Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Fire and ice – Julie Garwood

3407345| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Sophie Rose, a tough and determined newspaper reporter, is the daughter of Bobby Rose, a suave, charming, and handsome gentleman who also happens to be a notorious big-time thief sought by every law-enforcement agency in the country. When the major Chicago daily where she works insists she write an expose about her roguish father, Sophie refuses, quits her job, and goes to work at a small newspaper. Far from her onetime high-powered crime beat, she now covers local personalities such as the quirky winner of several area 5K runs whose trademark is goofy red socks.
Those red socks-with Sophie’s business card neatly tucked inside-are practically all that’s found after runner William Harrington is killed near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, seemingly the victim of a brutal death by polar bear. The Alaska cops want to know why Harrington carried Sophie’s card. With an unerring nose for a good story, she heads north.
What Sophie doesn’t realize is that on her journey from Chicago to Prudhoe Bay, danger follows in her wake. After one attempt on her life, she’s been assigned brash but sexy Jack MacAlister as a bodyguard by the cautious FBI. Amid great peril and deadly intrigue in the unforgiving Alaskan terrain, she and Jack form an uneasy alliance sparked with sensual attraction. But they will soon be fighting more than their growing passion for each other. Powerful forces will stop at nothing to prevent the exposure of the sinister conspiracy Sophie and Jack are about to uncover.

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My thoughts: What I really like with Garwood is that she is such a strong character writer. Especially when it comes to the females. I’m a huge critic when it comes to females and often finds them dumb, childish, meek and excessive. But never with Garwood. I receive pretty much what I expect and it never disappoint me. This one was just as good as always when it comes to the writing, character and such. The plot however I found a little weak. I really liked Sophie’s history and enigmatic father but Jack could have used a little more work and the story a little more depth. I missed that … umpf… in lack of better words.

Nothing bad really, just didn’t earn the last star but certainly not a bad book in any means. This is the 7 book in the series about Buchanan-Renard family and it is safe to say, I will continue it.

Romance

Reeve – Jessica Gadziala

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Goodreads synopsis: Reeve
I had long since given up hope of the pursuit of genuine happiness. It wasn’t possible after all the sh*t I had been through. I had my siblings, my club, a purpose in life. It was enough.
Until I came across her.
She represented everything that I knew I couldn’t have – stability, a future, a way out of my past.
And, it seemed, the harder I tried to keep her at a distance, to protect her from my reality, she only got in deeper, only pulled me closer.
Then, one night, an old face popped up in Navesink Bank. And everything changed forever.

Rey
I liked my life. I liked the freedom and simplicity of it, even if it was, perhaps, a little lonely.
Then one night, there he was.
With the saddest eyes I had ever seen.
He represented everything my life didn’t need – chaos, violence, uncertainty. But, at the same time, everything it was lacking – companionship, connection.
He tried to fight it, to keep up his guards, to keep me at arm’s length.
But, well, fate had other plans.
That was the night everything changed.
Down an alley, facing down a new, yet familiar, big bad in Navesink Bank, forcing us together, making us confront the reality of what was happening between us.
Trapped together, waiting for the winds to blow over, he finally trusted me enough to let me in, to give us a shot, to invite me into his family.
That is, if all of us survived the upcoming storm…

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My thoughts: Rey was a character I thought I wouldn’t like. To hippy dippy, flower power, peace on earth, mumble jumble for my taste. But god damn she is hilarious. Down to earth, smart, funny and I see a lot of myself in her. And her total love for animals, self-reliance, her easygoing nature and somewhat different lifestyle is just wonderful. I love her and it’s not often I love a female character more than the male one. But in this I did. And I feel almost a little sad that it wasn’t longer because I would have loved to follow her more. She is just that good and Gadziala did a great work without making her over the top.

Overall the book is a typical Gadziala book with some hot scenes and complicated characters, history and an interesting future. It was nice to know Reeve’s story. I loved his brother and Reeve he had a pretty large role in Cyrus book but you never got to know what his history really was. But everything makes total sense now. And all the side characters is just so fun to follow and get to know.

