>>>>>> My Review <<<<<< The year is 2045. Singapore is the current technology capital of the world, and genetic eng>>>>>> My Review <<<<<< The year is 2045. Singapore is the current technology capital of the world, and genetic engineering is big business.Years ago, the UN decided to step in and regulate the industry and created the Genetic Modification Treaty. In 2038, the treaty was ratified in order to stop the global spread of unregulated genetic editing of human embryos. Illegal edits have become a black market cash cow, but critics fear genetic edits could have consequences that are yet unforeseen.
Kenneth Durand works for Interpol in the Genetic Crimes Division. He and his team have managed to shut down thousands of illicit embryo clinics world wide, hundreds of which belonged to the Huli jing, a well funded, disciplined, and extremely low-profile genediting cartel. The Huli jing have hidden what they do over the years behind the facade of a legitimate business called Trefoil, but Interpol has recently put two and two together. Marcus Wyckes, the leader of the Huli jing is now one of the world's most wanted men, and Kenneth Durand and his team have been tasked with the mission to find him. Wyckes and his gang have crossed a line as informants reveal they're using unwilling human test subjects many of whom have been killed by the tests performed. The Huli jing are a cruel lot whose preferred weapon of choice against those that stand in their way is poison--specifically custom designed synbiotoxins that are difficult to detect and maximize a victim's suffering.
Just days after his debriefing on the Huli jing, Kenneth finds out the hard way that synbiotoxins are not the only powerful weapon in the Huli jing's arsenal. A week after he is attacked, Kenneth wakes to discover his DNA and appearance have been dramatically ratified to mimic Wyckes'. He'd been administered a change agent which edited his genetic makeup in a way no one had ever believed survivable. The Huli jing had issued him a death sentence, but somehow he's survived, and now he's on the run not just from the Huli jing, but also his own people.
He now is a man with two missions--to stop the Huli jing and get his identity back.
>>>>>> My Synopsis (Review follows) <<<<<< This was a fun action-packed, fast paced, thrill ride of a read. The beginning of the story made me think it might go the route of the movie Face Off, just using a DNA identity/appearance switch instead of a face transplant, but that thought was quickly extinguished. There is no exchange of identities in this one, just the wish to kill and pass off a dead agent as one of the governments most wanted criminals so they'd take him off their list. When Kenneth Durrand survives, however, the implications are mind boggling. It changes the face of everything.
One of the things I loved about this novel is that the author did so much research into the world of genetics. It encompasses so many surprising and innovative ideas and concepts that truly do exist. I was extremely impressed. While we've all heard of concept of designer babies, the thought of being able to modify an individual's DNA later in life would be extraordinary. While I would think some things would be more easily changed than others, such has hair and skin tone, I'd think the transformation would not be as instantaneous as what happened with Durrand. Plus, I think you'd run the risk of rejection and the irreversibility of some features, such as height and shape of the eyes, chin, ears and nose, once an individual has matured. I can't even begin to imagine the effects such genetic edits would have on individuals while things were being tested and sorted out, but I love the concept. You can see how this would open many topics for discussion in a book club setting and I love that.
Overall, I gave this story 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. It had a slow start, but once you get through the author's initial information dump, which he uses to initiate you into the world of the future he's created, things speed up significantly. It's already been optioned by Netflix and we'll have to wait and see if they make it into a movie or TV series, but I'm hoping for the latter. I could see so many more stories taking place in a world where people could change their identity. Oh, the possibilities. I just can't help but love it....more
>>>>> My Synopsis (My review immediately follows) <<<<< When Maggie Kincaid was a young girl, she and her sister were kid>>>>> My Synopsis (My review immediately follows) <<<<< When Maggie Kincaid was a young girl, she and her sister were kidnapped. She escaped, but her sister did not. The experience changed her, but she did not let it define her. She grew up to become one of the FBIs best hostage negotiators, but two years ago when one of her cases ended in bloodshed she quit the Bureau and vowed never to go back. Now. a teenager with high profile parents has been kidnapped and they're looking to her for guidance. Knowing her background, Frank is confident that Maggie Kincaid will be unable to say no to this case and he's been looking for a way to get her back.
Over the years, Jake O'Connor has gained a reputation for getting difficult things done right the first time around with little fuss. When a US senator's daughter goes missing he's asked to step in and ensure that the Senator's security is top notch and to make sure that if a hostage situation arises, things are handled smoothly. He's a soldier at heart, but over the years he's learned there is more than one way to serve your country.
