I gave this four stars because it's a well-plotted mystery that kept me guessing, with a very surprising and rather disturbing twist. I would continueI gave this four stars because it's a well-plotted mystery that kept me guessing, with a very surprising and rather disturbing twist. I would continue reading this series.
I loved this book for the chemistry and obvious love between Elizabeth and Garik. Garik is eminently lickable. The mystery wasn't quite as well plotteI loved this book for the chemistry and obvious love between Elizabeth and Garik. Garik is eminently lickable. The mystery wasn't quite as well plotted, but it was still good. I liked the small-town atmosphere of Virtue Falls.
This is actually kind of gruesome, the nature of the crimes, and the mind of the killer takes the reader to a disturbing place. I love Kendra's enhancThis is actually kind of gruesome, the nature of the crimes, and the mind of the killer takes the reader to a disturbing place. I love Kendra's enhanced senses. It makes her a great detective. I think I would have rated it higher, except the cat and mouse game got wearing after a while.
This is a thriller that took me into the twisted heart of darkness. Just when it felt like I was starting to get things figured out, more questions arThis is a thriller that took me into the twisted heart of darkness. Just when it felt like I was starting to get things figured out, more questions arose. I liked it, and it was a fast-paced read, even though it was a bit disturbing at times. I will be tracking down the first two books in the series.
I think I would have enjoyed this more if I had connected to the characters more than I did. The suspense angle was well done and I was genuinely surpI think I would have enjoyed this more if I had connected to the characters more than I did. The suspense angle was well done and I was genuinely surprised at who the killer was. I would consider this straight suspense, not romantic suspense.
Leopard's Prey is Remy Boudreaux's story and he lives up to the anticipation he built when he entered the scene the first time in Savage Nature. It'sLeopard's Prey is Remy Boudreaux's story and he lives up to the anticipation he built when he entered the scene the first time in Savage Nature. It's been a year since I read a Feehan book, so Remy's book is a great way to break my fast. I knew Remy would be 'something else,' the kind of hero only Feehan can write. With Bijou, he gets the story and the heroine that I wished for.
I will freely admit that the GhostWalkers is my favorite series by Feehan, and the others pale in comparison, so I make sure my expectations reflect the fact that all the redoubtable Ms. Feehan's writing gets measured against this series, because of my inestimable love for it. However, I am always very happy to get my hands on another book by her, since I just plain enjoy her writing. She has some interesting stories with characters I fall for and burning hot and emotional love stories. That's what this romance fan loves.
Anyway, Leopard's Prey is steeped in Louisiana bayou atmosphere. The characters are almost all natives of this region, and based on my short visits to this part of the United States, I felt like I was taking another trip down there and enjoying it, taking in the sights and sounds. Additionally, the feel of family is strong in this novel. The Boudreaux clan of brothers and sister, along with the larger Leopard Clan, are tightly bonded to each other, loving and teasing each other, sometimes in mean ways (but it's all in fun). Bijou, who had just about the most dysfunctional childhood ever, needs a family like this, full of people who watch out for each other, even as they give each other a hard time.
Bijou is the daughter of a notorious, yet beloved rock star. This is very important to the story because it affects everything in Bijou's adult life and all her relationships. He failed her beyond measure as a parent, scarring her self-esteem and sense of confidence, despite her incredibly beautiful looks and formidable musical talent of her own. I really liked her character. Despite her awful start in life, she's grown into a wonderful woman with a generous heart and a strong core, despite her insecurities. Remy and Bijou have a long-standing and deep bond from an event a long time ago, when he saves her life as an eight-year-old, but their lives go in different directions. Remy is quite older than Bijou, but in some ways, she has as much to teach him and he does her. Remy needs to learn the language of love that Bijou speaks. He takes it for granted that she night not understand how special she is, when she doesn't have that frame of reference at all. Growing up the way she did, how could she? Remy knows intellectually that Bijou is clueless on their shared leopard heritage. However, he doesn't get that she might interpret the strong sexual attraction they share as merely a function of the Leopards' sexual needs and not any higher bond between them, or that she is special to Remy. So a good chunk of the book is about them exploring their relationship and coming to understand just what it means on both sides to be together (paired to the murder mystery).
Bijou and Remy had great chemistry. The love scenes are quite scorching. Feehan makes a big deal about the leopard's need for rough sex, and it does veer in that direction, but nothing too out there or tasteless, in my mind. I do roll my eyes a bit at the whole 'dominating' aspect of the love scenes, 'cause that's not my thing at all. There is no question that Remy is a sexy beast though! I like how Feehan uses the love scenes to show the different aspects of their relationship: primal, affectionate, deeply emotional and fiercely intimate, and even playful. I also appreciated how Feehan presents the leopard nature. She gets the aspect of this big cat right, and it fits in with this story of human leopard shapeshifters. In some ways, this story reminded me of the film Cat People, but with a much happier ending that I always wished for.
