All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

Book Description:

Published: July 12, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

In the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut everything seems picture perfect.

Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, prefers to pretend this horrific event did not touch her perfect country club world.

As they seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town – or perhaps lives among them – drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.

Review-

“The traumatic memories of a teenager’s rape are medically erased, but lingering thoughts of the attack remain, infecting everyone in her close-knit community.

15-year-old Jenny Kramer thought the party she’d been invited to would be the moment when she’d finally blossom, maybe even get a moment alone with the dashing Doug Hastings. Instead she found herself drunk, in the woods, the victim of a vicious hourlong rape, of which Walker spares the reader no detail in this unnecessarily explicit debut. After she’s rushed to the hospital, Jenny’s parents—blubbering car salesman Tom and tightly put together homemaker Charlotte —decide to give her an experimental drug cocktail to erase her memories of the attack. If the process were successful, there’d be no book, so enter the skin-crawlingly smug narrator, soon introduced as psychiatrist Dr. Alan Forrester, who begins treating Jenny, along with her whole family, after her nearly successful suicide attempt. It’s difficult to empathize with a character—our narrator no less—who looks at a 15-year-old assault victim and wonders to himself “why [he] could not see the rape in her eyes.” As the well-to-do enclave of Fairview, Connecticut, tries to regroup in the wake of zero viable suspects, Tom Kramer makes it his mission to find Jenny’s rapist, jumping on every slim lead, like the sighting of a blue Honda Civic near the party and  a boy in a blue sweatshirt.  The introduction of one of Alan’s other patients, a soldier who endured the same treatment as Jenny, merely clutters an already busy story whose resolution is anything but satisfying.

A repugnant narrator, even an unreliable one, makes it difficult to focus on the true victim, one who is crushed under the weight of this ridiculous plot.” from Kirkus Reviews

I couldn’t have said it better. As the book went on I began to wonder if indeed the rape of Jenny and her well-being was the focus of the story or if it was the Doctor Forrester and his well-being. To tell you the truth, I still don’t know.

Don’t waste your time.

 

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Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Book Description:

Published: July 11, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct…

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing. But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help.

Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found? It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.

Review –

“A search for a missing girl resurrects traumatic memories for a woman already struggling with life.

Sunday Night—not her real name—lives in seclusion on an island off the South Carolina coast while contemplating the ruins of her life. Her early childhood was a nightmare. Taken in by policeman Perry “Beau” Beaumonde, rebellious Sunday earned a choice of jail or the armed forces. Her stint in the Marines led to a job with the Charleston PD, where the accidental shooting of an unarmed man has left her wounded and pensioned off. That’s when Beau suggests she take an investigative job for wealthy, well-connected Opaline Drucker, whose 15-year-old granddaughter, Stella, may have been kidnapped by a cult after she missed being killed in a Hebrew school bombing that claimed the lives of her mother and brother (though the family isn’t Jewish). Accepting the job, Sunday heads to Chicago, where Drucker’s connections get her first-class treatment and information from the cops handling the case. Paranoid Sunday sets up motion detectors in her room at the Ritz and moves from hotel to hotel while awaiting the results of her internet trolling. She hears from the bombers and manages to avoid one trap but gets ambushed at the Ritz, where she kills an attacker identified as one of the bombing suspects from an old security tape. Seeking help in staking out a female member of the gang, Sunday calls on her twin brother, Gus, and they chase the suspects from Chicago to California and back East. Reichs periodically interrupts this tale with the first-person narrative of a girl desperately trying to escape a cult. Is it Stella or Sunday? Are the bombers really trying to kill Jewish schoolchildren, or is their motive still deeper?

The authors’ newest heroine, the polar opposite of cerebral Temperance Brennan (Speaking in Bones, 2015, etc.), is fueled by a well-nigh uncontrollable rage in her thrilling, violent search for a missing girl so much like herself.”

The above was taken from Kirkus Review.

