Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin

Book Description:

Published: June 20, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots. I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can’t bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago. If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw’s whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact… I’ve spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow. Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn’t been another girl. And now there is.

Review –

Ten years after escaping from a kidnapper who held her prisoner for three years, a young woman must face the reality that he’s taken another little girl.

Thirteen years ago, Ella Santos existed. Now that girl is gone, replaced by Lainey Moreno, an bitter woman who subsists on cigarettes and whatever pills she can find, trying desperately to forget the years she spent locked in a basement with the man who raped her. Until she sees a missing poster for ten-year-old Olivia Shaw, privileged where Lainey was poor, loved where Lainey was neglected. Improbably, the detective on the case is Sean Ortiz, the traffic cop who found Lainey the day she got away, the only one who doesn’t think Lainey is broken beyond repair.

Lainey believes she is worthless but Sean sees her potential  and this happens over and over again as do the allegedly shocking but actually humdrum revelations about Lainey’s past and her connections to Olivia. It’s way overdone and becomes annoying as does the predictability of the plot, but there are a couple of twists that make every thing worth it and that’s why I rated it five stars!

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The Roses of May (The Collector #2) by Dot Hutchison

Book Description:

Published: May 23, 2017

Format: Audio

Four months after the explosion at the Garden, a place where young women known as the Butterflies were kept captive, FBI agents Brandon Eddison, Victor Hanoverian, and Mercedes Ramirez are still entrenched in the aftermath, helping survivors in the process of adjusting to life on the outside. With winter coming to an end, the Butterflies have longer, warmer days of healing ahead. But for the agents, the impending thaw means one gruesome thing: a chilling guarantee that somewhere in the country, another young woman will turn up dead in a church with her throat slit and her body surrounded by flowers.

Priya Sravasti’s sister fell victim to the killer years ago. Now she and her mother move every few months, hoping for a new beginning. But when she ends up in the madman’s crosshairs, the hunt takes on new urgency. Only with Priya’s help can the killer be found—but will her desperate hope for closure compel her to put her very life on the line?

Review –

This is the second in The Collector series and HAS to be read first. 

There are a few characters from the first book, The Butterfly Garden, but also has a whole new serial killer and new female lead.

The book opens and dives right into the story. Taking place a few months where the first novel left off but in an unconventional way.  The Butterflies are awaiting the trial of the Gardener and a few of the girls, unable to handle the trauma of the garden, have completed suicide.   The police officers from the original case are dealing with this and also find themselves being pulled back into a different investigation involving a serial killer who murders girls and adorns them with flowers.  When a sister (Priya) of one of the victims’ finds herself a target, the investigators must use their knowledge of the past and what they learned from the garden to find the perpetrator before he collects another victim.

The Butterfly Garden was the narrative style and told of the creepy events that took place in the garden; I found that this one read more like a police procedural. Instead of being character driven, this one focused more on the police investigation and the officer’s relationships to the victims.

It’s a quick and engaging read. I wanted to know what happened, and I was immediately invested in Priya, who’s both strong and vulnerable, in a way that’s reminiscent of Inara (whom I loved in The Butterfly Garden), but not so similar that it feels like Hutchinson is rehashing the same character again.

Although I loved The Roses of May for what it was, it was completely not what I was expecting. I will definitely read the final book in the series,The Summer Children, due out later this year, but I’m holding back on my expectations.

Chase by K.R. Dwyer (aka Dean Koontz)

Book Description:

Published: June 10, 2014 (first published in 1972)

Format: Audio

Ben Chase is a war hero, but a reluctant one. He struggles with bitter memories and feels alienated from the culture to which he has returned. When he claims that a psychopath is stalking him, he has by then made such an outsider of himself that no one believes him. He must resurrect the repressed warrior within to save himself and a woman he comes to love. Heroes need monsters to slay, and they can always find them—within if not without.

Review –

I love Dean Koontz but he wrote this one very early in his career and under a different name so the plot was very predictable and it also failed to give me the shiver than I get from many of his works. The pacing of the story was good after the half way point and we see the character of Chase soften around the edges after having met Glenda.

This was far from a favorite but having rad it (listened to it) I can truly see how much Mr. Koontz has grown as a storyteller.

