Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Kept Woman Review




Title:  The Kept Woman
Series:  Will Trent #8
Author:  Karin Slaughter
Publisher:  William Morrow
Release Date:  Sept. 20, 2016 (in U.S.A.)
Buy Link:  Amazon
My Rating:  5 Psychotic 's





Synopsis:
Husbands and wives. Mothers and daughters. The past and the future.

Secrets bind them. And secrets can destroy them.
 


The author of the acclaimed standalone Pretty Girls returns with this long-awaited new novel in her bestselling Will Trent series—an electrifying, emotionally complex thriller that plunges the Georgia detective into the darkest depths of a case that just might destroy him.

With the discovery of a murder at an abandoned construction site, Will Trent and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are brought in on a case that becomes much more dangerous when the dead man is identified as an ex-cop.

Studying the body, Sara Linton—the GBI’s newest medical examiner and Will’s lover—realizes that the extensive blood loss didn't belong to the corpse. Sure enough, bloody footprints leading away from the scene indicate there is another victim—a woman—who has vanished . . . and who will die soon if she isn’t found. 

Will is already compromised, because the site belongs to the city’s most popular citizen: a wealthy, powerful, and politically connected athlete protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers—a man who’s already gotten away with rape, despite Will’s exhaustive efforts to put him away.

But the worst is yet to come. Evidence soon links Will’s troubled past to the case . . . and the consequences will tear through his life with the force of a tornado, wreaking havoc for Will and everyone around him, including his colleagues, family, friends—and even the suspects he pursues.

Relentlessly suspenseful and furiously paced, peopled with conflicted, fallible characters who leap from the page, The Kept Woman is a searing novel of love, loss, and redemption. A seamless blend of twisty police procedural and ingenious psychological thriller, it marks Karin Slaughter’s triumphant return to her most popular series, sure to please new and diehard fans alike.

Review:
The Kept Woman - Very fitting title for this raw, gritty, emotional monster of a read!  I've tried to write this review several times since reading it and still can't seem to find the words to do this story justice.  It ran me through a mine field of highs and lows - at times making both my head and heart feel like they would literally explode as I rode out the waves of intense emotional turmoil radiating through these characters.  Some, like Agent Will Trent and Sara Linton, find themselves and their relationships strained and very nearly destroyed by the fiery hell storm brought about with the reappearance of Angela (Angie) Polaski.  While it is no secret that she returns in a big way in this book, I won't discuss particulars of the story as to do so would reveal spoilers that need to be experienced first hand by each reader.  I will say there are some questions answered and some shocking revelations as the story plays out.

Needless to say, Angie wreaks havoc on the lives of everyone she touches.  Her brutally tragic backstory is revealed in "real-time" as the book's timeline swings between past and present. Her horrifying past molded a young girl into a cold-hearted, uncaring, dangerous, psychotic madwoman - one hellbent on destroying anyone and everyone who crosses her path.  Angie uses dark secrets and half-truths like daggers, piercing the heart of her target over and over with her malicious lies as she stalks her prey and leaves a bloodbath in her wake.  She hasn't a clue what love and happiness should feel like - and if she can't have it, she'll make d*mn sure that Will doesn't either.  Every time I felt even an inkling of sympathy for Angie, she threw another of her poisonous daggers - intentionally destroying lives with her vicious manipulation.  The depth of this character's derangement is truly frightening at times - as is her pain.  

Will Trent is  . . . Will.  Fans of the series know what I'm talking about.  It's impossible not to care about this damaged, haunted man-of-few-words as he struggles to accept the idea that he might actually deserve the love and support of a woman like Sara Linton.  He knows their relationship is fragile and dependent upon him trusting her with the truth and upon breaking the powerful, destructive, magnetic pull that Angie Polaski holds over him.  For the past 30 years, he's been there for Angie every time she returned, allowing her to manipulate him, to walk all over him, always helping her, no questions asked.  Can he finally find the strength to tell Angie "No" or will he allow Angie to manipulate her way back into his life and destroy the happiness he's found with Sara?  Sara learns Will hasn't shared all his secrets with her . . . will this be the straw that finally breaks the camel's back?  Has she finally had enough of this whole nightmare to call it quits?

The Kept Woman is INTENSE - cover to cover can't stop reading intense, hyperventilating, heart stopping intense, sit up all night to finish reading intense.  For me, it ranks up there with the last Grant County book, Beyond Reach, in intensity and emotional overload.  The story is graphic & raw (rubbing chest) - it made me hurt and wish for "more" for these characters - all of them.  The action is high, the case a mystery, the plot twisted and then twisted again, the story shocking & riveting, and the characters so d*mn real - dark, damaged, fallible - some evoke hate and contempt, others love and caring.  Brilliant addition to the series, Karin Slaughter! Thank you for another Must Read!  A burn the house down Page Turner!  Deserving of 5k stars!

