Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder #1) by Linda Castillo

Book Description:

Published: June 23, 2009

Format: Audio/OverDrive

When a serial killer strikes bucolic Painters Mill, Ohio, the killer’s signature -—Roman numerals ritualistically carved into each victim’s abdomen- —matches the MO of four unsolved murders from 16 years earlier. Police chief Kate Burkholder, who’s reluctant to dredge up the past, must keep secret that she knows why the old murders stopped. Not satisfied with the case’s progress, local politicos set up a multijurisdictional task force to assist, including a law-enforcement agent battling his own demons. The added scrutiny and the rising body count threaten to push the chief over the edge. Adept at creating characters with depth and nuance, Castillo smoothly integrates their backstories into a well-paced plot that illuminates the divide between the Amish and English worlds.

Review –

Since I enjoyed number eight, Among the Wicked, in this series – I decided to go back and start from the beginning and I’m so glad I did.

In this first book in the series we learn more background on Kate’s reason for leaving the Amish life and her estrangement from her siblings. We also meet her love interest-to-be, John Tomasetti for the first time and learn more of his back story. Both were tormented with a serious past yet they were drawn together during the hunt for the serial killer. 

We also learn the lengths to which people will go to cover up ugly things in their lives and the affect in has on all around them.

I enjoyed this book more than number eight so I will continue with the series.

A great read.

 

Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder #8) by Linda Castillo

Book Description:

Published: July 12,2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called upon by the sheriff’s department in rural, upstate New York to assist on a developing situation that involves a reclusive Amish settlement and the death of a young girl. Unable to penetrate the wall of silence between the Amish and “English” communities, the sheriff asks Kate to travel to New York, pose as an Amish woman, and infiltrate the community.

Kate’s long time love interest, State Agent John Tomasetti, is dead set against her taking on such an unorthodox assignment, knowing she’ll have limited communication – and even less in the way of backup. But Kate can’t turn her back, especially when the rumor mill boils with disturbing accounts of children in danger. She travels to New York where she’s briefed and assumes her new identity as a lone widow seeking a new life.

Kate infiltrates the community and goes deep under cover. In the coming days, she unearths a world built on secrets, a series of shocking crimes, and herself, alone… trapped in a fight for her life.

Review –

This is another new author for me and although this book was number eight in the series; it works well as a stand-alone.

Since I haven’t read or listened to any of the earlier books I’m not sure what tragic event happened in Kate’s life while she was a young Amish girl, but I can guess. Her past has caused her to become the strong woman she is and few books feature strong women a main characters.

The plot was weak in places and dragged a bit here and there but on the whole I enjoyed it and plan to find others in the series.

Dirty Girl (Dirty Girl Duet #1) by Meghan March

Book Description:

Published: May 17, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

From USA Today bestselling author Meghan March comes a sexy new spin-off duet from The Dirty Billionaire Trilogy. Are you ready to get dirty again?

Desperately seeking rich, famous, single guy with a giant cock to make my lying, cheating, should’ve-been-born-dickless ex-boyfriend realize what he’s just lost.
Oh, and I give great head. Just sayin’.

No man in his right mind would answer that ad.
Except thousands did.
My name is Greer Karas, and I should never be allowed near another bottle of booze again. Because when I drink, my friend and I do stupid things. Like take a page out of my older brother Creighton’s playbook and post something completely asinine on the Internet. Waking up with a giant hangover to find my humiliating personal ad has gone viral is not my finest moment.
Cue my look of shock when one of Hollywood’s hottest new bad boys, Cavanaugh Westman, comes knocking at my door and drops his pants to prove that he does indeed have a giant cock.What he doesn’t have is an explanation for why he disappeared from my life without a word three years ago, only to show up on the big screen two years later, killing bad guys in action flicks.
And now he wants me again.
What the hell do I do now?

Review –

Seemingly the story of a poor man wanting to woo a rich girl but not doing it until he can be on the same level, financially, as she is. But, it’s so much more.

Cavanaugh is so HOT,sexy and dominant and being read by Sebastian York, some parts were almost too much for this old girl to handle. (I said Almost!)

Cav is not who he says he is and we  find this out on the very last sentence of the CLIFFHANGER ending. So, of course, I’m going to HAVE to listen to the next installment.

