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review 2018-05-22 21:15
Innocent Target (Redemption Harbor #4) by Katie Reus
Innocent Target - Katie Reus

Innocent Target - Katie Reus 

 

Hadley has just moved to Redemption Harbor. She’s just getting to know her wealthy father and brother and although she loves them to death, they can be a little overprotective at times. Good thing too because now that someone is threatening her, her brother Brooks and the rest of the Redemption Harbor Consulting team will do anything to protect her.

 

Just like the rest of the series, this book packs a fast-paced, full of action, edge-of-your-seat plot that was hard to put down. The first chapter was both shocking and amazing and it was everything I want in a romantic suspense. It pulled me right in and from that moment I knew this was going to be a terrific story.

Hadley and Axel relationship is sweet yet it doesn’t lack passion. Their attraction is palpable from the instance they meet and doesn’t falter, even when she discovers his true identity.

 

Romance and suspense aside, the best part of the story was the people protecting Hadly, specially Skye, whom we got to meet in the first book in the series. She is a bad-a$$ woman through and through and one of my favorite characters ever. If the book was great, Sky and his loving husband Colt making a big appearance made it even better.

 

Redemption Harbor series as a whole will leave you wanting more and this book in particular will show you what you’re missing out on if you haven’t started it yet. 

 

** I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher. **

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review 2018-05-22 15:48
Wolf Unleashed by Paige Tyler
Wolf Unleashed (SWAT) - Paige Tyler

Alex Trevino has his hands full. First, he has to convince the sexy vet that doesn't give him the time of day to go out with him. Then, when he finally accomplishes that and figures out she's his One, she gets it into her head, she's something else than a vet, trying to figure out who's running a dogfighting ring, and almost gets herself killed, forcing Alex to go half-wolf on her to keep her safe, she freaks and breaks it off, only to come back asking him to help her track her missing sister.

All this, while trying to find out who's behind the latest drug craze sweeping the city. Alex is just one man...With a little extra wolf thrown into the mix.


Once again, it was the suspense that saved the day. Suspense and the SWAT team with their closeness and zingers.
The suspense was intriguing and gritty with three separate investigations, keeping everyone fully occupied, only to merge (a little of an easy solution, if you ask me) into one single case. But it kept everybody on their toes, it kept me guessing, and it kept me glued to the pages.
The action scenes were intense, and the full-on wolf chase sequence was just the perfect cherry on the cake.

The cast of characters (namely the SWAT squad) was once more at their peak, both as emotional support for the hero, much needed heroes of the city, and the in-house entertainment to provide some much needed levity to the subject matter of the suspense arc.
I couldn't say the same for the heroine. She was annoying to begin with (with her hang-ups and emotional baggage), but instead of growing on me as the story progressed, she became even worse, until I couldn't stand her. I don't care that she had a 180 in the end, she's the worst heroine in this series so far and I'm glad "her" story is over.

Yet another great suspense and action story with wonderful (secondary) characters, but the romance (thanks to the heroine) left me cold.

I'm looking forward to what comes next, especially with the dangerous possibility of werewolf hunters converging on Dallas...And I'm wondering what he ME might know.

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review 2018-05-22 15:47
To Love a Wolf by Paige Tyler
To Love a Wolf (SWAT) - Paige Tyler

Little does Landry Cooper know the afternoon he walks into a bank to cash a check to cover a bet, that the awful day he's had, is about to turn into one of the best days of his life. It doesn't matter that he has to deal with a bank robbery, he's just met the most beautiful woman in the world. A woman he soon realizes she's The One for him...And the woman who will hurt him more than being blown up into a pink mist once she discovers his secret.


I was looking forward to Cooper's story from the first book in this series. There was something about the incredibly observant werewolf who everybody went to for advice and who could keep secrets that could cost him his job. But because he's just a wonderful character, of course his story couldn't have been all roses and rainbows, but instead turned out to be the darkest, most emotional one of the bunch (so far).

First, it was the star-crossed romance between him and Everly, the artist with four overprotective brothers and a magic-werewolf-mirror possessing father. The crux of the problem was telegraphed from the beginning when Everly told him how her mother died, but the big reveal still packed a punch. Especially once Everly's fears and memories kicked in. But I really couldn't empathize with the girl, not once she started spewing the m-word about the guy who saved her neck just a few days ago.
I know it created conflict, but the break-up was a tad too melodramatic for me, especially given everything that was going on around the two of them.
Still, it got solved rather quickly and it didn't really need one of those life-or-death moments (although we got that one as well).

And then there was the suspense, the main driving force, beside the weepy romance. I was right about the bomber, although I still wish I was wrong.
A bomber with his expertly made bombs was terrorizing Dallas and everybody pitched in, including Cooper, a former EOD tech who wolf-y instincts quickly started tingling. I might've seen the baddie coming from a mile away, but that final twist with the betrayal threw me (as it did Cooper). The suspense arc, especially given the personal connections, was dark and emotional, and quite painful to read toward the end, as I empathize with Cooper and what he was going through—and what he did in the end to save all those lives.

And then there were the characters. Cooper himself with his snarkiness and nicknames (Brothers Stupid brought a smile to my face) was enough to keep things lively, but the presence of the rest of the bunch didn't hurt, especially when the poor heartbroken wolfy needed a shoulder to cry on (or help getting out of being arrested).

Great suspense, an emotional romance, drama, angst, and a wonderful cast of characters. This is turning to be one of my favorite series.

