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review 2017-04-04 18:53
Let Us Prey by Jamie Lee Scott (audio)
Let Us Prey: Gotcha Detective Agency Series, Book 1 - Jamie Lee Scott,Gabra Zackman,Tantor Audio

Mimi owns a private investigation/personal security firm and is asked to provide security for her favorite author. This is where her troubles begin. A murder happens and Mimi’s former lover turns out to be the officer leading in charge of the case. They bump heads because he’s as surly as he is gorgeous and Mimi’s all in a tangled mess of feelings.

Let Us Prey has an interesting little murder mystery going on here that involves vampiric role playing and plenty of quirky secondary characters. My #1 suspect turned out to be the murderer so I have to give the book some points for making me feel smart today!

Usually my most obvious picks don’t pan out.

I am a character driven reader. Most of the time. But this time I didn’t really care about the characters. It was the whodunit that kept me going. If I’m being honest, both of the main characters bugged me. Nick is a grouch. He may be pretty but his rudeness was off-putting. And Mimi? Well, Mimi judged every woman she met by their looks and her thoughts were usually unkind. This could be my missing sense of humor kicking in here but I didn’t find this amusing. She also did the same with men but lucky for Mimi most of the men in her circle were super-hot and she wanted to rub her boobs on them. She even did it a time or two, once at a crime scene. If you find that funny, maybe it’s just me who is wired wrong.

Narration Notes:

The version I read was narrated by Gabra Zackman. The male voices almost all sound the same and unfortunately they’re not at all easy on the ears. They sound stiff, unnatural and a little constipated and I admit to getting a little confused at times because of the similarities. Ah well. The ladies do have unique voices. Mimi’s is smooth and confident and suits her character except when she’s thinking about men and lamenting over the fact that they’re not returning her lusty looks. Then the cool, professional voice doesn’t really mesh because I picture a Stephanie Plum type lusting over Ranger and Joe.

I received a copy of this audiobook from Tantor Media. I hope they don’t regret it!

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review 2015-02-23 02:24
A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
A Spy in the House - Y.S. Lee

I don't think I'd have read this if it hadn't been for my local public library's very limited Overdrive e-book holdings. I decided I wanted to read a mystery, and this was one of the few mysteries immediately available for checkout that looked interesting to me.

On to the story. At the age of 12, Mary was saved from being hung as a thief and was given the chance to become a student at Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. When Mary is 17, she is given another opportunity: if she wishes, she may become a spy for the Agency, an organization connected to the school. Mary's skills as a thief allow her to have a shorter training period than normal, and, only one month later, she begins her first assignment. Her job is to listen in on conversations in the Thorold household and hopefully acquire information about Mr. Thorold's smuggling activities. To make her work easier, Mary takes a job as the new paid companion of Angelica Thorold, Mr. Thorold's daughter.

Mary is a pretty terrible novice spy. She becomes bored with her work after only a few days. Her impatience prompts her to take greater risks, which result in her activities being discovered by James Easton. Luckily for her, James is doing some spying of his own and can't turn her in without drawing attention to himself. George, James's brother, is in love with Angelica, and James is concerned that Mr. Thorold may be involved in something that could become trouble for his family if George ends up marrying Angelica. He wants to find proof of his suspicions before it's too late, so he proposes that he and Mary work together as a team.

This book started out fairly rough, with pages and pages of expository dialogue. Felicity and Anne, two of the Agency's senior members, had Mary recite the details of her early life and family for no real reason other than getting readers up to speed. They then helpfully told readers that Mary was “brave, tenacious, and decisive” (16), as well as shy of strangers and men in particular, in possession of a bad temper, and not fond of being corrected. Oh, and also that there was something “exotic” (14) about her appearance – they and others kept pointing out Mary's dark eyes and hair, as though all English people were blond and blue-eyed.

