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review 2017-03-12 21:02
Review: Fair Chance by Josh Lanyon
Fair Chance - Josh Lanyon

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-fair-chance-by-josh-lanyon.html

 

The stakes are high, the mystery arresting, and the romance fantastic in Fair Chance. Josh Lanyon hits all the right notes in the third All’s Fair book. Fair Chance was impossible for me to put down, and it was likely a terrible idea to start it late at night because I was up until almost dawn finishing it. But a book hangover is totally worth it when you have characters like Elliot Mills and Tucker Lance keeping you awake.

It’s almost impossible for me to describe how much I enjoy reading about Elliot and Tucker, so I’ll put it this way: they’re right up there with Adrien English and Jake Riordan (if you’re a Lanyon fan, you know that’s high praise). In Fair Chance Elliot and Tucker have more or less settled into their lives, but the Sculptor case is still infringing on their happiness. The Sculptor (the villain from the first All’s Fair book, Fair Game) is fixated on Elliot and being behind bars won’t stop him from exacting his revenge. What no one knew was that the Sculptor had an accomplice, and the clock is ticking for Elliot to find out who that is…because Tucker has gone missing.

Elliot’s been in danger and has had a personal stake in some form in each of the All’s Fair stories, but there’s an added tension in Fair Chance. Tucker’s abduction (not a spoiler since it’s in the book blurb) ups the intensity and had me glued to the book. While the mysteries are always engaging in this series, Tucker and Elliot themselves are what made me fall in love with the books, so it’s no surprise I was wholly invested in this story. Elliot is our eyes and ears for this series and he’s an interesting, complex, and flawed protagonist. I’ve loved that he isn’t perfect and have enjoyed watching him grow as a character. As for Tucker…I think he might just be my favorite of Lanyon’s characters. Tucker is dominant, protective, and emotionally open and vulnerable in a way that grabs my heart. He isn’t perfect either, but he’s a fantastic hero I could read about all day. I’ve loved watching he and Elliot grow as a couple – it’s part of what makes this series shine – and seeing how far they’ve come makes the story all the more rewarding.

Fair Chance is the third book in the All’s Fair series, and I highly recommend reading Fair Game and Fair Play before jumping into this book. The mystery and the romance are both far more fulfilling if you’ve read all the books in order. This book reads like the final in the series, but there’s just enough of an opening that I can hope Lanyon returns to Elliot and Tucker one day. I absolutely loved Fair Chance and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s an intense, exciting, and wholly rewarding romantic suspense tale.


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

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-fair-chance-by-josh-lanyon.html
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text 2017-02-01 17:00
Alibi Aficionado (Edwin Burrows Mystery Series) by Harvey Church Release Blitz
 
release day blitz 
 
Book Title: Alibi Aficionado (An Edwin Burrows Mystery) 
Author: Harvey Church 
Genre: Mystery/Suspense 
Release Date: February 1, 2017 
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
 
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book blurb
 
Edwin Burrows, CPA, can’t do anything right. Not marriage, not office etiquette, not saving his boss’s daughter, not even public accounting. So when he’s tasked with constructing an alibi for the firm’s biggest client, everyone has low expectations. Including Edwin.
 
In Alibi Aficionado, Edwin Burrows is an accidental investigator, an accountant without tact or a filter, or any kind of interest for investigations. A cross between Myron Bolitar and Archy McNally, Edwin says, does and behaves in the strangest manner.
 
Cursed with an investigation that's doomed from the start, Edwin knows that everyone expects him to fail. But when the police arrest the all-important client, tensions rise at the firm and the stakes get as big as they'll ever be. Edwin must decide whether he will use his knowledge to be the hero that helps a guilty man avoid prosecution, or be a zero by telling the truth and burying the firm.
 
excerpt
 
 
 
teaser  
 
meet the author
 
From a young age, Harvey Church knew that writing was his destiny and, like all clichés, he wallpapered his bedroom walls with rejection slips. Discouraged by the "thank you, but..." mail, he looked to his back-up plan, which was to take a job as a banker in an industry known for lucrative bonuses and sick parties. Armed with a calculator and an appetite for expensive, LeLabo fragrances and Jack Black hair products, Harv immersed himself in his banking career and wrote inappropriate poetry to his supervisor (who ended up becoming his wife).
 
