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.

Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Diabolical – Jana Deleon

31396255| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Nine years ago, the police found Shaye Archer wandering in the French Quarter, beaten and abused and with no memory of the previous fifteen years, not even her name. Now, at twenty-four, Shaye is a licensed private investigator, determined to get answers for her clients when the police can’t help. But her last case uncovered more than anyone anticipated, and pieces of Shaye’s missing past have surfaced with unexpected consequences.

She’s starting to remember.

Will Shaye unlock the secrets buried deep in her mind? And more importantly, can she handle the truth if she does?

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My thoughts: In this third book about Shaye Archer, the mystery is finally starting to unravel. Her memories starting to flow back and along the way discovers not only her but every one she love or has helped her, is in danger. A madman is back on the street of New Orleans and no one is safe anymore.

I do not often read series where it take several books to unravel some secret but this has certainly been a great journey. Deleon has a really unique style of writing. It is capturing and explosive. I do however feel that it was a little less this time. Both book one and two got a full five star rating. That is how good they are. This one however never reached that five star. Something was missing. I felt a little detached and the ending was somewhat weird even tough a lot surprising. I love the way the story started of several years before Shaye even was born. Deleon did do a great job with the interweaving the past with the future and the now.

I’m happy that there is more books in the series. I really want to follow Shay some more especially now that the truth is out. I would also love to see how the relationship between her and Jackson is unfolding. I have my own wishes and I really hope that they come true.

It is a great series and I recommend it to everyone who will listen. Its that good. 😀

Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Pandora’s Succession – Russell Brooks

11435761.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: The deadliest weapon against mankind has been Unleashed.

CIA operative, Ridley Fox, never stopped hunting his fiancée’s killers—a weapons consortium called The Arms Of Ares. When Fox follows a lead to one of their top-secret bioweapons facilities in Chechnya, he barely escapes alive. However, he’s learned that Ares has weaponized a hyper-deadly microbe called Pandora. The trail leads Fox to Tokyo, where he teams up with an old flame and fellow operative, Nita Parris. Aside from Ares, they must contend with rogue agents who’ll stop at nothing to get Pandora. This throws Fox and Parris into a deadly game of spy vs spy, as they must rely on each other to locate the microbe. For if it’s unleashed, it could mean the end of humanity.

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My thoughts: Russell Brooks contacted me and asked if I would like to read and review his book Pandora’s Succession. The first book in the series about Ridley Fox and Nita Parris. Since thriller, mystery and suspense is my favorite genres I certainly had to take the chance. And I’m happy I did because this was, overall, a good book to read.

It is action filled from the first page to the last, with a complicated suspense plot and a intriguing story. It certainly made my mind work. Unfortunately I had some issues with the first 50% of the book, but I feel that Brooks saved it in the end.

At first I had a little trouble with the writing style. It felt kind of forced and I’m wondering if this is Brooks debut book. Because later on in the book the writing started to change. Not much but enough to give me the feeling of a more relaxed author with a more loose writing. Like Brooks had found his way and style and the book grew before me. OR, it is just me who got used to it. Anyhow, the second thing I had trouble with was connecting with the characters. It took me too long to really connect with either of them. And in the beginning there is a lot of characters and it kind of overwhelmed me. I had a little trouble keeping up with who is who. I’m thinking it is because of the writing and that the characters are a little cliché and similar. Those type of characters you find everywhere, without any real depth. Also this changed later on in the book and in the end I really connected with several and even got sad when some bad stuff happened. No tears tough.

Now after I’m done with the book, I really like Fox and Parris. The twists in the end surprised me and that it ended with a “bang” certainly gave me a satisfying feeling. There is no cliffhangers but it do end in a way that lets you as a reader know, that there is more to come from Fox and Parris. And I’m actually quite excited about that.

