Darkness Take My Hand (Kenzie and Gennaro #2) by Dennis Leanne

Book Description:

Published: July 12, 1996

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro’s latest client is a prominent Boston psychiatrist running scared from a vengeful Irish mob. The private investigators know something about cold-blooded retribution. Born and bred on the mean streets of blue-collar Dorchester, they’ve seen the darkness that lives in the hearts of the unfortunate. But an evil for which even they are unprepared is about to strike as secrets long-dormant erupt, setting off a chain of violent murders that will stain everything–including the truth.

Review –

The above blurb does little to prepare the reader or the listener for what lays ahead. Lehane’s latest is an explosive story that is at once gut-wrenchingly violent and achingly melancholy.

Having not read or listened to the first book in this series, I knew nothing about the bond between Patrick and Angie but it doesn’t take long to pick up on the sexual chemistry and tension between them.

Patrick Kenzie and Angie Dimassi have known each other since they were six-year-olds running wild on the playgrounds of South Boston. As grown-ups, they’re partners in a detective agency, and the dangerous spots they’ve encountered together have strengthened the old bonds. Angie is coming out of an unhappy marriage, and Patrick is happily in love, when a series of brutal murders intrude. As Angie and Patrick try to find out what kind of human being could perform such horrifying acts of rape, mutilation, torture, and dismemberment, they soon find that the killer’s motive is disturbingly rooted in their own distant past. The two work frantically with the Boston cops, the FBI, the local Mafia, and folks from the old neighborhood to unearth the killer. The culminating showdown is unpredictable and unforgettable with the greatest horrors being those closest to home. Every character will be forever affected by the outcome of this book. This book is dark, edgy,  and horribly violent so if you are squeamish, don’t read it. Otherwise, I highly recommend it. I’m looking forward to reading the rest in the series including the first one which I have in my quench’s now.

Five stars *****

The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings #1) by J.R. Ward

Book Description:

Published: July 28, 2015

Format: Audio/Audible

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.

Review –

It took me longer than usual to listen to this book because I had purchased it through Audible and therefore I own it and could take my time. At the same time I was listening to this book several books became available through OverDrive and I had to listen to them first because you only have them for a limited time. That being said, every time I went back to The Bourbon Kings, I was immediately back in the world of the very rich and privileged and all the problems that goes along.

The family dynamic of the of the Baldwin family(pronounced Baldwine) is dysfunctional to say the least. The Father has embezzled millions from his own company and his wife’s account, the Mother, is on drugs most of the time and stays in her suite of rooms, the oldest son, Edward, is a shell of the man he used to be due to being kidnapped and tortured for ransom, which his father did not pay, Max, another son is MIA, Lane has been in New York for the last two years playing poker and keeping his distance from the rest of the family and finally Gin, the daughter who can not live without the lifestyle she has been accustomed and therefore agrees to marry a sexual sadist and controlling man because he is very very rich.

I have not read a J.R. Ward book before but I know he’s famous for his paranormal books. This one is like a Southern soap opera with a bunch of horrible people making horrible choices.

There is a cliffhanger ending, but I expected that. Too bad there are seven people ahead of me on OverDrive for the net in the series, The Angel’s Share, but while I wait I’ll find other books to read or listen to, I always do.

Five stars *****

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris

Book Description:

Published: February 11,2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace.

He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. Though, you’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

Review –

In two words, this book was SUPER CREEPY!!!!

Jack has a horribly violent past and he lives to satisfy his predilection , which is to psychologically terrorize and break women and sometimes physically hurt them.

Grace is mature beyond her years and the sole guardian of the sister, Millie, who has Down’s Syndrome. They meet Jack in the park and he ingratiates himself into their lives. To Grace he is the perfect man and she agrees to marry him. Millie is to be her bridesmaid, but on the way to wedding site Jack pushes Millie down a flight of stairs, unbeknownst to Grace. The wedding proceeds and they fly to Thailand for the honeymoon. Jack hasn’t been very sexually attentive in their relationship but Grace has chalked this up to his busy lawyer status . Jack has NEVER lost a case, the irony being that he defends battered women.

