Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Shiver – Karen Robards

13547386.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Samantha Jones is the best damn repo woman on the books. The streetwalkers, the drug pushers, the bands of looking-for-trouble punks haunting the mean streets at midnight don’t intimidate her. These are her people. The guy she finds bound and bloodied in the trunk of a flashy new BMW is a different breed entirely.

Daniel Panterro knows he hasn’t seen the last of the vicious drug runners who kidnapped him from protective custody and left him for dead. His only recourse is to take his pretty savior and her four-year-old son hostage and force her to help him. With ruthless killers stalking their trail, Sam must trust this handsome, menacing stranger. But as she relinquishes control, she feels an unmistakable desire. What is the price of falling in love with a man who operates on the edge of danger—her heart, her life . . . or both?

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My thoughts: It took me a really long time to start reading this one. I kept seeing reviews where other “complained” about how bad the characters were and how Robards don’t have diversity in her way of building characters and plots. But I must say, I think this is one of my favorites so far.

I often find that a romantic suspense is to unrealistic for my taste. Either the plot is not believable and quite thin or the whole romantic part of it is forced and hard to not cringe or laugh at since it so often not realistic. I know it is fiction and often it is not supposed to be realistic, but that is just not the way I like it. Personally. But this book is great.

The plot seems realistic. I really like Samantha. You can really feel how much she hates her life and how she struggles and fights for her son. And when it all happen, the bad guys, the running and the fighting, it is just great. Believable, true and exciting. (Except the end part.) I fell and it captivated me, and that is just the way I like it. I love that the romantic part took some time, some build up and it was hot, hot and hot. I really liked the dynamic between the characters and how diverse they were. I do not feel at all that it is the same thing with a different plot.

Now I do not read a lot of Robards. I do believe that, if I had read several after each other, I would probably feel the same way as many of the other reviews.

If I’m going to complain I do have a couple of things to mention and they are the reason to why I did not give the book five stars. First of is Tyler. He is supposed to be four, soon five years old, but he is written so much older. More like seven or eight. It kept messing with my head and I actually had to remind myself all the time that he is only four. The other thing is how shallow Marco/Trey/Danny is. He is so focus on Sam’s “beauty” and thin body, and it gets tiresome in the end. And the third is that when they crash in the mountains, it is just too easy. It is snow, cold and they have freaking crashed, but no, they just stomp back down without a word of pain or cold. Miner details but stuff like that can drive me crazy.

Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

A merciful truth – Kendra Elliot

32885178.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Raised by a family of survivalists, FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick can take on any challenge—even the hostile reception to her homecoming. But she’s not the only one causing chaos in the rural community of Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. At first believed to be teenage pranks, a series of fires takes a deadly turn with the murder of two sheriff’s deputies. Now, along with Police Chief Truman Daly, Mercy is on the hunt for an arsonist turned killer.

Still shunned by her family and members of the community, Mercy must keep her ear close to the ground to pick up any leads. And it’s not long before she hears rumors of the area’s growing antigovernment militia movement. If the arsonist is among their ranks, Mercy is determined to smoke the culprit out. But when her investigation uncovers a shocking secret, will this hunt for a madman turn into her own trial by fire?

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My thoughts: I found Kendra Elliot through recommendations on GoodReads and her Bone Secret series (which I only have one book left to read in) is the first I read and I really liked her books. Some was better than other and I do find Elliot to be somewhat of an unstable writer but I still felt sure on starting one of her other series. You never know what you will get, you know. Well, after this second book in the Mercy Kilpatrick series, I will probably not continue it.

I like the story line and the (for me) mostly unknown topic. I don’t know a lot of preppers, government haters and people trying to survive on what nature has to give. Now I can’t say that the information in the book is 100% true but I do hope that Elliot is that kind of author who research or has personal knowledge to putt in her book.

I started the second book with the thought that I wanted to know what will happen Mercy next and how the relationship with Truman turned out. Quickly discovered that there is A LOT from the first book I have forgotten. And that is certainly not good in any way. I gave the first book three stars so I did like it, but not apparently enough to remember it. So that was kind of an bummer. Elliot do explain some of the stuff that happened in the first book so it did refresh my memory. But the most vital information (can’t say due to spoiler) they never talked about in the book. And I didn’t quite remembered the details from the first book. So I had to look it up. Not a good thing.

