Modern Monsters was a very pleasant surprise for me, a fairly short and exciting novel that can be read in one sitting. It’s very tightly written andModern Monsters was a very pleasant surprise for me, a fairly short and exciting novel that can be read in one sitting. It’s very tightly written and compulsively readable and it gives us a convincing male voice, something we don’t get nearly often enough in YA fiction. Vic is not your average hero, YA or otherwise. He is a loner, a shy, antisocial boy with a stutter. He only has one friend, the very popular Brett, whose future is vastly different from Vic’s. Vic is used to being dragged around by his best friend and then abandoned in a corner when there are more shiny toys to play with. So when he follows Brett to yet another party and ends up sitting outside alone, he accepts it as just another fact of life.
Vic’s inherent kindness won’t allow him to turn his head from someone in pain, so when he sees a drunk girl throwing up in the bushes, he helps her to a room where she can sleep it off. He even worries about her over the weekend, and with good reason. Monday brings the news that the girl was raped, and the only person she actually remembers approaching her is Vic.
Vic is a character who jumps right off the page, with all his pain and insecurities. We watch him as he tries to defend himself, abandoned by everyone but Brett. Our heart breaks with him as his mother turns her back on him, easily convinced that he’s a rapist and not the boy she raised to respect everyone, especially women.
Even while we follow Vic, we see Callie in the background and we witness the strength of her spirit in face of such a mindless, brutal attack. I loved how she refused to be a rape victim, choosing instead to face her schoolmates and retake control of her life.
Although it seems strange, romance was the highlight of this book, but it never became more important than Vic’s journey to find his own strength. Callie’s accusations, his mother’s distrust, police investigation, Autumn’s romantic interest and his best friends support all served to make him realize his own worth and stand on his own two feet. Modern Monsters may be heartbreaking at times, but the feeling it leaves you with is overwhelmingly positive.
The message this novel unobtrusively tries to convey is a worthy one, and a decent reward for the few hours you’ll spend reading the book. Modern Monsters is clearly the work of an experienced author whose work I’ll keep an eye out for in the future.
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Nora Roberts is the Nora Roberts for a reason. She knows just what her readers enjoy, and it’s clear frI’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Nora Roberts is the Nora Roberts for a reason. She knows just what her readers enjoy, and it’s clear from every page that she still enjoys it too, even after so many years and over 200 books behind her. It’s pretty clear when authors love what they do, and you can tell right from the start that this woman writes precisely what she herself would want to read.
The Collector is another one in a long line of successes, and while it’s far from being her best, it’s a book worth remembering. From passionate romances, to sociopath and long lost treasures, Roberts packed it all in this compulsively readable book.
We meet Lila Emerson, a YA paranormal author, as she is house-sitting for a wealthy couple. It’s something she does in her nomadic life, and while she does it, she likes observing people around her and making up their life stories. When she witnesses a murder right across the street, she doesn’t hesitate to notify the authorities and do something about it, but what seemed like a lovers’ quarrel gone terribly wrong is actually far more sinister and dangerous. Ash is the brother of one of the victims, determined to discover the truth about his baby brother’s death. In his grief, he doesn’t see Lila coming until she’s very deep under his skin, but they are both stubborn people set in their ways so their path is not the easiest or the quickest. Ash was sometimes difficult to like, although he was always easy to understand. He isn’t Nora’s usual hero – perfect in every way. While he’s handsome and rich, he is a hard man to live with, and I loved that Roberts never quite changed his nature, not completely. Anything else would have been a fairy tale.
There are two romances in this book – the main one, and the secondary romance between Ash and Lila’s best friends. Ash and Lila met under highly stressful circumstances and it reflected on their relationship. I wasn’t always convinced that they were meant for each other and it wasn’t all smooth sailing for them, but they grew together, they both compromised and changed and by the end, I was right there with them. It was a bit different with Julie and Luke. They got less time on page, but their second chance romance made my little heart beat faster right from the start.
