella has taken a fierce stance and had growled and looked like a very scary beast ready to battle then she seen two men and wondered if they had followed her home form work. Fella strained at the homemade leash but he stopped when Natalie told him to. Then Fella turned into a man and he was very protective of Natalie but he also wanted her for himself. Fella had been hit by a car and didn’t understand/ remember why he g=had been a wolf then turned into a man. Two men pushed in the restaurant door as Gaspar was preparing to walk Natalie to her car where Fella was. The men pushed her around and yelled at Gaspar but Fella came charging in and ran the men off. Gaspar did most of the explaining to the police. Fella was a werewolf who couldn’t remember to shift back and forth or to be able to hold his man form. Fella believed all the break ins and problems with the two strangers were somehow connected to him. Ten it comes out a serial killer is after local woman and Fella knows he needs to remember how to regain and hold his human form to protect Natalie. Fella does finds out he has a family and a pack and his real name s Ripper.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I really like Ripper and Natalie together and how they interacted. I like this unusual play up of a werewolf with amnesia I just did. I chuckled at times while reading this.I also liked there were dark moments but just as many light moments. I loved Rippers family. I think things would have been a lot easier on Ripper and Natalie if they had just talked instead of stomping off. I did feel this dragged at times for me. I also felt this could have been a bit shorter. But at times I was also on the edge of my seat while reading this. I loved the characters and the ins and outs and I recommend.

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