The Back Road ( DCI Tom Douglas #2) by Rachel Abbott

Book Description:

Published: March 18, 2013

Format: Audio/Audible

One girl is fighting for her life. One village is struggling to hold tight to its secrets.

When a young girl is knocked over and left for dead at the side of the road, the small community of Little Melham goes into shock. Why was Abbie out so late at night, and why wasn’t she missed?

For Ellie Saunders, the truth about that night could put her marriage and even the safety of her children in jeopardy. She has to protect her family, no matter what the consequences.

Former DCI Tom Douglas thought that Little Melham would offer a peaceful retreat from the daily trauma of his work for the Met. But as he is drawn into the web of deceit, his every instinct tells him that what happened to Abbie was more than a tragic accident.

Only one person knows the whole story – why Abbie was out that night, and who was driving the car. For that person, the accident spells disaster, and somebody has to pay.

Review –

This book is a sequel to Only the Innocent (which I have not read) finds former Chief Inspector Tom Douglas retired to what should be a quiet life of contemplation in Little Melham. As it turns out, the village proves to be a hive of infidelity and betrayal, of tragic histories and old shames.
One night on a back road, Abbie Campbell, a 14-year-old girl fleeing dark revelations of her own, is struck by a car and left for dead. Tom, a supporting character in this sometimes overwrought tale of modern life, suspects there’s more to the accident than meets the eye. Meanwhile, Tom’s neighbor, Ellie Saunders, discovers that a moment of weakness has left her vulnerable to blackmail. She’s being stalked, and feels threatened even when she’s in her own home. The identity of her stalker is carefully withheld, which makes his constant, watchful presence seem all the more menacing. Abbott builds the tension carefully and cleverly, and releases it at just the right time.
This is  a thoroughly modern novel, in that much of the characters’ cruelty and plotting rely on modern inventions such as mobile phones and the internet. Threatening and misleading texts are sent with remarkable regularity, while other characters are trapped and deceived by online stalkers. 

The mystery of the hit and run is kept secret almost to the end of the novel, and then it come as a complete surprise. There are many complexities in the myriad relationships between the residents of the community that will draw the reader into the story.

There are plenty of twists and turns and red herrings here, enough to keep you guessing right to the end.
I really enjoyed this book and would like to read more in the series but haven’t found any that are free or on audio but I will keep looking.
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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.

 

 

 

 

The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Book Description:

Published: April 12, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

“She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.”

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

Review –

I’ll start off first saying that this book may be too much for readers who have a difficult time with stories of abuse, physical and emotional, as well as murder/serial killers. Naomi’s father was a monster. Plain and simple. And as this was told from multiple POVs, there are parts later on where we see things from a killer’s mindset which was not pretty. But it was definitely relevant to the story and helped to see just how twisted the individual was.

“The characters, both main and secondary, I thought, were great. Brave Naomi had been through so, so very much and I liked that she was still working on her issues regarding her traumatic past. Because of that, she didn’t want to get close to Xander. I liked him as well and thought he might seem a bit *too* good to be true, but I got such a kick out of his easy way of teasing Naomi, getting her to smile. I thought their connection rang true as well, starting off with physical attraction and evolving into much more. And I would be remiss not to mention Naomi’s uncles Seth and Harry. I absolutely adored them and how they supported Naomi and Mason throughout their lives.

What I really liked overall about The Obsession was how Roberts was able to take what could have been a dark and very heavy story and basically added in contemporary romance to lighten the overall tone. There were some great lighthearted moments between Naomi and Xander, with their quick-witted bantering as they got to know each other. Plus Naomi’s dog Tag was like comic relief in several scenes. (One involving a Cone of Shame which was hilarious and realistic to a dog owner!)” taken from harlequinjunkie.com 

Fantastic Read!

