Lie In Wait by Eric Rickstad

Book Description:

Published: September 1, 2015

Format: Audio/OverDrive

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Silent Girls comes another unforgettable thriller set in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, featuring Detective Sonja Test

Even in a quiet Vermont town, unspeakable acts of the past can destroy the peace of the present

In the remote, pastoral hamlet of Canaan, Vermont, a high-profile legal case shatters the town’s sense of peace and community. Anger simmers. Fear and prejudice awaken. Old friends turn on each other. Violence threatens.

So when a young teenage girl is savagely murdered while babysitting at the house of the lead attorney in the case, Detective Sonja Test believes the girl’s murder and the divisive case must be linked.

However, as the young detective digs deeper into her first murder case, she discovers sordid acts hidden for decades, and learns that behind the town’s idyllic façade of pristine snow lurks a capacity in some for great darkness and the betrayal of innocents. And Sonja Test, a mother of two, will do anything to protect the innocent.

Review –

Detective Sonja Test of the Canaan (Vermont) Police Department is working her first murder case involving a fifteen-year-old killed while babysitting a local attorney.

Jessica Cumber was killed in the home of Jon Merryfield, a lawyer who had built his career by taking on cases of underprivileged victims of violence. He was current representing a gay couple in a community divided by the issue of legalizing gay marriage in Vermont. The police arrest popular high school senior Brad Jenkins, whose father is a close friend of Jed King, leader of the gay hate group “Take Back Vermont”, for the murder. The question for the investigating officers is, Was Jessica Cumber a victim of random violence, or was her murder somehow connected to the Take Back Vermont organization? There is no evidence to suggest that Jessica knew Brad Jenkins as anything other than a schoolmate, and yet Sonja Test senses there’s more that she’s not seeing.

Lie In Wait is written largely as a police procedural, with a lot of character development on all sides of the murder investigation: the officers, the accused, the victim, and everyone else in their respective spheres of influence. Too, considerable time is spent on the investigation itself, questioning anyone who might have something to contribute, often not making much obvious progress but it only takes a random detail here or there to tie all the pieces together.

The author manages to create a real sense of place with the Vermont setting- the cold, snow and rural-ness really play in to the overall atmosphere. As well, the author manages to develop many strong, distinct characters- he writes in many POVs but each character is clearly their own. Most importantly, the actual mystery is solved in an unexpected way, with big secrets being exposed at the end.

Though often moving forward in fits and starts, this is an engrossing novel of suspense with a riveting storyline.

 

 

 

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Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) by Sylvain Neuvel

Book Description:

Published: April 4, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she’s dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers—and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.

Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth . . . and maybe even the stars.

Review –

Almost a decade has passed since the end of Sleeping Giants, yet the Earth Defence Council and all its scientists are no closer to understanding Themis and the technology that powers her. Of course, there have been advancements due to her discovery, and the tours she does over the globe continue to inspire. However, despite Themis being under the control of the EDC, some nations are still keen to use her for themselves. This is soon put to rest with the arrival in London of another robot, one similar to Themis, but not identical, though it is clear that it was built by the same beings. Now all of Earth waits to see what happens, and just what the future has in store.

Waking Gods follows the format from Sleeping Giants and tells its story through interviews, news snippets, recordings, diary entries, and other similar styles. It’s a narrative style that works really well for the series, giving first-hand information without bogging itself down with needless info-dumping. However, because of the varied characters that Neuvel tells the story through, we do learn plenty about Themis, as well as the new arrivals – it’s not just the one extra robot, but thirteen of them…

So much happens in this book and I could go on and on, but you have to read the book for yourself. The author is amazing at character development. Vincent and Kara are a great team that play well off each other, and also add little bits here and there to the answers that are swimming around. Rose is another that contributes in this way, but she’s also a very conflicted individual given her history – not only the one to discover then hand initially, but also that she died and was brought back, though without her memories of Themis. However, it’s the Interrogator that is by far my favourite – there’s just something about him that works so well at not only moving the story forward, but adding entertainment in some dark situations. 

A lot of times a sequel doesn’t live up to the majesty of its predecessor, but Waking Gods, does that and more. 

The third installment, Only Human, comes out in February 2018 and I will be sitting on pins and needle waiting to find out what happens after the jaw-dropping cliffhanger ending of this book.

Five stars!!!!!

 

 

At Any Price (Gaming the System #1) by Brenna Aubrey

Book Description:

Published: December 9, 2013

Format: Free Digital Book

When Mia Strong, proud geek-girl and popular gaming blogger, auctions off her virginity online, she knows she’ll make waves. But what she will not be making is a love connection. Her rules are set in stone: One night. No further contact.

