The Dry (Aaron Falk #1) by Jane Harper



Book Description:

Published: May 31, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well…

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret… A secret Falk thought long-buried… A secret which Luke’s death starts to bring to the surface…

Review –

Fantastic book! Once I started it-didn’t want to stop.

Twenty years ago a young teenaged girl is found dead in the river with her pockets full of stones so the story of suicide isn’t hard to believe, but when Aaron Falk’s name in found written on a piece of paper in her bedroom the people of the town think he had something to do with death. He didn’t and neither did his best friend, Luke, and they  agreed to alibi each other, but it still didn’t  stop the hateful people of the small remote Australian town to think Aaron guilty. Aaron knew they he and Luke both lied about their alibis  but Luke had told him to go along so he did. The harassment got so bad he and his Dad were forced to pack up and move away and he hadn’t been back since. Not until he heard about the death of Luke, his wife and son. He came back for the funerals and Luke’s parents asks him to look into the deaths because they don’t believe it to be a murder suicide.

Aaron is a Federal Police investigator but deals with crimes involving money but he agrees to look into the matter with a local police detective, Raco,  in a sort of rogue investigation.  The author creates a character out of the parched farming community  within a day’s drive from Melbourne. It is suffering from a severe  drought going on two years and everyone’s tempers are near the breaking point.

I won’t give away the ending but  several secrets from the past are uncovered and leads to the truth behind the deaths of the Luke Hadler family and it’s not what anyone expects. The death of the young girl is also solved, but only we as readers know the true identity of the killer. 

I hated for this book to end but learned that a second in the series will come out next February so I have already listed it on my TBR list.

Fantastic read.

Five stars!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Vexed (Iron Bulls #4) by Phoenyx Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: April 4, 2016

Format: E-Book

Falling in love will only leave you vexed.

Recent high school graduate, Athena Vale might seem bubbly and uncomplicated, but she has big plans and even bigger dreams, she’s only ever shared with her best friend, Karina. Athena’s strict upbringing has left her curious about taking a walk on the wild side—just once. And she knows exactly who she wants to go wild with.

President of the Iron Bulls MC, Reed “Romeo” Crownover has no shortage of women willing to entertain him. But these days, there’s only one girl on his mind —Athena. When she shows up at his clubhouse on the night of her eighteenth birthday, he decides it’s time to work her out of his system.

But one night turns into two, two turns into three, and soon the no-strings fun turns into something more passionate than either of them expected. An intense romance neither of them have ever experienced or knew they wanted.

She’s half his age.

He doesn’t fit in her world.

She’s leaving for Los Angeles to start a new life in a few days.

Their connection was vexed from the start.

Vexed is the fourth novella in the Iron Bulls MC series. Although Romeo and Athena make brief appearances in the first three books, Vexed can be read as a stand-alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger.

Review –

I am loving the Iron Bulls MC books with their hot ass bikers, dirty mouths and off the charts sexy scenes and Vexed did not disappoint!

This is Athena and Romeo’s story and if you like a bit of taboo in your story with the whole older guy / younger girl theme then you’ll love this book! Romeo just happens to be the President of the Iron Bulls MC and is a total bad ass and Athena is a spitfire who just graduated high school and together you get a crazy love story that runs hot and heavy.

In the previous books in this series come  to the conclusion that Romeo is a rude disgusting pig well let’s just say that the author definitely throws you for a loop on that one . ROMEO IS STILL THE BADASS, SEXY AS SIN GUY WE MET IN THE PREVIOUS STORIES….BUT UNDERNEATH HE IS SO MUCH MORE….THERE BEHIND THE SEXY BODY LIES A HEART. HE TRIES TO KEEP IT HIDDEN, UNTIL HE FINALLY GETS HIS HANDS ON ATHENA!!! PURE INNOCENT YOUNGER THAN HIM ATHENA.

Athena! I loved her! She’s so smart, sassy, sweet, and clueless! I love how she’s determined to reach her goals and won’t let a man stand in her way. When she realizes she’s not prepared for the career she wants, she takes a step back and regroups.
The way the two of them come together with mutual love and respect, was beautiful! I liked that when both characters made a mistake, they owned up to it and tried to fix it. Very refreshing!

