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Tag Archives: suspense

First Line Fridays – 11 May 2018

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books

I never thought I would be sooo glad to sleep in my own bed! I got home Monday night after nearly three weeks on the road, including being busy on all the weekends – so my plan for Saturday and Sunday is to resemble a sloth as much as possible.
(normally i would insert a witty picture of couch sloth here…but i couldn’t find one I liked!). Anyways, on to my reading for this weekend – when I got home Monday night I had a package from St Martin’s Press which wouldn’t you know it, had an ARC for BA Paris’ new book in it. I honestly can’t remember if i signed up to receive it or if it was a gift from previously reviewing for them – either way, i’m not going to argue! Without further ado, here is my First Line Friday!

“We were on our way back from skiing in Megeve. I decided to stop in Paris on the way up as a surprise for Layla, because she had never been there before.”

Bring Me Back – B.A. Paris

From Goodreads:
A young British couple are driving through France on vacation when they stop at a service station. He runs in to use the restroom, she stays in the car. When he returns, her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part of his life now. Until he comes home from work one day and finds his new fiancee sitting on their sofa turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about, because his wife-to-be is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their relationship becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

Why FLF?
I just finished listening to The Breakdown by this author a month or so ago and she kept me on the literal edge of my seat during the entire 13hrs of the audiobook – which I didn’t think was possible. While I had an inkling of how I thought it would turn out, i was so far off base…so i’m hoping that Bring Me Back will keep me equally as much engaged and anticipatory!

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2018 in First Line Fridays, Uncategorized

 

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First Line Fridays – 16 March 2018

Happy Day Before St Patrick’s Day! One of the best days of the year because its my birthday! I’m happily celebrating the 15th anniversary of my 21st year 🙂 While my choice of book for First Line Friday’s doesn’t have an Irish theme, or even any green on the cover – I know that I’m as excited as a leprechaun who found his pot of gold to start reading it!

Special Agent John Kaiser stood at the window of the FBI’s “tactical room” in the River Bend Hotel and started at the lights of Natchez twinkling high over the dark tide of the Mississippi.

All i’m saying to myself right now as I jump into book 2 in Greg Iles trilogy is “How the heck have i never read you before?!” And I can safely say, if book 3 in the trilogy hadn’t been nominated for an Audie this year in a category that I was listening to, that I would have picked him up. But since reading friends of mine told me that I needed to read the previous two books in the trilogy in order to understand book 3 and i’m soo glad i did. Even though they are huge reads at 700+ pages (the first book) and 800+ pages (book two) and culminating with 28 hours for book three. Of course, then I can go back and read the early books in the Penn Cage series…so basically, I have lots of good reading ahead of me and I can’t wait!

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2018 in Blog Features, First Line Fridays

 

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2018 Audies – Thriller/Suspense Nominees


This is my first year of listening to the nominees in the Thriller/Suspense category – i think mostly because I have been in that kind of mood lately. I’ve had fun discovering new mystery/suspense authors over the past year and hopefully this category will add some more authors to be to be read/listened pile.

The nominees in the Thriller/Suspense category are:
The Breakdown by B.A. Paris, narrated by Georgia Maguire, published by Macmillan Audio
Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben, narrated by Steven Weber, published by Brilliance Publishing
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer, narrated by Ellen Archer, published by Hachette Audio
The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini and Graham Winton, published by Recorded Books
A Legacy of Spies by John le Carré, narrated by Tom Hollander, published by Penguin Audio
Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles, narrated by Scott Brick, published by HarperAudio

Initial Thoughts on the Nominees:
☼ I’ve had a print copy of the Breakdown sitting in my living room for close to a year now, since it was released but not sure why I’ve not picked it up because it definitely falls into the type of thrillers I seem to enjoy – maybe it was because I knew it would be nominated for an award down the road and I would get a chance to listen to it (lol…not really, but it seems like good logic to me). Georgia Maguire is a new to me narrator (and she has a relatively small backlist of books) so fingers crossed.