So to sum it up, the book was okay. It’s easy to read and it was somewhat exciting. But the plot felt forced and I was not really surprised when most of it came into the light. There was some tries to cast fake blame on other characters but I did not fell for it and my suspicions on how it all hanged together from the start. Even though the reasons was not that clear.

I seriously need to stop wasting time on series where I didn’t fell for the first book. More often than not, I do not like it and end up not finish the series.

Suspense · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

Dust & Decay – Jonathan Maberry

9917998| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them.

Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all… could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?

In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive.

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My thoughts: How can I explain why I only gave four stars to a book I more or less loved, without spoilers and trashing the book completely? It almost feels impossible but I will give it a try.

This is the second book about Benny Imura. The series is not an stand alone and I do recommend to read it in order. The first books name is Rot & Ruin and here you can read my review of it. I did love the first book. I have experience of Jonathan Maberry from his Joe Ledger series and this series is much easier than Ledgers. Probably because it is written more towards young and young adults. Ledger series is not. The book starts off about 8 months (or so) after the first book ended and it started off quite slow. Then it really did pick itself up on both speed and action. We get to follow Tom, Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong when they venture out in the wasteland in the search of the flying jet. Then off course everything goes to shit, as expected, and then it is one action filled event after the other.

And it is here my problem starts. The book is action filled and quite exciting. But when you have read 400 pages of “the same thing” you are starting to get a little bored. It is bad decisions after bad decisions and events so big, horrific and hard that at some point, my mind just shuts off. I read the story but I did not feel it anymore. It is like seeing one of those really bad, cheep, slasher movies that you just cant take serious. Then it all changed again. And the ending really pissed me off. That is not how it was suppose to end. Come on! But now when I have had some time to think on it, I do see that it was the only possible end. And it only made a mystery even bigger, the mystery that is going through the Rot & Ruin. Because something is not right, and right now, no one know what or why.

So after taking everything in account, the book ended on a weak four star. I would have giving a five if not for the end. I know it was the only possible end, but still, I did not like it at all.

I do not read a lot of male authors. It is not a conscious choice, it is just because there are really few male authors who write in genres that I prefer to read. But god damn, Maberry is and probably always will be one of my favorites. I still have a lot of his books to read and I can hardly wait.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

For you – Kristen Ashley

10813480| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Lieutenant Alexander Colton and February Owens were high school sweethearts. Everyone in their small town knew from the moment they met they were meant for each other. But something happened and Feb broke Colt’s heart then she turned wild and tragedy struck. Colt meted out revenge against the man who brought Feb low but even though Colt risked it all for her, Feb turned her back on him and left town.

Fifteen years later, Feb comes back to help run the family bar. But there’s so much water under the bridge separating her and Colt everyone knows they’ll never get back together.

Until someone starts hacking up people in Feb’s life. Colt is still Colt and Feb is still Feb so the town watches as Colt goes all out to find the murderer while trying to keep Feb safe.

As the bodies pile up, The Feds move in and a twisting, turning story unravels exposing a very sick man who has claimed numerous victims along the way, Feb and Colt battle their enduring attraction and the beautiful but lost history that weaves them together.

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My thoughts: This is one of those first eBooks I bought when I first bought my kindle. I went on a buying spree at the time and had over a hundred books on my kindle. Did not buy all of them tough. Several of them was free and thanks for that, because I don’t think my wallet would have survived otherwise.

Anyhow, so I have had this book in my library since early 2016 and never got around to actually read it. But since it is on my “30 books before 30” list and I couldn’t choose what to read, I went for it.

This is a great book, but I do have a couple of issues with it. First of, it is to god damn long and at some points even slow. Kristen Ashley is one of those authors who really can write a long, slow burn book and I have never had it tick me off before. But this time it just didn’t do. I do not have patience for something like that. The second thing is, 22 goddamn years? Are you kidding? That reason for the “bad blood” between Alexander and February was not what I had expected. And it really ticked me off because I feel that 22 years is just toooo long for a reason like that.