My Rating:  5 Psychotic 's . . . And that's the truth!


Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Sandra


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Deadly Silence Review


Title:  Deadly Silence
Series:  Blood Brothers #1
Author:  Rebecca Zanetti
Publisher:  Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Release Date:  Oct. 4, 2016
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Bleeding 's

*Many thanks to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and Netgally for this ARC for review.



Synopsis:
DON'T LOOK BACK

Under siege. That's how Ryker Jones feels. The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency he opened up with his blood brothers has lost a client in a brutal way. The past he can't outrun is resurfacing, threatening to drag him down in the undertow. And the beautiful woman he's been trying to keep at arm's length is in danger...and he'll destroy anything and anyone to keep her safe.

Paralegal Zara Remington is in over her head. She's making risky moves at work by day and indulging in an affair with a darkly dangerous PI by night. There's a lot Ryker isn't telling her and the more she uncovers, the less she wants to know. But when all hell breaks loose, Ryker may be the only one to save her. If his past doesn't catch up to them first...

Review:
If you're a fan of the brothers in Zanetti's Sin Brothers series, you're in for a treat with this spin-off series, Blood Brothers.  The first book in this cross over series, Deadly Silence, features a trio of brothers joined not by birth, but by blood.  Ryker, Heath, and Denver left a tortured childhood behind after escaping from an abusive boy's home several years ago.  Unfortunately, the demons that stalk their nightmares are still out there . . . searching for them with evil intent.  Each brother has unique abilities and a gift for finding lost people, so they open the Lost Bastard's Investigation Agency even as they try to keep a low profile and cover their tracks.  When this story opens, they are searching for a serial killer.

Ryker and Zara met (and quickly became friends with steamy benefits) when the law firm where she works as a paralegal hired the brothers on a case.  Let me say that the sex is frequent and H.O.T. Both Ryker & Zara have secrets and serious trust issues and have agreed to a No Strings policy.  But, it seems, one of them is rocking the boat by looking to change that policy.  Look in the dictionary under Alpha Male and I'm certain you'll see the name "Ryker Jones".  He is one gorgeous, possessive, dominant alpha male (both in and out of the bedroom!) and will die to protect those he considers his.  One of the ways he does that is to remain unattached.  Zara is smart, loving, loyal, and independent.  She steps up to the plate when Ryker challenges her, and the results are highly entertaining.  There are many awesome moments between this couple, however, just when you think they might have a chance at happiness, their world explodes around them.

Deadly Silence has a lot going on with villains lurking around every corner, creating chaos as the guys always seem to be in one fight or another.  At times, I felt like it was overkill and that the story might have been "more" with "less".  Having said that, the many subplots make for an intense, action packed story that literally explodes on the pages.  As I mentioned earlier, fans of the Sins Brothers will be delighted to see characters (both good & evil) cross over into this story - linking the series and adding to the suspense.  Murder + Mystery + Hot Alpha Males =  Another Must Read by this author! 

My Rating:  4 Bleeding 's . . . And that's the truth!


Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Sandra


Friday, September 16, 2016

Archangel's Blood Review - Short Take!



Title:  Archangel's Blood
Series:  Guild Hunters
Author:  Nalini Singh
Publisher:  Berkley Sensation
Released:  Jan. 1, 2009

My Rating:  5 Heavenly 's







Synopsis:
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she is the best- but she does not know if even she is good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, Elena knows failure is not an option—even if the task is impossible. 

Because this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad. 

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other—and pull her to the razor's edge of passion. Even if the hunt does not destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just might. For when archangels play, mortals break.

Review:

I'm not always drawn in by books with angels, but Archangel's Blood is one extremely addictive read.  So rich in details as well as intriguing! Raphael is such a bad*ss, alpha hero (an archangel), as are almost all of the other males in this book. Elena is one of the snarkiest, strongest heroines I've seen in awhile...she's a Guild Hunter - she hunts & returns vampires to their masters. It's clear from the start that Raphael & Elena will clash & light up the heavens when they meet, and they do. The chemistry sparking between them is lethal. Raphael is not used to anyone challenging his authority, & Elena will bow to no one. "Catch me if you can, Angel Boy!" I won't go into the story to avoid spoilers, but suffice it to say Angel's Blood is a Must Read. It's very visual, action-packed, smoking hot. A Page Burner!

My Rating:  5 Heavenly 's . . . And that's the truth!


Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Sandra

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Three Simple Words Cover Reveal!

tsw_aj-pine-cr

Stud alert! I am so excited to share with you, the first look at the sexy cover for Three Simple Words by A.J. Pine! The highly anticipated third book of The Kingston Ale House standalone series releases 10.17.16.

threesimplewords_500x750

Add on Goodreads!

About THREE SIMPLE WORDS:

Annie I know where to find my happily ever after—between the pages of a romance novel. It’s why I sell books, why I blog about them, and why I’ll never get disappointed by love. So what if my brother’s best friend from high school is now a bestselling author? Or that he just blew back into town on a Harley, filling out a pair of jeans like he never did before? Or that he’s agreed to do a signing at my bookstore on such short notice? Because despite all his adoring female fans, I kind of hated his book. Wes The last time I saw Annie Denning, she was a senior in high school, three years older than me and way out of my league. Now I’m her last-minute date to a wedding, and what started as a night of pure fun has turned into something more real than either of us anticipated. Annie is my muse. When I’m with her, my writer’s block fades away, and the words finally flow. The only problem? She wants the fairy tale—her very own happily ever after—and anyone who’s read my book knows the truth. I just don’t believe they exist.

About A.J. Pine:

AJ Pine writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend them with a happily ever after. As an English teacher and a librarian, AJ has always surrounded herself with books. All her favorites have one big commonality–romance. Naturally, the books she writes have the same. When she’s not writing, she’s of course reading. Then there’s online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes). And a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires, superheroes, and a certain high-functioning sociopath detective. You’ll also find her hanging with her family in the Chicago ‘burbs. AJ Pine is the author of the If Only series, the Only You series, and the current Kingston Ale House series.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Sinner Review


Title:  The Sinner
Series:  The Graveyard Queen #5
Author:  Amanda Stevens
Publisher:  MIRA
Release Date:  September 27, 2016
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  5 Ominous, Soul-Searing 's

*Many thanks to MIRA publishing for an ARC of The Sinner for review via Netgally.



Synopsis:
I am a living ghost, a wanderer in search of my purpose and place… 
I'm a cemetery restorer by trade, but my calling has evolved from that of ghost seer to death walker to detective of lost souls. I solve the riddles of the dead so the dead will leave me alone. 
I've come to Seven Gates Cemetery nursing a broken heart, but peace is hard to come by…for the ghosts here and for me. When the body of a young woman is discovered in a caged grave, I know that I've been summoned for a reason. Only I can unmask her killer. I want to trust the detective assigned to the case for he is a ghost seer like me. But how can I put my faith in anyone when supernatural forces are manipulating my every thought? When reality is ever-changing? And when the one person I thought I could trust above all others has turned into a diabolical stranger?
Review:
The Graveyard Queen series is one of the eeriest, spookiest, most ominous series I've ever read. It's also one of the best in this genre.  Since finishing The Visitor, I've been on pins & needles, waiting, watching for the next book to become available.  Can it possibly live up to the previous books?  The answer is an astounding YES!  With heart-pounding intensity from cover to cover, The Sinner just may be the best one yet.  

It's been a year since Amelia Gray left Charleston, needing time and space to sort out her life and heal her broken heart.  In smoldering heat, she toils long hours restoring Seven Gates Cemetery in Ascension with her warrior dog always on guard nearby.  She passes the nights in a rented house where she wanders aimlessly - always restless, always feeling another's presence, always trying to forget the man who left her broken.  While working in the cemetery, she hears a faint, distant chanting and senses a sinister presence beckoning her to come.  Amelia is compelled to follow the voices, helpless to resist the pull at her psyche, even as her mind screams at her to run. Lost deep in the woods, she makes a horrific discovery - one she will later wish she had never found.  An evil presence lurks, slivering through shadows, taunting Amelia as she realizes she's been summoned to this place at this time for a reason - to unmask a monster.   

The story that unfolds is one of impending doom, pages filled with malicious evil beings, dark secret societies, murder, mutilations, rituals, mystery.  Amelia's search for a killer places her in imminent danger even as she struggles to maintain control of her own mind.  At times, she doesn't know what's real and what's an hallucination.  As a murder investigation begins, Amelia meets Detective Lucian Kendrick, a handsome man to whom she is attracted, but wary.  Could this be the man to finally wipe John Devlin out of her mind and heart?

The Sinner is steeped in the rich, dark history of  an old, small southern town and cemetery - one where secret, symbolic rituals, murder, and body possessions have occurred.  To say it is ominous is a gross understatement.  Only a gifted author could pull off such horror in such a beautifully lyrical manner.  Through vivid descriptions and lyrical prose, Stevens delivers a shocking stunner - an emotional, heart-stopping book that will keep you hyperventilating as you read late into the night.  Memento Mori, Remember to die!  The Sinner is an absolutely, undeniable Page Burner!  It now resides on my All Time Favorites Shelf!  A Must Read!

