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review 2017-02-13 18:09
Annoyed me to death
Thrill Me to Death - Roxanne St. Claire

I read this for the Wedding Bells square for Romance Bingo and for my Series Headway selection.

The blindness of the heroine towards seeing the truth about people and facts just about killed me to death on this one. I mean, come on! The willful blindness was aggravating and only made the flaws in the murder mystery stand out more, instead of elongating the sense of danger and mystery. From the contrived anger that caused the heroine to break off her engagement with the hero to the convoluted mess that sprung from her husband's death, this felt messily plotted out.
The villain was painfully obvious and painfully ignored by heroine, the step-son drama was made a big deal of and then dropped off the face of the earth, and the connection of the bad guys was Lifetime worthy.
I liked the hero but he wasn't given much of a story to shine in. The chemistry with the heroine is definitely felt and the alone scenes they have are pretty good but the madness surrounding them put me off the story as a whole.

 

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review 2016-04-08 19:24
Spare me the Truth - Fast, addictive, beautifully written.
Spare Me the Truth: An explosive, high octane thriller (The Dan Forrester series) - Cj Carver

Spare Me the Truth is a fast and addictive thriller, an intelligently woven plot with multiple layers all coming together in bang on fashion right at the end. Just what I like. Beautifully written to be entirely engaging (and exciting) throughout with pitch perfect characters, a healthy dose of reality in amongst the fictional shenanigans and overall a stonking good read all round.

Spooks and spies, always a good time - I was genuinely absorbed by the huge issues facing Dan as he realised everyone around him was lying and that his gaps in memory had not been filled with truth by those closest to him. In a wonderful mix up of family drama and underground political plot C J Carver builds the tension using a group dynamic that is highly intriguing, throwing different people from different backgrounds into the same boiling pot and then letting them simmer.

Loved Lucy - struggling with her own personality and Grace, like Dan, realising her life has been full of lies. The story has some wonderful twists and turns, also adding some twisted murders, a half serial killer vibe that causes a shiver - although in Spare Me The Truth nothing is as it seems. I always have a great time with a book when I have no flaming clue what is going on, just that I MUST know so therefore I'm desperate to pick it up again. It helps when the writing is full of depth and beautifully descriptive as it is here, when it has characters you can root for and relate to, the emotional connection between reader and story is achieved in clever fashion.

Overall loved it. More like this one would be good. Please. And bring Dan back. You know you want to.

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review 2015-08-21 11:48
Nation of Enemies: A Thriller
Nation of Enemies: A Thriller - H.A. Raynes

Full disclosure: I know the author. (Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal.) However, my persistent resistance against the forces of starflation (not a word, but should be), combined with the fact that I'm simply not that nice of a person (there's a reason no one shows me baby pictures anymore) should restore some faith in my reviewer-ly credibility.

 

Social Engineering & (Not-So-Distant-) Future Crimes

I don't know much about the book biz (I assume it takes more than, say, six-weeks to write, edit, and publish a novel), but I do know a thing or two about Moore's Law and exponential growth. So, I'm pretty confident that there are quite a few elements of Nation of Enemies that were much more “futuristic” at the book's inception than they are now. “House, play acoustic channel” is a real thing that real people say, courtesy of various Internet of Things (IoT) contraptions. I'm no technophobe.* However, innovation is almost always accompanied by risk. That risk, of course, usually comes in the form of other people.

Singularity Graphic

Such is the case in the year 2032– modern day technologies and policies (electronic health records, “embryo profiling,” geolocation etc.) are taken to their extremes, and mixed with a hearty dose of a Brave New World-style caste system, leaving citizens' lives all but dictated by MedID numbers (conveniently implanted into their forearms). Oh, and also, it's an election year. So, as you might imagine, the surveillance state is in full swing.

 

Conway Stern Hand

 

Cast o' Characters

One of my favorite things about this book is that it's not a clear-cut case of good versus evil. The tension between liberty and security doesn't grow out of malice. Don't get me wrong, you've got some decidedly villainous players skulking around, but it's a world of tradeoffs— decisions have consequences, and there's a selfish side to everyone involved. That being said, certain individuals piqued my interest more than others.

 

Taylor Hensley is a single mother, graffiti artist, and daughter of the Boston Brahmin-esque presidential candidate. Basically, it would be as though Shepard Fairey (of HOPE poster fame) was Mitt Romney's son. Plus, she skedaddles about rooftops using suction cups, which is just so badass.

 

Lana suction climbing

 

It's actually incredibly difficult to give my two-cents on almost any character without giving something away. Between the layers of deception (there are a lot of them), and my own fickle nature, I ran hot and cold with almost everyone.

 

So…

What separates this book from its catch-me-if-you-can kin is its tolerance for moral ambiguity. In a world of limited resources, wicked problems exist, and these problems have no definitive answers. At one point, a character reflects “How could we have brought another child into this world? What have we done?” And I found myself thinking, yeah— what were you thinking?!? (And not just for the same reasons that I found Baby Hater so gosh darn enjoyable). The story ends, but it doesn't feel like the conversation's over—and I like that. 

_________________________________

* I'm literally a member of Data Analysts for Social Good. And not just because that makes such great pick-up line.

† Pick up a copy of Future Crimes, if you're in the mood to thoroughly terrify yourself with some non-fiction insight into these emerging vulnerabilities.

‡ Though, in this case, said forearms don't seem to feature vanadium bones.

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text 2015-07-28 12:43
Released Today
Spider's Trap - Jennifer Estep
Siren's Call - Jayne Castle
Half a War - Joe Abercrombie
Dragon Fall - Katie MacAlister
Never Die Alone (A Bentz/Montoya Novel) - Lisa Jackson
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches 3 - Miki Yoshikawa
Thrill Me (Fool's Gold) - Susan Mallery
AiON, Vol. 2 - Yuna Kagesaki
The Bourbon Kings - J.R. Ward

And many more ...

Source: www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar
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review 2015-07-27 02:43
Thrill Me by Susan Mallery
Thrill Me (Fool's Gold) - Susan Mallery

Maya moved back to Fool's Gold after her career seemed to stagnate.  She may not be looking forward to trying to manage Eddie and Gladys, but that might be easier than facing the one man she loved and ran from.  Del is also back in Fool's Gold for the summer and he's not exactly thrilled to be working with Maya either.  They seemingly find a way to be professional while working together and ease back into a friendship.  The only problem is that they are attracted to each again and with the more time they are working together, the deeper they seemingly fall. 

 

Thrill Me is an entertaining and fun ride as Maya and Del learn that they just might get their second chance after all.  Thrill Me is a great addition to the ever humorous Fool's Gold series and can be read as a standalone.  Susan Mallery proves yet again that Fool's Gold is a place I would love to visit, at least to meet the infamous Mayor Marsha.

 

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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