Jack disappears on their wedding night and when he does reappear he explains to Grace exactly what her life will be like. She will have no phone, no passport, no money and she will do as he says or else Millie will suffer. He locks her out on the terrace for hours at a time while he goes off and feeds her only when he feels like it.

Arriving at their new home Grace sees that it is everything they had discussed prior to the wedding but try to escape and each time a privilege is taken away until finally she is kept in black pajamas  in a small plain room with bars on the one small window. She can have no books or newspapers, no television, no writing implements , nothing to offer distraction and stimulation. 

When Millie turns eighteen the plan is for her to come live with them so Grace has to get free before that happens.

THAT is all I’m going to tell you, except to say that this book is told from Grace’s POV in Past and Present modes.

Does she get free from the clutches of her crazy, murderous psycho of a husband?  You will have to read or listen to this book for yourself. It will keep you on the edge of your seat and flipping pages or listening from beginning to end inn one sitting. (I almost did.)

Fantastic debut novel. Can’t wait to see what this author brings us next.

Five stars *****

 

Home (Myron Bolitar #11) by Harlan Coben

Book Description:

Published: September 20, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Ten years after the high-profile kidnapping of two young boys, only one returns home.

A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: What can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend?

Harlan Coben delivers a thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home.

Review –

There is something very special about reuniting with a cast of characters you haven’t read about for some time. Myron Bolitar and Windsor Horne Lockwood III, (Win) are two of my favourite characters in all of fiction,(next to Harry Bosch) and we haven’t seen them (besides brief appearances in Coben’s YA Mickey Bolitar trilogy) since 2011’s Live Wire. That is a very long time to wait.

Home brings these characters back, alongside the classic cast: Esperanza; Big Cyndi, Myron’s parents. Heck, even the kids wh0 starred in Coben’s YA series play a vital role in proceedings, and it’s great to be reunited with Mickey, Ema and Spoon. Their presence adds a cool continuity to things. So, sure; this book is for the fans. The readers, like me, who clamour each and every year for a new Myron novel. But there’s plenty here for “non-Myron” fans to enjoy. If indeed there even are such people out there.

There’s a big mystery here, and there are surprising twists (unleashed rather late in proceedings, admittedly, but no less effectively than in other novels) but it’s the emotion of the characters that really lifts Home above the rank and file. The heart and soul of this novel are the twin families coping with the loss of a child, and the extremes parents go to in order to protect them.

Ultimately, it’s just great to be back with Myron and the gang. The novel’s ending is possibly conclusive – – with a real lump-in-the-throat moment –(with 28 minutes left tears formed in my eyes and at 19 minutes left they started to fall) – so who knows when we’ll see these characters again? In many respects, I wish I’d taken my time with the novel and truly savoured it. Instead, I smashed through it in almost one sitting. That’s the true evidence of Coben’s class: his books are so gripping, you can’t put them down or turn them off.

Five stars *****

 

Cell 8 (Grens & Sundkvist #3) by Anders Rosalind and Borge Hellstrom

Book Description :

Published: January 3, 2012

Format: Audio

Detective Superintendent Ewert Grens of THREE SECONDS returns in a riveting mystery that centers on perhaps the most controversial subject in the modern criminal justice system: the death penalty.
In Ohio, seventeen-year-old John Meyer Frey rots on Death Row for the brutal murder of his girlfriend. The victim’s father hungers for revenge, while a prison guard is torn by compassion for the young man. When Frey unexpectedly dies of heart disease before he either receives his just punishment or achieves redemption, the wheels of justice grind to a halt.

Six years later, on a ferry between Finland and Sweden, a singer named John Schwarz viciously attacks a drunken lout harassing a woman, leaving the man in a coma. The Stockholm police arrest Schwarz for aggravated assault, but when Grens learns that the assailant has been living in Sweden under a false identity, he begins to suspect that something darker and more complex underlies the incident. Following his intuition, Grens launches an investigation that spans from Sweden to the United States and reveals a startling connection between the Frey and Schwarz cases.

