Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cody McFadyen-- "Abandoned" (Smoky Barrett series)

For FBI special agent Smoky Barrett, the wedding of one of the Bureau's own was a cause for celebration. Until a woman staggered down the aisle, incoherent, emaciated, head shaved, and wearing only a white nightgown.
No one knows who she is or where she's come from, or why she's chosen to appear in a church filled with law enforcement agents. Then a fingerprint check determines that the woman has been missing for nearly eight years, that once she was someone's wife, someone's mother.... and a cop. Imprisoning her in a dark cell, depriving her of any contact with the outside world, her enigmatic captor was a man she didn't know and who seldom spoke, who punished her only when she failed to follow his most basic instructions designed to keep her alive.

***This is the 4th installment in the series, and the one i liked the least. This book started out great, but lost some of it's edge in the middle. I was bored, it didn't keep my attention like the others had. It lacked that "edge of my seat" tension in the chase, and at times seemed kinda philosophical. Is this the end of Smoky Barrett? It doesn't seem like she has much more "chase" in her. How much torture can one woman take? Her life is coming together with a husband and daughter and baby on the way. Chasing serial killers isn't the smartest way to make a living anymore, and i got the feeling that was where this book was leading. A lot of soul searching for Smoky, and what lines she was willing to cross to save herself, the friends she loved, and her family.......

Friday, December 25, 2009

Cody McFadyen--"The Darker Side" (Smoky Barrett series)

A lie, a long-ago affair, a dark desire--everyone has secrets they take to the grave. No one knows that better than FBI special agent Smoky Barrett. But what secret was a very private young woman keeping that led to her very public murder? That's the question Smoky and her handpicked team of experienced manhunters are summoned to answer by the FBI director himself. As a mother, Smoky knows the pain of losing a child. As a cop with her own twisted past, she takes every murder personally. Brilliant, merciless, righteous, the killer Smoky is hunting this time is on his own personal mission. For in his eyes no one is innocent; everyone harbors a secret sin. Soon Smoky will have to face the secret she's carefully hidden even from her own team, and confront a relentless killer who knows her flaws with murderous intimacy.

***Another great one for McFadyen. The Darker Side, is just that, the darker side of everyone. Everyone has secrets, some more so than others. Some more horrible than others. Someone is killing sinners.... sinners they believe have not confessed the full truth to God, and must be punished for it. They force their final confession so they can release them from life to go to God. To bad they forgot that murder is a sin, even if your delusion is that you are doing God's work. Smoky and her team must work fast to find the killer before they "hear" the next confession. Confession 145. After 20 years the killer wants to be heard, for their work to be known. And for the world to rejoice in their efforts to help others find God. And in the midst of this Smoky has to figure out where her head is at with Tommy and Bonnie. Life goes on after tragedy, and Smoky must make the decision to forgive herself and move on with happiness, while chasing another psychopath to the wateringhole.

If you haven't read the first two in this series, start there. The characters are well developed. McFadyen shows all their flaws and their best traits. They have lives and worries, and in the process of living, they chase psychopaths. McFadyen's series is very dark and is not for the squeamish, but it keeps you on the edge. I really love the ride.....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cody McFadyen--"The Face of Death" (Smoky Barrett series)

A 16 year old girls holds a gun to her head at the scene of a grisly triple homicide. She claims "The Stranger" killed her adoptive family, that he's been following her all her life, killing everyone she ever loved, and that no one believes her. But Special Agent Smoky Barrett does. Her team has been hand picked from among the nation's elite law enforcement specialists and they are as obsessed and relentless as the psychos they hunt; they'll have to be to deal with this case. For another vicious double homicide reveals a killer embarked on a dark crusade of trauma and death: an "artist" who's molding Sarah into the perfect victim, and the ultimate weapon. To catch him, Smoky is going to have to put her own fragile, once-shattered life on the line. For The Stranger is all too real, all too close, and all too determined. And when he finally shows his face, Smoky had better be ready to face her worst fear.

***McFadyen writes a very dark world. One where at least, sometimes, the good guys win. His story may seem too detailed at times, but i find that i appreciate it. If you close your eyes, you are actually there watching it happen thru his description. The characters are well developed and you become attached to them and want the happy ending for them all. But the path to the end is full of fear, courage, and raw rage at times. It shows you what it takes to keep your soul intact.

