Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

The Fixer – Jessica Gadziala

34942302.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: AVEN- There are a few things I don’t believe in. Like santa. An honest politician. And gut instincts. That was, of course, until I woke up with one. And I knew. This was the day I was going to die. The cops, thus far, have proven useless and uninterested in my issues. When you couldn’t get help from legal channels, what other choice did you have but to look elsewhere? That was how I came across Quinton Baird. A “fixer.” Whatever the hell that was. All I knew was, I had a problem that needed fixing. Hopefully, before it killed me.

QUIN- There were a few things I could put my faith to rest in. My team. People f*cking up, and needing my help. And my gut. So when my receptionist informed me that the woman in a case I decided wasn’t my kind of job was having a ‘gut feeling’ about being in desperate need of help, yeah, I dragged my a** across town to check things out.
Not only did I not bank on the fact that she was in trouble beyond what I could have anticipated, but she was not what I was expecting either. Beautiful, resilient, and one hell of a distraction I didn’t need. As the pieces of her case start falling together, I was left wondering if maybe this new, unfamiliar sensation in my gut was telling me that Aven was much more than just another name on a case file…

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My thoughts: What a cute story. Warm and fuzzy with a little suspense and angst. I felt I needed a break from the big chunk of book I currently reading and this was exactly what I needed. It is a nice story with a lot of nice characters in a new branch of the Navesink Bank universe. I pretty much knows what to expect from Gadziala so it always feels safe to read her books. They are not that long, I can easily read her books in one day, and I get pretty much everything I seek.

For you who are new to my blog, Jessica Gadziala is one of my favorite authors. She writes several series that intervene with each other throughout this fictive city, called Navesink Bank. Each series is about a different branch in the city. For an example, we got the MC club, the government hating military group, the hackers, the investigator, the loan sharks and now the fixers. This is the first book in her new series “The professionals”, who fix things. We meet Quin, who is the owner of this establishment of men and women. Then we meet Aven who are in trouble. No trouble of her own making but trouble still the same. She have tried the legal way to solve it but receives no help from the police and when the situation takes a turn for the worse, she turns to Quins team for help. With no money, no friends and no family her situation feels hopeless but Aven refuses to give up and does everything she can, to survive.

It is a really a nice story with a lot of new characters in the Navesink Bank universe. The side characters in this book, plays a big part, which is unusual for Gadziala. Normally the side characters are there and around but never so much involved like in this book and I really like it. That gives me some time to tie some feelings with them and now I can hardly wait to get my hands on their own books. But only Gunners book is written so far, so right not that is not as easy. Anyhow, good story, great characters and in the same Gadziala spirit as always. The only thing I didn’t like with the book is that I feel that Avens problem got solved a little too easy and quick. It went a little too fast and the suspense had no real time to build until it was gone and done. Which gave me an anticlimactic feeling. I would have wanted a little more.

Classic/Historical · Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance

Drums of autumn – Diana Gabaldon

10988.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.

Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna….

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history … and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past … or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong….

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My thoughts:

HAPPY ENDINGS?

 

There are no happy endings.

Endings are the saddest part.

So just give me a happy middle

and a very happy start.
-Unknown

I needed to take some time to think over the book before writhing this review. It is a lot of feelings floating around and it was a little hard to get it sorted out.

I am one of those few who have not yet seen the tv series. I wish to get further into the book series before starting to watch it. Right now I’m not even sure I will ever see it. Every time after ending one of these books, I feel mentally exhausted. My heart hurt and even though the story is so great and I do not wish that I ever started it, I feel so broken down for a while after that it is hard to start something else. I almost feel a little depressed.

I guess it is a great ability as an author to really effect your readers as this series affects me. That her written word can insinuate oneself so far in my mind and body is unbelievable. And rare. Even though I often feel so bad after her books, I also feel so good. And I still want to read more. Just need a break or two before I start the next one.

