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 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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With You (Torn Asunder #0.5) by Nashoda Rose

Book Description:

Published: December 20, 2013

Format: Free Digital Book/Second Reading

Sculpt is an illegal fighter.

He’s also the lead singer of a local rock band.

No one knows his real name.

And from the moment I met him, he made me forget mine.

In order to convince Sculpt to give me self-defense lessons, I had to follow his one rule—no complaining or he’d walk. I didn’t think it would be a problem. I could handle a few bruises. What I hadn’t anticipated was landing on my back with Sculpt on top of me and my entire body burning up for him.

I tried to ignore it.

I failed of course. And having a hot, tattooed badass on top of me week after week, acting completely immune to what he was doing to my body—it was frustrating as hell, so I broke his rule—I complained.

Then he kissed me.

Author’s Note: This novella is Sculpt and Emily’s beginning and how they met. It is an extra and not required to be read before “Torn from You”. Their story and what happens to them is the novel “Torn from You”.

Review –

I first read this book in January 2014 and loved it then and now that I have read more erotic romances/contemporary romances and have a better understanding as to what makes up a great ER/CR I love it even more.

Sculpt, whose real name is Logan, is an MMA fighter and a member of the rock band, Torn Asunder. Emily wants to learn some self-defense moves and choose Sculpt to be her teacher. For five weeks he teaches her what she needs to know and doesn’t make a sexual move on her, but then he does and everything changes.

Emily has never had a boy/man pay attention to her as Sculpt does or treat her the way he does. She gave him her virginity and he tells her he love her and that she belongs to him and the next thing she knows she’s kidnapped and being tortured and sexually humiliated in a dirty basement. END

Hows that for a CLIFFHANGER ?

In the next book, Torn From You, we find out that Sculpt/Logan is working for a human trafficking/sex slave ring in Mexico and it’s his job to break and train the women as submissives so they can be put on the auction block. Raul, the boss, allows Sculpt to keep Emily as long as he wins MMA fights. Emily can’t wrap her head around the fact that he used her the long time and now is responsible for her torture and sexual abuse.

The series is well worth reading and though the mood is very dark and things look seemingly inescapable Logan and Emily do get their HEA at the end.

This is a great ER/CR series.

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Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard

Book Description:

Published: February 9, 2016

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Review –

This book takes up exactly where the first book left off (I love it when authors do that) and  even though it has been a year since I read the Red Queen, I had no trouble falling back into the story line.

There is so much action, heartache,heartbreak,angst and death in this installment of the series I don’t know where to start. BUT, I’ll try.

Mare has found her brother, Shade, a new blood, like herself, whom she thought was dead and he joins with her and others to find other new bloods to recruit to fight Maven before Maven can find them and kill them or worse be manipulated by the queen.

Mare spends the majority of the book being suspicious of everyone – she’s been betrayed far too many times already in her 17 years – and her suspicion carries over to the reader as well. I spent most of the book with absolutely no idea of who was trustworthy and to be honest, I still am not 100% sure, especially with the characters I want to trust most.

There was also a slew of new characters come into play in this book and some we get to  know while others  we’re merely told how they came to the group after the simple recruitment of the first Newblood, Nix. Suddenly we have around 10-12 new characters stirred into the mix, with no idea how they got there or why we should care about them. Character development for what could have been interesting side characters was instead merely highlighted 

There is sadness, loss, tragedy, and sacrifice and the ending is a definite cliffhanger, but I loved it and now have to wait until February 2017 for the third book, King’s Cage to be released. Can’t wait!!!

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Eluded by Lyra Parish

Book Description:

Published: July 28,2014

Lives intersect only to be changed indefinitely…

Lauren
This isn’t your typical girl meets boy.
There isn’t a glass slipper or Prince Charming.
I’ve lived it and now it will be told.
Welcome to my personal hell…

Derrick
I once saved lives and now… I so easily end them.

Women are drawn to me like a moth to the flame, and like the moth not all of them continue on. Some are broken, others are damaged, and a few never make it out… but it’s their decision to live. Only they often don’t know that until it’s too late.

F*ck the rules, I create my own in a world where I have nothing left to lose. Living is a game, and I’m the reigning champion by being stronger and smarter than my prey.