I can only give this in the four stars region because I feel like this story could have been longer. I felt like I missed something when it ended. Maybe I am just very rapacious when it comes to books by this author. She gets me hooked and I hate when the ride is over too soon. The story moves along at an expansive pace, and before I knew it, things were wrapping up. For those who are following the Leopard storyline, this doesn't add a whole lot to the overall Leopard shapeshifter species arc from the beginning. It focuses on the Boudreaux family and the specific group in the Louisiana bayou. Some of the original guys show up in cameos, which was cool. As far as the storyline, it was more of a murder mystery/romantic suspense with paranormal romance, and lacks as much action as some of Feehan's books. I did think the mystery was quite suspenseful and the aspects of the murder was kind of gruesome and disturbing. The killer was not the person I expected at all (Well, I got this sick suspicion later on in the story and was hoping I was wrong). The reasons were very chilling for that person's actions, although there could be no palatable reason for what the murderer was doing.
Although not a five star book, it was higher in the four star range, because I enjoyed reading it immensely, and I tried to savor reading it. I could have done with more book, as I said earlier, so that takes off from my rating. I couldn't subtract too much because of the high enjoyment factor. I have so much fun visiting with Feehan's characters in the various series, and I admit the Leopard series did sneak up on me. I loved Bijou as much if not more than Remy, which is saying something. She's a sweet woman, and you just want her to have her happy ever after. I'm glad that her prince is Remy and she's going to be a part of the Boudreaux clan and will get the family she missed out on. I'm curious to see what Feehan comes up with next in this series.
I enjoyed this romantic suspense novel from Beverly Barton, who passed away not too long ago (may she rest in peace, leaving the literary world with mI enjoyed this romantic suspense novel from Beverly Barton, who passed away not too long ago (may she rest in peace, leaving the literary world with many of her wonderful books as a legacy). The mystery was well done, and so was the developing relationship between Julia and Will. I'd recommend it to romantic suspense readers.
Serial Games is a gripping romantic suspense thriller. Maggie and Brandon are an FBI profiler and a Fugitive Retrieval Specialist US Marshal who teamSerial Games is a gripping romantic suspense thriller. Maggie and Brandon are an FBI profiler and a Fugitive Retrieval Specialist US Marshal who team up to recapture a notorious serial killer who escapes custody.
What I liked about this story:
*Maggie is an appealing heroine. She is a black woman who doesn't pander to stereotypes that are all too prevalent. Not only is she reserved, cerebral, and very good at her job, she is a woman of faith who shows dedication and drive to catch a very cunning serial killer--one that she had been highly instrumental in putting away the first time. I liked how she carries herself--she's not focused on being sexy or catching a man. She's focused on doing a good job in her field, putting her intelligence and training to use to better the world, and is a bit of a workaholic--not very good at the life/work balance. Even though she has feelings for Brandon, she doesn't allow herself to be his punching bag or let him to take advantage of their attraction to each other. She juggles a family dynamic in which she feels competition with her older sister, who is a successful attorney who is also happily married with a child. Her mom constantly reminds her of her need to get married, but Maggie isn't worried about that, when her job keeps her so busy.
*Brandon is magnetic and scrumptious. He's a bit tortured after losing his fiancee' and he is nursing an anger with God as a result. He was definitely blowing hot and cold, and he knew it, but I liked the way he interacted with Maggie.
*The chemistry was great in this book. It's clean romance, but the author conveys the attraction and the developing relationship between Maggie and Brandon in an engaging way. It's good romance for Christians who have certain beliefs about how to conduct a relationship and a courtship. It's kind of hard to find books that show this well. It's usually one extreme or the other: no chemistry, and too 1950s or way too erotic with behaviors that don't fit what is expected of single Christians in a dating relationship. I liked how Chase uses kisses, dialogue, and physical interactions and body language to build the chemistry between Maggie and Brandon. I found it very believable.
*The suspense part was well done. I felt like I watching an episode of Breakout Kings or Criminal Minds. Chase doesn't make things gruesome, but she portrays the pathology and the darkness of the serial killer very realistically.
*Chase's writing style is active and her voice is confident and sophisticated. She did a good job of balancing the varied themes of this book, without sacrificing any in the end result. It's only fair to say that I am not a big fan of serial killer fiction. While I didn't think she was heavy-handed, Ms. Chase doesn't skimp or go lightweight on this aspect of the novel. On the other hand, I didn't yearn for more focus on the romance because she was spending too much time on the suspense angle. I think that while she does convey a spiritual message, she does it naturally, so I don't feel like this book was at all preachy. Instead, it's a good choice for a reader who wants a good romantic suspense novel that is on the clean side and with characters who have personal relationships with God that they are working through. A person who is open to reading a novel with a Christian message, one that isn't focused exclusively on that message, or a reader is not necessarily a Christian, might enjoy this book.