But, as Harv's luck goes, the housing crash and financial crisis of 2008/09 changed banking forever. The bonuses dried up, leaving Harv with no option but to use Axe products. As he hit rock-bottom in 2015, he moved into his childhood bedroom (aka he lived with his parents) and was reacquainted with the rejection-slip wall of his youth. With nothing left to lose, Harv decided to finish his wallpaper project and sent out Alibi Aficionado to a handful of literary agents but he quickly discovered rejection slips were now electronic, which didn't work for his project.
 
All of which is one really long story as to why he opted for self-publishing. After connecting with some real, traditionally published authors and book bloggers, Harv started to feel really good about Alibi Aficionado's commercial marketability. Certain that there was a market for his writing, he geared up for self-publication. He even contacted Kirkus Reviews and was impressed when the reviewer labelled his writing as "puerile," until he looked up the word and discovered that Merriam-Webster's normal-person translation is "silly or childish especially in a way that shows a lack of seriousness or good judgment."
 
Excited by a book review that so accurately assessed his personality (finally, someone understood him), Harv is now working toward his private investigator's license. He lives outside of Toronto, Canada with his often-puerile wife and two amazing children. He considers himself an amateur magician under the unsuspecting mentorship of David Blaine.
 

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review 2016-09-08 04:02
Review: Because I'm Watching by Christina Dodd
Because I'm Watching - Christina Dodd

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/09/review-because-im-watching-by-christina.html

 

Because I’m Watching is an evocative suspense that’ll have you turning the pages late into the night. Christina Dodd has truly outdone herself, because this latest Virtue Falls novel is rich, atmospheric, and just a bit twisted.

Maddie and Jacob have been through hell and neither has quite come out. Jacob was a POW who suffered unspeakable mental and physical torture and he’s suicidal at the beginning of the story. Maddie saves him by almost killing him when she crashes her car through his house. She’s the first person who has captured his interest in years, and watching her, getting to know her, slowly brings him back to the world of the living. Maddie too is broken, tormented. She survived a massacre in her dorm, and just as she was beginning to heal her fiancé was murdered. She can’t sleep, hallucinates, and is tortured by nightmares she can’t tell are real or not. It’s no spoiler to say that Maddie isn’t insane, but is being gaslighted. And while there really isn’t a mystery (to the reader) as to who is behind it or why, that doesn’t make Because I’m Watching any less suspenseful. Ms. Dodd makes you wonder how Jacob will come back to the edge and start to recover, how Maddie will survive her torment, and if these two will ever beat back the demons, both internal and external. Every step of the way danger lurks, and I was fascinated by the unfolding events. Even though there’s a love story in this book, it definitely isn’t like Ms. Dodd’s other work (which is not a criticism of this story, merely a note to readers familiar with Ms. Dodd’s older series but not Virtue Falls). Maddie and Jacob are truly interesting characters and I liked watching them come back to life and fall in love. My only small issue was that I wished the character development at the end hadn’t felt quite as rushed. At the same time, I can see that if it had been drawn out in a more realistic manner the climax wouldn’t have been as thrilling or the result as satisfying.

Because I’m Watching is the third full-length Virtue Falls book but it can be read as a standalone. The overarching world of Virtue Falls and the continuing story of Kateri Kwinault continues to be one of my favorite things about the series. Kateri stole the show for me more than once, and her story takes some interesting, unexpected turns, which left me incredibly excited to see what Ms. Dodd has in store for her. I was also left with a few questions about supporting cast members, but I’m hoping those will be answered in future books. All in all, I found Because I’m Watching to be dark, raw, and compelling and I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen next in Virtue Falls.


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

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/09/review-because-im-watching-by-christina.html
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review 2016-08-29 04:06
Review: Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb
Apprentice in Death - J.D. Robb

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/08/review-apprentice-in-death-by-jd-robb.html

 

It’s a race against time as Eve and her team track down a long-distance serial killer in Apprentice in Death. With no ties between the victims, no clues as to when or where the master-apprentice duo will strike next, and a vast number of potential targets in a city like New York, the tension is on high and Eve, Roarke, and company are running themselves ragged to take down the killer.