I also liked that this story was so much different than the previous stories (Karina and Dante’s). I often find that series books have a theme when it comes to their couples and often become predictable but with Athena and Romeo’s story (other than the age thing), I found their relationship totally different and fresh and was nothing like that of Dante and Karina’s. 

Great read.

Entwined (Iron Bulls MC #3) by Phoenyx Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: February 2, 2016

Format: E-Book

In Entwined, the third book in the Iron Bulls MC series, shocking secrets and desires are revealed. Can Dante and Karina’s passionate bond survive or will they be torn apart?

Review –

Not much of a blurb on this one and it’s a bit misleading.

Karina and Dante’s relationship keeps getting stronger and he’s trying to get her half sister’s info from Tucker, Karina’s father. He says the half sister doesn’t know anything about Karina and that’s she’s “wild child” and could be a bad influence of her. Dante doesn’t seem too concerned which alerts me to BIG TROUBLE ahead.

Dante wants to push Karina’s boundaries so enlisted Luck to introduce her to bondage. She likes it but they don’t get far because she enters subspace so fast that she couldn’t vocalize her safe word if she needed to.

Tucker missed Karin’s high school graduation and it affects her more than she thought. Also, Athena turns eighteen that day so Romeo is chomping at the bit to get his hands on her.

No cliffhanger this time. Just an anticipated meeting with Kadence, the half-sister. But Dante remembers Tucker’s warning about her wildness and her mother’s involvement with a rival MC and decides that when the meeting happens it will be on his turf so he can keep Karina safe.

Great read.

Disconnect (Iron Bulls MC #2) by Phoenyx Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: August, 2015

Format: E-Book

Karina
Love and hate aren’t that far apart. Once I loved Logan.
Now he’s kidnapped me, and he’s determined to tell me secrets I don’t want to know.

Dante
Once I get my baby girl back, Logan’s going to ground. I just have to find the disloyal bastard first.Then it’s time to admit that what Karina and I have is more than sex.

What secrets is Logan hiding? Why does he risk his life to abduct an old girlfriend from Dante, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Iron Bulls MC? Who’s telling the truth? Who’s lying?
Who can Karina Trust?

In Disconnect, the second book in the thrilling Iron Bulls Motorcycle Club series, shocking secrets are exposed. Lives are forever changed.

Can the passionate bond of two fucked-up people survive the whirlwind trying to tear them apart?

Review –

We are thrown into the Iron Bulls MC lifestyle and the story pickups with Dante searching for Karina who was kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend, Logan/Hemi. He tells her that her father is the one who made him break up with her and but doesn’t know whether to believe him.  Dante manages to rescue her and Logan gets away.
Dante and Karina’s relationship progresses and stronger feelings are developed. Even with the age difference they work. What began as revenge on her ex-boyfriend changed Karina’s life. Dante is the enforcer for the MC and allowing someone to matter doesn’t factor into his lifestyle, but Karina gets under his skin and all he can think about is his “little girl.” Growing up by herself, Karina depended on her intelligence to survive and graduating high school to attend college is important to her, but so is Dante.
Karina finds out that she has a half-sister due to an affair her Dad had with her mother while on one of his long haul jobs. Her half-sister is part of his “real’ family.

I really enjoyed the secondary characters and learning more about them. They play an important role and you begin to picture the various storylines the author is weaving. Hopefully, we will learn more about Romeo and Luck in books to come.

Box 21 (Grens and Sundkvist #2) by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom

Book Description:

Published: April 1, 2010

Format: Audio

Three years ago, Lydia and Alena were two hopeful girls from Lithuania. Now they are sex slaves, lured to Sweden with the promise of better jobs and then trapped in a Stockholm brothel, forced to repay their “debt.” Suddenly they are given an unexpected chance at freedom, and with it the opportunity to take revenge on their enslavers and reclaim the lives and dignity they once had. What will happen now that the tables are turned and the victims fight back?
In this masterful thriller, the celebrated team of Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström delve into the seedy underbelly of Stockholm. There we meet Lydia and Alena as they embark on a desperate plan to expose their captor and demand justice; police officers Sundkvist and Grens, on the trail of both Lydia’s enslavers and Jochum Lang, a notorious mob enforcer; and Hilding Oldéus, a junkie on what might be his last—and most destructive—bender. At the Söder Hospital, their destinies begin to converge in unexpected and explosive ways.
Box 21 is a Scandinavian thriller of the highest order: a mind-blowing psychological drama written with powerful intensity. When it was published in Sweden, Solo called it “suspenseful, gripping, and intelligently written . . . Almost impossible to put down,” while SVT exclaimed: “Forget crime literature; this is, simply put, great literature!”
Review –
When a severely wounded woman is brought to a hospital in Stockholm, doctors are horrified to learn that her injuries are the result of a brutal whipping. She is Lydia, a victim of human-trafficking, a young girl from Lithuania sold by her boyfriend and now trapped in a Stockholm brothel, forced to repay her “debt” by serving twelve different men every day.  In the same hospital, police officer Sven Sundkvist and senior officer Ewert Grens are chasing a lead that may just expose a notorious mafia boss, a dangerous man Grens hates with a vengeance because of the connection to the death of his wife. Two stories of passionate reprisal twist together, ending in a dramatic climax,two bullet-riddled bodies and a room full of hostages in the hospital’s basement.  Ewert Grans discovers the truth about Lydia and his best friend, Bankt, who is also on the police force. He destroys evidence to save his widow from learning the horrible things he has done. Sven, finds out that his boss has covered up things and destroyed evidence to protect his friends reputation. But in the cold light of day, will Sven protect the senior officer he so admires, even from his own corruption? 
You’ll have to read the book to find out and there is also a HUGE twist at the very end that left my mouth wide open.
The only other book I have read/listened to in this series is Cell 8 which is number three. I loved it but wished I had read or listened to this one first because it would have given me a better insight into the characters of Grens and Sundkvist and their dynamic.
Fantastic book.
Five stars!

Possessed By You (Torn #1) by J. M. Walker

Book Description:

Published: May 2014

Format: Free Digital Book

Releasing control is relief…

I was warned about men like Brett Maclean.

He was dark and thrilling, intense and controlling. And he captivated me from the very start. He unleashed something inside of me like no other. His bad rep and troubled past drew me to him like gasoline feeding a flame.

With just one taste, I felt the danger in him, the uncontrollable power that left me breathless. The passion consumed me. Fast and hard.

Temptation couldn’t guard my heart. I should have known a man of such raw and wild desires came with competition.

Review –

In this story we have a tall, very handsome alpha bar/club owner that doesn’t do relationships.. and then we have our heroine who is crushing on this alpha…he makes a proposition one night is all… 

What I didn’t like is, he was too cocky and  I know these alpha’s mostly are but he was just too friggin much.  Going on and on about how she will forget any other man she’s ever been with if she just gives him this one night…blah, blah, blah. She went from this strong woman to this half nag, half bore, total doormat.

You know the story from here – one night turns into many and they can’t get enough of each other. sex is like their oxygen. They have to have it!  Brett has secrets and dark demons. Painful secrets that are the cause of his behavior.He doesn’t know what love is, never felt it for a woman, until Evvie.
Brett is an alpha male to the core. He domineering, rough in the bedroom and completely sexy, everything you want in your alpha.

Then, surprise, his ex-girlfriends tries and succeeds getting him back only to have him dump her again and go back to Evvie but she has trust issues, especially with a man like Brett who’s had a string of women all his life.

They love each other, but with so many things coming between them, is that love enough? 
 I won’t tell you how the book ends but I WON’T  be reading the other books in the series because it was just okay and not one that I HAVE to follow up on.

Fractured (Fractured #1) by Elle Charles

Book Description:

Published: May 7, 2014

Format: Free Digital Book

Kara Petersen’s life is virtually non-existent. Haunted by memories of the past, and events she cannot accurately remember, she is living half a life inside a world she has purposely created to shield herself from pain.

She is invisible, until one fateful night changes everything – she meets the handsome, enigmatic and very mysterious, Sloan Foster.

Successful, powerful and knowing exactly what he wants, she is inexplicably drawn to him.

Tired of fighting against the foreign emotions he has invoked inside her, she takes a fortuitous leap of faith. Conceding his temptation is too strong to resist, she falls deeper into his world of seduction, wealth and power.

Against her own better judgement, and recognising something isn’t quite right in this rich playboy’s domain, Kara is learning more about herself than she ever thought possible, from a man who seemingly knows more than he should.

A dark, engaging and provocative read that will stay with you long after you put it down.

