Inspired by JD Robb and other legends of romantic suspense, the very versatile Amy Lane decided to pen her very own series of romance and action, withInspired by JD Robb and other legends of romantic suspense, the very versatile Amy Lane decided to pen her very own series of romance and action, with a pair of competent, resourceful and deeply damaged protagonists at its center. The deeply damaged, in this case, applies to one half of the couple – Jackson Rivers – the former policeman who was, years ago, betrayed and abandoned by his department, his colleagues, and everyone else that was supposed to protect him.
We first met Jackson and Ellery last year in Fish Out of Water. A year between books is a very long time to wait, but it might be necessary to heal our poor hearts from all the pain Jackson puts us through. Red Fish, Dead Fish picks up more or less where the first book left off, and it promptly delves into the consequences of their first case together. Jackson is wounded inside and out and he’s seemingly recuperating, but he is skittish, vulnerable and slow to commit to Ellery, no matter how much the handsome lawyer wants him to. The guys are still struggling to understand the true depths of the case and they have a tough time getting law enforcement to believe them. While they investigate, the serial killer sets his sights on them in return and does irreparable damage to Jackson’s already fragile psyche.
I realize Jackson is the intended star of this book (even with couples someone is usually at the forefront), but I love Ellery even more. His no nonsense, steady approach to life is very appealing. He never allows himself to be pushed around or pushed away, but he is gentle even when he’s firm. He is the very definition of reliable and I adore him for it.
Red Fish, Dead Fish contains references to Racing for the Sun, Amy’s 2013 novel which I, unfortunately, haven’t read. Because of the links and explanations, the plot becomes somewhat convoluted for a time, but it clears up when the focus turns back to Jackson and Ellery’s personal struggles. Those who haven’t read Racing for the Sun might just have to power through as I did. In my opinion, connecting the two burdened this book unnecessarily.
There are four short stories at the end that I regret not having read first. They would have made the convoluted parts easier to swallow. Anyone delving into this should go in that order and make life easier on themselves. That said, this series is a must read for fans of the genre who don’t mind reading about flawed, reticent men in love.
In conclusion, Red Fish, Dead Fish is another success from an author who doesn’t know how to offer anything less.
The long farewell to our beloved characters from Bear, Otter and the Kidd is finally here. Tj Klune made the brave and wonderful choice to give his faThe long farewell to our beloved characters from Bear, Otter and the Kidd is finally here. Tj Klune made the brave and wonderful choice to give his fans a chance to say goodbye to those they’ve loved and cried with for such a long time. After seeing these guys grow up, fall in love and build a life together through pain, loss, friendships, joy, drama and unexpected word vomits, our reluctance to let go is more than understandable. But let go we must, and I can’t imagine a better way to do it than with this final book.
In The Long and Winding Road, everyone is grown, everyone is mature, everyone behaves like a responsible adult at all times and everything goes exactly as planned… and if you believed a single word of that, you’ve obviously never met Bear or Creed, or even the Kid. Nothing, nothing goes as planned for this small family. Every single plan goes awry, everything turns into a dramatic and often ridiculous event and not a single conversation ends like you expect. Seeing Bear, Ty and everyone else change as the blows come along was once again a privilege and a marvel… and something I’ll revisit many times in years to come.
The boys (and girls) from the Green Monstrosity might have some loose ends to tie, but they are ready for the next chapter in their lives. Tj takes us back in time to see some previous events through different eyes and to witness major decisions being made. Bear, as always, is basically a grandma in a young man’s body, an adorable, careful worrywart, who develops ridiculous scenarios in his head only to panic about them. Otter, of course, is the calming influence, the stabilizing factor in this crazy and wonderful family. And Ty… Ty must learn that all actions have reactions and that the universe sometimes has a truly odd sense of humor.
Those of us who are familiar with Tj’s special brand of humor know not to read his books in public… or we should. I’ve had people distance themselves from me at the beach because I was laughing out loud like a loon. If you don’t wish to become the local crazy person, you should perhaps keep this one behind closed doors. Or you can take it to the town square and say to hell with everybody… we all deserve to laugh so hard daily.
If you haven’t met these guys, hold on to something and prepare for a very emotional ride. But if you, like me, already know and love them, you know exactly what to expect. I can only assure you that it’s even better than you could have imagined.
