Cold Reign by Faith Hunter – Review, Blog Tour & Giveaway

Cold Reign by Faith Hunter – Review, Blog Tour & Giveaway

 

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Cold Reign
Jane Yellowrock series – Book #11
by Faith Hunter
Release Date: May 2, 2017

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Description:
Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most. Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official enforcer to Leo Pellisier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.

But there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.

Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless of cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds…

Review:

Cold Reign by Faith Hunter is the 11th book in her fantastic Jane Yellowrock series.  I love this series, and Jane Yellowrock is another one of my favorite kick-ass heroines.   Cold Reign picks up a short time after the previous book ended, as Jane, her team and the Master of the City’s team prepares for the upcoming arrival of the European Vampires.

Being Leo’s Enforcer, Jane once again is in the neck of things trying to stop the current attacks by revenant vampires, as well as the horrible violent storms that are happening.  In a short time, Jane will realize that these revenant vampires are different, and seem to be dead ones coming back to life.  Suspicion becomes apparent that the European vampires have been working behind the scenes to cause havoc and destruction against Leo.  The unnatural storm is also the works of witches, and magic. 

What follows is an exciting, wild, intense adventure that has Jane, Eli, Alex, Edmund and Bruiser running all over New Orleans to stop the killings.  We have little time to breath, as one after another finds Jane in the middle of death defying situations.  It also becomes clear that the long thought dead European vampire leaders have planned this for a long time, and along the way, Jane will discover that there are traitors in the midst. Will Jane be able to stop the ultra powerful enemies?  Will Leo survive or will the European vampires succeed in their takeover attempt?

In between all of this non-stop action packed story, we get to spend time with Jane’s ever growing team, some of whom we have come to love.  Eli has become so great, as Jane’s second;  Alex. Eli’s brother and techie, has begun to mature more; Edmund, a ancient powerful vampire, is Jane’s Primo and is slowly becoming another favorite; I also like Brute.  Jane has evolved so much since the first book, Skinwalker.  She is much stronger, confident, and caring, and totally in sync with Beast.  I love Beast, and now they are fully one; stronger, better, smarter, and unbeatable.    It was great to see Jane open her heart and look at Eli and Alex as family, and also care about Brute, and Edmund.   I loved how her romance with Bruiser just keeps getting better and sexier; watching them both falling in love.   Just love them together.  I happily note: who needs Rick LaFleur.

Most importantly, Jane has become so much more powerful, with her own magic, and strength, as well as her stronger abilities with Beast, such as shifting much faster; her understanding and use of the gray between.  Cold Reign was another fantastic edition to the Jane Yellowrock series.  Bravo to Faith Hunter for another sensational story.

 

CHARACTER PROFILE
Molly Everhart Trueblood

Profile/History
Molly Meagan Everhart Trueblood— Best Friend who knows Jane is a Skinwalker. She is a powerful earth witch – her gift is herbs and growing things, healing bodies, restoring balance to nature. She has some ability as a moon witch. Also can sense dead things, like vampires asleep during the day. She used to have a guardian angel but when Molly stopped believing in angels it left.
 
Red hair, frizzy curls in humidity. (Molly hates her curls). Normally hair falls in ringlets down her back. Cuts it from time to time and wild red curls dance in the night breeze. Her skin is pale. She has two children – Angie Baby and EJ. Husband is Evan Trueblood (also a witch).
 
Molly is open-minded, tolerant, unprejudiced, and fearless. Says “Son of a witch on a stick”. Molly has a familiar—KitKit, and is pregnant in Shadow Rites.
 
Weapons/Magic
Sets several types of wards, including warning and protection wards, health and healing wards for children, and the Hedge of thorns ward. Wyrd Spells are in Irish Gaelic. When she creates a new spell that flunks when tested, she folds it into a paper airplane and flies it across the room. “It hasn’t flown” is slang for an untested spell. 
 

During the series, her earth magics morph into Death Magic. She has trouble growing things, making them thrive. The woods behind the house were hit with some kind of blight, beetles or fungus or something, and they were dying and she couldn’t make them right. To Jane the new magic smells different: metallic and brittle, like heated steel and old bones. It smells like a man’s magic, though Evan’s magic was sexless, no more masculine or feminine than Molly’s or her sisters’.

