The Snow Garden by Christopher Rice

Book Description:

Published: December 9, 2014

Format: Audio/Audible

A shocking death exposes dangerous forces of seduction, obsession, and vengeance lurking beneath the idyllic surface of a prestigious New England university.

It is more than just the late November weather that has cast a chill over the campus of Atherton University. When the wife of respected professor Eric Eberman is killed in a tragic accident, his secret student lover, Randall Stone, fears the professor tried to avert career suicide by committing homicide. Or do the dead woman’s haunting last words point to an even more damning crime?

Fearing the truth, Randall digs into his lover’s hidden history. But what he finds draws him and everyone he cares for into a dark dance of sexual manipulation, twisted retribution, and murderous rage where nothing is as it seems. And no one will escape from it unscathed…if they escape at all.

In this emotionally gripping tale from New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice, the past may seem buried, but it can come back with a deadly vengeance.

Review –

I’m not really sure how I feel about this book, (I rated it three out of five stars but I think I was too generous).

What started out as a who-dun-it, ended (at least for me) a muddled mess. 

It’s convoluted , at times difficult to follow, and what you think you know turns out to be wrong.

It was okay but unless you really want to become invested in the storyline, which involves college life, the elite rich, sexual  undertones everywhere, murder, revenge and a very weird ending, don’t even start it. Just saying …

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The Drafter (Peri Reed Chronicles #1) by Kim Harrison

Book Description:

Published: September 1, 2015

Format: Audio/OverDrive

The Bourne Identity meets Minority Report in this first highly anticipated installment in number-one New York Times best-selling author Kim Harrison’s sexy new romantic suspense trilogy, featuring a brilliant special task agent at the top of her field and set in a futuristic Detroit.

During a routine but dangerous Opti task, Peri Reed finds out her trusted partner has made her a corrupt agent. Her unique ability to jump back 40 seconds in time to correct a mistake leaves her vulnerable when her partner, who is responsible for replacing her memory of the event, gives her a false one. But Peri lives and dies on her intuition, and she begins to piece her twisted reality together as she flees her one-time secure situation at Opti and tries to find the truth with a sullen but talented psychologist named Silas who works for the very agency trying to bring the Opti corruption to light.

With Howard, tech and med specialist, and Taf, gun-toting daughter of the opposing grass-roots agency, Silas and Peri try to rebuild her memory of the night she killed her partner, knowing it will put her mental stability in danger. Peri remembers, and thoughts of revenge keep her alive and moving forward as she tries to put an end to Opti, working with the very faction that wants to see her dead.

Review –

If  you’re a fan of Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series with Rachel Morgan, you are going to love this new series with Peri Reed, a highly trained  covert government operative, who has the added panache of being able to skip back in time, a minute or two, when a mission goes bad. 

As cool as it is, the ability also has serious consequences. Living through two timelines can ravage the mind, and drafters need the help of an “anchor” to reconcile the events in their minds… and even then, sometimes memories are lost. But as the story begins, Peri believes what she’s doing is worth the sacrifice –and she couldn’t be more in love with her anchor, Jack.

Over the course of the book, Peri has to face some uncomfortable truths about what she does and who she does it for. And it’s made so much more difficult because she is missing her own memories and she doesn’t know who she can trust. The author does so many things right here by making the reader feel Peri’s internal conflict. I believed in this crazy world she lives in and I was shaken right along with her every time Harrison dropped a new bomb in her lap.

There were so many parts where I didn’t know what to think –or who to believe. That could be frustrating at times, and even after reaching the end, I still don’t know what to make of some characters, especially Allen. But then I remind myself that there are still two books to go in the series.

I love the story and would classify it as a suspense/thriller yet futuristic  and sci-fi. It’s not a romance, but there is a romance somewhere in Peri’s memories but she does not get an HEA, at least not in book one!

Reaper’s Legacy (Reapers MC #2) by Joanna Wylde

Book Description:

Published: January 28, 2014

Format: Audio/Audible

Eight years ago, Sophie gave her heart-and her virginity-to Zach Barrett on a night that couldn’t have been less romantic or more embarrassing. Zach’s step-brother, a steely-muscled, tattooed biker named Ruger, caught them in the act, getting a peep show of Sophie he’s never forgotten.