 

 

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The Wrong Man by John Katzenbach

Book Description:

Published: September 26,2006

Scott Freeman is a man of reason-a college professor grounded in the rational and practical. But he becomes uneasy after finding an anonymous love letter hidden in his daughter’s room: “No one could ever love you like I do. No one ever will. We will be together forever. One way or another.” But the reality of Ashley’s plight far exceeds Scott’s worst suspicions.
One drink too many had led Ashley, a beautiful, bright art student, into what she thought was just a fling with a blue-collar bad boy. But now, no amount of pleading or reasoning can discourage his phone calls, ardent e-mails, and constant, watchful gaze.
Michael O’Connell is but a malignant shadow of a man. His brash, handsome features conceal a black and empty soul. Control is his religion. Cunning and criminal skill are his stock-in-trade. Rage is his language.
The harder Ashley tries to break free, the deeper Michael burrows into every aspect of her life, so she turns in desperation to her divorced parents and her mother’s new partner-three people still locked in a coldly civilized triangle of resentment. But their fierce devotion to Ashley is the common bond that will draw them together to face down a predator.
For Ashley’s family, it is a test of primal love that will drive them to the extreme edge-and beyond-in a battle of wills that escalates into a life-or-death war to protect their own.

From the bestselling master of suspense, John Katzenbach, The “Wrong Man” is an elegantly crafted and breathtakingly intense read that asks the question, “How far would you go to save the child you love?”

Review:

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

Just how far would you be willing to go to rid your only child of a crazed stalker? That is the question Ashley’s father, mother, her partner, Hope, and her partner’s mother, Katherine, ask themselves after they have tried several other  tactics to get rid of Michael O’Connell. They didn’t get a retraining order because Sally (Ashley’s mother, a lawyer) said it sometimes made things worse.

Ashley and Katherine are given minimal parts to play in the “let’s frame Michael for a crime and have him put in jail  for a very long time” scenario so that they can honestly say they didn’t know anything if the police should come around asking questions. 

Scott, Ashley’s father, Sally and Hope plan a crime of murder but something goes horribly wrong and the consequences are far-reaching. Even though they attain their goal, their lives are never the same.

The story starts out with a woman (we learn her identity near the end of the book) asks a writer if he wants to hear a story and then starts to relate the facts of the case. The the chapters go from current day to the time a few years ago when the “murder” occurred. 

This is a long book, over 450 pages if reading or over  16 hours if listening, but don’t let that deter you-you will be mesmerized by the story, characters and the cruelty of the stalker. It’s a love story about death which is a strange way to put it but it’s true.

Please put this on your “to be read” list. You WILL NOT be disappointed.

Five stars *****

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You (You #1) by Caroline Kepnes

Book Description:

Published: September 30, 2014

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.
Review –
Joe is the quintessential stalker who manipulates all things to ensure that he gets the girl of his current obsession and if he has to murder a few people along the way, so be it.  He is so cool, calm and collected about the whole thing and I think that makes him even more evil. He lies, manipulates,stalks email and text messages, and keeps a collection of Beck’s underwear and other “things” in a hole in the  wall of his apartment, which he covers with a tapestry. All is well until Beck discovers his hidey hole and Joe loses it and we know this is not the first time he has done this , nor will it be his last.
This is a great book, creepy and a bit too real, but you need to add it to your “to be read” list.  I had the audio version and the narrator did a magnificent job of bringing psycho Joe to life!
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Who Follows by Diane M. Dickson

Book Description:

Published: May 22, 2015

When attractive young Hannah sits down at her usual coffee shop, she doesn’t know that she is being watched. Unwittingly she is tricked into striking up a friendship with this stranger who has developed an obsession with her. Yet neither victim nor stalker know what is really in store for them as their lives collide.

Review –

Who Follows is described as a

 gripping, dramatic, intense and suspenseful thriller

which it IS NOT.

It’s about a stalker who has a stalker and one stalker is killed and the other goes insane.

I found it very boring.

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Re/Paired (Doms of the FBI #2) by Michele Zurlo

Book Description:

Published: April 30, 2013

Keith Rossetti grew up the hard way–fleeing from his older sister’s fists and finding addiction at a young age. It’s a miracle he was able to make it into the FBI, and he fiercely guards his relationships with a handful of close friends.

When Katrina Legato’s brother brought home his Marine buddy all those years ago, she fell head-over-heels in love. Ten years have elapsed, and she hasn’t forgotten that toe-curling kiss he gave her for her eighteenth birthday. She knows he’s a demanding Dom who doesn’t respect his submissives or keep them for long, but if that’s all she can have of him, then she’ll take it.

When refusing Kat sends her to another Dom, Keith rethinks his decision. He plans to show her exactly why he’s not a suitable life partner for anybody. But Kat, one of the only women he’s allowed into his heart, isn’t what he expected. She’s no pushover. She demands more from him than anybody ever has, and he finds himself wanting to be the man she thinks he is.