Featuring a multilayered plot with a killer twist, CELL 8 takes readers on a gripping, page-turning journey that explores the devastating repercussions of the death penalty as well as the fallout from the conflicting desires for public justice and private retribution.

Review –

This was a first time listen to this author’s work and I loved it. I will definitely  be trying to find the others in the series.

This is a heart-wrenching story of a man named John who was seventeen when he was convicted of murdering his sixteen year old girlfriend although he claims he didn’t do it.  Several years go by and now  he sits waiting for his day to be executed.

One of the main prison guards feels compassion for the young man and believes in his innocence and so with several others they fake the man’s death (really cool the way they did it) and send him on his way to Sweden with a fake identify. There he lives peacefully, marrying and having a son, until one night on his job he kicks a man in the face and almost kills him. He is arrested and little by little they find out that he is none other than a convict from Ohio who everyone thought was dead. 

This is where things become political and finally he is extradited to the United States and put to death. THEN there is a GIANT surprise twist and we find out the identity of the real killer and what was put into motion all those years ago come to fruition. 

Fantastic book.

Five stars *****

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Separation Games (The Games Duet#2) by C.D. Reiss

Book Description:

Published: January 3, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

These are the unbreakable rules in the game.
Stay collected. Compartmentalize. Think your next move through. Never let your heart dictate your tactics.

The heart is impulsive.
The heart makes bad decisions.
The heart doesn’t see the long game.

Because the heart may have decided to get Adam back, but when the endgame comes, the heart’s going to be the first thing to break.

Review –

This book takes up where the other left off.

Adam  has discovered that by breaking Diana sexually and making her submit to him, he now doesn’t love her in the same way. He has never been able to love a submissive.

The tables have turned and now Diana is the one trying to put their marriage back together and Adam is the one walking away.

This installment is mostly told from Diana’s point of view. I felt for her on so many levels, her desire to get back what was once hers and now out of her reach. I felt her pain, but I also felt how strong she was and how determined she was to put it all on the line in order to finish the game she started. Only Adam and his sadistic dominance could satisfy her and she HAS to get him back.

Towards the end of the book we get to see things from Adam’s POV and see what was hiding in his heart and thoughts and once again he held his position of perfection. A man who is out to right his wrongs once and for all no matter the costs. I simply adore EVERYTHING about him.

Adam tries to use sex to keep Diana at arm’s length while Diana uses sex to communicate where her words fail. The sex (and there’s a lot of it) is electric, inventive and off the charts HOT, and you will  never look at LEGOS the same way again.

The end of Adam and Diana’s journey is almost like a drop after sub space as you process everything. Aftercare is a must!

And I can’t explain with enough words how great this was and how happy the development through the whole book made me and those few last chapters in particular * SWOON*

Five Stars *****

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The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8) by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: July 14, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

A body is discovered in an empty Atlanta warehouse. It’s the body of an ex-cop, and from the moment Special Agent Will Trent walks in he knows this could be the most devastating case of his career. Bloody footprints leading away from the scene reveal that another victim – a woman – has left the scene and vanished into thin air. And, worst of all, the warehouse belongs to the city’s biggest, most politically connected, most high-profile athlete – a local hero protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers. A local hero Will has spent the last six months investigating on a brutal rape charge.

But for Will – and also for Dr Sara Linton, the GBI’s newest medical examiner – the case is about to get even worse. Because an unexpected discovery at the scene reveals a personal link to Will’s troubled past. The consequences will wreak havoc on his life and the lives of those he loves, those he works with, and those he pursues.

But Sara’s scene-of-the-crime diagnosis is that they only have a few hours to find the missing woman before she bleeds out . . .