Other than that, great book. I really liked the plot with the killer, feds and how everything was linked. The mad man with the killings and his reasons really felt believable and at some degrees it was even quite terrifying and it gave me the creeps. Ashley is the queen when it comes to character buildup and it was easy to connect with them. There is a lot of character in this book and at first it was quite hard to keep track but that eventually went away and was not a problem. This is also the first book in a series. I have read the synopsis of the second book and so far it seems like they are stand alones, because the names in the second do not ring a bell and probably did not appear in this book.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Deadly Harvest – Heather Graham

3643502.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: When a young woman is found dead in a field, dressed up as a scarecrow with a slashed grin and a broken neck, the residents of Salem, Massachusetts, begin to fear that the infamous Harvest Man is more than just a rumor. But out-of-town cop Jeremy Flynn doesn’t have time for ghost stories. He’s in town on another investigation, looking for a friend’s wife, who mysteriously vanished in a cemetery.

Complicating his efforts is local occult expert Rowenna Cavanaugh, who launches her own investigation, convinced that a horror from the past has crept into the present and is seducing women to their deaths. Jeremy uses logic and solid police work. Rowenna depends on intuition. But they both have the same goal: to stop the abductions and locate the missing women before Rowenna herself falls prey to the Harvest Man’s dark seduction.

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My thoughts: This is like the third book I have read by Heather Graham and still after I’m done with the book I have this feeling “thank you that it is finally over!”. That is not a good feeling to be left with. Almost all her books have a average 4+ star ratings and it is weird that non of those I have read, has appealed to me, at all. And I don’t really know why either. I think it is the writing that I can’t connect with. I feel bored and already at 20% of the book I wanted to DNF it, but didn’t since the story was a little interesting.

So, this book is about Jeremy Flynn. The second of the three brothers this series is about. He is in Salem, Massachusetts to help out a friend, who’s wife is missing. Roweena, who are from Salem is trying to help out. Jeremy met her through his brothers wife down in New Orleans and for weeks he have tried to stay clear of her but his feelings  is to strong and in Salem there relationship takes a big turn. She tries to help him but there is a lot of stuff happening and on top of that, she has terrible dreams, she doesn’t know what to do with. Jeremy is a down to earth, facts and logic kind of guy who do not believe in stuff he can’t see. Together they need to work together to find Mary, the missing wife, and later on, find a killer.

Okay story, a little predictable and boring but still well described. Missed some hot and steamy feelings and scene between Jeremy and Roweena, which I think would have made the book better. And the rest are a little flat. Still I think it all is because of the writing and that it doesn’t captures me.

I do not think I will read more by Graham for now, I just think that she maybe not is an author for me.

 

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense · War/Military

Blind Ambition – Gwen Hernandez

25156320.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: IT’S ABOUT TO GET HOT IN THE JUNGLE

Rescuing a kidnapped aid worker from St. Isidore’s dangerous rebels is just another day at work for former pararescueman Dan Molina. But his mission falls apart when the woman—who once shattered his heart—refuses to leave the island.

Alexa Alyssandratos can’t return to her life as a nurse on the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean island, but she won’t leave until she’s certain the orphans she cared for—especially one sick little girl—are safe from the rebels. Denied their ransom, a would-be dictator and his soldiers are hunting Alexa, and Dan is the only person who can protect her. Old passions reignite as she and Dan race to save the children before they disappear forever.

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My thoughts: Okay, So I’m going to make this review short, because I have a feeling that if I think about this book to long, the more fault I will find with it. And I enjoyed the book and do not wish to make it worse in my mind than it already is.

In many ways this is a hot story. We meet Alexa, who have devoted her life to other people. She is a nurse in a corrupt and broken society on a little island outside of Haiti. When she is kidnapped by the rebels, her estranged father calls in the only man she regret she ever left, but she (in her mind) had her reasons and due to that, had to hurt him. Bad! Dan, who have spent the last three years getting his life back on track after the whole Alexa catastrophe, reluctantly takes on the mission to go in and save her. But she has a mind of her own, refuses to follow the plan and leave without the one person she has allowed into her heart. And Dan has no other choice than to help.

