Rule (Marked Men #1) by Jay Crownover

Book Description:

Published: December 30, 2012

Format: E-Book

Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want—and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.

Review –

My daughter mentioned that she had started another book by Jay Crownover and I said that I had never read any of her work and because of her I was going to change that right away.

I checked out all of her books and decided on Rule, the first installment of the Marked Men series.

I’m a sucker for a male protagonist that is a hot, a bad ass and tattooed. Rule seems to fit the bill. I wish the author had included an illustration of a male body with all of Rule’s tats because according to the description, he had them EVERYWHERE.

Rule and Shaw have a very complicated relationship.

Rule Archer had an identical twin brother(minus the ink and piercings), Remy Archer. Remy and Shaw were very close, they were best friends. Everyone assumed their relationship was romantic, but it was strictly platonic. Remy died in a car accident three years ago. Shaw has been a part of the Archer family since she started hanging around with Remy at thirteen. Rules parents and older brother Rome love Shaw. Every Sunday, Shaw picks up Rule(she often finds him in compromising positions) and brings him to his parents house for brunch. Rules parents(especially his mother) are critical of rule and his lifestyle. Lets be honest.. Rule is a bit of a man slut, and with his changing hair color/style, ink and piercings etc, he is not what any conservative family would deem appropriate. Shaw doesn’t care. She loves everything about Rule and it drives her crazy that his parents don’t see all the wonderful in him. Unfortunately, Rule thinks Shaw was his brothers girl so he’s never seen her as anything else. Plus, she seems like too much of a good girl/spoiled princess for him. One drunken night, Shaw will finally make her move on Rule. And it will change everything….

You see this story through the eyes of Rule and Shaw, with the dual povs.
Rule is dealing with guilt from his brother’s death, his mother blames him and people just don’t accept who he is. Remy is one of the few people who did and he is gone. He copes with his issues with alcohol and women. Lots and lots of women. Shaw is a college student, and a virgin (due to the fact that when ever she got close to a guy, it didn’t work. Because they weren’t Rule.) She has parents who expect perfection from her, but they are all about appearances. They don’t really care. She is dealing with a psycho stalker ex boyfriend and is keeping a secret for her best friend Remy, that makes her life more difficult. Rule and Shaw have a lot of obstacles to overcome in their relationship.

Rule and Shaw’s relationship had many ups and downs, but they had some scorching hot moments and some really sweet and swoony moments. Loved their relationship and their chemistry. They were perfect together.

I loved everything about this story but there  were many grammatical issues, but the story was so good, they were easily overlooked. The ending was PERFECT!

 

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The Drafter (The 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 –

In 2030, Agent Peri Reed works for Opti, a secret government organization that’s been capitalizing on abilities like hers since the 1960s. Peri is the drafter of the title, someone gifted with the rare ability to rewind time for about 30 seconds; the downside is that she not only forgets the original 30 seconds, but longer periods of time (minutes, weeks, even years). Her partner and lover, Jack, acts as her anchor, working to tie her to the new timeline and helping her recover lost memories. But when the two of them uncover a list of corrupt Opti agents and Peri’s name is on it, she learns that both Jack and what she believes to be her past are suspect.

Unfortunately, the more information she uncovers about Opti and its nemesis, the alliance, the harder Opti works to erase Peri’s memories, leaving her either confused and gullible or confused and angry through much of the book. 

Fans of Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series maybe hoping for another strong woman character who kicks butt, be alas, Peri is more a victim, though she has impressive combat skills. She’s frequently distracted by the lures of sex, good food, and expensive, well-tailored clothing. She’s too focused on the adrenaline rush and privileges associated with being an elite, pampered agent to convince us that she’s capable of selflessly serving a cause. Maybe she is a corrupt agent after all, hhmmm.

Great read and really looking forward to the next installment in The  Peri Reed Chronicles.

Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica

Book Description:

Published:

Format: Audio/OverDrive

“The bad man, Daddy. The bad man is after us.” 

Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.

Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.

Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation and Nick’s last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

Review –

Mary Kubica delivers an impressive storyline told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation into the death of her husband, Nick and in Nick’s voice of his last months leading up to his accident.