The In Death series can be generally divided between character-centric stories and case-centric ones. Apprentice in Death is the latter, but even though my preference is for books with character growth, I ended up loving this case. It was fascinating to watch the pieces of the puzzle come together, and the more layers that were revealed about the stone-cold killer’s character the more my interested was piqued. The sheer number of potential victims weighs on Eve and her team heavily, and it also added a tenseness to the tale that kept me turning the pages of the book late into the night. It’s a twisted tale, though not in the usual sense; the apprentice is somewhat reminiscent of an earlier In Death killer (and I can’t reveal which character or the book they’re from without spoiling this story). Equally appealing is watching how Eve’s mind works as she makes the connections that will lead her to master and apprentice. While a number of faces old and new (Roarke in particular) are invaluable to solving this case, it’s Eve and the unique way she thinks that is the most fascinating to me.

The In Death books can largely be read as standalones, and Apprentice in Death is no exception. That being said, if this is your first foray into the series the mystery will still be appealing, but the small, personal moments in the book might not hold the appeal they do to readers more invested in the characters. And fans of the series, fear not: there are enough personal moments in this book to satisfy and perhaps even tug on your heartstrings a bit. The further into the series we get, the fewer opportunities for big personal drama there are, and that’s ok. The bonds of love and friendship still shine and added to my investment in the tale. All in all, I loved Apprentice in Death and I cannot wait to see what J.D. Robb has in store for Eve and Roarke!


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

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/08/review-apprentice-in-death-by-jd-robb.html
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review 2016-07-26 04:22
Review: Bayou Nights by Julie Mulhern
Bayou Nights - Julie Mulhern

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/07/review-bayou-nights-by-julie-mulhern.html

 

When a zombie attacks milliner Christine Lambert in her own store, it’s only the beginning of her troubles. Her father gave her a piece of eight to guard, and the coin in question just happens to be the first clue in uncovering a priceless treasure that once belonged to a famed pirate. The problem is, every thief, murderer, ghost, and voodoo priestess in New Orleans seems to know she has the coin. On top of that, Christine’s father has gone missing and for all her knowledge of the supernatural, she doesn’t know how to find a missing ghost. It’s time to ask for help. But the help her friend sends – stuffy Yankee investigator Mattias Drake – isn’t exactly who she expected. Now, Christine will have to work with an undeniably compelling stranger if she hopes to rescue her father, locate a pirate’s treasure, and live long enough to tell the tale.

Bayou Nights is an intriguing blend of mystery, romance, and the supernatural, all set against the sultry backdrop of early twentieth century New Orleans. I absolutely love how Julie Mulhern brings the richly atmospheric world of 1903 New Orleans to life in this tale. The world draws you in from the start and you feel like you’re walking alongside Christine and Drake as they encounter the most incredibly vibrant spirits, both living and dead.

As for Christine and Drake themselves, they are compelling leads with solid chemistry. Christine is a strong, clever woman who has made a name for herself as a milliner. New Orleans is in her blood and spirit, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her charm all those around her, ghosts and the living alike. Christine is no wilting flower, but a woman used to protecting herself, both physically and emotionally. It’s not easy for her to trust Drake, and her family history has given her good reason not to. But Drake, for all that he’s a fish out of water in the South, is an excellent match for Christine. He’s reliable, honest, and willing to do whatever it takes to protect her, while respecting her own strength and talents. Drake is also our eyes for this world, and watching events unfold from his point of view was delightful. It’s interesting to watch both he and Christine grow over the course of the story. Their romance isn’t a case of insta-love; the two of them come to know and respect one another as they fall in love, which I really liked.

The romance in Bayou Nights takes a back seat to the treasure hunt and the mystery of who is behind the attacks on Christine and the kidnapping of her father. There’s danger around every corner in this story, and somehow the almost languid pace of the book pairs well with the intensity of the action. Ms. Mulhern packs a lot of history, characters, and paranormal encounters into Bayou Nights, and it serves this unique story well.

Bayou Nights is the second book in Ms. Mulhern’s Haunting Desire series. As I have not yet read the first book, Bayou Moon (formerly titled A Haunting Desire), I can safely say that Drake and Christine’s story can be read as a standalone. That being said, by the time I was done with Bayou Nights I definitely wanted to go back and read Bayou Moon. I absolutely love the unique world Ms. Mulhern has created in the Haunting Desire series and I’m looking forward to revisiting it.


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

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/07/review-bayou-nights-by-julie-mulhern.html
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