This is your warning. If you radiate vulnerability… Well, you could be my next victim. Don’t try to hide. I’m not easily eluded.

Abbot
It started with me and now it will end with me.
Some people call me an uncontrollable killing monster. I f*cking laugh at the mention of the word.
Monsters have no control.
I’ve got plenty.
I don’t kill without reason. I don’t kill the innocent.
I hunt the ones that deserve it, the real monsters, the ones without regret or a soul.

Review –

This was offered as a free digital book on Book Bub and was my first reading by Lyra Parish.

This is a very dark and edgy erotic romance with many possible triggers for some, those being- abduction, rape,torture and others.

Thank heavens it had a plot or it would have been almost impossible to read. I said almost. The chemistry between Abbot and Lauren was barely there at times but hot and steamy at others. Derrick was very easy to hate but the HEA made everything worth it.

If you like Dark and Edgy, this is the book for you.

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Private Berlin (Private #5) by James Patterson and Mark T. Sullivan

Book Description:

Published: January 21, 2013

IN EUROPE’S MOST DANGEROUS CITY

Chris Schneider is a superstar agent at Private Berlin, Germany headquarters for the world’s most powerful investigation firm. He keeps his methods secret as he tackles Private’s most high-profile cases-and when Chris suddenly disappears, he becomes Private Berlin’s most dangerous investigation yet.

AN INVESTIGATOR IS SEARCHING

Mattie Engel is another top agent at Private Berlin, gorgeous and ruthlessly determined-and she’s also Chris’s ex. Mattie throws herself headfirst into finding Chris, following leads to the three people Chris was investigating when he vanished: a billionaire suspected of cheating on his wife, a soccer star accused of throwing games, and a nightclub owner with ties to the Russian mob. Any one of them would surely want Chris gone-and one of them is evil enough to want him dead.

AND SHE’S AFTER MORE THAN THE TRUTH

Mattie’s chase takes her into Berlin’s most guarded, hidden, and treacherous places, revealing secrets from Chris’s past that she’d never dreamed of in the time they were lovers. On the brink of a terrifying discovery, Mattie holds on to her belief in Chris-in the face of a horror that could force all of Europe to the edge of destruction and chaos.

James Patterson has taken the European thriller to a masterful new level with Private Berlin, an adrenaline-charged, spectacularly violent and sexy novel with unforgettable characters of dark and complex depths. Private Berlin proves why Patterson is truly the world’s #1 bestselling author.

Review –

Private operative Chris Schneider comes to Berlin on personal leave to confront a demon from his past, only to become its latest victim. When Schneider fails to show up for work and no one can reach him, his ex-fiancée, Mattie Engel, who’s still a Private colleague, agrees that his tracking device should be activated. This leads to a grisly discovery in an abandoned slaughterhouse in a wooded area outside Berlin. The mask-wearing psycho behind Schneider’s death, who calls himself the Invisible Man and revels in the pain others, shares a familiar origin story in which a warped relationship with his mother is the cause of his demented actions.

This book is on the dark and edgy side,  full of drama, suspense, and page turning action. Another win for James Patterson and Mark T. Sullivan.

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Sordid by Nikki Sloane

Book Description:

Published: May 29, 2016

It took me years to find the courage to speak to Luka. He seemed exactly like me. Intelligent. Focused. Serious.

But he’s not the man I imagined.

His reality is cruel and dark. He traps me in his web, his power twisting tighter the more I struggle, until it’s hopeless. I can’t break free.

As he drags me unwillingly into his filthy world, I can’t ignore the terrifying idea circling my mind. What if I belong here with him?

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

I found out that Amazon was banning this book from their website for inappropriate subject matter and that just made me want to buy it all the more so I found my copy on iBooks and read it in one sitting. The the subject matter is dark and disturbing but I have read just as dark in several other books that I have purchased through Amazon. I really don’t understand, much less approve of banning books, for the simple fact that if a person is offended by the nature of the book or doesn’t think the subject matter is  for them, then DON’T read it, but let those who want to read it do so.

