Saint Boston Underworld, Book 4 by A. Zavarelli

Saint Boston Underworld, Book 4 by A. ZavarelliSeries:
Narrator: Tracy Marks
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

Title: Saint by A, Zavarelli
Series: Boston Underworld
Release Date: January 13, 2017
Format: Audiobook (8 hrs and 19 mins)
Published By: A. Zavarelli
Purchase Links: AudibleAmazon USBarnes & Noble

Scarlett:

When going to war, there are three very simple rules one must abide by:
1. Know thy enemy
2. Be prepared to sacrifice.
3. Always wear good shoes

After all, revenge is a dish best served in stilettos. I’ve got an eye for it, and nothing’s going to stand in my way. Not even Rory ‘The Saint’ Brodrick. He’s a fool if he thinks he can change me. By the time I’m through with him, I’ll make his mafia look like child’s play.

Cross me, Mr. Brodrick? You better cross your heart and hope to die.

Rory:
I’m a fighter. A hustler. A mobster. I’ve seen a few things in my day. But I’ve never encountered anything like her.
She’s a beauty with a beast of a heart. The poison apple I just can’t resist. And in her trail she leaves a wake of men crawling on their knees. What she doesn’t know is that I like my women wild. It only makes it that much more fun to tame them.

**This is a DARK mafia romance. A full-length standalone novel with HEA and no cheating.**
three-stars
I don’t think I’ve heard this narrator before this series, but Tracy Marks hit this ball out of the park. Her Boston accent was authentic and her voice was engrossing and added to my enjoyment of this audiobook. However, for the first time in this series, I felt no chemistry between the couple. This fourth installment just wasn’t as emotive as the prior stories. I struggled to feel the passion between this couple.

We were given a sample of Scarlett and Rory “Saint” Brodrick in book 1, Crow. Scarlett had been introduced as one of Mac’s friends who sold herself at night to survive. In the last book, Ghost, it was revealed to Mack that Scarlett wasn’t a prostitute, but was hustling the johns. She was tricking them and stealing from them. It was plain to see why Rory was attracted to Scarlett. After all, she’s pretty, elusive and blasé about his interest in her. Her continual dismissal of his romantic overtures only fascinates him more.

Honestly, I just never connected with Scarlett. While I empathized with her for the pain and betrayal she experienced, Scarlet felt was more of mouse than the cat. She wasn’t as in control of the revenge plot as she thought she was. I didn’t find her as hard and lacking any feelings like she continually claimed. After all, anger led her to hunt men nightly. In addition, Scarlett’s past wasn’t illuminated well enough, her mother’s actions, the community she grew up. I still had a lot of questions that couldn’t be brushed aside with the ole “they just wanted to be in high society” theme. The author could have developed this area just a little more. Finally, there was a brief brush on Scarlett’s OCD. I expected this disorder to affect her life more and that didn’t seem to be woven in the story.

What I did love about this story was the hero. I enjoyed Rory because he was a really good guy. His actions were never overbearing and he was quite patient and forgiving with Scarlett. While this story fell short of my expectations, I highly recommend this series to all lovers of these sub-genre of romances.

Ezi

About A. Zavarelli

A. Zavarelli is a book junkie, cat lover, and traveler when plagued by intense cases of wanderlust. She likes all things chocolate, books that come with warnings, and putting her characters through hell.

Her tales have been known to flirt with darkness and sometimes court it unabashedly altogether. Revenge themes and tortured souls are her favorites to write and this gives her an excuse to watch bizarre and twisted documentaries in her spare time.

She is slightly obsessed with Theo James and funny animal memes. If you don’t mind these things, you should add her on facebook. Even better, make sure you don’t miss a new release by signing up for the newsletter below.

Hanging The Stars by Rhys Ford

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

hanging-the-starsHanging The Stars: by Rhys Ford
Series:Half Moon Bay #2
Release Date: December 5th, 2016
Pages: 206 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

Angel Daniels grew up hard, one step ahead of the law and always looking over his shoulder. A grifter’s son, he’d learned every con and trick in the book but ached for a normal life. Once out on his own, Angel returns to Half Moon Bay where he once found…and then lost…love.