My thanks to K. Victoria Chase for the opportunity to read Serial Games. I was happy to be able to explore some interracial romantic suspense that is clean, and not focused on eroticism. These are quite hard to find in this genre. I liked that this storyline is unique for the majority of the interracial content available. Maggie is a heroine that I could respect as a person and admire for her work ethic and her personal ethics. Brandon is definitely appealing as a hero, with a touch of the tortured aspect to his character, and also very good at his job. I felt the chemistry between them, and I can definitely see them building a life together. I would recommend this book.
This is not my personal taste as far as romantic suspense (don't like reading about twisted serial killers), so I don't have much of a basis for compaThis is not my personal taste as far as romantic suspense (don't like reading about twisted serial killers), so I don't have much of a basis for comparison. Overall, it was pretty decent, and I did appreciate Charlotte and Daniel Rokov (of Russian heritage) as main characters, and they had good chemistry. The killer was one sick puppy!
This was an odd book. Some aspects struck me as cheesy (listening on audiobook), but man it was intense, and the bad guy is a piece of work. Actually,This was an odd book. Some aspects struck me as cheesy (listening on audiobook), but man it was intense, and the bad guy is a piece of work. Actually, there were other bad guys, which were a complete surprise (and they were complete jack*sses that made me want to jump into the story and do some b****slapping).
The genre of this book seems to vary as I listened. At first, was it adventure? Then it was mystery. Then, horror...but supernatural or human monster variety?
The violent parts come suddenly and are somewhat brutal. Nothing I couldn't handle, but I was gasping in horror and talking to myself as I listened on my commute. I'm working on my language, and I had to restrain myself from cursing at the bad guys.
The characters didn't immediately strike me as memorable. But Mr. Balenger, well he earned my respect. Goodness gracious, what this man has gone through. But I have to say it really prepared him to be the hero in the ordeal that their little urban exploration jaunt into a long-abandoned hotel on the Jersey Shore will bring them to face. At first, he's a man who seems mysteriously knowledgeable and capable in emergency situations for a mere, mild-mannered reporter. And strangely bossy. But then, you know why. He comes through big time, and I definitely wanted to give him a high five. But he's also very human. The everyman sort of hero, kind of like John McClane from Die Hard, in a way. I also liked Amanda and Vinny. I felt bad for a few other characters who had some messed up crap happen to them.
And the main villain. What a sicko lowlife scumbag, for sure! I mean, seriously???
What did I learn from this book?
*Creepers, the nickname for urban explorers, are crazy as heck! *Every experience you go through in your life will come in handy, so pay attention!! *Minutiae and trivial facts might buy time if you can spout them off when you are dealing with bad guy losers who want to end your life. *Stay my butt out of abandoned old buildings. *People can be seriously messed up in the head! *There is a such thing as poetic justice.
I didn't love this book (some parts just seemed cheesy to me), but it was an interesting read on audiobook. At any rate, I was sucked in big time....more
I have to give it to Libba Bray. She captured the Roaring 20s in full color. I can tell she put some serious research into this book, but also endowedI have to give it to Libba Bray. She captured the Roaring 20s in full color. I can tell she put some serious research into this book, but also endowed this period with her own spark and brought it to life for this reader.
This was an odyssey in some ways. A long read, and a long listen. Thinking about this book gives me an ambivalent feeling. The subject matter is very dark. The tone quite pessimistic. I realize that this is the authentic feeling of youngsters of this period. How can you believe in the fairy tales your parents tell you about God and country, about safety and peace when your older brothers and friends went to die in the Great War that seemed to have nothing to do with you in America? Especially when things aren't exactly fixed on the home-front? All that the old timers say seems to be hypocritical and designed to suck the life out of you. That they are selling you a dream you can afford to buy.
With this novel, Libba Bray captures that feeling of doubt and despair of this period, and how the Bright Young Things, the Flappers and their male counterparts, threw themselves into the party, the Now, instead of focusing on a future that didn't seem to belong to them anyway. I think my feeling of almost depression when this ended also related to the fact that I watched a documentary on Sunday night about the black American experience and how by and large most blacks never really had a chance at the ever-elusive American Dream, far from it. So I can feel that sense of disillusionment that some of the characters felt in this book, knowing how bad it must have been for many blacks during the 20s, and having false promises about how great America was rubbed in their faces because of their skin color and race, despite being born and raised in this great country.