Review –

There is nobody, and I do mean nobody, who writes the kind of books Karin Slaughter does. Her novels are heavily plotted with twists and turns we never expect and never predict. She creates characters readers love to love, and love to hate. She writes about real people, not some glossy type of imagined characters. With her brand of talent she makes the reader feel enriched after having finished her stories. Slaughter’s latest novel,The Kept Woman,  is saturated with all of these elements which makes it one of her most engrossing thrillers yet.

I’ve read all of the Will Trent series(this is number eight) so I know that background and all the characters very well, but the author does give a hint of background for the characters that it also could be read as a standalone.

The story line is full of high tension, nerve-wracking situations, relentless investigations and an ending you don’t anticipate. For these and other reasons you really need to check out this book. You will definitely not regret it.

I always try to read a Karin Slaughter novel in January and so I’m extremely glad I slipped this one in before the end of the month. Now, I can’t wait for the next book !

 

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The Pocket Wife by Susan H. Crawford

Book Description:

Published: March 17, 2015

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

An amazing talent makes her debut with this stylish psychological thriller—with the compelling intrigue of The Silent Wife and Turn of Mind and the white-knuckle pacing of Before I Go to Sleep—in which a woman suffering from bipolar disorder cannot remember if she murdered her friend during a breakdown.

Dana Catrell is horrified to learn she was the last person to see her neighbor Celia alive. Suffering from a devastating mania, a result of her bipolar disorder, Dana finds that there are troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia’s death. As evidence starts to point in her direction, Dana struggles to clear her name before her own demons win out.

Is murder on her mind—or is it all in her head?

The closer she comes to piecing together shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her… or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again? A story of marriage, murder and madness, The Pocket Wife explores the world through the foggy lens of a woman on the edge.

Review –

I don’t have any personal experience with bipolar disorder, so I can’t say whether or not Crawford does a fair job of presenting what a person who suffers from it is feeling. She does spend a lot of time exploring Dana’s mental illness, however. Dana reflects about her first manic episode, when she was in college. She felt invincible, forgoing sleep and food, convinced she had tuned in to some larger power. When her boyfriend found her perched on top of their building, convinced she could fly, she was admitted to Bellevue.

Dana is aware of her illness and knows that her judgement will be skewed. She can feel herself getting worse and knows she only has a short time before she needs to get help to regulate. But the mania also makes her feel sharper and smarter, and she’s desperate to find Celia’s killer–even if it’s her–before that evaporates.

Dana was the last person to see Celia alive, or so she thinks and what Celia told her and showed her made her mad enough to kill her, but did she?

The grainy picture Celia showed her from her phone was of Peter and his “tart”, who Dana thought  was his secretary, but pulled that out when she met her.  So, who was he now seeing?

Dana discovers that Peter had an affair with Celia, dumped her and now had another woman he was bedding. Did Peter kill her to keep her from telling Dana, not knowing she already had?

So many questions and Dana has no answers but she knows she is a prime suspect and she must prove her innocence before she has a mental break.

Sadly, the break comes first.

Adding balance, half the text is told from the point of view of Jack Moss, the detective assigned to Celia’s case. We get to view Dana’s world from an outsider looking in, and it kept the novel from feeling too dreamy or detached.

Detective Jack Moss’s second marriage has ended and he has a soft spot for Dana because he saw her twenty years ago when she was first admitted to Bellevue. He is a kind man, with a son from a first marriage who he doesn’t really know and now he is a new grandfather. I liked his character very much.

The killer was a surprise to me and I love that fact and I thought the ending was perfect.

If you like suspenseful thriller be sure and pick up this one or add it to your TBR list.

Five stars !

*I love the name of this book and you find out what exactly it means early on.(another reason to read it)

 


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It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Book Description:

Published: August 2, 2016

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

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First of all, I want to say that I gave this book five stars ***** and it deserved more.

It got a LOT of hype and some readers didn’t like it and some loved it. I’m in the latter category. It deals with a subject whose depth you can not comprehend unless you are a part of it. Thank my lucky stars, I was not ever, nor do I think I will ever be a part of it. 