Now, Angel’s life is a frantic mess of schedules and chaos. Between running his bakery and raising his troubled eleven-year-old half-brother, Roman, Angel has a hectic but happy life. Then West Harris returns to Half Moon Bay and threatens to break Angel all over again by taking away the only home he and Rome ever had.

When they were young, Angel taught West how to love and laugh but when Angel moved on, West locked his heart up and threw away the key. Older and hardened, West returns to Half Moon and finds himself face-to-face with the man he’d lost. Now, West is torn between killing Angel or holding him tight.

But rekindling their passionate relationship is jeopardized as someone wants one or both of them dead, and as the terrifying danger mounts, neither man knows if the menace will bring them together or forever tear them apart.

four-stars

I might be a teeny tiny tad biased. I love Rhys Ford, so I’m always going to fangirl over her writing and books. Hanging the Stars is book 2 in the Half Moon Bay series. This book started off with a bang, and definitely ended with one. I sometimes tell myself that I wish Rhys could write a straight contemporary story with no mystery heavy plot. Well, I do believe she did that with Fish Stick Fridays which I love. But to me Hanging the Stars is so much more contemporary then anything she’s every written in my opinion. I mean, I feel all gooey inside with these two. It was like BAM with the love, romance, and feelings. I’m not complaining, because it’s what I want constantly from her, but I’m shocked. West and Daniels start a relationships after not seeing each other for 10 years. They are each in different places in their lives, but past grievances seems to put them right back where they left off.

“What makes you think I’m not already in love, Just?” Angel whispered. “Because I’ve been in love with him before I even knew his damned name.”

Do you see what I’m saying? That quote was so romantic to me. Angel surprised me the most. I swear, when I started reading this that I didn’t expect him to be so warm & loving. I expected plenty of angst from these two based on how it ended. I mean of course West was a hard ass and didn’t disappoint. My opinion of his has definitely changed from book 1. He’s had years now to form some sort of relationship with Lang, Deacon and Zig. He seems to be a less bitter man. Angel is taking care of his younger brother and trying to show Rome that nothing or no one can come between them or take him away from him either.

It wouldn’t be a Rhys book without an explosion, shooting, or action packed car crash. This one didn’t disappoint. I kinda guessed who the bad guy was after a while. It was a pretty easy process of elimination. I mean, they both went through blood, sweat, and tears in this book. I did have a minor issue with after not seeing, or hearing from one another for so long that as soon as they are in direct contact with one another the passion ignites. I’m not bad at it, but it didn’t seem real. If I didn’t see my first love after ten years, or talk to them but seen them again. I think anger, tears and frustration would be my first reaction. Everyone is different so I digress on this point.

Ford is still able to produce the best side characters as well. Frank, Marzo, and Justin were amazing. I truly loved them, and liked what they were able to do for their respected counterparts. Justin definitely needs a novella or a book soon. I was crushing on him by the end of the story.

West and Angel decide to give this a relationship a go. It’s not the best of times, but waiting seems dumb when someone is trying to kill them obviously. Sure some of these events were a tad bit over the top. But it didn’t stop Angel & West from being together. There relationship moved fast on the page to me, but I do like how Angel & Rome made West a better person. They actually gave him a heart, or something similar that he’s never got. Also liked Lang & West brotherhood progressing. These two are different as night and day, but the love is still there. All in all, I thought this was a pretty enjoyable book. I find myself having super grabby hands when it comes to a Rhys Ford novel. I can never say no, she’s a favorite author of mine for a reason. It can be read as a standalone, but why would you? Fish Stick Fridays is awesome, and everything is better in pairs!

“The truth is, Lang,” Angel whispered, ” your brother hangs the stars in my goddamn sky. It sounds stupid and maybe corny, but when he’s around me, it’s like the night’s full of light. So yeah, I love him. I love him pretty hard.”

About Rhys Ford

Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

Friendly Fire by Cari Z.