☼ I’m probably one of the few people who have never read a Harlan Coben book previously and from reading some of the reviews on Audible, hopefully I’m not setting myself up for a disappointing listen (several of them recommend starting with the different Coben book or being prepared to devote more than 1 listen to this book). I also could have sworn that I had previously listened to Steven Weber narrate a book, but looking through my archives, I can’t find anything…hmmm must be going slightly crazy 😉

☼ The Chemist is probably the one book in this category that I am dreading because its Stephanie Meyer and my disdain of the Twilight series is pretty well known (I made it less than 30 pages into the first book before it, literally, went flying across the room). Added to that, several of my goodreads friends either gave it low stars or marked it as did not finish and I’ve become even more leery. However, I’ve listened to several narrations by Ellen Archer previously and hopefully she can save me from a regrettable experience.

☼ The opening description of the Fourth Monkey on Audible describes it as Se7en meets The Silence of the Lambs, so I was immediately intrigued – Se7en gave me the serious heebie-jeebies at times and yet, its a movie I’ve watched several times. I’m also in the mood for a good serial killer novel so hopefully this will provide. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I have never listened to anything narrated by Edoardo Ballerini before, even though folks in the various audiobook groups i’m in rave about him; but I have listened to something narrated by Graham Winton before (a romance novel) and I vaguely remember enjoying his style (but apparently I didn’t write a review for that book).

☼ You pretty much can’t have a thriller/suspense category without a John Le Carre book – this is advertised as being book 9 in a series that I haven’t really listened to any of the previous ones – so hopefully it can stand on its own decently well…Of all the narrators i’m listening to this year with the Armchair Audies, Tom Hollander has the shortest backlist on Audible thus far (only 7 books listed), so its not surprising that I haven’t listened to anything by him before.

☼ Mississippi Blood is by far the most daunting book of any in this category (or overall) at 28+ hours of narration (and to make it even more daunting when asking about this trilogy on Goodreads, it was highly recommended that I read the first two before getting to this one – each one running 800+ pgs). I have no doubt this will probably be the last book that I listen to for the Audies this year, so I have time to get through the other 2 books in the trilogy first. Scott Brick is one of those narrators who is either a love or hate – thankfully for me, i tend to fall more into the love category than the hate – although I have had limited experience listening to him (but I did manage to survive 48ish hours of Chernow’s Washington: a Life).

My Prediction:
Going by pure guessing since I’ve had limited to no experience with all but one narrator in this category – my pick for the winner in the suspense/thriller category is:
Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles, narrated by Scott Brick

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2018 in Armchair Audies, Listening Events

 

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Review – Living Death – Graham Masterton

living-deathLiving Death
Author: Graham Masterton
Series: #7 in the Katie Maguire series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Description:
DS Katie Maguire is at a loss. Last year, she and her team destroyed the biggest drug trafficker in Cork. So how is the city’s drug trade at an all-time high? Meanwhile, a spate of violent attacks which leave victims severely disabled has brought confidence in the Garda to an all-time low.

As Katie investigates, she realises that the two cases might be connected. Someone is using brain-damaged victims to smuggle drugs into the country. And the only way to find out more is to go in undercover…

Review:
Sometimes I want to curse my local library because of their awesome selection of new books – even when I just dart on it to grab something that I had reserved – I can’t resist doing a quick browse through the new book shelf and typically I end up adding one or two books to the epic Mt TBR. Living Death was one of those books that just caught my eye when I did a quick browse one day. I’m not exactly sure what it was that caught my eye because there isn’t anything unique about the cover that really makes it stand out – but it was a chunkier book and I was kind of in the mood for something longer – so maybe that was it…

Admittedly I didn’t check ahead of time to see if it was part of a series and I think I could have enjoyed it slightly more having read at least a couple of the previous books (since this was the 7th book in the series) – but honestly, the storyline was well-developed enough (with the exception of the background behind Katie’s Significant Others health issues) that I didn’t feel like I was missing anything significant. In fact, I thought Masterson did a solid job of getting into the dark underbelly of the drug smuggling world and the length that some people will go to get drugs into a country. Because, damn, there was some seriously sick/depraved characters in this book – it actually made me cringe a few times.