She may have lost her dignity that fateful night, but Sophie also gained something precious-her son Noah. Unfortunately, Zach’s a deadbeat dad, leaving Ruger to be Noah’s only male role model. When he discovers Sophie and his nephew living in near poverty, Ruger takes matters into his own hands-with the help of the Reapers Motorcycle Club-to give them a better life.

Living with outlaw bikers wasn’t Sophie’s plan for her son, but Ruger isn’t giving her a choice. He’ll be there for Noah, whether she wants him or not. But Sophie does want him, has always wanted him. Now she’ll learn that taking a biker to bed can get a girl dirty in every way.

Review –

This is the  seconding the Reaper’s Motorcycle Club series and  mixes a super-hot bad guy, a struggling young single mother, and sex that blisters the imagination, resulting in a thrill ride as raw as it is well written. When Sophie was a teen, she lost her virginity to Zach Barrett, the boy she thought she loved. She also suffered the mortification of having his hot stepbrother, Ruger, catch them in the act. She got pregnant, and Zach turned out to be a deadbeat dad. Eight years later, Ruger swoops in to rescue Sophie and her son from poverty, with the caveat that she must accept the rules of the Reapers Motorcycle Club, who will be her new family. Stubborn Sophie resists the club and lady-killer Ruger at every turn, but their mutual attraction is beyond her control. Filled with rough language, no-holds-barred sex, the rumblings of a biker war, and threats from the past, this fast-paced novel entertains while setting up the next book in the series, Devil’s Game, which deals with Hunter and Emily.

Excellent read.

The Dark Light of Day (The Dark Light of Day #1) by T.M. Frazier

Book Description:

Published: January 2, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Homeless, sleeping in a junkyard, and on the run from a system that has failed her over and over again, Abby meets Jake, a tattooed blue-eyed biker with secrets that rival her own. Two broken souls that can’t be healed, they can’t be saved. Abby and Jake have to decide if they can accept the darkness not only within one another, but within themselves.

If they can accept each other for who they really are they might learn that love isn’t always found in the light…

WARNING: This is NOT your typical romance.
The story of Jake & Abby contains disturbing situations, graphic violence, sex, strong language, drug use, and all types of abuse.

Review –

I have read books with damaged, broken souls but they DO NOT compare to the utter desolation and suffering in the lives of Jake and Abby.

Abby’s parents were drug addicts and worse. When Abby was nine years old her mother didn’t have any money to pay for her drugs so she gave the man Abby in payment. When he tried to rape her she stabbed him in the eye with a piece of mirror that her mother used to snort cocaine. For punishment Abby’s mother tied her to a hot radiator and burned her with cigarettes and cut her all over her body with a knife. Abby did escape and run naked and bleeding to a fire station where she found help. Her mother was tried and sentenced to life in prison.

At seventeen Abby’s loses her grandmother and is homeless and hiding in a junkyard from Child Protective Services.

The last time twenty-two year old Jake Dunn saw his father he tried to kill him. He has always blamed Jake for the death of his wife and “good ” son. Now he’s a drunk and Jake has come back to look after the family business. He finds Abby in an old truck and almost shoots her, but falls in love with her at first sight instead. Jake know’s he’s no good for her and is too old for her and that he  kills people for a living, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is Abby.

Abby and Jake find each other and are able to open up for the first time in their young lives.

Just as they are getting somewhere in their relationship, Jake has to leave town for a while for a job. If poor Abby hasn’t been through enough already, she goes through something even more traumatic while Jake is gone. It’s devastating. It’s disturbing. It will break your heart.

I won’t tell you what happens just know that it’s a dark storyline, with  broken characters, a damaged man, tough not annoying heroine, heartbreaking and sad, but heart warming at times… and most importantly, gave me a case of the feels.