It was a great story and I really like those plots that’s are about a couple, running from bad guys, in the jungle and uses what they have with and around them to survive. I find it highly exciting and I love to sit in my couch, safe and sound, reading about that couple running for their life and do MacGyver tricks to survive. Unfortunately my biggest problem with this book is that constant rant about how she hurt him, how he hurt her, how she doesn’t deserve better, how he doesn’t deserve someone like her and it goes on and on and on. All the reasons are legit but I do however feel that Dan maybe have been overreacting and all that happened after is entirely his fault. And that Alexa’s reasons may be a little too far fetch but hey, what do I know? But done is done and I do understand that. However it was tiring and tedious to read it over and over. There was no end. Not even at the end of the book, but it is still somewhat of an Happy Ending.

So I give the book a three star rating. It is a good book but not a great book.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

Vigilante – Jessica Gadziala

35101098| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A new stand-alone dark romance from bestselling author Jessica Gadziala 

I’m a bad guy. I do bad things.
But I do them for the right reasons.
That’s why I can sleep easy at night even with the smell of fresh blood still in my nostrils. One more scumbag off the streets. One more righting of a wrong. That was all my life was about.
Until I came across her…

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My thoughts: Luce is probably one of my favorite characters of all time. Well, at least he is up at the top with Renny, Eli and Isaiah. I starting to see a pattern that I like Gadzialas darker characters more. Those with a history or a torment that makes my heart bleed. Those who have had it bad but got them self-through it and rising above it but still feel/thinks that they don’t deserve more. They have walls thicker than the one Trump wants to build between Mexico and USA. They are funny, lovable, kind and fiercely protective over those they call family. It is feel good books with feel good characters in a hot as sin story and afterwards I just feel this calm happiness in my chest.

This book is no different. Luce is wonderful, funny, sarcastic and insanely observant and at sometimes, obnoxious. But he is easy to love and if he was a real person, I would totally have a crush on him. Evan, however, I did not feel for at all. I mean, nothing! I found her a meek and lamblike kind of character, that just took it all a little too easy. I missed some feelings. Some hard , punch in the heart, angst feelings that put some depth to her character and the story it self’s. Since that had such a big part of it.

But still, this is a really good book. I loved how they ventured out of Navesink Bank. Normally all the books is in that city. Nothing wrong about that. But I just liked that for this story, they actually left the city. And not only that. They actually left the whole country. That was cool and really put a nice touch to the story overall.

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.

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.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Suspense · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

Shutter – Courtney Alameda

20757532.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She’s aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera’s technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn’t exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she’s faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

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My thoughts: I’m so disappointed with this book. I don’t think It’s due too high hopes, since the author was new to me and I haven’t heard or read any chatter about the book or author before. It was just something Book Depository recommended me since it was a similar to another book I bought a time back. Well it was a bad recommendation.

I have so many problems with this book that I don’t even know where to start. Here’s a list!

  • It is repetitive
  • Not enough description
  • No variety
  • Kind of cliché
  • To many questions
  • Lack of information
  • Slow and way to much teen angst.

My biggest problem is that there is not enough description of the characters itself or the history. The readers get thrown into the story with no knowledge or background history. Like for an example, all the unnatural creatures seems to be common knowledge. Does every person on the planet know that all you have seen in horror movies are true? That they really exist? Well apparently so. To a certain degree at least. But this is never 100% verified. And I missed proper information and descriptions of other things. Like characters! I should not have to read on page 220 that a main character actually has Aborigine heritages and that his skin is like a 5 shot Café au lait. That totally messes with my mental picture that I have tried to build up. And it is like this through the book. On everything! And some of the bad stuffs description is to easy that I can’t form a picture fitting with the story. And I have a pretty good imagination, to tell you the truth!

How about the story itself? Well, our heroine, Micheline Helsing, descendant from the big Abraham Van Helsing, killer of all unnatural, is around seventeen years old (I counted but it is never mentioned) and goes to school to become a hunter. She however, takes water over her head when trying to prove to her father that she is capable of taking care of herself, her team and save innocent people. She has a tough relationship with her father and to be honest, that is the only thing that kept me reading. Because I wanted to know what would happen between her and her father.

Other have described this book as fast paced and edge of your seat, kind of book. I however did not find it like that at all.   And I think Alameda tried too hard, to push that horror feeling trough out the book which gave it the opposite effect. No I’m not happy. Not at all.