"I've called this a diary, but that's not what it really is.
This is a black flower. This a book of dreams. This is a path to the watering hole, where the dark things go down to drink."......Sara

Sara has everything she has ever loved taken from her, killed by The Stranger. It started for her when she was 6 years old. She is now 16 and his game is coming to an end. It has been a well controlled plan of vengeance, taking place over 10 years. But for the killer it started at age 6 with the bottom dwellers of human trafficking. But Smoky is smarter than him. Smoky and her team are thinkers, they get into the mind of the most sickest creatures of humanity and get ahead of the game before the final play. McFadyen never lets you see who the bad guy really is until you are almost at the finish. It's an edge of your seat ride and i can't wait to finish the next 2 in this series. If you haven't read the first...start there. You need to understand Smoky first before you follow her to the watering hole.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Alexandra Ivy-- "Darkness Unleashed"

A scarred recluse, Jagr makes no secret of his disdain for others company. But now, as a member of Chicago's powerful vampire clan, he has certain obligations to fulfill. The latest: track down a missing were pureblood and return her to her sister. The problem: Regan Garrett has no intention of complying. And though Jagr agreed not to harm an inch of this stubborn female's distractingly tempting body. he'll gladly kiss her into submission, awakening an urge he hasn't felt in years. Hell, in centuries. Regan vowed never to be at the mercy of another man. That goes double for arrogant, steel-muscled vampires with eyes of ice. All Regan wants is revenge against those who imprisoned her. She doesn't need an ally. She certainly doesn't need a mate. But soon Regan will have to choose--between a lust for vengeance, and a passion as dark and dangerous as the night.

***This series is not so different than other paranormal romance series. But i really like the characters Ivy develops, you somehow become attached to them and want them to be together in the end. Another winning chapter in this series.

Jagr and Regan have both been held captive and tortured, Jagr for over 300 years, Regan for the last 30. Regan is soon to discover she is one of the pureblood were quadruplets stolen at birth. Darcy, Styx's mate wants her sisters found. So Styx sends Jagr to bring Regan back to Chicago. He understands her need for revenge. And she finds an ally in his understanding for her need for vengeance, she feels safe with him once she finally admits she loves him. And as always Levet the bumbling gargoyle is along for the ride as the comic relief.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Keri Arthur-- "Bound to Shadows" Riley Jenson Guardian Series

Part vampire, part werewolf, Riley Jenson knows what can happen when vamps don't play well with others. but she's never seen anything like this: a series of brutal murders surrounding the latest hot spot for vampire-human hookups--and the victims aren't just killed, they're beheaded. Now Riley is launching into action, toying with a seductive and highly suspicious club owner, and finding herself in the middle of another mystery: women being killed one by one, without a trace of violence. For Riley, solving multiple cases -- in a world going mad with human and vampire passions--would have been tough enough. Instead she has two jealous lovers on her hands; Kye Murphy, the amber-eyed werewolf who makes Riley's wolf blood howl--and Quinn, the cool, elegant vamp who has over a thousand year's experience at fulfilling women's desires. While she's busy juggling these two sexy beasts, Riley's detective work takes a stunningly violent turn. finding a murderer is now a matter of life and death. Especially since the killer has long since found her.....

***Another great story in the Riley Jenson series. Arthur can not write these fast enough for me. If you have not read this series, i strongly suggest you give it a try from the beginning. I love every action packed page.

(spoiler alert) The background of the murder mystery is just that, the background where the true story plays out. Her wolf soul mate Kye is back and wants what belongs to him, if for no other reason than his need to control what he feels belongs to him. But unfortunately he has become a part of the murder team beheading vampires on the council. Riley has to make the ill-fated decision to hunt down her wolf soul mate and possibly lose her other half. In the last standoff between her and Kye a favorite member of the team is killed and Riley sinks into a death spiral only to be brought back by the cute Risa stating "Riley's decided to live". All in all, it looks like Riley might just get that happily ever after with Quinn while they start their own pack with Rhoan and Liander.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Kresley Cole/Gena Showalter-- "Deep kiss of winter"


Untouchable: Murdoch Wroth will stop at nothing to claim Daniela the Ice maiden--the delicate Valkyrie who makes his heart beat for the first time in three hundred years. Yet the exquisite Danii is part ice fey, and her freezing skin can't be touched by anyone but her own kind without inflicting pain beyond measure. Soon desperate for closeness, in an agony of frustration, Murdoch and Danii will do anything to have each other. Together, can they find the key that will finally allow them to slake the overwhelming desire burning between them?

