Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: Blue Shift by Jane O'Reilly

Blue Shift (The Second Species #1)Author: Jane O'Reilly
Series: Second Species, #1
Released: June 1st 2017
Publisher: Piatkus
Length: 304 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

The Earth is cold, dead and divided. The rich hide away from reality while the rest will do anything to survive. Humanity have only one hope: reaching a habitable planet. But getting there means travelling in large numbers through alien-held space, something that's politically nearly impossible. Yet for some, fighting their way through space is just a way of life . . .
Jinnifer Blue is a rich girl on the run. An expert pilot, she apprehends criminals on behalf of the government and keeps her illegal genetic modifications a closely guarded secret. But when a particularly dangerous job goes south, leaving her stranded on a prison ship with one of the most ruthless criminals in the galaxy, Jinn realises that the rich and the powerful are hiding more than she'd ever guessed. Now she must decide if she can trust her co-prisoner - because once they discover what the prison ship is hiding, she definitely can't trust anyone else . . . 

Blue Shift is Jane O’Reilly’s first foray into (romantic) science fiction and I’m sure it won’t be her last, even after this trilogy is completed. A seasoned author, even if it is in new adult romance, generally knows her stuff, and O’Reilly did an excellent job applying her knowledge and experience to a whole new genre. While Blue Shift has its weaknesses, it’s perfect for those of us who like their sci-fi on the lighter side and their romance on the hotter side. Jane O’Reilly delivers both with ease.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Review: The Hunt by Chloe Neill

The Hunt (Devil's Isle, #3)Author: Chloe Neill
Series. Devil's Isle, #3
Released: September 26th 2017
Publisher: Berkley
Length: 336 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Chicagoland Vampires Novels--the hunter becomes the hunted in a New Orleans devastated by a Paranormal war....
When bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered that Claire Connolly was a Sensitive and infected with magic, he should have turned her in to be locked up in the prison district known as Devil's Isle. Instead, he helped her learn to control her power and introduced her to an underground group of Paranormals and humans who know the truth about the war and those who fought it. 
Now the weight of Liam's own secrets has forced him into hiding. When a government agent is killed and Claire discovers that Liam is the prime suspect, she races to find him before the government can. But she'll discover proving his innocence is no simple matter. Their enemies are drawing closer, and time is running out....

Did you know that visiting New Orleans has always been a dream of mine? One day I’ll go there, stay for a month, eat fabulous food, listen to their gorgeous dialects and enjoy the music and the flavorful air. In the meantime, though, my very favorite thing are books set in New Orleans that give me a sense of its gorgeous atmosphere, no matter how brief. Chloe Neill’s Devil’s Isle books show us a different New Orleans, a city forever changed by magic and fear. Still, the author succeeded in keeping the best of the city’s spirit and in turning her chosen setting into yet another character, very much alive in every scene.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Review: Where All the Girls Have Gone

When All the Girls Have Gone

Series: Cutler, Sutton & Salinas
Released: September 26 2017
Publisher: Piatkus
Length: 448 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

Five women out for justice
One ruthless killer
A secret that's sure to get out
In this elite investment club, the stakes are literally life or death . . .
Founder of an exclusive society with a hidden agenda, Madison Benson has carefully handpicked her members, choosing the four most fearless and skilled/intelligent women she knows. But when one member is found dead and another goes missing, it seems like the club may finally have taken one risk too many. Now it won't be long before the rest of them are hunted down and silenced...
Into this secretive world steps Charlotte Sawyer, who is desperate to find her step-sister, the beautiful, brilliant - and reckless - Jocelyn, and deliver the terrible news that one of her closest friends has been murdered. Yet Jocelyn is nowhere to be found and slowly Charlotte begins to realise that her step-sister is involved in something terrible. Running out of time and unable to trust the police, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI whose previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.
When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn's past are threatening to consume her - and anyone else who gets in the way . . .
The New York Times bestselling author of Secret Sisters, Jayne Ann Krentz delivers a thrilling novel of the deceptions we hide behind, the passions we surrender to, and the lengths we'll go to for the truth. 

When I think of romantic suspense, I usually think of Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz. A new book by one of these two authors is always a reason to celebrate, and yet somehow, I’ve waited until now to read When all the Girls Have Gone… just in time for the UK paperback release.

When all the Girls Have Gone explores what happens to strong women when the system turns against them. It tells the story of Charlotte’s step-sister Jocelyn, raped in college by an unknown assailant, and denied justice and protection by the police. Politically, it was much easier to hide Jocelyn’s rape than publicly stand by her and protect her. Years later, Jocelyn is missing, her best friend is dead, and the other three women from her investment club are behaving very strangely.