WARNING! This review contains spoilers to book one, two and three. No spoilers on this fourth book however so you are safe. You have to have read the three books in order and if you don’t have read them yet, I do recommend you do NOT read further. You have been warned. 🙂

So in this book Claire has found Jamie and is in America where we left of in the third book. They are trying to put some roots down among mountain, miles of forest, fields and Indians. If not Indians are trying to kill them, the white man is or if not, the nature is doing its best. It is a hard life but they have finally found peace. After years and years of misery, surviving and loneliness, they are finally at a great place. Claire left Brianna behind in the year 1969 in the third book, to live her life in her own time. Brianna however discover something that takes her back in time to find her mother and father. In 1969 she got to know Roger even better and when he discovers she is gone, he follows her.

After the third book (which so far is my least favorite) I was wondering if the series was worth to continue. It was still good but I was just not sure if it was good enough. Now i’m so glad that I choosed to continue. Because this fourth book is so, so good. It is up in the same favorite spot as the first book.

I love that in this book you get to follow both Claire and Jamie and Brianna and Roger. I love to see peace and love at one end and the relationship between Brianna and Roger at the other. It is a great story, hard sometimes and there is a couple of horrific events happening that made my heart race and I just could not stop. I needed to know how it would end. It totally surprised me but in a good way. A little unsatisfying however. I mean have you spent 800 pages building it up, you could spend another couple pages to end it satisfyingly. Some parts felt a little forced but overall I’m happy.

I will continue the series, but as I told you, I need some time. 😉

Romance · Suspense

Serve and protect – Lori Ryan

27860847| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Ashley Walker was one of the lucky ones. Adopted when she was fourteen years old by a family willing to love her as their own, they stuck beside her through all the hell she put them through.

A kind of hell that would haunt her forever. But now she’s put her past behind her—or so she thought. Garret Hensley never imagined he’d be chasing the killer of the woman who’d set him on the path of law enforcement.

She’d given him reason to believe in himself, to believe he could make a difference. And he suspected her giving heart was the reason her life had been cut so short. When the evidence leads him to Ashley Walker, he knows he has to ignore the feelings she stirs in him, because getting her to reveal the truth of her past is the key to finding a killer.

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My thoughts: I feel like Ryan’s style of writing is very up and down. There is really no stability you can trust and lean on. Which is too bad because the plots are usually great and exciting. The first book in this standalone series I gave two stars. I don’t have a public review and on top of my mind I can’t remember exactly what my problem with it was. But I think it was the writing and the way the story was built. The second book I gave four stars. No public review here either, but this one I do remember. The plot was great, exciting and the characters fantastic. The book felt more alive and I really liked it. Made me think Ryan maybe was an author for me and after this one I felt that I wanted to continue the series.

This third one I give a three star rating. It started out great but it kind of flatted out in the middle and the end was just predictable and cliché. The writing got worse and it lost me and my attention. The book in its entirety is good. I liked it. I liked that it was somewhat darker and that the love/sex not was the big focus here. Not a WOW book but it is not as bad to give reason for a lower rating either.

I don’t think Ryan is an author for me. It doesn’t mean necessary that she is a bad writer. She just doesn’t do it for me and my standards. And I’m quite happy that this one was the last one in the series. Well there is one 0,5 book but I don’t like to read half books and often ignores them. So I do not feel an compelling to continue reading.

Don’t know if I will read anything more buy Ryan. Time will tell.

Chick Lit · Contemporary · Humor/Funny · Romance

Neanderthal seeks human – Penny Reid

17673307| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn’t know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can’t help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can’t afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can’t refuse.

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My thoughts: Sometime I wish that GoodReads had the function to choose half stars when it comes to rating. Because this is one of those books that are more a 4 star in rating than a 2 but did not quite reach all the way. So more like 3,5. It is a good book, I liked it, but the 300 + pages of self esteem rant totally destroyed it for me.

Janie is a great character. She is a little naive, stuck in her own head and do not have the best ways to handle feelings. She is witty, a lot insecure and a lot more “girl” than what you first would think. And by that I mean, that constant rant about how “big” she is, tall, big feet, big hands, big ass, big hair and so on. Everything is big with her. She is according to herself not beautiful, and definitely not in a league for a good looking man like Quinn. And when she is done ranting about her body, she goes on to her mind and personality. She is freaky, she talks to much, she can’t flirt, she know too much uninteresting trivia, she is uncontrollably gabby, and on and on and on. And when she is done with that, she starts to rant about events, what she did that particular event and what the persons there did, reacted and so on. I do understand low self esteem. Been there, done that and at some ways still are fighting with it. Everybody does! But there is a limit of how big part of a book it should take. I’m not a big fan of mental insecurity and angst. Some can be great. Too much I just feel I want to punch the character in question and say “there is more to life than this”. It should not take over. And here it takes it all.

