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Search tags: eva-leigh
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review 2020-01-14 17:46
Cross Her Heart
Cross Her Heart - Melinda Leigh

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

So I really liked this first book though I think that things got a bit too convoluted towards the end. I will definitely read the next book though because I like how Melinda Leigh set this up and I adored the characters of Bree and her partner from the Philadelphia police, Dana. I was okay about Mike (the other lead I guess you could say) but not that focused on him while reading this. 

"Cross Her Heart" starts with a bang. Bree Taggert grabs and hides her little sister Erin and and her baby brother Adam when their father starts hitting their mother. In one dark moment though both parents are lost to Bree. We fast forward decades later with Bree dealing with a stake-out with her partner Dana. We know that Bree lost her parents and due to that it has left her feeling shy about romantic relationships. She also doesn't have the closest relationship with her siblings either. When Bree gets a call that something has happened to her sister, she's thrown about the fallout and wants to do what's necessary to figure out who is behind it.

Leigh also shows us the third person POV of Matt Flynn. Matt is best friend's with Erin's husband, who has gone missing after Erin's murder. Matt previously worked as a K-9 unit with the sheriff's department before something happened that had him leaving. 

I really liked Bree. She is very good at her job and it shows in this when she starts investigating her sister's death. I also was relieved there wasn't any big romantic things with Matt in this first book. Obviously Leigh is setting it up this way, but to me this book read more thriller/suspense. Some authors I have found have a hard time balancing romantic suspense in their books. 

I thought the other characters like Dana were great and I look forward to reading more about the sheriff department characters and the town.

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review 2020-01-08 20:15
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Ninth House - Leigh Bardugo

I don’t think this was a book for me. And I can’t recommend listening to it on audio the first time around because during the first third I found myself really confused. So confused I was tempted to start the thing over but I couldn’t work up the enthusiasm. I felt as if I had been tossed into a world after all the interesting stuff had already happened and that everyone knew what was going on except for me.

 

I don’t enjoy that feeling much at all because I am super nosy and felt left out but I especially do not like when that feeling lingers for hundreds of pages (or in my case what felt like hundreds of hours) and then I get hit with the dreaded nfo dumps.

 

There are some interesting plot threads here. I loved the bits about the “surgery” (and that’s all I’m saying) and the magical weirdness and the dark past of our main character but none of it ever gelled for me in the way I was hoping it might. To be honest, sticking with this story was a bit of a chore from beginning to end with a few moments in-between where it would catch my attention and then lose it again..

 

The main issue for me, besides the confusion, was the fact that I felt as if much of the story was being told to me. I like to live and breathe inside a story. I never felt that way with this one.

 

I am so sad about this one. I was expecting to love it but I didn’t even like it.

 

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review 2019-12-28 19:33
My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh
The Union of the Rakes 1 MY FAKE RAKE: The Union of the Rakes - Lora Leigh

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

There’s no should when it comes to what we feel. There aren’t scientific laws when it comes to the human heart.”

 

With a little inspiration from The Breakfast Club, the Union of Rakes series introduces readers to five boys in detention, identified with similar-ish personalities from Breakfast Club movie characters. My Fake Rake stars “the brain”, Sebastian, and Lady Grace, the woman he has become friends with as they both frequent a library. Grace has always been an outsider as she gets labeled a bluestocking for her interest, love, and study of amphibians. She has a big crush on another member of the library, Mason, a naturalist and a plan gets concocted to have Sebastian play the rake hitting on Grace in public, thus drawing Mason's attention and waking him up to the idea that Grace is desirable. However, as fake relationships are wont to go in romanceland, Sebastian and Grace find their “fake” feelings are very real.

 

Reptile or human, you were guaranteed to make a cake out of yourself when mating season arrived. No, that wasn’t fair—to reptiles.

 

As a child of the '80s, I was very excited about the Breakfast Club inspiration but it turned out to be a very faint one. We get a brief prologue introducing the five boys but no scenes with them all together bonding. Only one of Sebastian's friends from the group is shown throughout the book, giving readers a hint of the emotional connection between those two but not the group, as the other three only make a brief appearance towards the end. I, personally, felt like this could have a been a fun theme strung out throughout the book and gave readers an intimate and male friendship angle. Grace has a couple scenes with a female friend and she seems to have bonded with her romance reading maid (I can't be the only one wanting her to have her own story!) but I felt secondary character emotional additives were mostly missing and the five detention boys bonding angle could have fulfilled this.