One surprise about this book that I didn’t know about before listening is that this is a spin-off from the Dirty Billionaire Trilogy, the one with Creighton and Holly, the Country Western star, so Creighton’s character plays a minor but very important part.

Loved it. BLAZING hot sex scenes read by Sebastian York make this book a win-win!

 

The Ice Princess (Patrik Hedstrom #1) by Camilla Lackberg

Book Description:

Published: June 15, 2010

Format: Audio/Audible

Returning to her hometown of Fjallbacka after the funeral of her parents, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy. The death of her childhood friend, Alex, is just the beginning. Her wrists slashed, her body frozen in an ice-cold bath, it seems that she has taken her own life.

Erica conceives a book about the beautiful but remote Alex, one that will answer questions about their own shared past. While her interest grows into an obsession, local detective Patrik Hedstrom is following his own suspicions about the case. But it is only when they start working together that the truth begins to emerge about a small town with a deeply disturbing past.

Review –

This is the second book from this author that I have listened to and I loved it. The first one was The Stonecutter, and I listened to it over a year ago and it was number three in the series. This was number one and we meet up with the main characters of Patrik Hedstrom and Erica Falck. He is a police detective and she is a writer and most of the action takes place in the small fishing village of Fjallbacka, Sweden.

Erica’s childhood friend, Alex, is found murdered in a bathtub with both wrists slit. Alex and her family moved away when she was around ten and she was never the same outgoing little girl. Soon after Alex’s murder, a  close friend of hers is found hanging in his home. Can these two murders connected?

There are many twists and turns in this foreign crime fiction  and we learn about the horrible things done to Alex as a child by someone who should have been a protector and why she and Anders were close.

The murderer is someone I never expected, which always makes a  book even better.

Right along with the murder investigation we see the chemistry between Patrik and Erica evolve into more. Although they knew each other in school, over twenty years ago, Erica had no idea the depth of feelings that brewed between them.

Great read and a great who-dun-it.  Looking forward to finding more in the series.

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First Life (Everlife #1) by Gena Showalter

Book Description:

Published: February 23, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

ONE CHOICE.
TWO REALMS.
NO SECOND CHANCE.

Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

Review –

I have had this book on my TBR list for a long time and had good and bad things about it, so I thought it was time to decide for myself.

Hate it too strong a word to describe how I felt about the book, but comes very very close.

First of all, young adults must be very smart because this book is as confusing as Hell. There is a Firstlife and a Everlife and when you turn 18 you must decide in which realm to spend your time after your Firstlife is over. Troika, which is light and Myriad, which is dark.

I kept listening to the book just so I could finish it and be done but near the end the action picked up (Ten’s crazy Aunt kills her) but she’s saved by both Archer and Killian, who are both trying to recruit her into their realms. They wear shells and don’t get started on them…if they are killed inside the shell before making it out, they die. If they get out in time they are spirit until they get another shell.

Anyway, after Ten is saved a lot of stuff happens but the worst are Archer is killed(really killed) and Killian is a prisoner. Ten, herself, is dies but before she does she pledges herself to Troika and vows to save Killian, who are all intents and purposes is her boyfriend.

Whew!!!!

I rated the book two stars because it did pick up at the end and I’m planning to listen to the second in the series, Lifeblood, but I’ll be in to hurry. I hate cliffhangers, but it will drive me crazy if I don’t find out what happens.

Just a character note: I hated Ten. Though she had a high pain tolerance, I found her whiney and tedious.

I think the cover is fantastic!

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Between Shades of Gray by Rita Sepetys

Book Description:

Published: March 22, 2011

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

Review –

“They took me in my nightgown.” The opening sentence of this superlative first novel by Ruta Sepetys demonstrates the strength of its unembellished language. Thus, 15-year-old Lina Vilkas, along with her mother and younger brother, is deported from her Lithuanian home by the Soviet secret police in 1941, and begins a cattle-car journey through a series of forced-labor camps that will span 12 years and 6,500 miles.

Apart from a few overly dramatic metaphors, Lina recounts her story with a straightforward clarity that trusts readers to summon images of starvation, disease and death, and grounds them in a reality young adults can understand.

As expected in Y.A. fiction, Lina has both a love interest and a special skill. Her relationship with another refugee is one of attraction amid desperation, their physical desire tamped down only by the limits of their emaciated, louse-­ridden bodies. Lina’s talent for drawing likewise plays a role: in her attempts to get a coded message to her father; in the assignments she is given by her Soviet captors for map-­copying and portraiture; in the flashbacks to her life as a promising art student.