I’m not the sort of person who shies away when a book is over 300 pages long, but I did wish for better editing in this case. There were times when I was extremely tired of this book because it seemed to go around in circles, and I suspect it would have been much more exciting with about a hundred pages less.
2.5 stars It is now abundantly clear that McGarry and I will never find common ground. I’ve read several of her books by now, and while I tried very ha2.5 stars It is now abundantly clear that McGarry and I will never find common ground. I’ve read several of her books by now, and while I tried very hard not to nitpick, I inevitably struggled to finish them. It needs to be said that I went into this book with the best of intensions. I was hoping that a new series would mean a clean slate, a new opportunity and a chance to build a very different opinion. Alas, it was not meant to be.
I have to say that I fully understand the appeal of Katie McGarry’s books. They’re passionate and clever and they rely on well proven formulas. McGarry always seems to know what she’s doing, why she’s doing it and how she should go about doing it, and the end result is always a YA contemporary romance built to please her readers.
The effect on me, however, is precisely opposite.
It is awfully nice to see McGarry move to a different settings, with different characters and different circumstances. Nowhere But Here takes us to the world of motorcycle clubs, be it legit or otherwise, and people who live within these brotherhoods and consider them to be more important than anything else in the world. I applaud McGarry for her attempt to show that bikers aren’t all criminals and brutes, but in order to actually achieve that, her characters needed much more nuance. I felt that Emily’s newly discovered family members were all clichéd and some scenes and descriptions made me slightly uncomfortable.
Emily herself was somewhat of a cliché, which bothered me to no end. In order to create a strong contrast between her and Oz, McGarry made her too innocent and pure, far too naïve and forgiving. It’s a common problem I have with her characters – they never quite seem real to me. Oz was even more of a cliché. A womanizer and a bad boy all around changed his ways the second he met a beautiful, innocent girl. But what really made me pause was how he seemed brainwashed at certain times, a club drone with no thoughts of his own. I understand now it was a journey he needed to take, but at times it was pushed too far.
There’s no denying the quality of Katie McGarry’s writing, though. She may re-write the same formulas, but she does it exceptionally well. Her style is clean, precise and capable of evoking just the right emotions at exactly the right time. It is, I dare say, her saving grace in my eyes and it’s why I kept trying with her books even after several disappointments.
It’s clear, however, that it’s time to give up. My aversion to contemporary YA is certainly to blame, but several authors like Melina Marchetta, Jandy Nelson, Kirsty Eagar, Cath Crowley or Laura Buzo have been able to temporarily cure me of it and yet Katie McGarry never did. I suppose that alone says all there’s left to say.
3.5 stars Entangled Teen has a new imprint, Entangled Crush, and just in time for summer, too. The books published under this imprint are exactly what3.5 stars Entangled Teen has a new imprint, Entangled Crush, and just in time for summer, too. The books published under this imprint are exactly what the name suggests – short, deeply romantic reads perfect for upcoming summer days spent on the beach.
Center Ice fits that description perfectly. With little less than 200 pages, it falls somewhere between a novella and a full-length novel, which makes it a pretty easy read. Thematically, however, it pushes the boundaries and attempts to do more. Following behind Katie McGarry, Jennifer Armentrout (as J. Lynn) and other similar authors, Cate Cameron bravely tries to write something more serious and far more memorable than your average summer read.
Sixteen-year-old Karen’s mother recently died, which forced her to go live with the father she’s never even met, the wife he cheats on constantly and their three children. Practically overnight, Karen went from being the only child of a single mom to being the middle kid in a large, dysfunctional family. Needless to say, her life is in shambles.
In her new life, Tyler MacDonald seems to be the only thing that makes any sense. He is much more experienced and a hockey star, but Karen couldn’t care less about his fame or his status. He makes her feel like a normal person and that’s pretty much all that counts.
