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review 2017-12-21 08:17
Blood Visions - Urban Fantasy
Blood Visions - V. L. Hamlin

I love Urban Fantasy and the blurb for this one had me excited to check it out. It has such a promising premise and the idea is a good one - a private detective who specializes in the paranormal, a psychic with visions of a missing girl, and a big bad that is kidnapping women. Paranormal, mystery, and a steamy romance, a combination that should certainly grab my attention. Except, it didn't. The premise is sound, but the problem is that I never became invested in the characters or the story. The writing is a bit stilted and while I appreciate details to give me a mental picture of everything going on, too many nonessential details that don't lend anything to the actual story quickly become a distraction. That includes the number of times that a character's name is in a scene. If they are the only person in the scene, using their name over and over becomes an irritation and starts to feel like they're thinking about themselves in the third person. The biggest issue for this reader is that there's way more telling than showing. From the search for the missing women and the baddie that is taking them to the steamy scenes between Ronan and Dustin, I was never drawn in or invested enough to feel much, one way or another, about the outcome. Even the conclusion, which should've been a heart-racing scene, just didn't have that oooph that it should have. It was more like I was being told about what was happening rather than being drawn into the excitement of the scene. I did manage to finish the book, hoping that things would improve as the story progressed, but try as I might, I was never able to connect with the characters or the story and sadly, this isn't one that I can recommend. 

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review 2017-10-08 10:12
Visions in Death by J.D. Robb
Visions in Death - J.D. Robb

Before she can change into her "work clothes" after an evening out with her husband, Lieutenant Eve Dallas is called to a crime scene in Central Park. There's a body under the Belvedere Castle. A woman's body, naked, bruised, raped, with a red ribbon tied snugly around her neck, her hands clasped between her breasts as in prayer...and her eyes missing.

Going against her inner cop, Eve reluctantly accepts the help of a psychic, a friend of Dr. Louise Dimatto, claiming to have visions of the murders. But no matter those visions, no matter the proof of her ability, another woman if found murdered in yet another city park. And Eve knows the visions cannot bring the killing bastard to justice, only hard police work can.

Yet another solid mystery with an appropriately crazy killer; although after the first (justified, maybe) murder, the motive got very blurry with the killer punishing the same woman again and again. It was a stretch, really, but I guess we cannot apply logic to the insane mind. It was gory, it was chilling, it was frightening, and a little sickening in the end, in that desolate, isolated field.
And when you think it's all over, it's done, the mystery is solved, there's another chapter waiting, with a second whammy; which was, unfortunately, obvious almost from the start, thanks to the title of the book, but most definitely from the middle where my gut tingled as well as Eve's at the connection.

On the "personal" front, there was surprisingly no drama. Eve and Roarke got along without a single marital spat or misstep, McNab finally learned the truth about Peabody's relationship with Charles Monroe, the LC, there was a lovely little couple scene at the dinner among friends, Mavis's bun in the oven is baking nicely, there was a nightmare thrown into the mix (we don't want our characters to get too complacent), and Eve and Peabody's partnership/friendship moved to yet another level with Eve finally coming clean about what happened to her in Dallas.
But since everything simply cannot be nice and rosy, somebody has to get hurt, and this time it was Peabody's turn. Poor girl. But we got quite a load of a suffering Ian McNab and his bonding with Roarke over fear of losing someone you love out of it.

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review 2017-09-28 18:59
Jaguar goodness
Visions of Heat - Nalini Singh


*Authored by Nalini Singh


Blood dripped down pale green walls, soaked into the slightly darker carpet, splattered the comm console. A charnel house she could smell—hints of putrid death hidden in the iron-rich taint of blood. Revolted, she could do nothing as he walked farther into the room, placing his feet in the dark red liquid that had once run in a living being’s veins. The blood in the bathroom had had nothing to soak into. His feet slapped into it with a splash.


This is the second book I've read in the series and while its about shapeshifters, a sub-genre I'm not usually about, I can't deny the certain je n'ais se quoi about it. However, I also can't deny that I'm pretty sure there is a solid 30-40% that I don't understand, lol. The PsyNet where all the Psy minds are connected, along with the Web of Stars and now the addition of a separate Being that is the PsyNet??? I'm hanging on my fingernails on this wild ride. 


Taking out for a second the sci-fi paranormal stuff I don't always fully get, the world and wide cast of characters are infinitely fascinating, I'm curious about all of them. The serial killer mystery here wasn't explained fully to my satisfaction and for being an important catalyst for our heroine, it was kind of ignored. While the relationship between the hero and heroine was sexily satisfying, I'm not sure I felt the emotional build up; they had chemistry but didn't emotionally draw me in beyond that. 


I'll definitely be reading on in the series as the next book looks to be about Judd, the dark Arrow Assassin. 

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review 2017-08-28 00:00
Visions of Heat
Visions of Heat - Nalini Singh I would’ve cut out about 30% of this book. The romance felt super sidebar, and the trials the gang goes through felt redundant. It took me forever to read the last 40% because it was just not engaging anymore. I kept getting the impression that the book should’ve ended and then something new happened, so I guess, like this review, the pacing was all off..

Next in series? I'll take a look at the reviews...
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review 2017-08-07 00:29
Visions in Death (Robb)
Visions in Death - J.D. Robb

This was a light and easy impulse read before I embark again on my more literary projects. I've read a couple of these "In Death" mysteries before; they're set in the 2050s in an entirely recognizable New York City. I had no trouble navigating the relatively minor tweaks that Robb introduces to make her world futuristically fresh while still operating on very familiar patterns. It's a police procedural about tracking a serial killer in a large urban area. Even the introduction of a professional psychic as a civilian assistant - and the various degrees of skepticism she encounters - would be entirely plausible in a present-day setting. It is the presence of this psychic, rebranded in Robb's future lingo as a "sensitive", that gives us the title of the novel. Our tough and sassy detective, Eve Dallas, conducts a fairly flawless case, sorting out the forensic evidence with aplomb, getting the profiling right and eventually tracking the serial killer to a country property where most of his (female, of course) victims are buried. Though the case doesn't echo the Robert Pickton horror in either perpetrator psychology or the low social status of Pickton's victims, nonetheless the timing of publication (2004) leads me to think that sensational case from a couple of years before was at least at the back of the author's mind as she detailed the grim discoveries of the bodies. To keep us all from sinking into despair, perhaps, Robb adds an interesting twist at the end that I will not disclose.

The protagonists - Eve Dallas, her detective sidekick Delia Peabody, and Peabody's main squeeze and computer nerd McNab - are very easy to like and root for. I would add Dallas' wealthy and extraordinarily helpful husband Roarke, but, as in the other books I read, I find him irritatingly just a little too perfect to be true,  and the obligatory sex scene with Dallas annoying - just Nora Roberts the romance writer intruding where she is not needed. However, it's a small flaw in an otherwise enjoyable and undemanding read.

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