This one will bring out some strong emotions in you. The Dark Light of Day is about so much more than finding love and healing. It’s about a girl, a girl who endured more than suffering and trauma than any person should ever go through, finding the strength to move on. That it’s okay to be touched, to fall in love, to find happiness and let people in. Jake and Abby were able to find beauty in all the ugly. 

A fantastic read and the cover, for the most part, matches the story.

Five stars.

 

 

 

Dark Room (Society X #1) by L.P. Dover and Heidi McLaughlin

Book Description:

Published: January 23, 2016

Format: Free Digital Book

The rules of Society X are simple . . . break them and you’re out.
Rule #1 – No names
It doesn’t matter if you want to know, it’s forbidden.
Rule #2 – No exchanging numbers
It doesn’t matter if you want to call, it’s forbidden.
Rule #3 – Everything is to remain strictly anonymous.
It doesn’t matter if you want to tell, it’s forbidden.
The Dark Room is the only place you can live out your fantasies and no one will ever know it’s you.
For Parker, what started out as a business transaction has turned into an addiction.
For Mia, it’s been a chance to discover who she truly is.
What happens in the dark will have you begging for more . . .

Review –

Dark Room is the story of Parker and Mia. They have known  each other for ages, since he is her brother’s best friend. Mia just got out of a not so happy relationship and has the opportunity, to ‘test’ a club for adult fun (BDSM Club) called “Society X”. She has the need to step out of her ordinary and to risk something for once, for her crush on the older Parker is obviously one-sided. What she doesn’t know is, that Parker, who is a silent investor for Society X, is about to test the so-called “Dark Room” of the premises, too…

In the Dark Room there is no talking and no light, there is no exchanging of names or numbers and both Mia and Parker are intrigued by the thought of anonymous sex with a stranger and as fate will have it they become each other’s first and only partner in the Dark Room. The chemistry between the main characters is amazing both in and out of the Dark Room. 

I don’t want to give too much away but just know it gets even better the more into the book you go and even though a bit predictable, who cares!

The story flows perfectly and the writing is good and the sex scenes are steamy.  Dark Room is as stand alone and I highly recommend it  if you’re looking for a super hot read.  

Pitch Dark by A.M. Wilson and Alex Grayson

Book Description:

Published: September 15, 2017

Format: E-Book

One girl disappeared. After fifteen years, her cold lifeless body was found on the damp forest floor. Not an inch of her was unmarked by the horrors she endured. Alone, malnourished, abused in horrific ways; this was how she died.

One girl was found walking the streets, covered in dirt and scars. She had no memory of who she was, where she came from, or what happened to her. Even though the marks on her body attested to years of heinous abuse, her strength shone through at every turn.

Revenge and justice were sworn.

Years of searching brought up nothing but dead ends. Detective Niko James was too late to save his childhood friend, but he vows not to let down another.

The clock is ticking and the trail is pitch dark.

Review –
PitchDark is a very dark and gritty thriller, one that was difficult to read at times.  It’s intense, heartbreaking, edgy, and raw.  So be aware, it’s very explicit with the details of  child abuse.
It’s been fifteen years since Niko’s childhood friend, Aislin, has disappeared and in his heart he knew she was abducted while his parents and the police just thought she ran off.
A body is found in the woods covered with scars, old and new, and open sores, cuts, scrapes, and old and new bruises. She is identified as Aislin. Niko is heart-broken and angry because he hadn’t rescued her from such torture.
Later a girl is found walking the streets, barefoot and with similar markings on her body as the dead girl and she has no memory of who she is or her previous life.
While Niko helps to find out who this girl is and who did this to her (because he’s positive the same individual killed Aislin)he begins to get close to her and develops feelings he knows he shouldn’t.
I’m not going much further with the story because it would be too easy to include spoilers. Just surface it to say that it’s well written with engaging characters. Sometimes it seems draw out and repetitive but even that didn’t take away from the storyline although because of that I only gave it four and a half stars.
Excellent who-dun-it but there are many triggers and it’s not a romance so if you are easily disgusted and traumatized; stay away from this book!

