Friday, January 6, 2017

The RivermanThe Riverman by Alex Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Riverman was a very detailed mystery/thriller. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review from the publisher (Frontlist/Harper Collins) via Edelweiss. As soon as I read the description I knew it would be a book that I enjoy spending time reading. I was worried that I did not know it was the fourth book in a series but, I jumped right in and still found the characters engaging. A reader cannot help but love a good mystery that starts with a body in the first pages. You are hooked because now you must find out who the person was and why did they end up in the river Clyde in Glasgow. It sounds rough going in the parts where more than one body was dropped. The Clyde was described and felt like another character in the book and was intricately woven into the story of the man whose job it was to rescue those that he could from the Clyde, or retrieve their bodies. A job that seemed to be passed down through his family.

The Riverman was the story of greed, murder, adultery and never too far from these was jealousy. A very prestigious accounting firm in Glasgow with branches all over the world, that Duncan Forbes' family helped start, has been dragged into a world of trouble. Duncan does what he should and reports it to the managing partner. Unfortunately, this sets off a series of events that will likely tear the firm apart and ruin many families. Another big part of the story is the backdrop of the families of the men who work in the firm that are affected by what transpires, specifically two of the wives that have their lives irrevocably changed. At times, you wonder how people can turn into such monsters. Money is great but, the things that some of the individuals in the book were willing to do to maintain the status quo is just unreal, mainly because it happens in the real world. Alex Gray has a great new book in this series which means I must take a step back and start at the beginning.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lost GirlsLost Girls by Merrie Destefano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just wow! I was really excited about this book after reading the blurb. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review from Entangled Publishing. I started the first chapter and was really excited. As I moved forward I started to get worried that this plot was not for me at all. It is a story where several girls, including Rachel, have disappeared with one exception Rachel was found alive. Several of the girls have not been seen again. To make matters worse Rachel cannot remember the last year of her life. I always have a hard time reading anything where someone, especially children are the targets of criminals. There is way too much of that in real life. Most teens out there would disagree with me when I refer to them as children, however, I refer to the young ladies in this book as children because adults are still responsible for them and their behavior. I am more shocked than anyone that I could not put this book down despite having to get up to leave for work at 4:30 am I kept reading and kept reading. I was invested. I had to know that the bad guys, and there were a ton of them in this book get what was coming to them.

I have read Merrie Destefano's work in the past and I have always been a fan. It has been a few years, but, I recall that she has a way of drawing the reader in and making them uncomfortable. Lost Girls does that. It draws the reader in and makes the reader angry at those that target kids. Now, to be fair the teenagers in this story have done a fair amount of victimizing themselves, however, they needed an outlet. Despite the dangers, it seemed safe when they were in control, however, there is always someone that is stronger than we are and there is always someone watching and wondering how they can take advantage of or make money from a situation. Lost Girls epitomized that scenario and despite that I found this book one of those on the edge of your seat books where you have to keep going just so you know what happens to Rachel. I have to admit that I loved that she turned to her dad when most kids would have tried to be tough and think they could handle it on their own or worry about getting in trouble. Rachel was smart, tough and despite making some pretty crazy choices she tried to do what was right and she reached out for help. There are some sad moments in Lost Girls but, there was a great mystery and most certainly some great action scenes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas at the Castle (The Ever After series Book 3)Christmas at the Castle by Melissa McClone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Christmas at the Castle was a great read. I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A person is really blessed if they have at least one life-long friend. Kat and Sophie met at Summer camp and developed a friendship that most would envy, however, Sophie's brother was there and seemed to take an immense disliking to Kat which appears to exist 15 years later. Kat is a veterinarian and loves her job and despite having a ton of student loans she is pretty happy. Sophie, it turns out is a princess and her brother Gill is a Prince and Sophie is getting married. Although she visited Kat over the years and met Kat's family, Kat has never met Sophie's family and it also turns out that they think Kat has had too much influence over Sophie and do not care for Kat.

When Kat arrives at the small country where Sophie's family is the monarch, her mother the queen, she has a pretty chilly reception from two of the family members. Kat is a pretty strong character and for the most part it rolls right off of her, however, Gill starts to think something is different about Kat and wonders if he had her wrong all along. Christmas at the Castle does a great job of allowing Gill and Kat to both to slowly learn more about each other and they become friends and more. The reader is treated to the slow build-up of a clean romance and if you like modern royal romances this book fits in very nicely.

Monday, December 12, 2016

E-Original published by Swerve
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
ISBN: 9781250106582
Price: $3.99

Book Description
Miranda MacDonnell is on the run. When she inherited a mysterious relic from her mother, she had no idea the dangers it would bring. Now hunted by a relentless foe who will stop at nothing to find her, she has one choice: stow away on the ship of the notorious privateer, Black Hawk.

