Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lethal Lies (Blood Brothers #2) Review

Title: Lethal Lies
Series: Blood Brothers #2
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Buy Link: Amazon

My Rating: 4 High Octane Hearts

*Many thanks to the publisher for an arc of this book via Netgally.

A deadly secret can't stay buried forever . . .

Revenge. It's the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars-even use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can't do this alone.

Private investigator Heath Jones's job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it's personal. He knew the Copper Killer's latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he's all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath's identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath's every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they'll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.

With twists and turns that will take your breath away, LETHAL LIES is sexy, action-packed suspense at its very best from New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti.

Lethal Lies is book 2 of Zanetti’s Blood Brothers Series, a spin-off of the popular Sin Brothers series.  Both series feature men who are genetically altered to produce super-soldiers, but who have managed to escape the control of mad scientist Dr. Isobel Madison (who will stop at nothing to get them back in her lab) and the sadistic Sheriff Cobb (who wants them dead for killing his brother).  This is a continuing plot line arc that spans both series and thus I highly recommend reading both series in order.

 Ryker, Heath, and Denver, the Blood Brothers, have formed the Lost Bastards Investigative Services.  Heath Jones meets Anya Best, professor of criminal psychology, while investigating the disappearance of her sister, Loretta.  While intense chemistry sparks between them, Heath knows a white picket fence and hea is not in his future so while he vows to protect her with his life, he knows their relationship must end when the case is solved.  Heath is all alpha male, but his tender-heartedness often leads his head - drawing him into trouble.  When he sees Anya as the damsel-in-distress, he’s a goner.

 Anya is reeling from the loss of her sister and has vowed to revenge her loss by tracking down the Copper Killer.  Though she barely knows Heath, she finds herself attracted to him and in a split-second decision, she offers herself up as bait to the killer while unwittingly revealing Heath’s name and location to national media - thus placing the Blood Brothers back on the mad scientist’s radar.  While these guys are lethal, bad*ss fighters, their fear of being returned to the hell of their past life is real.  As the story unfolds, it’s a race against time to catch the killer before they themselves are caught and returned to the lab.

Lethal Lies is high octane, pedal-to-the-metal action from cover to cover.  A strong support cast fleshes out the story, helping carry the suspense and romance elements to the shocking reveal of the killer in the end.  An underlying theme of family and the fact that it isn’t always genetic is nicely woven throughout both series.  While I felt some personal baggage between Heath and Anya was strung out a bit too long before resolution, I still found myself cheering them on!  Really great job on the set-up of Denver’s story in the next book!  Can’t wait!  A Must Read!
My Rating:  4 High Octane Hearts . . . And that's the truth!
Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Last Coyote Review

Title:  The Last Coyote
Series:  Harry Bosch #4
Author:  Michael Connelly
Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company
Release Date:  April 29, 2003
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating: 4 Raw, Gritty 's


Harry Bosch's life is on the edge. His earthquake-damaged home has been condemned. His girlfriend has left him. He's drinking too much. And after attacking his commanding officer, he's even had to turn in his L.A.P.D. detective's badge. Now, suspended indefinitely pending a psychiatric evaluation, he's spending his time investigating an unsolved crime from 1961: the brutal slaying of a prostitute who happened to be his own mother.

Even after three decades, Harry's questions generate heat among L.A.'s top politicos. And as the truth begins to emerge, it becomes more and more apparent that someone wants to keep it buried. Someone very powerful...very cunning...and very deadly.

Edgar Award-winning author Michael Connelly has created a dark, fast-paced suspense thriller that cuts to the core of Harry Bosch's character. Once you start it, there's no turning back.


Harry Bosch has been suspended and stripped of his LAPD Badge, his official vehicle, and life as he knows it.  He’s lost his home, his girlfriend, and his self-control.  In department mandated counseling sessions, Harry is forced to examine his actions, express his feelings, and bare his soul about past and present events – something he is not comfortable doing.  But unless he can convince the psychologist that he’s not a threat to himself and others, he can kiss his badge and life good-bye.  Some might say this story moves too slow in the first half, but I find the complex inter-workings of Harry’s mind fascinating and didn’t have an issue with it.  Through counseling sessions and Harry’s “off-the-record” investigation into a 1961 unsolved murder, readers learn a lot more about what makes Harry tick including his past and the life that contributed to the damaged man he is now. 
As the story plays out, the action and investigation gain momentum as Harry has spooked some old ghosts, rattled some cages, riled some important people, and generally stirred up trouble leaving bodies in his wake.  Through a series of twists and turns, Harry rages full speed ahead plowing through every obstacle and red herring tossed in his path while defying orders to cease his investigation.  He’s bet it all on this one case – let the chips fall where they may.  I enjoyed following the leads along with Harry, studying each suspect while trying to get to the truth.  I didn’t see the shocking truth of it all until the very end.  What a heart-breaker.
 The Last Coyote left me with an uneasy feeling of having accidentally peeked through a window straight into Harry’s soul.  I almost feel the need to apologize to him for having been privy to his inner most thoughts, secrets, and regrets.  Stunning job of characterization by this author!  Raw, gritty, intense, and as always entertaining, this is another Must Read in the Harry Bosch series! 
My Rating:  4 Gritty 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Never Let You Go Review

