Tag Archives: Crime

Two 4 Stars for Forsaken by Laydin Michaels #FF #Crime

1.5

Title: Forsaken
Author Name & Publisher: Laydin Michaels (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: December 15, 2015 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Blake Campbell has always struggled with anxiety and leads an isolated life. When she rents a beach house with her best friend, the last thing she expects is murder. Her connection to Lindsay Duvall forces her to confront her lifelong issues.

Lindsay Duvall has one goal, to be a Texas Ranger. She has worked hard for it and has never let anything get in her way. But when Blake Campbell falls into her life, she shakes Lindsay’s carefully constructed foundations.

Will the hunt for this killer be the catalyst that brings Blake out of her shell and alters Lindsay’s plans for the future? Or will the moment, and the killer, escape them?

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Review

FourStars

Shy, anxious Blake finds socialising very difficult but her friend Krystal does all she can to get her out and about.  They meet State Trooper, Lindsay, at a club and all hit it off immediately.  Blake and Lindsay are attracted to each other and Blake overcomes her social anxiety and agrees to a date.  Tragedy strikes the group of friends though when a vicious murder takes place.
The story develops at a great pace, with just the right amount of tension.  Lindsay wants to become a Texas Ranger and being involved in the case could help her to her goal.  As she becomes involved withy Blake her priorities begin to change, and she realises that career isn’t everything.  Her internal conflict is clear for all to see.
Blake is certainly put through the mill – will it be too much for her or will she find resources she didn’t know she had? I enjoyed reading about their relationship and it was inter-woven well with the increasingly disturbing and tension-filled murder case.
I would recommend this book and can see further developments for these characters, should the author decide to write another instalment.

Kitty Kat

fourstars

This was an interesting read, and I truly enjoyed it, but I wonder if it could have been just that little bit better if the focus hadn’t been so split. The book starts out like a contemporary romance, and it starts out sweet and makes you like the two main characters, and root for their budding romance. Then we get sucked in to this serial killer’s mind, and the book totally takes a turn. I will say that Michaels surprised me several times – in a good way – with the plot turns and twists. What I thought was going to happen was never what happened, and I liked that. Usually in a romantic suspense novel, the romance part takes more of a lower priority than the action. In this book, they’re more equal than I’m used to seeing. I think it’s because usually both characters are involved in the suspense part together for a longer time, but that wasn’t as possible in this story, so we have more scenes of the romance than you would usually see. Anyway, what I’m trying to say, rather poorly, is that if the book focused more on being either a suspense novel, or a romance novel, it wouldn’t feel so strangely like there were two books in one.

Regardless, I liked the plot. I liked the characters. And I liked the fact that it wasn’t predictable. I’ll definitely be looking for more by this author in the future.

Amy P.

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5 Stars for This Other Country (More Heat than the Sun #4) by John Wilshire #MM #Dark @JohnWiltshireNZ @MLRPress

1.5

Title: This Other Country (More Heat Than the Sun #4)
Author Name & Publisher: John Wilshire (MLR Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 22, 2014 – 298 pgs

Synopsis

Nikolas is the sanest, straightest, person he knows, so can anyone tell him, why he’s on a gay therapy course?

Nikolas Mikkelsen could make a very long list of unpleasant things he’s endured in his life. Then order it from ‘nearly killed me’ to ‘extremely horrific and don’t want to do again’. And what did it say about his forty-five years that being hit by a tsunami would be a considerable way down this list? But nothing, not torture, imprisonment, nor starvation has prepared him for what he now has to endure for Ben Rider’s sake-attendance on a residential, gay therapy course. At least he has a new contender for the top spot on his ‘my awful life’ list.

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Review

FiveStars

This book was another really good addition to this series!

Warning this is a dark romance book and there are some parts of this book that may be hard for some to read.

In this book Nikola and Ben must go to a gay counseling seminar undercover to help their friend. There were funny moments with the banter between these two men then there were harder moments with what Ben goes through.

Now I have to say I really do not like Kate now and I honestly did not feel like that situation was handled right because it felt like she got off with a slap on the hand when she knew what she did was wrong. Now I will not say what happened because that would be a spoiler but I will say it was really messed up and wrong.

Other than that part I really loved this book and what this author did with this story! There was action which has you on the edge of your seat and so much steam between these two men.

So all together I loved this book besides that one part which still is driving me nuts that happened lol.
I would recommend this book!

Kara

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5 Stars for The Bridge of Silver Wings (More Heat than the Sun #3) by John Wilshire #MM #Dark @JohnWiltshireNZ @MLRPress

1.5

Title: The Bridge of Silver Wings (More Heat Than the Sun #3)
Author Name & Publisher: John Wilshire (MLR Press)
Publication Date & Length: August 22, 2014 – 290 pgs

Synopsis

Ben discovers the truth of the old adage ‘be careful what you wish for’. Nikolas has exorcised his demons, but when they end up stranded in Russia, the monster inside needs to be let loose. Siberia in winter isn’t a place for good men. There is nothing Nikolas won’t do to keep Ben alive. Home again, Nikolas then faces an enemy he can’t defeat: Ben Rider himself. Discovering a new family, Ben realises he’s been living too long in the shadows cast by Nikolas’s all-consuming love. For the first time, life apart from Nikolas is possible. Is Nikolas strong enough to let Ben go?

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Review

FiveStars

This book was such a awesome addition to this series!
Warning this is a dark romance book and there are some parts of this book that may be hard some to read.

With this book we get more of Nikola and Ben as they closer to one another. Nikola must go to Russia and Ben wants to go with him.. Well lets just say after that this book went from really good to amazing!!!!

They encounter some very messed up men and lets just say Nikola must bring out the part himself he has thought he would never have to use again. These two men have to fight for their life in this book.

This author did a amazing job with this story and these characters in this book. We learn so much about Nikola and Ben in this book. You see how much Nikola cares for Ben and how much Ben cares for Nikola even though there at the end what Ben does with “not saying and giving away any spoilers” really irritated me and made me doubt Ben’s feelings for Nikola.

So all together I really loved this book!
I would recommend this book!

Kara

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5 Stars for Conscious Decisions of the Heart (More Heat than the Sun #2) by John Wilshire #MM #Dark @JohnWiltshireNZ @MLRPress

1.5

Title: Conscious Decisions of the Heart (More Heat Than the Sun #2)
Author Name & Publisher: John Wilshire (MLR Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 8, 2014 – 314 pgs

Synopsis

Ben Rider and Nikolas Mikkelsen learn that danger comes in all shapes and sizes and often in places you least expect it.

Nikolas’s dark past calls to him, inexorably dragging him back into its seductive embrace. While he goes on an errand of mercy to Russia, Ben travels to Denmark to learn Nikolas’s language. Convinced Russia’s vastness will swallow Nikolas, Ben doesn’t see the enemy much closer to home. Thinking he has lost Nikolas, Ben then makes a terrible decision that threatens to destroy everything they have together. Focused on this very personal horror, bound by a new level of commitment, they have no idea that a greater threat is coming. And when it arrives, it changes everything—even the definition of commitment.

Warning: This story contains the violent death of a minor character and some graphic violence.

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Review

FiveStars

This book was such a good addition to this series!

With this book we get more of Nikola and Ben as they closer to each other while at the same time we learn more about Nikola and what causes the darkness within himself. Now Nikola is very dark and scary which I don’t blame him after everything that happened to him in his life. It was very hard reading parts of this so here is a warning that some parts of this book are dark and may be hard for some to read I know it was for me..

Everything Nikola went through was horrible and what he had to do there are just no words.. I felt like Ben really being there with him brings something out in Nikola maybe something good? Which helps Nikola with the dark inside.

Nikola must go on a trip which leaves Ben on his own. Ben decides to go to where Nikola is from and learn Danish. There was so much action and on the edge of your seat moments in this book. This author grabbed me from the start and I could not put this book down until the end.

I loved the way this author wrote these characters with Nikola’s dark, scary personality which draws you in wanting to learn more about him to Ben’s light, loving personality but also the dark inside of him too.

All together I really loved this book and can not wait to read the next one in this series!
I would recommend this book!

Kara

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5 and 4 Stars for Gone Away (Circles #4) by Elizabeth Noble #MM #Mystery @elizabethnoble1

GA Final Draft 101515

Title: Gone Away (Circles #4)
Author Name & Publisher: Elizabeth Noble (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: January 6, 2016 – 115 pgs

Synopsis

Mason Arquette isn’t one for mincing words. In fact, he often rubs people the wrong way—with the exception of Riece Burrell. Riece came with his own set of social issues, but he saw right through Mason’s tough exterior, and they made a perfect couple. Or so Mason thought… until Riece abruptly ended their relationship without much explanation.

Years later, Mason and Riece are thrown back together. As a US Forestry Service photographer, Riece is sent on assignment to the Black Hills, where Mason works. When Mason is tasked with guiding Riece around the territory, old feelings quickly are rekindled.

But nothing is ever easy. Just as Mason and Riece begin to work things out, they’re targeted by people with motives so vile and twisted they defy imagination. In a desperate race for their lives, they must depend on one another and take a big step out of their personal comfort zones to find their way back to safety—and back to love.

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Review

FourStars

This is another great action story from Elizabeth Noble. I love the beautiful scenery of the Black Hills and the way Mason and Riece’s gentle expedition turns into a terrifying pursuit.

I’m still not sure this works as a romance. Noble starts to develop Riece and Mason into interesting characters at the start of the story, but when the action starts, character development and the development of Riece and Mason’s relationship is almost forgotten. This leaves readers with many unanswered questions and characters we want to, but don’t quite, believe in.

At the start, Riece has some interesting character quirks. I was trying to decide whether he had OCD or mild Asperger’s Syndrome at the point when this became an action-adventure story. Riece’s unique personality pretty much disappears as he struggles to survive. In much the same way, Mason’s dual heritage and his relationship with his father add interest at the start of the story but fade once the adventure starts. Hints are dropped about Mason and Riece’s relationship when they were younger, but a simple apology brings Mason back to Riece’s bed.

Without giving the story away, I really enjoyed this as an action-adventure. Mason is a wonderfully resilient, resourceful action hero. The combined skills he has learned from his First Nations heritage and during Ranger training make him a formidable opponent. Quiet, awkward Riece also has a few skills and after his initial shock, he manages to make himself a useful partner.

Sarah

FiveStars

I was on the edge of my seat through this whole book!

These two men together, I have to say I loved them as a couple and I kept rooting for them through this whole book! There was so much action, suspense and a little bit of steam too.

Mason and Riece broke up but years later they meet up again and the sparks are still there. Mason was so patient with Riece and caring. Riece had his certain ways he does things which normally bugs people but not Mason.

I loved the way this author wrote both of these characters and this story! The run for your life’s while growing closer together and admitting to feelings they still have for each other was just awesome. I have to say I am a huge fan of books that have me on the edge of my seat hoping for the best.

So I will leave this review with… I %100 loved this book and would definitely recommend it!

Kara

Excerpt

“Hungry?” Mason poked at the campfire he’d started. This spot was a popular one. There was already a fire pit rimmed with rock and stone, set against an outcrop and facing a small stand of trees. Whoever constructed it had clearly thought out the location well. The trees were far enough away to be of minimal danger from the fire, yet close enough to be convenient for hanging food from. Their fire was protected by the outcrop and the shallow pit.

Riece turned and studied Mason and their camp. He grinned and raised his camera to take a few more pictures. “You photograph very well.” Riece walked over and sat beside Mason. “Want to see?”

“Sure. If I don’t like them, do they get deleted?”

“No,” Riece said and rolled his eyes. He settled on the ground beside Mason and leaned against him while going through the photos he’d taken that day.

Without thinking, Mason lifted one arm and put it around Riece, tucking him close to his side. “Those are pretty good. Even the ones with me in them.” Both of their actions seemed natural and easy.

Riece snorted and pulled the micro-memory chip out. “Of course they are. I have excellent technique.”

Mason laughed and handed Riece his bag. Riece extracted a plastic case, slipped the chip into one of the slots, and put a new one in the camera. “What’s on the menu?”

“Chicken burritos—well, my version. I threw some potatoes on to bake too, and the all-time campfire favorite of s’mores.”

“Oh, nice. I haven’t had those since I was a kid. My mom used to make them for me over the stove.”

“You haven’t had s’mores until you’ve had them made over an open fire,” Mason said.

Riece tucked his camera away, and they set about assembling and eating their dinner. Mason squeezed shredded chicken from foil pouches onto tortilla wraps. They added shredded cheese, some salami, and dried fruits and spices to the mix. Mason rolled them in foil and set them on the hot embers from the fire to warm up. Dried power-drink mix to add to their water completed the meal. It was completely dark by the time Mason loaded skewers with marshmallows for roasting.

“That was pretty good.” Riece leaned against his pack and gazed up at the sky.

Mason laughed. “What were you expecting, squirrel meat?”

“I was worried about what we were going to eat. I’ll admit I had visions of freeze-dried food packets. I didn’t really pay attention when you were packing. I was afraid to look too closely,” Riece confessed.

“Tomorrow we’ll be near a river, and we can score some fresh fish and use our water filters to refill our bottles. I’ll show you how to spear fish.” Mason stood and stretched. When he began collecting their food stocks and garbage, Riece immediately joined in, helping him. “Anything like toothpaste or mouthwash we’ll store in our sack as well. That stuff smells good to wildlife too.”

“We can keep the lube with us, right?”

That made Mason laugh. “I wouldn’t dream of having it any other way. It’s nice enough out tonight. I can set the tent up, or we can sleep without it.”

“If you don’t mind, and if the wildlife will cover their eyes, I’d like to be able to see the open sky.” Riece sat cross-legged near the fire and pushed his hands against the ground. “Sort of hard and lumpy.”

“You’re such a city boy,” Mason said with a chuckle. “That’s what I brought a sleeping pad for.”

“Now who’s being a city boy? I was thinking more along the lines of how comfortable you are to sleep on.”

Mason smiled, rolled his eyes, and shook his head before he went about completing the task of getting their sleeping area readied. Riece packed their food in the bear bag they would use to secure it high enough off the ground it would be safe. Using a rock and some utility cord, Mason showed Riece how to rig it between two trees.

“We’ll use this as a base camp, hike farther out tomorrow, and come back here to sleep before heading to the next area you need to go to,” Mason explained. He’d spread the map out and traced their path with one finger.

Riece looked over his shoulder. Mason could feel his warm breath on the back of his neck and how he nodded every few seconds. Eventually Mason spread the sleeping pad out, and Riece inflated it before arranging their bedrolls over it.

The temperature dropped fast after the sun went down. Riece was lying on his back, arms bent under his head, looking up at the sky. They’d hiked quite a way that day, and Mason was getting tired. He spent a few minutes watching Riece. He’d folded his clothes and neatly placed them in his backpack, which made Mason smile. Even in the wilderness, there were some things Riece would do to follow his routine, and there was no stopping him. Mason had learned long ago trying to make Riece give up too many of his habits too quickly would cause him to close off and withdraw. Something Mason wanted to avoid at all cost.

Mason stripped off his clothes before he slid into the bedroll with Riece and wrapped one arm around his waist. Despite the cool night air, he was warm in seconds with Riece’s body against his.

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TWO 4 and 4.5 Stars for Sight Lines by Michelle DiCeglio #Crime #FF

1.5

Title: Sight Lines
Author Name & Publisher: Michelle DiCeglio (Ellora’s Cave Publishing LLC)
Publication Date & Length: November 6, 2015 – 138 pgs

Synopsis

While investigating a serial killer in her small town, Detective Lacey Mills meets Alison Rhodes, a potential witness to one of the crimes. But as the murders get more intense, so do Detective Mills’ feelings for Alison—and her suspicions that Ali may be more than just a witness.

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Review

FourStars

Lacey Mills is a dedicated police detective who lives for her work. After losing her girlfriend Tara two years previously, she has steered clear of any romantic involvement.
Whilst investigating a series of murders of young women in Vantage Woods, she meets Ali, a beautiful web designer and a witness on the periphery of the case. Despite misgivings Lacey allows herself to become involved with Ali.
The case under investigation was engaging as was the developing relationship between the two women. Lacey finds herself in danger more than once and revelations about the case and about Ali make her re-evaluate her life. This was all well written and kept me attention. I enjoyed the book and could see the characters develop more and series come out of it.
Kitty Kat

FourandHalfStarsThis book is a bit outside my usual reading genre but I decided to give it a chance anyway. I must say I wasn’t disappointed! The characters were well developed, the plot felt thought through and solid and the twists I was run through while reading were amazing! Great dialog, beautiful description and plenty of shocking moments made this a page turner and kept me on the edge of my seat.

 

I definitely applaud the author for the suspense brought on awaiting the reveal of Ali’s secret, as well as the terror I felt thinking Lacey might be right in her own assumption! Murder, intrigue, lies, secrets, romance and a serial killer… What more can you ask for? Well written and formatted as well as being beautifully plotted with an amazing feel a flow I will definitely be recommending this book to my friends!

~Rhayne

FourStars

I liked this book. However, as with most mysteries, I felt clueless and lost. And apparently, I wasn’t the only one. The main character seems to be going around in circles just like me. I actually liked that a little, as it made me feel like I wasn’t the only slow person on the case. The case did give me a couple of head-scratching moments though. First, if it’s been two years and 6 murders, would the police department not consider asking for help from the FBI? The only outside help they asked for was a profile of a serial killer that came back extremely vague.

Second, I’m not sure how one person, working alone, put together all the evidence that police never picked up on. I can understand some people not wanting to talk to the police, but I’m not sure I believe those people would talk to someone else who’s asking the same questions. Third, I thought Lacey’s reaction to finding out about Ali was extreme. I suppose it’s understandable after how much stress Lacey was under, but she wouldn’t even listen to Ali when she tried to explain. It’s difficult to understand shutting her out completely.

All in all, the book was interesting, and flowed really well, making it easy to read. And it kept my interest. I’d have no hesitation recommending this book to others.

~AmyP

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4 Stars for Cold to the Touch (The Dark Peak #2) by Cari Hunter #FF #Crime

1.5

Title: Cold to the Touch (The Dark Peak #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Cari Hunter (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: December 15, 2015 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Winter in the Derbyshire Peaks: months of knee-deep snow, short days, and rocketing crime rates.

Detective Sanne Jensen is living in self-imposed isolation and quietly falling apart, while Dr. Meg Fielding–Sanne’s best friend and occasional lover–is struggling to cope with her violent brother, who is back in town and demanding money that she doesn’t have.

When the murder of a drug addict is dumped onto Sanne’s already unmanageable caseload, she suspects the death may be the start of something more sinister. But how can she investigate a crime when no one cares about the victim? And how can she stop a killer who has no identity, no motive, and no conscience?

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Review

FourStars

Sanne Jensen, a Sheffield Police Detective, is investigating a series of baffling murders involving a homeless shelter. She’s also worried sick about her old friend and sometime lover, Meg, who is being targeted by her ex-con bully of a brother. Meg is an ER doctor, totally in control at work but hopeless dealing with her latest girlfriend, Emily. Privileged Mummy’s girl Emily does not have a clue what Meg is going through and would she be able to deal with it anyway?
I enjoyed the story, the pace and the setting. The mystery was well told and the gradual build up of tension was ideal. Inter-weaving it with Meg’s story was a brilliant touch. I felt scared for her and hoped Sanne would be able to help before it was too late.
The romantic side story was subtle but just right. The murder case took precedence as it should in a police procedural.
The Sheffield setting and descriptions of a Yorkshire winter and the inevitable closure of the Snake Pass was great. Having spent some time in this beautiful part of the country I could imagine it so well. The descriptive writing was spot-on.
A really good read.

Kitty Kat

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