3.5 stars I grew up reading books about strong women in law enforcement, forensic experts, profilers and such. Through most of my teen years, I had Pat3.5 stars I grew up reading books about strong women in law enforcement, forensic experts, profilers and such. Through most of my teen years, I had Patricia Cornwell’s books for breakfast, Tess Gerritsen’s for lunch, and Kathy Reichs’ for dinner and company through sleepless nights. I learned invaluable lessons about being a career woman from these authors and their heroines, and I even found my life-long literary love in Kay Scarpetta’s Benton Wesley. Needless to say, I’m very attached to the genre and I always slip comfortably into its rhythm.
Such a Pretty Girl is a spin-off of Tess Diamond’s O’Connor and Kincaid series. It can function pretty well as a standalone, even though the events from the previous books are mentioned fairly often. I was curious enough to buy a copy of Dangerous Games and learn about those secondary characters in greater detail. Having read both, I can say that I like Maggie and Jake from Dangerous Games even more, but Grace and Jake aren’t far behind.
As a self-proclaimed romantic suspense addict with a taste for danger, Diamond understands the ins and outs of the genre and she uses her vast knowledge to her advantage. Such a Pretty Girl is a bit heavy on the romance for my taste. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the serial killings felt more like a backdrop at times, just something to fill the pages between steps in the relationship. There were several things that would have bothered me in a straight up mystery/police procedural, but they bothered me less when I realized romance would be at the forefront.
Both Jake and Grace are very competent, and their interactions are a marvel, with a deep connection and understanding quickly forming between them. At times, Jake struck me as just a bit too perfect, tailored to precisely fit Grace’s needs and personality. Some friction would have been better, but at least their chemistry was off the charts.
I went into this expecting something far stronger in the mystery department, but I wasn’t too disappointed with what I ended up reading. Such a Pretty Girl is dark at times, very romantic, and fast-paced and it flows smoothly from start to finish. It may not be the best developed mystery I’ve read, but it’s an attention grabber, and that’s more than enough in these scorching summer months. Fans of romantic suspense should give it a try.
Take your favorite cop show (Lethal Weapon is a personal favorite), place it in a filthy city with a distinct medieval feel, add dwarves, elves and o
Take your favorite cop show (Lethal Weapon is a personal favorite), place it in a filthy city with a distinct medieval feel, add dwarves, elves and other assorted creatures and you’ll get a pretty clear idea of what to expect from Fifth Ward: First Watch. Everyone has their weak spot, and buddy cop movies are mine, which means I was endlessly entertained by this book.
Rem is a newcomer to Yenara City, unemployed and just a bit lost. He is more than willing to work, but there’s no work to be found and his low supply of coins is rapidly disappearing. Through a series of unfortunate circumstances (involving a smart girl and no small amount of pride) Rem ends up working as a watchwarden, a member of law enforcement in the city. His partner is Torval, an enigmatic and temperamental dwarf, who is four feet tall and just as wide, with a volatile temper and a deep hatred for the orcs. The two are an oddly mismatched pair – Rem, educated, polite and completely inexperienced, and Torval, explosive, often rude and very street-smart.
Rem is hilarious and just a tiny bit pathetic as he stumbles through his first assignments as watchman. He is prone to blushing, the type of person who relies on his manners first and his fists second, but Yenara City has little patience for well-mannered northerners. Before he can be chewed up and spit out by the city’s merciless streets, he needs to learn from his partner, and maybe meet him half-way.
The two start working on a missing persons case and they slowly find their rhythm. What started out as an unlikely partnership quickly turns into an odd but promising dynamic. Lucas’ detailed worldbuilding only adds to the charm, and the colorful inhabitants keep us entertained. The book suffers just a bit from the burden of being the first in the series, establishing a detailed setting and sufficient character development to carry multiple novels, but all in all, they are just minor problems that can be considered an investment into the future of the series.
Dale Lucas took the usual buddy cop trope and built upon it, and he created a whole new playground for fantasy fans. Yenara City is my kind of literary place with its filthy streets, rivers of ale and fights breaking out left and right. With the second book, Friendly Fire, right around the corner, now is the perfect time to delve into this world.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review. ...more