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review 2017-09-11 16:48
The Killer Inside Me / Jim Thompson
The Killer Inside Me - Jim Thompson

Everyone in the small town of Central City, Texas loves Lou Ford. A deputy sheriff, Lou's known to the small-time criminals, the real-estate entrepreneurs, and all of his coworkers--the low-lifes, the big-timers, and everyone in-between--as the nicest guy around. He may not be the brightest or the most interesting man in town, but nevertheless, he's the kind of officer you're happy to have keeping your streets safe. The sort of man you might even wish your daughter would end up with someday.

But behind the platitudes and glad-handing lurks a monster the likes of which few have seen. An urge that has already claimed multiple lives, and cost Lou his brother Mike, a self-sacrificing construction worker who fell to his death on the job in what was anything but an accident. A murder that Lou is determined to avenge--and if innocent people have to die in the process, well, that's perfectly all right with him.

 

Read to fill the “Serial/Spree Killer” square for 2107 Halloween Bingo.

 

This novel is considered a classic in the crime/noir genre and I think it certainly deserves its place there.  First published in 1952, it may be one of the earlier books that gives the reader a glimpse into the head of a serial killer.  Lou Ford, a deputy sheriff in small town Texas, thinks he can murder his way out of any problem.  He spends his time getting the towns folk to believe that he is just a good old boy who wouldn’t hurt a fly and probably isn’t all that bright—and committing sophisticated crimes which, as a member of law enforcement, he knows how to cover up.  In many ways, he is the predecessor of Dexter Morgan, the cheerful serial killer who works in Miami as a forensic blood spatter technician.  Maybe also to “true crime” books like In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

 

The writing is impressive.  If you’re female, you’re going to flinch at Lou’s casual attitude to mistreating and killing women, but it’s all part of his persona.  Not to mention that it is true to life—art imitating reality.  Crime and criminals have been with us forever, but this book helped in the process that brought the awareness of them into current popular culture.

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review 2017-09-05 19:13
King Solomon's Mines / H. Rider Haggard
King Solomon's Mines - H. Rider Haggard

The story begins when renowned safari hunter Allan Quartermain agrees to help Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good search for King Solomon’s legendary cache of diamonds. Eager to find out what is true, what is myth, and what is really buried in the darkness of the mines, the tireless adventurers delve into the Sahara’s treacherous Veil of Sand, where they stumble upon a mysterious lost tribe of African warriors. Finding themselves in deadly peril from that country’s cruel king and the evil sorceress who conspires behind his throne, the explorers escape, but what they seek could be the most savage trap of all—the forbidden, impenetrable, and spectacular King Solomon’s Mines.

 

***2017 Summer Lovin’ Reading List***

King Solomon’s Mines is very much a product of its Victorian, colonial times. Don’t go into this book expecting anything else. Allan Quartermain is an unlikely protagonist, an elephant hunter, something that would get him publically shamed on the internet nowadays. This is very much an adventure tale, set in deepest, darkest Africa. White men have no doubt that they are at the very tippy-top of the social hierarchy and have no compunctions about expressing that belief. They believe Africans to be primitive, superstitious, and prefer them subservient. An African may be king in his own lost-kingdom, but must still admit his unworthiness to equality with a ne’er-do-well hunter like Quartermain.

Not recommended for the overly politically correct, but providing many insights into the colonial mindset that still plagues us today. A fantastical adventure in the Victorian style.

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review 2017-07-17 21:32
Slow pace
The Guardian: A Standalone Romance Novel... The Guardian: A Standalone Romance Novel - Pamela Ann

The story started out with a good pace and what I thought would be an interesting and fun storyline, then it went off the rails. There is cheating in this tale and I know that some find it offensive. While I don't agree with cheating - ever - I can read about it and it has nothing to do with my rating on this one. What did affect my rating was the agonizingly slow pace and the constant back and forth and miscommunication between Jared and Gisele. It became tedious and after awhile it was no surprise when they were on the outs once again. The book is quite long and eventually, I just didn't care if this couple worked it out or not. There were also several extraneous circumstances - I say extraneous because they were just dropped without resolution or explanation. I did finish the book, mainly because I can't start a book and not finish, but this one was way too easy to set aside and finishing began to feel like a chore about halfway through.

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review 2017-06-15 18:02
Book Review of Stone Guardian: Gargoyle Urban Fantasy Romance (Entwined Realms Book 1) by Danielle Monsch
Stone Guardian - Danielle Monsch

Gryphons flying past skyscrapers? Wizards battling it out in coffeehouses? Women riding motorcycles with large swords strapped to their backs? All normal sights since the Great Collision happened twenty-six years ago.