There are things Cameron did exceptionally well. Her teens were among the most realistic I've ever stumbled upon and their behavior seemed completely true to life. She didn't hesitate to portray them exactly as they are, without unrealistic hesitations and modesty. Karen in particular was a fabulously developed character, but Tyler wasn't far behind at all.The story of these two was very warm and honest.
Center Ice would have been a much better book if Cameron left it at that. But she attempted to do too much, to give too many character too much depth in a fairly short story, and what we got in the end is sometimes successful, but sometimes a complete failure.
Karen’s father and his marriage were by far the most disturbing part of this book. A serial cheater before and after Karen was made, he claimed to love his family and yet he kept disrespecting them in front of the whole town. For me, this person can’t possibly have any redeeming qualities and I’m not convinced that someone like him could ever change. But Cameron decides not only to give him a second chance, but to make him a different man overnight. Tyler’s father is another big issue of mine. Obsessed with Tyler’s carrier, too focused on his son to do anything else, even hold a job, he seemed more cartoonish than anything else and his interactions with Tyler struck me as exaggerated. Both fathers were antagonists of sorts, and neither character was very successful.
But Center Ice still deserves two or three hours of your time. Cameron has a lot to offer and I have a good feeling about this series. I just hope she’ll give more thought to her secondary characters’ motivations in the future.
Hello, my name is Maja and I’m a Mary Calmes addict.
It’s clear by now that Mary Calmes sprinkles crack cocaine between the lines of her books. I’ve reHello, my name is Maja and I’m a Mary Calmes addict.
It’s clear by now that Mary Calmes sprinkles crack cocaine between the lines of her books. I’ve read countless M/M books by now, but none were as addictive and utterly captivating as hers. There’s just something about her over-the-top romances, her insanely possessive couples with eyes only for each other, that makes you want to reread her books until your brain rots or you drop dead from exhaustion.
To make matters even more strange, I rarely give her books more than 3 stars, but I’ve been known to sit by my laptop, impatiently waiting the stroke of midnight just so I could download her latest release. I don’t think I’ve ever been more addicted to an author and more embarrassed by it at the same time.
Lately, Calmes has been very fond of the friends-to-lovers trope, and she’s been using it well. This story is no exception. Two best friends, Boone and Scott, have been dancing around each other for several years. It’s obvious that they can’t find love with anyone but each other, but neither one of them dares to take the plunge. Boone has a painful past, linked to the Japanese mafia, and Scott has the worst luck in love as he always falls for the wrong people.
Mary Calmes always tells her story from a single perspective, in first person. This time, we see the events through Boone’s eyes. The romance is pretty light-hearted, but Boone’s past is there to make the story just a bit harder to handle. The thing about Boone’s past was that it’s more than a little over the top, which isn’t at all unusual for Calmes. One particular event made me especially uncomfortable because it changed how I saw the main character. Other than that, the story was typical Calmes, albeit one of her least memorable.
Generally speaking, Calmes may use and reuse the same tropes over and over again, but she does it extraordinarily well. Being addicted to her work is the best and worst feeling in the world. If I don't get my fix regularly, I frantically hide behind closed doors to reread her novellas and her full length novels. Of course, I would never admit to such a thing publicly. This must be my evil twin typing.
Just Dessert is one of five stories in Dreamspinner’s Tales of the Curious Cookbook anthology. The other stories were written by Amy Lane, Marie Sexton, Amber Kell and RJ Scott. Having read them all, I can tell you that Amy Lane’s story is the only one (besides this, of course) that’s actually worth reading.
Knight of Ocean Avenue isn’t my first book by Tara Lain and it won’t be the last, but if you asked me to tell you some details about any of her booksKnight of Ocean Avenue isn’t my first book by Tara Lain and it won’t be the last, but if you asked me to tell you some details about any of her books I’ve read before, I’d be hard pressed to remember them. Outing the Quarterback was my favorite among her books, and one I’d certainly recommend, but her shifter PNR and her latest contemporary series, apparently, are cute and light-hearted, but ultimately forgettable.