I would love to tell you everything about this book but I can’t because it would give too much away and I want you to read it or listen to it. I want everyone to read or listen to it. Men and women.

This book broke my heart because I was rooting for the man I thought was “perfect”, but I guess if something looks perfect it’s too good to be true. Love can hurt and love can heal but one person can’t do both.

The blurb makes it sound like a “love triangle” is involved but it’s not. That is not the point, or the focus. Whatever it is you’re thinking this book is, just trust me — it’s so much bigger than that. Seriously, trust Colleen. I did.

This book is now at my top favorite books of the year. I was unable to stop listening for long periods of time and other times I HAD  to stop listening. My heart couldn’t take it and I needed more Kleenex. I know that this is one of those profoundly beautiful and unforgettable stories that will stay with me for a long time.

I highly recommend it to everyone!

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Marriage Games (Games #1) by CD Reiss

Book Description:

Published: October 22, 2016

THIRTY DAYS
That’s all Adam Steinbeck demands of his wife.
Thirty days in a remote cottage, doing everything he demands. After that, he’ll sign her divorce papers and give her complete ownership of their company.

THIRTY DAYS
That’s how long he has to rediscover the man he once was. The Dominant Master he hid when he fell in love with her five years ago.

THIRTY DAYS
She wants the business they built badly enough to go to the cottage for a month. Cut off ties to the world and do his bidding. She can submit to him with her body, but her heart will never yield.

She thinks this is his pathetic attempt to repair their marriage.

She’s wrong

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

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I can’t believe that this is my first experience with the writings of CD Reiss  but it definitely won’t be the last and let me tell you why.

Not only was this book filled with inferno hot, steamy sex but it was an emotional roller coaster ride of two people who spent years together and yet drift  apart.

Diana leaves Adam a note telling him that she doesn’t love him any more and he is beyond devastated. He has loved her from the moment they met.

At first, he doesn’t accept what she’s telling him and tries to get her to come back only to have her refuse him at every turn.

Some background  here would be helpful – Adam was a Dom and belonged to a sex club and owned a house where he would take submissive to break them before he met Diana. Diana, on the other hand, was prim and proper and totally vanilla and since he had never  been able to love a sub, he did not want to introduce her to the life style.

After years of marriage and working together Diana feels something is missing and that Adam’s head is somewhere else when they have sex. She’s right. Adam wants to be a Dominant again but loves Diana too much to bring that into the bedroom.

The saying goes, it takes two to tango. That’s because they spent years together without ever revealing their true selves. It’s difficult to love someone else if you’re not truly embracing yourself. With Adam’s fear of showing his dominance with Diana, he held so much of himself back. Denying his true self was his biggest mistake and once he regains the control he’s ignored for so long, he begins to feel free and euphoric. Dominant Adam was way intense and a major turn on!! ( and don’t get me started on the male narrator, Sebastian York and his dominant voice, OMG, he could have been reading a phone book and my blood still would have churned)

I didn’t care for Diana until the POV of the story switched to her and the reader saw where she was coming from. Each of them had things they weren’t sharing with the other and it was their downfall.

Adam proposes that Diana give herself over to him for 30 days and let him show her his Dominant side. He’s always believed he could never combine love with his dominant lifestyle. That is until he offers up this  deal to his soon-to-be ex-wife. Thirty days in a cottage together. Thirty days to return to his old self and hopefully in the process, fall out of love with Diana so that he can move on with his heart still relatively in one piece. 

Along the way Diana discovers that she IS a submissive and has been craving what a Dom can give her even though she didn’t know it, but Adam discovers that by breaking Diana sexually he now doesn’t love her in the same way.

The tables have turned and now Diana is the one trying to put their marriage back together and Adam is the one walking away.

The follow-up book, SEPARATION GAMES, comes out in January and I can not wait.

This book is extremely sexual, describing explicit sex and using very explicit language. Reader beware.

Five stars *****

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