I’d only recommend this for die-hard Dean Koontz fans.

Under the Lights (The Field Party #2) by Abby Glines

Book Description:

Published: August 23, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

In the follow-up to Abbi Glines’s #1 New York Times bestseller Until Friday Night—three teens from a small southern town are stuck in a dramatic love triangle.

Willa can’t erase the bad decisions of her past that led her down the path she’s on now. But she can fight for forgiveness from her family. And she can protect herself by refusing to let anyone else get close to her.

High school quarterback and town golden boy Brady used to be the best of friends with Willa—she even had a crush on him when they were kids. But that’s all changed now: her life choices have made her a different person from the girl he used to know.

Gunner used to be friends with Willa and Brady, too. He too is larger than life and a high school football star—not to mention that his family basically owns the town of Lawton. He loves his life, and doesn’t care about anyone except himself. But Willa is the exception—and he understands the girl she’s become in a way no one else can.

As secrets come to light and hearts are broken, these former childhood friends must face the truth about growing up and falling in love…even if it means losing each other forever.
Review –
It had been since November of 2015 when I  finished the first book in this series, Until Friday Night, but I was easily able to pick right up with the story line and I love it when books/authors make it easy for you.
 
It’s been six years since Willa has been to Lawton, Alabama,t o live with her nonna, who is the cook and housekeeper for the wealthy Lawtons, and reconnects with childhood friends.
 
Willa spent her childhood here, inseparable with the second son, Gunner Lawton, and his best friend, Brady Higgens.
Now seniors, the three revive their friendship in what appears to be a love triangle. Gunner’s distant relationship with his unloving parents and Willa’s abandonment by her own mother draws them close, as revealed in first-person chapters that alternate among the three teens. While away, Willa did something she regrets that resulted in a short stint in a correctional center, and  plans to keep her head down and stay out of trouble, but her two former best friends, Brady and Gunner, have missed Willa. Worried about her, both boys try to help Willa, even as both have fallen for her.
She finally tells Gunner her secret and he’s there for her so when the Lawton’s family secret comes out ( it’s a WHOOPER) Willa is there for him. They both realize that they love each other and plan a future together.
It was a sweet story, though very predictable and there was a lot of cursing for a YA book, but I guess that’s normal (?)  What do you think?

 

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.

 

 

 

 

A Cold Heart (Alex Delaware #17) by Jonathan Kellerman

Book Description:

Published: December 30, 2003

Format: Audio/OverDrive

LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis summons his friend, psychologist-sleuth Alex Delaware, to a trendy gallery where a promising young artist has been brutally garroted on the night of her first major showing. The details of the murder scene immediately suggest to Alex not an impulsive crime of passion, but the meticulous and taunting modus operandi of a serial killer.

Delaware’s suspicions are borne out when he and Milo find there’s a link between the artist’s death and the murder of a noted blues guitarist. The twisting trail leads from halfway houses to palatial mansions, and from a college campus to the last place Alex ever expected: the doorstep of his ex-lover Robin Castagna. As more killings are discovered, unraveling the maddening puzzle assumes a chilling new importance — stopping a vicious psychopath who’s made cold-blood murder his chosen art form.

Review –

I’m finding more and more of this series, Alex Delaware, that I haven’t read or listened to but I was disappointed with this one.

It’s a bit on the boring side and predictable to boot. The identity of the killer is a little too easy to guess and the action packed ending a tad too obvious. All in all, not the authors’ best work.

 

 

Crazy Beautiful by Lucia Jordan

Book Description:

Published: April 18, 2017

Format: Free Digital Book

Valeri Huntington has her dream—a publicist for one of the top firms on the east coast. Nevertheless, she can’t help but feel like something is missing. A long list of men has been left in her wake because they just can’t seem to measure up or she finds a way to rationalize her way out of anything before it gets too serious. The one relationship she did have ended roughly and left her picking up the pieces up of her heart for months. After that breakup, she vowed to throw herself into her work and that’s where she’s been ever since. The night she ran into Dallas McCormick she was left feeling like she’d been hit with a ton of bricks. The reclusive man that lived in the mountains was somewhat of a legend. He’d outright insulted her and pissed her off like no one ever has, and yet, her body burned from a desire that she had no idea even existed.