Molly learns how to fight them back and how to use her earth magics again, and adds Latin to her spells.

**Compiled by Melissa M. Gilbert of Clicking Keys, for the Character History of the Jane Yellowrock world**

 

theauthor
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New York Times Bestselling author Faith Hunter writes three series: the Jane Yellowrock series, dark urban fantasy novels featuring Jane, a Cherokee Skinwalker; the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban fantasy / post apocalyptic series and role playing game featuring Thorn St. Croix; and the Soulwood Series featuring Nell Nicholson Ingram.

Visit Faith online at www.faithhunter.net, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

 

There are two giveaways:
There’s a tour-wide giveaway for copies of COLD REIGN and totes featuring Beast! Open to US residents only.

There is also a giveaway below for a copy of Cold Reign to One lucky member of The Reading Cafe.

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Faith’s publisher  is offering a paper copy of COLD REIGN to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

4. Please FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

6. Follow FAITH HUNTER on Facebook.

7. Giveaway is open USA only

8. Giveaway runs from April 29 to May 3, 2017

 

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Snared by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

Snared by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

 

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Snared
Elemental Assassin series – Book #16
by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: April 25, 2017

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Description:
If you don’t know Gin “the Spider” Blanco, you don’t know dangerous female heroines.

Irony 101—The Spider herself snared in someone else’s web…

Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on my hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on my radar: a missing girl.

My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive.

A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy—one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.

Barb’s Review

Snared by Jennifer Estep is the 16th book in her fantastic Urban Fantasy Elemental Assassin series.  I always look forward to reading the next book in this series, as Jennifer Estep never fails to give us another fantastic exciting action packed story, which has one of the best kick-ass heroines in Gin Blanco (Spider). 

In Snared, Gin continues to research about the secret powerful group called the Circle, who was part of killing her mother years before.  When on a mission to find more information on one of the Circle leaders, she overhears something about her mother and her evil enemy Tucker, which upsets Gin, and pushes her to find out more.  But when Jade, one of Ashland’s gangland leaders, asks for help, Gin will step forward.  It seems that Jade’s younger sister is missing, and when Gin pulls her team (what an awesome group; Bria, Finn, Owen, Silvio, Sophia, Jo Jo, Xavier, etc), together they discover that a serial killer has been killing young blond haired girls. 

What follows is an exciting, mind blowing, pulse pounding mystery that will bring Gin right into the lion’s den, where clues will point to the serial killer somewhere within the circle.  As always with Gin Blanco, she is right in the middle of this wild adventure.  No one messes with Gin, and yet so many times they all try to kill her, and somehow our heroine always manages to suffer horrific injuries, and yet escape death.  Will she find Jade’s sister in time?  Will she learn the truth about her mother and her enemy, Tucker?

Reading this series, and spending time with Gin is always fun and enjoyable.  I love how tough and loyal Gin is, and no matter how much she suffers in each book, she still rises up for more.  We are always on the edge of our seats through each and every book.  Jennifer Estep is a master at creating a seamless flow into each story, and watching Gin evolve into such a great heroine.  As I noted earlier, the secondary characters that make up Gin’s team are great, and always fun to be with.  Her romance with Owen is just perfect and sweet, which always manages to release the tension in the story at the moment.

Snared was a wonderful  action filled addition to this series, which also gives us answers to some questions, as well as surprises that will have us waiting impatiently for the next book;  I cannot wait for more adventures of Gin Blanco. If you have not read the Elemental Assassin series, it is time for you to start now.

 

Sandy’s Review

SNARED is the sixteenth full-length installment in Jennifer Estep’s contemporary, adult ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN paranormal, urban fantasy series focusing on Gin Blanco aka The Spider –the reigning Queen of the paranormal Underworld of Ashland. SNARED can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty although I recommend reading the series in order for cohesion and backstory.

Told from first person point of view (Gin Blanco) using present day and memories (flashbacks) from the past SNARED follows Gin as she searches for the mysterious, underground group known as the Circle-a secret organization connected to the death of her parents and her beloved sister. A serial killer is on the loose in Ashland, and Gin and her family of supernatural investigators find themselves on the hunt for the person responsible leading Gin back to the Circle and their connections to the past. New details continue to emerge about Gin’s younger years, and her mother’s possible association with the Circle assassins.