Tempt me Eternally: Aleaha Love can be anyone--literally. With only skin-to-skin contact, she can change her appearance, assume any identity. Her newest identity switch has made her an AIR (alien investigation and removal) agent and sends her on a mission to capture a group of otherworldly warriors. Only she becomes the captured. Breean, a golden-skinned commander known for his iron will who is at once dangerous and soul-shatteringly seductive, threatens her new life. Because for the first time, Aleaha only wants to be herself....

***Untouchable: Murdoch is the last of the 4 Wroth brothers to become "blooded". This story follows along in a timeline that parallels the entire series. It starts from when Nicholai finds Myst and ends with Conrad finding Neomi and finally Murdoch marrying Danii. It is a nice Christmas story focusing on one of the Wroth brothers finding his way to his Bride. I enjoyed this story, it was almost like a Hallmark Christmas story except all the players are "otherworldly". If you haven't read this series from the beginning, you may not understand the events in the brothers lives, so start at the beginning. It is a series you will enjoy.

***Tempt me Eternally: If the AIR components of this story is a series, i have not read it and i don't think i will. It didn't intrigue me in any way. This is a love story turned into an extra long sex scene. I liked the main characters, but I didn't see enough of the back story to understand what was really going on. It was mildly cute, i liked that Aleaha was able to become herself and no longer hide and Breean found a new home. But i wanted more from the story. Not a keepsake book for me. I prefer the Lords of the Underworld series.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Charlaine Harris-- "Grave Secret" Harper Connelly series

Lightning-struck sleuth Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver take a break from looking for the dead to visit the two little girls they both think of as sisters. But, as always happens when they travel to Texas, memories of their horrible childhood resurface...
To make matters worse, Tolliver learns from his older brother that their father is out of jail and trying to reestablish contact with other family members. Tolliver wants nothing to do with the man--but he may not have a choice in the matter.
So, family secrets ensnare them both, as Harper finally discovers what happened to her missing sister, Cameron, so many years before. And what she finds out will change her world forever.....

***I love Charlaine Harris, her books are quick easy reads, with characters you can love. Her mysteries are simply laid out, but you still can't guess who it is till the end. Harper and Tolliver's life has never been simple, but they have managed to make a life for themselves...together. In this story, they finally have all the answers to their sisters disappearance and the identity of the little sister they had raised. A few people die along the way, and some actually deserve it. I read this book in one afternoon. If you have read the Sookie Stackhouse or Lilly Bard series, you will love Harper Connelly. Start at the beginning and you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rhyannon Byrd-- "Blood Runner Series"

this review covers the whole 3 part series:
Last Wolf Hunting
Last Wolf Standing
Last Wolf Watching

When offspring are born of a union between human and Lycan, the resulting creations may only gain acceptance within their rightful pack by the act of Bloodrunning: the hunting and extermination of rogue Lycans who have taken a desire for human flesh. Thus they prove not only their strength, but their willingness to kill for those they will swear to protect to the death. The League of Elders will predetermine the Bloodrunner's required number of kills. Once said number kills are efficiently accomplished only then may the Bloodrunner assume a place among their kin, complete with full rights and privileges.

***The first book caught me within the first 10 pages and never let me go. This is not your ordinary werewolf series. As with all stories there is good and evil, but the Bloodrunners fight for the good side. And with most werewolf books, werewolves mate for life. And once they find that mate they will fight everything to keep it. The character development in this series is great, i became attached to all of them, and quickly finished all 3 books in 4 days. I enjoyed seeing all 3 wolves being brought to "heel" so to speak by the one woman who was their match in every way. There is an underlying story of course, about rogue wolves and a conspiracy to bring down the League and take control of the pack like a little Hitler. It all comes together in 3 short books, i am only sorry that there are only 3 books in this series. I would love to see a couple of more, and would highly recommend this series to anyone. I loved it!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christina Dodd-- "Storm of Shadows"

Brilliant but proper and predictable, Rosamund Hill has lived her life buried in universities and libraries, discounting the legend of the Chosen as a myth. Until Aaron Eagle shows up at her door. Aaron both unsettles and enthralls her. But she can't resist his offers of clandestine visits to private museums, the hunt for a mysterious prophecy, or a makeover that unleashes her untamed soul. With the promise of a love that will defy fate itself, Rosamund is forced to confront the truth about the Chosen ... and the dangerous man who sweeps her into a world of dark secrets.