Title:  Never Let You Go
Author:  Chevy Stevens
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Release Date:  March 14, 2017
Genre:  Romance/Suspense, Thriller
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Gripping, Heart-Racing 's

Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

Never Let You Go is a tense, chilling, heart-racing read that kept me on the edge of my seat from cover to cover. It’s been eleven years since Lindsey escaped an abusive relationship, grabbing her young daughter and fleeing during the night. Only after her ex-husband was sent to prison was she able to stop hiding, settle down, and start to build a new life with her now teenage daughter. But she learns her ex has served his time and been released from prison. Things start happening around Lindsey . . . small things at first and then escalating with implied threats and items left for her – things only her ex would know about. He swore he’d kill her. Has he returned to do the job?

Changing point of views and a fast-paced story that switches between past and present allows the reader to live the emotional turmoil, fear, and urgency radiating from Lindsey and the conflict, longing, and indecision from her daughter as she wonders about the father she never really knew. As the story unfolds, the hair-raising, heart-pounding, keep-looking-over-your-shoulder intensity is prominent and on-going setting a very ominous tone throughout. The pool of possible candidates is small, and I wavered back and forth between a couple of characters until the big reveal near the end. While I guessed the right person, I didn’t see the reason coming until it hit me right between the eyes. Manipulating the twists and turns and a shocking revelation and confession made for a thrilling, couldn’t-put-it-down read! I look forward to exploring more books by this author. A Must Read!

My Rating:  4 Gripping, Heart-Racing 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Friday, May 5, 2017

Eight Hundred Grapes Review

Title:  Eight Hundred Grapes
Author:  Laura Dave
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Release Date:  June 2, 2015
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Poignant 's

My Review is of the audiobook narrated by Joy Osmanski

What if your beloved fiancé, he of the crinkly smile and the irresistible British accent, had kept a life-changing secret from you? And what if, just a week before your dream wedding, you discovered it?

When these questions become realities for bride-to-be Georgia Ford, she does the only thing that seems to make sense. She runs. She hops in her car and drives through the night, from Los Angeles to Sonoma, to her safe haven, to her messy and loving family, and their acclaimed family winery. Georgia craves the company of those who know her best, and whom she truly knows. And, on the eve of the harvest, Georgia knows she’ll find solace—and distraction—in familiar rituals. But when Georgia arrives home, nothing is at all familiar. Her parents, her brothers, the family business, are all unrecognizable. It seems her fiancé isn’t the only one who’s been keeping secrets. And, much to Georgia’s dismay, it seems likely that this harvest may be the family’s last.

Georgia Ford is in the middle of her final wedding dress fitting when she learns her fiancé hasn’t been truthful with her.  Overwhelmed by the enormity of the secret he’s kept, she runs (in her wedding dress) for the sanctuary of a familiar safe haven – her childhood home.  However, what she soon discovers is that her family too is changing and the childhood home she thought would always be there may soon be gone.  As Georgia’s life spirals out of control, she struggles to make sense of it all and “fix” things as she's always done.  Her life and her family are falling apart right before her eyes, her foundation crumbling to pieces.  What she’ll learn by the time the dust settles is how to know when to hold on and when to let go.

Through a series of flashbacks, readers journey back to the time Georgia’s parents met, fell in love, and purchased the original ten acres to start The Last Straw vineyard - an idyllic, beautiful home rich in family memories, laughter, love and wine – a place where Georgia and her two brothers grew up with a family she believed would always be together and waiting for her to come home.  As the story unfolds, readers are privy to the many sacrifices made by these family members as they worked side by side to build a now world famous vineyard.  What we learn along the way is that all is not as perfect as it seems . . . all not as happy as they appeared - and it shakes Georgia to her very core.  Georgia’s parents have made a major decision, and now Georgia must do the same as her life comes full circle.  One thing she knows to be true – You don’t give up on family.  Not without trying to put it back together again.