Lain starts this new series with two rather interesting characters. Billy is a 25-year-old construction worker so deep in denial about his sexual orientation that he ignores even the most obvious clues. He is deeply insecure and timid and he constantly allows his family to run his life. Shaz is his exact opposite, bold, and very openly gay. He is practically a walking stereotype, a long-haired, elegant, effeminate stylist. Their lives collide over a wedding and while it takes them a while to admit their attraction – after all, Billy isn’t gay and Shaz wants nothing to do with closet cases – it soon becomes clear that the two are made for each other.
The book starts out with both of them in relationships with other people, which is something I strongly dislike in my romances. In fact, Shaz is in a relationship for most of the book, and although his boyfriend is portrayed as a lying, cheating, self-centered jerk, I still didn’t appreciate the obstacle he created for Billy and Shaz or the fact that Shaz was obviously intimate with him during the story. I can’t help it – as cynical as I am in real life, in romance I’m a hopeless romantic and a one-person-one-person kind of girl. Throwing someone else into the mix, even a despicable someone, is pretty much a deal-breaker for me.
Another thing that didn’t ring true was Billy’s cluelessness. I understand that people sometimes discover truths about themselves very late in life and that’s fine. We do things in our own time. But Billy’s blindness didn’t strike me as genuine; in fact, it made him seem a bit stupid at times which isn’t something I like to see in my heroes.
Overall, though, Knight of Ocean Avenue is a very cute story. It reminded me of a soap opera at times, but it was very readable and occasionally funny. If nothing else, it’s a pretty good way to spend an afternoon.
This is the third gorgeously written book with positive representation of mental illness I’ve read this month. Third! It looks like YA is finally goinThis is the third gorgeously written book with positive representation of mental illness I’ve read this month. Third! It looks like YA is finally going there, endeavoring to explore the unexplorable. Neal Shusterman’s new book, Challenger Deep is the latest and brightest attempt to shed some light onto the struggles of people with mental disorders.
Challenger Deep is a magical book – smart and funny, intelligent and poignant, frightening and thought provoking – all at once. The mood changes with each extremely brief chapter, and the rapid changes serve not only to manipulate our mood, but also to truly impress upon us that we’ve entered a scattered mind. This time, Shusterman writes from experience; his own son struggled with mental illness and the illustrations included in his book are Brendan’s from those times.
I suppose if you don’t know what to expect, Challenger Deep can be a bit tricky at first. Some chapters are accessible and realistic, and then there are those that are completely detached from reality. To add to that, the unrealistic chapters are deeply allegorical, and although it quickly becomes clear what they represent, getting to that point can be a bit trying. But everything you have to go through to fully experience this book is more than worth it. While it can be challenging at times, it’s also extremely rewarding.
The story has no less than three layers: the more or less healthy family life from Caiden’s memories, the rapid deterioration of his sanity and finally his life on the ship, an obvious metaphor and a sign of sanity lost. The whole decline is simply heartbreaking, but Shusterman still manages to make it all run smoothly.
Understanding mental illness and stopping discrimination against people who struggle with it is the next important step this society needs to take. Each decade has its own civil rights fight, and I truly hope we tackle this next. Books like Challenger Deep are extremely important in that regard and as someone whose family battled those same issues, I thank Neal and Brendan Shusterman from the bottom of my heart.
Every YA reader out there knows Neal Shusterman’s name, and if they don’t, I can honestly say they should. This is an author who constantly pushes the limits, who turns YA into something new and entirely unexpected each time. He should be celebrated far and wide and his work, more specifically this book, should get the accolades it deserves.
I went into this book with no small amount of trepidation. The book description seems to imply that there’s a lot of angst in this story, and I’m in nI went into this book with no small amount of trepidation. The book description seems to imply that there’s a lot of angst in this story, and I’m in no mood for it at all. However, I’ve been following Jay Clark on social media for quite a while now and angst doesn’t seem to be his thing, so I decided to give this book a chance after all. I was right about the angst part, at least.