Rob Hawkins, the half-English privateer known as Black Hawk, has a mission from the Tudor king to find and kill the rogue commander, Sir Ralph Evers. To complete his quest, Hawk must find Miranda, a young woman Evers is pursuing. Caught in a tempest, he is shipwrecked with a "boy" who demonstrates an uncanny ability for saving him. Cast away on the mysterious Isle of the Dead, Hawk realizes that the "boy" traveling with him is actually Miranda MacDonnell and having her means that Evers will come to him. What begins as a ploy —using her as bait—soon changes, however, as he falls in love with her.

Ancient forces are at work, drawing the four possessors of the relic’s power to the Isle of the Dead in the Outer Hebrides for a final battle where good must overcome the forces of evil in this spectacular finale to the Scottish Relic Trilogy.

 Author Bio
Authors Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick (writing as May McGoldrick) weave emotionally satisfying tales of love and danger. Publishing under the names of May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey, these authors have written thirty-five novels and works of nonfiction for Penguin Putnam, Mira, HarperCollins, Entangled, and Heinemann. Nikoo, an engineer, also conducts frequent workshops on writing and publishing and serves as a Resident Author. Jim holds a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance literature and teaches English in northwestern Connecticut.

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Tempest in the Highlands (The Scottish Relic Trilogy #3)Tempest in the Highlands by May McGoldrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tempest in the Highlands is a great book that I received a free copy of from St. Martin's via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I have never been a pirate story reader. This actually might be my first. Technically, Hawk is not a pirate, but, to the eyes of those in the world he appears to be a pirate, but, he is so much more. He reads like a tough, great-looking, ethical man who secretly works for the King of England, who is up to his neck in fighting wars on all fronts. One of his commanders has gone rogue and the King has sent Hawk to bring him down, permanently. Hawk is following Evers' trail and lands in Scotland where Evers has just left a village in death and destruction, including killing the laird of the village. He is searching for the daughter of the laird, Miranda, who is missing.

Miranda has managed to stay a couple of steps ahead of Evers, however, Evers has a skill that is leading him right to Miranda who has managed to escape by stowing away on Hawk's ship disguised as a boy. Hawk is following the one person who is a lot closer than he thought. The weather changes and after the ship is damaged Hawk and Miranda are castaways on a deserted island. Evers is closing in and now has the one thing that Miranda wants more than anything and he will force her to choose. It turns out that there is more to the island they have landed on and more than Evers will be present since something has drawn everyone to the island. My favorite part of this story were the conversations between Miranda and Hawk when she was not aware he had determined she was not a boy. Miranda comes up with some hilarious answers to questions she couldn't possibly know the answer to since she is really not a boy. The story was written with rich characters and a great plot. I was not aware of the first two books and I was glad to see that I could jump right in and still understand everything without having read the first two books. I do plan to go back and take a look at those because this is a great story.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Promise MadeA Promise Made by Anissa Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some stories just make the reader feel good. A Promise Made is one of those stories. I received a copy from Barclay Publishing in exchange for an honest review. A Promise Made is the second in the story of three friends, Josh, Evan and Zach who each have promises that they have to live up to when they meet the one. Josh has wanted Marla from the moment he met her. She and Grace (A Promise Kept) are best friends and Grace is well aware that Josh is interested in Marla who won't give him the time of day. Not only will she not give him the time of day. She acts as if she seriously dislikes him. The harder he tries, the meaner she seems to get. Marla is having trouble at work. She has worked hard to get a raise so she can afford to take the vacation she has dreamed of and saved for soon. However, the owner's son is now working at the firm and he is showing a lot of interest in Marla, very unwanted interest. It is not long until his interest turns hostile when Marla turns him down.

Josh is a well-accomplished personal trainer who trains several Hollywood actors, one of which is his friend Evan. He is in Austin because Evan is there temporarily until he goes to his next site for filming. Since Josh is Evan's dedicated personal trainer he travels with him on location. Grace is worried about her pal Marla after she is mugged in the parking garage where she parks during work hours. Grace asks Josh to look out for and train Marla in self-defense after the mugging. This is Josh's chance to spend time with Marla and hopefully, work up to convincing Marla to go out with him. Marla's problems get worse when her home and car are vandalized. Josh wants to protect her and he has a promise that he made to Grace that he has to keep. Things take a turn and both Marla and Josh have to determine how long they both plan to let the past affect their future. It is a great story with a great ending.