As it has been sooooo hot in England over the last week or so (well, hot for us anyway - it was 28-30℃) I fancied someth...moreCloser to 3.5. Was a fun read.
As it has been sooooo hot in England over the last week or so (well, hot for us anyway - it was 28-30℃) I fancied something really lazy to read - something I didn't have to think too much about that I could just glom down in one sitting. I decided on Passion by Louise Bagshaw. I've read a few of her books before and they've always been quick, easy reads, even when they're 500+ pages. As was this one. It's a romantic suspense, with a plot that is a little silly and unbelievable at times, and the authors attitude towards women was a little dated, but overall it was a fun read.(less)
I read 'Everyone Loves A Hero' by Marie Force last year and really loved it, so I was r...moreReviewed by Laura for www.BookChickCity.com - 7/10 on the blog.
I read 'Everyone Loves A Hero' by Marie Force last year and really loved it, so I was really looking forward to picking up 'Fatal Affair'. It's a different genre, romantic suspense and it's also the beginning of a new series following Detective Sergeant Sam Holland and Nick Cappuano.
Nick, best friend and chief of staff to Senator John O'Connor, walks in on him one morning to find he has been brutally murdered. Sam is the lead detective placed in charge of the case, but she also happens to be a woman Nick had a one-night stand several years ago. A night they both still think about years later.
This is a great romantic suspense, it pairs together both elements nicely with two strong, likeable characters. I really liked both Sam and Nick. I enjoyed the fact that Sam and Nick were equal partners. Sam was far from a damsel in distress needing her hero to come and rescue her. She is intelligent, brave and confident in her own right. This didn't mean that Nick was weak or lacking in hero-appeal, far from it.
The mystery/suspense of the story kept me guessing until the end. I kept changing my mind on who the culprit was as I was reading and just when I had it figured out, I'd change it again or the story would throw another twist at me. In the end I got it completely wrong and this is just how it should be. The supporting characters were also superb. I developed a real soft spot for Sam's partner Freddie and wanted to see more of him. Sam's father is also a fascinating edition. I hope both characters are explored further in subsequent books in the series.
As much as I did enjoy the book, there were a few problems with it too. At times this book felt like it was the second in a series and I missed the first. I've whinged a little before about books where the hero and heroine have got together before the novel has started. And then the book continually refers to what has happened in the past without even letting the reader actually see it. I wish we could have a prologue to experience that giddiness and passion without it being referred to all the time. I found it quite frustrating. But it wasn't just the romance element where I felt I was catching up on. Sam had a big crime scene that went wrong in the past for which she was still testifying in, which also impacted the greater story.
Nick went along with Sam to nearly all of the crime scenes relating to the Senator's case and I found this very odd. I understood it was good from a plot point of view, but in real life I cannot imagine it would ever be allowed. So it needed a bit of stretch for me as the reader to make it believable.
There some elements of the story that were missed in the conclusion. I can't tell you what they are without giving away some spoilers, but I finished the book thinking well what happened with that and that. Perhaps Marie Force intends to pick them up in the next book, but they felt missed rather than add intrigue for the next instalment.
Despite some of my problems with some of the story elements, I still really enjoyed 'Fatal Affair'. I'm fast becoming a big fan of Marie Force and look forward to reading more of her books. (less)
I've read a few Linda Howard books in the past, and found her suspense books to be thrilling. "Veil of Nigh...moreReviewed by Laura for www.BookChickCity.com
I've read a few Linda Howard books in the past, and found her suspense books to be thrilling. "Veil of Night" was good and the pages certainly turned easily enough but it seemed to lack some of the 'edge of the seat' factor.
Our heroine is Jaclyn, a wedding planner facing the challenge of managing the bride from hell. So when said bride is found murdered, unfortunately Jaclyn finds herself on the top of the suspects list. A fact made even worse because Eric the lead detective on the case also happens to be the hot one night stand Jaclyn had just a couple of days before.
The chemistry between Jaclyn and Eric is hot, the book is filled with as much humour as suspense. The most disappointing part about this book, was the lack of intrigue. The killer was pretty much exactly who you suspected it to be, which kind of left the ending feeling somewhat anti-climatic.
VERDICT: A fun book with lots of chemistry, shame about the suspense part. Not the best Linda Howard book I've read, but I still enjoyed it.(less)
There's nothing like a Christmas book to get you feeling all festive! I always make sure to try and read at leas...moreReviewed by Laura for Book Chick City.
There's nothing like a Christmas book to get you feeling all festive! I always make sure to try and read at least one each year. This is a book from Harlequin's Intrigue collection, which is one of those books you pick up and pretty much know what you're going to get. A will they, won't they story line and a nice, cosy happy ending.
Two years ago Lara inherited a butchers from her Uncle and fell for the bad boy baker next door Reid. An impulsive and passionate night later, Reid's missing, presumed dead in a fire and Lara is left pregnant with twins.