While it’s true that Finding Mr. Brightside is blissfully free of angst, it’s also devoid of any sweetness. It’s a pretty claustrophobic little book that revolves around two characters, Juliette and Abram, with only two or three more secondary characters to lighten things up a bit. Juliette’s mother and Abram’s father were having an affair and they died together in a car accident. Juliette and Abram are both grieving in their own ways, but Juliette is having a much harder time getting over her anger. Abram didn’t strike me as angry. He didn’t strike me as anything, really, and I can’t say that his character stood out in any memorable way. As for Juliette, her behavior often made me very uncomfortable, and while I can forgive some of it because of her grief, she was sometime bossy and appallingly inconsiderate of others. Not something I want in my heroines.
Finding Mr. Brightside tries too hard to be quirky and different, and while it succeeds with the latter, it falls considerably short with the former. I had high hopes for it, especially after reading the first few, very promising chapters. But after the initial humor, the rest mostly just fell flat, and I ended up struggling to finish this unusually short book.
It’s pretty obvious that Jay Clark has a lot of talent, though, and I’m positive that he can and will show it. I don’t think he’s found his voice quite yet, but he’s getting there.I have high hopes for his next book.
There are days when I need a serious book, days when I need to read something relaxing, and days when I need to be shaken to my very core. There are bThere are days when I need a serious book, days when I need to read something relaxing, and days when I need to be shaken to my very core. There are books that are appropriate for each of those days, but only one I can think of that’s appropriate for all of them. From a reader’s point of view, Shattered Glass is a dream come true.
Austin Glass is a vice detective, a trust fund baby and an aspiring FBI agent. He is young, successful, competent, instantly likeable and engaged to a gorgeous, intelligent woman. But there’s one thing Austin Glass isn’t – he most certainly is not gay. So then why can’t he stop obsessing about a gorgeous busboy in bunny slippers? Why can’t he get those darn bunny slippers out of his head? If only he could buy the man some shoes, something safe and unattractive like loafers – all his problems would surely disappear.
“I'm not gay.” That wasn't what I meant to say. “Congratulations. Would you like a medal?” Bunny Slippers asked. “I already have a medal. For bravery, not for being gay. I think you made me gay.” “I made you gay?” He set down the napkin he was holding. “Is that better or worse than the person who made you stupid?”
Peter, or Bunny Slippers if you prefer, is a study in contradictions. He is rude, but has an obvious vulnerable side. He is a (former) prostitute, but he has very high standards. He gave up on his education, but he is astonishingly smart. He used to sell drugs, but he cares for his younger brothers with everything he has. Needless to say, Austin is enchanted. Gay or not, staying away from Peter becomes impossible overnight. Dating a former male prostitute isn’t the smartest thing you can do when you’re a vice detective, but Austin will give it his best nevertheless. Turning his life upside down is a small price to pay to get Bunny Slippers in his bed. And when it turns out that Bunny Slippers comes with a whole lot of baggage – baggage that shoots to kill more often than not – Austin still chooses to go ahead with it. He just laughs it off and marches bravely ahead. Peter is not so easy to convince. While Austin jumps in without regard for his life or career, Peter is far too careful to trust a spoiled rich boy. But Austin’s charm is impossible to resist for too long and pretty soon their lives, and Austin’s investigation, become a huge tangled mess.
"Is he my competition?" “Everyone is your competition.” Peter lifted his hand to his eyes and began lowering it incrementally. “It goes normal human beings, crazies, republicans, my hand, imaginary characters, corpses and then, in a moment of lustful psychosis, you.”By the time he was done, his hand was below the table. Ouch. “A little over the top, don’t you think?” “No.”