She also shows the constant party atmosphere that was going on during Prohibition, bought at a hefty price, with the rise of gangster-related crimes in the cities. Immigrants who came to America to get a better life, find themselves living in falling down tenements and preyed upon and despised because they can't afford any better (or to buy into the American Dream). Doors slammed in their faces because of their ethnic origins. The rise of xenophobia and racial hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan and espousing of racial purity through eugenics. I imagine it was a scary time indeed for youngsters like Evie, Jericho, Mabel, Theta, Memphis, Sam, and Henry. Much better to drown your sorrows in gin, constant partying, and watching movies on the Silver Screen, than to face the scary present and an uncertain future.
On top of that is a very real and very frightening supernatural peril, at a time where Modernism and self-determinism seems to counter beliefs in a supernatural God, must less anything like ghosts or even spiritual beliefs. How does one protect oneself against a ghost resurrected to continue his blasphemous work, when one doesn't even believe in that sort of thing, not as a Modern person? How can you conceal the fact that you have abilities that you are not able to explain in a rational sense?
Yes, combined together, this makes The Diviners not a fun read. At least most of the time. But it's very good. The characters were very vividly realized and I felt much sympathy for them even when I didn't agree with the choices they made. Evie, particularly, challenged me at times. Her reliance on drinking and her self-absorbed, questionable moral compass chafed at me. However, Bray shows the pain that lurks beneath her careless facade. Being the child who lived when her mother wanted her brother to come back from the War instead. Losing her only sibling to a war that didn't make any sense to her, and not even having a close relationship with her parents to console her. On top of that, her ability to read objects, and its effect on both her body (horrible dreams and headaches) and her reputation when she makes enemies by telling the truth, making her known as the weirdo who doesn't fit in. While Modernism seems the solution to the problems that she and many youngsters face, they run into the brick walls of establishment and parental authority, which is always telling them to follow rules that make no sense or have no personal relevance. Her dream to go to New York is a way to start her Real Life. She belongs there, where the party is, where she will fit in. However, she finds that many of her problems exist in New York as well, since she is answerable to her uncle, William Fitzgerald, and she's still considered a young girl to the establishment. When she gets involved in the case to find a ritualistic killer, her abilities give her a purpose and validation that she lacked before.
I appreciated how Bray uses each young character in this book as a frame of reference, across racial and social barriers, which the youth believe are artificial anyway. I sometimes questioned Bray's modern, almost Rainbow Coalition voice as I read, but with research into the era and the Modernist movement, it is clear that this voice was authentic to this era. I liked that she taught me a lot about the social politics of the time in the context of this fictional work. While I feel that this book has some very mature themes and dark themes and subject matter, I feel that it teaches important history lessons that a mature teen could benefit from. If I were a parent, I would suggest reading it first though.
The supernatural storyline was quite unnerving and disturbing. The tie into religious fanaticism made me uncomfortable, particularly in light of the fact that this was the major representation of modern belief in God in this story. I am not saying that Bray attacked religion, but perhaps these times were not as friendly overall to a positive view of Christianity not related to unpalatable social movements such as racial purity and isolationist xenophobia (keeping America pure). In the context of Memphis' journey as a young black man, Christianity doesn't seem to offer him much, since it has done little to improve either his life or the station of life for many people of his race. In the case of Evie, her parents' Episcopalian worship is strictly a social convention with little life or emotion. From that frame of reference, it's easy to see why this has no major influence on her own beliefs. Her friend Mabel's parents are atheistic social reformers, her father of Jewish background, and her mother a runaway socialite. In the case of Jericho, he renounced belief in a God who would abandon him to a life-threatening illness that changed his whole life. So when you have a killer who has grandiose beliefs of himself as the Beast who will bring about the end of the world, a very heretical corruption of Christian eschatology, it comes off as a very negative view of Christianity in general.
While Bray doesn't describe the murders in detail, she does show us the fear and the hopelessness of the victims of the killer, which was hard reading. Although society might consider them undesirable, to me, they were innocent human beings who didn't deserve what happened to them. I found it disturbing, although not gratuitous. Perhaps some readers wouldn't be as bothered. I admit I am a wimp when it comes to serial killers and psychopathic killers. It especially bothers me when religious imagery is mixed in with it.
While Evie's uncle Will is not a focus, I liked his character a lot. His scholarly bent and carefully disguised soft heart were a good foil for the younger characters. He is Old Guard, but the more time Evie spends with him, maybe he can show her that not all the values of the older generation are worthless. And maybe she can teach that it's okay to enjoy life and have a sense of emotional connection instead of viewing everything through a divorced and academic lens.
While I found the serial killer aspect disturbing, I like how this story sets up the series for a larger supernatural threat. I can definitely see this series building into something quite interesting and worthy of following.
Just a note about the narrator. She was excellent. She conveyed the characters very distinctly. I liked how she sang as well as speaking some of the parts. I felt like I was there in this period with her lively rendition on this audiobook.