The disturbing act in this book was rape, pure and simple. The rape led to holding  a young woman against her will. I won’t go into a lot of detail because it will ruin the story if you decide to read it, Luka treated Addison horribly,humiliated her in front of people,  physically and sexually abused her and tried to kill her twice (for her own good) and believe it or not Addison grew to love him. 

It is a very dark but enchanting erotic romance but not for the faint of heart.

Five stars *****

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Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: June 4, 2015

A missing girl in the news reminds Julia Carroll of herself: nineteen, beautiful, blonde hair, blue eyes.

Julia begins to dig deeper and plans an article for her college paper. She becomes gradually more obsessed with the case, never imagining how close she herself is to danger.

Review –

This is a very short, sixty-seven page, story about Julia, the sister that was kidnapped and killed in Pretty Girls also by Karin Slaughter.

The story chronicles the day she was kidnapped from morning until that night when she is pulled into a van. It;s horribly creepy and sad because the reader knows what awaits her, that being, many days of captivity, rape and torture before she is brutally murdered.

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Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: September 29, 2015

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

Powerful, poignant, and utterly gripping, packed with indelible characters and unforgettable twists, Pretty Girls is a masterful thriller from one of the finest suspense writers working today.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

I’ve had this book set aside on a back burner for several months waiting for the perfect time to read/listen to it. I chose to listen to it, although I also had the physical soft covered book in my collection.

The narrator, Kathleen Early, did a fantastic job as the voices of the three sisters, Claire, Lydia and Julia and as a listener it is so enjoyable just to sit back and not have to worry about being able to keep all of the characters separate in your mind.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I started the book other than it was a story about three sister, one who disappears as a teen and causes the other two to become estranged.  It was sooooo  much more than that. It was DARK and I think this is a change for the author. I’ve read several of her books and I don’t remember ever describing one as DARK before.  Parts of it gave me chills and other parts made me sick to my stomach (parts are that DARK) but all those parts were necessary to understand or try to understand the character of Paul, Claire’s husband . He is truly a monster and makes Hannibal Lector look like a boy scout.  The darkness spans decades and involves some people who you would least expect. I refuse to give too much of the story away because it is so much better when you are surprised at some of the convoluted moments.

The whole story was a journey of “it can’t get worse than this” and then it would. But the weak become strong and the bad get punished and there is a semi HEA for some. 

If you enjoy murder mysteries with lots of twists and turns, this is definitely a book to add to your “to be read” list.

Five stars *****

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The Murder House by James Patterson and David Ellis

Book Description:

Published: September 24, 2015

It has an ocean-front view, a private beach–and a deadly secret that won’t stay buried.

No. 7 Ocean Drive is a gorgeous, multi-million-dollar beachfront estate in the Hamptons, where money and privilege know no bounds. But its beautiful gothic exterior hides a horrific past: it was the scene of a series of depraved killings that have never been solved. Neglected, empty, and rumored to be cursed, it’s known as the Murder House, and locals keep their distance.

Detective Jenna Murphy used to consider herself a local, but she hasn’t been back since she was a girl. Trying to escape her troubled past and rehabilitate a career on the rocks, the former New York City cop hardly expects her lush and wealthy surroundings to be a hotbed of grisly depravity. But when a Hollywood power broker and his mistress are found dead in the abandoned Murder House, the gruesome crime scene rivals anything Jenna experienced in Manhattan. And what at first seems like an open and shut case turns out to have as many shocking secrets as the Murder House itself, as Jenna quickly realizes that the mansion’s history is much darker than even the town’s most salacious gossips could have imagined. As more bodies surface, and the secret that Jenna has tried desperately to escape closes in on her, she must risk her own life to expose the truth–before the Murder House claims another victim.

Full of the twists and turns that have made James Patterson the world’s #1 bestselling writer, THE MURDER HOUSE is a chilling, page-turning story of murder, money, and revenge.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

For once, the blurb says it all.

This is a five-star book with a plot line about  a historically evil house and the people affected by it and there is a HUGE twist at the end that you might or might not see coming.  It is chilling, suspenseful, and the kind of story that you can’t stop reading or listening to. Mr. Patterson has done it again, even if he did have a co-author.

I highly recommend it.

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