The book does not lead us through the entire twelve years of the horrible conditions at the labor camp but does give us a glimpse into the life she had after being freed, and for that I was grateful. Parts were very heart-wrenching and seemed almost to horrible to have really happened .

I truly enjoyed this book but not as much as her second book, Salt to the Sea, which I rated FIVE STARS and think everyone should read. This one too, will leave you thinking for some time to come.

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The Other Woman(Jane Ryland #1) by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Book Description:

Published: September 4, 2012

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Jane Ryland was a rising star in television news…until she refused to reveal a source and lost everything. Now a disgraced newspaper reporter, Jane isn’t content to work on her assigned puff pieces, and finds herself tracking down a candidate’s secret mistress just days before a pivotal Senate election.
Detective Jake Brogan is investigating a possible serial killer. Twice, bodies of unidentified women have been found by a bridge, and Jake is plagued by a media swarm beginning to buzz about a “bridge killer” hunting the young women of Boston.
As the body count rises and election looms closer, it becomes clear to Jane and Jake that their cases are connected…and that they may be facing a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to silence a scandal.
Dirty politics, dirty tricks, and a barrage of final twists, The Other Woman is the first in an explosive new series by Hank Phillippi Ryan. Seduction, betrayal, and murder—it’ll take a lot more than votes to win this election.

Review –

This was my first read by this  author and I’m fairly certain I’ll be reading more, of this series in particular.

The first in a series. Jane Ryland is a reporter. She gets fired from her TV job and gets a newspaper job. She is in love (or at least, has the potential to be) with Jake – a cop, but they can never be together because of their jobs.

I actually like that Jake and Jane don’t do anything sexual in the book. For one thing, I feel like they really are getting to know and love(?) each other as people instead of just lusting after each other. Too many books out there today have “insta-love” between the two main characters and it is just TOO unbelievable .

This book is about a political campaign and all the back-stabbing and scandal that goes along with it, however, it is a bit confusing and with tons of twists and turns it becomes a tangled mess.

Did I enjoy it? Yes, I did. Twists and turns, multiple plot lines and points of view don’t bother me.

If you like a good “whodunit” give this book a try.

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Mastered (The Enforcers #1) by Maya Banks

Book Description:

Published:December 29, 2015

Format: Audio/Library Book

What he wants, he takes with no remorse or guilt.

She stood out in his club like a gem, unspoiled and untouched. A lamb among wolves, she clearly didn’t belong. Drawn to her innocence he watched as she was surrounded by men who saw what he did—but no one but him could touch her. He summoned her to his private quarters. He sensed her fear. He also recognized the desire in her eyes. And he knew she wouldn’t leave before he possessed her. She had no need to know his secrets. Not until he had her under his complete and utter control.

What he wants, she isn’t sure she can give him.

The moment he told her want he wanted, she couldn’t resist. Instinct told her to run, but her heart said stay and walk the fine line between pleasure and pain. Though she wasn’t sure she could ever completely surrender, the primal part of her wanted to try, even knowing this man could break her in ways she never imagined. Because once he possessed her, he owned her and it would be too late to turn back. She can only pray that he doesn’t destroy her in the end.

Review –

Mastered is the first novel–and an emotional roller coaster–in a new erotic series by the very talented Maya Banks. If you’re a fan of really getting into a character’s mind while going on a journey of the heart, I think Drake and Evangeline will have you intrigued.

Evangeline  was unsure of herself, doubted her good looks and her  sex appeal, but knew she was a loyal friend and would protect those she loved. Drake started off all bad-ass alpha so it was a rocky beginning, but he turned out to be such a tortured character.

In the book we spend a lot of time  in Drake and Evangeline’s heads. This had a big psychological element to the plot, both with how the main characters evolved and with how they were becoming accustomed to their Dominant/submissive relationship. Drake realizes that “his angel” isn’t like any of the other women he has had before. She doesn’t want gifts of jewelry, money, or expensive clothes. All she wants is his trust and his time. Evangeline is naive and has no clue of Drake’s “other” business, aside from the sex club and he means to keep it that way.

What he has to do at the end is horrible for both of them, but especially Evangeline. All the faith, trust and respect that Drake had given her is forever shattered. 