There was also a huge plot twist that will go on for at least a couple of books forward. Not a major cliffhanger yet, but I’m looking forward do see how that will evolve.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance

Lover awakened – J.R. Ward

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Goodreads synopsis: In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

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My thoughts: You got to love those angst filled, save him, save her, type of romantic suspense books. This one is even in the paranormal category. I absolutely love the characters. I love how vulnerable they are even though they are vampires. They can easily be hurt or even die. I liked Bella a little less than I thought I would. She seemed so much older in the last book where you meet her. But she is a lot younger than you though and that shines through. In some occasion I liked it, in others not so much. Zsadist, gosh I hate the names in this series, was such a complicated character. He is deep with a lot of hurt in him. He is so far gone that even himself thinks he is a goner. But no, there is so much more in his core, just waiting and it certainly gave the whole book some serious depth. The history, memories and relationship with his brothers and friends certainly makes the book come alive and the building of future books is so greatly done. I did however not like Phury’s part of the plot that much. But I do not need to get into that. I do hope, when I come to his book, that it will be a lot better than I feel it would be right now.

Overall this is a page turner. It is exciting, captivating and astonishing. very little predictability and a lot of questions who you get all the answers to. It ended just perfect, with happy tears and all. And no cliffhanger. 🙂

Everyday things · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Did you miss me? – Karen Rose

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Goodreads synopsis: Best be nimble, best be quick, I’m right here and you’re my pick…

The last thing Ford Elkhart remembers is walking his girlfriend back to her university dormitory. Now he’s lying tied and gagged on a cold, dark floor, with only one chance to escape before he ends up like the bones surrounding him…

Assistant State’s Attorney Daphne Montgomery is devastated by her son’s disappearance, and is immediately convinced that his kidnapping is connected to the white supremacist she’s just had jailed for murder.

FBI Special Agent Joseph Carter isn’t so sure – especially when he learns that Ford’s girlfriend is also missing. Is Ford’s abduction payback for Daphne’s courtroom victory? Or is he a pawn in an even more dangerous game?

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My thoughts: I actually gave this a four star rating at first but after I slept on it for a night I found out that it certainly did not deserve that. It is not a bad book really. It is quite complex with a lot of characters and histories, that are woven together until the truth and nothing but the truth is finally out. There are some tears and a lot of speculation on how it really is. Some I did have right and some I did not. What bugs me however is how long it was. It was longer than I remember Rose’s books to be and there was a lot that happened but now after one night, I only really remembers the biggest highlights. Which in my opinion makes this book not as memorable as it should be to receive a four star rating.

Even though this is the book about Daphne and Joseph it was Clay and Steevie who were the most interesting characters. Rose have written a lot of books and I do hope Clay and Steevie got their own. I need to know how that will end.

The plot of the book is quite well done in my opinion. There is some 30 year old secrets, more newer secrets, blackmailing, misunderstandings, kidnappings, hunting and the focus on the strengths of a mother. Never mess with mama bear. I liked it. Some stuff didn’t make sense but regarding how detailed it is, it was quite expected.

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

The Liar – Nora Roberts

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Goodreads synopsis: When her husband Richard is killed in a freak accident, Shelby Pomeroy is devastated. But she soon learns a horrible truth – Richard was a conman and a cheat, and their life together was a lie.

Returning home to Tennessee, Shelby discovers a new sense of strength and freedom. And hope, too, in the form of handsome carpenter Griffin Lott.

But not everyone is thrilled to see Shelby Pomeroy back in town. And when a shocking act of violence is traced back to Richard’s shady business, Shelby realises she is still not safe from his lies…

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My thoughts: I’m done with the year 2019’s first book. Well to be honest I have been done with it for several days now, but I have just not had the time to write a review. The new year started of with a bang and my to do list have been huge. But anyway, lets talk about the book instead.