It’s a desperate step, but it’s the only way she can go to medical school and pay her mother’s mounting hospital bills.

Difficulty Level: Millionaire CEO

Adam Drake, the enigmatic auction winner, is a software prodigy who made his first million at seventeen. Now, in his mid-twenties, he’s sexy, driven and–as CEO of his own gaming company–he’s used to making the rules. Before Mia knows what’s happening, he’s found the loophole in the rules of her auction. Every stipulation she’s made to protect her heart gets tossed by the wayside.

She can’t tell if he’s playing her…or if he’s playing for keeps.

Review –

I loved the characters and plot of At Any Price. The characters were unique and well-developed. They both have their hangups which causes them to close themselves off, one from the other, at times. I just wanted to shake them back into reality.

The romance is slow burn, and almost teasing. It’s there and then it wasn’t. Adam decided to bid and win the auction because he didn’t want her to “sell” her virginity and even though he is the one to take it, it’s only after the deal has been cancelled. He loves her but doesn’t know how to tell her. Unbeknownst to him, Mia is falling in love with him too but doesn’t know what to do with those feelings.

Mia didn’t  know it but Adam has known about her and a lot of her financial difficulties for over a year because of being a player in one of the video games she plays. When she finds out, she is livid.

I am content with the end to their story in this book, so I might not read on in the series. The next one is told from Adam’s POV, which I am certain I WILL NOT read and the third book is their HEA and since I know that’s how it’s going to end I don’t care the spend money to confirm it.

Pleasant read.

 

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel

Book Description:

Published: April 26, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by a quest for truth—and a fight for control of earthshaking power.

Review –

This book has been on my TBR list ever since it was released but I just never seemed  to find the right frame of mind to read it or listen to it. But Friday afternoon I decided to listen to it and once I started I found it almost impossible to stop.

I’ve always been a fan of Sci-Fi, not the fantasy type but the alien monsters type, so this book hit my mark right away.

The author had a way with describing to the reader exactly how the pieces of the “Giant” looked and felt. I could see it plainly in my mind’s eye and I loved the use of interviews and journals to see into the minds of the characters.

There is a lot of covert actions and hide and seek with the “Giant” and it was fun to wonder what would happen next. At one point the “Giant” ALMOST walked across the border into North Korea (oh yes, it can walk) and started another World War. The author has an amazing imagination.

I was very surprised when one of the main characters was killed off but I figured she/he  had fulfilled their  part of the plot but at the end there is a GIANT cliffhanger and low and behold the character is back missing four years of her life.

Overdrive didn’t offer the second book, Waking Gods, in audio-so I used one of my Audible credits to buy it and will part it as soon as I post this to my blog.   Can’t wait.

Five stars!!!!

 

Wreckage by Emily Bleeker

Book Description:

Published: March 1, 2015

Format: Audio/Library Book

Lillian Linden is a liar. On the surface, she looks like a brave survivor of a plane crash. But she’s been lying to her family, her friends, and the whole world since rescue helicopters scooped her and her fellow survivor, Dave Hall, off a deserted island in the South Pacific. Missing for almost two years, the castaways are thrust into the spotlight after their rescue, becoming media darlings overnight. But they can’t tell the real story—so they lie.

The public is fascinated by the castaways’ saga, but Lillian and Dave must return to their lives and their spouses. Genevieve Randall—a hard-nosed journalist and host of a news program—isn’t buying it. She suspects Lillian’s and Dave’s explanations about the other crash survivors aren’t true. And now, Genevieve’s determined to get the real story, no matter how many lives it destroys.

In this intriguing tale of survival, secrets, and redemption, two everyday people thrown together by tragedy must finally face the truth…even if it tears them apart.

Review –

Wreckage by Emily Bleeker tells the story of the pain and unexpected consequences of surviving a plane crash and ensuing life on a deserted island with only a stranger to depend on.  Told through the eyes of two survivors, Lillian and Dave, the novel fluidly moves between a present day interview of the event and key periods in the past to fully divulge all of the details of the story.  

Besides offering an interesting character study of two individual’s behavior when convinced that they will live the rest of their lives disconnected from society, both Lillian and Dave have multiple secrets to keep in order to protect themselves and their families at home.

At the end (which answered all questions a little too perfectly) Lillian revealed all her secrets to her husband and Dave’s wife learned of the one that was most important.

A wonderful read.

Forbidden (Songs of Perdition 1-3) by CD Reiss

Book Description:

Published:December 1, 2015

Format: Audio

Everything about Fiona is forbidden.

