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review 2018-05-14 03:01
Forged in Steele
Forged in Steele - Maya Banks

Steele, like Rio, was a character whose story I really wanted to read and I looked forward to it. But, like Rio's, I was disappointed. For the "Iceman" I didn't buy it. He's an asshole one moment, then incredibly sappy another. I got whiplash. What woman wants to be called an "idiot?" Really? Surly there could have been a better middle ground for Steele's sappiness. 
Maren, I liked. She's got a career. She's competent. I didn't care for a certain trope. Then, let's give her a psycho admirer and get her kidnapped! And have to be rescued. *Sigh*
The final, eye-roll came towards the end. Someone is CRITICALLY injured and bleeding out, but let's check the MEDICALLY STABLE pregnant woman to make sure she is not having a miscarriage. 
I was set to give this a 2. But, then, Steele was willing to put Maren and her career before his own, move anywhere she wanted, and, if needed or necessary, give up his career at KGI. While that didn't make my issues or disappointment with this book go away, if softened it a bit. So, a generous 3. 
I do think I'm done with this series.

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review 2018-02-05 15:14
"Casino Qaddafi", by Graham Tempest
Casino Qaddafi (Oliver Steele) - Graham Tempest

Book #3, an Oliver Steele Casino series

Set largely in Libya weeks after the assassination of Muammar Gadhafi, this mystery focuses mainly on Oliver Steele mission to locate Hassan, an illegitimate son of the slain dictator. 

Hassan is financing construction of a massive casino in Macau but amid the turmoil of the Arab Spring, he inexplicably disappeared, without his backing the development is doomed.... Comes Oliver to the rescue…..but he is not alone.

Mr. Tempest is relentless on pacing, vivid description of exotic locales, action and adventure and does not shy from interweaving storylines peppered with ruthless characters such as unethical bankers, financiers, revolutionaries and murderers. Oliver’s investigation into layers of secrecy surrounding Hassan’s fortune is interesting but the accounting gibberish is however so over powering and distracting that I let my mind meander during the long narrative. Nevertheless the adrenaline fueled saga is quite suspenseful with characters involved in one conflict after the other. Every time Oliver gets close to a solution, this financial sleuth is derailed instantly. Definitely this story keeps you guessing from page one. Set aside the distraction this book is a good straightforward and easy read played out by an interesting cast of diverse characters.

Even if “Casino Qaddafi” may not have been my preferred story in this series I nevertheless enjoyed passing time reading this mystery.

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review 2017-10-10 15:28
"Casino Havana", by Graham Tempest
Casino Havana: An Oliver Steele Thriller - Graham Tempest

Book # 5, an Oliver Steele Thriller

In this latest our intrepid forensic accountant is tasked with another mission this time to Cuba he goes to find a friend, who was kidnapped and put in prison. 

This is another suspenseful story in the Casino series hard to put down. Mr. Tempest creates interesting intrigues that pulls you in and manages to keep you captivated till his protagonist wraps up his mission. This one reads more like an espionage thriller than a mystery. The Castro era is winding down, Cuba is in a process of a big political change and officials are jockeying for position but some are very corrupted, Oliver must tread the line very carefully.

The story keeps a steady pace, is exciting and full of red herrings especially when Oliver mounts an attack on an island prison trying to reach his friend .Throughout this nail biting journey, one crisis after another happens to our loveable adventurer. Along the way we have details of old style Cuba, its 1920’s music and how things were then and how things are since the Castro era. Recurring characters from previous adventures are weaved in to show us that Oliver still has to deal with bribery and intimidation at every turn. No dull moment with Oliver. 

“Casino Havana”, has an interesting and well-written plot with good characterization and is an enjoyable entertainment from cover to cover.

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text 2017-10-08 14:14
Going Hard (Steele Ridge) (Volume 2) - Kelsey Browning

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and KickSass Creations in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

 

My first ARC August read and we're on a really good start. While the hidden baby trope is not one of my favorites in romance books, I have to say that Browning did a great job at writing it.

 

Now, while I don't think Carlie Beth made the right choice, I do understand where her nineteen-year-old-self was coming from. I don't agree, but I get it. All of that aside, I liked Carlie. She was funny, she was a good mother, and a good friend.

 

Grif was an interesting hero, full of contradictions. I'm curious to see if in the next books in the series this aspect about him is explored, but he seemed like a chameleon to me. When the book starts, we meet him talking on the phone with one of his clients, and by that small interaction, I was expecting a cold, stand-offish guy. Except the more time he spent with his family, back in his hometown, the more laid-back he turned out to be, so I'd love to see him in a big city environment, just to see if somehow he becomes a different person in any way.

 

Throughout the book there are such hilarious moments that I found it hard not to start laughing like a loon in the middle of the night, which I liked because it's been a while since my last laugh-out-loud read. The story is pretty fast paced, which is also a good thing, but I felt like the ending was a little bit abrupt. I would have wanted a "several weeks/months/whatever later" scene, but I guess that maybe we get that in the next books. I didn't expect the stalker to turn out to be who it turned out to be, which is a plus (I was completely pointing the finger at some innocent person).

 

I would have wanted to see more bonding moments between Aubrey and Grif, but all in all I enjoyed this book and I'll definitely read the rest of the books in the series, because I need more Reid in my life, Reid being one of Grif's brothers.

Source: rubys-books.blogspot.com
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review 2017-09-25 17:16
Reveal Me (Steele Brothers) by Jennifer Probst
Reveal Me (the STEELE BROTHERS series Book 5) - Jennifer Probst

 

If there is such a thing as being tastefully naughty, Ms. Probst sets about pushing the boundaries on that.  Reveal Me shows a scandalous side to an author that is known for hinting at sex appeal while showcasing stories of tenderness, courage and second chances.  Those qualities are prevalent in the saucy relationship that develops between Leo and Scarlett, just with a tempestuous edge at the core of their romance. The fantasy entrances as the romance devours. A sensual feast of delectability. 

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