The action picked up a little after that, although the writing was never what I would call “subtle.” Based on her actual behavior, as opposed to what Felicity and Anne had said about her, I'd say that Mary was impatient and too much of a risk-taker, but at least good at thinking on her feet. She made a lot of mistakes, starting with her decision to disobey orders and begin investigating on her own. I expected her bosses to gently chastise her for putting herself in danger and then praise her for having the courage to take the initiative and do some extra investigating on her own. I was pleasantly surprised when Mary's bosses rightfully chastised her not just once, but several times. She was never exactly punished, but it was made clear that her behavior hadn't been appreciated and had made things harder on the primary agent (who Mary knew existed, but never got to meet).

At certain points, Mary was investigating so many suspicious characters that I had trouble remembering what it was she was originally supposed to be doing. There was Mr. Thorold and his supposed smuggling operation, Mrs. Thorold and her possible affair, and the secret meetings between Angelica and Michael, Mr. Thorold's secretary. In addition, things were further complicated by a slight romantic subplot involving James Easton, because of course. At least James agreed with me that Mary was a reckless novice who had a high likelihood of getting herself killed.

All in all, A Spy in the House was a “meh” read for me. If I continue reading this series, I hope that Mary becomes a less frustrating heroine who learns from her mistakes.


(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2014-11-13 00:44
4.5 moons - A Darker Past by Jus Accardo
A Darker Past (Darker Agency, #2) - Jus Accardo

I have been patiently waiting for the next release in the Darker Agency series, so when I saw the next book was coming out in November I jumped at the chance to read it. It's been over a year since I read the first book, Darker Days, so I was anxious to find out what the characters Jessie and Lukas were going to deal with in the second book.

 Jessier Darker is back in A Darker Past, and this time she is dealing with a very nasty demon that she and Lukas accidentally let loose. This demon knows the Darkers very well and he doesn't like them. He also knows the witches, the Belfairs, and he's out to do some damage to both the Darkers and Belfairs. It's up to Jessie and Lukas to capture the nasty demon again before he makes all hell break loose. It's not going to be easy because they can't get any help from the Shadow Realm, and they actually made one serious demon upset about their mistake. Eek!

With the demon on the loose Jessie is about to find out the Darkers past, and this past is something that can change Jessie's world completely.

In the second installment of the Darker Agency series, Jessie is not your normal teenage girl because she's half demon and she has a contract for 55 years with another demon. He's annoying and summons her at the worst of times, but Valefar is a very interesting character. He's scary, but for some reason he's growing on me, especially after certain scenes with Jessie. The character Lukas was being very difficult in A Darker Past, but that is because he still feels he's carrying the demon Wrath. He's changing in second book and I loved how Jus Accardo opened him a little more and is changing his character.

This is a Young Adult novel, so there is not going to be much romance in the story, but there were times that both Jessie and Lukas smooched. Lukas is what you consider a gentleman. He grew up over a hundred+ years ago, so he believes in going slow. I love how Jus doesn't have him change the way he was from before he was in the box.

I enjoyed finding out more about Jessie's mom and her dad in A Darker Past. I wanted more of them from the first book, so I definitely was excited that Jus Accardo had them more in this story. Damien (Jessie's Dad) is starting to act like a dad.  =)

For readers that liked to be warned ahead of time, there is a cliffhanger at the end. I know I have some reader friends that don't like cliffhangers, but this is a series worth reading if you enjoy young adult with a different kind of paranormal twist to it.

Overall, the second book was a very enjoyable, action-packed read that I had hard time putting down. I give it 4.5 moons and recommend it YA Paranormal readers out there.

Now, to patiently wait for the third book in the series from Jus Accardo.  =)

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Source: booklovinmamas.com/2014/11/12/arc-review-a-darker-past-by-jus-accardo
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text 2014-04-10 02:09
Reading progress update: I've read 60%.
Turned - Virna DePaul
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text 2014-04-09 13:08
Reading progress update: I've read 37%.
Turned - Virna DePaul
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