Monday, September 18, 2017

LGBT Monday: Tramps and Thieves

Tramps and Thieves (Murder and Mayhem, #2)Author: Rhys Ford
Series: Murder and Mayhem, #2
Released: September 18th 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 220 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon
         Dreamspinner Press

Whoever said blood was thicker than water never stood in a pool of it.
Retiring from stealing priceless treasures seemed like a surefire way for Rook Stevens to stay on the right side of the law. The only cop in his life should have been his probably-boyfriend, Los Angeles Detective Dante Montoya, but that’s not how life—his life—is turning out. Instead, Rook ends up not only standing in a puddle of his cousin Harold’s blood but also being accused of Harold’s murder…and sleeping with Harold’s wife.
For Dante, loving the former thief means his once-normal life is now a sea of chaos, especially since Rook seems incapable of staying out of trouble—or keeping trouble from following him home. When Rook is tagged as a murder suspect by a narrow-focused West L.A. detective, Dante steps in to pull his lover out of the quagmire Rook’s landed in. 
When the complicated investigation twists around on them, the dead begin to stack up, forcing the lovers to work together. Time isn’t on their side, and if they don’t find the killer before another murder, Dante will be visiting Rook in his prison cell—or at his grave. 

When it comes to writing M/M romances, no one does it quite like Rhys Ford. From her beloved (and sadly concluded) Cole McGinnis series to this new literary adventure, everything she does is a guaranteed success, and with good reason. Ford’s romances are never superficial and her mysteries are never just glue for multiple steamy scenes. She builds her stories on a solid foundation and treats steamy scenes precisely as what they are – desserts, rare nuggets meant to make the story sweeter.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Review: 99 Red Balloons

99 Red BalloonsAuthor: Elisabeth Carpenter
Series: Standalone
Released: August 24th 2017
Publisher: Avon
Length: 352 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?
When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.
What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?
Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

Mysteries and thrillers have been my drug of choice for a while now which made 99 Red Balloons seem like a dream come true the second I noticed it on Edelweiss. It had everything I tend to go for these days: a seemingly baffling mystery, a huge emotional challenge, and engaging characters. I’ll freely admit to being a little skittish when it comes to stories about kidnapped children, but I managed to overcome even that in the hopes of finding a book I’ll truly enjoy.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3)
Author: Ilona Andrews

Series: Hidden Legacy, #3
Publisher: Avon
Released: July 25th 2017
Length: 391 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…
Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.
As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

Wildfire, the latest (and hopefully not last) book in Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series has been out for about a month and it has already proven to be an enormous success. It debuted on New York Times’ and USA Today’s bestsellers lists and it’s been getting nothing but gushing reviews from both professional reviewers and fans. However, it’s likely that you already knew all that. What you perhaps didn’t know is that I consider Wildfire to be one of the best books this extraordinary pair has ever written, and one of the best urban fantasy works in general.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: Secrets In Death by JD Robb

Secrets in Death (In Death, #45)Author: J.D. Robb
Series: In Death, #45
Released: September 5th 2017
Publisher: Piatkus
Length: 400 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.
The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.
Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know…

There is simply nothing better than a new JD Robb book, not for me, at least. The 45th installment of her bestselling In Death series is just as good, if not better, than the first book. This series never falls in quality, never strays and never disappoints. Nora Roberts as JD Robb can apparently do no wrong.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Profilers and serial killers in Such a Pretty Girl by Tess Diamonds

Such a Pretty GirlAuthor: Tess Diamond
Series: Unknown
Released: September 26th 2017
Publisher: Avon
Length: 384 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

In Grace Sinclair’s bestselling crime novels, the good guys win and the bad guys always get caught. As the FBI’s top profiler, she knows that real life is rarely so straightforward. But her new case isn’t just brutal—it’s also personal. The victims look like Grace. And the FBI recruit assigned to her team is trouble of another kind.
This isn’t how Special Agent Gavin Walker imagined running into Grace again. Two years ago they shared one earth-shattering night, then she vanished from his life. She’s brilliant, fiercely independent, and in mortal danger from a killer masterminding a twisted game …
The body count is rising. Entangled in the case and in each other, Gavin and Grace are running out of time and chances. And as Grace puts the pieces together, she knows she’ll have to confront her own deepest secrets before the final, fatal move is played. 