***This is the second book in this series. One of the Chosen must find the final prophecy to save the world and put the Chosen on the right track to accomplish it. It still reads like a scooby-doo mystery, the characters don't seem to take their tasks seriously. And are quite often silly. In this series there doesn't seem to be the urgency of the impending apocalypse, and they are stumbling around trying to figure out what is going on while fallng in love. The love story is cute, but not the kind of love story that sweeps you away and leaves you panting for the next book in the series. Not a bad read, but not a must read for me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christina dodd-- "Storm of visions"

When the world was young, twins were born. One brought light to a dark world; the other, darkness and danger. They gathered others around them, men and women destined to use their powerful gifts for good or evil. Today, their descendants walk the earth as the Chosen, and the ultimate battle is about to begin.
Jacqueline Vargha has always run from her gift. Until Caleb D'Angelo forces his way into her life and insists she take her place as one of the Chosen. She flees, he pursues, but she can no longer deny her visions, or the dangerous man who is her downfall...and her destiny.

***The Chosen? More like the scooby-doo gang. There is nothing serious about this story. I read the Darkness chosen series that preceded this series, and it was much better. The characters are underdeveloped and at times silly. The love story between Jacqueline and Caleb is cute, but nothing more. The book never truly gets into the heart of the basis for the story. Which of course is good vs. evil. But it lacked that spark that makes you want to rush out and get the next book. Not a "must read", just a Sunday on the sofa read.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lora Leigh-- "The Breed Series"

This review encompasses the entire series....

They were created, they weren't born. They were trained, they weren't raised. They were taught to kill, and now they'll use their training to ensure their freedom. They are Breeds. Genetically altered with the DNA of the predators of the earth. The wolf, the lion, the cougar, the Bengal; the killers of the world. They were to be the army of a fanatical society intent on building its own personal army.
Until the world learned of their existence. Until the council lost control of their creations, and their creations began to change the world.
Now they are loose. Banding together, creating their own communities, their own society and their own safety, and fighting to hide the one secret that could see them destroyed. The secret of mating heat.

***If you have never read erotica, this series is not for you. The series is published by 2 different publishers, ellora's cave and Berkley press. Ellora's cave is very much erotica, some of the books lose sight of the story completely and is just short of porn. The Berkley press ones involve more of the story, but still have quite vivid sex scenes. These are not "keepsake" shelf kind of books, but they are great to kill a sunday afternoon. Some of them are really sweet in their love stories. Who doesn't have a fondness for the strong woman who can tame a male beast? The stubborn, hardheaded male who needs to realize he needs her more than he needs anything? The reading order of this series is difficult to follow, so check out her website for the complete list. You have to start out with the first Feline breeds from Ellora's cave to get a handle on the story, but after that you can stick with the Berkley press if you want a better plot. There is actually a story going on. It's about the breeds escape from the labs and their fight for survival. And there are always spies and plots to destroy them. If you can handle the sex scenes, you will like the story.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lynn Viehl-- "Shadowlight"

A novel of the Kyndred
With just one touch, Jessa Bellamy can see anyone's darkest secrets, thanks to whoever tampered with her genes. What she doesn't know is that a biotech company called GenHance has discovered her talent, and intends to kill her and harvest her DNA. When GenHance is poised to strike, Gaven Matthias is forced to take action. After months of tracking Jessa, he abducts her himself so he can protect others like her, but Jessa has a hard time believing the one man whose secrets she can't read. She senses he's hiding a terrible truth, and yet his touch ignites a passion she's never know. As a monstrous assassin closes in and forces them on the run, Jessa will have to find another way to discover whether Matthias is her greatest ally....or her deadliest enemy.I

***This story started off confusing, it didn't seem to flow. But about 100 pages into it, it all made sense. It is not a very romantic story, but this is the first in this series, so there was a lot of "set up" that had to happen for the rest of the series. I liked it, didn't love it as i did the Darkyn series, but some of the Darkyn play minor roles in this series as well. I WILL be waiting for the next installment.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rhyannon byrd-- "Primal Instinct Series"

Edge of Hunger
Edge of Danger
Edge of Desire

The basis of all 3 stories is that centuries ago there were "other" species inhabiting the planet. Everything from vampires and lycans, to species call Marrick and Casus. The Casus were a violent breed literally eating up humanity when they were captured and held in another dimension called Meridan. They are now escaping, and each time they do the last of the Marrick bloodlines awaken to fight them. These 3 stories are the awakening of the first 3 and there war with the Casus.

