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.

Venom (Elemental Assassin #3) by Jennifer Estep.

From the first page, all the way through to the last, this is a well-written, none-stop, action packed tale with murder, magic, suspense and a dash of romance.

Gin gets involved when a local Vampire Madame is being stalked by Mab Monroe's head of security, a giant named Elliot Slater.  Besides being Mab's chief enforcer, Slater has a thing for stalking beautiful women, forcing them to act as his girlfriend before he brutally tortures, rapes and murders them and he's now set his sights on Roslyn Phillips.

Gin feels responsible as she thinks Roslyn only came to Slater's attention after doing a favour for Gin.  Seeing how terrified Roslyn is, she makes a promise to get rid of Slater for her.

Just to spice things up a bit, Gin's baby sister Bria is back in Ashland, she's a detective who is determined to rid the town of corruption and also seems set on helping Roslyn too, it's unfortunate that she doesn't get the help from the police force but Mab owns a large majority of the force.

Gin finally finds out why Mab killed her family and why she sent Slater and his men after Bria and now she's coming out of retirement and declaring war on Mab.

On to Tangled Threads, I can't wait to see what's next for Gin and Co.

Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin #2) by Jennifer Estep.

This story continues from Spiders Bite, it's set two months after Fletcher 's funeral.  Gin is now retired from the assassination business and is finding it to be boring.

When she is approached by a young woman asking for the Tin Man, she finds her interest piqued.  It seems that a local miner, Tobias Dawson is threatening her grandfather and herself, he wants their land and he wants it now.

Gin has also drawn the attention of a very powerful lawyer who works for Mab Monroe, a fire elemental who runs Ashland with an iron fist.  She stopped a couple of young men from robbing the Pork Pit and one of them is the son of the lawyer, he's also a fire elemental.  When she insists on pressing charges, his father tries intimidating her and getting her to drop the charges but he's chosen the wrong woman to mess with.  She's the assassin known as The Spider and she always gets her way.

In the process of getting close to Dawson so she can kill him, Gin finds herself at one of Mab's parties.  When she is recognised by Jake McAllister, the young man who tried to rob her place, she ends up killing him so he couldn't give her away or burn her as he promised.

Dealing with Dawson soon becomes a matter of life and death as he recognizes her power and knocks her out.  She wakes up to find herself deep in his mine with him and some of his men.  When he challenges her to a duel, she has to use her power to defend herself and to finish Dawson off once and for all, ensuring that Violet and Warren Fox never have to sell their property or worry about being murdered ever again.

This is a well-written story with great characters and none stop action all the way through.  I love Gin, Finn and the Deveraux sisters.  The situations that Gin gets into make me laugh out loud and I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves reading, you get magic, romance, suspense and murder.  A great urban fantasy.

A Study In Silks (The Baskerville Affair #1) by Emma Jane Holloway.

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

I loved this book, it's well-written with a really great story-line, a brilliant cast of characters and a heroine who is the niece of Sherlock Holmes.  It is set in Victorian England but has a steam-punk flavour, the London in this story is run by the Steam Baron's.  A group of very rich people who charge everyone for their lights, heating and other amenities, depending on who you pay depends on the colour of your light's.  Think of them as a type of mafia who rule the streets with all the weight of their money behind them, they own the police and many politicians and can have you Disconnected at their whim.

Evelina Cooper lived with her grandma at the circus until her maternal grandmother comes to take her away.  Thrust into a world of fancy gowns, parties and Presentation to the Queen, she finds that whilst staying with her friend Imogen is pleasant, there is also a lot of shady goings on.  In this new world, she could be arrested and sentenced to death or detained at Her Majesties Leisure in a Medical facility if she is caught doing magic.  With her interest in machinery, clockworks and magic, she has to tread carefully and whilst working in the attic to avoid detection she is disturbed by a couple of Groomsmen who have been sent to collect a couple of trunks from the attic as well.

She is soon thrust into a world of murder, intrigue, romance and magic through which she must carefully navigate her way to discover just who killed the maid, the groomsmen and just what is Dr Magnus after.

Being the niece of the Great Sherlock Holmes, she doesn't shy away from the situation.  Instead she takes it upon herself to try and save her friends from being disgraced.  As she follows the clues and avoids Dr Magnus as much as possible, who seems intent on exploiting her magical abilities, she also finds herself falling for Imogen's brother, Tobias but also still has feelings for her childhood friend Nick.

With a little help from her uncle, she finally gets to the bottom of whole affair and without losing her life.  

I shall be reading the next book, A Study in Darkness and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with an interest of the weird, wonderful world of steam-punk.

Arcadia by Mandana Towhidy

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

I really liked the music side, all the links were great as I'm something of a metal head myself.  I didn't really enjoy the story though, I found it to be slow moving and rather too descriptive (fluffy hair, bangs, hairspray and lipgloss) it was just a bit too much for me.

Ronnie was a sweet thing but I kept losing track of which friend she was with and what party she was at.  The Fang was an interesting character too.

I'm really glad I read it, the music was a blast from the past but I wouldn't rush out to buy a copy of the book.