The book begins two years later. Single mother Lara has grieved for the loss of her children's father and is trying to move on with her life. However, unbeknownst to her Reid is very much alive and far from being a baker, he is in fact an undercover agent responsible for bringing down terrorists.
With a crazy twist of coincidence, Lara is out for her first date since the twins birth, at the same restaurant Reid is meeting an informant. Things spiral out of control and Reid ends up saving Lara's life but his act ends up putting Lara and the twins in danger.
Reid had never meant to let Lara know he was still alive, but when their children are kidnapped they must work together to save them. Reid is quite single-minded, believing that Lara and the boys are better off without him in their lives. But as the chemistry between he and Lara sizzles they both have to admit their feelings for one another.
Admittedly the premise of the book is a little silly and a couple of times I found myself rolling my eyes. It's not really that believable, but if you can embrace the silliness and enjoy the story it's mostly quite a fun read. In fact, it may even give you a bit of a giggle at some of the scenes. Plus, we all like to see a man who believes that love and a family aren't for him get proven wrong!
I was a bit disappointed given the title, that there was not more Christmas in it! I think there were about roughly five or six references. I was looking for lots of festive cheer and maybe a visit from Santa, but I think maybe I'm just a bit crazy about Christmas! :-)
Ok, so this is far from the best romance I've ever read and the storyline is quite implausible. But if you want a fun story with a (slightly) festive theme, then grab a glass of wine and snuggle up. (less)
‘Ice’ by Linda Howard is not your typical suspense novel insomuch as for the most part of the novel the o...moreReviewed by Rebecca for www.BookChickCity.com
‘Ice’ by Linda Howard is not your typical suspense novel insomuch as for the most part of the novel the opposition is not a human threat but the threat of nature. An ice storm creates most of the suspense in the novel, which says a lot for the calibre of antagonist created by the author.
Set in a quiet ‘nothing-ever-happens-here’ kind of town in Maine, ‘Ice’ starts off with the return of Gabriel McQueen to his hometown. McQueen is a macho alpha male, employee of the military who possesses a sensitive side of being a widower with a seven year old son. His returns to his hometown are the only chance he gets to see his child, although we are never actually told what his job in the military is or given much information about him. The author appears to have created a typical male love interest comprised of all the elements that women supposedly find attractive but, somehow, she gets it spectacularly wrong. I personally felt no interest in Gabriel at all, other than as the hero of the novel, feeling no emotional bond with him and no attraction.
Next we have Lorelei, or Lolly as she is nicknamed, your stereotypical victim, who has returned to the town to pack up the family house ready for it to be sold. The house is situated high up a mountain, far away from the rest of the townspeople, placing her in an isolated position and making her the perfect target. However, she is sufficiently likeable, proving to be strong when it is required of her and her independence means she doesn’t just give in to the will of men. She holds her own in this book, with the author succeeding in showing the reader her realistic fear.
Gabriel’s return to the town comes coupled with the announcement of a rare ice storm that is set to cause a wave of destruction, bringing down trees and power lines that will leave Lolly’s isolated house completely cut off, with the road too treacherous to navigate. Gabriel’s sheriff father asks him to make sure Lolly is safe, whilst meanwhile Lolly is in a whole host of trouble. Meth addicts, Niki and Darwin, follow her home from the grocery store, armed with a gun each, hoping to rob her to fund their addiction. They are disappointed when they find nothing in the house to steal, keeping her locked in her bedroom until they can escort her to the bank the following day. Lolly formulates an escape plan, aided by the appearance of Gabriel, but the ice storm leaves all four of them trapped on the mountain, and the ice takes no prisoners.
This plot could create a whole host of suspense, with the isolated setting providing a perfect (albeit typical) backdrop, and the ice storm adding an extra level of suspense by leaving the protagonists even more trapped. However, Darwin and Niki are not especially intimidating as villains. They carry guns but are ineffective at aiming, taking away the fear and suspense of the weapon, and Darwin may seem creepy when eying up Lolly but is firmly kept in his place by Niki. The only aspect of suspense created by these villains for me was their unpredictability, their meth addiction making them seemingly invulnerable to pain and their moods changing rapidly.
Gabriel and Lolly’s history fits neatly into the book, both having known each other at high school where there was a level of hostility between them. Quite predictably it is revealed that Lolly always had a crush upon Gabriel, setting up the romance plotline even more than necessary. Their romance is believable to a certain extent, but the implications at the end of the novel seem a little too sudden and rushed, ruining the desired effect of a happy ending. I was not especially satisfied with the plot of this book, and feel that the action scenes were too brief in places, as if the author simply wanted to get rid of Darwin and Niki as quickly as possible to focus on Gabriel and Lolly’s romance. Luckily this novel was only short, as it had more bad qualities than good.
I just wasn’t at all drawn in to the plot of this book, and wasn’t a fan of Howard’s style of writing. The characters weren’t especially exciting, with not a lot of background detail revealed about them to build up an emotional connection. I felt that this plotline could have been more interesting if written differently or if the antagonists had been different. The romantic ending redeemed the novel slightly despite being predictable. (less)
'Relentless' is the second book in Kaylea Cross's suspense series that I have read. Having picked up 'No Turning...moreReviewed by Laura for Book Chick City.