I’ll admit that i’m curious enough about both how Katie ended up in the position that she was in in Living Death and also where she might go in the future – that I am definitely going to check out my library for the rest of the books in the series. I know that Graham Masterson could easily end up as an auto-read author for me if his other books are as dark and depraved in places as Living Death. A solid 4 stars from me.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in Book Review

 

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Blog Tour/Review – Treasured by Thursday – Catherine Bybee

Treasured 400x600Treasured by Thursday
Author: Catherine Bybee
Series: #7 in the Weekday Brides
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by NetGalley

Description:
Gabriella Masini: She’s a woman haunted by her past, with the scars to prove it. She believes that fairy tales are for other people. An elite matchmaker at Alliance, she’s great at crunching numbers, but something doesn’t add up with her latest prospective client: a billionaire bad boy with his own secrets. When Gabi refuses to be his temporary wife, Hunter forces her hand with an offer she can’t refuse. But marriage to a man like that could never last…or could it?

Hunter Blackwell: Only his bank account is bigger than his ruthless ability to obtain anything he wants. These days, he has a secret reason to settle down, at least for a while—and he thinks the sensual and sassy Gabi will fit the bill perfectly. But when their marriage of convenience becomes downright dangerous, Hunter must decide how far to take his vow to honor and protect Gabi forever.

Review:
Ok, I’ll admit there might have been literal jumping up and down from excitement when I got the email from Catherine Bybee’s assistant wanting to know if I would participate in the upcoming blog tour for her newest book. I’ve been blogging for a while now and still get excited when authors (and their assistants) ask me if i’m interested in reviewing their books, because it lets me know that people do actually read my reviews/blog ;). Double bonus for this one was that I have been working my way through the series in the last couple of months – but I have been trying to savor the books, knowing that one day it would all end (and unfortunately, that day seems to be now (sad panda).

One of the things I like the most about this series was that I didn’t necessarily have to read the books in order (I mean my OCD makes me want to…but you don’t have to)…in fact, I jumped from reading books 1-3, to reading book 7 for the blog tour and while you see the HEA’s for some of the later couples in the series, there was nothing that occurred in those books that caused me to be confused in reading (which is always good, since i tend to get confused very easily at times!) But at the same time, I loved seeing the couples from the first 3 books (that I had read) and how they were still so much in love with each other (considering the fact that the books are all based on a marriage of convenience premise).

I will admit that now that i’ve finished Treasured by Thursday, I have a hard time picking which book (of the 4 I’ve read) feature my favorite couple. Up until yesterday, I would have said the first book, because I was a total Blake/Sam sucker (and love the fact that they renew their wedding vows every year) – but now, I think Gabriella and Hunter might try to push them out of the running (but it could be an interesting battle, that is for sure). Honestly, its hard to describe what i love about Catherine’s writing…she just seems to nail the emotion perfectly and I can rave all day about her (in fact, she is one of my go-to authors for contemporary romance recommendations). I also know that when I sit down to read one of her books that I need to block out at least several hours, because I find it really hard to stop once I start (nothing wrong with that right?)

But on to Hunter and Gabriella – I will admit that I don’t remember Gabriella from previous books, her name doesn’t ring a bell (it could be that she was there, but a minor character, or she could not have been introduced yet – i guess, I’ll find out when i jump back to book 4 in a little while). But when she was introduced and her horrible driving record was brought into the storyline I just laughed (I will admit mine isn’t as bad as hers, but i’ve had a few issues in my time, including a run-in with a deer) – so it was like we were made to be book friends. And as for Hunter, well, i couldn’t help but like him, i mean how many people are honest enough to say they don’t have a lot of close friends (I don’t know many)…

I will admit that i liked how the romance between Hunter and Gabriella was relatively slow to build – they had their ups and their downs and times when as a reader, i wanted to slap both of them upside the head (a la gibbs)…but i think for me that is why i like these books – they show how marriage (be it true love or one of convenience) isn’t necessarily going to the a smooth path, like many romances out there – makes them more believable (for lack of a better word) and shows the individuality that each person brings to the relationship.

