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text 2018-07-13 18:25
A Little Bit Wild By Victoria Dahl $1.99
A Little Bit Wild - Victoria Dahl

He Is Not What She Had In Mind. 

Jude Bertrand is not an excellent dancer. Nor does he wear the most fashionable coats. But when Marissa York's brother approaches him, desperate to preserve Marissa's tenuous reputation, Jude does prove heroic enough to offer to marry the girl. In fact, the union should more than make up for his lack of social graces--and his own scandalous past. . .


But Minds Change. . .

Marissa knows that betrothal to the son of a duke--even one as raw and masculine as Jude--will save her from ruin, but that doesn't mean she's happy about it. Soon, though, she finds that Jude has a surprisingly gentle touch--and plans to use it to persuade Marissa that their wedding day cannot come soon enough. . .

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review 2018-07-13 17:13
The Hammett Hex
The Hammett Hex - Victoria Abbott

Jordan and Smiley are together and they have gone to San Francisco, CA to see his long-lost grandmother. While they are there, she is tasked with finding a book for her employer and just have a vacation after all the mysteries they had solved together. Smiley is so taken with Jordan, he left his job and sold his house so that there would be no problems between him and her family. He bought a new house to renovate, he got a new job that was better in another district. So he offered to take her on a trip to San Francisco. While they are there, they are attacked several times, once by a car, once on a trolley and their rooms are torn apart. They even think they have made a friend in a neighbor of his grandmother. When Jordan gets to Smiley's grandmother's house one night to stop a violent break-in, she and the grandmother have bonded. She and Smiley start staying with the grandmother, just to keep her and her maid/cook safe. As all this happens, they begin to wonder who is behind all the attacks on them and his grandmother. 

 

Fun story and lots of ups and downs and great description of San Francisco and telling information about Hammett's stories that are set in that area. I have never read any of Hammett's books, but I know that I have now put some of them on my TBR list. 

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review 2018-07-11 23:15
The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott (audiobook)
The Christie Curse - Carla Mercer-Meyer,Victoria Abbott

Series: Book Collector Mystery #1

 

This book sounded cute: a recent college grad gets a job doing research on finding literary collectibles, and her first task is to try to find a previously unknown Christie play. It started off okay, and there's a cute dog, but I got tired of the descriptions of Jordan's vintage clothes, and the writing was just too slow in places.

 

At one point, when relating Jordan's reaction to being startled by someone she thinks is going to attack her, she digresses into discussing all the self defence techniques her uncles taught her, talks about how a headbutt would be most appropriate, talks about taking aim or whatever, and still hasn't actually reacted to her attacker. And that wasn't the only instance. I'm not sure if the author was trying to build suspense or something, but it just didn't work for me.

 

The "twists" at the end were just way too predictable; I'm not very good at calling what's going to happen in a book, so when it happens like this...I have to feel that it's the book's failing.

 

So not a new audio mystery series for me to work my way through, unfortunately.

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review 2018-07-07 09:52
A Murder for the Books (Blue Ridge Library Mystery #1)
A Murder for the Books - Victoria Gilbert

Solidly average.

 

I don't know if this is the author's first book or not, and I generally don't like having a go at the first time authors, but it certainly reads as though it is.  There's a LOT of potential here in the characters, the setting and the plotting, but no way was this really ready for prime time.  Gilbert's editors would have done better by her by holding her to higher standards.

 

The number one thing that ruins this book is the romance.  I'm not a fan of romance, it's true, but I've never minded a little side action in my mysteries; a bit of romantic/sexual tension, if done right, can ratchet-up a story's level of excitement.  Here, it was not done well.  At all.  Amy (the MC) and Richard are likeable separately, but together they're just a big old awkward mess.  Gilbert managed to make their attempts at flirting, and their sexual tension feel both middle-aged and adolescent at the same time.  I don't even know how that's possible, but she did it.  Both characters are in their mid-30's, so obviously, she's completely missed her target.  I actually found more sexual zing in the empty threats Amy's late-60's aunt made about hitting on Richard.  Relative to this, Amy's angst felt out of proportion to the background Gilbert gave her, and when Richard (a professional dancer and choreographer) tried to play sensitive, yet alpha, male, it was just painful.

 

Now sometimes failed romance can be overlooked; generally in a mystery it's a smaller proportion of the story.  But unfortunately here it was at least half the story, and it swamped what was an interesting and clever murder mystery plot.  This plot was very good and could have been even better had more attention been given to it.  I liked the characters too, and the setting was well drawn and perfect for cozy crime; the librarian details were a bit of reader catnip for me too.

 

There's a second book but I don't know if I can be enticed.  I don't like Amy and Richard together. (This is hilarious, by the way, on a personal level: our cats' veterinarians are a married couple named Richard and Amy. I've never even seen them in the same room together, and they're more believable to me as a couple that the two in this book.)   Maybe with time, the potential of the mystery plotting will overcome my aversion to the author's idea of romance.

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text 2018-07-04 15:58
A Baby for the Billionaire By Victoria Davies 99 cents!
A Baby for the Billionaire - Victoria Davies

Walker Beckett is a man ready for anything. He’s a CEO, self-made billionaire, and fazed by nothing. Until a tiny bundle that cries and does…other things he's not equipped to deal with at all shows up on his doorstep. So he calls his best friend, Clara Anderson, who always has the answers. She’s beautiful, smart, and never afraid to put him in his place.

 

Clara’s job has her busier than ever and she really can’t handle one more thing on her plate. Only this particular thing is a baby…Walker's baby. Like always, he needs her. And, like always, she can’t say no to him. This time, though, it isn't a problem they can solve over a bottle of wine.

 

Seeing Walker take on the role of father is doing strange things to her. But she’s not about to risk her friendship—or her heart—especially since Walker doesn’t intend to ever settle down.

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