I found it a really interesting story that explores when are minds are so tormented with grief it can really mess with our psyche and how we ultimately perceive things as being the truth or fiction. I have to admit that the character of Clara got on my nerves. I know she lost her husband in a horrific accident, that she doesn’t believe is an accident and that her daughter is acting outing as a result of also being in the car at the time of the crash, but her mind just assumed the worst case scenarios ALL THE TIME. She couldn’t sleep, eat or think straight.She couldn’t function normally and had an overactive imagination and obsessive behaviour most of the time.

Nick on the other hand was a loving husband and father but tried too hard to keep up with the Jones and kept NURMEROUS secrets from his wife. If he had been open with Clara the outcome of the story would have been totally different.

As it is, the ending will surprise many and many may not like it but I thought it was PERFECT.

To sum it all up it was an entertaining, fast-paced, and an easy read with an unexpected but satisfying ending. Highly recommend!!

Pigeons From Hell by Robert E. Howard

Book Description:

Published: October 27, 2015

Format: Audio

Robert E. Howard, best known as the creator of Conan the Barbarian, also wrote stories in a diverse range of genres. He was particularly masterful with horror stories. This 1938 spell-binding story is one of his best. In 1983, Stephen King, wrote that he considered Pigeons from Hell to be “one of the finest horror stories of our century.” With a decaying Southern family, a gruesome murder, a strange sort of “undead” creature, and, of course, evil pigeons, it makes for a story that will send a chill down your backbone.

Review –

I’m sorry but if what the blurb above says is true and this is one of the author’s best short stories, I’d hate to read the others. AND, though I love and admire Mr. Stephen King, he is dead wrong about this story.

I kept waiting for the scary, creepy, backbone-chilling part, but it never came.

All in all, it was just around spooky story to share around a campfire or read during the month of October .

Not impressed but I do like the cover art.

Adventurous Me (Me, You and Us #1) by Deanndra Hall

Book Description:

Published: March 31, 2014

Format: Free Digital Book

Boring. Tiresome. Predictable. That’s how Trish’s husband of almost 30 years described her when he told her he was leaving. Trish sets out to drink her blues away when she literally stumbles onto a man who offers her the adventure of a lifetime. Trish has no idea what she’s walking into when she visits Bliss, the local BDSM club, but under Dave’s tutelage, she takes to the new lifestyle readily.

And when she’s paired for two weeks with Clint, the one Dom in the place who can’t seem to stand her, sparks fly. He keeps her so confused that Trish isn’t sure what’s going on. She’s sure of one thing, however: She’s falling for the handsome, tortured soul, and she’s hoping he’s falling for her.

But when a simple mistake puts her in harm’s way at his hands, Trish has to decide: Is it an adventure worth dying for? And when everything falls apart, can she manage to forgive him? More importantly, can he forgive himself and bury the ghosts that have been haunting him for too long?

Adventurous Me is a fun, sexy, sweet, explicit, romantic romp that’ll leave you breathless and hopeful. And it’s definitely not for the under-18 crowd.

Review –

Adventurous Me is the first book I have read by author Deanndra Hall, but I can tell you, it definitely will not be my last. From the first page to the very last page I was completely hooked! I absolutely adore the main character, Trish. She proves that adventure and love have no boundaries no matter what your age is.

Trish is a forty-nine year old woman**, who is in the process of being divorced after thirty of marriage. Her soon to be ex husband claims her to be “boring, tiresome, and predictable”, so she sets out on an adventure to prove him and herself that she is anything but that.

While Trish is out drinking one night, trying to prove that regardless of her age she can still be adventurous, she falls into the lap (literally) of a man who is willing to show her just how adventurous and fun she can be, given the right circumstances. Trish is pulled into a world that she knew nothing about(BDSM) but embraces every single second of it. A world where she meets Clint.

Clint is a man who has been through a world of hurt. He’s a man who gets thrown together with Trish to show her the ropes (pun intended) of this new world that she is eager to explore. Together they learn many things about one another and about themselves as individuals.
This book has everything from sexual chemistry, steamy sex scenes, heartbreak to happiness and a HEA.

Loved it!