I grew up reading books about strong women in law enforcement, forensic experts, profilers, hostage negotiators and such. Through most of my teen years, I had Patricia Cornwell’s books for breakfast, Tess Gerritsen’s for lunch, and Kathy Reichs’ for dinner and company through sleepless nights. I learned invaluable lessons about being a career woman from these authors and their heroines, and I even found my life-long literary love in Kay Scarpetta’s Benton Wesley. Needless to say, I’m very attached to the genre and I always slip comfortably into its rhythm.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Release Day Review: The Long and Winding Road

The Long and Winding Road (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #4)Author: T.J. Klune
Series: Bear, Otter and the Kid, #4
Released: August 11th, 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Lenght: 346 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Dreamspinner Press

Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole—those who make us who we are.
And here, at the end, Bear and Otter will be tested like they’ve never been before.
There’s a knock at the door from a little girl who has nowhere else to go.
There’s a phone ringing, bringing news they do not expect.
There’s a brother returning home after learning how to stand on his own.
As these moments converge, all of their lives will change forever.
Beginning in Bear, Otter, and the Kid, and continuing in Who We Are and The Art of Breathing, TJ Klune has told a saga of family and brotherhood, of love and sacrifice. In this final chapter, the events of the past pave the long and winding road toward a future no one could have imagined.

The long farewell to our beloved characters from Bear, Otter and the Kid is finally here. TJ Klune made the brave and wonderful choice to give his fans a chance to say goodbye to those they’ve loved and cried with for such a long time. After seeing these guys grow up, fall in love and build a life together through pain, loss, friendships, joy, drama and unexpected word vomits, our reluctance to let go is more than understandable. But let go we must, and I can’t imagine a better way to do it than with this final book.

Monday, August 7, 2017

LGBT Monday: Red Fish, Dead Fish by Amy Lane

Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water, #2)Author: Amy Lane
Series: Fish Out of Water, #2
Released: August 4th 2017
Length: 330 pages
Source: Bought
Buy: Dreamspinner Press

They must work together to stop a psychopath—and save each other. 
Two months ago Jackson Rivers got shot while trying to save Ellery Cramer’s life. Not only is Jackson still suffering from his wounds, the triggerman remains at large—and the body count is mounting.
Jackson and Ellery have been trying to track down Tim Owens since Jackson got out of the hospital, but Owens’s time as a member of the department makes the DA reluctant to turn over any stones. When Owens starts going after people Jackson knows, Ellery’s instincts hit red alert. Hurt in a scuffle with drug-dealing squatters and trying damned hard not to grieve for a childhood spent in hell, Jackson is weak and vulnerable when Owens strikes.
Jackson gets away, but the fallout from the encounter might kill him. It’s not doing Ellery any favors either. When a police detective is abducted—and Jackson and Ellery hold the key to finding her—Ellery finds out exactly what he’s made of. He’s not the corporate shark who believes in winning at all costs; he’s the frightened lover trying to keep the man he cares for from self-destructing in his own valor.

Inspired by JD Robb and other legends of romantic suspense, the very versatile Amy Lane decided to pen her very own series of romance and action, with a pair of competent, resourceful and deeply damaged protagonists at its center. The deeply damaged, in this case, applies to one half of the couple – Jackson Rivers – the former policeman who was, years ago, betrayed and abandoned by his department, his colleagues, and everyone else that was supposed to protect him.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Talking about the perfection of White Hot by Ilona Andrews

White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy, #2
Released: May 30th 2017
Publisher: Avon
Length: 389 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot
Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.
Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice … 

White Hot, the long awaited and breathlessly anticipated second book in Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series, was worth every second of the agonizing wait.

Nevada is once again tangled up in a case that’s far too big for her small investigative agency, but her big heart and her code of honor won’t allow her to turn away from those who have no place else to go. This time, she is hired by Cornelius Harrison from House Harrison to investigate the murder of his wife Nari and three other lawyers. Since Nari was working for a different House, the circumstances of her death are suspicious at best, and the official version of events is obviously a blatant lie.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Dwarves, orcs and mayhem in First Watch by Dale Lucas

First Watch (The Fifth Ward #1)Author: Dale Lucas
Series: The Fifth Ward, #1
Released: July 11th 2017
Publisher: Orbit
Length: 416 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

Humans, orcs, mages, elves, and dwarves all jostle for success and survival in the cramped quarters of Yenara, while understaffed Watch Wardens struggle to keep its citizens in line.
Enter Rem: new to Yenara and hungover in the city dungeons with no money for bail. When offered a position with the Watch to compensate for his crimes, Rem jumps at the chance.
His new partner is less eager. Torval, a dwarf who's handy with a maul and known for hitting first and asking questions later, is highly unimpressed with the untrained and weaponless Rem.
But when Torval's former partner goes missing, the two must consort with the usual suspects -- drug dealing orcs, mind-controlling elves, uncooperative mages, and humans being typical humans -- to uncover the truth and catch a murderer loose in their fair city.

Take your favorite cop show (Lethal Weapon is a personal favorite), place it in a filthy city with a distinct medieval feel, add dwarves, elves and other assorted creatures and you’ll get a pretty clear idea of what to expect from Fifth Ward: First Watch. Everyone has their weak spot, and buddy cop movies are mine, which means I was endlessly entertained by this book.