The Diviners is a very good example of what young adult fiction has to offer to both teens and older readers who enjoy young adult books. I'd recommend it for the vivid and very faithful rendering of this intriguing time in history, the Roaring 20s, with an intriguing cast of characters that will bring me back to future books in this series.
Whiskey Sour is the first book in the Jack Daniels mystery series. Lieutenant Jack Daniels of the Chicago Police Department is an insomniac workaholicWhiskey Sour is the first book in the Jack Daniels mystery series. Lieutenant Jack Daniels of the Chicago Police Department is an insomniac workaholic who is on the case of a brutal serial killer at work in Chicago. He goes by the name of the Gingerbread Man, and his favorite hobby is taking lives in the most brutal ways possible. Jack has made police work her life, at the expense of her marriage and peace of mind. And now, she’s too set in her ways to change. That same determination has attracted the twisted adoration of the Gingerbread Man, and he turns his attention on her in a very personal way.
This was a good suspense book. The viewpoint of the killer is absolutely chilling. He is clearly a sociopath with a mean streak a mile wide. Seeing his POV only made me root all the harder for Jack to catch him. In contrast, I liked Jack’s calm, battered but unbroken personality. She hasn’t had it easy, and the weight of the world seems to rest upon her shoulders, but she’s not self-pitying, but very matter of fact about her situation. She gave up a lot to be a good cop, and I felt bad that she couldn’t have a husband who understood her drive and loved her all the more for it. Being a softhearted person, I hope she finds someone so she doesn’t have to be lonely and turn to all the whiskey that people give her because of her name to get through the tough nights when she’s not working.
Jack kicks butt, and she’s credible in her role as a Lieutenant in the Violent Crimes Unit. She knows her stuff. I like that she’s a bit weathered by life and isn’t a spring chicken, already a mature woman in her forties with a divorce under her belt. She acts like a veteran cop, savvy and seasoned, but there was a pervasive sense of risk to her, because the killer has also been at his ‘career’ a long time. He was a wily and deadly match for her that kept me on the edge as I read. Konrath has a way of writing that keeps the tension high, but also feels very police procedural. Almost like Law and Order meets Criminal Minds.
I am becoming a big fan of straight mysteries, so I liked that aspect. I’m not and never will be a huge fan of serial killer fiction, so that was a bit of a turn-off, especially the descriptions of the gruesome details of the Gingerbread Man’s acts on his victims. Konrath isn’t lurid about it, but reading about the way this freak hurt people didn’t make for fun reading (and it probably shouldn’t). I will keep reading this series because I like Jack’s character, and the investigative aspects. However, the violence and sociopathy of the nemesis is quite disturbing and not something I’d want to delve into on too often an occasion. (Shrugs) You take the good with the bad.
I am very late to be reading one of Julie Garwood's romantic suspense, especially since I consider her one of my favorite authors, and I love her histI am very late to be reading one of Julie Garwood's romantic suspense, especially since I consider her one of my favorite authors, and I love her historicals. Honestly, I had my pout on because she doesn't write historicals anymore, and I just never got around to reading the contemporaries, although I planned to do so at some juncture. I am glad I finally got that nudge from the Julie Garwood group on Goodreads, because what most of what I love about her historical book is here in Heartbreaker. The main difference is the contemporary setting, the subject matter being much darker, and more emphasis on the suspense. That is as it should be, of course.
As far as characterizations, as usual, I loved the main characters. Laurant has both the sweetness and determination of the usual JG historical heroine. I like that she's a very nice woman, but strong and stands up for herself. She really earned my respect that she fought past her fears and took personal responsibility of helping the FBI draw out the killer who was stalking her. And she was very afraid. But she didn't want any more women to die in the meantime. She was brave enough to admit she fell in love with Nick, even knowing that chances were against them working out. I also loved Nick. He is the strong, solid hero that JG writes so well. He also expresses the bewilderment that cracks me up about JG's heroes when he falls so hard for Laurant, despite his determination not to do so. It was hilarious how he acted when Laurant told him she loved him. He was determined not to believe her because he was afraid to acknowledge that he loved her back. I think his gesture at the end was perfect, considering how petrified he was about flying.
If you've read enough of my reviews, you know I am not a big fan of the serial killer theme, so I won't beat a dead horse. I do have to say that the villain in this book was pretty darn nasty, and Garwood surprised me at who it was. I had gone through my list of suspects and the culprit was not who I expected. She did a good job with the red herrings, where you couldn't immediately pick out the bad guy. I'm glad she wasn't too descriptive with the acts of the killer. That is a real turnoff for me. I had enough information to realize he was a sick puppy, and that was good for me. I felt terrible for his victim. The poor girl never got a chance to make a good life for herself.