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

cariFriendly Fire: by Cari Z.
Release Date: October 17, 2016
Pages: 252 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide
Purchase Links:
Riptide

Elliot McKenzie is the king of reinvention. Five years after losing his job and his lover and almost going to prison, his self-help program, Charmed Life, is more successful than he’d ever dreamed. He thinks he’s put his sordid past firmly behind him, until he starts receiving cryptic threats . . . and realizes it might not be as over as he’d hoped.

Security expert Lennox West has been lost since a deadly skirmish in Afghanistan led to his forced retirement from the Army. His PTSD makes helping his ex raise their daughter a challenge. When his ex’s sister asks him to set her boss up with a security system, Lennox isn’t expecting anyone like Elliot McKenzie—a man who captures his attention and makes him feel relaxed for the first time since leaving the service.

But Elliott is dangerously stubborn. Even as the threats against him escalate, he refuses to involve the police, and Lennox fears that stubbornness could kill him. A battle of wills ensues that brings them closer to each other than either man expected. But if the threats turn real, they might not live long enough to get their future together.

three-half-stars

The only thing that saved me from DNF the book was my need to see the end through. I liked the first half of the story, the two bad people were obvious, or at least one of them was. I enjoyed the writing a lot. It pushed me through the end. At the end of the story, I don’t know if I like the relationship. They didn’t really bond for me. I guess I wanted more passion from the couple and that’s what I found that was seriously lacking! I liked Lennox a lot and kinda loved his name. (It went on my future’s children name list)! I like Elliot for the most part, but I hated his job. It bothered me more then the story. I felt like we were leading up to this amazing story line and it wasn’t apart of the story. I didn’t like his career from the get go, but it became the focal point of why these two guys were together and I don’t get a glimpse of what Elliot does to make it special. Another thing was the getting to see him and Vanessa together. That bothered me. I wanted that scene for myself since Elliot cared so much about letting things happen to him just so Vanessa career wouldn’t get hurt.

I can’t speak for other readers but I look for things I can relate to in novels. I like the realistic idea that Elliot screwed up in life so he is atoning for his mistakes by not being a burden to his sister. Yeah, he had some really crazy things happen to him, but he was so worried about messing up Vanessa’s life that we get word of mouth instead of the actual scene. I’m greedy, I guess I wanted to be able to relate to him in some sort of fashion. I wasn’t to thrilled about the outcome.

Lennox was the type of person that you need to warm up to. He kinda comes of stand offish, but I like to call that “gentlemanly stoic”. He seems like to be in a difficult head space in life. I don’t really know the time frame from him being out the military to present day now. He seemed to be atoning for mistakes he things he’s made, but that’s one thing we don’t get to see about Lennox. I feel like his story wasn’t finished. He didn’t get enough personal screen time to me, and I wanted him to come to terms with his own grievances. It’s a part in the book where he is telling Elliot about his reassurances and atoning for prior mistakes. I don’t know if that was a light bulb moment for Lennox, but it didn’t seem he got the closure to me.

All in all, this was an okay read. I enjoyed the writing way more then the execution of the story. I don’t think it gelled well after the 50% mark. I really would have liked one trope to have been the main focus. Instead, I feel like the mystery/suspense as in competition with the romance side of the story. I will definitely check out more from this author though.

About Cari Z.

Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She has a wonderful relationship with her husband, a complex relationship with the characters in her head and a sadomasochistic relationship with her exercise routine. She feels like Halloween should happen every month, which is why you get this picture of her, and hopes that you enjoy reading what she’s put out there as much as she enjoyed writing it in the first place.

