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review 2018-02-24 04:21
Excellent!
The Wolf at the Door (Big Bad Wolf) - Ch... The Wolf at the Door (Big Bad Wolf) - Charlie Adhara

A former FBI agent is partnered with the enemy in this suspenseful male/male shifter romance from debut author Charlie Adhara Hunting for big bad wolves was never part of Agent Cooper Dayton’s plan, but a werewolf attack lands him in the carefully guarded Bureau of Special Investigations. A new case comes with a new partner: ruggedly sexy werewolf Oliver Park. Park is an agent of The Trust, a werewolf oversight organization working to ease escalating tensions with the BSI. But as far as Cooper’s concerned, it’s failing. As they investigate a series of mysterious deaths unlike anything they’ve seen, every bone in Cooper’s body is suspicious of his new partner—even when Park proves himself as competent as he is utterly captivating. When more people vanish, pressure to solve the case skyrockets. And though he’d resolved to keep things professional, Cooper’s friction with Park soon erupts…into a physical need that can’t be contained or controlled. But with a body count that’s rising by the day, werewolves and humans are in equal danger. If Cooper and Park don’t catch the killer soon, one—or both—of them could be the next to go. This book is approximately 90,000 words

Review:

Dear Charlie Adhara,

My friend Raine told me that she was going to be brave and try a new author and when Raine recommends books to me I listen, because our tastes tend to run very close to each other. I am so pleased that I now have a new author whose works I can look forward to. I love books about werewolves in theory, but same as it tends to be with BDSM themed books I rarely find the book about shifters that I enjoy. This one I enjoyed very much.

Beware though, that even though the narrative does give us the beginning of romance between two great guys, the focus of the story is on the mystery/suspense storyline which I thought was very well done. Do not get me wrong, for me the book had more than enough romance (and some great sex too). The men were very busy doing their jobs and I appreciated how the author made the romantic storyline believable for me by not making them forget about their jobs in favor of romance but I can see how it may not be enough for some readers.

In this world, the werewolves recently came out to some of the human world and in order to deal with the werewolves related crimes the BSI was formed where some former FBI agents were recruited and told the secret which they either encountered by accident, or for whatever other reason.

Of course not everybody amongst the werewolves was/is happy about even such limited coming out and tensions between werewolves and BSI are heating up for various reasons. To improve cooperation between werewolves and the rest of the human world ( that part of the world that knows about them anyway) our main characters are paired together as blurb tells you. They are paired together and sent to the town of Florence to investigate the series of murders that could have been done by werewolves.

Cooper was basically told that his regular partner is not going to be a part of this investigation and instead he gets himself a temporary new partner – a former university professor and now the agent of “Trust” Oliver Park. Of course Cooper is not happy with such development, but his Boss in BSI tells him basically to be on his best behavior and make it work.

The book is written from Cooper’s third person limited POV and he is the only one who tells the story for the reasons which are made clear perfectly well at the end of the book. We only see Oliver’s through Cooper’s eyes and I thought it was very well done; I loved how we got to know him through Cooper while Cooper was working through his missteps and some unintentional prejudices. Cooper honestly wanted to do good in his investigations and not target innocent people, but nobody is perfect and Cooper certainly had to learn/re –learn some stuff where werewolves were concerned.

And I just loved Cooper’s voice. The story was dealing with gruesome murders, so by and large this was not a humorous book, which made perfect sense considering the subject matter, but the author managed to insert some humorous touches and occasional sarcasm in his narrative.

“Rudi Abouesse stared at him from the open doorway. It was a toss-up whether her expression was more hostile or disbelieving. “Why aren’t you as sick of me as I am of you?” She looked over his shoulder. “You know, the good cop/ bad cop routine is usually more effective with two people.”"

 

As you can see the next couple of short quotes are more closely related to the romance storyline. Please note that when Cooper is thinking in these, he literally is stuck in the certain place and is waiting for Park to come and help him out. I did not find romantic comments inappropriate in this part of the narrative at all. I know opinions may differ.

 

“Stupid. Maybe he deserved to have someone drop a rock on his head and put him out of his misery. “C’mon, you bastard. Show me your super hearing. Asshole Park. Huge alpha Park. Big, strong, muscular Park. Amazing Ass Park. Pretty Eyes Park.”"

 

“But his surprise at the comment distracted him from the aching in his back for one or two precious milliseconds. Had Park checked him out? Was he interested in him sexually? Was this a reasonable time to be thinking about it? Probably not seemed to cover all three."

Romantic storyline does include some bickering between the men, but once again I thought the author kept it to the minimum and I also thought that while Cooper did occasionally go overboard, he learned throughout the story and he did not do it at the expense of the job. We do see him acknowledging that he trusted Park and was attracted to him as well.

I thought the mystery plot was *extremely* well done. I was very impressed by the final twist, because the author managed to came up with the scenario where Cooper being clueless till the very end about the main villain and his motives ( supposedly he did figure out another one a little bit prior to the big confrontation) made perfect sense and I would have even been upset if it did not happen. I am unable to explain it without any spoilers, dear readers.  Cooper even tries to get help before he goes to confront the villain whose identity he did figure out and I appreciated that after reading about so many characters in m/m mysteries just bravely and idiotically go to confront the villains all alone.  And  still asking for help does not help Cooper much!  You would have to read the book if you want to find out the meaning behind me being cryptic, but I loved the ending. I thought it was very cleverly done.