If it isn’t clear from the previous two quotes, here is it: Shattered Glass is hilarious. With chapter titles like Dear God, I’ll Take That Lobotomy Now. Thanks, Austin. and How to Win Friends and Alienate Albanian Table-lovers , I promise you you’ll laugh until you drop. What makes the book truly stand out, however, is Austin’s voice. He is one of the most honest, refreshing characters I’ve ever stumbled upon. Upon meeting Peter, his life is turned upside down. Although he does things that aren’t exactly honorable, he is always wonderfully upfront and honest about them. So honest, in fact, that even his (ex) fiancè can’t stay mad for too long.
The mystery part of this story requires some suspension of disbelief, but trust me when I tell you, you won’t care one bit. You’ll fall in love with Austin on page two and fall head over heels for Peter not long after. Once you meet Cai, it’s pretty much a done deal – you’ll want to stay with this gang forever.
Finally, let me say this. I’ve read this book first, and enjoyed it on audio just a few months later. As far as I’m concerned, audio is by far the best way to go. From what I can tell, this is the only book Joseph Northton has narrated so far, which is undoubtedly a tragedy. Austin’s voice is delightful and hilarious all on its own, but Northton added an extra layer of humor with his spectacular narration, turning this into a book I couldn’t listen to while driving because I was laughing too darn hard. You try driving while constantly laughing to tears. If you’re an audioobok fan, definitely go with that, but any format works. Not reading this, however, is simply not an option.
If I had to compare Austin with another character, I’d say he’s the male Charley Davidson, minus the paranormal element. He is just so incredibly funny and honest, he reminded me of Charley right from the start. So if you like Charley, read this. And if you don’t, read it anyway. Really. Preferably now.
4.5 stars I was lucky enough to read two gorgeously written books in close succession, which is rare. The first was Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley, a4.5 stars I was lucky enough to read two gorgeously written books in close succession, which is rare. The first was Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley, and the second is Beth Kephart’s gorgeous new novel. In her new book, Kephart takes us straight to Florence to explore two natural disasters of very different proportions: one that did its best to ruin an entire city, and one that did the same to a very young girl.
Kephart’s writing is pure poetry. It takes some effort to untangle, but it’s stunningly gorgeous even before things start making sense. I wasn’t aware of her many strengths before, for which I have no one but myself to blame, but it’s clear that lyrical writing is one of them. Her sentences are purposely disjointed, with a definite and very loud rhythm, and her expressions are deeply metaphorical and marvelous. It’s difficult to find the right measure with such a rich writing style, but Beth Kephart’s is as close to perfect as it can possibly get.
Rarely do we find an unreliable narrator like Nadia. It’s clear from the start that she cannot be trusted, but we don’t quite know why. She can’t express herself properly, words come very slowly, she’s aware of some memory loss and fairly frequent hallucinations. Compulsive behavior quickly becomes evident as well, but we’re still unable to clearly identify her condition. We only know that we have to question everything she tells us, but we also feel her frustration very deeply. That is precisely what Kephart did best – the feeling of intense claustrophobia caused by Nadia’s inability to communicate with the world.
As the story unravel and things become even more intense, our sympathy for Nadia and her wonderful family grows exponentially. I could just imagine seeing someone I love deteriorate so rapidly and not being able to do anything about it.
The setting is another thing that’s incredibly easy to admire. I am very familiar with Florence, it’s one of my favorite cities and I know it rather well, and apparently so does the author. She takes you through those streets, transfers the atmosphere and captures the rich beauty of it all so easily. If you can’t visit Firenze for yourself, allow Kephart to take you there briefly and show you the city through Nadia’s eyes.
One Thing Stolen is not an easy read. Descriptions of Florence are a welcome distraction from a sometimes very difficult story. But a story filled with hope, no matter how precarious, is always one worth reading, and when it’s delivered in such a gorgeous writing style, it should not be missed by anyone.