Bitter Legacy by Dal MacLean

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

bitter-legacyBitter Legacy: by Dal MacLean
Release Date:October 4, 2016
Pages:350 • Format: eARC
Published By: Blind Eye Books
Purchase Links:
Blind Eye Books  •  Amazon

Detective Sergeant James Henderson of London’s Metropolitan Police Murder Investigation Team is no ordinary police officer. His remarkable gut instincts and relentless detective work have put him on a three-year fast track to becoming an inspector. When the murder of barrister Maria Curzon-Whyte lands in his lap, he finds himself drawn back into the insidious world of London’s privileged elite where men like James’s father possess wealth and power enough to hold the law in contempt. As James navigates the promiscuous, secretive and corrupt spheres of the rich, the murderer strikes again. Soon James begins to fear that these crimes lead dangerously close to his own heart and home. And now, he risks losing everything he’s made of his life unless he can expose the sordid truths that have bred this bitter legacy.

five-stars

Oh my goodness, this book kept me reading it from beginning to end. I literally spent all day Sunday on my couch laying down and reading this. It was the perfect split between romance and mystery thriller. I loved every bit of it. This debut novel from Dal MacLean was so good, I immediately added it to my Best of 2016 list. It was a really good mystery that intertwined the life of Jamie. It’s his first case as lead detective, he takes his job super serious. I liked the relationship he had between his boss and partner. He was such a well developed character. Steggie is my favorite as well. I truly liked him. He was flawed but he honestly cared about Jamie’s ware fare. I have mixed feelings on Ben Morgan. Honestly, I understand him the most, but truly hated him at times. I wanted to eviscerate him for leading poor Jamie on, but Jamie is a grown man who had so much naivety. It was on the isnta-love side of the story, but trust me you won’t even care once you start reading this story.

Jamie, oh my goodness. I loved him. At times, I seriously wanted to strangle the air out of him. He was super flawed, lonely, and very naïve. I blame his father, but I’m so happy with the outcome of that. Jamie is on the accelerated course at work. He’s very young for a Detective Sergeant, but he’s been put lead on a high provide murder. In the midst of the murder, he’s looking for somewhere to stay, he’s on the oust with his father, and dealing with his sexuality. I loved this doe eyed guy. He literally made me want to chuck my kindle a few times, I felt like some of the obvious answers to him and Ben were right in his face. Then I had to realize, he’s never felt like this, and this is what people in love do. They are stupidly in love, and blind to the hurt right in front of them.

“Is that a good motive for murder in your world, Chief Inspector? Because I’ve found unrequited love just makes you sad and miserable and tired.”

I love how this story made me feel. I really liked how the author made all the characters in this story human. It was raw and unfiltered when it came to love. It was brutally honest and sometimes hurtful to read, but that is what made it so real. It literally kept me on my toes. I loved the mystery of the story. I love the emotions that I felt while reading this story. MacLean is definitely someone to look forward to. I know someone is going to read this review, and ask “what’s it about?” Well, I won’t spoil it. It was mind-blowing, vulnerable and super good. Kudos to Dal MacLean. I can see this on someone’s debut author list. It is so worth it.

About Dal MacLean

Dal Maclean comes from the North of Scotland. Her background is in journalism, and she has an undying passion for history, the more gossipy and scandalous the better. Dal has lived in Asia and worked all over the world, but home is now the UK. She dislikes the Tragic Gay trope, but loves imperfect characters and genuine emotional conflict in romantic fiction. As an author, and a reader, she believes it’s worth a bit of work to reach a happy ending. Agatha Christie, English gardens and ill-advised cocktails are three fatal weaknesses, though not usually at the same time.

The Mermaid Murders (The Art of Murder #1), by Josh Lanyon

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

mermaid murdersThe Mermaid Murders by Josh Lanyon
Series: The Art of Murder
Release Date: February 29, 2016
Pages: 243 • Format:  eARC
Published By:
Purchase Links:
AmazonAReSmashwords

Special Agent Jason West is seconded from the FBI Art Crime Team to temporarily partner with disgraced, legendary “manhunter” Sam Kennedy when it appears that Kennedy’s most famous case, the capture and conviction of a serial killer known as The Huntsman, may actually have been a disastrous failure.

The Huntsman is still out there…and the killing has begun again.