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

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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*

Fantasy/Paranormal · Suspense

Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb

21956219.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

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My thoughts: This is an complex book with many layers. Great read and a lot different from all those YA Fantasy books that seem to take over the shelf’s in the bookstores. It is a slow burner and I don’t have a good history with slow books, since I easily get bored. I did however not get bored with this book but I’m not used to read fantasy anymore (read a lot as an kid) and it took me awhile to get used to the writing style and language. So it was quite “heavy” for me in the beginning. Fantasy is often written in a different kind of rhythm and has words not that common in today’s literature (that I read anyway). It is more medieval, proper and sentences are usually a lot longer with more describing words. So it took some time for me to get used to it again, but eventually my reading speed went up and it got much more easier for me to enjoy the book. I do think that if I read the book in my own language, it would have been easier from the start. But I find reading on English suits me better in the long haul so that’s why I stuck with it.

The book is about Fitz. The bastard boy, son to the king in waiting. Not officially acknowledged by the royal house, he lives with the king in waiting’s first hand man. Eventually he gets mixed up and pushed in to situations beyond his own control and you get to follow him through his childhood years, becoming the Kings man and fight for more than life.

The world Hobb has built in this book is amazing. The environment is livid, the Red Ships terrifying and the story over all, insanely enthralling. This book is the first one in the Farseer Trilogy and the first book in the 16 long series about The Realm of the Elderlings.

I read this book for the first time as an kid. Not remembering much more than that it was a great book and that I had a crush on Fitz, I am now happy that I chose to read the book in an adult age. It is certainly a hidden gem  and it is sad that it took me 15 years to read it again.

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. 🙂

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

Rock chick regret – Kristen Ashley

13184992.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Sadie Townsend is known by all as The Ice Princess and she’s worked hard to earn her reputation. Her father, a now-incarcerated Drug Lord, has kept her under his thumb her whole life and she’s learned enough from living in his world to give everyone the cold shoulder. But one inebriated night, she shows the Real Sadie to the undercover agent she knows is investigating her father, the handsome Hector Chavez, and he knows he’ll stop at nothing to have her.

Hector makes one (huge) mistake; he waits for Sadie to come to him. Tragedy strikes and Sadie’s got a choice, she can retreat behind her Ice Fortress or she can embrace the Rock Chick/Hot Bunch World. Guided by Hector, the Rock Chicks, the Hot Bunch and her new gay roommates, Buddy and Ralphie, Sadie negotiates a life out from under her father’s thumb, a life that includes poison, arson and learning how to make s’mores.

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My thoughts: What a great book. What a great, great book. I don’t even know how I should put my feelings for this book into words. This one is by far my favorite in the Rock Chick series. And even though I loved the other books, this one stands out on its own and completely touched me. It is by far more emotional and graphic than the other books have been, but not in a way that makes it hard for me to read. Yeah I do have triggers when it comes to sexual assault but as long as it not very graphic, I can distance myself to get through and focus on other things. In this book, it is not that graphic but it is the aftermath that can be heart wrenching.

Her we get to know Hector more. He is Eddies (book 2) brother and Hector have been a character that has gone in and out throughout the series due to that he is an DEA agent and often undercover. Well in this book he is done with DEA and has gone to work for Lee Nightingale instead. That’s when Sadie (who’s criminal father Hector brought down before quitting DEA) walks in and turns everyone’s life upside down.

You get to meet some new, crazy lovable characters and the story is just heart wrenching and warming in the same time. I haven’t cried so much as I have done to this book in a long, long time. Maybe because I can relate to some of it. The part with not having friends and that feeling of being completely, utterly alone and the feelings that all the good that is happening will be taking away from you, because you do not deserve better, is something I do understand.

I also love that Asley went a little different with how the story is build and the dynamic between Sadie and Hector. And that it is not as repeatedly as the books sometime can be. It is truly a work of art and to think I had to read six books to have this next in line is just…. Well, I didn’t know what I had and if I knew, I would have read it a lot earlier.

Gosh I just rambling here. But this was the perfect book to end this month’s reading spree on and I just want to recommend the Rock Chick series because it is just perfect.