Once again, there is a large ensemble cast of characters including Gin’s lover Owen, her sister Bria, and foster brother Finn, as well as Gin’s assistant /vampire Silvio Sanchez, Jo Jo and her sister Sophia, and an assortment of giants, dwarves, more elementals and vampires. Vampire Hugh Tucker returns and sets into motion a series events that are both deadly and revealing.

SNARED has moments of intrigue, mystery, action and suspense as Gin and her family of elementals search for answers from the present and the past. The action is limited; the violence not as graphic as in previous story line but that is not to say that the violence is non-existent. Gin Blanco, is after all an assassin, and as Queen of the Underworld there is always someone waiting to take down the woman in charge. The premise is engaging, revealing and spirited; the characters are colorful and energetic. Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series is a magical and impassioned look at the world of the supernatural, and all of the evil brought together in a battle for power and control.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Giveaway

Jennifer is graciously offering a paper copy of SNARED (Elemental Assassin #16) to TWO  (2) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe:

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE:  If you are having difficulty commenting after logging into the site, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Jennifer Estep on Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

5. FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Giveaway open to USA only.

8. Giveaway runs from April 25 to 29, 2017

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A Coldwater Warm Hearts Wedding by Lexi Eddings – a Review

A Coldwater Warm Hearts Wedding by Lexi Eddings – a Review

 

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Description:
“Everyone longs for a place to be loved and accepted, warts and all. And Coldwater Cove has its share of warts! But while this cozy corner of the world is home to just about anyone who wants to put down roots, the way has been barred to Michael Evans.”

Mike’s dad saw to that some ten years ago when he ordered him to leave town and never come back. But when Michael learns his mother is battling breast cancer, not even the animosity between him and his father can keep him away. Of course he didn’t figure on getting roped into being best man at his sister’s upcoming wedding, but as long as Michael’s back in town, he figures he s got a second chance with the girl who got away Heather Walker.

Long-legged Heather has had a love/hate relationship with the town bad boy ever since he christened her Stilts in middle school. She was voted most likely to succeed. Michael seemed destined for the state pen. Even so, she hopes there’s more to him than leathers and a Harley, for his family’s sake if nothing else. But while her fascination with him grows, a decade-old secret involving a member of “her” family threatens to tear them apart…

 

 

Review:

A Coldwater Warm Hearts Wedding by Lexi Eddings is the 2nd book in her Coldwater series.  Heather Walker, our heroine, is Lacy Evans’s (previous book heroine) best friend. Heather, who is a nurse, is helping take care of Lacy’s mother who has just had an operation for breast cancer.   Michael Evans, our hero, is Lacey’s brother, who left home 10 years ago after fallout with his father, but finally returns home to see his mother. 

Lacy’s convinces Michael to stay awhile and be Jake’s best man at the wedding. Heather remembers Michael as the boy who called her “Stilts”, and he was always one of the bad boys in town.  Now that Michael is grown up, the attraction between them also heats up.  Michael has built himself a successful business, which no one really knows about.  Michael decides to move some of his crew to Coldwater Cover temporarily, so that he can watch over his mother’s recovery; attend the wedding as best man and explore the feelings he begins to have for Heather. To Heather’s surprise, she too is falling in love with Michael, and she knows he will not be there long. 

There is also a mystery revolving Heather’s deceased sister, who died 10 years before.  Because of that, Heather  avoids her family as much as she can, thinking they wished it was her who died in the accident.  But there will be some surprises that will not only change things, but threaten the growing relationship between Michael and Heather.   This will also open the door for Michael and his father to mend, as the truth is revealed.

I liked Michael and Heather together, as well as many of the secondary characters.  This was a sweet romance, with a bit of mystery that will have us worried if our couple will not be able to stay together.  The ending also had a surprise twist.  The Coldwater Warm Hearts Wedding  was another nice sweet romance by Lexi Eddings, with a small town background and a great couple.  I suggest you start with the first book in this series. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Two From the Heart by James Patterson – a Review

Two From the Heart by James Patterson – a Review

 

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Description:
Two heartwarming tales about the power of a good story to open our eyes to life’s possibilities.