My Rating:  500 Ominous 's . . . And that's the truth!


Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Sandra

"The days of pretending that ghosts didn't exist were long behind me as were the rules that had once protected me.  I had entered a new phase of my life, accepting if not embracing who I was and what I was meant to be."

Monday, September 12, 2016

Her Naughty Holiday Review



Title:  Her Naughty Holiday
Series:  Men at Work #2
Author:  Tiffany Reisz
Publisher:  Harlequin Blaze
Release Date:  October 18, 2016
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  3 Sexy 's

*Many thanks to the publisher for this arc for review via Netgally.



Synopsis:
A feast she wasn't expecting! 

Clover Greene would sooner crawl into her oven than host family for Thanksgiving dinner. Yet another annual ritual of too much food, served with a side of criticism over "Clover's Bad Life Choices." This year, she needs to distract them all—with a handsome fake boyfriend. And she has the perfect guy in mind. 

Contractor Erick Fields is the poster boy for sexy single dads, and Clover has been secretly crushing on him for ages. She certainly wasn't expecting Erick to agree to her insane charade…or to add lots of hot, wicked sex to the deal. If they can pull it off, the worst Thanksgiving ever might give them something to be really thankful for!

Review:
Erick Fields has his hands full - a single dad of an "once arrested for arson" teenage daughter who manipulates him at will.  He's eternally grateful that Clover Greene gave her a job at her plant nursery a little over a year ago.  He's also very attracted to Clover, but hasn't gone there because she is his daughter's employer and friend.  Clover is independent and yet vulnerable to her family's constant criticism, as nothing she does is ever good enough.  Tricked into hosting Thanksgiving dinner for her family, she panics and asks Erick to be her "fake boyfriend" - anything to get her family off her back about marriage & baby carriages.  With his daughter visiting her mother for the holiday week, Erik surprises them both by saying "yes", then taking it a step beyond by suggesting they both scratch an itch with a week of "let it all go" sex - no strings, no attachments, just sex in every room/manner possible.  

Her Naughty Holiday is another feel-good romance story - a quick sexy read that will make you smile.  The sexy banter continues throughout the book as this couple goes from friends to lovers to something more.  I enjoyed the characters, especially "take charge" Erik as he stood up to Clover's family in her defense.  While a hot, sexy read, I do feel more conflict was needed to raise this story to another level.  Fans of sweet, happy ever after romance stories will enjoy this one.  A Must Read!

My Rating:  3 sexy 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Unbound Review

Title:  Unbound
Author:  Cara McKenna
Publisher:  Intermix
Release Date:  Oct. 15, 2013

Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4.5 Tangled 's

Synopsis:
She set out to find herself, and discovered the darker side of desire.

Merry’s lost a lot recently—first her mother, then close to a hundred pounds. Feeling adrift, she strikes out in search of perspective. A three-week hike through the Scottish Highlands was supposed to challenge her new body and refocus her priorities, but when disaster strikes, she’s forced to seek refuge in the remote home of a brooding, handsome stranger…

Rob exiled himself to the Highlands years ago, desperate to escape his own self-destruction. Haunted by regrets, he avoids human contact at all costs…but when Merry turns up injured, he can’t very well run her off. And as he nurses her back to health, Rob can’t resist his guest’s sweet demeanor—or her flirtatious advances. The igniting passion between them rouses a secret appetite Rob has long struggled to keep hidden. But Merry craves nothing more than to help Rob surrender to his desires, and the journey draws the lovers into an entirely different kind of wilderness.
 

Review
Amazing emotional read! McKenna never fails to manipulate my feelings when it comes to gruff, abrasive, damaged alpha males who are self-exiled from life, family, & love. Rob escaped his demons by homesteading in the vast wilderness of Scotland. Hoping to leave his guilt and regrets behind, he is now living in isolation, spurning all human contact. Merry sets out on a three week hike across the Scottish Highlands to celebrate her new, slimmer body - and to define the priorities and purpose in her life. Two weeks into her personal journey, she collapses and seeks help and shelter from Rob after stumbling across his cabin. Rob usually ignores the hikers who dare to venture into his space, but something compels him to offer Merry shelter while she heals. Two lonely souls bearing secrets recognize each other and bond. Dark secrets, forbidden desires, and fragile hearts tangle and twist, threatening to unravel and destroy them both. Unbound is another Page Burner by McKenna. She is truly a master at these dark, twisted reads. A Must Read!

My Rating:  4.5  Tangled 's . . . And that's the truth!


Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Sandra