***overall not a bad read. It was an interesting take on the paranormal romance genre. It is very much about primal instincts between the couples. And i will definitely read the next 3 in this series.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

J.R. Ward-- "Covet-a novel of the Fallen Angels


Redemption isn't a word Jim Heron knows much about. His specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charged with a saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option. Vin diPietro has surrendered himself to his business, until fate intervenes in the form of a tough talking, Harley- riding, self professed savior, and a woman who makes him question his destiny. With an ancient evil ready to claim him, Vin has to work with a fallen angel not only to win his beloved over... but to redeem his very soul.

***If you are a reader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, you will recognize the city of Caldwell, and a few of the side characters. The prologue did nothing to help me understand this book, it didn't make any sense until chapter 5.

"Seven deadly sins. Seven souls swayed by the sins. Seven people at a crossroads with a choice that must be made. You enter their lives and affect their path. If they choose righteousness over sin, we prevail."
"And if they don't...."
"The other side wins."

If you are looking for a Black Dagger Brotherhood kind of story, think again. This book was slow and tedious, and it's about 150 pages to long. I really wanted to like this book because i love J.R. Ward, but it was a struggle from the start. Fallen angels? The main character was not an angel, he was recruited because both sides of the "battle for humanity" decided he was a middle of the road player to play the part. The whole story was confusing and the ending didn't leave me impatiently waiting for the sequel. The love story has its own sub plot with a stalker thrown in that has nothing to do with the story. I even tried to explain the plot to a friend, and i couldn't make enough sense of it to describe it. I own all of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, but this series is not a keeper for me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lisa Jackson-- "Hot Blooded"

A prostitute lies strangled in a seedy French Quarter hotel room. Miles away, in a rambling plantation house on the sultry shores of Lake Pontchartrain, popular late-night host Dr. Samantha Leeds receives a threatening crank call. All in a day's work for a celebrity. Who would think to link the two?
A second hooker's corpse turns up. Samantha's ominous caller persists, along with a mysterious female claiming to be a woman from her past--a woman who's been dead for years. With Detective Rick Bentz convinced that the serial killer prowling the shadowy streets of New Orleans is somebody close to Samantha, she doesn't dare trust anyone. Especially not Ty Wheeler, her seductive new neighbor who seems to know more about her than a stranger should.

***Another one of the books i picked up on a whim, and it sat in my "to be read" pile for weeks. With nothing else to read i gave it a shot. I was not disappointed. It grabs you right away and has so many layers, it was hard to figure out who the killer was. Jackson kept me in suspense until the very end. Samantha is a late night radio "shrink", escaping from a terrible incident in Houston, but it has followed her to New Orleans. Ty Wheeler was a part of the Houston investigation, and is in New Orleans to meet Samantha so he can right a book. Little did he know he would fall for her and be immersed in the killers new game of revenge. Definitely a page-turner.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Margaret Weis-- "Warrior Angel"

Once a dedicated soldier of the Knights Templar, Derek de Molay was betrayed and killed. So instead of an eternity in Heaven, he has decided to battle the Dark Angels of Hell. But as the war between good and evil rages, he is summoned back to the mortal realm to protect a woman standing too close to the edge of darkness.
Rachel Duncan has never felt this way before. A mysterious man is intent on seducing her with expensive gifts and trips on his private plane, yet it is Derek, a breathtaking stranger, who tugs at her heart. With him, there is laughter, light ... and love. But Derek tells an impossible, insane story, though deep in her hear she knows it to be true. Now Derek and Rachel must race against time to save the mortal souls of mankind ... and each other.

***This was another one of the books that i bought because the synopsis was interesting. But it sat on my desk in the "to be read" pile for months because each time i picked it up, I just couldn't get into it. This weekend, with nothing else to read, i gave it another chance. I finished it, it is slow and at times boring. It is very tame for a romance book. The undercurrent of this story is about the good and evil in all of us, and how true love can save you. It is a charming book, but not one i would put in my "must read" list. The best part of this book is Sampson, the cat who is an angel.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Nalini Singh-- "Angels Blood"

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. Its 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.....