 

Well, not normal for everyone. Larissa Miller may have been born after the Great Collision, but as a history teacher who lives in the human-only city, she has never come into contact with any other race or species, nor has she wanted to. Her life is as ordinary as it gets - that is, until one day she walks out of her apartment and is attacked by a mob of Zombies, only to be saved by a Gargoyle.

 

Gargoyles trust no one outside their Clan, but due to a cryptic prophecy, Terak, Leader of the Gargoyles, has been watching over the human woman for months. While he can find no reason why the woman has been singled out, something about her stirs every protective instinct within him. When the attack confirms that the threats against her exist and are real, he convinces Larissa that though their races have never been allies, the best chance of discovering why she has been brought into his world is by working together.

 

In the course of their investigation Terak becomes entranced by his little human. But when he discovers why Necromancers want her and the great reward that awaits him if he betrays her, he must choose between the welfare of his Clan and not only Larissa’s life, but the fate of this New Realm as well.

 

Review 4*

 

This is the first book in the Entwined Realms Urban Fantasy/Romance series. I really enjoyed the story.

 

Larissa Miller is an interesting character. I liked her a lot. She is a normal human living in a world that changed twenty-six years ago when the Great Collision (a merging of the human and supernatural world) happened. She is the only daughter of an overprotective policeman father, and sister to four overprotective policemen brothers. When she is attacked by a group of zombies on the way to a poker game hosted by her father, she finds herself thrust into a world she knows nothing about when she is rescued by a gargoyle sent to protect her.

 

Terak is the leader of his clan of gargoyles. I really liked this character a lot. He is an impressive warrior and fiercely protective of his clan. When a prophecy is disclosed to him, he finds himself guarding a human woman who intrigues him. As he and Larissa work together to uncover the mystery surrounding the prophecy, their undeniable attraction sparks.

 

I purchased this book last year due to my interest in urban fantasy romance. Unfortunately, due to my large reading list, I have not able to read it sooner.

 

I started to read this book and was instantly hooked. I loved the way the characters came to life. However, I felt, even though the world building was good, it was far too 'human' at times. I would have liked to have known more about the world of the Gargoyles and more of the inner workings of their society, as well as the other supernatural beings. Perhaps this will be revealed as the series progresses.

 

There are some interesting characters introduced that I liked. They are: Fallon (she's a type of warrior called a Dragon Slayer), Laire (she's a mage), Aislynn (she's an elf) and Wulver (he's a werewolf leader). They are members of the Guild and act as protectors to the humans from supernatural beings (like police but more mercenary).

 

The story is a little formulaic when it comes to the romance, but the plot is interesting. The story is told through the eyes of Terak and Larissa, though Fallon has a few scenes from her point of view too. There is action, danger and mystery mixed in such a way that I found myself becoming emersed in the tale. Unfortunately, as I got closer to the end I felt the story began to fizzle slightly. The energy and excitement I felt in the beginning began to wane about two-thirds into the story, and this made me feel sad. The ending was also not to my liking. I'm all for setting the scene for the next book in the series but, I have a love/hate relationship with cliffhangers and this felt a little anti-climatic and boring. It didn't end in a bang, but a whimper and didn't grab me enough to want to keep reading the series. Other readers may have a different reading experience to me, so I will urge you to make up your own minds.

 

Danielle Monsch has written a fantastic start to a unique urban fantasy romance series. I enjoyed her fast paced writing style and the flow was good. This is the first book I have read written by this author. At this moment in time, I am not sure if I will read more of her books, but I am not ruling it out as it depends on my mood and I may give her books another try in the future.

 

Due to explicit scenes of a sexual nature, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 18. However, I do recommend this book if you love hot erotic paranormal romances full of gargoyles, werewolves, vampires, fae, druids etc. - Lynn Worton

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review 2017-06-13 22:16
The Ultimatum (The Guardian Book 1) - Karen Robards

This was definitely an action packed book and it starts out with a bang and a bust. The bust being the two million dollars that Bianca with her dad and their team was set up and in position to steal. However, that was kind of hard for them to do as the vault was empty when they got there. Having been found out, the chase is on and Bianca's father was killed in the getaway, or was he? No one really seems to know. No one has heard from him in years, including his daughter.

Bianca then decides to go legal and opens up a security firm. She handles legit security for several companies. She is still also on the look out for signs that her father is still alive. Unfortunately, there are others who want him punished that are also looking for him.

This was one of those books wherein the action just kept coming. It was definitely an entertaining and enjoyable read.

Thanks to Harlequin and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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