She’s a party girl with dark desires.
She’s beautiful, irresponsible, irresistible.

She’s my patient.
I’m her therapist.

I’m past wanting her. Past possessing her. Past bedding her or protecting her.

I’m willing to be self-destructive, negligent, brave, audacious, and stronger than I ever believed possible.

She’s blunt force trauma to the heart.
And she calls another man Master.

Review –

Painful, beautifully erotic and breathtaking. It goes without saying that C.D. Reiss leaves me without words every single time and Forbidden sucked the life out of me. I have many things to say and i feel like words are not enough to describe this book.

It goes beyond the art of BDSM, is far more. The love and excitement of being a master and the peacefulness of being submitted. Forbidden was simply so much more. Fiona was beyond broken, a drug addict, a sex addict and a heavy drinker. Men wanted to save her, to soothe her pain, to love her.

The men in Fiona’s life are complete opposites. Deacon, Fiona’s longtime Dom/boyfriend, is dark and brooding. He is not a man to be crossed. He is handsome, confident, and ruthless. He loves Fiona deeply and sees it as his responsibility to keep her on track and out of trouble. He’s the sort of man that readers should want Fiona to be done with, but I found his strength and his dedication to Fiona quite appealing.

Elliot Chapman gave up his planned career in the seminary to become a therapist. His compassion for people, his sexual fantasies, and Fiona’s wantonness push him into an untenable and unethical situation. He wants to help her get better. He wants her to see her self-worth and make positive changes in her life. He wants to participate in the sexual kink that Fiona describes in their sessions. Elliot first appears as Fiona’s guardian angel, but I felt like his fantasies about his patient to be just as selfish as Deacon’s method for helping Fiona.

Forbidden was consuming from the beginning to the end. A hard book to put in words, so i just recommend you to read and just feel.

Forbidden can be a tough read. The mature, dark content will not appeal to some, but if you read this story more as a woman’s journey away from a self-destructive life, you’ll appreciate the glorious, rich details and character development of CD Reiss’ intricate storytelling.

There are be triggers for some readers.

The Death of a Ghost (Hamish MacBeth #32) by M.C. beaton

Book Description:

Published: February 21, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Sergeant Hamish Macbeth–Scotland’s most quick-witted but unambitious policeman–returns in M.C. Beaton’s new mystery in her New York Times bestselling seriesDEATH OF A GHOSTWhen Police Sergeant Hamish Macbeth hears reports of a haunted castle near Drim, he assumes the eerie noises and lights reported by the villagers are just local teenagers going there to smoke pot or, worse, inject themselves with drugs. Still, Hamish decides that he and his policeman, Charlie “Clumsy” Carson, will spend the night at the ruined castle to get to the bottom of the rumors once and for all.There’s no sign of any ghost…but then Charlie disappears through the floor. It turns out he’s fallen into the cellar. And what Hamish and Charlie find there is worse than a ghost: a dead body propped against the wall. Waiting for help to arrive, Hamish and Charlie leave the castle just for a moment–to eat bacon baps–but when they return, the body is nowhere to be seen. It’s clear something strange–and deadly–is going on at the castle, and Hamish must get to the bottom of it before the “ghost” can strike again…

Review –

I’m afraid this will be the last book in the Hamish MacBeth series that I read or listen to because it was boring and just a rehash on the same plot and conclusion, only with different crimes and characters.

It’s sad that the author can’t find something new to occupy Hamish in the Scottish countryside. Maybe she should have him go TDY to America and see what mischief he could cause.

 

Dirty Filthy Rich Men (Dirty Duet #1) by Laurelin Paige

Book Description:

Published: March 27, 2017

Format: E-Book

When I met Donovan Kincaid, I knew he was rich. I didn’t know he was filthy. Truth be told, I was only trying to get his best friend to notice me.

I knew poor scholarship girls like me didn’t stand a chance against guys like Weston King and Donovan Kincaid, but I was in love with his world, their world, of parties and sex and power. I knew what I wanted—I knew who I wanted—until one night, their world tried to bite me back and Donovan saved me. He saved me, and then Weston finally noticed me, and I finally learned what it was to be in their world.

And then what it was like to lose it.

Ten years later, I’ve found my way back. Back to their world. Back to him.

This time, I’m ready. I’ve been down this road before, and I know all the dirty, filthy ways Donovan will try and wreck me.

But it’s hard to resist. Especially when I know how much I’ll like it.

Review –

Warning: This book could contain triggers for some readers.

