The Spider begins the same way as the rest of the books in the series but quickly changes gears. After receiving a mysterious delivery, Owen, Gin's boThe Spider begins the same way as the rest of the books in the series but quickly changes gears. After receiving a mysterious delivery, Owen, Gin's boyfriend, questions the origins (not in a jealous manner but inquisitive). Gin flashes back ten years prior to a time in her life where she thought she was invincible and knew everything. She, unfortunately, learns the hard way that patience is a virtue, not everyone is nice, and that when your gut (or Fletcher or Fin's) says something is wrong, step back and reassess.
Gin and Fletcher's newest target is Cesar Vaughn, owner of Vaughn Construction. The person/persons that set up the contract with the Tin Man seamlessly deposited money in their bank account but didn't provide any details. Fletcher is unable to trace the money thereby he's a tad uneasy with the hit. The only thing that can be found about Cesar is that a stone terrace built by Vaughn Construction collapsed and killed some patrons. Could it be the family members of one of those that was killed?
As the case progresses and Gin stalks her prey, she develops a romantic interest, as well. One that has her feeling loved and important. - Here is where we discover that hard-as-nails Gin is a product of what happened 10 years prior. Here is part of my review from Book 9 that is totally relevant to this book:
"As in the last book, Gin really impresses me in Heart of Venom. Some have said that Gin is a pushover, that she's so desperate for love that she clings or ignores or grasps as whatever scraps she's thrown. I'm hear to state that's a load of crap. If you've read the other books, especially those where Owen fell off the sanity wagon, then you know that she didn't drag her ass over to Owen begging to be forgiven for killing Salina. She didn't grovel at his feet and ask him to take her back. She stayed away from Owen, giving them both the space they needed to deal with what Salina had brought to Ashland."
Just an FYI ~ I figured out who the villain was almost from the very beginning. Even knowing far before I'm sure the author had planned for anyone to pick up on it didn't at all ruin this novel for me. I really find that this novel is a great mid-series U-turn that does include information not previously known about Gin.
I didn't find the fact that 95% of the book takes place in the past to be a detraction and thoroughly enjoyed seeing an earlier version of Gin. We also get glimpses of other characters that are part of Gin's modern day crew as they cross her path early on. One my favorite parts of The Spider is that we get to see Fletcher again. His demise was rather unfortunate and I wish Jennifer Estep would find a way to bring him back (like pretend he's been in the witness protection program or something) - a girl can dream....can't she??
The Spider is another fantastic installment of the Elemental Assassin series. The entire series has pulled me in and kept me engaged from the very beginning. These are the types of books that have me longing for the next one. They are written with vivid descriptions and genuine feelings, allowing the reader to become totally immersed in this world.
My review copy was courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley, at no cost in exchange for an honest review....more
"One foreign policy question five years ago sent Destinee Faith Miller’s dreams of being Miss American Universe uSynopsis again for your convenience ~
"One foreign policy question five years ago sent Destinee Faith Miller’s dreams of being Miss American Universe up in flames and landed her back in her hometown of Phenix City, Alabama, with her tail between her legs. But like the mythological bird that her hometown is misspelled after, she rose from the ashes to create Destinee’s Dolls, a thriving pageant consulting business knee-deep in pink, prints and glitz.
A death at the local level of a national event lands her the job of pageant emcee, and Destinee dares to dream of bigger things—maybe even a reality TV show! But when judges start dropping like flies, she has her hands full keeping herself alive long enough to see those dreams come true. Contending with catfights, car bombs, and the camouflage-colored funeral of a redneck’s dream, Destinee gets a little help from her friends, family, and a pit bull named Clarabelle."
Tiara Trouble is a cozy mystery based in the south and completely relies on the beauty pageant industry, making this story work on so many levels. Readers will learn all there is to know about the pageants themselves ~ from the center stage to the behind-the-scenes happenings, and finishes nicely with the jealousy that turns someone in Phenix City into a murderer.