Anne McWilliams has lost everything. After her marriage falls apart and a hurricane destroys her home she realizes that her life has fallen out of focus. So she takes to the road to ask long lost friends and strangers a simple question: “What’s your best story?” Can the funny, tragic, inspirational tales she hears on her journey help Anne see what she’s been missing?

Tyler Bron seemingly has it all-a successful company and more money than he knows how to spend. But he has no life. So he hires a struggling novelist to write one for him. There are no limits to the fictional world that Bron’s money can transform into a reality, and he soon becomes the protagonist of a love story beyond his wildest imagination. But will Tyler Bron be able to write the happy ending himself?

 

Review:

Two From the Heart by James Patterson is a different type of read for me from Patterson.  This is two different stories written by Patterson and other co writers.  The stories revolve around two people who either had drastic life changes or someone who has everything but a life. These are separate stories which have nothing to do with each other.

In the first story Anne McWilliams is currently living on an island when a hurricane hits causing her to lose her house and her beloved camera dark room and equipment. Anne has already had disasters in her life including a divorce. She picks herself up, and decides to travel to see friends, family and find her way again. Her first stop is her brother, whom she has not seen in a few years, and he gives her a gift (new high tech camera ) that he meant to give her when she was supposed to visit awhile back. Now Anne will continue her way, meeting either strangers or old friends, using her new camera to take the pictures she so loves, and asking those she meets “tell me a story about something in your life”.

This was a nice interesting story listening to all the different events that have changed people’s lives, which lead Anne to find herself again, possibility meeting someone for herself and putting her adventure into a career of pictures and words.

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In the second story, Tyler Bron is a multi billionaire, who has everything he has ever wanted, but a life. He lives for his work, and now he wants something different.  Damian Crane is an author, who lives a quiet secluded life, and is shocked when a helicopter lands in his yard.  Damian doesn’t think of himself as a successful writer, but then he meets Tyler Bron, who thinks he is a great writer.  All Tyler wants from Damian is to write a different life for him to live, and his high tech people will bring his words to reality. The following morning, Daisy, who is Bron’s assistant, knocks on his door at 6am and brings him to Bron’s huge offices.  At this point, Damian begins to type and we watch Tyler find himself in the middle of nowhere. The story switches between Damian, Daisy and the tech staff as they watch Tyler trying to live in this town with no technical ability, and with no money, cards, phones if he wanted to leave.  It was a different and nice storyline to see Tyler totally out of his element, and making friends with the locals, who are poor, as they open themselves to help Tyler, who has no money or anything.  Along the way, Tyler will begin to relax a bit and go to the local bar with some of the men; get to know the kids at school and teach them those things that he learned about building things when he grew up; and he also meets a waitress, who makes his heart feel something he has never known.   It was a very sweet story, and a very nice sweet ending. 

I rather not tell too much more.  You will have to read this book to see how life can change for people.  I enjoyed the book, though it was a different kind of read for me.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Veiled Menace by Deborah Blake – a Review

Veiled Menace  by Deborah Blake – a Review

 

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Description:
Since Witches came out of the broom-closet in the early 21st century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world…

Witch and police officer Donata Santori is no stranger to magical mayhem, but lately her life has been unexpectedly charmed. Her job as a Ghost Yanker now includes the occasional paranormal investigation, and she’s advancing her magical abilities with the help of an ancestor’s treasured spell book. And while both of her former love interests—reclusive half-Dragon art forger Peter Casaventi and disgraced Shapechanger Magnus Torvald—are nowhere to be found, she’s not averse to being wined and dined by wealthy businessman Anton Eastman.

But Eastman isn’t what he seems, and what he wants from Donata is far more than she’s willing to give. When a mysterious relic, the Pentacle Pentimento, resurfaces, along with Peter’s Dragon father and a shocking Santori family secret, Donata must fight to save herself, her friends, and just maybe the fate of the world from a magic as old as it is dangerous…

 

Review:

Veiled Menace by Deborah Blake is the second book in her Veiled Magic series. Veiled Menace picks up a few months after Veiled Magic ended.  Donata Santori , our heroine, is a witch & police officer, who has been elevated from working in the basement talking to the dead, to her own desk upstairs and helping the Captain on cases involving the paranormal. In this world, Supernaturals are known to the Humans, but they must also fight the prejudice of the Cabal against them.  