WARNING: This novel contains serious adult content and descriptive sexual scenes. Intended for readers aged 18+

Review –

I just finished this book and all I can say is “Good God!”

The story line is not new – Young girl, sexually abused for many years to pay off the drug debts of her father is rescued by a stranger and lives to become a strong woman after being taken in by a kind woman. When the young woman is twenty-three a billionaire takes an interest in her and tries to control her every move. He is damaged too, but we don’t know why, and together they TRY to have a relationship but things get in the way and finally someone tells him lies about Kara that he believes and he throws her out of his home.  She moves in with the kind woman, now her boss, and her old girl friend, who is a prostitute, along with an evil  man named Deacon meet her at the door and he beats her horribly and abducts her. END

I knew that Kara and Sloan were destined to fail because this is Book One in a series and writers gonna write. The author has to give you a reason to go one to the second, third and final books.

It wasn’t said in this book but I have a feeling that Sloan is the man who rescued Kara when she was fifteen and might have even known her before that. We don’t know what exactly he does but some call him “dangerous” so I can hardly wait to start the second book as soon as I post this.

There are several triggers in this book and the top two are ABDUCTION and PHYSICAL ABUSE, so if you have trouble in those areas, stay away from this series.

 

 

 

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 *****

Pray for Silence (Kate Burkholder #2) by Linda Castillo

Book Description:

Published: June 22, 2010

Format: Audio/OverDrive

The Plank family moved from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to join the small Amish community of Painters Mill less than a year ago and seemed the model of the Plain Life—until on a cold October night, the entire family of seven was found slaughtered on their farm. Police Chief Kate Burkholder and her small force have few clues, no motive, and no suspect. Formerly Amish herself, Kate is no stranger to the secrets the Amish keep from the English—and each other—but this crime is horribly out of the ordinary.

State agent John Tomasetti arrives on the scene to assist. He and Kate worked together on a previous case during which they began a volatile relationship. They soon realize the disturbing details of this case will test their emotional limits and force them to face demons from their own troubled pasts—and for Kate, a personal connection that is particularly hard to bear.

When she discovers a diary that belonged to one of the teenaged daughters, Kate is shocked to learn the girl kept some very dark secrets and may have been living a lurid double life. Who is the charismatic stranger who stole the young Amish girl’s heart? Could the brother—a man with a violent past, rejected and shunned by his family and the Amish community, have come to seek out revenge? As Kate’s outrage grows so does her resolve to find the killer and bring him to justice—even if it means putting herself in the line of fire.

Review –

Another great read/listen in the Kate Burkholder series. In this one, the second in the series, we learn more about Kate’s background and her demons and also the baggage John Tomasetti carries within him. They have a strong chemistry but also act like opposing magnets. Neither wants to “need” another person in their life, when in reality it is exactly what they need.

The murders in this book were very gruesome and some were described in detail so if blood and guts bother you steer clear of this one. If you’re not the squeamish type give this book a try. 

 

Vanished (Nick Heller #1) by Joseph Finder

Book Description:

Published: August 18, 2009

Format: Audio/Library Book

Lauren Heller and her husband, Roger, are out to dinner one night when they’re brutally attacked. Twenty-four hours later, Lauren awakes in the hospital to find that her husband has vanished without a trace. The only one who has any chance of finding him is his brother, Nick, a high-powered investigator with a private intelligence firm.

Nick Heller is tough, smart, and stubborn. Trained in the Special Forces, he specializes in digging up secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden. He and his brother have been estranged ever since the imprisonment of their notorious billionaire father. But Nick will do anything to protect Lauren and her son. He never backs down. Even if it means taking on the most lethal enemies he’s ever had to face.

Plunged headlong into a desperate chase, Nick begins making shocking discoveries about his brother’s life — and about the giant defense contractor he works for. Now, in order to keep Lauren and her teenage son alive, Nick must take on a powerful and deadly conspiracy that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets.

Review –

Vanished starts off at a run and picks up speed as the mystery starts to unfold and by the end, your head is spinning.

The action is fast paced, the mood, mostly somber but there is humor thrown in here and there by Nick Heller(thank heavens). It was a bit too convoluted for me but a good read none the less.

Does Nick figure out the mystery? Does he find Roger? What happens to Lauren and Gabe? Who is the librarian?

You will just have to read Vanished to find out.