 

 

 

 

four-stars

I like how Josh Lanyon incorporates her universes together. Honestly when I read the blurb I automatically thought it was new characters until someone pointed out Sam Kennedy from Winter Kill with Adam & Rob. I had to re-read that story to get a feel of Sam Kennedy. What should I expect from him as a character and love interest. I didn’t expect him to be so observant towards his lover, or as passionate as he was. I’m not saying that he was a fluff of marshmallows. He was soft in a passionate way. It does not take away that cold, detached personality he has when he is working. This starts off with Agent Jason West being partnered up with the legendary profiler Sam Kennedy. As partners I think they do what every duo of guys do. They disagree, disregard, and act bitchy towards each other. Sam being the “lone wolf” in this scenario and Jason being the “Inexperienced” agent according to Sam.

I am so looking forward to the next book. I think these two worked well together with the amount of time that they had. I liked the relationship dynamic that worked it way into their pairing. Jason was a little but more hesitant when it came to liking Sam. Sam had this hard exterior on himself, but those few times that he showed vulnerability of course I swooned hard. I would have like the story to be longer in crimes and as well as building this future. I get why it’s a HFN or a maybe on the subject because Josh Lanyon is a sadist and has abrupt ending in my opinion. UGH!!! Don’t throw those suggestions of future meetings out there and then end it. It was so fade to black, now I have to wait an entire year to get to these two again. It’s okay though, I’m pretty sure she’ll release something else to get me hyped up again.

I like the way Josh Lanyon writes the mystery aspect of her stories. With this one I was a little pissed at the simplicity of the reason why the suspect killed the victim. Then I had to think about it, everyone isn’t sadistic when they kill, and all murders aren’t premeditated. I will say the suspect is someone I didn’t even think of. I swear I was gunning for someone different the entire time. I did like the Mermaid references included in the text. I liked all the information that was put together surrounding the history of the crimes. It is a really good suspense/thriller story. I really would have liked more victims, but again everyone isn’t a serial killer, Tamika.

About Josh Lanyon

Bestselling author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance, JOSH LANYON has been called “arguably the single most influential voice in m/m romance today.” Granted, that was yesterday.

Today Josh’s work has been translated into nine languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondari, the largest romance publisher in Italy. The Adrien English series was awarded the 2nd Annual All Time Favorite Male Male Couple by the Goodreads M/M Group. Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist for Gay Mystery, and the first ever recipient of the Goodreads Favorite M/M Author Lifetime Achievement award.

Josh is married and lives in Southern California.

He Will be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker @AtriaIndies @kathleenatucker

He Will be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker @AtriaIndies @kathleenatuckeron 2016-02-02
Pages: 352
AmazonNarrator: Kate Rudd, Olivia Song
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
A woman who almost had it all . . .

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

I am really impressed! KA Tucker just slipped into another genre without losing her trademark storytelling or the angst. I will admit that I came in expecting a romance, but the love was that of a friend. This sisterly love was just as powerful and it was just as deep so the story really resonated with me.

Maggie Sparkes came to New York City to settle her best friend Celine Gonzalez’s estate after Celine’s body was discovered in what the police ruled a suicide. As Maggie walked through what she supposes were Celine’s last couple of weeks, things didn’t add up. Coupled with the discovery of Celine’s diary, and a plane ticket for Celine to visit her mother in a few days, Maggie believed that what she had was a murdered friend. When the police brushed her off, Maggie set out on her own to find evidence to support her suspicions that Celine’s death was staged to look like a suicide.

This book definitely kept me guessing as to what was going on. I think I suspected almost everyone in the book except Celine’s own mother and the PI firm. The author peeled away layer after layer of carefully laid foundation exposing Celine’s life as the 28 year old had fallen prey to trappings of a certain lifestyle. The writing was suspenseful, mysterious, and fascinating. The characters, the protagonist and the antagonist, were multifaceted. At certain point, I was exasperated with Maggie’s decision making, and the other times I was impressed with her tenacity and loyalty. Similar Celine evoked both sympathy and frustration. There definitely was some resentment and jealous issues at play, but there was still love underneath it all. The author weaved the story in dual POV with Maggie being the present voice and Celine being the past. It was very easy to follow who was leading the dialogue.