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review 2018-05-20 15:15
Napoleon at his peak
Napoleon: The Spirit of the Age: 1805-1810 - Michael Broers

The second volume of Michael Broers's projected three-volume biography of Napoleon Bonaparte covers the five years of his life between the start of his campaign against the Austrians in 1805 and his marriage to Marie Louise in 1810. This was the period which can be regarded as Napoleon at his peak. With his victories against the Austrians in 1805 and the Prussians and the Russians in 1806-7, the French emperor exercised a dominance over Europe that was unprecedented. Yet one of the themes that emerges from Broers's narrative is the fragile nature of Napoleon's control, as he details the ways in which his power began to evaporate almost as soon as he won it.

 

As Broers details, the main reason for this was the circumstances in which it was won. When Napoleon led the Grande Armée our of its camps around Boulogne and into central Europe, he commanded one of the finest military forces in existence, one that was well trained and consisted of veterans of the many wars that France had fought since 1792. Yet it was an unsustainable force, one that Napoleon's regime scrambled to finance even as it won its great victories against the Austrians. The end of the Austrian campaign led to the discharge of many of those veterans, who were replaced by younger, less experienced conscripts in subsequent campaigns.

 

Though Napoleon still won many victories with his new recruits, this was just one of the many challenges he faced. Another was with his efforts to control the lands his forces occupied, as he proved far more successful in defeating the armies of the old order than he was in controlling their territories. Here Broers's expertise as an historian of the era is employed to his greatest effect, as he demonstrates how the French occupation of southern Italy in 1806 foreshadowed the problems the regime would face in Spain just two years later. Napoleon's efforts to establish his brother Joseph as king of Naples proved less than successful, as French reforms such as the end of feudalism quickly turned the Neapolitan aristocracy against the regime, forcing the French to maintain a military presence the region could not afford, and confronting Napoleon with a low-level uprising he did not know how to win.

 

Further hampering Napoleon's efforts to cement his dominance of Europe was his reliance upon his family as puppet monarchs. Here Broers astutely dismisses traditional criticisms of his use of them as rulers of the regions he conquered, pointing out that the practice was commonplace for ruling families throughout European history, Yet his brothers ultimately did not live up to the (often impossible) demands Napoleon placed upon them, and suffered the fore of his ire as a result. His frustration with them also informed his growing concern over the issue of succession, as his difficult marriage of Josephine had not produced the heir he so desperately desired. Though his efforts to wed a Russian princess ultimately proved fruitless, his negotiations with the Austrians proved more successful, and in 1810 he became the son-in-law of his twice-defeated opponent Francis II. Yet as Broers ends the volume he makes clear that the seeming solidity gained by the Napoleonic regime still rested on a foundation of sand, with Napoleon facing rebellions in occupied territories, resentful monarchs in the rest of the continent, and an ongoing war against Britain that showed no sign of resolution.

 

Broers describes all of this is a clear narrative that moves briskly through the many of events of the emperor's busy life. Drawing upon the bounty of the ongoing Correspondance générale series as well as recent scholarship on various aspects of his reign by the leading scholars of the era, he provides a fuller picture of Napoleon's rule than was possible for previous biographers. The result is a worthy successor to Broers's previous volume, Soldier of Destiny, and a book which further establishes his biography as the best one yet written about Napoleon Bonaparte.

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review 2018-05-20 08:28
In the Company of Wolves by Paige Tyler
In the Company of Wolves (SWAT) - Paige Tyler

SWAT officer Eric Becker, the renowned lover of women in tight yoga pants, does the most logical thing to do when faced with the most beautiful werewolf, he's ever seen pointing a gun at him in the middle of a shootout—he almost swallows his tongue at her sweet scent and then hides her in a crate to keep her from getting arrested or killed. Now, it's her turn to make a move.

Jayna Wilson has no idea what move she's supposed to take after a gorgeous SWAT hunk helps her hide and escape instead of hauling her off to jail. She's been out of moves ever since the alpha of her little pack has gotten mixed up with Albanian mobsters, revealed the werewolf secret to them, and now offers Jayna and her pack members as muscle to the criminals...So maybe she'll let the SWAT hunk have the next move as well...


The suspense was great as always, although the criminal group (at least they weren't Russians) seemed a little in disarray from the beginning, making Eric's job a little easier. They just didn't seem like very savvy criminals, if you ask me.
But I liked the suspense, the "mystery" of how Eric might save his dream woman and her little pack without having to sacrifice his own pack, his job or his life. And the action, as always, was top-notch with bullets, and in this case, claws and canines, flying every each way.

The problem I had with this particular story was the fact there appeared to be something missing. And I didn't realize what it was, until the end (the final chapter), when it was there again.
What was missing, was the SWAT pack. I love those guys to bits. I love their friendships, their relationships, their unflinching loyalty, their willingness to take a bullet for the guy standing next to them. And I love how they love each other. Even when they're pissed at each other, even when the alpha is snarling mad, their emotional connection is palpable.

And I missed it in this story, since it was mostly Eric and the new little pack of betas among the larger "pack" of mobsters. Thank god for Cooper, Eric's bestie with his secrets-keeping Cupid-extraordinaire superpowers, for the much necessary infusion of Pack camaraderie and humorous zingers (those were missing alongside the guys), since I didn't particularly care for the new pack and its characters. They seemed more like extras to me, extras who propped up the heroine (who wasn't bad, but wasn't all that much either). Even Becker paled compared to the Becker that I've come to love.

Solid suspense, great action, but as far as characters go, this was a let-down. But we did get to learn about a new "species" of werewolf.

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