If we scaled it back like 50% but kept the rest of the story, I would probable be a five star, freaking loved the book, book. So that’s too bad. Reid did however do a great job with not including Quinn in this rant. He did not confirm or deny her verbal rants. (The most of them was mental though). I loved that he didn’t try to change her toughs through words, but by action. And he kept asking her, pushing her out of her shell and genuinely was intrigued by her mind and personality. So the rants did ease up a bit towards the end. It is a great love story where there is more than a female with hot sexy body and a alpha caveman, with psychotic tendency. Besides, I did learn a lot of facts since Janie is a trivia nut and talk about a lot I didn’t know but now do.

Great story. Funny. Loved the way it started. The whole situation with family and friends was funny and awesome. Was some angst, but not much and it was quickly over. Loved that there was several bad situations but they had not much to do with each other. There is no cliff-hanger, nicely tided together in the end! Can be a great series to follow. Not every girl in this series is like Janie I hope. One is enough.

Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Romance

Beating Ruby – Camilla Monk

30212829| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Life hasn’t been quite the same for computer engineer Island Chaptal since March, an OCD-ridden professional killer, burst into her life to clean her bedroom and take her on a global chase for a legendary diamond. Sadly, the (hit) man doesn’t just break bones; he breaks hearts, too.

Since then, Island has found solace in Alex—the perfect boyfriend—and Ruby, a software project about to revolutionize online banking security…for the worse. When Island’s boss is found dead after allegedly using Ruby to steal a vast fortune, it’s up to her to clear his name and recover the money. Someone else wants answers, though, and this time, Island might be in over her head.

From New York to Zürich, it’s going to take the return of a cleaning expert, a mini-octopus, and Island’s wits to beat Ruby. All while deciding whether to trust a man who already jilted her, or one who may have his own deadly secrets…

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My thoughts: This is the second book in the Spotless series. It is not a standalone and you will have to read the first book before this one to really understand some of the references. I would recommend that you do not read this review either if you haven’t read the first one, since it will be a little “spoilerish”. There are things I can’t discuss without referring to the first book. You do not have to worry if you already have read the first book.

You have been warned!

In this book we gets to follow Island, 6 months after the Tokyo fiasco and finally in a good place again. Then her boss goes and kill himself, her big project gets stolen and there is something that doesn’t feel right to her. As a new, stronger, woman she sets out to try and find the truth about what really happened, but she finds more truth than she had barged for. Then in walk March and you could say that the whole situation gets a 100 times worse. Or better. Depends on your point of view.

I can’t say that this book is as good as the first one, but it is still good. Not as fast paced and explosive but still entertaining. It was nice to meet all the characters again. The whole March and Alex situation is certainly entertaining but still a little hard to wrap my mind around. It was not until the end that I really understood what have been going on the whole book. By then I felt some things could have been changed on, written in another way to give the story a little more depth about those three characters. There is no cliffhanger per say, but still an indication that there will be a third book. Now I know that it already exists a third, but at one point there wasn’t. You can see that in the book. I do however not like Islands passivity in this book. She stands in situations with blind eyes and takes no action until the end.

I think the third book will be really entertaining and I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to have some explosive action, quirky characters, secrets, funny humor and heartwarming love.

Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Slow Burn – Julie Garwood

107771| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Every fire begins with a little heat–and in Slow Burn, bestselling author Julie Garwood provides the spark, skillfully blending pulse-pounding action, intense emotion, and characters with grit and heart. The result is an electrifying novel of romantic suspense that will have readers burning through the pages.

An unpretentious beauty who radiates kindness, Kate MacKenna doesn’t have a bad bone in her body–or an enemy in the world. So why are bombs igniting everywhere she goes? The first explosion brings her face-to-face with a handsome Charleston police detective. The second sends her into the arms of her best friend’s brother–a Boston cop who’s a little too reckless and way too charming for comfort. But Dylan Buchanan won’t let emotion prevent him from doing his job: Someone is trying to kill Kate, and Dylan is the only one standing between her and the monster who wants her dead.