Eight Hundred Grapes is a poignant, heart-touching story of life, love, family, and knowing when to hold on and when to let go.  While the pace is a little slow, my attention was held captive by the depth of the characters and their relationship development as they all struggle to deal with changes in their lives.  The setting of the vineyard in Sonoma was so beautifully depicted that it took on the life of a character in and of itself.  Life is all about choices, and there are life-altering choices made by all in this story.  Choices that ultimately affect the lives of others.  I connected with each of these characters and didn’t want to let them go at the end.  A Must Read!
My Rating:  4 Poignant 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Rough & Tumble (Haven Brotherhood #1) Review

Title:  Rough & Tumble
Series:  Haven Brotherhood #1
Author:  Rhenna Morgan
Publisher:  Carina Press
Release Date:  Feb. 20, 2017
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Bossy, Dominant 's


Live hard, f*ck harder and follow only their own rules. Those are the cornerstones the six men of the Haven Brotherhood live and bleed by, refusing to conform to society's expectations, taking what they want and always watching each other's backs.
A self-made man with his fingers in a variety of successful businesses, Jace Kennedy lives for the challenge and he always gets what he wants. From the start, he sees Vivienne Moore's hidden wild side and knows she's his perfect match, if only he can break it free. He will have her. One way or another.

Vivienne's determined to ditch the rough lifestyle she grew up in, even if that means hiding her true self behind a bland socialite veneer. Dragging her party-hound sister out of a club was not how she wanted to ring in the New Year, but Viv knows the drill. Get in, get her sister and get back to the safe, stable life she's built for herself as fast as humanly possible. But Viv's plans are derailed when she finds herself crashing into the club's clearly badass and dangerously sexy owner.

Jace is everything Vivienne swore she never wanted, but the more time she spends with him, the more she starts to see that he loves just as fiercely as he fights. He can walk society's walk and talk society's talk, but when he wants something, he finds a way to get it. He's proud of who he is and where he came from, and he'll be damned if he lets Vivienne go before showing her the safest place of all is in the arms of a dangerous man.

Vivienne Moore has hidden her rough past behind a polished veneer that screams business woman right down to her prim suit, sensible shoes, tamed hair, and modest bling. She’s struggling to keep a roof over her head while building her own business as an Event Planner. The only fly in the ointment is her wild, party-all-night alcoholic sister who calls Vivie every time she needs rescuing from some dive bar or apartment. On one such rescue mission, Vivienne runs right into the very impressive chest of Jace Kennedy. She takes one good, long look at Jace and knows she’s in trouble as like many others, she sees only the rough exterior – the shell, not the heart of the man. And this man makes her hidden “wild child” side come roaring to the surface, screaming to be let out - putting her safe, little world in jeopardy. Vivenne runs from Jace like her life depended on it because as far as she’s concerned, it does.

Jace may look like a bad*ss motorcycle junkie but in reality, he’s is a very successful businessman and one of the cofounders of the Haven Brotherhood – 6 strong, alpha males who take care of each other and those they claim as their own. Brothers by the heart, not blood, they abide by their own set of rules even if it means skating around the law to accomplish the mission. Unfortunately, this puts a target on their backs that could bring harm to those close to them. The first time Jace looked into Vivienne’s eyes, he recognized the wild child simmering beneath the surface - the woman he hadn’t known he was waiting for. He vowed right then and there to break down her walls, set her loose, and claim her as his own. What does Vivienne say about that? Buckle up! It’s a bumpy ride!

A feisty, snarky heroine who doesn’t take orders well and a bossy, dominant, bad*ss, sexy *fanning self* alpha male who won’t take NO for an answer battle it out in
Rough & Tumble. I was pleasantly surprised to be drawn in by the depth of these multi-faceted characters as they shadow boxed around each other. The plot line is intriguing with a good blend of sex, romance, conflict, along with danger and intrigue. A great support cast including the five other Brothers fleshes out this heart-racing and heart-warming story that will make you question what family really means. A Must Read! 

My Rating:  4 Bossy, Dominant 's . . . And that's the truth!
Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

IWSG: A Happy Medium

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a community of writers who share ideas and encourage other writers. It's a great place to express doubts and concerns as well as offer and receive tribulations and guidance from other writers. IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month. I think you'll find it to be a great writer's resource that's well worth your time. Be sure to stop by and visit with some of the other IWSG writers/bloggers at IWSG Members.

Many thanks to the awesome co-hosts for the May 3 posting of the IWSG:  Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace, and Feather Stone!