I also loved the secondary characters like Tommy, Laurant's brother, Noah, an FBI colleague of Nick's who is absolutely shameless, and the inhabitants of the small town of Holy Oaks. I would love to see more of Tommy because he's a sweet guy. And Noah is definitely a character I want to follow. He made me laugh a lot! Garwood's homey storytelling was evident in the interactions between her main characters and the supporting ones. I laughed a lot and it tempered the disgust and fear the villain engenders. The climax was very exciting. The sense of risk very evident. I loved how Laurant thought on her feet, despite her desperate situation. The villain was suitably dangerous, definitely not a paper tiger. I was glad they got him, and although it wasn't without cost, things worked out well. And I was able to see how much Nick cared about Laurant, despite his determination to walk away. He tickled me at how he was acting in the emergency room!
With a combination of Julie Garwood's singular romance writing and intense suspense, Heartbreaker is a very good book. I can't give it five stars because it doesn't quite measure up to her historicals and like I said, the serial killer theme isn't a favorite of mine. But despite those things, I enjoyed reading it and I am glad to find more Julie Garwood characters to follow. Looking forward to diving into Mercy next, as soon as I am able to find a copy and have time to read it!...more
James McGee takes us to the dark and murky streets of Napoleonic War-Era 19th Century London, England, and the reader is right there with all the sighJames McGee takes us to the dark and murky streets of Napoleonic War-Era 19th Century London, England, and the reader is right there with all the sights, sounds, smells and feels of the period. I did not get a chance to read the first book, but I was thrilled to find this at the library, since a friend of mine had raved about this series years ago. I am glad I read this book, even if some of the scenery wasn't necessarily enjoyable. This book screams authentic atmosphere, and I like that it shows the darker side of this period that I don't get to see in the Regency romance novels I read that can be very pristine (and often too light in tone) and spend more time in the gilded ballrooms and elegant sitting rooms. You don't get to see the way the real people lived in those. No, this book takes place in the backstreets, and most of the characters are working class, either ex-soldiers, bully-boys, prostitutes and Bow Street Runners, like our hero, Matthew Hawkwood.
Hawkwood is an enigmatic figure. You don't get that far into his head. You see more of how he reacts to situations or his thoughts at being faced with a series of murders that are incredibly disturbing. As the story builds, I obtained a sense of what kind of person he is, and I have to say that his personality appeals to me. He's very plain-speaking and doesn't curry favor. He has a sense of honor and he's like a dog with a bone. He doesn't give up until he solves the case. His sense of justice is hardcore. Money and power don't factor into right or wrong. Of course, that can cause friction when his prey is an insane doctor who thinks he's Dr. Victor Frankenstein and who has prominent connections. Hawkwood isn't the only intriguing character in this novel. I like that McGee is not afraid to give the POV of the 'dregs' of society, including streetwalkers. When I read these kinds of books, it makes me grateful that I don't have to resort to the acts that these characters have to commit to keep food in their mouths. I asked myself where does the line that you don't cross lie. Why is the idea of grave-robbing and selling dead bodies so repugnant? They are dead. It doesn't hurt them. But the idea made my skin crawl. And the resurrectionists in this novel have more heinous crimes on their soul. I also liked that one of the bad guys is a sociopathic female prostitute. Not that it's a good thing, mind you. I liked that it speaks of an unsentimentality on the author's part, what I consider a backward sexism that can be hard to avoid in literature. Yes, women can be so morally bankrupt to kill or to collude with such acts. Men aren't the only ones capable of great evil. And this particular outwardly beautiful young woman is like a sewer inside.
This novel is like a maze that makes you travel a twisted path to its conclusion. When I started it, I had no idea where it would go. And with further reading, I was more surprised at the direction. While some aspects were unpalatable to the extreme, I did like how McGee examines the impact of the war on its survivors. Many of the characters were veterans and were personally affected by the war. Hawkwood is just one of them. They know personally that war isn't just a game. It's deadly serious and its effects are long-lasting. It brings out the worst in people, but it can also create lifelong bonds between people.
I enjoyed this novel in that it was good suspense and a very descriptive view of historical London and the darker side of life in that city. I liked Hawkwood's character. He is a tough and driven man with a sense of justice that continually puts him in harm's way. I hope to read the first book and to continue this series. Recommended to readers who enjoy historical adventure/suspense....more
Was thrilled to see this on the shelf at my library, since I've been wanting to read it for a while. Mostly enjoyed it, although there were some unpalWas thrilled to see this on the shelf at my library, since I've been wanting to read it for a while. Mostly enjoyed it, although there were some unpalatable aspects. A good dose of sex and violence cocktail. I am not a big fan of that combo. You may say a duh to that, since Elektra is a sexy assassin. I think it's all in the execution.