Many times I thought I had the mystery figured out, only to realize I fell for a red herring. It wasn’t until the very end that things became clear. This is a book a reader will want to finish in one sitting because it’s that engrossing. I don’t know if the ending was a shocker, but I didn’t conclusively put it together until the end. While I prefer KA Tucker’s romance novels, this one was a good mystery and suspense novel. The author took time and delivered a great plot with conspicuous characters. This was an enjoyable read.

*Special Thanks to Atria Books via Netgalley for the e-arc given in exchange for an honest review.

About K.A. Tucker

K.A. Tucker is the USA Today bestselling author of 14 books, including Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water.

Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader, and currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

Rapture In Death by J.D. Robb

Rapture In Death by J.D. RobbSeries: In Death #4
on 1996
Pages: 310
AmazonB&N
They died with smiles on their faces. Three apparent suicides: a brilliant engineer, an infamous lawyer, and a controversial politician. Three strangers with nothing in common - and no obvious reasons for killing themselves. Police lieutenenat Eve Dallas found the deaths suspicious. And her instincts paid off when autopsises revealed small burns on the brains of the victims. Was it a genetic abnormality or a high-tech method of murder? Eve's investigation turned to the provocative world of virtual reality games - where the same technique used to create joy and desire could also prompt the mind to become the weapon of its own destruction.
four-half-stars

Leave it to Eve to find work on her honeymoon. The delectable Roarke and Eve are winding down their three week off planet honeymoon when a resort employee is found dead and presumed a suicide. Back on Earth, more bodies with the same puzzling pattern turn up. Eve has a very short time to make her case as she falls into a shocking revelation affecting her relationship with Roarke.

With a mounting number of victims, no suspects and no clues, Eve really has to dance quickly to keep the case alive and chase her instincts to solve this new brand of elusive ‘serial’ killer. New characters are introduced, some more likable and some more smarmy than others and entertaining nonetheless. For this reader, the cleverness of the crime was a character as well.

This installment’s a very good entry to the series. There was a lot of sex, it was a fast paced case with snappy dialog and off the pages changes for Eve’s buddies. Mavis career is going strong as is her romance; Peabody’s been bumped to recurring status and gets to show off how closely she’s been watching Eve’s moves. This exciting rapid read wants desperately to be devoured in an hour!

Review: Unlawful Contact (I-Team, Book 3) by Pamela Clare

Review: Unlawful Contact (I-Team, Book 3) by Pamela ClareSeries: I-Team #3
on April 1st, 2008
Pages: 375 pages
AmazonNarrator: Kaleo Griffith
Taken hostage by a convicted murderer while reporting at a prison, Sophie Alton has no idea that the man holding the gun to her head is the bad boy who was her first love in high school. Condemned to life without parole, Marc Hunter finds himself with no choice but to break out of prison after his younger sister disappears with her baby.

Though he regrets what he has to put Sophie through, he can’t let anything get in the way of his stopping the corrupt officials who are set on destroying what’s left of his family. But being near Sophie rekindles memories for both of them. As the passion between them heats up, so does the conspiracy to put both of them in their graves
four-stars

★★★3/4. Not quite a 4 because the heroine was a bootleg reporter. How can Sophie be an I-Team reporter when she was so naive, dense, unobservant, passive and just slow on the uptake?

Sophie Alton and her brother grew up with her grandmother after her parents died in a car crash. In a spontaneous act when she was 16, she had sex with her high school crush, a senior guy she only knew as Hunt. Hunt left for the military the day after, and Sophie never heard from him again.

12 years later, Sophie worked as an I-team reporter and she was working on a story with drug addicted inmates and the pregnancies behind bars. One of her subjects Meghan went missing with her newborn baby and drugs were found in her cell. A man hunt ensued for the missing convict and the newborn baby. Meghan’s brother decided that this interested reporter, Sophie, would be his key in finding his sister. So the convicted murder Marc Hunter set up an interview with Sophie and then held her hostage and escaped.

During this hostage situation, Sophie found out that Marc Hunter was her “Hunt”. He told her his story and she had to figure out if she trusted him enough to jeopardize her career and get to the bottom of who framed him, Meghan and what was going on in that correctional facilities.