***Let me start by saying, that i purchased this book solely because one of my favorite authors recommended it. It sat on my desk for weeks, i tried several times to get into it. But always found something better to read. I finally sat down and gave it a try and i was not disappointed. It is not your usual vampire story. It is mainly based around archangels, but not like any angels you have ever read about. Vampires are just a "by product" of the angels 'so to speak'. I got so into the story i finished it in 2 days. The banter between the guild hunter and the archangel Raphael is funny and intriguing. I can't wait until the next book in the series.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Amanda Stevens-- "The Dollmaker"

In Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, a terrible secret is about to be uncovered by a woman whose daughter vanished 7 years ago without a trace....
And now a new clue has surfaced..a doll that is the spitting image of Claire doucett's missing child, right down to the tiny birthmark on the girl's arm. A chance sighting of the eerily lifelike doll in a french quarter collectibles shop leaves Claire shaken to her core...and more determined than ever to find out what happened to her beloved Ruby.

***I liked the book, but there were 2 different stories going on. Claire's ex-husband and the father of the missing girl is returning to life so to speak, and Stevens spends way too much time solving one of his old cases rather than moving us thru the story of the dollmaker and the 30 years history of his story. The only tie these stories have is that they share Claire and Dave, and the cops involved in the murder Dave is trying to solve, use Ruby's kidnapping to get Dave to destroy evidence. It wasted a good portion of the book, when i really wanted to know more about the dollmaker story. Too many holes. Stevens never ties up her books in neat little packages with all questions answered, but out of her 3 novels, i was disappointed in the path this book took. And the end did not satisfy me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Amanda Stevens-- "The Devil's Footprints"

In 1922 a farmer in Adamant, Arkansas, awakes to a noise on his roof and finds his snow-blanketed yard marked with thousands of cloven footprints. The prints vanish with the melting snow...only to reappear seventy years later near the gruesome killing of Rachel Delaune.
Years after her sister's unsolved murder, New Orleans tattoo artist Sarah Delaune is haunted by the mysteries of her past. Sarah has always believed that her sister was killed by a man named Ashe. He had "appeared" to Sarah when she needed a friend the most, only to vanish on the night of her sister's murder. The past bleeds into the present when two mutilated bodies are found near Sarah's home, the crime scene desecrated by cloven footprints.

***Wow! This book has so many layers, it's hard to know where to start. The killer is not truly revealed until the last 20 pages. Every time i thought i had it, i was tripped up. And even though we don't really find out why the killer is the way they are, it really is a page-turning thriller. I was unable to put it down once i hit the home stretch. Not all questions are answered in Steven's books, but she gives you enough in this story to keep you on the edge of your seat. This book did not disappoint.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chelsea Cain-- "Evil at Heart"

Gretchen Lowell is still on the loose. These days, she's more of a celebrity than a feared killer, thanks to sensationalist news coverage that has made her a star. Her face graces magazine covers weekly and there have been sightings of her around the world. Most shocking of all, Portland Herald reporter Susan Ward has uncovered a bizarre kind of fan club, which celebrates the number of days she's been free. Archie Sheridan hunted her for a decade, and after his last ploy to catch her went spectacularly wrong, remains hospitalized months later. When they last spoke, they entered a detente of sorts--Archie agreed not to kill himself if she agreed not to kill anyone else. But when a new body is found accompanied by Gretchen's trademark heart, all bets are off and Archie is forced back to her gruesome ways, or has the cult surrounding her created a whole new evil?

***This is the 3rd installment in the Gretchen Lowell series, and it does not disappoint. Archie is pulled back into the hunt from his room in the psych ward where Gretchen has been keeping tabs on him thru clever means. But is she the one hunting again, or is it the leader of the fan club whose sister was murdered and tortured by Gretchen in front of him? Or was it really Gretchen who killed her? I love that the gender of the superbly twisted killer is a female. It makes the battle between her and Archie all the more interesting. Archie has survived her scalpel and torture where she took him to the brink of death over and over for days before being caught. I could go on and on about this series, but i think i have spoiled enough already. Start at the beginning with Heartsick, and you will be hooked!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Patricia Briggs-- "Hunting Ground"

Alpha & Omega series
Anna Latham didn't know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son--and enforcer-- of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn't know how dangerous it could be, either...
Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran's controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan--and it seems like someone else might be, too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all--or risk everything....