The book ends with a cliffhanger but I’m lucky enough to have it queued up and will be listening to it very soon.

Fantastic book with great, completely believable characters and VERY hot sex scenes.

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With You (Torn Asunder #0.5) by Nashoda Rose

Book Description:

Published: December 20, 2013

Format: Free Digital Book/Second Reading

Sculpt is an illegal fighter.

He’s also the lead singer of a local rock band.

No one knows his real name.

And from the moment I met him, he made me forget mine.

In order to convince Sculpt to give me self-defense lessons, I had to follow his one rule—no complaining or he’d walk. I didn’t think it would be a problem. I could handle a few bruises. What I hadn’t anticipated was landing on my back with Sculpt on top of me and my entire body burning up for him.

I tried to ignore it.

I failed of course. And having a hot, tattooed badass on top of me week after week, acting completely immune to what he was doing to my body—it was frustrating as hell, so I broke his rule—I complained.

Then he kissed me.

Author’s Note: This novella is Sculpt and Emily’s beginning and how they met. It is an extra and not required to be read before “Torn from You”. Their story and what happens to them is the novel “Torn from You”.

Review –

I first read this book in January 2014 and loved it then and now that I have read more erotic romances/contemporary romances and have a better understanding as to what makes up a great ER/CR I love it even more.

Sculpt, whose real name is Logan, is an MMA fighter and a member of the rock band, Torn Asunder. Emily wants to learn some self-defense moves and choose Sculpt to be her teacher. For five weeks he teaches her what she needs to know and doesn’t make a sexual move on her, but then he does and everything changes.

Emily has never had a boy/man pay attention to her as Sculpt does or treat her the way he does. She gave him her virginity and he tells her he love her and that she belongs to him and the next thing she knows she’s kidnapped and being tortured and sexually humiliated in a dirty basement. END

Hows that for a CLIFFHANGER ?

In the next book, Torn From You, we find out that Sculpt/Logan is working for a human trafficking/sex slave ring in Mexico and it’s his job to break and train the women as submissives so they can be put on the auction block. Raul, the boss, allows Sculpt to keep Emily as long as he wins MMA fights. Emily can’t wrap her head around the fact that he used her the long time and now is responsible for her torture and sexual abuse.

The series is well worth reading and though the mood is very dark and things look seemingly inescapable Logan and Emily do get their HEA at the end.

This is a great ER/CR series.

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You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

Book Description:

Published: July 26, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate.

Review –

At first I didn’t know if I could into this book because it was about gymnasts , but it was sooo much more than that!

Megan Abbott’s novel You Will Know Me takes readers deep into the obsessive, highly structured world of young female gymnasts and the families who help push these athletes to victory. It’s a masterful tale that’s both suspenseful and an eerily accurate portrait of the way teenage and parental cliques operate.

The book’s central characters, Katie and Eric Knox, have overextended themselves emotionally and financially to support their fifteen-year-old daughter, Devon. Ever since Devon was three and began excelling at Tiny Tumblerz, gymnastics has been “the mighty spine of everything for them.” Even the arrival of Drew, Devon’s younger brother, didn’t displace her from the spotlight. Now, Devon is on the brink of possible Olympic greatness, under the expert tutelage of Coach Teddy, “the gymnast whisperer,” who presides over BelStars gym, which has become the Knoxes’ little corner of the universe. The gym’s “booster parties” constitute the extent of their social life; the other girls’ parents are their only friends. Or, “sort of” friends. Because Devon, after all, is the sun and the other girls merely her satellites.

One fateful night, however, that solar system threatens to collapse when a handsome young man named Ryan who works at BelStars is found dead, a victim of an apparent hit-and-run. Perhaps, some suggest, Ryan should have known better. It wasn’t smart to walk alone on a dark country road; it also wasn’t smart to be the lone young man amid a crowd of adolescent female gymnasts, whose natural sexual desires could be sublimated for only so long into soaring vaults and sweaty floor exercises.

This is where the book turns into a “who-dun-it” because the author leads you to believe that several people could have killed Ryan. But why? Each person has their reasons and although I went back and forth on who the killer was, I was pleasantly surprised and ending OMG!!!!!!

To find out who killer Ryan and why you’ll have to read or listen to the book. I highly recommend it.

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