Monday, 29 June 2015

Caught Dead: A Rick Van Lam Mystery by Andrew Lanh

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was an interesting read. Rick Van Lam is a product of the Vietnam war. His father is a nameless American G.I and his mother is Vietnamese. He isn't accepted by either the Americans or the Vietnamese. When he is 13, he is sent to live in America and is eventually adopted. He becomes a police officer but finds that he doesn't quite fit so he moves and becomes a private investigator. He also teaches a class through the summer at the local college.

When his friend Hank asks him to look into the death of Mary Le, he tells him he will ask some questions, he knows that the Vietnamese community wouldn't talk to him. Mary was killed in the wrong part of town in what the police called a drive-by. But no-one can explain why Mary was in that part of town to begin with. A week later her sister is killed in the same place, in the same manner.

With plenty of clues to follow, Rick plods along, being snubbed by the Vietnamese community and eventually get to the right conclusion. The author has done a wonderful job of describing the characters, Hanks Grandma is a gem. The storyline is intriguing and wonderfully descriptive of a community that don't like outsiders.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of murder/mysteries.

My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

This is a sweet little romance with a side order of desperation and a dash of crazy. I was drawn in from the first chapter, I was laughing at Lulu's experiment to see what her alcohol tolerance would be and how she met Mason.

Lulu finds out that her daddy has lost the money for her college education and things take a wacky turn from there. She is desperate to go to college and comes up with a plot to make and sell moonshine, something that is highly illegal. But Lulu is determined not to stay in Dale, she wants out of the town as soon as possible and manages to persuade her best friends and the outsider Mason to help her set up and get a still going.

I wasn't sure at first if what I was reading was a letter to a dead person, a letter of apology or a letter explaining and asking for forgiveness. It wasn't until I was part way through that it fell into place. It's definitely an apology with a question added at the end.

She didn't plan on getting attached to Mason. He was just supposed to help her get the still up and running but love has a way of tripping people up and throwing spanners into the works.

This is a lovely read, it has a great cast of characters, the story line is entertaining and well-written but it's not too sweet. There is some heartache in there too, not just for Lulu but also for her best friends.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a great read.

Undertow by Michael Buckley

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was hooked from the very beginning, the storyline is interesting and although not unique, is done in a way that makes it seem fresh and new. It is well-written with a great cast of characters that are both interesting and charming.

When the Alpha's first arrived en-masse, they were forced to live on the pier and beach at Coney Island, now known as Fish City. Now the Government are trying to integrate them into their lives. Starting with sending some of the Alpha teenagers to school.

Our leading lady, Lyric Walker is caught between a rock and a hard place, she has to balance school life, a friend who is being abused, a manipulative head teacher, a crazy senator who is hell bent on getting the Alpha's locked up or killed and being forced to spend time with Fathom, the Alpha's prince, all whilst keeping a dark secret that could get everyone in her family killed or worse.

I will be honest, this book made me cry in places but it also made me laugh and I cannot wait for the next book to come out. Talk about leaving me hanging.

Hotter Than Helltown by S.M. Reine

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When I started to read this book I had to stop after the first chapter and purchase the first two in the series and read them first. I have a weird quirk, I can't start reading a series part way through, I have to start at the beginning. And what a great series this is.

Agent Cesar Hawke is trying to track down a murderer who is capable of clearing the minds of the dead so there is no way for him to find out what they last saw even with the help of a specialist. Soon enough he finds himself on the trail of the killer and even though that trail heads into Helltown, the bad guys there are scared of this killer.

When his boss is kidnapped, he works out why people are being killed, what is doing the killing and the reason why his boss has been taken. With the help of a medium, he tracks down his boss and in the process of rescuing him, he ends up bonding with him.

There is quite a lot I could say about this book but I don't want to give away any details. I will say that it is a fast-paced read with a great storyline, wonderful characters and witty one-liners.

I definitely recommend this to anyone who likes Urban Fantasy

Ice Man Cometh by C.T. Wente

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Although it took me a few attempts to get into this book, I'm glad I stuck with it. I found the characters interesting, I adored the letters that Jeri was receiving, I was intrigued as she was by them.

I liked how the plot widened to encompass the FBI and Homeland Security and showed what a piss poor job of communicating goes on between one group and another.

I was especially pleased with the ending.....I'm not going to write anything else as I don't want to spoil this really great read for anyone else....... Just remember...... Don't Order Dog.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Hunted by Jaycee Clark

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

I tried to read this once before and gave up as I wasn't in the right frame of mind but I am glad I gave it another try.  I was drawn in from the very beginning, it's quite a shocking opener.  Although this has a romance tag on it, there isn't really a romance as such, not the typical girl meets boy and falls in love, it's more a case of boy rescues girl, helps her with her recovery and they gradually fall into a great friendship that has the makings of being a great romance.

This is a book about abuse, kidnapping, prostitution and human trafficking.  It's also about one woman's rescue and subsequent recovery from a vicious man who wants to own her outright.  He thinks that if he can break her spirit she will finally succumb to his demands and be his wife.  She suffers from rape, abuse, forced drug use and beatings.  She is also forced to watch another girl being murdered. 