"With jobs like ours, there are going to be failures, (...) People will die. Sometimes it's our fault...sometimes it isn't. Sometimes life just screws with us, and even though we did everything right, followed all the rules, and hit the right targets, sometimes people still die."
>>>>> My Review <<<<< This was a fast paced, action packed, emotional thrill ride of a read. From the moment Maggie arrives at the scene, a snowball effect develops as things start to escalate at an alarming rate. What looks to be a standard kidnapping with a ransom demand quickly morphs into so much more.
In a case where things aren't always what they seem and the clock ticking. Maggie fights to save Kayla Thebes and bring her home safely. From the beginning Maggie feels there's something off about Senator Thebes. She senses there's something he's not telling her and that little tidbit of information could make the difference between getting Kayla out dead or alive. In order to negotiate properly, she needs to know everything, no matter how sensitive the information may be. Her main objective is to get Kayla out alive--no matter what.
I loved how Maggie and Jake worked together to figure out what was going on. While I thought one minor character should probably have been killed during the negotiations, because I truly doubted they'd have survived in a real life situation, I guess the author thought it would be too dark for a romantic suspense novel. There is a cliffhanger at the end, but the way it was written left me wondering, at first, if it truly would end in one or if Maggie's imagination was working overtime. She had a lot of flashbacks of her own personal kidnapping, and I kept wondering if they were causing her to see something that wasn't really there. The way the book ended, however, left me with no doubt that her suspicions were well founded.
I gave this one 4 1/2 out 5 roses. The story grabbed me by the hand and wouldn't let go. While I wondered how many times government agencies actual do step on each others toes, I loved the added level of duplicity this one had. I look forward to reading many more stories by Ms. Diamond. This one is definitely worth your time. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a FAN rating--the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.
Notes: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
>>>>> My Synopsis (My review immediately follows) <<<<< Ridge Lockhart has spent his entire life trying to prove himself.>>>>> My Synopsis (My review immediately follows) <<<<< Ridge Lockhart has spent his entire life trying to prove himself. At the tender age of three, his mother dropped him off on his father's doorstep right before she allegedly committed suicide. His father and his then wife had wanted nothing to do with him, but had no choice but to take him in. So over the years Ridge worked hard to make a name for himself and earn his father's respect, praise, and love--three things Duke Lockhart seems incapable of giving him.
Ten years ago things came to a head when Ridge found his father in bed with his girlfriend. He left home without ever looking back. He no longer seeks anything from father. Now he's driven to prove that he's better than his dad. On the verge of a deal that will make him richer than his father, he's come home for his best friend's wedding.
Kaia Alzate comes from a long line of women said to be gifted with the ability to recognize their true love with just one kiss. Legend, or at least Kaia's grandmother, has it that when when a woman from their family line kisses their soul mate they hear a soft, but distinct humming at the base of their brains. Kaia's had a crush on her brother's best friend, Ridge, for as long as she can remember. When a kiss reveals him to be 'the one', she knows she's in trouble because everyone knows Ridge Lockhart is emotionally unavailable and allergic to commitment.
>>>>> My Review <<<<< This is the fifth book in the Cupid, Texas series and you can jump right in with this one. I hadn't read the previous books, but I didn't feel lost at all. I will warn you, however, that you'll probably feel the need to read the previous four books in the series as I did. So be prepared.
There was so much going on in this book, but it was all good. Well, good for the reader that is. There is a huge amount of emotional depth in this one, and I love how Kaia wasn't afraid to call it like she saw it in regards to Ridge. She made him take a good look at himself and figure out what he really wanted--not just what he thought he wanted. He had a bit of tunnel vision going on and he wasn't looking at the big picture that was his life. Both he and Kaia had a lot to work through before they could truly be a couple, and I liked how the two seemed to balance one another.
If you haven't figured it out, I absolutely adored this one. I gave it 5 out of 5 roses. It did get a little slow in the middle, but I was actually glad this romance wasn't rushed. It's a story that centers around family, love, and forgiveness. It was fun, sexy, and emotionally deep which made for a delightful combination. A wonderful read that left me sighing. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.
Notes: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
>>>>> My Synopsis (My review immediately follows) <<<<< "I am afraid that life simply isn't fair. A disagreeable fact, bu>>>>> My Synopsis (My review immediately follows) <<<<< "I am afraid that life simply isn't fair. A disagreeable fact, but what can one do?"