Roberts is a very up and down author for me. I often find her to slow, dragging things out and use way to much details in both appearance, environment and dialog. But this one certainly was a pleasant surprise. It is probably one of the most heavy in the dialog details that I have ever read by her, it is huge and at a few moments it is quote boring. But it still works. She have made such a great job with all the characters that after a while you do not think about it anymore.

The characters are so deep and diverse that it feels real through and through. I did not like Shelby in the beginning but she did grow on me when her true self came forward. The relationships are so deep and interesting that it was capturing me in a way that it is hard to explain.

Other than that it was as predictable as you would expect. But I didn’t mind it this time. I would certainly recommend it to a friend. But do not expect anything new, diverse and exploding. Because this is nothing like that. This is one of those feel good books you read with a cup of tea, some lighted candles and just enjoys.

Contemporary · Everyday things · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Shadow dance – Julie Garwood

51J31JlyR4L.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Jordan Buchanan is thrilled that her brother and best friend are tying the knot. The wedding is a lavish affair–for the marriage of Dylan Buchanan and Kate MacKenna is no ordinary occasion. It represents the joining of two family dynasties. The ceremony and reception proceed without a hitch–until a crasher appears claiming to be a MacKenna guest. The disheveled and eccentric professor of medieval history warns that there’s “bad blood” between the couple’s clans, stemming from an ancient feud that originated in Scotland, and involving the Buchanan theft of a coveted MacKenna treasure.

Jordan has always led a cautious life and has used her intelligence and reason to become a successful businesswoman. So she is intrigued but skeptical of the professor’s claims that the feud has been kept alive by the grave injustices the Buchanans have perpetrated over the centuries. But when Noah Clayborne, a close family friend and a man who has never let a good time or a pretty girl pass him by, accuses Jordan of being trapped in her comfort zone, she determines to prove him wrong and sets out on a spontaneous adventure to the small, dusty town of Serenity, Texas, to judge the professor’s research for herself.

Maneuvering through a close-knit community in which everyone knows everyone else’s business, Jordan never anticipates the danger and intrigue that lie in her path, nor the threat that will shadow her back to Boston, where even in familiar surroundings, her life is at risk.

A powerful thug who rules by fear, a man who harbors a simmering secret, and an unexpected romance that pierces all defenses–beloved author Julie Garwood weaves these dazzling elements into a brilliant novel of romantic suspense. Shadow Dance is a searing tango of passion and peril.

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My thoughts: This was so good. So, so good! I absolutely love Noah and Jordan. I love how different they are and even though their long history as friends, they never were any romantically inclined to each other. Their feelings never just appeared but slowly grew, together with their personality and everyday life, is just such a great line to follow. It is a deep, connectable story with an interesting side plot that to be quite frank, I never really needed. It was the cherry on the ice cream but oh, what a ice cream.

The whole book is just so warm, fuzzy, exciting with a lot of suspense, hilarious characters, deep connections and just wonderful romantic suspense. This is what I want and hell, you did it again Garwood. You freaking did it again.

Unfortunately it do end on a cliffhanger. Not one of those bad ones but still a cliffhanger. It may be quite interesting to get to know all the answers someday, but still, at this point, I don’t feel the need for it. So on that note, I do really recommend this series and even though there is cliffhangers, there is no bad ones. And it is just so worth it.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

If looks could kill – Heather Graham

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Goodreads synopsis: Madison Adair didn’t witness her famous mother’s brutal murder. But she saw it. Saw the gloved hand…felt the knife strike…knew her mother’s terror.

That was a lifetime ago. But the nightmares have returned; only, this time they’re of a faceless serial killer stalking women in south Florida. A killer she can’t see but who knows she is watching. Surrounded by her family, Madison knows she should feel safe, but she doesn’t.

And how much can FBI agent Kyle Montgomery protect her, when he can’t let go of the past they’ve shared? Madison is Kyle’s only link to the killer, but can they find the truth before the killer strikes again? Because sometimes, it’s what–or who–you can’t see that holds the greatest danger….