 

He was also poor as a churchmouse, which, unfortunately, meant that he hadn’t the financial means to court anyone.

 

When readers come into the scene, Sebastian already has feelings for Grace but he's not an heir and his father disapproves of his anthropological studies, making him feel that he could never support Lady Grace as she would deserve and keeping him from declaring his feelings. Grace has focused all her attention on Mason and though she occasionally sees Sebastian in more than a friend light, until she starts spending more time with him, she never consciously considers it. Grace's changing feelings for Sebastian started popping up pretty quickly but the acknowledge, push away, and “Oh, Sebastian could Never feel that way about Me” goes on for far too long and drags down the pace of the story. There was something external or missing outside forces that made this story a little dull. I liked the outline but there was some spark and emotion missing that made this hard to pick back up. The focus lasts too long on Mason when Grace keeps saying how much she likes Sebastian and the only thing keeping them apart is her thinking he couldn't possibly like her back, even when she points out times he seems jealous and they have intimate moments that should make someone who is brave in going against the grain and fairly self-aware, ask even covertly “Do you like me?”.

 

She realized at that moment that scholars didn’t just read, they knew things, naughty things.

 

Sebastian being an introvert and shy but working to be a rake provided some sweet moments but these two seemed to be forced into cross-purposes when in contrast their personalities probably would have figured it out much quicker. Sebastian and Grace's relationship with their family, Grace's friendship with her maid and other lady, and the group of five, felt too faint to gain any emotion from. Rothbury (one of the five detention club boys and possibly “the princess”) was the only secondary character that I felt pulled his weight and gave something to the story, his friendship with Sebastian helped flush Sebastian's character out.

 

Shouldn’t someone take an interest in her on the basis of who she was, rather than who they believed her to be? Yet that was precisely what she had done, and couldn’t help but feel some regret that she’d set her sights on someone who needed to be shown—by another man—that she was worthwhile.

 

The beginning and Breakfast Club inspiration excited me but the middle dragged and failed to animate the characters and their relationship, there were also some obvious points that the author wanted to make and when you personally agree with them, want them stated and they still feel jarring and take you out of the story, they probably weren't woven in naturally enough. The ending failed to recapture the spark I lost and while I think this series still holds promise, My Fake Rake was a slow start.

 

But, bloody hell, pretend or no, his kiss would haunt her to the end of her days.

 

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review 2019-12-20 12:44
Seconds to Live, A Scarlet Falls Novel by Melinda Leigh
Seconds to Live - Melinda Leigh

Seconds to Live, A Scarlet Falls Novel by Melinda Leigh is a suspense-filled story that kept my attention. I gave it four stars.

 

Detective Stella Dane was promoted only six months before. She's working with senior detective, Brody McNamara and they are investigating when a body was discovered on a baseball diamond. This would be the first time she would work a case alone. Brody's girlfriend's father was seriously ill and he would be taking some leave to be with her.

 

The killer recorded the newscast of the discovery of the body. "How could he make his message clear? Some people were unworthy of life. There were consequences for bad decisions. People should be punished for their sins. What would it take for the world to understand?" He realized that Detective Dane was the one who needed to be convinced.

 

I purchased a copy of Saturday night and it was finished by early Sunday morning.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Seconds-Live-Scarlet-Falls-Book-ebook/dp/B017IKQW56

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review 2019-12-20 12:38
Seconds to Live - Melinda Leigh

Seconds to Live, A Scarlet Falls Novel by Melinda Leigh is a suspense-filled story that kept my attention. I gave it four stars.

 

Detective Stella Dane was promoted only six months before. She's working with senior detective, Brody McNamara and they are investigating when a body was discovered on a baseball diamond. This would be the first time she would work a case alone. Brody's girlfriend's father was seriously ill and he would be taking some leave to be with her.

 

The killer recorded the newscast of the discovery of the body. "How could he make his message clear? Some people were unworthy of life. There were consequences for bad decisions. People should be punished for their sins. What would it take for the world to understand?" He realized that Detective Dane was the one who needed to be convinced.

 

I purchased a copy of Saturday night and it was finished by early Sunday morning.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Seconds-Live-Scarlet-Falls-Book-ebook/dp/B017IKQW56

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