Although I enjoyed the book, I’m not sure if the character of Sunday Night will grow on me; but I really liked her twin brother Gus (August Night) and he, I could become invested in. I guess I’ll just wait and see what the author decides to do.

 

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.

 

 

 

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!

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.

 

Bait by Jade West

Book Description:

Published: August 14, 2017

Format: Free Digital Book

A stranger online. Dark hair and even darker eyes that knew my dirty desires before I did.
A fantasy that should never be spoken. But he pulled the confession from me.
And now he’s coming for me.
Rough. Dirty. Dangerous.
It’s supposed to be one night to get me off and make me forget.
He’ll make me his and I’ll pretend I don’t want him to.
I’ll run and he’ll chase.
Because I asked him for this.
I begged him for this.

Tonight, in the darkness, he’s the hunter.
And I’m the bait.

Review –

Abigail Summers moved to a new city to leave behind her old life. But no matter where she went, demons from her past caught up to her, making her crave a dangerous game.Abigail was one gutsy woman. She perfectly aware what she jumped into and took matter into her own hand to regain her spirit. I like how she could let herself loose while not losing control.

Phoenix may be a stranger, but he was no stranger to the dark needs. He let the monster lay dormant inside him until she breathed it back to life. On the surface, Phoenix had that wild and dangerous appeal. And I like how beyond that he was perfectly normal. He may be ruthless, but he also had heart.

What I like the most about these characters is that they’re unapologetic for what they need and they clicked together like a jigsaw puzzle. The sex scenes were dirty and the situation added to the hotness.

The book started dark and mysterious with a tinge of ominous tone. I enjoyed the overall storyline even though I wasn’t surprised by outcome.

Bait is a story of two broken souls finding comfort with each other. It would appeal to readers looking for dark, erotic read with element of suspense.

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.

 

 

 

 

Asunder (Iron Bulls MC #1) by Phoenyx Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: 2015

Format: Free Digital Book

Karina:
For most of my life I thought Logan and I were meant to be together. We grew up next door to each other. Neither of us had happy homes, but together we found a sort of peace. He was only three years older than me, but when you’re a child, that’s a lot. I looked up to him. Loved him with everything I had.

He kept me safe. Protected me. Eventually I gave him everything. My heart, my love, my virginity. He disappeared without a word. When I finally found him, he said I couldn’t be part of his life anymore.
He broke my heart.

Then I met Dante, and the perfect plan to get even with Logan began to form in my mind. Dante is older, dark, dangerous, and the Sargent-at-Arms of the Iron Bulls MC. The same MC Logan joined when he left me.

Dante:
Karina Rivers was supposed to be a one-time afternoon distraction. I’m way too old and twisted for someone as innocent as her.
I want her anyway. She doesn’t realize she has the power to tear this MC apart.

Review –

I love a good MC contemporary romance and the author, Phoenyx Slaughter, really delivers in this book.

Karina is more than a little upset with Logan for breaking up with her the way he did so she has a scheme to make him jealous. She plans to hook up with Dante, a much older and rougher man in the same motorcycle club as Logan.

She doesn’t have long to wait because Logan walks in on her and Dante in a very compromising situation that has to deal with a pool table in the MC clubhouse. Logan doesn’t give her the huge jealous reaction she was looking for, instead, he just seemed concerned that she was there, period!

What started out as a scheme to make Logan jealous has become secondary once she gets to know thirty-four year old Dante and soon he feels more for Karina than just a casual lay. Soon she’s living with Dante.

They have a very unique but strange (she calls him “Daddy”, which makes me cringe ever time she does) relationship and he’s very protective of her and wants what’s best for her.

All this time Logan is seething and finally kidnaps Karina but she calls Dante but it goes straight to  voicemail. Will he be able to get to her in time?  END   Talk about a cliffhanger, so naturally I had to buy the next in the series and will report on it later.

 

 

Redemption Road by John Hart

Book Description:

Published: May 3, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Imagine:

A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother.

A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting.

After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free. But for how long?

And deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, the unthinkable has just happened…

This is a town on the brink. This is a road with no mercy.