I am very much looking forward to the next book.

Grade: B+/A-

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review 2018-02-22 20:33
Entertaining Quick Read
The Orphan Next Door: A Single Daddy Nex... The Orphan Next Door: A Single Daddy Next Door Romance - Alisha Star

The Orphan Next Door by Alisha Star is a fairly quick read, perfect for those with limited reading time.  Ms. Star has delivered a well-written book.  The characters are engaging and fun to read.  Emily aged out of the foster system and is living on the streets when she wins the lottery.  Grant is Emily's new neighbor.  Their story is full of drama, suspense, action and sizzle.  I enjoyed reading The Orphan Next Door and would happily read more from Alisha Star in the future.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

I voluntarily read a complimentary copy of this book that I received from Bookfunnel.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

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review 2018-02-21 21:07
Somebody At The Door by Raymond Postgate
Somebody at the Door - Raymond Postgate

I haven't read the other BLCC book by Postgate, Verdict of Twelve, which was recommended by Martin Edwards in Chapter 15, The Justice Game, of The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books.

 

As is the case in most of the BLCC books, Martin Edwards did write an introduction for Somebody at the Door. This one rose to the top of my current reading list based upon the WWII setting and the plot summary which captured my interest.

 

This is a very odd little book. It operates within a standard mystery framework: Councillor Henry Grayling, the victim, returns home after a day at work, travelling by train and in possession of more than 100 pounds in wages to be paid out the following day. Sometime after making it home, his wife Renata calls the doctor to report that he was later coming home and that he was very ill. Some time later, Grayling expires of what ends up being a mustard gas attack.

 

Inspector Holly, charged with solving the crime, determines who was in the train car with Grayling and conducts an investigation into their backgrounds. Each of them, in their own way, have a motive to murder Grayling, who was an unlikeable and highly unpleasant man. 

 

Each of the suspects is granted his/her own chapter, which is where things get either interesting or bogged down, depending upon your perspective, in terms of the narrative. Each chapter functions as a mini-tale, providing detailed insight into what life was like in England during 1942 for various characters and social classes. If you, as a reader, are interested in this sort of thing, then the book is a fascinating read. If you are here for the mystery, well, a great deal of the detailed meanderings are superfluous and tend to grind the mystery narrative to a halt.

 

I am interested in this sort of thing, so I enjoyed those chapters. But a lot of it has little to nothing to do with the central mystery. In addition, there was a pretty big plot element that was just left unresolved without being addressed by the author in any meaningful way at all. I think that Verdict of Twelve might be a better bet than this one!

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review 2018-01-31 15:33
Somebody at the Door - Raymond Postgate

It’s a cold January evening in 1942 and Councillor Henry Grayling steps off the evening train carrying £120. Hours later he is dead, and it’s down to Inspector Holly to establish a list of suspects. As he investigates it becomes apparent that many of fellow passengers on the 6.12 from Euston had their own reasons for wish Councillor Grayling dead.

 

The more I read of the British Library crime classics the more I get drawn into the wonderful echo of the past they provide. They are fascinating little glimpses into the way of living from a that few of us today would recognise. Somebody at the Door is no exception.

 

Set during the Second World War, the story is not just a murder mystery but also a look at how lives continued at home whilst the war was being fought overseas. There are scenes set during bombing raids, where conversations continue as bombs and bullets sound out in the night, where the response to such events is a mixture of relief at survival and an almost nonchalent acceptance that such events will occur.

 

The story is less a detective story but rather one of character analysis. The story progresses as if each suspect is being ticked off that list. As a suspect is highlighted his or her history is told as a story. There are few scenes of actual interaction between a suspect and Inspector Holly. Rather, each suspect is dealt with almost like a short story, tying them to Councillor Grayling in some teneous or more direct link, dependant upon the character. Some characters are more likeable than others. There are ones who the reader will hope to be the culprit, once their story has been read, others where the reader will hope they aren’t the guilty party.

 

There were some parts of the novel where I felt that the story wasn’t progressing as quickly as I would have liked, and that too much time was spent on the back story of a character. That said, I did enjoy the novel as I assessed or dismissed each suspect intent as I was on unmasking the killer before the big reveal.

 

British Library crime classics are great, atmospheric steps back in time, from the beautiful covers to the language contained in the pages and Somebody at the Door has both a beautiful cover and transportative language that takes you back to another age. There are just over 50 classics in the collection and I can’t wait to tick them all off my list.

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review 2018-01-28 18:02
Sizzler!! Adult Content
Two Cowboys Next Door: A Dark Bad Boy MFM Romance - Jay S. Wilder

Two Cowboys Next Door by Jay S. Wilder is a steamy M/F/M menage, so it may not be for everyone.  This is a well-written book.  The characters are great.  Clay and Nash are rodeo cowboys taking care of Clay's ranch for his father.  Cheyenne has always had a crush on Clay but is not allowed to be around him because of his wild reputation.  Their story is loaded with drama, action, humor and 5 alarm fire sex.  I enjoyed reading Two Cowboys Next Door and look forward to reading more from Jay S. Wilder in the future.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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