This is, I promise you, a review of Armed & Dangerous by Abigail Roux. But I have to preface my review with overall series fangirling first…
You guThis is, I promise you, a review of Armed & Dangerous by Abigail Roux. But I have to preface my review with overall series fangirling first…
You guys, I pride myself on not really having a reading “comfort zone.” I try to keep an open mind about everything…whatever it may be. I’ll read it. Then, awhile back, someone recommended a gay romance series to me and I was hesitant. Not really my thing – especially with explicit love scenes involved. (Not that I’m a sexytimes scene hater. Come on: have you met me?)
Then I read Cut & Run, the first book of this series. I haven’t looked back. I am a huge-stay-up-all-night-to-read-them-for-the-tenth-time-would-even-read-fanfiction level fangirl for these characters. Two FBI agents with enough baggage to fill an ocean liner originally get partnered up to catch a serial killer. Then sparks fly, cougars attack, and (literal) bombs go off. This series definitely brings the action and suspense along with the romance. I cannot recommend it highly enough – just start at the beginning, meet Ty and Zane. You’ll be converted. Promise.
So, as for the newest installment, Armed & Dangerous? Best. Yet. The first four books were co-authored and this was the first written solely by Abigail Roux. I really wasn’t worried, I was actually looking forward to seeing how things went with a more streamlined writing approach. Sometimes the POV changes in the first books were jarring – that is now 100% fixed.
Ty and Zane get tasked to bring in a federal informant. For the first time we are seeing them interact after they have both finally admitted that they’re in luuuuuuurve. The previous hesitations and awkwardness in their relationship? Gone. I spent the entire book in a constant state of sa-woon. Seriously, some of their dialogue had me puddled on the floor. Sigh. Anyway…
We get to see Ty’s brother Deuce again, which is great. I loved him previously, and I loved him this time around. He has some things going on in his life that might be creating some Grady family drama very shortly! (Sorry to be vague, but I’m assuming that most people reading this haven’t read the series yet, so I’m trying to be mostly spoiler free.)
We also see Ty’s best friend Nick, who I haven’t liked so much in the past. Abigail Roux did a good job at convincing me he isn’t a total douchenozzle though, so maybe I won’t grimace next time I see him! I was thrilled to finally know some of what he and Ty went through while in the Marines (even though it was horrible).
Y’all seriously need to forget being limited by a reading comfort zone and give this series a try! You’ll find out very quickly why Ty Grady and Zane Garrett hold a very high place on my list of all time favorite characters. Plus, the entire series is easily affordable in ebook form.
Armed & Dangerous is the best book yet in one heck of a brilliant series! (And Abigail, if you’re reading this – you rocked it writing solo!)...more
If you guys have known me, or followed my blog, for very long – you know I have a little obsession. That obsession is the In Death series by J.D. RobbIf you guys have known me, or followed my blog, for very long – you know I have a little obsession. That obsession is the In Death series by J.D. Robb. Seriously y’all, this is a 35+ book series that I reread every single year. Delusion in Death is the newest installment, and definitely a solid addition to the series.
So, when Eve arrives on the murder scene, she sees something even she is shocked by. (Which is definitely saying something, my friends.) An entire bar full of people has been wiped off the grid – WTH? They are all gruesomely hacked up, and something is definitely rotten in the futuristic state of New York. Things start coming to light pretty quickly – it seems a pretty intense drug cocktail has caused all these people to turn on each other.
What doesn’t unravel quickly is motive – is it a terrorist act? Did someone do this simply to get rid of one certain individual? Having eighty people dead certainly doesn’t make things easy on Eve and her team. Pick up Delusion in Death y’all, and watch the chaos unfold.
The high body count is a new one, and definitely adds an intensity to the story that I’ve never seen. What doesn’t change is how freakin’ awesome all the characters are. Most of the gang (from Peabody to Trueheart) makes an appearance as they try to dig down into the motive. Also on hand, as always, is the absolutely fabulous Roarke.
You guys don’t know swoonworthy. You haven’t seen gorgeous, masterful and deliciously scary. Not unless you’ve met Roarke. I could fill a book talking about how awesome this guy is. A billionaire before it became 50 shades of common to have them in romance novels, Irish – accent included – and 100% devoted to one Eve Dallas. He makes me drown in the swoon every. single. time. Y’all don’t even know.