Elektra was depicted as a whole lot of crazy in this book. It occurs after her death and is about her resurrection by the Hand. She becomes a killer designated in service of the Hand, indirectly the Beast (yeah that one). However, she slowly becomes aware of a conspiracy of the Beast to end the world through the use of political puppets and dedicates her exceedingly expert kills in the art of death-bringing to eliminate all involved. She leaves quite a body trail behind her.
The artwork is innovative and very stylish, with a use of multiple media to convey the visual message of and along with the narrative in this book. Elektra doesn't speak much. She retains this mystique that adds to her allure. Most of her narrative was thought processes conveyed on the page. Honestly, I found her psychopathic in some ways. I wasn't quite sure if what she was experiencing wasn't a psychopathic break, and didn't get clarity until the end.
I wasn't quite in love with the storyline. It was way more political than I would have liked. I think I would have preferred a more intimate storyline. I certainly didn't like some of the venues and the secondary players in this novel. Wasn't that in love with Garrett's character or his ex-partner who turns out to be all kinds of icktastic.
Would you like this one? It depends. If you like Sin City (by the same writer), then probably. If you find some aspects of Sin City repellent, you might be like me, where I do like some aspects and others not so much. Yes, you know you're in for violence and lots of it with Elektra. I think I was hoping for something a little different in the execution. However, I can't give it less than four stars, because it's quite a work of art overall, the parts that were a turnoff, not withstanding.
At the end of the day, I am still a big fan of Elektra. A guilty pleasure of mine (since at heart I am not a fan of unnecessary or gratuitous violence). Yes on one level, I know that's probably wrong of me, but she's a bad@$$ female Ninja assassin who knows her way around a katana and sais (any edged weapon although her whole body is lethal), and can wreak all kinds of havoc in unimaginable ways. And I have to love her for that!...more
Loved this book the second time even more! I personally find serial killer stuff highly disturbing, so some parts w****Reread 7/4-7/7/2012 My thoughts:
Loved this book the second time even more! I personally find serial killer stuff highly disturbing, so some parts were tough for me. Poor Tansy, using her psychic gifts to hunt serial killers from a very young age, even without having any psychic barriers built up. That's courage. The storyline about the murders was very dark and twisted. The psychic elements ramped up the tension and made this even more visceral a read. Despite the unpalatable aspects of these killers, they didn't make the romance seem inappropriate. Instead it intensifies the connection between Tansy and Kadan that she is crucial in solving these crimes, and working with Kadan, she can do her job without it compromising her mental and physical health.
I love him so much, even though he's barely sane at times (in my opinion). He's super-duper bossy and domineering, but it somehow works for his relationship with Tansy, so that made it okay for me, although that's not something that I normally find appealing. On the other hand, loved his possessive/jealous nature, and how crazy about Tansy he was. What happened near the end was just powerful reading. If I had ever doubted how much Tansy meant to him before that, this brought it home. Kadan, you are so lickable!
Loved her. She's soft and sweet, but also very tough down deep. She could definitely give Kadan a run for his money if she wants to. But she likes making him happy and taking care of him in the way he needs. She likes him that way and truly looks into his heart and understands the hurt child who had to compartmentalize those violent parts of himself to stay sane, thus the cold as ice demeanor. She trusts him to do the same for me. I know some readers don't like soft, sweet heroines, but I love them, and Tansy is especially well done for that type. She doesn't feel the need to pretend otherwise when she enjoys being with Kadan and his protective and demanding nature. I give Ms. Feehan props for not being afraid to write her this way. I don't think I could see any other woman with Kadan.
Murder Game is just so good. It's even more enjoyable on the reread as I was able to savor aspects I buzzed through the first time in my enthusiasm. I loved the relationship between Tansy and Kadan (although it did challenge my personal views on this sort of relationship, moreso on the first read. But then I'm not either character and if that works for them, why not???). As always, loved the action and suspense, the bad*ss heroes, the joking and bond between the GhostWalkers, and how they opened their family to Tansy so generously. I'm so grateful for this series!
Ah, how could I not love a hero like Kadan. So crazy, and delicious, from head to toe.
Here I was thinking that Kadan was going to be mellow compared to the Norton twins. NOT! That man is intense. I loved this book. It starts out with a bang and keeps going.
I think Christine Feehan is wonderful at pairing these characters. Tansy and Kadan are a great match for each other. She's strong but willing to be submissive with Kadan. He's very much a dominant kind of man. At times I vacillated between being completely in love with him and thinking he was way too dominant for my tastes. It was like a knife edge in the very hot and sensual scenes for me. I was thinking, "Is he being too rough?" But he really wasn't. He didn't do anything that Tansy didn't like or made her feel uncomfortable. But he was all about control. He would do and say things that showed he was in charge, and Tansy probably could have fought him on more things, but she really didn't seem to feel the need to do it. She was a very calm, composed person.
Kadan thinks of himself as an ice man. Very remote, and always in control. Because of a traumatic event as a child, he sees himself as a cold-blooded killer, almost a monster. He didn't think he could have a family or a woman. He felt all he had was his Ghostwalker family and the next mission. From the moment he sees Tansy, he feels like there is something more for him. It was very refreshing to read a book where the hero is in love from the first moment. He might not have said 'I love you,' but if this man wasn't in love, than I don't know what love is. He was completely crazy about Tansy. I don't know why, but these kinds of heroes that I call 'stalkerific' never fail to appeal to me. They are crazy possessive and obsessed with the heroine. And sometimes it's a little scary, but since it's romance and fiction, it's all good. Well Kadan might be the King of Stalkerific heroes.
I think that he would be more scary if it wasn't absolutely obvious how much he adores Tansy. This man is crazy about Tansy. He would always need to touch Tansy, even around the other Ghostwalkers. It wasn't anything over the top, but definitely PDAs. The thought of her suffering or being hurt or in pain drives him absolutely crazy. It makes him get even more dominant alpha. I have to give it to Tansy. She really understood that, and reassured him that he had her love and always would.
Tansy was a very mature person. She was quite Zen. Although not an alpha heroine, she had a formidable inner strength. She had weathered so much for young age, and she goes through even more during this book. Tansy had a way of accepting things and seeing them for what they were. But I believe that her near breakdown and getting through that gave her the strength to be able to deal with very bad things in a straightforward manner without going off on the deep end.
I really loved Tansy as a heroine (which I love all the Ghostwalker heroines but she's my favorite now). She has the phenomenal mental ability to track serial killers by touching the objects they handled, although it makes her physically and mentally ill when she does it. Initially that was the reason that Kadan finds Tansy, to track the rogue Ghostwalker team who is committing a series of murders. When Kadan sees how devastating it is for Tansy to use her ability, his protective instincts override the desire to use her talents. He sees that she has not been shown how to use filters to protect her mind. I liked how Kadan was so protective of Tansy, and how he didn't like her doing something that was so bad for her. Although Tansy submitted to Kadan in almost every way, she refused to stop using her talent if it could save lives. So he did everything to help her to be safe when she did use her talent. Those scenes were very well done. This showed that although Kadan was so dominant, it was clear that he was able to be gentle and caring. Also this was shown in the other moments when Tansy is hurt or suffering. He couldn't handle it.
Kadan and Tansy have their first sexual encounter very, very early in this book. It didn't feel wrong to me. It felt right because of a few factors: intense relationship, their being paired because of Mad Scientist Whitney, and the fact that Kadan has already realized that she is the woman for him and that he's not letting go of her. If Tansy hadn't been the kind of heroine that wasn't as level-headed and philosophical, it could have felt ugly and forced, but it didn't. She's a special person, and made for this man. He'd be way too scary for a lot of women. But she is fine with him, immense control issues and all.
The action in this book is very in your face. I love action as much as I love romance, so it was a great combination. It was so cool to see the original Ghostwalker team (especially Nico, Gator, Ryland, but also Tucker and Ian) in on the action. They are in this book a lot (I was in heaven because I love these guys). It was nice to see the joking and comraderie between the Ghostwalkers. The pretty much adopt Tansy into the family. Kadan gets teased a lot because of his obvious adoration of Tansy. The Ghostwalkers work so well together and love each other (although they are alpha males and don't get all mushy about it, this is very clear). We also get to see Ken, Jack, Jeff, and Mari. These guys are total, badass (pardon my French) warriors. I am in awe of them. I could hug Christine Feehan for writing these books, because they really meet my needs for a great romance novel with high octane action. Readers who are sensitive about violence should be warned about this book. It does have quite a bit of violent scenes. I didn't think they were gratuitous, but definitely might be too much for a sensitive person. The subject matter is quite dark. There are people who kill for money and for sport in this book. But Kadan's Ghostwalker team is going to shut them down with Tansy's help. The end was very intense and Tansy has her own battle to fight with the Ghostwalkers' help. I wasn't expecting the way things wrapped up. It was sort of like a one-two punch. At first I thought the storyline was wrapping up a little too tidily, but then wham, bang. All I can say is wow.
There was nothing I didn't like about this book. It is my favorite in the series now. Kadan is just an incredible hero (kind of crazy in a typically quiet and deadly fashion, but really in the best ways). Tansy is just the heroine to handle this intense guy, and give him the love, acceptance and home he craved. And he's just the man to love her within an inch or her life and keep her very, very happy at the same time. ...more