What I enjoyed about this series is the author tackles pretty serious topics. And the author goes all in. Not the fluffy stuff. The series is also well written. The heroine was a bit slow, but I loved Marc. He was a stand up guy.

Review: Ball & Chain (Cut & Run, Book 8) by Abigail Roux

Review: Ball & Chain (Cut & Run, Book 8) by Abigail RouxSeries: Cut & Run #8
on March 2, 2014
Pages: 306 pages
Amazon
Home from their unexpected deployment, the former members of Marine Force Recon team Sidewinder rejoin their loved ones and try to pick up the pieces of the lives they were forced to leave behind. Ty Grady comes home to Zane Garrett, only to find that everything around him has changed—even the men he went to war with. He barely has time to adjust before his brother, Deuce, asks Ty to be his best man. But that isn’t all Deuce asks Ty to do, and Ty must call for backup to deal with the business issues of Deuce’s future father-in-law.

Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott join Ty and Zane at the wedding on an island in Scotland, thinking they’re there to assuage Deuce’s paranoia. But when bodies start dropping and boats start sinking, the four men get more involved with the festivities than they’d ever planned to.

With the clock ticking and the killer just as stuck on the isolated island as they are, Ty and Zane must navigate a veritable minefield of family, friends, and foes to stop the whole island from being destroyed
three-stars

This book DID NOT start off where Touch & Geaux stopped. Big Mistake!
Instead it picked up 6 months later with Zane and Kelly waiting together for the ship carrying the returning soldiers to off load their loved ones. There was a cute reunion and there was a brief “return to work” thing before we were quickly propelled to Deacon’s wedding drama. Deacon and Livi were getting married in Scotland, but Deacon was concerned about his soon-to-be bride’s safety as well as that of his 15 month old daughter Amelia. Deacon asked Ty to be both his best man and his backup–to watch his 6 as the military people would say. He also invited Zane and asked Ty to invite pair of eyes he trusted. Ty invited Nick and who brought Kelly as his date.

Livi’s father, Mr. Stanton, had been getting threats and Deuce just wanted to make sure his wedding went off without a hitch. As we learned from prior books in the series, where Ty and Zane are concerned, the word “Vacation” is synonymous with “Dangerous Hazard”. The next 85% of the book proceeds to be “find the killer before they strike again” kind of theme.

Interspersed through the book are very small intimate moments between Zane and Ty. But Nick and Kelly featured so heavy in this book that it could have easily been a Sidewinder book. However, the four of them worked to neutralize the threat. In the end, I found the whole thing to be overdone in terms of The Who & The Why of the book.

What I liked:
Ty seeing and appreciating the new Zane. I loved when he called Zane “Beautiful”. I loved this particular quote: ““I mean that all the experiences I’ve ever heard of in life . . . I want to have them with you.”
Seriously–so freaking sweet, right? More of that kind of magical and intimate moment was what I was expecting, but didn’t get in this book. There were few and far between.

I also loved Ty’s response to Nick & Kelly’s relationship.

What I didn’t like:
NO ENOUGH TY & ZANE–Not nearly enough of them.
No real discussion with Ty and Zane. First of all, Touch and Geaux ended with Ty making a public declaration to his co-workers, the military and everyone when he kissed Zane. Also, they were still reeling from all the discoveries of Ty’s deception, but it was never really brought up in this book. Instead, the author alluded to changes both characters went through during Ty’s deployment. No real details. Obviously Zane’s sobriety was one of the issues, but no real talk with Ty on it. Not that I need lot of sex scenes, but they probably had sex like 3 times in this book.

This discourse on the beginning of Nick & Ty’s relationship up to the current state of their fragmented relationship. There are things I am unclear about. Nick has never talked to his best friend/brother about his feelings, he just starts boiling over during a murder investigation. Then he says he may never forgive Ty. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t Ty supposed to follow orders of his military superiors regardless of his feelings on the order? These people are soldiers but they also want him to disobey and place their friendships about his sworn duty. Either forgive him or move on, but this passive aggressive stuff was not entertaining to me.

The Enigmatic Richard “Dick” Burns–I am sorry, but the author blew it on this one. I am completely baffled with this character in this story. There was a chance to do some things, but i feel like the author took the cowardly way out and left us hanging. No Bueno!

