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Search tags: bodyguard-military-merc-gov-cop-leo
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review 2017-06-22 16:15
Dangerous Waters & Dark Waters by Toni Anderson
Dangerous Waters - Toni Anderson
Dark Waters - Toni Anderson

DANGEROUS WATERS

Two divers find a shipwreck off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. A wreck containing a dead diver with a knife buried into his chest. Enter Sergeant Holly Rudd who has lots to prove; that she didn’t get the job because of her daddy, but because of her merits, that she’s put her affair with her married (although she didn’t know it at the time) superior behind her, that she can close her first murder case, and that she can keep it professional when it comes to her attraction to one of the divers who found the body…


Let me tell you, she proved none of it. For a supposed “professional” she was rather incompetent when it came to everything from investigating, to interrogating, to listening to her guts, and to keeping her hands off the supposed suspect. And for someone who claimed to have gotten the job through merit, she was rather quick to doubt herself.

So, this was supposed to be a romantic suspense novel. So let’s start with the romance. It wasn’t there. One snap of the fingers and the two of them were immediately attracted to each other, another snap of the fingers and they were bumping uglies (no emotion behind it, mind you), and yet another snap of the fingers and they were in love.
Why? How? Why?
There was all tell and absolutely no show.
I didn’t understand what they saw in each other—she was an incompetent idiot with a teenage crush, he was an off-putting asshole with a chip on his shoulder and no compunction about lying to the woman he supposedly loved.

As for the suspense. There was none. Or if there was, it was buried so deep, I couldn’t find it. No chills, no intensity. Nothing.
There were two “mystery” sub-plots, really, but both connected by the same villain. The first, about the murder in 1982 and the fact the heroine bore an uncanny resemblance to the murder victim was so predictable it was transparent. I was just waiting for everybody to finally get their heads out of their asses and see the truth.
So the only “surprise” was the reveal of the villain and the motive. The latter was rather far-fetched, or I simply didn’t care by that point, and the villain...Yeah, I didn’t care by that point.

It started off great with the chill-filled prologue, but after a few chapters, the whole thing slowed down. The plot was vapid, the writing amateurish, the romance and suspense non-existent. In the second half of it, I skimmed scenes, hoping for a glimmer of something to keep it interesting, to kick the pace into a higher gear, and by the end of it, I was ecstatic it was finally over.

 

 

DARK WATERS

DNF @ 13%

A nicely intense prologue once more followed by plodding, slow, and boring "story".

I couldn't care less about the heroine, the hero was stuck in my mind as the asshole brother of the asshole hero in the previous book...
Instead of carrying on the intensity of the prologue, the difference in pace (and intrigue) in the first chapter was jarring, and having learned from the first book in this duology that improvement either in pace, characterization or intensity is unlikely, I went on to read the last chapter...And didn't get the urge to go back and read the whole thing.

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review 2017-06-17 16:46
Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle
Run to Ground - Katie Ruggle

Saving her siblings being her topmost priority, Juliet "Jules" Young suddenly realizes she's willing to do anything to accomplish that goal. Even if it means kidnapping the kids and taking them to Colorado, assuming new identities, and working in a small-town diner. It's the latter that proves to be a problem, since she immediately catches the eye of K9 officer Theodore "Theo" Bosco.

There's just something about the woman that draws him in. At first it was the squirrelly behavior clearly indicating she's hiding something or running from something, or someone, yet, as he gets to know her, Theo realizes there's more to her than just fidgety behavior and obvious lies...Both he and his new canine partner are at peace when they're with Jules and her family, letting go of their grief little by little.


Okay, that's a strange summary, but it's the best I can come up with. Because it was a slightly strange book, if I'm honest. Not strange in strange-plotline way, it just strangely didn't inspire much at all in me as I was reading it.

The first problem was the heroine and her idiotically erratic behavior. I know she's kidnapped her siblings (to protect them, mind you), but if you want to keep a low profile, especially as a newcomer in a small town, you shouldn't act like you have something to hide. Actually, you should bring attention to yourself as little as possible. In the first scene at the diner, when she and Theo first meet, all was missing was a red blinking arrow pointing at her, or maybe her jumping up and down and going "look at me, look at me, I'm shifty, I'm hiding something, look at me".
And since that behavior didn't actually improve (not one iota) for more than half a book, I simply couldn't stand her.

The hero was a little better, I like my heroes brooding and taciturn, only coming out of their shell when the right woman comes along, but I thought the whole guilt thing, coupled with the grieving dog was a bit much. It sounded too overdone, too contrived to be believable.

I loved the secondary cast, though. The kids were great, and I'm looking forward to reading more about them, now that they're finally safe and at peace with the brooding, hulking cop and his rehabilitated dog keeping watch. But what I'm looking forward to the most, is reading Theo's friends's stories. Otto and Hugh were the absolute best and their relationship and friendship was a real beauty to read about. I could feel their connection, and I'm glad they have each other's back, because I think they will need it when the truth about Jules and her siblings comes out and the villainous Courtney comes to town.

I'm looking forward to that particular confrontation, at least to cleanse my palate of the suspense in this story. What the heck was that?! A complete non sequitur, the baddie and the motive came out of the left field without any particular forewarning in the previous chapters. There was no build up, it just happened. For some reason or another. It had nothing to do with Jules and the kids moving into town, nothing to do with the evil they were escaping, Jules simply found herself in the cross-hairs because of her connection to the hero...It was flimsy, disappointing, and somewhat insulting.