'Relentless' is the second book in Kaylea Cross's suspense series that I have read. Having picked up 'No Turning Back', book number three in the series, earlier in the year. Each of the books reference the different characters in the other and our two leads for 'Relentless' are Rhys and Nev (Neveah), who were important characters in 'No Turning Back'. But I still think you could pick this up as a stand-alone novel in its own right, although perhaps having read the former would give you a slightly richer reading experience.
Nev is a doctor and in 'No Turning Back' was working to set up a hospital for the poor in Afghanistan, when she and her colleagues were kidnapped by Al Qaeda terrorists. Here she was tortured and suffered a horrendous ordeal until she was rescued by an elite armed forces team. Rhys was one of the soldiers that rescued her, but just as they were trying to escape his vehicle drove over a land mine, setting himself on fire and giving him severe neurological damage. As a doctor on the scene, Nev then saved her rescuer's life.
'Relentless' takes off as Rhys is finally released from hospital following on from his injuries. But almost as soon as he's released his his boss calls him to let him know that a terrorist cell has been activated in Vancouver, which also happens to be where Nev is due to give a speech at a medical conference and he knows that he must go to protect her, whether he's physically ready or not.
Both Rhys and Nev are great characters. They have both suffered both physical and psychological ordeals during their time in Afghanistan, but while this makes them vulnerable, they are both very tough and resilient at the same time.
Rhys has been a solider all of his life, and when he's not protecting civilians and his fellow soldiers, he is protecting his twin brother Ben. Additionally Cross's physical description of him, despite his scars, had my mouth watering on several occasions! Rhys believes himself not capable of love and his resolved himself to a single life:
He'd always known he'd spend his life alone. He wasn't cut out for relationships, let alone one that ended with happily-ever-after.
Which makes the romance all the more sweet, and the romance in this novel really is absolutely captivating, I so wanted Rhys and Nev to come together.
Nev is intelligence, tough and brave. Despite everything that has happened to her she is determined to get on with her life and not let the terrorists win and I couldn't help but admire her for that.
The plot is a perfect mix of suspense and sizzling romance as Nev and Rhys fall for one another and the terrorist plot unfolds around them. I was impressed with the couple of surprising elements Kaylea Cross managed to throw in that I genuinely didn't see coming at the end.
If you're a fan of romantic suspense, then I would definitely recommend you add Kaylea Cross books to your reading list. I enjoyed this book much more than 'No Turning Back' simply because I had some issues with the heroine's decision making in that book! But this really is a fab read.(less)
Identity Crisis is quite a short novel (136 pages), but so much is packed into it that it feels longer. The...moreReviewed by Cass for www.bookchickcity.com
Identity Crisis is quite a short novel (136 pages), but so much is packed into it that it feels longer. The story starts at the funeral of Olivia Doyle’s only relative, her father. After the funeral, Olivia is handed a letter that blows her world apart. She discovers that she was placed in the Federal Witness Security program with her father when she was 5 years old. Olivia’s father had been involved in an art forgery scam, and had testified against the mob. From the letter, she learns that she has family in the country.
Ethan Ryder is the US Marshal who managed Olivia’s father’s case, and when he learns of her father’s death, Ethan decides it’s time to check in and make sure that Olivia is okay. Olivia is initially hesitant to trust Ethan, but when he saves her from an intruder in her apartment, she realises that someone is after her, and that the only possible cause is whatever her Father was working on before he died. To keep Olivia safe, and to try to learn the truth about her father’s death, Ethan accompanies Olivia on a trip to visit the family she can’t remember.
I really liked Olivia; she’s a good, strong character, and copes pretty well with everything thrown at her. Ethan is strong and very alpha, which I enjoyed. The two are a great pairing, whilst not being too showy. What I really loved about the book is Olivia’s newfound family; you really get a sense of how much this lonely girl needs and appreciates their love, even though she doesn’t come out to them as family at first. They are so warm, inviting, and friendly that I wanted to know them myself.
This book reminded me a little of Sandra Brown or Nora Roberts, which is huge praise from me, as I love both authors. I really enjoy that small town feel, with plenty of interesting characters, whom you wish you could have a cup of tea with.
The romance between Olivia and Ethan slowly brewed throughout the book, with a few steamy moments, but no full on sex scenes. I like the fact that the author didn’t feel the need to fill pages with sex, when instead she could fill them with story.
The storyline, too, was well crafted. I liked the mystery aspects, and I didn’t guess the identity of Olivia’s attacker or the reason behind it, so I was kept guessing until the very end.
I’ll definitely keep my eye out for more of Eliza Daly’s books.
I was definitely pleasantly surprised by Identity Crisis. I read it in a day, but it was a fun day, and I’ll be looking out for Eliza Daly’s new releases. If you’re a fan of the romantic suspense genre, and like your characters to be charming and realistic, then you should enjoy this book.(less)