Are we ready for a love story involving one brilliant but autistic boy and one boy with severe depression and clinical anxiety? Just days ago, I wouldAre we ready for a love story involving one brilliant but autistic boy and one boy with severe depression and clinical anxiety? Just days ago, I would have said an emphatic no because honestly, how would that even work? Right now, as I’m eating my third comfort cupcake and wiping happy tears from my eyes, I know exactly how: it works splendidly, beautifully, poignantly and amazingly. It’s challenging and often ridiculed, yes, but it works. My eternal gratitude to Heidi Cullinan for showing me that I was both blind and – forgive me for using the S word - stupid. We’ve been seeing more and more diversity in YA and NA books, which is absolutely wonderful, but positive representation of mental illness is another marvelous step further, and one not many dare to take.
Carry the Ocean is filled with hope, but it’s not always an easy read. When Emmet or Jeremy become overwhelmed, we become consumed by our desire to save them, to hide and protect and love them forever. These fully fleshed out characters are entirely too real to us from the very first page, and their all-consuming pain is sometimes almost too much to deal with. But the strong feeling of hope never quite abandons us as Cullinan reminds us over and over again that normal simply doesn’t exist and that there’s a place out there for everyone, even Emmet and Jeremy.
Heidi also did an amazing job of showing us the world through Emmet’s eyes, of bringing us closer to autism itself and making us see and truly experience the difficulties of people on the autism spectrum. However, Carry the Ocean isn’t about autism or depression, not really. It’s about two boys finding love, same as everybody else. How they love each other and depend on each other along the way is what makes this book worth your while.
While Fever Pitch remains my favorite by Heidi (because Aaron!), Carry the Ocean is sort of in a league of its own, impossible to compare or even rate. Five measly stars can’t to this book justice, and neither can my clumsy, not so eloquent praise. Read it, enjoy it, cry and cheer, and when you’re done, let me know so we can gush together. There’s nothing else I’d rather do.
Jayne Ann Krentz wrote over fifty New York Times bestsellers in a variety of genres under three different names. That kind of experience can’t be bougJayne Ann Krentz wrote over fifty New York Times bestsellers in a variety of genres under three different names. That kind of experience can’t be bought or faked, and we as readers are lucky to reap the benefits.
Trust No one is another in a long string of successes for this author. I love her paranormal stuff, but this type of romantic suspense is what I go for when I want to relax and stop thinking about everything else. Murder and romance are what Krentz does best, and she did it even better than usual in this latest novel.
Our heroine is Grace, a young, intelligent woman famous for saving a child from a vicious killer in her teens. Grace is strong, but she is still traumatized and somewhat reluctant to allow people to get too close. Paradoxically, she is a bit too trusting in her professional life and she tends to focus only on the good in people. When she finds her boss’s dead body in his mansion, her life gets turned upside down. Her past and present suddenly collide and it seems that someone, probably the killer, is completely focused on her.
With so many walls around her personal life and her heart, Grace has never had a man she could trust. That all changes when her best friend sets her up on a blind date with Julius Arkwright, a successful yet utterly bored businessman. Sparks fly between the two, and despite being extremely careful, they manage to find common ground.
Once again, Krentz took us on an insanely exciting ride. The danger felt completely real, and Grace’s stalker seemed to be everywhere and nowhere at once. Add to that one dead rat, two thugs and a knife and you’ll get 320 pages of well-built suspense.
This is an author whose work I’ll never get tired of reading. Her books don’t necessarily stand out, but they are reliably good with clever plots and delightful romances. Highly recommended.
I usually tend to avoid novellas written by unfamiliar authors, but this time I made an exception simply because I liked the cover. My proble3.5 stars
I usually tend to avoid novellas written by unfamiliar authors, but this time I made an exception simply because I liked the cover. My problem with novellas is that they don't give me time to form any sort of emotional connection with the characters, but that was not the case with Served Hot. Annabeth Albert painted these characters very well and their emotions came through loud and clear - the grief, the insecurities and all the fear.
While not perfect, this e-novella is well-written and the characters are fairly memorable. It's a great choice for a slow afternoon read. ...more