Donata has also been working with her aunt to learn and enhance her magical abilities.  During her off time, Donata has been dating Anton Eastman, as her former boyfriends from the 1st book, Peter and Magnus have not contacted her in 6 months.  Donata has been having strange dreams, which have become more sexual, and she soon discovers that Anton has been drugging her wine.

When Peter resurfaces after the death of his father, Donata will help him try to find out who killed him, as well as trying to find out clues in the painting that Peter still has, which played a major part of the previous story.  The weird weather, causing deaths; Anton’s desperate attempt to win Donata to be his wife; and the discovery of a new 6th species will force Donata to find the truth about the new species and stop them before all their lives will be in danger.

This was a nice, at times exciting story line, with a very good tough heroine. I did like Donata, and many of the other secondary characters, such as Doc, Chief, her cat and Ricky, the 3 foot kobold.  I liked Peter, but he annoyed me a bit with his quick anger.  I look forward to the next book of this series, as it has a lot of promises for Donata to become more powerful, and the return of Magnus. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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The Thing About Love by Julie James – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

The Thing About Love by Julie James – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

 

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Description:
FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .

 

 

Review:

The Thing About Love by Julie James is another one of her wonderful adult romancesJulie James is one of my favorite romance authors, who always gives us a wonderful story, great couples that are successful in their careers, with a perfect blend of sassiness and hot sexual chemistry.

Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd, met each other 6 years ago, during their FBI training at Quantico. The competition was fierce, and snarky; when the training was over, they both walked away not caring if they would ever meet again.  In present time, Jessica returns to her home town of Chicago, after a broken marriage.  John is coming off of an undercover job, only to find his girlfriend in bed with his best friend.  When Jessica is given an assignment in an undercover sting,  involving a corrupt mayor of Jacksonville, she is shocked and not too happy to see her new partner in this case is John.  Needless to say, John, who is already in a bad frame of mind, isn’t too keen on seeing Jessica again.  Their old hostilities resurface, but they are now seasoned professionals and determined to work together in the sting operation.

In a short time, both Jessica and John will reveal things from their training time that causes them to realize that their perceptions were off base.  The attraction for each other begins to heat up, and their chemistry together was super hot.   They also made a great team, setting up the mayor for the fall.  I loved watching both of them fall in love with each other, and at the same time become impressed with their partner’s skills.

The story was very well done by James, as she is an expert in FBI suspense types of stories, with a wonderful romance filled with fun banter, sassiness and a sexy couple.  With our couple both coming off of their own heartaches, it helped add to the story, especially when John tries out for the elite counterterrorism Hostage Rescue Team.  Jessica was our perfect heroine, who being a woman, had it harder to prove her worth as a smart savvy kick-ass agent.  John, having been an army ranger before signing up for the FBI, was not only tough, but was also a hot hunk.  I loved everything about them both, as they were super great characters that Julie James always seems to give us.

From the moment I started to read this book, I could feel my happiness, as I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book.  So many romances are about those in their twenties; when it comes to reading about two people successful in their lives, and in their thirties, beyond the angst of those just starting out…no one does it better then Julie James.  I love her stories; her awesome couples; the fun & sexy romances, which you just can’t get enough of.  I strongly suggest you read The Thing about Love, and if you have not read Julie James, what are you waiting for?