When Morgan is finally rescued by a joint taskforce, she is scared and terrified that Jezek will find her and kill her.  With the help of John she finally gets home but it takes her a long time to get to a point where she isn't constantly looking over her shoulder.  Although she hasn't told her brothers exactly what she has been through, they help her with her recovery too.

When someone on the taskforce turns informant and lets Jezek know where all the girls from his brothels have been whisked away to, he starts to kill them off.  When John finds out what is happening he returns to keep Morgan safe.  

Jezek is slowly picking off the girls that got away but he also has to be very careful as the girl he murdered in front of Morgan was the daughter of an Italian Mob boss.  When the Don finds out what really happened to his daughter he is ruthless in his punishment.

The author has handled a very difficult topic with care and attention, although she hasn't glossed over any of the horrors of what it must be like to be caught up in that lifestyle.

I would definitely recommend this book to any one who likes a good thriller with a romantic undertone.

The Trial of Dr. Kate by Michael E. Glasscock III

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was a little stumped at the title of this book, after reading it I would have thought The Adventures of Shenandoah would have been more appropriate.

Shenandoah Coleman is one of the few Coleman's to get out of Beulah Land.  She flew planes during the war, went to college and became a reporter.  When she heard about her friend being put on trial for murder back in her home town of Round Rock, she talks her editor into letting her go back home and cover the trial.

From the first day there, it is obvious that someone is out to get her.  Her car tyres are slashed and she is almost driven off the road several times but she can't go to the local sheriff as he is holding a grudge from grade school.  

The characters are entertaining, the story is well-written but the first half is a bit drawn out.  When the story finally gets to the actual trial of Dr Kate it seems to speed up.  

There is a bit of a love interest for Shenandoah with a twist at the end and all the strands of the tale are all nicely tied up but not all have happy endings.

This is a great insight into life after the war and the beginning of the end of segregation too.  It also shows a different insight into the way that women were treated too.  Definitely a thought-provoking read.

Unraveled (Woodlands #3) by Jen Frederick

Another great book by Jen Frederick.

I love Gray and Sam, they are a sweet couple even with all their baggage.  
 
Gray has a big decision to make, whether or not to re-enlist or get out of the marines.  He has three months leave and decides to visit Bo and Noah, his old marine buddies.  Whilst there he meets Sam, a young widow whose husband was in the army.  They are both attracted to each other and try to fight the attraction but they can't seem to avoid each other.

With a crap load of baggage apiece, nothing is easy but they eventually get sorted.  

This is definitely more adult themed, the sex scenes are well-written and not over done.  They definitely make the pages sizzle.

Affliction (Anita Blake #22) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Although I've given this a 4 star rating but that's only because I can't give it a 3.5.

There is an actual plot this time instead of pages of sex, don't get me wrong I've nothing against sex but when every page is sex it gets old really fast.  I found myself speed-reading through the last few books.  

I liked the story-line in this book, the action scenes are great and Micah's family are wonderful but I thought the some of the sex scenes were there just to fill the pages.  I was really glad to see Edward and see Anita actually solving a crime and raising some zombies too.  

I thought the ending was a bit of a damp squib, a great build-up and then two pages and it was done.  It was as if the ending was rushed.  I'm not going to be in a rush to get the next book as I was a bit disappointed with this.  I think it's time Anita got back to solving crime and raising zombies again.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Tangled Threads (Elemental Assassin #4) by Jennifer Estep.

Another great book from Jennifer Estep.  It pelts along at a rip-roaring pace with no holds barred action.

Gin continues on her campaign to take down Mab anyway she can but this time there's an assassin named LaFleur to take care of too.  She's been hired by Mab to take over from Slater, her former head of security, she's also been hired to kill Gins' little sister Bria and McAllister has talked her into taking out Gin, not knowing that she and the Spider are the same person.

Gin also has to navigate the murky world of emotions, she's dating Owen Grayson but she keeps stumbling over the scars left by her last liaison.  I can't bring myself to call her ex a boyfriend as all they did was get down and dirty a few times, but it has messed with Gins' head and she keeps holding Owen at bay.  She keeps expecting to see revulsion and fear in his eyes as she did with her ex.

When she is in the alley behind the Pork Pit taking out the trash, she is accosted by LaFleur but as luck would have it, Bria steps out into the alley too.  They both get taken with LaFleur intent on killing them both.  In the act of escaping Gin finally comes clean about who she is to Bria but it isn't the happy reunion that she had hoped for, she can live with that as long as Bria gets out of the scrape they are in and Gin gets to kill LaFleur, striking another blow to Mab Monroe.

I can't stop reading this series, as soon as I finish one book I'm straight into the next.  It's a fantastic series that leaves you wanting more.  The characters are extremely likable and interesting, the elemental magic is used in a very convincing way, it's been thoroughly thought out and works extremely well.  

Anyone who loves urban fantasy, romance, suspense and murder with a dash of magic will find this series exceptional.