The Wrong Side of Good-Bye(Harry Bosch #21, Harry Bosch Universe #26) by Michael Connelly

Book Description:

Published: November 1, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Detective Harry Bosch must track down someone who may never have existed in the new thriller from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Michael Connelly.

Harry Bosch is California’s newest private investigator. He doesn’t advertise, he doesn’t have an office, and he’s picky about who he works for, but it doesn’t matter. His chops from thirty years with the LAPD speak for themselves.

Soon one of Southern California’s biggest moguls comes calling. The reclusive billionaire is nearing the end of his life and is haunted by one regret. When he was young, he had a relationship with a Mexican girl, his great love. But soon after becoming pregnant, she disappeared. Did she have the baby? And if so, what happened to it?

Desperate to know whether he has an heir, the dying magnate hires Bosch, the only person he can trust. With such a vast fortune at stake, Harry realizes that his mission could be risky not only for himself but for the one he’s seeking. But as he begins to uncover the haunting story–and finds uncanny links to his own past–he knows he cannot rest until he finds the truth.

At the same time, unable to leave cop work behind completely, he volunteers as an investigator for a tiny cash-strapped police department and finds himself tracking a serial rapist who is one of the most baffling and dangerous foes he has ever faced.

Review –

Everyone familiar with the Harry Bosch series know of  Harry’s on-again-off-again relationship with the Los Angeles Police Department. (He won a lawsuit against it for forcing him into early retirement. Still, hostilities persist.) But now Harry  has a new police job, working for the City of San Fernando. San Fernando is a 2.3-square-mile enclave inside Los Angeles, but it has its own small police force, which makes it the perfect hide-out for a loner like Harry. Since Harry works for no pay, he can also take on private investigations.

He takes a commission from a very old and wealthy recluse, Whitney Vance. Harry has an audience with Vance at the older man’s Pasadena estate and is treated to an eerie story. Fifty years ago, Vance was in love with a Mexican girl named Vibiana. She became pregnant, and the Vance family separated him from her forever. Now in his mid-80s, Vance has no known heirs and would like Harry to discover whether there are unknown ones.

There must because the book begins with a Vietnam-era prologue in which a young man, shot down in a helicopter, inexplicably cries out the name “Vibiana!” But Harry quickly discovers that Vance’s teenage sweetheart committed suicide not long after her baby was born and given up for adoption. So where do he and the book go from there? Leave it Harry, he is like a dog with a bone when faced with what seem like impossible odds. Does he find the child and he is dead or alive and did they have heirs?  Not telling. You’ll have to read the book.

The other case in the book, which he is working for the City of San Fernando, is that of the “Screen Cutter”, a rapist who gains access to homes by cutting open window screens. Does Harry find the culprit and will it happen before another innocent woman is violated” Again, not telling.

Harry drives a LOT in this book and the author is very descriptive with the routes and landscape and they come to life for the reader, which makes for a very enjoyable read on its own.

Excellent read for fans of Harry Bosch and those who just love a great “who-dun-it”.

Five stars.

 

 

 

A Tapping At My Door (DC Nathan Cody #1) by David Jackson

Book Description:

Published: April 7, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

A woman at home in Liverpool is disturbed by a persistent tapping at her back door. She’s disturbed to discover the culprit is a raven, and tries to shoo it away. Which is when the killer strikes.

DS Nathan Cody, still bearing the scars of an undercover mission that went terrifyingly wrong, is put on the case. But the police have no leads, except the body of the bird – and the victim’s missing eyes.

As flashbacks from his past begin to intrude, Cody realises he is battling not just a murderer, but his own inner demons too.

And then the killer strikes again, and Cody realises the threat isn’t to the people of Liverpool after all – it’s to the police.

Review –

This is my first time to experience any of David Jackson’s writings and if his others are half as good as this one, he has a fan for life!

The book starts off with a bang and with a spooky and suspenseful murder and the action just keeps going from there.

Someone is horribly  killing policemen and leaving dead birds beside the bodies. Cody, who was previously in UnderCover is now in the Murder Investigation Team,  and is partnered up with an ex-girlfriend – DC Megan Webley and although there is clearly some issues between them relating to their past history, the chemistry works very well and Webley is more than a match for Cody’s unpredictable nature. Although Megan is now engaged to someone else, there seems to be unfinished business between her and Cody.