After five years, John Hart returns with Redemption Road, his most powerful story yet.

Review –

This book is set in a  small city in North Carolina. The protagonist is police detective Elizabeth Black, who has been put on suspension because she appears to have used excessive force — 18 bullets — in killing two men in the basement where they were raping and torturing an 18-year-old girl. “Hero Cop or Angel of Death?” a newspaper headline asks.

Adrian Wall, a fellow officer whom she once idolized but who was convicted of murdering a woman in a ritualized way,  finishes serving his time and arrives back in town, and the killer strikes again. Besides sexual chemistry, Liz and Adrian share a reluctance to tell the truth about the incidents that have brought them under suspicion, and their motives for silence are the same: protecting someone else.

Liz’s campaign to clear Adrian is hampered by her suspension and her sizable shoulder chip. She has alienated her father, a rigid-minded minister, most of her fellow officers, and the brutal warden of the prison in which Adrian was confined. On the other hand, she has lavished motherly affection on 14-year-old Gideon, the vengeance-seeking son of the woman whom Adrian was convicted of killing, and Channing, the girl whose rape occasioned all those gunshots. 

This story is so convoluted and gets more so deeper into the plot we go. There is buried treasure, we find out who the serial killer is and the warden and his henchmen get there just due. BUT…Beckett, Liz’s partner of four years is paralyzed from a gut shot given by the warden, and exited his back, Gideon is left behind because he also needs urgent medical care at the end and Liz, Adrian and Channing one on the run.  BUT… there is an hea but you’ll have to read or listen to this book yourself to find out what it is.

Fantastic book!

Five stars!!

The Collar (Submissive #6) by Tara Sue Me

Book Description:

Published: July 7, 2015

Format: Audio/Audible

In her seductive new Submissive novel, Tara Sue Me introduces a sizzling hot new couple into Abby and Nathaniel’s world and explores the red-hot passion between Jeff and Dena that won’t be denied Fans of E. L. James, Sylvia Day, Maya Banks and Beth Kery will be seduced by New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me’s enthralling Submissive series.

Nathaniel and Abby West are struggling to navigate the challenging waters of their own relationship, when they get a surprising phone call from their partners in play, Dena and Jeff, who are in need of a helping hand…

Seven years ago, desperate for something exhilarating to help her escape the pressures of her carefully controlled life, lawyer Dena Jenkins joined a local BDSM club as a submissive. There she met brooding Dominant, Jeff, and, despite Dena’s doubts, they couldn’t stay away from each other. But as the years have passed, their blazing connection has proven difficult to maintain and resulted in a history they’d rather forget. To save their passion, Dena and Jeff will have to rediscover what it means to trust – and give themselves to each other completely…

Review –

Let me start with this…..OMG OMG OMG !!!!! I freaking LOVED every single second reading this book.

Dena and Jeff have a history. She was once his collared submissive, and while they seem to both lead independent lives, it is clear that neither has really moved on from the past. Their back story is an emotional sucker punch as we finally learn how they came together and the traumatic events that separated them.

Just as Jeff has finally made the decision to cut the final threads that tie him to the D/s group they both belong to and move out-of-town, he finds out that Dena has a stalker. All the old feelings are resurrected and the two try to find a way to air their baggage and find a way to work past it to be together. This is an interesting story because they’re both in love with each other and yet can’t seem to find a way to get back together, once they took the steps to step away from each other.

The signature D/s encounters that are so much a part of these stories are all there, but in many ways I find this story more emotionally enriching than some of the main stories featuring Nathaniel and Abby.  While D/s seems to emphasize transparency and honesty and absolute truth, their insecurities earlier prevented them from truly dropping all their walls. Now that they have a second chance, can they truly shed pride and insecurity and bare all to each other to forge the connection they need?

I enjoyed this story and I think the ending is beautifully done.  Clearly the next book will go back to Nathaniel and Abby and I CAN’T WAIT to see where their relationship will go next.