Like a magnet, she was pulled to him and she had no idea why. Dallas McCormick was not the man everyone created rumors about. However, there is no denying that there is a dark shadow that looms over him, and it’s one that could very well put Valerie in harm’s way.

Review –

This is the first book in the Crazy Beautiful series and although it was good, I don’t plan to read the others. There was a bit of chemistry between Valeri and Dallas but it wasn’t the combustible type and it’s too predictable. Dallas is ex-military and suffers from PTSD and that’s what puts Valeri in harm’s way at the end of the book. The reader knows that everything is going to work out fine in the end so why spend money just to confirm that?

It was a short pleasant read. Great cover though!

 

 

The Gardner by S. A. Bodeen

Book Description:

Published: May 25, 2010

Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children’s book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener.

Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he’s longed for most?
Review –

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I have really picked some doozies lately, and not in a good way. First there was the Camera Killer and now this one.

This book wasn’t totally awful, but I found it boring and a bit too sci-fi for me. While some things were pretty far out there some things were very predictable-like The Gardner being Mason’s father. I could see it coming a mile away and the ending was just too perfect.

I did not enjoy this book.

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Please Don’t Tell by Elizabeth Adler

Book Description:

Published: July 9, 2013

Fen Dexter’s quiet life is interrupted one stormy night when a blood-covered man shows up on her doorstep claiming to have had a car accident.He tells her he is on his way to San Francisco to help the police solve the murder of his fiance. The next morning he heads to the hospital where Fen’s niece, Vivi, is a doctor. Vivi is treating the most recent target of a serial killer whose signature move is to leave a note saying “Please Don’t Tell” taped across his victims’ mouths. When Fen’s mysterious stranger comes to have his wounds stitched, Vivi agrees to set him up to talk with the police. But who is this man, really? What does he want with Fen and her family?

Review –

While sick in bed with THE cold I found this audio book for free from Overdrive so took a chance. It was good in that it had a believable plot and well-rounded characters but there were holes left at the end of the book. Never, did it explain why the killer left the sticky note saying “Please don’t tell”  and I’m sorry but why give it that title if you’re not going to explain the meaning in the story, Come on!

It was a bit on the predictable side and I figured out who the killer was but didn’t let it ruin the rest of the book because I liked the chemistry of Fen and her “intruder”.

All in all, it’s not bad, and it did help pass the time while I was sick and feeling sorry for myself.

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Don’t Go by Lisa Scottoline

Book Description:

Published: April 9, 2013

Lisa Scottoline’s Don’t Go introduces us to Dr. Mike Scanlon, an army doctor called to serve in Afghanistan, who is acutely aware of the dangers he’ll face and the hardships it will bring his wife Chloe and newborn baby. And deep inside, he doesn’t think of himself as a hero, but a healer.

However, in an ironic turn of events, as Mike operates on a wounded soldier in a war-torn country, Chloe dies at home in the suburbs, in an apparently freak household accident. Devastated, he returns home to bury her, only to discover that the life he left behind has fallen apart. He’s a stranger to his baby girl, and his medical practice has downsized in his absence. Worse, he learns a shocking secret that sends him into a downward spiral.

Grief-stricken, Mike makes decisions upon returning to Afghanistan which will change his life forever. It’s not until he comes home for good that he grasps the gravity of his actions, and realizes he must fight the most important battle of his life, to reclaim his life and his daughter. Along the way, he discovers that everything is not as it seems, and he learns ugly truths about those he loves the most, as well as the true meaning of heroism.

Review –

Although I rated this book four out of five stars, the narrator wasn’t the best and that irks me. A narrator is so important to the way an audio book is perceived and it’s like nails on a chalkboard if the narration isn’t done correctly, at least to me.

I enjoyed the storyline but thought that some of the characters seemed wishy-washy and flat.  I also thought that the story was predictable in parts and  so I would skip ahead a minute or two to get passed them.

I like Lisa Scottoline and her writing style but I think she needs to stick to the Rosato & Di Nunzio  series because that’s where she’s excels.

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