**this is book 2 in the series. It is an another "branch" of the Mercy Thompson series, which i have to say i favor more. This series is nice, not overly exciting or a page turner. But it is a good book to fill a Sunday afternoon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Jacquelyn Frank-- "Pleasure"

Shadowdwellers series
Discipline. Penance. Order. A Sanctuary priests life revolves around such things. But then Sagan is taken captive and thrust into the Alaskan Wilderness, he encounters a woman who challenges his faith and his self-control. Valera is a natural born witch who almost lost herself to the lure of dark magic. By rights, Sagan should shun her, but convention will count for nothing in the face of a passion that could change the world of the Shadowdwellers forever....
As Chancellor of the Shadowdwellers, Malaya's first duty is to her people. Her bodyguard, Guin, knows this only too well. For tradition's sake, Malaya must marry, and the thought of this lush vibrant woman in a loveless union is impossible for him to bear. Guin loves Malaya--not as a subject loves his queen but as a man craves a woman. And even if he cannot keep her, he'll show her everything she stands to lose....

***(spoiler alert)This is the 3rd book in the series and i like all 3 equally. And it may be the last since the villain Acadian has been caught and murdered in this book. But sometimes i think having a series that has only a few books is far better than a series that goes on and on without changing the premise but only changes the names. If you have never read Jacquelyn Frank, be prepared, she is vivid in her detailed descriptions about what happens in the bedroom (and the living room, the bathroom, the hallway, wherever) if you get my meaning. But the murder/suspense/love story factor is also a strong part to her stories.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gena Showalter-- "Darkest Whisper"

Lords of the underworld series
Bound by the demon of Doubt, Sabin unintentionally destroys even the most confident of lovers. So the immortal warrior spends his time on the battlefield instead of the bedroom, victory his only concern ... until he meets Gwendolyn the Timid. One taste of the beautiful redhead, and he craves more. Gwen, an immortal herself, always thought she'd fall for a kind human who wouldn't rouse her darker side. But when Sabin frees her from prison, battling their enemies for the claim to Pandora's box turns out to be nothing compared to the battle Sabin and Gwen will wage against love ....

***This is the 4th installment in the Lords of the Underworld series. It is not my favorite, but it does move the series along a little faster. And i love all stories based around Greek mythology. And there are a lot more stories happening at one time besides just the Gwen and Sabin story. Still a good read since the series seems to be continuing on.......

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Charlaine Harris-- "Shakespeare's counselor"

Cleaning lady Lily bard is a pro when it comes to keeping the exteriors of Shakespeare, Arkansas, absolutely spotless. But it's the dirt below the surface that really keeps her busy. Even Lily herself has her share of secrets. That's why she's joined a weekly group therapy session---to open up and finally face the past. That sounds positively enlightening, until the gruesome murder of a fellow member sends a terrifying warning. But which person in the group is the message meant for? Why? And who next will suffer the consequences of a killer's head games?

***This is the 5th and last installment in the Lily Bard series. This is a quick series to read, a nice book for a Sunday afternoon. It is amazing how much murder can happen in one small town, but everyone has secrets right? I think anyone who gives this series a chance will enjoy it. Harris has quite a sense of humor!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cody McFadyen-- "Shadow Man"

Special Agent Smoky Barrett was once one of the FBI's best profilers--until a madman killed her husband and daughter. Now Smoky dreams about picking up her weapon again ... and turning it on herself. Because for a woman who's lost everything, what is there left to lose? She's about to find out.
No one had ever encountered anyone like him--a new and fascinating breed of killer who defies profilers attempts to understand or identify him. And he's coaxed Smoky back from the brink with the only thing that could convince her to live: a challenge, and an innocent child. As this deranged monster embarks on an unspeakable spree of perversion and murder, Smoky comes alive again to face her greatest fears as a cop, a woman, a mother ... and a killer's next victim.