 It is clear that a previous case has gone horribly wrong and has caused Cody extreme trauma, because during this investigation he loses it many times and at one point has a severe panic attack. He needs help but is afraid to seek out a therapist for fear that word will get back to the police force and he will be suspended or fired, and his job is ALL he has.

He tells Megan what happened to him a year ago and believe me it was HORRIBLE and the men who did it are still out there.

I loved the story, it was well paced and cleverly structured with the twists and turns that you would expect in a crime thriller. The who and the why came as a complete surprise – and will leave your jaw dropping.

It is a suspenseful story with a dramatic finale and with some teasing loose ends that will no doubt be followed up (I hope!) – this is a series that I will happily follow and I look forward to meeting DS Nathan Cody again.

Five stars.

 

I Let You Go by Clare MackIntosh

Book Description:

Published: May 3, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

On a rainy afternoon, a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street . . .

I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.

At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them.

Review –

I was about a third of the way into the book and it’s direction took a complete turn around. What I thought I knew wasn’t at all correct. I loved that the author was able to pull the wool over my eyes with subtle misdirection.

I can’t go into much detail because it would give too much away but after the hit and run, Jenna goes into hiding in a secluded Welsh village, though she thinks of it as “starting over”. She’s a very private person and doesn’t trust men, at all, (we find out why later in the book) She’s a very strong person, she has to be in order to survive her past relationship.

There’s more to this storyline than the hit and run killing of a five-year old boy at Christmas time. It’s also the story of Jenna Gray and her hope for survival and of Ean, a maniacal, egotistical sadist.

You will have to read the book to see how these stories all come together and mesh into a cohesive conclusion.

I loved it!!!!

Five stars.

 

Hot Connection, The Complete Set by Lucia Jordan

Book Description:

Published: July 18, 2017

Format: E-Book

Zoe Lang’s life isn’t working out quite as she hoped.

Estranged from her family and sick of her dreary existence, she spends her nights dreaming about her high school sweetheart, Edward. She knows that one day soon, he’ll come back to sweep her off her feet, and together they’ll build the life that he always promised her. She just has to be patient while he builds his career and saves his money until they can be together. Then one night, Zoe’s apartment building catches fire, and her life changes forever when she meets smolderingly handsome firefighter, Cole Mitchell. When Zoe saves his life, their futures become inexorably entangled.

Review –

The first “book” in this short set was free and ended with such an abrupt cliffhanger that I HAD to buy the complete series.

Poor Zoe, if it wasn’t for her bad luck she would have no luck at all.

She wakes up in her small apartment on the third floor and smells smoke. She grabs her purse and her photo album with all the momentous of Edward, her “boyfriend” since High School.

She notices that a neighbor and her two children are not accounted for and tells a fireman who rushes back into the building. Then,three  fireman come out of the building with the missing occupants but the other fireman is missing.Zoe runs into the fiery building and finds him caught under a metal pipe. She grabs the hot pipe and he is able ti get free and then the roof collapses.

She wakes up in the hospital with both hands bandaged and a fireman sitting in the chair next to her bed. She saved his life and now he wants to be there for her.

He sees the album with Edward’s pictures and letters but still asks her to come to his home after she’s released so he can take care of her. She really doesn’t have any other place to go so she gives in even though she thinks it’s a dangerous thing to do given how attracted she is to the fireman.

Days go by and the sexual tension between them gets too strong and Zoe gives in to her feelings but then regrets it and moved out and into her brother’s home, even though there is tension between them.

Fast forward and we find out that Edward is a cheat and a “gold digger”(Zoe will inherit a nice amount eventually) and her brother’s wife turns out to be Edward’s sister and they’ve been working together.

Needless to say, Cole and Zoe get back together and there is a HEA.

Good story all around and made for a very steamy and pleasant read.

RANT: I HATE this cover because it is very misleading and totally off the mark for this series. Total book cover rant coming soon!