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review 2017-06-17 07:40
After the End by Katie Ruggle
After the End (Search and Rescue) - Katie Ruggle

***eBook available for free on Amazon***

They each found their happily-ever-after in their books, now Ms Ruggle brings us their "second epilogues". Engagements, surprise weddings, puppy-napping and pregnancies, rockslides, and a brand new, surly character to herald a new series (which I'll certainly read).

Lighthearted moments mixed with some sadness, happiness folded in with just a dash of danger, these epilogues were fun to read (one of them even better than the book—which wasn't difficult).
It was fun revisiting these old friends, take a peek into their lives after HEA (which seem to be over-the-top good, but that's Romancelandia for you), and the little glimpse of the hero in the next book (and next series) whetted my appetite just enough.

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review 2017-06-17 07:23
A Simple Case of Seduction by Adele Clee
A Simple Case of Seduction - Adele Clee

Three years ago, Daniel Thorpe offered marriage to his friend's widow, only to be summarily rejected. His heart broken, he still kept an eye on her throughout the years, keeping her safe. But it looks like he hasn't done a good enough job, since a ghost from the past is haunting her, never to be seen and never taking anything. It looks like the ghost is looking for something, but Daphne has no idea what or why. Looks like this might be a job for her guardian angel.


In my review of the previous book in this quasi-series, I mentioned how Mr Daniel Thorpe and Mrs Daphne Chambers had more chemistry and more spark in their one little scene together than the two leads of the book in the entire story. Well, that chemistry was utterly absent in their own book.
I have no idea what drew him to her and vice versa, I didn't feel any sparks nor attraction...They appeared merely props, characters written for the sake of the story, pushed together because they happened to be main characters. Period.

She was a tad too naive for a woman of her age, especially a woman in her profession, her gullibility, her bubbly-ness, and her idiotic blindness to her own ineptitude (she's survived so far mostly because he was there to get her out of trouble, which she learned toward the end) got annoying really fast, and I actually wanted something bad to happen to her to make her see reason.
But she had her guardian angel to get hurt instead of her, the gruff, abrupt thundercloud by the name of Daniel Thorpe. The chip on his shoulder was rather disproportionate to what actually happened to him, and he definitely held the grudge for too long (or maybe we weren't given all the facts), and no matter how attractive, protective, and charming (when he wanted to be) both the author and the heroine made him appear, I wasn't convinced.
I was utterly indifferent about both of them, not caring one way or the other about what did, might, and would happen to them.

The suspense also left me quite cold. It was uninspiring, dull, slow-paced, and, let's face it, quite forced with the whole treason sub-plot. It just didn't click, feeling disconnected from the rest of the story, making it seem like I was writing two different books (neither of them particularly good).

A real disappointment given the great introduction to these two characters in the previous book and all the possibilities of suspense elements given their specific line of work.

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review 2017-06-12 09:27
All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz
All Night Long - Jayne Ann Krentz

Seventeen years ago, Irene Stenson found her parents corpses in their kitchen. The crime, ruled murder-suicide, has scarred her for life, since she couldn’t come to grips with the fact her father could’ve killed her mother, and so unable to put it all behind.

Now, Irene, an investigative reported with a small newspaper, receives an e-mail from her once-best friend, the one who was with her on the night that had changed her life, inviting her back into her hometown with promises of explanations about the past.

But instead of explanations, Irene finds more questions, when she finds her friend dead of a supposed overdose, while the very next day her friend’s house burns down. Something’s not right, but the local police denies any suspicions, yet Irene isn’t alone in her little investigation. Luke Danner, the owner of the resort Irene’s staying in, feels not all dots are connected, and knows Irene is right in the middle of the emerging picture.


Oh, wow. This is how you write romantic suspense, and this is what I’ve been missing lately in Ms Krentz’s novels.

Great characters, both scarred, both with issues not many people can understand or relate to, but they’ve each managed to find someone who does.
Both Irene and Luke (although we can only imagine what he went through) went through horrible experiences, and yes, those experiences have marked them, but didn’t put them out of commission, they’ve come back swinging and stronger for it.
And in the end, against all odds, both their diagnoses (hers confirmed, his not so much), despite his meddling family (which was the “weakest” part of the story, if you ask me, since it didn’t really “connect” with the overall plot), despite everything they found each other, that someone who can understand, who can relate, and who can help battle the demons when they struck.
Their chemistry was sizzling, and almost palpable, their romance rather believable, if a bit rushed, their communication both serious and funny...Boy, howdy, I loved them to bits.

But romance, no matter how strong the characters are, isn’t enough to make a romantic suspense novel. You also need suspense, and this one had it in spades.
Gripping, intense, edge-of-your-seat, keeping-you-guessing-until-the-last-page suspense. Nicely paced, well-written, well-plotted out, with many red-herrings along the way, and when the big reveal came (well, both of them), I just couldn’t. I absolutely didn’t see it coming, but in the end, the villain, the motive, everything made perfect sense.
Wow.

This one truly had it all; wonderful, layered characters, great chemistry and romance, a good supporting cast, gripping suspense with loads of misdirection, and the main villain you won’t see coming.

More, please.

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