** One of the many reasons I loved this book is that the author shows how more mature (and older) women can have just as much fun and fulfillment at a “sex” club as the younger set. Most contemporary romances/erotica are written with a young perfect-bodied woman as the lead and some days that’s hard to relate to. So THANK YOU Deanndra Hall!

 

Falling into You (Falling #1) by Jasinda Wilder

Book Description:

Published: March 14, 2013

Format: Audio/Audible

I wasn’t always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way.

Then, one stormy August night, he died, and the person I was died with him.

Colton didn’t teach me how to live. He didn’t heal the pain. He didn’t make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go.

Review –

The dedication set the tone for the story. Heavy. Emotional. Hitting you right in the heart.

“This book is for anyone who has ever lost a loved one, for anyone who has woken up crying and gone to bed the same way, for anyone who has had to learn that it’s okay to not be okay. Surviving isn’t strength, it’s continuing to breathe one day at a time; strength is learning to live despite the pain.”

Every once in a while I read a book that renders me speechless. Falling Into You was such a book . Jasinda Wilder has written a book that is very real, passionate and poignant. Falling Into You is about survival. Surviving loss. Surviving grief. Surviving heart-break. Surviving yourself.

Both Colton and Nell are broken. They have experienced events that have literally crushed them. They find each other and become that anchor for one another, albeit it reluctantly and cautiously at first. What they find in their grief was truly beautiful. They find someone to hold them up. They cling to each other for comfort, for strength, for passion, for love and, most of all, they desperately hang onto one another to survive heart-breaking losses.

If you have yet to read this remarkable book, please do so. I am unable to write anything further as Falling Into You is one of those books that is beyond words or accurate descriptions. It moved me. I truly felt Nell’s pain, and Colton’s as well. I grieved with them. I hurt with them. And, I fell in love with them. 

Five stars.

Kleenex alert – You’ll need a box!

 

a Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Book Description:

Published:September 27, 2011

Format: E-Book

An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting – he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd – whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself – Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

Review –

If you haven’t read this book you need to do it right away. This was my second reading and I must have used half a box of Kleenex and then I watched the movie and finished the rest of the box.

Conor’s mother is dying, only he cannot bring himself to admit it, telling himself that the treatments will make her better.

And not only is his mother dying but he’s being bullied at school, he has issues with his father, who left years ago and has started a new family in America, and his grandmother wants Conor to come live with her but he finds her off-putting and cold.

Then the yew tree outside his window turns into a “monster” who tells him three stories, none of them delivering pat messages or answers. Instead it shows him the complexities and contradictions in life. the monster is wanting Conor to tell his story and FINALLY he does  and it brings the boy some closure, or at least some understanding of how to cope with a world that can be harsh.

Fantastic!!!

Five stars !

Voodoo River (Elvis Cole #5) by Robert Crais

Book Description:

Published: March 2, 2000

Format: Audio

In a search for a young woman’s past PI Elvis Cole discovers far more than he expected . . .

Hired to uncover the past of Jodi Taylor, an actress in a hit TV show, Elvis leaves his native Los Angeles to head for Louisiana in search of Jodi’s biological parents.

But before he can tackle the mystery of the actress’s background, he is up against a whole host of eccentrics, including a crazed Raid-spraying housewife, a Cajun thug who looks like he’s been made out of spare parts, and a menacing hundred-year-old river turtle named Luther.

As Elvis learns about the enigmatic actress’s origins, he also discovers the real reason he’s been sent to Louisiana . . .

Review –

I have read several Elvis Cole books so I know that he was involved with an attorney by the name of Lucy Chenier and the she  has a young son, Ben. I know that it became serious between them to the point that Elvis asked Lucy to marry him.  They eventually broke up, never marrying, because his job put Lucy and Ben in trouble more than once. However, I never knew when or how they met, until reading/listening to this book. She plays a large part in this story and it marks the beginning of their relationship.

Joe Pike, Elvis’s partner in the detective agency, is also in this book and I love his character so much. He is ex-military and always wears sunglasses, day or night and is a man of few words.

This book was very entertaining, taking place mainly in Louisiana and we come across some very interesting characters. There is a secondary storyline to round out the book and make the adventures of Elvis and Joe complete.

I really enjoy this series and will continue to read them whenever I come across one.

 

 

 

 

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 …

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!