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My thoughts: Nah! Nothing for me. Quite the same as always. Horrible history, broken hearts, murder mystery, stalker, new killings, FBI, macho man, irritating female protagonist and a situation that just feels dumb. Come on, they hardly talk but they do argue a lot. About the same thing over and over. If they actually had talked early in the beginning, the arguing would probably not have been as bad. And I probably would have liked the book a lot more.

It was a fast read without any real depth. The murder mystery was quite interesting, but you didn’t receive any clues to who the killer are so the whole guessing game for me fell flat. Oh Graham certainly tried to make other characters seem guilty but it was too obvious so I actually dismissed them from my “who the killer is” list early on.

Not overly fawn over the characters either. There is some stuff happening that just make you lose the respect for that character and creates a situation that is just awkward. To be quite frank, Kaila and Dan (two side characters) relationship and short chapters about them, are the one thing I actually liked and felt had the most depth. And the book was not even about them.

It is probably time to realize that Graham is not an author for me. I have read five of her books but not one of them have received a higher rating than 3 star. Average rating is 2.8. It is time to spell the flowers and confess to myself that it doesn’t matter how much the synopsis appeal to me, she is just not an author that I like to read. Unfortunately.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

The ghost – Jessica Gadziala

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Goodreads synopsis: Sloane has everything she thought she ever wanted- a great career, a great apartment, great clothes, a life she had worked hard for.

Until one night, one chance encounter, one decision that changed everything.

With no options left, she enlists the help of Quinton Baird & Associates, who promptly inform her that she has to leave it all – the career, the apartment, the life she had worked so hard to build for herself – behind.

If all that wasn’t enough, her entire future – and life in general – was in the hands of a man whose coworkers called ‘The Ghost.’ Because that was what he did; he ghosted people, hid them, gave them new lives, made them impossible to find.

With no other choice, she agrees to his terms, climbs in a car with him, and travels almost clear across the country toward her new life. But the long hours on the road – and even longer hours in cabins and hotel rooms – together start to show her things. Like how unhappy she had actually been, how hollow her life was, how much she had denied herself in the name of superficial success.

And maybe, just maybe, how much she was starting to see how wrong first impressions can be, and how much a person can begin to mean to you when you decided to let them in…

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My thoughts: Such a sweet story. You mostly knows what to expect while starting a Jessica Gadziala book. Sweet, funny, sexy, sometimes a little angst filled, exciting and a lot of hot. And this is certainly not an exception. But I did miss a little more suspense. I know I’m always say that about her books and I do know she is not that type of author. But I’m that type of reader and little more suspense either in the case or in the relationship would have done it for me. But it is still not in any way a bad book. I really loved it. I loved Gunner and Sloane. How due to preconceptions, their relationship started off on the wrong foot and when they finally realized that not everything i s what it seems, it really started to hit it off.

There is a lot of tension in this one. Tension in the case, the situations and between the characters. But still it is easy and fun to read. Maybe because you already know how it will end but that doesn’t bother me. You get to know some of the other characters and oh my, my heart is breaking for Kai. He has his own book next in line in the series so I do someday in the near future get to know what will happen.

Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Brimstone – Preston & Child

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Goodreads synopsis: Behind the gates of a fabulous Hamptons estate, FBI Special Agent Pendergast comes upon the carnage of a gruesome crime: one that recalls the legendary horrors that befall those who make a Faustian pact with the devil. Surrounded by the choking stench of brimstone, the smoldering remains of art critic Jeremy Grove are found in a locked, barricaded attic next to a hoofprint singed into the floorboards.

Unable to resist a case that defies all but supernatural logic, Pendergast reunites with police officers Vincent D’Agosta (Relic) and Laura Hayward (Reliquary) to search for a more earthly explanation. But their investigation soon takes them from the luxury estates of Long Island and penthouses of New York City to the crumbling, legend-shrouded castles of the Italian countryside, where thirty years ago four men conjured up something unspeakable. . .