The ending mystery bad guy and the surprise visitor…*Rolling my eyes* Seriously. I want to say a curse word right now. More of that guy in book 9, just fan-freaking-tastic. Just Great. (SMH)

Please Ms. Roux, I am begging you for just 2 things:
1)Way more of Beaumont Tyler Grady and Zane Garrett and way less of these crime plot things. This mystery wasn’t enjoyable at all.
2) Please leave Nick & Kelly to their own series–the Sidewinder series. I don’t mind if they visit for a minute, but Cut & Run series is about Ty and Zane, their relationship should never be relegated to the background. Ty and Zane’s journey together is the heart beat of this series. You take that away and this series is D.O.A (dead on arrival).

Review: Consequences (Consequences, Book 1) by Aleatha Romig

Review: Consequences (Consequences, Book 1) by Aleatha RomigSeries: Consequences #1
on August 3rd, 2011
Pages: 372 pages
AmazonNarrator: Romy Nordlinger
Anthony Rawlings had a plan—to teach Claire Nichols to behave. Claire Nichols had a plan—to survive!

In an unfamiliar bedroom within a luxurious mansion, Claire Nichols wakes to memories of a brutal abduction. All of her recollections have one common denominator, the man she just met—Anthony Rawlings. Unbeknownst to Claire, Anthony has had her in his sights for a long time. Every action has consequences—and his actions resulted in their chance meeting.

Facing incomprehensible circumstances, Claire must learn to survive as she comes to terms with her new reality—every aspect of her livelihood is now dependent upon the tall, dark-haired, dark-eyed tycoon. Anthony may appear to the world as a prosperous, benevolent, kind businessman, but in reality Claire learns he is also a menacing, controlling captor with very strict rules: do as your told, public failure is not an option, and don’t divulge private information. Failure to follow these rules and more, are met with serious consequences.

In an effort to earn her freedom, Claire learns her lessons well and before long, she unknowingly captivates her captor. Anthony/ Tony reluctantly becomes enthralled with Claire’s beauty, resilience and determination. Their interaction instigates strong emotions, including—fear, anger, love, and lust—as their journey flows into uncharted waters of intrigue and passion.

From the opening criminal abduction, through the twists and turns, to the unlikely romantic thrills, the suspense climaxes as Aleatha Romig utilizes vivid detail, allowing this novel to unfold like a movie.

Can you put the pieces of the puzzle together? Claire Nichols abduction wasn’t a random act—did she learn her lessons well enough? Will these unlikely lovers remain true--or will she learn the truth before it’s too late?
one-star

I am torn on how to rate this book. Do I rate it on my enjoyment or the writing?
The Writing is a ★★★★, but my enjoyment is ★ because I didn’t like a single aspect of this book. NOT ONE.

My enjoyment of a book includes love and there was NO LOVE in this book. Not love of self, not love of family. This book was about CONTROL. An inside look at what lurked behind the mask of a rich and entitled man. I found him Merciless, Malicious Ruthlessness and Vindictive. If you want a Jekyl and Hyde, then Anthony Rawlings would fit that bill.

Claire Nichols was a budding journalist who woke up in a mansion of a man she had dinner with. She had very little memory of how she got there, but she was subjected to such mental and physical cruelty by his man, Anthony “Tony” Rawlings, that I wondered if i was reading about Ted Bundy. After all, Appearances is everything, and there is a consequence to be paid for every decision.

I don’t want to blame the victim, but I have a hard time comprehending how a college educated journalist could be this gullible and easy to break. But I supposed that is why the author kept mentioning “compartmentalization”.

I am sorry, but I was unable to compartmentalize this story or the players. I find that I am not even curious to know what happens next. So this will go down as one of the series that I will NOT give book 2 a chance.

Again, I don’t enjoy these types of books and cannot see myself listening to another 22 hours of Satan’s grandson’s machinations because there isn’t a thing I can read that would ever redeem him. I am sorry but I really hated this book and I wish I had those 20 hours back.