Sabrina happens upon Weston, a boy who she had a crush on back in college and who is also Donovan’s best friend, in LA. They have dinner and hooked up a weekend before Weston decides he wants Sabrina to quit her job and join his and Donovan’s company in New York. She says no, and a few months goes by before Weston makes her an offer she couldn’t refuse and now she’s off to NYC, thinking that Donovan is still working overseas and that she won’t have to see him. Well, he’s back in the US and he spends every opportunity to make sexist, misogynistic comments and sexually harass her. Sabrina constantly tells herself that she’s a strong woman and she deserves respect. Then, she throws all common sense out the window to have sex with Donovan.

The plot is predictable, but who cares, IT’S JUST A BOOK!

 Sabrina continues to  forget her common sense and sleep with someone who doesn’t respect her and harasses her at every turn. Donovan is jealous Sabrina and Weston might have a thing going on, and Donovan is very manipulative.

He has an ex-fiance and became so consumed with her that he hired a PI to follow  her and let him know where she was every minute of the day, but she found out and wanted to call off the wedding if he didn’t stop. But he didn’t and she died in a car accident trying to get away from the PI.

When Sabrina finds this out she feels bad for Donovan and when she finds out he has a folder with over ten years of stuff on her she realizes just how obsessed he can get and that he loves her, in his own way. (Anyone else would say “stalker” and run the other direction, but not Sabrina.)

Donovan realizes that because he loves Sabrina she could get hurt or die so he decides to go to France for business and maybe not come back. He thinks distancing himself from her will keep her safe. END, can you say cliffhanger!!!!!!!

The next installment comes out in September and I can’t wait!!!!

HOT read.

 

 

 

 

Dirty Filthy Rich Boys (Dirty Duet #0.5) by Laurelin Paige

Book Description:

Published: February 22, 2017

Format: Free Digital Book

When I met Donovan Kincaid, I knew he was rich. I didn’t know he was filthy. Truth be told, I was only trying to get his best friend to notice me.

I knew poor scholarship girls like me didn’t stand a chance against guys like Weston King and Donovan Kincaid, but I was in love with his world, their world, of parties and sex and power. I knew what I wanted—I knew who I wanted—until one night, their world tried to bite me back and Donovan saved me. He saved me, and then Weston finally noticed me, and I finally learned what it was to be in their world.

Because when dirty, filthy, rich boys play, they play for keeps.

Review –

Dirty Filthy Rich Boys is the prequel novella in the Dirty Duet series and is set 10 years before the first book, Dirty Filthy Rich Men, starts its story.

 Sabrina was just a freshmen student who had a big crush on a guy who didn’t even know she existed. But what she didn’t know in return was that her existence had become more than noticeable and acknowledged by someone who was about to rock her world. And then some. And some more. Just in case she didn’t feel his earthquake. 

Though not a traditional triangle Sabrina will find herself caught between the two bad boys; one whom she will have a crush on and one whom she will crave. It’s a game of sex, control, jealousy, manipulation, secrets and possession.

This is a butterflies-in-your-belly set-up driven by Donovan’s sinister and calculated manipulations and further complicated by Weston’s charm and loyalty to his best friend. What will happen? I’ll let you know in my review of Dirty Filthy Rich Men.

This is a very HOT read.

The Good Daughter (Good Daughter #1) by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: August 8, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

Review –

Five Stars !!!!!!

What a roller coaster ride! Just when I thought I knew where this book was headed Karin Slaughter (one of my favorites) throws in a giant twist.

I had the audio version and listening was very painful in some parts and I won’t say which because it would give too much away.

The Good Daughter is the kind of exceptional psychological thriller that only comes around once every so often—a story as in-your-face shocking as it is tender and heartbreaking. Chapter by chapter, the author unceremoniously  unfolds the history of two sisters, and reveals the horrific past that has both tied them together and driven them apart.

This is a brilliant, bold crime novel that examines the unbreakable bond of family and the lengths two women will go to uncover the truth about the brutal secrets of their past.

It is  tough and dark  and  Slaughter doesn’t shy away from describing violence in graphic detail, yet each moment of violence is purposeful and intentional, driving character development and giving readers firsthand investment in finding justice for the victims of these horrific acts. 

It is character driven and readers who want a straight police procedural or a true legal thriller will be better off looking elsewhere—THE GOOD DAUGHTER is first and foremost a story of a family struggling to overcome its dark and secret-laden past. While this isn’t the kind of read I went into the book expecting, the story’s rich character development and emotional, often horrific flashbacks left me all the more invested in it.

This book is dark, but it’s dark for a purpose. 

I highly recommend it!