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My thoughts: I had such problems connecting with this book. It felt like it took me forever to read it. In reality it only took me 12 days but for someone like me, it does feel like an eternity. I did like the beginning and the end, but there is all that in the middle that didn’t do it for me. It was slow, cold and to detailed to be honest. But the story is yet really interesting. The murder case is quite mysterious and the urge to get all the answers was the only thing that kept me going. I did like the ending but at the same time I did not. There is some things that you do not get the answer to and I really do not like “cliffhangers”.

But in any case, I freaking LOVE Pendergast. He is such an interesting character. After “The Cabinet of Curiosities”, where you got to know him better, he is one of the best characters I know of. He is interesting, mystic, funny, so freaking smart and with a moral compass going haywire but still points in the right direction. In this one you also get to meet D’Agosta again and some other characters you briefly meet in the earlier books. And I love it. I love how the story is weave together with the earlier books and still lay ground for the future ones. I feel that there is some details not explained or released and I do hope the answer to it will be released in the next book.

In comparison I did like the “Still Life With Crows” more than this one even though I gave that one a three star rating to. The books are so different form each other and should not really be compared. But it is hard not to.

So to summery it up, I’m happy that I finished it, even though it was not a favorite. I still love the series as an whole and I do need to read the next book in the future to see what will happen. There is some other details released in this book that I’m really looking forward to dive deeper in to.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

At Peace – Kristen Ashley

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Goodreads synopsis: Violet Winters once had it all but lost it when her husband was murdered by a criminal madman. During a cold winter night Violet has to leave her warm bed to tell her neighbor to turn the music down. And that’s when she meets sinister, scarred, scarily attractive security specialist, Joe Callahan.

She wants to deny it, but Violet can’t beat back the hunger she feels for Joe so she gives in again and again. Feeling it himself, Joe feeds Vi’s hunger, breaking his own rules to keep her in his bed.

Even though Violet had only one man in her life, she’s sure Joe is giving her the signals and Vi decides she’s ready to take a second chance at life and, maybe, love. But Violet doesn’t know the dark secrets in Joe’s past, secrets so soul-wrenching, they’ve drained him dry. With nothing left to give, Joe’s determined to live his life alone and he breaks Violet’s heart.

Crushed by Joe’s betrayal, Violet comes to terms with the fact that, no matter what signals he gave, Joe was not theirs to win. But Violet’s husband’s murderer is obsessed with her and heartbreak again haunts the door of the Winters home. When it does Joe is forced to face the knowledge that he can’t fight Violet’s pull, she’s under his skin and filled him full to bursting.

Joe needs to win her back and put his life on the line to keep Violet safe. But, having had it all once, can Violet endure losing Joe?

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My thoughts:What a piece of crap. Utterly worthless and I’m so disappointed. But I guess it was about time I read a book by KA that I did not like. She is such an awesome author but even the best can’t be best all the time. So far I have read 14 books written by her and this is the first time I read one that I can’t stand. Not even a little bit. I hate the characters. I hate the story. I literally hate everything about it. It bored me to hell and Violet kept driving me nuts. Come on, you are a grown woman, stop acting worse than your own 14 year old daughter. Honest to god I think her 16 year old daughter was more of an adult than her. And to think about all the shit she has been through. No. Just No!

And Cal or Joe or what the hell everyone is calling him. Yeah I understand his situation and I do think, most of the time he was the grown up in the situations. But still, when a woman says no, it means no. He was constantly on the border between okay and not okay and if this was true and real it would have been a very unhealthy relationship. I’m open for a lot in this world but one girl playing two guys and one guy acting like he can take what he want and be a douche and suddenly not be a douche anymore just makes me cringe. Especially when the other guy is so nice and wonderful. Talk about playing the stereotypes. I have had enough and I will not spend more time ranting over this book. I know KA is a great author and I know she can do better than this. Like everyone you sometimes have a bad day. Well this time she just had a bad book.