CRASH INTO ME immediately hooked me in during the first few pages. Sonny was the type of heroine I love, tough, brav...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
CRASH INTO ME immediately hooked me in during the first few pages. Sonny was the type of heroine I love, tough, brave, determined and kick-ass. You see her kick a fellow cocky (male) agent’s butt in the first chapter and can’t help but grin.
Our hero is sexy, recluse and surf pro Ben, if a little arrogant, trying to raise his slightly wayward teenage daughter and hiding himself away from the world since his wife’s murder, which he became a prime suspect for. As another woman is found murdered in exactly the same way, Sonny goes in under cover with the aim of getting close to Ben.
There are many parts to the plot. The core of it focuses around the murder mystery, there are several contenders for the villain and the story weaves its way cleverly until the end. I did guess the killer, but I seem to be doing that a lot lately, maybe I’m reading too many mysteries? So I didn’t hold that against it. Then you have the relationship between Sonny and Ben, the relationship between Ben and his daughter Carly who is self-harming herself, and there is the love story between Carly and James an abused, but brave fisherman’s son. There are so many components to the story, that it is a very detailed and layered book. It is written with obvious warmth and passion, but it also becomes perhaps slightly cumbersome at times because of it. There was a hell of a lot going on – romance, teen romance, suspense and murder mystery, as well as drug and psychological problems, it could easily have been stretched out into two books
I loved both love stories that of Ben and Sonny which was fiery, sexy, complex and wild. Then in contrast the tenderness and youth of Carly and James was a lovely comparison. The ‘grown up’ relationship tempered the angst of the young-adult one. Each character has got some very serious issues. As I mentioned Carly self-harms and James has an abusive father, then you have Ben who is a recovered alcoholic/drug-addict and Sonny herself who has been raped years before. It doesn’t make this book a light read, but it does make it interesting and each of the characters rounded and multi-dimensional.
The undercover part of the story was the part that didn’t always sit that comfortably. You watch Ben and Sonny begin to fall in love, where Ben doesn’t even know Sonny’s real name, and she’s running behind his back stealing items for evidence. There’s a part of me that knows this was meant to be part of the – is he, isn’t he the killer – plot, but it didn’t make the love story very clean for a while, and in general I like clear cut.
I disliked how Sonny went through a stage of inadvertently doing everything to discredit herself as a good cop. Sleeping with the suspect, lying about developments, hiding evidence and not confessing her own personal involvement. It all went a bit too far. Especially as Sonny is portrayed as such a career cop, it didn’t sit well with how her character. I think is because I liked her so much, it annoyed me that she did such crazy things.
But as much as these elements irritated, I still really did enjoy this story. I loved how Ben was arrogant at the beginning thinking how easy it would be to sleep with Sonny and she led him on a merry dance. The Carly and James story really was lovely, I think James was the best character of the book actually, so brave and tortured and noble. Carly did need a good slap a couple of times, but she grew on me. The surfing setting was great, I loved the beach and was jealous of the glorious weather.
CRASH INTO ME did have a few issues where there was too much going on or the characters didn’t behave in a way either I didn’t like, or didn’t quite sit well. There was also some personal developments in Sonny’s life that didn’t get concluded. But overall it was a really good read, with some great romance, against a super backdrop. I will definitely read something by Jill Sorenson again.
MINI REVIEW: I've read a few Linda Howard books in the past, and found her suspense boo...moreMini review for www.bookchickcity.com (6 out of 10 on the blog)
MINI REVIEW: 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)
I read 'Everyone Loves A Hero' by Marie Force last year and really loved it, so I was real...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (7 out of 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)
This isn't a sweet or even an easy reading romance. Set in Afghanistan, Kaylea Cross addre...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
This isn't a sweet or even an easy reading romance. Set in Afghanistan, Kaylea Cross addresses some of the harsher realities of the Iraq war. With the treatment of hostages, torture and barbaric deaths included, to the plight of the people living there and the everyday struggle for survival amidst poverty, terrorist rule and brutality. So this may not appeal to some romance readers, but fans of military romances and stories with a bit more grit in them will undoubtedly like this story.
I got slightly muddled with the order of the books in the series, thinking this was the first book, but it isn't. While there were some references to events in the previous book, it didn't affect my enjoyment at all.
Our two lead characters are Sam (Samarra) and Ben. Sam is a civilian communications expert for the CIA and Ben is an ex-army ranger working on the team she is on. The book opens with Sam believing she is being followed either by a terrorist cell or the CIA, panicking she flees for her life and sets of a sequence of events that means that people in her team believe her to be a traitor.
When Sam's cousin, the person she cares most about in her life is kidnapped by a terrorist group she has to return to her team and prove her innocence and help save her cousin's life. Sam is in a very difficult position, her team and Ben continually question her loyalty throughout the book. Whenever something goes wrong during the rescue mission, it is Sam's integrity that is interrogated. A bitter pill in any circumstance, but even more so during a burgeoning romance.
'No Turning Back' is pacy, engaging romance. The chemistry between Sam and Ben is electric. But there is also some great additional characters in the story. I in particular liked Ben's brother Rhys, and can already see his story being set up for the next book, which I very much look forward to reading.
Despite enjoying this book, I had a few issues with the plot. For example, at the beginning of the book when Sam believes her apartment is bugged she goes to Rhys and Ben for help. But, when she thinks she is being followed she decided she can no longer trust them and runs, leaving her a woman on her own, with no military training in Afghanistan? Hmm.
Then there was the reason she has to accompany them on the mission. She jets dragged up the Afghanistan mountains, through an Al Qaeda hot zone, again with no training (she doesn't even know how to fire a gun!), inevitably barely able to keep up and I wasn't really sure why she needed to be there. Other than of course for the developing romance between her and Ben.
Finally, Sam had no qualms declaring her love for Ben, and I don't have a problem with one of the characters confessing their love and then we have to wait for the other one to catch up, but she kept saying it! She'd say it and then he'd say nothing and then a few hours or a day later, embarrassingly she'd say it again. I mean .... would you? Say it once then keep your pride in tact until it's reciprocated... surely? Or am I just cynical?
Plot misgivings aside, this really is a great suspenseful and gritty, military romance. I haven't come across Kaylea Cross before, but I will be reading more of her books in the future.(less)