As she repairs his damaged soul, a stalker targets her. When she’s kidnapped, he’ll stop at nothing to get her back. s it just a coincidence that his mother pops back up in his life and his sister is suddenly calling his office?

Review –

The Romance Reviews Top Pick: “RE/PAIRED is an awesome read which gave me some sleepless nights, because it was so hard to put down. I wanted to lose myself in the erotic play between Keith and Kat. The way he caressed her body with the flogger, the way he enveloped her in ropes, the endless orgasms she endured from his hands… The storyline is erotic, rich and entertaining. The dialogue is interesting and kept the force of the plot moving along, and I liked that I was able to see their relationship grow and mature into something beautiful.”

5 Cups/CoffeeTime Romance: a tautly written, sexy, action-packed tale…[Zurlo] employs…the same devastating effect as a flogger in the hands of a skilled Dom. [Zurlo’s] descriptions of subspace stand among some of the finest in the genre.”

I love this series and as you can see above,  others do too.

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The Final Cut (Spotlight Series #4) by J.S. Taylor

Book Description:

Published: December 11, 2013

Issy and James have come a long way since that fateful first audition. And now filming is finally underway, past dangers seem behind them.

But when a deadly character from the past makes a reappearance, their relationship will be tested to the limits. And Issy is about to find out, that fame and love don’t always mix.

Could this be the end of everything?

Review –

I really don’t know why it took me so long to finish this book except for the fact that I had many other books that were more exciting and calling out to me.

This book marks the end of the Spotlight Series and may things happen, some bad and some good.  The stalker  seems to have re-appeared, but is it the same stalker and if so who is helping him?  It all works out in the end and Issy and James live their lives in peace and Issy decided not to be an actress but to write for the screen with James. Good series with a lot of interesting characters, but if you read the series, don’t do what I did and put too much time between this book and the others.

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Sweet Possessions (Sweet #5) by Maya Banks

Book Description:

Published: April 5, 2010

She’s a singer who lives for the spotlight—and can’t resist her adoring fans…
Outrageous and out-of-control, Lyric Jones is a spoiled pop star who lives hard and fast, always outrunning her past and the nightmares that haunt her. She’s used to getting what she wants—groupies included—because she can’t stand to be alone. So in bed, it’s the more the merrier, even if it means closing off the deepest part of herself…

He’s a hands-on bodyguard—and a one-woman man.
There is nothing Connor Malone wants to do less than babysit the celebratty songstress while she’s on vacation. But part of him relishes taming Lyric and showing her what it’s like to be possessed—body and soul—by one man. And though Lyric’s crazy antics nearly drive Connor to the edge, his quiet intensity penetrates her defenses, leaving them both vulnerable to the secrets that could topple Lyric from the stage.

Review –

All of the other books in the Sweet Series by Maya Banks are very very kinky and full of explicit sex, but while this one has some explicit sex it is all on the “vanilla” side because that’s just the way the character of Connor rolls. 

Connor is in charge of the safety and security for rock star, Lyric Jones (not her real name) and she is doing everything to make his job a living hell. She is contrary, hard headed, stubborn, and everything a typical rock star is know for being.  But, she has a dark secret, and with Connor’s help she confides in him and that changes everything.  There is a stalker theme in the story but it’s weak.

I enjoyed the audio version and the narrator did a fantastic job. The Sweet Series  gets an A+

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The Berkeley Method (Spotlight #2) by J.S. Taylor

Book Description:

Published: December 11, 2013

Lights, camera, action…

Isabella Green has landed a lead role, in James Berkeley’s latest movie. And she’s about to discover, that the famous director is runs a punishing schedule. Both on and off set.

But with their relationship still a closely guarded secret, James and Isabella are walking a tight-rope. And when jealousy and danger explode around them, can their feelings hold firm?

Review –

James is a lot more kinky than Isabella would like but she loves him therefore she gives in to his requests, sexually and on the movie set. He is a harsh task master to all the actors and keeps the location of the movie set a well guarded secret but still photographers and reporters are clamoring for news. He has to keep his involvement with Isabella a secret because he is “married” to an actress who is an old friend. No vows were exchanged-it’s strictly for show, but still word seems to leak.  On top of everything else Isabella is being stalked by the Lipstick Killer.  Great read with lots of drama.

Adult

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