Livia Stuart had finally reached her boiling point. After years of being forced to endure visits with The Honorable Miss Orr--and her mother--the Right Honorable Viscountess Glanville she'd had enough of biting her tongue and sitting there like she have a clue as to what they were truly doing. Their visits came under the guise of being charitable, but masked double edged comments which made it quite clear their true reason for coming was to gloat. Just twelve years earlier she would have been considered one of their peers, but the death of her father shortly followed by the death of her mother and grandfather had left her penniless under the care, if one could call it that, of her aunt and uncle. So while she was walking in the woods, trying to collect herself after one such visit, could anyone blame her for what she'd done when a lost gentleman mistook her for a servant girl and she'd lost her temper? She'd sent the man on a wild goose chase that would insure he'd not get to his destination for a very long time.
It was then that she decided to go to the ball the Orrs had generously invited her to because she was quite certain the man she'd just misdirected was Miss Orr's intended. She'd show him and the lot of them that she may be down but she wasn't out. Then she furiously set to work on her gown.
>>>>> My Review <<<<< This was a great story that reminded me at the beginning a little of the relationship between Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara in 'Gone With the Wind.' While this story itself is nothing like the classic novel, the animosity and attraction between the two main characters was reminiscent of the golden oldie. Soon thereafter, the book took another turn and reminded me a touch of the story Pygmalion where a woman with very little education is transformed into a lady. Is it any wonder that shortly after picking up this book I found myself hooked? I should say not. *smirk*
Gabriel Penhallow and Livia Stuart are about as different as night and day. He's wealthy, she's poor. He's decided it's time he married while she's in no hurry to shackle herself to some man. He's powerful and one of the most eligible bachelors while she's lowly wallflower. But there's something about the outspoken and unconventional chit that draws Gabriel to Livia. Perhaps it's her lack of interest in him that catches his attention. Perhaps it's the defiant spirit he sees sparkling in the depth of her dark green eyes which declares she won't be cowed when dealing with the ton. Perhaps it's her mischievous machinations which make him realize life with her would never be boring. Whatever it is he intends to find out.
Livia Stuart is tired of being pitied for he plight in life. She's tired of the ton and their arrogant ways. She's tired of people using her to boost their own self pride and self esteem. In a way, she's furious with the universe, and the card it's dealt her, but most of all she's upset with herself for being affected by it all. One things for sure when Gabriel Penhallow enters her life things will never be the same.
I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. It was a fun, seductive, romp of a read wrapped around a wonderful love story. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing these two get to know one another and fall in love. The book was well paced with lively characters who were vibrant and appeared to be three dimensional as they practically leapt off the pages. A wonderful debut for this author and I look forward to reading more of her books. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.
Notes: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
>>>>> My Synopsis (Actual Review Follows) <<<<< Margaret O'Hare had never found the 'one' and conceded she probably never>>>>> My Synopsis (Actual Review Follows) <<<<< Margaret O'Hare had never found the 'one' and conceded she probably never would. Just when she'd decided something was broken within her, the unexpected happened. She found him. Perhaps he was the reason no other man had never been able to stir her emotions.
Backlum Chaam had spent seventy thousand years without a mate which was ironic as he was the God of Male Virility. Gods, however, didn't have mates as a rule only humans did. His fellow gods paid him little respect, but he knew the importance of his job. Without copulation a species couldn't survive, and sex was one of the necessary ingredients to help "cement the bond between two souls."
Over the years he'd hoped one day he'd obtain a mate. He'd seen many relationships develop over the years and longed to have a meaningful relationship of his own--to have a mate and end his loneliness. When he comes across Margaret O'Hare and she can see and touch him he's overjoyed. He assumes she is the Creator's gift to him for his many millennia of hard work ensuring everyone but himself and other gods had sex.
But as fate would have it, the universe can be cruel, and just as many men have succumbed, she may prove to be his greatest downfall or at least weakness....
>>>>> My Review <<<<< This is a lighthearted, fun, not to be taken seriously good time romp of a read. I was smiling, laughing, and shaking my head as I made my way through this novella. It served as a nice contrast to the book Gone Girl, which is notably the exact opposite of this book. I was simultaneously reading the two and I so needed the counterbalance this one provided.
Backlum Chaam, as I mention in my teaser synopsis, is the God of Male Virility. He's a prime example of an alpha male and about as sexy as they come. He was also a seventy thousand year old virgin. So imagine if you will a man, er, god who's craved a mate and intimacy for that long. He is not about to let her go and feels in his gut that fate has brought them together. Whether that is true remains to be seen as he realizes she is what she claims--a human. But humans aren't supposed to be able to touch or be touched by the gods. Is she truly a gift from the universe or could she be a ploy sent by the Maaskab to destroy him? That is the dilemma he must face.
