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Search tags: p-law-enforcement-pi
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review 2018-12-01 21:17
Playing in the Dark (Glasgow Lads #4)
Playing in the Dark - Avery Cockburn

When this series started, I hated Evan with a passion for hurting Fergus the way he did, skipping off to Belgium to be with some other lover. Only in Play Dead, we learned that things were not as they seemed, and I got instantly way more interested in learning more about him. And about Ben too, I guess. *whispers* I actually forgot who Ben was! shhh!

 

Evan's trying to get his life back together after a horrifying ordeal and when he met Ben in Playing With Fire, he was pretty much resigned to living a lonely life as the bad guy on the team. But he and Ben connected instantly apparently, and they pick up on that attraction here and move incredibly quickly considering the sort of life Evan lives and the secrets he needs to keep and lies he needs to make. (I should do a reread one of these days because I was having trouble keeping a lot of these couples straight ... but not straight-straight. You know what I mean.) 

 

I admit, I started getting a little worried by the halfway point about where this story might go. I don't know why, since Ms. Cockburn has always avoiding cliche pitfalls before, but there's always a first time right? Not here, I'm glad to say. This story was more about two characters learning how to be more fully themselves and realizing that in order to do that they actually had to let go of some of their previous preconceptions of who they were. That didn't stop me wanting to smack them more than a few times when they were making stupid mistakes, and there were a few chapters with a few too many sex scenes too close together at the beginning, but that evened out and we really got to see how they work as a couple and not just in the sack.

 

I did like learning about Ben's Bahá-í faith, which I never knew about before. It did feel a tad on the preachy side a couple of times though. I really would've liked to see some more of Ben's mom and Evan's family. Evan's job with MI-5 was also interesting and well-paced, with a layered quasi-mystery to drive the plot. Evan was a little reckless at times, and this teetered just over the line into unprofessional professional a couple of times, but I could understand why Evan made the decisions he made.

Though it doesn't make much sense why he couldn't tell Ben he'd been in Belfast but he could tell Fergus. I guess because Ben was getting a whole lot more details than Fergus  was.

(spoiler show)

 

I was happy where this book left them though and they're both clearly where they need and want to be by the end of it. I hope we get more of them in later books and novellas.

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review 2018-10-24 03:29
What Angels Fear (Sebastian St. Cyr #1) (Audiobook)
What Angels Fear - C.S. Harris

It's 1811, England's at war with France and the Regency is about to begin. When a young actress is found murdered in the Lady's Temple, the evidence points to the Duke of Hendon's heir, Sebastian, who goes rogue to prove his innocence. Inspector Lovejoy is determined to catch St. Cyr and bring him to justice, while Lord Jarvis makes his plans for the future of the kingdom.

 

This is a decent first installment. There wasn't a whole lot innovative about it, but it did capture the sense of the early 1800s very well and explained the political climate of England at the time. Many of the twists are predictable, and have been done to death before. There's a little too much repetition as everyone has to exclaim their shock at the heinousness of the actress's death, and there's even the damsel-in-distress rescue at the end. Sebastian has some unusual abilities that had be rolling my eyes on occasion (man can literally hear through walls and has excellent night vision to boot). His investigation gets a little heisty at points, with all his disguises. He's a literal man of mystery. 

 

I'm not sure at all how that ending was supposed to prove Sebastian innocent, but it all worked out for everyone involved so what's the harm in a little rug-sweeping-under?

 

I'll probably try the next one, since my library has the whole series (though not in audio), because this does show promise and I'm interested to see what kinds of investigations Sebastian is going to get involved in next. 

 

This is narrated by Davina Porter, who also narrates the Outlander books, and she's perfect as always. 

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review 2018-10-05 03:24
Acts of Faith (Cost of Repairs #4)
Acts of Faith - A.M. Arthur

 

When the seven-year old is the most mature person in the room, you've got problems.

 

Massive problems.

 

Mostly irrational, overprotective, miscommunication-because-your-head's-stuck-up-your-butt drama llama problems. 

 

My GOD! I wanted to smack Rey so many times. Sam isn't spared either. He gets some stern finger-wagging. 

 

And how do you not look in the car!

(spoiler show)

 

Add in the hilariously distracting typos (talk drink of water, mandolins in kitchen cupboards) and the Reign/Sam and Samuel/Rey naming device on the POV switches, and this was one annoying read.

 

I don't care enough about David to read his story, and I'm not feeling compelled to go back and read #3 with Gavin and whats-his-name, because if the grown men can't even act their age I have no hopes the teen boys will be any better. So this is it for me and this series. And probably this author.

 

3 stars because Faith was adorable.

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review 2018-09-23 19:59
Review: “One-Eyed Royals” (Seven of Spades, #4) by Cordelia Kingsbridge
One-Eyed Royals - Cordelia Kingsbridge

 

~ 5 STARS ~

 

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review 2018-09-22 22:16
A Death at the Dionysus Club (Lynes & Mathey #2)
A Death at the Dionysus Club - Amy Griswold,Melissa Scott

This is a solid sequel to Death by Silver. There is still no steam here, and while there is some focus on Julian and Ned's relationship, this is first and foremost a mystery. Anyone looking for romance and smex will need to either look elsewhere or adequately adjust their expectations before diving into this. 

 

The mystery here had several layers to it and took awhile to untangle them all. The suspects were many, and the motivations just as numerous. It was fun following along as Ned and Julian tried to figure out what was going on, and learning more about how the magic in this world works. There's old magic, or non-conforming, now considered uncouth. And there's the new magic, or conforming magic, that's been designed to be more humane (no need for animal parts or blood, for instance). Of course, the two systems don't clash well at all, and when a particularly nasty bit of non-conforming magic starts to kill off men, it leaves Ned, Julian and Hatton in a bind on how to handle it, much less even figure out how it works and who is working it.

 

Complicating matters further, it seems that the culprit is part of the Dionysus Club, and Julian and Ned have every bit as much of an interest in keeping connections to the club and its membership away from the police investigation. They could face jail time or hanging themselves in their private inclinations become publicly known. This is not a world progressively-minded people or "as long as you're happy" platitudes, and these men have to be very careful who they trust with the truth, and even those who might know and support them - or at least be willing to turn a blind eye - aren't reckless enough to come out and say it.

 

We get to meet one of Miss Frost's friends, and more of Julian's crowd from his wilder days. Miss Barton is a hoot, and Julian didn't exactly have the best taste in men in his youth to say the least, lol. And then there's Challice, who I couldn't help feeling sorry for. 

 

This is a tightly-written book, with smart characters who are actually good at their jobs (so many books that claim their characters are the best in their fields are actually filled with rampaging idiots) and who know how to communicate with each other when they discover things the other needs to know. Fancy that! They're not as good as communicating when it comes to their relationship, but Ned and Julian find ways to do that as well, no matter how uncomfortable it might make them. 

 

This could have used another pass through by an editor, since there was some unnecessary repetition and a lot of missing words. A less misleading title wouldn't have gone amiss either.

There never is a death actually at the Dionysus Club, but I guess "Deaths of Dionysus Club Members" doesn't have the same ring to it.

(spoiler show)

But those are my only quibbles.

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