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

excerpt

 

Steeling himself, John turned around and smiled as Jessica approached. “Yes, Agent Harlow. How can I be of service?”
In response to his dry tone, she threw him a glare so cold it could’ve frozen all nine circles of Dante’s Hell. Fittingly, just nine of the many places he would rather be than stuck working with her on this investigation.
“Look, I’m not thrilled about this, either.” Keeping her voice low, she came to a stop next to him at the elevator bank. “I thought you were supposed to be on the Hostage Rescue Team already.”
“And I thought you were supposed to be in L.A.”
There was a quick flash in her eyes before she shrugged off his question. “Change of plans.”
The elevator arrived at their floor, and they both stepped inside. She hit the button for the seventh floor, where the public corruption squad was located. Standing on the opposite side, he pressed the button for floor five.
They faced off as the doors shut. She folded her arms across her chest and studied him with those crystalline blue eyes that could so cleverly mask her emotions.
As he knew well.
“We’re going to have to figure this out,” she said. “We’re supposed to be business partners in this.”
Thank you, yes, being a professional, he was aware of that. He took a step closer. “It’s called “undercover” work, Harlow. If I can pretend to be a gun-buying, murder-for-hire thug, I think I can handle playing some rich investor-type who wants to skirt a few measly zoning laws.” Even a rich investor-type who was apparently masochistic enough to get in bed with the likes of her.
Professionally-speaking.
“Measly zoning laws?” she repeated.
Ooh, now he’d gone and pissed her off. How nice it was, really, that they could pick up like this, right where they’d left off.
She drew in closer, tilting her head back to meet his gaze. He was over a foot taller than her, although he noticed that she was heightening a bit with those expensive-looking three-inch heels she wore.
“Our target in this investigation is the mayor of the thirteenth largest city in the United States. That’s a pretty big deal in my book.” She gestured to his facial scruff and hair. “And while I appreciate that this . . . Sons of Anarchy motif you’ve got going might ingratiate yourself with the gun-buying, murder-for-hire, organized-crime thugs of the world, that’s not quite going to fly with this sting operation.”
“’Thirteenth largest city in the United States?’” he scoffed. “Just how many hours did you spend reviewing the case files last night?”
She smiled sweetly as the elevator arrived at her floor. “Enough to get the jump on you.”
Then the doors sprang open, and she gave him a friendly wave, once again stepping into the role of Ms. Congeniality. “So glad we got to catch up like this, Agent Shepherd. We’ll talk again soon.”
He watched her stride confidently down the hallway as the elevator doors closed between them.
Enough to get the jump on you.
Not for long, sweetheart.
Time for him to get cracking on that case file.


 

About The Author
Julie JamesAfter graduating from law school, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie James clerked for the United States Court of Appeals. She then practiced law with one of the nation’s largest firms for several years until she began writing screenplays. After Hollywood producers optioned two of her scripts, she decided to leave the practice of law to write full-time.

Julie’s books have been listed on Amazon’s Best Books of the Year, the American Library Association’s Reading List for Top Genre Novels, Booklist‘s Top 10 Romances of the Year, and have been featured as a Cosmopolitan magazine Red Hot Read. Her books have been translated into nineteen languages and Julie’s ninth novel, The Thing About Love, hits bookstores everywhere on April 18.

Julie James lives with her husband and two children in Chicago, where she is currently working on her next book.

To learn more about Julie James, you can check out the following links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

 

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giveaway

Julie’s publisher is offering a paper copy of THE THING ABOUT LOVE to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page (at the top of your computer).

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. LIKE Julie James on Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

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What’s Become of Her by Deb Caletti – a Review

What’s Become of Her by Deb Caletti – a Review

 

What's Become of HerAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
“Guilty people keep secrets.”

Isabelle Austen returns to her hometown on a small, isolated Pacific Northwest island to take over the family tourism business after the death of her mother, a disapproving parent and a hard woman to love. Feeling lost, Isabelle is also struggling with a recent divorce and wondering if she’ll ever come into her own. Then her life takes a surprising turn: The mysterious Henry North arrives on Parrish Island, steps off a seaplane, and changes Isabelle’s world forever. From the beginning, their relationship is heady and intense—then Isabelle learns of Henry’s disturbing past, involving the death of a fiancée and the disappearance of a wife. Suddenly Isabelle is caught between love and suspicion, paranoia and passion, as she searches for the truth she may not want to find—and is swept into a dangerous game she may not survive.

 

 

Review:

What’s Become of Her by Deb Caletti is a Psychological thriller. I enjoyed the story line, but I also had mixed feelings about this book, which I will go more into later in this review.