Margaret O'Hare had been looking for her father who had been excavating an ancient site when he'd disappeared. Unsure what exactly had happened to herself, she'd woken up to find herself staring at a beautiful but naked man who was toweling himself dry after a swim. A man claiming to be a god and telling her, "I know exactly what I'm doing. I know exactly what you want." Was she dreaming or had she hit her head on something? If she was/had, she wasn't sure she wanted to wake up or stop the hallucination. One touch, one kiss, however, made her see he was telling the truth. With her father's life potentially on the line can she keep him at bay and resist his charms long enough to find her father? That my dears is one of many questions.
Overall I gave this one 4 out 5 roses. This was a very well written novella that didn't feel rushed like so many short stories that I've read. I didn't feel lost even though I hadn't read the previous 3 books to the Accidentally Yours series. I felt I got a wonderful introduction to the world Mimi Pamfiloff has created, however, the novella ended with a huge cliffhanger that had me wondering what would happen next. So be forewarned--you'll probably be wanting to read the next book to find out how things will wrap up. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this novella receives a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. If you haven't read any of Ms. Pamfiloff's books, this would be a great way to get a taste. A very fun and steamy series that would be perfect to read on the beach during the lazy days of summer. ...more
>>>>>My Synopsis (Actual Review Follows) <<<<< Over 200 years ago, a curse was cast upon the male members of the Chattan>>>>>My Synopsis (Actual Review Follows) <<<<< Over 200 years ago, a curse was cast upon the male members of the Chattan family. For Charles Chattan had made promises that he didn't keep. He had betrayed and disgraced the daughter of a powerful witch which incited the young woman to take her own life. He thought that by leaving Scotland he'd escape the reach of Fanella's fury and wrath. But he was wrong. DEAD wrong.
"Watchers of the threshold, Watchers of the gate, open hell and seal Chattan's fate. When a Chattan male falls in love, strike his heart with fire from Above. Crush his heart. Destroy his line; Only then will justice me mine."
Now, some 200 years later, Harry Chattan has found his way to Glenfinnan, Scotland looking for a way to break the curse. His brother, Lord Lyon, has fallen in love and as the curse stated he is slowly losing his lease on life. Harry's mission is to find a witch who can counter the spell and break the curse. He'll pay handsomely for anyone who can assist him in any way.
Portia MacLean knew it was wrong to take advantage of someone, but her family was in dire straits. They were about to lose the roof over their heads because the couldn't afford to pay the rent, and when she heard about the man in search of a witch offering a reward, well, she found she couldn't resist. She left a message at the front step of the house he was staying at that read,'Meet me at the Great Oak, tomorrow, midnight.' and she signed it Fanella, after a name she found is a book which contained the spells of a witch. Unbeknownst to Portia, that would be the beginning of Harry's end.
>>>>>My Review <<<<< This was the second book in The Chattan Curse series and while you'll probably want to read the first book by the time you finish this one, you don't necessarily have to read the first one first. You'll get enough background information to know what is going on and won't feel lost.
Harry loves his brother and is determined to do everything in his power to save him. He'd even go as far as sacrificing his own life in order to save that of his brother's. He doesn't have a lot to go on, but knows the witch who originally bestowed the curse upon his family was named Fanella and lived in Scotland hundreds of years ago. He's chased rumors and clues which have led him to Glenfinnan and he has high hopes of finding a witch who can help him put an end to the curse. When he meets Portia at the Great Oak, she is disguised in an outfit she's deemed worthy of a witch, and he feels in his gut that he's found the right person to help him. When she doesn't show the next night as they'd planned, he realizes he's been had and begins to search for her.
Portia is the more mousy looking of the two MacLean sisters. She's loyal and normally trustworthy. If it hadn't been for her family's precarious position she would have never ever have tried to deceive Harry. It's just the three of them--her, her mother and sister and there aren't that many ways for the trio to earn money. She hopes Harry will never discover her true identity, but of course if he didn't, then the book would be no fun.
This was a delightfully fun read. The couple appears to be magically drawn to each other and I loved them both. Neither wished to fall in love, but mysterious forces seemed to be at work to ensure they did. Overall I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. I definitely will be reading more of this series. I love the author's style of writing. It magically seems to ensnare me right into the book....more