Destinee Miller is our main character. She's a former beauty pageant winner (multiple titles) that ends up back in her hometown after a disastrous try for the title of Miss American Universe. When one of the lead pageant judges, who's also the director and emcee, suddenly dies of multiple bee stings (he's allergic) no one thinks anything of it at first. Then another pageant judge dies by blunt force trauma to the head. It takes the book about half way through to admit that the deaths might not be natural. Then a car bomb claims the life of yet a third person. Destinee is then accused of murder and now has to figure out what's going on in her town before someone else dies.
I enjoyed this mystery as it unfolded and kept adding to the plot. Multiple murders, no real suspect, and time is running out. The best part about this story was that the culprit wasn't easily guessed and the reader was left in complete suspense until the very end. The author did a great job writing Tiara Trouble. The novel pulls the reader in and keeps them completely engaged. The dialogue is smooth and the plot is solid. As the reader, I really felt like I was part of the story; the descriptions and emotions were believable and engulfed the reader.
There are multiple plot lines throughout that deal with a rival, a cheating lover, and a former flame so get ready for a whirlwind tour through the world of beauty pageants, rivalry, love, and murder.
Review Copy Courtesy of: Author, Lane Buckman via tour company, at no cost in exchange for an honest review....more
Please note that there will contain Book 1 spoilers so proceed with caution.
Ron C. Nieto gives readers an entirely different POV with the second instaPlease note that there will contain Book 1 spoilers so proceed with caution.
Ron C. Nieto gives readers an entirely different POV with the second installment of her Ghostly Rhapsody series, Shattered Silence. Book one focused on Alice's POV, whereas Shattered Silence is told from Keith's POV.
Added note by Sapphyria: This could probably be read as a stand-alone, however, I would not recommend it. There is a lot of background, character building, and world creation that is, in my opinion, vital for the reader to know and understand before heading into book 2.
At the end of Silent Song, Keith is entranced by a ghost by way of a song that was almost his ultimate doom. Keith is protected and his life is saved by Alice, who in turn banishes the vengeful ghost....Or so they thought.
As the reader begins book 2 we get a little bit better idea of how Keith views himself. He feels unworthy to have a girlfriend as rockin' as Alice. Winning over her parents won't be that easy since his life's plan isn't all laid out yet but he makes a go of it on night at dinner. His plans include college, accounting, and mundane existence. Alice's mother doesn't accept that since she knows exactly how talented Keith is at the guitar. She, in turn, gets him an audition in a studio who's main focus is not the type of music Keith plays. The studio executive is blown away at what Keith produces, however, and Keith's musical career might just go somewhere.
Things are really getting weird again at school, though, which both Keith and Alice attempt to blow off. But when schoolmates start attacking Alice for no reason, and people begin talking maliciously under their breath when they get near Keith, they know something is most definitely up. It's up to Keith and Alice to start investigating the evil ghost from book 1 and any ties that Keith or Alice may have with her....and what they find may just kill them if they aren't able to stop the new course of events.
Another fantastic installment of the Ghostly Rhapsody series. There is so much suspense that you are kept on your toes a lot. The author does a great job weaving the story line to-and-fro while the reader tries to figure out just what the heck is going on. Is the ghost back or not? If so, what can be done to stop it? If it's not back then they need to figure out why their classmates have suddenly started losing their minds and have started trying to injure Alice and Keith.
I really enjoyed the different POV in this novel, too. It's much easier to get inside Keith's head and feel exactly what he does during each and every event that unfold in Shattered Silence. The chemistry between Keith and Alice is undeniable and their growing love for each other is quite evident.
Ron C. Nieto is a wonderful storyteller. In both books of the series she was able to keep me completely engaged in the story. She created very likable characters in a completely realistic setting. Everyone has been a teenager before and everyone knows who's in the popular crowd and who's not. Keith and Alice are portrayed as very strong characters, but like real life, they are flawed - not perfect - Just totally human.
If you haven't read book 1, Silent Song, or book 2 Shattered Silence, you are missing fantastic opportunities to be entertained, and just a little creeped out (this is a ghost story, after all).
Review Copy Courtesy Of: The author, via the tour company, at no cost in exchange for an honest review....more