Isabelle Austen has recently returned home to Parrish Island after the death of her mother.  She takes over the family seaplane travel business; and seems content being back and spending time with her friends including Jane, Joe, Eddie. One day, a tourist arrives on the island and almost immediately, both Isabelle and Henry, the tourist have a strong attraction.  Isabelle is a divorcee, and finds Henry, charming, handsome and extremely easy going.  They both are falling love with each other, and Isabelle moves in with Henry, but soon her world is about to change. 

In a short time, the local police warn her of his past, two deceased or missing wife/fiancée.  Isabelle knows Henry, and refuses to believe those lies.  Her friends strongly advise her not to become serious. Henry tells Isabelle about the first wife, who died in a fall and the missing fiancée.  He swears that he is innocent of any wrongdoing, and professes his love to her, which she accepts. Soon Isabelle starts receiving packages from an unknown source, forcing her to begin her own research into the women in Henry’s lives, the investigations.

Throughout the story, we also get the pov of another character named M. Weary, who was a friend to the missing fiancée, and who privately keeps an eye on Henry, on the internet and other means to watch for him to find another woman. Weary is obsessed with Henry and concern for his new lady, Isabelle. 

What follows is an exciting tense adventure where Isabelle, despite warnings from her friends, continues to believe in Henry.  The packages she receives makes her take further steps to find out the truth, which will put her life in danger. What will Isabelle do?   Who does she believe?

My mixed feelings:  I thought the beginning was nice, with a slow build romance. Then for a period I thought the story was slow & a bit redundant with switching focus on Isabelle and Weary.  Once we enter the halfway point or beyond, the story picks up drastically and it becomes an exciting thriller. I loved the intense last ¼ of the book, which had major surprises that I did not expect.  Overall, this was a very good psychological thriller.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Remnants by Carolyn Arnold – a Review

Remnants by Carolyn Arnold – a Review

 

RemnantsAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
All that remains are whispers of the past…

When multiple body parts are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River in Savannah, Georgia, local law enforcement calls in FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team to investigate. But with the remains pointing to three separate victims, this isn’t proving to be an open-and-shut case.

With no quick means of identifying the deceased, building a profile of this serial killer is more challenging than usual. How are these targets being selected? Why are their limbs being severed and their bodies mutilated? And what is it about them that is triggering this person to murder?

The questions compound as the body count continues to rise, and when a torso painted blue and missing its heart is found, the case takes an even darker turn. But this is only the beginning, and these new leads draw the FBI into a creepy psychological nightmare. One thing is clear, though: The killing isn’t going to stop until they figure it all out. And they are running out of time…

 

Review:

Remnants by Carolyn Arnold is the 6th book in her Brandon Fisher FBI series.  The FBI team of Jack, Brandon, Paige and Zach are sent to Savannah, Georgia on what will be a very difficult case of floating body parts found in the river by a plantation.  Jack is the leader of this team, and Brandon has now escalated to being full agent, having finished his probationary period.

As we have come to know about this series, the cases are usually violent, squeamish and at times difficult for the agents, especially Brandon.  I like the team, but I still do not like Brandon that much, as I look at Jack as the one who pulls them together.  I do like Paige and Zach.

When the story started, we saw someone drug  a man in the men’s room of a mall, and kidnap him.   The body parts discovered is from different people, some perhaps there for a long time.  During the investigation, Paige and Zach will question those who found the parts, while Jack and Brandon will question others.  Clues are difficult to come by, and the body parts continue to surface, which leads the team to believe that a serial killer is on the loose.  From various conditions of the body, such as blue paint, and heart extractions, it will lead them to suspect that the killer (s) is performing some kind of Mayan cult sacrifice.  Nadia, who is an analyst from Quantico, is able to use her special skills to generate a list of missing people within a radius from Savannah for them to work with.  Other clues are found that makes a local resident a suspect and the race is on to find the culprit, which begins to show that perhaps there is more than one person involved.  There are some twists and surprises and the suspense becomes very exciting and tense. 

This series is always intense, and exciting, as Arnold is an expert in police procedurals and writing amazing crime stories.  However, that being said, I found it difficult to read some parts where the killer was torturing the victim.  Remnants is an intense mystery, with an excellent FBI team, and if you enjoy murder, bad villains and exciting stories, you should be reading this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for review

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