I am, and have always been, a reader.  As a child, given a choice between watching television or reading, I'd pick the book every single time.  And today, one of my favorite pastimes is curling up in
my porch swing with a good book.  In more recent years, I've become a reviewer - a pretty good one, I think, judging by the number of requests for reviews I receive and from the positive comments from review followers on sites like Goodreads and Amazon.  I've discovered I enjoy reading a book and expressing my thoughts on what worked and/or didn't by writing a review for other readers.  An added bonus?  Strengthening and honing my craft as writing reviews helps me cultivate new & unique ways to entice readers . . . and isn't that the goal of every writer?

Stephen King said, "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others; read a lot and write a lot."  My biggest challenge is finding a happy medium between the two.  I find it too easy to give up when my current work in progress isn't going as planned and settle in with a good read instead.  Definitely a balancing act, but one that's dear to my heart as my two favorite things to do is read and write.  And when I say "write" - I mean anything . . . reviews, books, articles, short stories, letters (yes, I'm talking snail mail) . . . heck, even a shopping list.  I love the feeling and sense of accomplishment that comes from seeing my words on paper - be it pen and paper or a computer screen.

So, I'm wondering how many of you agree with Stephen King. Do you have to be a reader before you can be a writer? How many books do you read a month? A year? Do you take time to write reviews for those books? They say the best way to thank an author is to write a review. Have you thanked your favorite author lately?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Longing For Love Review

Title:  Longing For Love
Series:  The McCarthys of Gansett Island #7
Author:  Marie Force
Release Date:  Oct. 2, 2012
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Fiesty 's

Series favorite Tiffany Sturgil steals the spotlight in Longing for Love as her new boutique Naughty & Nice opens in downtown Gansett, right in time for the annual spring Race Week festivities. Finally divorced and ready for a new beginning, Tiffany wonders if sexy Police Chief Blaine Taylor thinks of her as often as she thinks of him since their explosive encounter last fall. Back then he directed her to call him the second she was officially divorced, but the opening of her store and her unconventional advertising "campaign" have put the island's lingerie queen at odds with the town's top cop. Despite their clashes, when these two finally get together after months of steamy build up, readers will need to keep a fire extinguisher close at hand!

Blaine has been burned in the past by love affairs gone wrong, and he's wary about risking too much too soon. But he quickly discovers that Tiffany's sarcastic rejoinders and bitter outer shell hide a badly wounded heart of gold. He also discovers she's a "sex-toy fraud" and convinces her she can't possibly sell the merchandise without trying it out first... While he finds himself thinking of her all the time, the mayor is after him to curb her sexy advertising and his mother worries that Blaine has taken on another "project" who will break his heart.

As Blaine and Tiffany fight for their happily ever after, readers' favorite characters from past books are back for more island adventures. Joe and Janey return to Gansett for the summer and discover the big secret his mother has been keeping. Evan learns that Grace hasn't told her parents about him. Stephanie's restaurant is ready to open in the renovated Sand & Surf. Dan keeps showing up to "visit" Kara at work, Mac is worried about Maddie's upcoming meeting with her deadbeat dad and a Race Week catastrophe reminds everyone what's really important.


Tiffany & Blaine’s story is the perfect blend of humor and heat. Within the first few pages, I found myself laughing out loud. Within the next few pages, I needed a cold drink and shower as the flame smoldering between these two characters blazed hot and often! The sexual chemistry is off the charts, but can they connect on a more personal, permanent level?

Tiffany Sturgil has invested everything she has into the opening of her sex boutique, Naughty & Nice. And finally, the big day has arrived. No one knew what kind of store she was opening until her big reveal. But are the people of Gansett Island ready and willing to accept a store that sells lingerie and sex…*gasp*…toys in their quaint little town? When opening day proves to be a disaster, Tiffany fears she may have made a mistake risking it all. She can’t back down now, so she gets creative in her advertising efforts causing car wrecks in front of her shop and drawing the attention of the very sexy police chief Blaine Taylor. Blaine hasn’t forgotten what Tiffany looks like naked and handcuffed to a man as that’s the way he first met her a year ago when he was called out about a disturbance and break-in at her soon-to-be ex’s house. And now - Blaine takes one look at what Tiffany’s wearing as she struts up and down main street and blows his top! Oh my . . . things are about to get interesting!

Between the snarky humor and steamy sex, I found myself burning through the pages of Longing For You. A feisty heroine and a dominant, sex-on-a-stick hero going toe-to-toe makes for one great read. With the additional bonus of a great support cast featuring all the past favorites of the series plus the promise of some new pairings, this book is the best one yet, imo. A Must Read!

My Review:  4 Fiesty, Spunky 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx