Tag Archives: Thriller

New Release:5 stars and 4 stars for Send Lawyers, Guns and Roses (Heart and Haven #2) by Heloise West #MM #Mystery @velvetpanic

HeloiseWest_SendLawyersGunsandRosesTitle: Send Lawyers, Guns and Roses (Heart and Haven #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Heloise West (Loose ID)
Publication Date & Length: April 19, 2016 – 83,000 Words

Synopsis

When Hunter and Alex are given the vacation of a lifetime, it’s a chance for them to pay attention to romance and get out of the path of danger. The tiny Caribbean island of Saba is gorgeous, the first to have marriage equality, and the Sabans are the nicest people on earth.

There’s lots of rum poolside for relaxing and a room with a mirror on the ceiling for passion. Hot karaoke nights, cold beer, and new friends.

But their new friends Orfeo and Max, and Max’s sister Talisha, share a troubling secret. Alex and Hunter want to help. As a hurricane bears down on them, a dead body surfaces, and a purple backpack loaded with stolen jewels leads a pair of dangerous men to the island.

Alex would rather poke his own eyes out with a pointy stick than call on his old enemy Nick Truman for help; he’d also do anything to keep Hunter out of danger. But even his nemesis can’t reach them now.

Once again, they only have each other to depend on as their paradise is about to become hell on earth.

Review

FourStars

I much preferred this second story to the first in the series.  Once again, Alex and Hunter are our focus, but this time they are battling jewel thieves and crime lords on a Caribbean island.  

The plot of this story felt much more coherent to me.  The tension built at the end, building excitement without moving too fast for me to keep pace as happened with the first story.  The cast of secondary characters on Saba are well developed and interesting.  And the action in this story is very exciting.  

At the start, the pace was too slow for me.  After the events of the first book, we meet the two directionless men moving slowly through a complicated series of non events and another hospital stay.  It was when the pair arrived on Saba that the story picked up and came to life.  I’m not sure the first, slightly wobbly quarter of the novel was necessary.  

But Saba comes to life beautifully.  The Two Mermaids Hotel is a magical place and the residents and guests come together for a whodunnit almost worthy of Agatha Christie.  I really enjoyed this story and I’m glad I gave the series another chance.

~Sarah

FiveStars

Heloise West is an amazing author. There is no other reason behind having such an overwhelmingly awesome series as this series is.

Alex and Hunter are still going strong and still trying to recover from Hunters gunshot would and moving on from the previous life or death situation they was in. Alex has applied to the FBI but is waiting for confirmation if he is to get in or not and Hunter is trying to figure out to do until he knows where they will be before he looks for another job at the hospital where ever they end up.

It seems as if trouble follows these to because they find themselves in dangerous situations no matter whether at home while working at a bar or on vacation in a foreign country. It is like they are magnets and trouble or those that in trouble are drawn to them. But regardless of the situation, even with their own insecurities they stick together and come out stronger then they was before. Their love is strong and it seems not even the threat of death will keep them apart. That is true love that is for sure.

Even though this book is partly about unfinished business from book one it was primarily about a totally different dangerous situation. I think that the unfinished business revolves around Nick. I think that whether neither Hunter nor Alex will admit it, I think both might have some unfinished with him. And I am hoping their will be a book three that revolve around it. In a way I hope that the three of them will end up together. But hey that is just me.
Regardless of my thoughts on the next book in this series, this book was an awesome read with so much excitement and mystery. Not to mention love.

Tosha

Excerpt

“Ready? Take the beach bag. I’ll grab the chairs,” Alex said. “Did you get enough to eat?”

“Yeah. What’s the time?” Hunter slung the bag over his shoulder.

Alex shrugged. “Who cares? Have a cocktail. You know, to hydrate and pace yourself for a long day in the sun.”

“Let’s set up camp. Maybe a nap first.”

Their bare feet slapped against the sun-bleached boards of the footbridge, some of the flowering rainforest clinging to its edges for the hundred or so feet from the breakfast patio to the pool. The beach chairs were striped canvas and wood, chaise-style. Alex had grabbed a matching umbrella for when the sun was directly overhead. He left it closed, as they had a few hours yet before noon, by the arc of the sun in the unbelievably blue sky. The poolside held a half dozen chaise lounges and couples of various ages. They returned languorous, sun-soaked greetings in English, Dutch, and French as Alex led them to a spot he deemed worthy for their day in the sun. When the chairs were side by side, the canvas beach bag between them, Hunter sighed with pleasure, though he was soaked with sweat. He pulled off his T-shirt. “Do you want to swim first?”

“I’m dying to.” With a wicked grin, Alex slid his shorts down, the T-shirt hem falling to below his hips.

“Tell me you didn’t get a thing-thong!” God, they’d laughed together at the online models wearing bathing suits with pockets for their cocks.

Alex laughed. “No, a Speedo. For you.” He shrugged out of his T-shirt with an elegant, mouth-watering play of muscles and skin, and some of the lounging women whistled and clapped for the navy-and-white-striped Speedo he revealed. Hunter mock-growled and reached out to grab Alex, but he dashed away and ran along the side of the pool, blond hair streaming, long, muscular legs eating up the distance to the deep end. He dived like a happy dolphin into the water. Hunter ran after him and followed with a hurried, sloppy dive, shocked at the sensation of water as warm as bathwater. He wanted to melt into it. When he came up for air, hands beneath the water gripped his calves, and he grabbed a breath before Alex yanked him under. They wrestled briefly, then surfaced.

“Fantastic!” Alex shook his head briskly to whip the water from his hair.

Hunter shoved him, threw himself on top of him, and they went under again.

When they surfaced, Alex said, “We can rent a sailboat. Or a rowboat and paddle around in the bay. Or fish if you want. Do you think your leg will hold up to snorkeling?”

“Snorkeling, maybe even scuba.” He’d swim to the moon to keep Alex happy.

“I was born underwater,” Alex said, surprising him. “I even had those infant swim lessons.”

“You’re a natural,” Hunter replied. “Aqua Boy.”

Alex shoved him again; Hunter let himself fall backward into the water with a huge splash.

They swam for a while, joined by the other sunbathers when the heat got too intense. Hunter pulled himself from the pool and sat on the edge, watching Alex do laps. He shaded his eyes against the fierce touch of the sun. It pressed against his skin despite the water-resistant sunblock, and he splashed water up and down his arms, chest, and neck to cool off. Maybe he should have gone tanning like Alex had, because it hurt to touch his skin already. The water reflected and intensified the sun. He wasn’t that kind of redhead, but the tropical sun made him feel like one. Tanning had seemed kind of frou-frou…not for him…but he didn’t want to look like a strip of bacon at the end of the day either. Sucked it up and endured the tanning bed.

Alex swam over and pulled his gorgeous body out of the pool to sit on the edge beside Hunter. “I’m ready for some reading and napping. Lunch buffet is open until four… What are you laughing at?”

“We must be on vacation if we’re planning the day around the next meal.”

Alex smiled. “It’s about ten now. We can eat something light at eleven when they open.” He leaned in close. “If we go up to the room by noon, we’ll have time to screw our brains out until about two and have lunch again.”

Hunter nodded. It was all he could do.

“So it’s not meal times we’re planning for, right?” The sparkle in Alex’s eyes wasn’t about ham sandwiches and fruit salad. “Did you see the awesome mirror on the ceiling?”

AuthorInterview

  • Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?

 

I have a dedicated office because I work from home, but I find that I can’t really use it for writing—too much time spent in one space makes my brain stale. I mostly work on the dining room table if it’s warm or sitting on the couch by the woodstove in the winter. In really good weather, the porch is screened in so I sit out there. Consequently, I have piles of research materials and notebooks on various surfaces in different rooms—I’m not the most organized person.

 

  • Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?

 

I relate to all of them on some level, whether a rescuer or one in need of rescue. Some characters are forced into a position to do something they wouldn’t have done ordinarily, and some make choices to take or do what they want even if it means hurting or killing someone…not that I would ever do that, but sometimes my inability to be that free in my mind or conscience is given free rein by the choices my characters make. You can’t really censure bad characters as you’re writing them, so you kind of have to relate to what they’re doing in order to be with them in the creative process.

 

 

 

  • If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?

 

Go mad.

 

  • Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?

 

Nothing really comes to mind—I’ve always written, always had a workshop or a critique group, or a list of writing books to work through. Well, I wish I’d kept up with writing non-fiction pieces—when I write one for my blog, they always seem awkward and need more attention than I want to give them, as I’m chronically short on time these days.

 

 

  • Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?

 

Just the thought of that makes me hyperventilate. I haven’t read it since the last line edits, and as of this writing, reviews haven’t come in yet. It’s different than the first one, and I just hope the spirit of “misadventures” comes across.

 

  • How do you come up with new ideas for your story?

 

They’re always there, just waiting for me to notice them.

 

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

 

Sequels. I’m going to be spending much of 2016 and 2017 working on sequels and expanding into series.

 

  • Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?

 

I live in western Maine, off the beaten path, at the top of a windy hill with views of fields, trees, and mountains and lots of sky. It’s quiet and isolated, so what it influences is my ability to write and daydream for long stretches of time without interruption and with a beautiful view. The woman who designed this house was an artist, so I have tons of big windows to look out of when I should be making words…

 

  • What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?

 

Mysteries, especially historical mysteries, but I love historicals, too. I know, that’s two but I can’t choose.

 

  • Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?

 

The sweet stuff is my heroine.

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ONE 5 star and TWO 4 star reviews for Necromantia by Sheri Lewis Wohl @sherilewiswohl #FF #Paranormal #lesfic #Mystery #Thriller

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Title: Necromantia
Author Name & Publisher: Sheri Lewis Wohl (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: April 12, 2016 — 264 Pages

Synopsis

When seeing dead people is more than a movie tagline.

Circe Latham’s secret has always set her apart from everyone, but
these days she uses it to bring home those whose lives are stolen too
soon. Alongside her search dog, Zelda, she is able to make a
difference, and the chance to work a case with Deputy Sheriff Diana
Erni is an exciting challenge. Until the case takes a deadly turn and
her own life hangs in the balance. In order to save herself, Circe
must do the one thing she swore never to do again: share her secret.
Will her trust in Diana be strong enough to save her life or will she
too fall victim to a killer?

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Review

FourStars

There were several things I liked about this book. Wohl really got me with the suspense, right from the beginning. The first time the doorbell rang and she cut to someone else, I was sure the killer was coming for Circe. Obviously not, but the fact that Wohl made me think that so early in the book was indicative of the suspense she wove throughout the book. And she also got me with some of the twists she threw in about the killer. She had me wondering for quite some time, although I did have an inkling before the big reveal. I really loved Zelda, and the team she and Circe made. I even loved the paranormal aspects that were included. We obviously know about Circe’s ability, but there’s a hint that Diana has some abilities as well, and I wonder if that’s why the two of them connect so deeply so quickly. This brings me to a couple of things I didn’t like as much. I don’t like how quickly the two relationships moved, not only Circe and Diane, but also Paul and Lisa. I believe that type of instant connection can happen, but I’m not convinced that it would be moved on so fast. It almost seems like it was rushed simply to move the plot along. The other thing I didn’t care for as much is that Circe’s ability seemed a bit passive. Intrusive, yes. But passive, in that there wasn’t much she could do to help either the dead spirits she was seeing, nor the investigation into what happened, other than finding their bodies. I would have liked to see that be more interactive, so to speak.

All in all, this was a good read, with some interesting twists, and I really enjoyed it.

~AmyP

FourStars

This was a really good paranormal mystery with some really touching romance thrown in. Circe sees dead people but has kept it a secret from everyone but her best friend for fear of being committed. She works as a Body Recovery specialist along with her K9 partner but she is always the one to discover the site of burials first. The dead come to her and tell her where they are. When she finds three bodies on one site a case is opened up that will have enormous consequences for her and for the people around her. Diana and Paul are the cops assigned to the case and their personal lives become entangled with the case too.
I thought the serial killer mystery was well thought out and very surprising. The tension gets more and more intense as the story develops until it reaches an amazing climax. It was extremely exciting and kept me hooked. Circe’s special talent is vital to the solving of the case but the involvement of Diana and Paul made it much more interesting. The developing relationship between Circe and Diana was wonderfully done, with so much passion and love. Their connection was special and very sexually charged. Paul’s story was brilliant too and his character was sympathetic and kind but also tortured. I enjoyed that the story had many facets that all came together.
Kitty Kat
FiveStars
This is one of the most exciting, sensational and thrilling book I have read in a long time. From the stirring opening scenes to the dramatic and exhilarating conclusion this novel keeps the reader completely engrossed.
The complex plot is completely fascinating and quite unique. The character’s are well written and totally believable, even Circe with her intriguing power. This impressive storyline was enriched by the inclusion of the K9 Search and Rescue team and the enlightening explanation of its workings. This team working in conjunction with the police added to the realism and veracity of this scintillating novel.
Ms Wohl not only brings her characters, both good and evil to life, but her enriching narrative makes the entire book appear vividly and distinctly before and into the readers mind and imagination.
After reading this book I will certainly be looking for more of this outstanding authors works.
~Chris

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3 stars for In Light of Last: Parts 1 & 2 by Jacob Schultz #MM #SciFi

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Title: In Light of the Last: Part 1 & 2
Author Name & Publisher: Jacob Schultz
Publication Date & Length: Part 1: January 17, 2016 (41 pages) Part 2: January 19, 2016 (42 pages)

Synopsis

Part One

In the future, the world is mostly united under one government, having been nearly consumed by conflict that threatened the existence of all humanity. This new united world will seem largely familiar except for the fact that organized religion has been rendered illegal. When an elite squad of assassins is tasked with taking out the last vestiges of organized religion on the planet, they are thrown into a plot too obscure to possibly envision from the beginning. Welcome to One World.

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Part Two

In the future, the world is mostly united under one government, having been nearly consumed by conflict that threatened the existence of all humanity. This new united world will seem largely familiar except for the fact that organized religion has been rendered illegal. When an elite squad of assassins is tasked with taking out the last vestiges of organized religion on the planet, they are thrown into a plot too obscure to possibly envision from the beginning. Welcome to One World.

This installment picks up where the first one left off. Next up, the shocking conclusion!

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Review

ThreeStar

In Light of the Last, by Jacob Schultz, is a bizarre, serialized science fiction novel. It has several characters coping with different storylines, which all begin to intersect in Part 2, and switches between personal logs/first person and more cinematic third person scenes. Which was strange at first, but kind of cool once I got used to it.
The style is anime/foreign, which should appeal to any yaoi fans out there. The dialogue is at times purposely stilted, and at other times familiar. It’s set on Earth, but far enough into the future to be beyond post-apoctalyptic, though the lore surrounding “Earth that was” remains compelling.
I liked it. It’s like a diatribe on gender, sexuality, and identity got mixed together with a science fiction novel, like stew, not like soup, so big chunks of each remain. I think other people will like it too. Jacob Schultz is a talented writer. He has a gift for bringing distinct characters to life.
This would work better as a novel, because then it would all be in one piece as set-up and story and resolution, and then I would know what happened. Parts 1 and 2 are only a beginning. Give me more!
– C. E. Case

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New Release: 4 stars for Dead Camp (Dead Camp #1) by Sean Kerr (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #Horror @SGK69

 deadcamp300Title: Dead Camp (Dead Camp #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Sean Kerr (Extasy Books)
Publication Date & Length: January 1, 2016 – 260 pgs

Synopsis

Eli is an ancient vampire with an ego the size of a planet and a sex drive to match, but his tumultuous past left him broken, so he hides from humanity and cowers from love, left to endure the crushing guilt that haunts his every waking moment. Even his best friend Malachi, a ghost who is hopelessly in love with Eli, remains unaware of all that transpired in London. Malachi can never know the truth.

When the Angel Daniyyel pays an unwelcome visit, Eli must face his secrets, secrets that he has tried so long to hide. To make matters worse, a chance encounter with the most beautiful man he has ever seen shatters his beloved isolation, pushing him into the world of the living once more. Something about this strange man seems so familiar, but Eli can’t even remember who he was before he became a vampire, never mind explain the unwanted emotions the enigmatic stranger ignites in his dead heart. So Eli has a choice—return to the world that ruined him, or continue his self-imposed exile with no hope of salvation.

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Review

FourStars

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. The title is the worst thing about this book. I mean, I get it, it’s about an effeminate gay ghost who’s “campy.” And Dead. But the book is so much more.
Brooding, broken Eli is a sarcastic but lovable homosexual vampire obsessed with sex and afraid of his own capacity for violence. His best friend is Malachi the ghost. They are both hiding from their past, quite literally in a castle in the middle of the woods.
Surrounded by Nazis.
Seriously, this book is the best. It’s a great pleasure to read. There’s a lot of sex, obviously. And a lot of gore. Eli is not a sparkly vampire, he is an ancient evil. And I’m obsessed with him.
~C. E. Case

Excerpt

Three prisoners had died in my block that night, two elderly and one young man not old enough to grow pubes. It sickened me. Never, in all my years, had I witnessed such a callous waste of human life. And then to see my fellow prisoners undressing the dead, striping their cold stiff bodies before my unbelieving eyes horrified me even more, and I clung onto Jakob’s broken body for dear life. All around me the clunk of bodies against wood and concrete. My eyes tried not to see and my ears tried not to hear.

A cold clammy hand gently caressed my arm and I nearly shot off my shelf in shock. I didn’t scream. I refused to scream.

“My friend, I’m sorry, my friend, but you must undress him. The rubbish men will be here soon and you must strip him of all clothing before they take him. Please, you must do this for him—they will be less kind than you. Do you understand?”

“Why? Why must we do this?”

“His clothes are of value, my friend. They will be re-used for the next intake.”

“And what of his body, what will become of Jakob?”

“You don’t want to know, my friend.” His whispered words made every hair on my body stand on end. A sound outside caused him to return to his unsavoury task with renewed urgency. “Quickly, they are here.”

What followed felt like a dream. I had undressed many a man under many circumstances, but that was a first. Already poor Jakob stiffened, and it pained me to hear and feel his bones crack as I gently prised his pale thin body from the clothes. I whispered my apologies into his unhearing ears and I hated my eyes for glancing across his pale dead flesh.

I had to free them, all of them. That place, that death camp, it had to end.

I lifted his dead naked body into my arms. Emotion, so alien to me, invaded the shrivelled blackness that was my soul, and I knew my eyes betrayed my grief.

Emotions made you weak. Emotions made you vulnerable, emotions hurt. And I was hurting. The passing of that human, that mortal man I had known for less than a day, had brought back that affliction from which I had been running from for so very long.

I had only opened my heart to the world again but for the briefest of moments.

And already I felt pain.

Gideon hurt me. He made me feel unloved, unwanted, he made me feel ugly.

How I would crave for his touch, how desperate I was for his love, to feel the thrill of his fingers upon my bare flesh, to feel his attraction to me, to feel wanted. But all he ever did was refuse me. Every time I tried to touch him, he turned me away. He was not in the mood, he told me to come back later.

Come back later.

But later never came.

I carried that pale body into the grey wet misery of morning. The sun was trying desperately to penetrate the thick layers of brooding clouds that clung stubbornly over the camp, but the sun was losing. Rain dripped incessantly from the skies, melting the remaining snow into a muddy slush. Grey skies, grey ground, grey people. The camp drained the colour out of everything. Welwelsburg was like me, a vampire, sucking the life out of everything it encountered, sucking away hope and dignity, leaving nothing but pale grey husks clinging to the brink of existence.

Two men stood next to a large flatbed trolley. Dead, naked bodies lay crumpled in a pile on top of the trolley, legs and arms sticking out at all angles like some grotesque starfish. I saw children amongst the corpses.

Pale white flickering figures surrounded the trolley. Insubstantial wisps of lives spent before their time. The rubbish men looked at me expectantly but I could not move for the sight of those spectral beings and I clutched Jakob’s dead body tightly to my chest, unwilling to relinquish my charge. If I put him on that trolley then he would be dead, another lump of cold meat on the pile. He deserved more than that.

The ghostly figures turned to look at me, each one knowing me, seeing me, seeing me see them. And they smiled at me. Cold shivering prickles erupted across my skin as their eyes took me in and they were such kind eyes, such trusting eyes. A figure pushed its way between them, its shadowy form brushing gently against the others as it came to stand before me.

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Filed under 4 Star, Author Interview, C. E. Case, M/M, New Release, Review

New Release: 3.5 and 3 stars for Trainwreck (Trainwreck #1) by Michele Micheal Rakes (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #Bisexual #BDSM #Mystery @MicheleRakes

TrainwreckCoverFinalSmall

Title: Trainwreck (Trainwreck #1)
Author Name: Michele Micheal Rakes
Publication Date & Length: January 25, 2016 – 374 pgs

Synopsis

Detective Sergeant Vincent Sweetwater hates dead bodies. That’s why he’s an undercover narc and not a homicide dick. So why is he standing on a sandy beach in California staring at a lifeless body—oh yeah, the suicide attempt. Lieutenant Hanson is making a statement. Something about life worth living. Shows what he knows.

As Vince examines the tortured body, he feels an empathy and déjà vu for the victim, her wounds are similar to scars he has only a vague memory receiving. An intense desire to find her killer fills his queasy belly as a dark game of cat and mouse begins.

The young woman’s death forces Vince back into a secret life dominated by sex, perversion, and sadomasochism. Estranged from his wife he still loves and longing for the man who possessed him once, Vince buries his torment deep inside meaningless sex.

*Warning: This book contains adult content and situations. NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

This was a difficult story for me.  I found myself having to go back and try to find pieces of the story that I had seemingly missed, but never was quite able to put together.  There are several moving parts in this story and they don’t always talk with each other.
You have Vince who is struggling to come back to a life after the loss of his child and his emotional loss of his wife.  Despite his life as an undercover, he’s been thrust in to the spot light and realizes that his life in undercover is over.  With a murder case plopped in to his lap, it brings back flashes of a past life – a life that he has tried and failed to forget.  Hints of past tortures, glimpses of a life that once was out of his control – whereas the chaos that has become his life is all his own doing.
I had a difficult time with, what I think was supposed to be his conscience speaking with him – or him own inner monologue – it was strange and you never really get a good grasp on whether or not he takes his own advice.
Then you have his wife, who despite being in a marriage with someone who hates her, keeps on trucking.  Not really sure why she does, other than out of obligation from their shared past.  I don’t really get a good idea of her motivations in this story – it seems that she loves Vince, but she also loves Nick – both seem brotherly.  When Vince and Mica come together, it’s hateful and spiteful – I didn’t really feel that they had much chemistry in the story at all.
Nick is both his brother and his cop partner.  He is trying to help Vince figure out his life and solve this murder.  I enjoyed his character and how he was able to help smooth ruffled feathers throughout the story.
Then you have the mystery killer – someone from the past who is toying with Vince in a way that keeps Vince off balance and struggling.  Rakes did a good job at keeping the reader on their toes when it came to the killer, but I wish that more had been revealed in terms of the who, because you’re just left with this image of a deranged man who is charismatic enough to control the women in his life, but who is secretly, potentially gay and hates himself for it.
While this is a very incomplete story, I did like that I was unable to guess what would happen next.  However, I am unsure if that was because of the lack of cohesion throughout or because Rakes has written a story that will eventually come together in the next books.
~AvidReader
ThreeStarThis is a dark, complicated police procedural.  While the story is set in sunny California, Vincent Sweetwater is more damaged than even the darkest Scandi Noir characters.  His story is far from heroic.  He’s an awful husband and a self-destructive addict.  So I’m not entirely sure why I fell hard for the man.
It took me a long while to get into the story.  At first, the plot seemed to jump erratically and I struggled to  work out timelines and relationships.  Vince also talks to himself incessantly through the book and I found the conversations he has with himself distracting.  And once I’d finally untangled Vince’s narrative, the writer started to switch between Vince’s perspective and the perspective of the murderer he was hunting.  Since some characters overlapped between the two narratives, I had to work hard to keep everything straight.
I’m reviewing this for Inked Rainbow which is a little puzzling because there isn’t much of any LGBTQI content in this first story.  Vince’s relationship is with his wife, his former foster sister.  Mica’s character isn’t fully developed here.  We see her as a successful LAPD lieutenant who exists in a miserable marriage where she is subjected to regular abuse.  I really struggled to warm to her.  VInce’s only other relationship is with his former foster brother, now his married, heterosexual partner.  I can only assume that these relationships develop over the course of the series.
This is not a romance.  Vince and Mica’s relationship is hellish.  Vince’s hook-ups are brutal.   This is a cat and mouse detective story where VInce tries to reign in his self-destruction for long enough to catch the killer before the killer catches him.
Once the chase starts properly, I enjoyed the story more.  At the start, Vince is a grieving addict full of self-pity.  While he doesn’t really resolve any of his problems, he becomes more functional and more interesting when he starts properly working as a detective.
So – try to imagine the darker, uglier side of Harry Hole or Wallander’s existence because even the Scandinavians haven’t crafted an anti-hero this dark.  This is a long book and just as I was starting to get into it, it ended on a cliff-hanger, leaving me waiting rather impatiently for book 2.~Sarah

Excerpt

Vincent Sweetwater twisted the Harley’s throttle. The power in the motor thrummed between his legs. The bike seemed heavy, angry; like she wanted to fall flat on her face. Like she yearned to drag him across the gritty asphalt. Vince needed to feel the pavement shred his clothing and bite into his skin. Punishment for being a man who thrived on suffering.

Why can’t I control myself, damn it?

-You’re supposed to be one of the good guys.

Fuck off.

-Stop drinking, Sweetwater.

Vince envisioned choking the life out of his conscience. The damn thing made it difficult to be an asshole, yet somehow he didn’t let it stop him. Nothing stopped him from being a dick to his wife. Vince squeezed the throttle. The speed would numb his mind.

The machine growled beneath him, giving her two fucking cents, and he ignored the wanton slut. Vince was too malicious to give her what she craved. If he did, there would be no turning back.

Still, the iron bitch demanded more power. Urged by a quiet whisper from somewhere in the darkness of his mind, Vince let off the throttle long enough to grasp the clutch and toe it into sixth.

 

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THREE 5 Star, ONE 4.5 Star, and ONE 4 Star Review for Trigger by Jessica L. Webb #FF #Thriller

CoverTitle: Trigger
Author Name & Publisher: Jessica L. Webb (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: April 12, 2016 – 264 pgs

Synopsis

Dr. Kate Morrison doesn’t know how or why someone would create human bombs that are triggered by touch. But when Sergeant Andy Wyles blocks Kate from touching the patient who collapses in her Vancouver ER, Kate joins the investigation to demand answers, regardless of the danger.

As the two women work together to find those responsible for creating an army of human weapons, Kate finds it increasingly difficult to ignore her feelings for the fiercely protective and unrelentingly perceptive cop.

The investigation escalates, and Kate gradually begins to trust Andy, not only with her safety but also with the difficult details of her past. With lives at risk and her heart on the line, Kate must search for a way to defuse the bombs and save her patients, even as she questions the intensifying connection between herself and Andy.

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Review

FiveStars

Dr Kate Morrison becomes involved in a police investigation when a human bomb walks into her ER. Sergeant Andy Wyles asks her to help her tranport the seriously dangerous patient to a safe facility when it becomes clear she is the only person who can safely touch him without setting him off as an explosive device. I loved this book. It was an brilliantly tense and thrilling story that unravelled bit by bit, drawing the reading even further in. As more details emerged Kate’s involvement became crucial and she opened up a new part of herself. Her feelings for Andy grew slowly and she tried to put them to the back of her mind but in the end had to give in to her feelings. Andy would never let on how she felt but in one small moment of vulnerability it became obvious she had feelings for Kate too. I thought Kate was a great character and really enjoyed finding out her back-story. We got less detail about Andy’s past but I loved her tough exterior and amazing presence. Their jobs and the increasing danger of the case they were working on kept the romance on the back boiler for most of the book but when they did admit their feelings it was brilliant. The pent up sexual tension exploded off the page! I was very impressed by the human bomb story and felt that it was addictive and thrilling. An excellent read.
Kitty Kat
FiveStars
An absolutely belter of a book. From the opening explosive chapters to the breath taking and unexpected climax this book has it all.  I really enjoyed every absorbing page of this dynamic novel.
This author has come up with a concept that is terrifying but her explanations of how it works is so believable and convincing that the whole thing is credible and frighteningly conceivable.
The pace of the book is at a really break neck speed. The leading characters charismatic and dynamic. The narrative scintillating. The descriptions at times were necessarily graphic at other times beautifully metaphoric.
Running parallel to the intriguing plot was a sizzling and scorching attraction between the two women that remained simmering throughout the entire novel. I applaud the way this romance remained purely about their growing attraction and burning emotions and that their relationship did not become physical until the closing chapters.
The conclusion of this compelling novel certainly did not disappoint, it was as momentous as it was unexpected.
Too often a novel that incorporates a strong romantic element relies on graphic details to keep the readers interest, however this book is all about emotion, passion and true empathy, and for me this is what made it stand out as an astounding read. However this book is not just about romance it has a really clever, intricate and extremely well developed story line that has conspiracies, betrayals,  and enough excitement to whet any readers appetite. I cannot commend this book highly enough.
Chris
FiveStars
What a brilliant medical thriller! I loved the mix of science and action and I really enjoyed the complicated, fast paced adventure.

The two lead characters are developed incredibly well. There are elements of some of the best female leads in the genre in this story (think Cornwall’s Scarpetta, Karin Slaughter’s Sara Linton, The Bridge’s Saga Noren and Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles). But while the author pays tribute, she creates unique women and I’d love to see them develop further over the course of a series.

Kate and Andy are both strong, powerful women. Kate is a survivor and Andy is an unapologetically kick-ass heroine. I enjoyed the refreshing lack of emotional angst and drama but I’m not sure if this detracted a little from the romance element in the story. While this has been marketed as an F/F romance, the action is the focus of this story and the central relationship more a friendship and partnership until quite late in the book.

The detailed research behind this story is flawless. The blurb made the story sound like implausible sci/fi which had me cautious. In reality, this is so well written that I was able to believe fully in the story and invest emotionally in the characters.

I love discovering a new favourite author and while I’d love for this to become a series, I am looking forward to whatever Jessica Webb writes next.

Sarah

FourandHalfStars

Wow. Who knew female RMCP officers were so hot?! Okay, okay. That isn’t the only thing I liked about this book, but it’s a definite plus! But I loved the whole concept of this book. It seemed unique and refreshing. Human bombs that are triggered by the touch of another person on their skin. How would that even work? The explanation, late in the book, makes total sense, even though I don’t think we learn exactly what compounds were used. Who knows? It may be possible, it may not. But what a great premise. And the way Webb wrote it made the whole thing sound feasible. Then we have the hot Sgt Andy, and the intriguing Dr. Kate. Andy has been working the case for a while now, but Kate gets involved when one of these human bombs makes his way into her ER. That’s where we find out that Kate can touch him, and possibly others, without setting them off.

I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this. Webb revealed just enough information at a time to make it not only suspenseful, but feel as though the reader was there for all the discoveries as they happened. Everything progresses in a linear, logical fashion that just makes the book feel tightly plotted and excellently paced. The only thing I had a problem with was the little “fight” between Andy and Kate right before things started going down in the end phase. It just seemed too logical to me that everything Andy did and said was with the sole purpose of ensuring Kate’s safety, even if it meant she lost Kate forever, before she even ever had her. So I’m not quite so sure I would believe that Kate didn’t come to that same conclusion a whole lot sooner. I suppose you could make a case for stress and fatigue combining to make her a bit slow, but I’m just not buying that part.

And that little twist at the end with the evil doctor? Creeptastic! Totally cool plot twist that made me squirm and cringe in disgust and sympathy. In all, a great read.

Amy P.

FourStars

I received an unedited copy of this book and my review assumes that the errors will be corrected prior to publication.

Trigger is an intense, pulse-pounding story that pulled me from page one. Someone is making human bombs that are set off by touch. So much is happening and no one is sure who to trust anymore; it is up to Sgt. Wyles and Dr. Morrison to find out what is going on.

I had Raj pegged as involved but didn’t realize how or his extent. However, there were other twists that I didn’t see coming that kept me on my feet.

I loved watching the relationship between Wylie and Kate blossom. I also loved that their relationship wasn’t the forefront of the book. It developed slowly throughout the book and led to the realistic feeling of the book.

I really connected with both women and when they were at odds, I could feel the pain that both of them were carrying. The author did a terrific job projecting their feelings and insecurities and making them feel real to the reader.

Tori

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TWO 5 Star and ONE 4.5 Star Reviews for Wild Shores (First Responders #5) by Radclyffe #FF #Romance

CoverTitle: Wild Shores (First Responders #5)
Author Name & Publisher: Radclffe (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: March 1, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Gillian “Gem” Martin is the lead biologist at a wildlife sanctuary on the Northeast coast and head of the Wildlife Emergency Response Team called in when catastrophes, man-made or natural, threaten the endangered species she studies. Austin Germaine is a troubleshooter, the hired gun for a big oil company, whose job is to help contain leaks and prevent media coverage of a pending disaster until the danger can be eliminated. If it can be.

When Gem and Austin meet by chance in the midst of an approaching hurricane, neither expects their immediate connection to lead them into uncharted territory as wild as the looming storm. When word of the spill gets out, Gem and Austin find themselves reluctant allies in a race against time to divert the spill and save the wildlife refuge and its endangered inhabitants—all while battling an attraction as unlikely as it is powerful.

A high-stakes race against time, the forces of nature, and the strongest power of all—the desire of the human heart.

A First Responders Novel

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Review

FiveStars

Austin is the go-to person for GOP, a major oil company, when things start to go really wrong. An engineer by trade she is also the ideal person to handle PR when a leak threatens. On her way to a potential disaster near a Wildlife reserve in Maryland, she meets Gem at the airport and offers her a lift when fog prevents them from flying. The fact that Gem is gorgeous might have something to do with the offer! Over the course of the long drive the women get to know each other and an attraction grows. The only problem is that Gem is a scientist at the reserve that could be devastated by the oil leak if a predicted tropical storm gets worse and causes the oil leak to spread. Austin decides not to reveal her job to Gem but does tell her about her sideline as a graphic artist. The women find they have a lot in common and the chemistry between them is off the scale. They end up having amazing sex, which is a given for a Radclyffe novel, but none the less very welcome. I wondered whether they would be able to stay together once the truth came out as it most definitely would. How far would Radclyffe go in prolonging the tension?
The story of how the women deal with their relationship once Austin lets Gem know who she really is, was brilliantly told. I loved the increase in tension and the way Gem had to deal with the hurt but most of all I loved the way their love shone through. The story of the impending hurricane and potential for an oil disaster to the birds and other wildlife was well told and felt real. The other characters around them were fascinating too – especially Gem’s Coastguard sister, Alexis, and the meteorologist Claudia. I would love to read a book dedicated just to them! I could really see spark flying there.
I loved this story and give it a well deserved 5 Stars.

Kitty Kat

FiveStars

This novel is an and excellent example what makes an exciting, thrilling and fast paced romance. An exemplary novel, the characters are beautifully portrayed and the plot builds up gradually, to an exciting and exhilarating climax.
The author has obviously done extensive research to make all the scenarios depicted believable as well as sounding totally authentic.
A classically written novel obviously penned by an experienced and professional author.
Anyone seeking a romance encased in a dramatic adventure with a thrilling narrative will find it all in this impeccably written novel.
Chris

FourandHalfStars

This book was a win for me. I loved the fast pace of the story, and the sense of urgency created by the oil leak, the storm, and the impending arrival of the migrating birds, and how it’s echoed in the urgency of Austin and Gem’s feelings for each other. I’ve read quite a few books that use the trope of that initial lie that allows the characters to move forward together until the lie is exposed and everything comes crashing down around the one who lied. This is definitely the best book I’ve read that includes anything along that line, and it’s because Radclyffe doesn’t let it go too far. Austin tells a lie of omission, misleading Gem in regards to what she’s doing in the area. The reason this isn’t just a red flag for me is for two reasons. One, Austin is required to keep quiet by legal documents that she has signed, and two, she isn’t lying in order to get close to Gem, or to base her relationship on that lie. She knows that if Gem knew what she did for a living, their time together would be over, so she omits part of her life. But what’s happening between them isn’t about that, until it is. Austin knows that if things with the leak get bad, she’s going to have to come clean with Gem. The good part about this is that she doesn’t flinch, and she doesn’t look for a way to keep the relationship going through more lies. She simply tells it like it is and hopes that she can convince Gem that she wasn’t holding back because she wanted to.

I also liked Gem and her responses to all the things with Austin that fall outside her comfort zone. At first, she’s overwhelmed by her physical and emotional response to Austin, but she doesn’t let that deter her from going for it. Then when she finds out who Austin really is, she doesn’t wallow overly long in the position of wronged woman. Because truly, there’s a reason Austin didn’t tell her, and it’s a good and valid reason. I liked that she wanted Austin enough to be honest and reasonable about the whole situation.

The one thing I have a problem with, and it’s a recurring problem when a relationship develops so quickly, is that it seems that they got too close too soon. It’s hard for me to believe that it could all happen so fast and be so deep at the same time. It is, however, extremely romantic to believe that a connection like that can occur so quickly. This was definitely a good read, and another hit in Radclyffe’s repertoire.

Amy P.

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