***the synopsis doesn't even to begin to describe the rollercoaster that is this book. It occasionally gets slowed down in the detailed dialogue, but for the most part the detail puts you right there in the room, in the moment, in her mind. You can visualize exactly what is happening as if you were really there. It is "full frontal" suprises, and page turning action. I thought i had read it all, but this book suprised me in the way the dark in humanity surfaces. McFadyen has great character development and i look forward to the continued series of Smoky Barrett.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Karin Slaughter--"Undone"

Someone had spent time with her -- someone well-practiced in the art of pain... Three years ago former Grant County medical examiner Sara Linton moved to Atlanta hoping to leave her tragic past behind her. Now working as a doctor in Atlanta's Grady Hospital she is starting to piece her life together. But when a severely wounded young woman is brought in to the emergency room, she finds herself drawn back into a world of violence and terror. The woman has been hit by a car but, naked and brutalized, it's clear that she has been the prey of a twisted mind. When Special Agent Will Trent of the Criminal Investigation Team returns to the scene of the accident, he stumbles on a torture chamber buried deep beneath the earth. And this hidden house of horror reveals a ghastly truth - Sara's patient is just the first victim of a sick, sadistic killer. Wrestling the case away from the local police chief, Will and his partner Faith Mitchell find themselves at the center of a grisly murder hunt. And Sara, Will and Faith - each with their own wounds and their own secrets - are the only thing that stands between a madman and his next crime.....

***(spoiler alert) This is just the latest installment in her series. Recently Slaughter started a new series (Atlanta w/ Will Trent). While, it seems, she was bringing the Grant County series to a close w/ the death of Jeffrey Tolliver (one of my favorite characters). I was very disappointed in his death, but Slaughter ties both series together by bringing Sara to Atlanta. As always, she doesn't reveal the killer until the end, keeping everyone in agonizing suspense. And shows us the darkest side of humanity. Her character development is great, and i have become quite attached to Will and Sara (and even Lena). Slaughter can't write fast enough for me! Before starting this book, go back and read the whole series, you will become hooked i'm sure.

Amanda Stevens-- "The Whispering Room"

Work is a welcome refuge for New Orleans homicide detective Evangeline Theroux. Feeling suffocated by her new baby, in whose eyes she sees only her dead husband, she throws herself into a high-profile case.
Reclusive writer Lena Saunders offers Evangeline a provocation theory about the crime: it is the work of a lunatic vigilante. Lena spins the sordid story of Ruth and Rebecca Lemay, whose mother brutally murdered her male children in an insane effort to root out an "evil" gene. The girls survived and grew to adulthood--but one is carrying on her mother's grisly work.
When the case takes a terrifying personal turn, Evangeline's whole life will depend on a crucial, impossible choice: the lesser of two evils.

**This book has multiple layers, with a story about the murder of her cop husband underlying the story of a lawyer being murdered and the eventual story of the Lemay sisters. Along the way you understand her as a driven woman, and mother. Everything ties in nicely. I was hooked in the first 5 pages and had to make myself put it down to go to sleep. This would make a nice series, but Stevens writes in individual novels. So this is all there is to this story, but it is very much worth the read!

Karin Slaughter's newletter....

(I love this author, and as you read, many of you will understand why, this is an excerpt from her newsletter)

Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it’s off to tour I go………I know many of you have heard me beg before and it will come as no surprise to long-time receivers of the Karin Slaughter Newsletter (hey-hey-hey!) that I am again putting myself at your mercy, but, seriously...Y'all come see me.

I mean, how hard is it to get into your car and drive to the bookstore to give me a shout out? Not as hard as getting on a plane, which requires taking off your shoes, showing your ID, letting some husky lady with a mustache pat you down...all so you can climb aboard a thin metal tube that is propelled by squirrel monkeys on a spinning wheel into the thin blue sky and I am not a physicist, but I am pretty sure if more than 2.9 people on board the plane figure out that there is no mathematical explanation for why said metal tube is able to fly in the air that airflight as we know it will cease to exist and we will all plummet from the sky in a fiery ball of jet fuel and I will be screaming the entire time, "OH, THE HUMANITY!!! WHY DID I BOTHER TO BRUSH MY HAIR?!?!"

But I take this risk for you because I care. And because my publisher has agreed to upgrade me to first class on some of the flights and I like watching all those people making their way back to coach and giving me the evil eye as I drink my pre-flight cocktail.

(Please read Karin Slaughter’s latest book “Undone”, I finished it in 3 days...i will write a complete review of the book soon)