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My thoughts: Sometime you seek that kind of book, that gives you a feeling of comfort. That makes you want to settle down on the couch, in bed or in that favorite reading chair. With the biggest blanket (that you bought just to have when you read) with a big cup of beverage of your choice, and just stay there. The world outside does not exist and it is just you and your new friends. And for those brief moments, it all feels okay. Well, this is one of those books for me. And I hadn’t really expect anything less since this is Julie Garwood. I know what to expect and I’m so happy that I got it. It was just what I needed. Garwood is an great writer in this genre and one of my favorite authors. And I always feel so good after one of her books.

Here we get to follow Kate. After her mother’s death her life is starting to crumble around her. But she is a strong woman and refuse to give up. After she almost been blown up twice, in one week, Dylan Buchanan, Kate’s best friends brother, comes to help find out what is happening. He is on leave from his work at Boston PD and since he always had strong, secret feelings for Kate, he can’t let her fend for herself. The situation is intense and fireworks is going off right from the start.

This is a “typical” romantic suspense book. You pretty much know what is going to happen. Though I do not want to call it predictable. I couldn’t early one foresee who the bad guy was in this book. It was easy to see why and there was no secret about the reasons, but it was not as predictable to find out who it really was. It was awesome.

It is a great book. Just what I needed. There is great characters, great development, great story and plot and the way it is unfolding feels real and suitable. There is never any cliffhangers and sometime you get to meet characters that have had bigger parts earlier in the series. Mostly I would say that you can read it as an stand alone. But if you are as OCD as me, I do not recommend it.

Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Tennessee takedown – Lena Diaz

18343283.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A SWAT officer in small-town Tennessee will do anything to protect the innocent beauty whose life has been put on the line in Lena Diaz’s Tennessee Takedown

It can’t be a coincidence that in the past twenty-four hours, three different thugs have tried to kill or abduct Ashley Parrish. Sexy SWAT team leader Dillon Gray saved her, but now he wonders why someone would want to murder the beautiful accountant and why he finds her so infuriatingly attractive.

Then the FBI comes after Ashley for embezzlement, and Dillon knows he must protect her from a killer and prove she’s being framed. Taking her on a hair-raising run through dangerous terrain barely fazes him. But wanting her from more than just one night scares the hell out of him.

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My thoughts: I have read Lena Diaz other series (Deadly Games) and I LOVED it. There is four books in that series, filled with hot alpha males, strong women, incredible thrilling suspense and complicated character relationships. Three of the four books got a 5/5 score and the last one, number four got 4/5. That is how good that series was. Can you imagine my surprise that I found this first book in one of her other series, extremely lacking and disappointing?

I had expected the same level of writing skill and imagination but there was nothing. Nothing! My mind is blank! I feel nothing other than disappointment toward this book. It starts right in the middle of a shootout and then there is action throughout the whole book. There is never a break and I think that is maybe the point that rubs me the wrong way. Ashley is just to TSTL (too stupid to live) and I Dillon is just a used up character with no real depth. I could not connect with them and they more irritated me than anything else. The plot was quite interesting until the end, when it just got too much. I mean, come on, can you be that stupid? I do like the whole stolen identity plot even though it was predictable right from the start.

What really saved this book is the other characters. Chris, Chief Thornton, Donna and so on. I don’t know if Diaz did it on purpose, but it did feel like she put more thought in those characters than what she did in her main ones. That is the only reason I feel I would like to read the second book in this series. The second book is about Chris and I do want to read more about him. *Wink*

Contemporary · Romance

Crash – Susan Fanetti

32613951.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Tulsa, Oklahoma. 1995

Conrad “Radical” Jessup, Sergeant at Arms of the Brazen Bulls Motorcycle Club, has life just about where he wants it: he’s free of a bad marriage, and his club is cruising along healthy and strong, their business relationships as solid as their brotherhood. He’s a contented man, riding his road at his speed.

Until a massive highway wreck brings a blonde on a little sportster crashing into his life.

Willa Randall is making a new life in Tulsa, working hard to put a demolished past in her rearview mirror. Trying to keep herself safe, she’s built a life insulated by locks and walls. Inside those walls, she’s alone, but she feels secure, and that’s enough.

Until a big, tattooed biker holds out his hand and helps her up from the pavement.

A love seeded in chaos grows fast and deep. But when chaos is a constant, can any love endure?

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My thoughts: I have read one book by Fanetti, earlier back in 2016, and I can’t remember on top of my head, why I did not finish the Signal Bend series, but I must have had my reasons. Crash is the first book in the series about another MC Club that do exist in the same universe but still are a standalone series from the signal bend series.

It is a good plot and it certainly had potential, but for me, I had problem with connecting to the characters. And I don’t really know why. They are characters I usually love and connect with. Willa is this strong, kick ass woman, who have been in a shitty situation for like the last 10 years. But she has a fighting spirit and with her protecting dog Ollie she feels strong and ready for whatever will happen and she do not need a man to “save” her. Then we have Rad. Hard skinned, stubborn, overprotecting, sexy and hot alpha male who is happy to finally have peace in his life after a bad childhood and an even worse marriage. But he is open to his feelings and when Willa comes crashing into his life he takes the chance to explore and find even more.

How can I NOT love this? It is like I wrote the plot myself. It is like all that I want from this type of books. But still it didn’t do it for me. When I think about the highlights of the book, it still feels kind of grey and bland for me. I read the story but there was not really anything that captivated me. It is a good read. It’s just not a great read. One thing I really liked is that even though it is predictable, I could point out early in the story, stuff that would happen, it did not happen as I first had expected it. So even if it is predictable, it was not as predictable as I had predicted. Haha.

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance · War/Military

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

2728527.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: “I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

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My thoughts: This is an brilliant, work of art. Brilliant! That you could write a complete story like this, with good character development and fantastic environments and different story lines, just by the form of letters, is beyond me. It is really fantastic and I’m completely in love. I love Juliet, Isola, Kit, Sidney and not at least Dawsey. I love them and that the book eventually ended, made me a little sad.

In this book you get to follow Juliet. An unmarried writer who tries to find herself now that the war is over. London is a broken city and she lives temporarily in a borrowed apartment since her old one got bombed to ruins. She is an strong minded book lover who will not settle, but feels lost in the new world. We get to follow her trough letters to her best friends Sophie and Sidney. Later on to her new friends on the island Guernsey. She wants to write a book but are not happy with the subject she first had chosen. In a pursuit for something she care and want to write about, she travels to the island too meet hear new friends and finds more than just a book to write.

To write a book completely trough letters is an brilliant idea in my opinion. I cannot see the book been written in any other way now that I have read it. I must say that at first I was skeptical. But it gave me as an reader the freedom to imagine and use my mind to fill in the blanks that where not written in words. It felt liberating somehow. The book is written with warmth and humour even though the aftermath of the war is a huge part of this book, and it makes it emotionally hard sometimes.

But as great as it is, it has one flaw in my opinion. First I gave the book a five star rating but after my emotions had settled down and I started to really think about it, I wanted to end it to four stars. That is because of the ending. It ended perfectly, but it went to fast, did not fit in with the rest of the book and I got the feeling that the authors just wanted to get it done. Be over with. But then I looked in the book and wondered, should I really take of a star for ten pages in the end that was not to my complete liking? It felt unfair so I left the rating as I first had put it.

This books also comes as an movie in 2018. I love movies made on books I have read and really looking forward to it. 🙂

 

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

Midnight rainbow – Linda Howard

350523| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Grant Sullivan had been one of the government’s most effective agents, and he’s agreed to rescue Jane Hamilton Greer, a wealthy socialite possibly engaged in espionage. In the time they spent together, questions of guilt and innocence began to fade against the undeniable reality that two people from such different worlds should never have met.

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My thoughts: Somewhat cliche and predictable but at the same time exactly what I needed to get over my hangover from the Kristen Ashley book I read last. This is one of those old school, romantic suspense that are the core of what I love with an romantic suspense book. We got the strong, independent woman who do not need her father or any other man to “take care” of her. We have that alpha, jaded military man who has forgotten anything according to love and a woman’s touch. We have some bad men, corrupted governments, spies and a hunt trough the jungle. All to save there lives and there country.

It is not this great literary work of art but it is still beautiful and did what it was suppose to do. Now I’m ready for other adventures. 🙂