So, the downside to Delusion in Death (in my opinion) is that the mass confusion and intricacies of the murder investigation don’t leave much personal time for our beloved characters. Some of you might think that is a good thing – if you like more murder and less mushy time, this is definitely the book for you. It isn’t a huge issue by any means, it just keeps this one from being a favorite for me. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to let me know....more
Deeper Than the Dead is the first in Tami Hoag’s Oak Knoll series. Tami Hoag is known for her romantic suspense, and I thought the plot of Deeper ThanDeeper Than the Dead is the first in Tami Hoag’s Oak Knoll series. Tami Hoag is known for her romantic suspense, and I thought the plot of Deeper Than the Dead sounded intriguing. I had some mixed feelings about the book, but I definitely enjoyed it overall!
Four kids stumble across a body buried in a park – and the lives of everyone in the small Oak Knoll community change forever. When it turns out to be the work of a serial killer, no one is safe and everyone is a suspect. From the parents of all four children to their teacher – everyone has skeletons in the closet. All those secrets being revealed makes for very entertaining reading, y’all!
Deeper Than the Dead is set in 1985 at the birth of the FBI’s profiling unit – so a specialist from that department comes in to help. Most of the cops think learning the psychology of the killer is a complete waste of time. Tony Mendez, who works in the sheriff’s department, is the exception. Can he help bring the killer to justice?
So, picking out who the killer is among all the suspects isn’t particularly difficult, but you will be second guessing at every turn! Secrets are constantly being revealed, and basically everyone is guilty of something. For the first half of the book or so I found that fascinating. It ended up being more of a “seriously? him/her too?” situation. Absolutely everyone involved in the story has a suspicious secret. It was a little much.
Still – the plot in Deeper Than the Dead was fascinating!
The romance kinda let me down too. I did not see the pairing coming! I’m leaving out names to avoid spoilers because I was really surprised by who ended up together.
Anyway, despite the romance being mostly a bust and the central conflict being bogged down with way too many other crimes – I mostly enjoyed Deeper Than the Dead. The base plot line was really good and I couldn’t put the book down because I was dying for confirmation as to who the killer was!...more
Y’all, Karen Rose is one of the authors I admire most. I have read and loved every single one of her books. Sometimes authors, even the best ones, havY’all, Karen Rose is one of the authors I admire most. I have read and loved every single one of her books. Sometimes authors, even the best ones, have off days. One or two of their books just don’t quite live up to the rest. Well, Karen Rose doesn’t have that problem. Ever. No One Left to Tell is book #13 and she is going strong.
No One Left to Tell might actually rank up there with my favorites of her books. Paige Holden and Grayson Smith are awesome characters, and the plot was intricately weaved and detailed. My favorite thing about Karen Rose is that her characterization and plotting are always both masterfully done – she doesn’t sacrifice one for the other.
The way the story was told actually reminded me of a season of 24, one of my all-time favorite TV shows. When things start, Paige Holden is on the scene of a shooting – and surprise, the victim is someone she knows. We meet the sniper, who has a guilty conscience. Elsewhere, there is a guy behind the scenes pulling strings to make sure key people die so certain truths won’t be brought to light. Then, we go to the suburbs and meet a random couple, one of whom has a secret. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? How does it connect? What is going on already?
Every page is action-packed, the characters all have amazing chemistry – both romantic and platonic – and everything is just so high-charged. I loved seeing characters from the previous book, You Belong to Me, have parts to play. (All her books are connected to some degree, but they all work find as stand-alones too. No worries either way.)
Seriously, I know all of my reviews for her books turn into fangirl ramblings, but I can’t help it! This woman continually blows my mind, and No One Left to Tell is certainly no exception to the norm. If you like romantic suspense and/or mysteries and/or contemporary romance – you should definitely listen to me!
Whether you want to start at the beginning with Karen Rose’s first book, Don’t Tell, or pick up her most recent release doesn’t matter – just don’t let this author’s work pass you by!...more
Beg For Mercy by Jami Alden definitely has a very engrossing plot line. At the beginning of the book is a flashback from two years before the events oBeg For Mercy by Jami Alden definitely has a very engrossing plot line. At the beginning of the book is a flashback from two years before the events of the book take place - Megan's brother Sean is arrested for murder, but Megan is convinced he is innocent. The kicker? The arresting officer was Megan's boyfriend. Fast-forward to the present, Megan is extremely involved in trying to clear her brother's name - her brother on Death Row. Can she finally stumble upon evidence that'll make her ex-boyfriend, Detective Cole Williams, actually take her seriously? Will she be able to handle working with him if she does?
The book was very graphic...the violence and sexytimes both. I don't mean that as a critique, just an observation. It gave the book a deep sense of very raw emotion. Grittier than a lot of other romantic suspense. Megan's very real feelings of both guilty lust and still-churning anger when is around Cole is very realistic and intense, definitely made their interactions and growing intimacy feel legitimate.
Megan's intensity and desperation to clear her brother's name reached the point of near-madness. But hard on the heels of my twinges of annoyance was the question: can I really blame her? So, even though the repetitive theme of her constantly throwing herself into unbelievably crazy situations wore on me a little, I couldn't actually fault her character's intentions.
I'm extremely relieved that the author had a developing relationship between Megan & Cole even before her brother's arrest. Normally I strongly prefer getting to experience the MCs meeting for the first time, with no baggage between them before the book starts. In this case, however, their relationship would have made zero sense if they'd just met because of Sean's case. The desperation bordering on lunacy I already described basically dominated Megan's personality post-arrest. No way could their relationship have believably developed from scratch under those circumstances. Since they'd already had a strong connection previously, Cole's willingness to deal with her not only made sense, but made him strong swoon-candidate material.
The actual mystery in the book - having current murders that possibly tie in to the past requires a tiny bit of suspension of disbelief in the beginning - but just go with it. It quickly becomes very interesting and complex. Even though it isn't too difficult to figure out whodunit, my interest never lagged in the steps it took the characters to get there.
So, overall, I definitely recommend reading this if you're a fan of romantic suspense. Jami Alden has another completed trilogy published, and I will be checking into it while I wait for the next book of this series!...more
The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood was a really nice surprise. I've read several of Julie's other books - both romantic suspense and historical - and enjoThe Ideal Man by Julie Garwood was a really nice surprise. I've read several of Julie's other books - both romantic suspense and historical - and enjoyed them. This book however, I loved.
From the very beginning, the characters felt real. Between their interactions and the constantly moving plot, I immediately felt like I'd turned on the TV. I could picture everything perfectly! (Of course, that might be in part because it begins in a hospital and I've spent way too many hours watching Grey's Anatomy not to be familiar with that setting...) Dr. Ellie Sullivan is just finishing up her residency at a busy hospital. When she is out jogging one day, she witnesses a FBI agent being shot while in pursuit of a criminal duo. This leads her to become acquainted with Max Daniels, the agent in charge of interviewing her. Explosive. Immediate. Attraction. Whoa mama.
Luckily, there is nothing so silly as insta-love. The chemistry is off the charts, but it takes awhile for the rest to come along. I loved the progression of their relationship! Max learns that Ellie has had a lot more stress to deal with than just seeing a shooting - insert crazy life-long stalker here. Max's protective instincts flare up and that, mixed with the sparks flying, means Max isn't willing to leave Ellie's side anytime soon...even if it means following her to her parents' home for her sister's wedding.
I really loved Max! He had just the right combination of dedicated cop and man-being-led-around-by-the-hormones. Seeing he and Ellie battle it out in regards to how they felt about one another was very realistic, very charming, and super sizzling. Their interactions mixed in with the dangers in Ellie's life - both because she has a stalker and because she is a witness - keep the pages turning. I read the book in one sitting: putting it down was not an option! Definitely one of the best romantic suspense books I've read.
So, if you're a fan of romance, suspense and/or mystery - this is definitely a book I declare worth reading! For those of you who have read Julie Garwood in the past and were thinking about passing this one by - I seriously recommend giving it another look. By far the best I've seen from her!...more
I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Karen Rose is literally as good as it gets in writing romantic mystery/thrillers. No one can do what she cI've said it before, but I'll say it again. Karen Rose is literally as good as it gets in writing romantic mystery/thrillers. No one can do what she can. She puts you straight into the lives of the MCs and victims, making them feel like characters you've been reading about for years. At the same time, she puts you in the mind of the killers with chilling success. As you continue to bounce back and forth between different POVs you'll become so addicted to her books that you won't be able to stop until you've read them all.
You Belong To Me is no exception. I think this is the first book she has written that isn't connected to all her previous works, but I didn't miss having familiar names and places. I am intrigued by some of the other characters introduced, so I'm glad she is setting up a new series of connected books.
Lucy Trask, the female MC, actually had me constantly back and forth as to whether I liked her personality. But, eventually, enough of her history was revealed that it became easy to forgive her for all of her personality issues. Even if I hadn't ended up liking her, it is really refreshing to have an author unafraid to present her characters warts and all versus making them all unbelievably perfect. Although, J.D. Fitzpatrick was pretty darn wonderful. The tough-yet-sensitive-cop character type that will never get old.
I love how we get bits and pieces of the story, some that seem completely unrelated, at a time so that it takes awhile before the bigger picture becomes clear. Then, once we know the who and why - she throws in a curve that will take you by the throat until the very end. The story that starts with Lucy's older brother in high school, continues through his seemingly accidental death and through to the current day and the twelve victims a killer bent on revenge leaves behind will leave you second guessing everything and everyone you come across while reading. If you're a fan of the romantic suspense genre, you definitely can't pass this one by!...more