It was bittersweet reading the last book in the series (or is it, since she is out of weekdays), knowing that there won’t be any more (as of right now), but i can always hope/dream that maybe a spin-off will occur because i would love to read more (and I’ll be going back to pick up the other 3 books in the series that I haven’t read yet)…Treasured by Thursday got 4 stars from me and I highly recommend it to someone who is looking for a contemporary romance that is sweet and yet sexy at the same time. Fans of Kimberly Kincaid and Tracy Brogan would enjoy.

Bybee PhotoAbout Catherine:
New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Weekday Brides Series and the Not Quite Series. Bybee lives with her two teenage sons in Southern California.

CONTACT LINKS:
http://www.catherinebybee.com
catherinebybee@yahoo.com
catherinebybee.blogspot.com
facebook.com/AuthorCatherineBybee
twitter.com/catherinebybee
pinterest.com/catherinebybee
instagram.com/catherinebybee

BUY LINKS:
Amazon: Treasured by Thursday
B&N: Treasured by Thursday
BAM: Treasured by Thursday
BOOK DEPOSITORY: Treasured by Thursday

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Blog Hop, Book Review

 

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Review – Lost and Found – Amy Shojai

???????????????????????????????????????Lost and Found
Author: Amy Shojai

Review Copy Provided by Author

Description:
AN AUNT searches for her lost nephew—and dooms her sister.
A MOM gambles a miracle will cure—and not kill—her child.
A DOG finds his true purpose—when he disobeys.

Animal behaviorist September Day has lost everything—husband murdered, career in ruins, confidence shot—and flees to Texas to recover. She’s forced out of hibernation when her nephew Steven and his autism service dog Shadow disappear in a freak blizzard. When her sister trusts a maverick researcher’s promise to help Steven, September has 24 hours to rescue them from a devastating medical experiment impacting millions of children, a deadly secret others will kill to protect. As September races the clock, the body count swells. Shadow does his good-dog duty but can’t protect his boy. Finally September and Shadow forge a stormy partnership to rescue the missing and stop the nightmare cure. But can they also find the lost parts of themselves?

Review:
I have to admit that at first I was skeptical about how much I was going to enjoy the book – because I felt upon reading the jacket copy that too much of the plot had been disclosed (don’t worry, I was partially wrong). And the first few chapters were a bit rough, for lack of a better word – it took me a little while to get into the feel of her writing which is very stark (for lack of a better word) as well as the one POV being from Shadow, the German Shepherd puppy (who I loved as a character BTW – reminds me very much of my big goofy baby). To say that the plot resembled a roller-coaster would be correct – it was a continual up and down through the entire thing – the last author I read who did such an on the go type plot was James Rollins (although Matt Reilly is a close second). The medical mystery plot was intriguing, but it wasn’t like it was new to me – maybe because I read a book not long ago that had a similar theme, but I guess it is hard at times to come up with something truly unique.

I think the one thing that I didn’t like was that throughout the entire book, the author alluded to something that had happened with the main characters husband/dog, but never really came out and said specifically what it is. That drove me nuts – I wanted to know – maybe we’ll find out in another book who knows. Also, the names of the main character and her sister just seemed a bit cheesy to me – named after the month they were born in and then their last name just happens to be Day…lol! There was also a bit of a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming that I felt just overdid the whole thing – it wasn’t needed (at least in my honest opinion) – it almost ruined the tension that was in the book for me…

Either way, I enjoyed the read, I would probably give it 3.5 stars overall, but would recommend it for people who like mysterys/suspense/thrillers, especially with a medical twist, and those who like books with animals).

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in Book Review

 

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Review – Untraceable – Laura Griffin

untraceableUntraceable
Author: Laura Griffin
Series: #1 in the Tracer’s series

Description:
ALEX LOVELL MAKES PEOPLE DISAPPEAR. TURNS OUT, SHE’S NOT THE ONLY ONE.

Private investigator Alexandra Lovell uses computer skills and cunning to help clients drop off the radar and begin new lives in safety. Melanie Bess, desperate to escape her abusive cop husband, was one of those clients. But when Melanie vanishes for real, Alex fears the worst, and sets out to discover what happened. Using every resource she can get her hands on — including an elite team of forensic scientists known as the Tracers, and a jaded, sexy Austin PD detective — Alex embarks on a mission to uncover the truth.

As far as homicide cop Nathan Deveraux is concerned, no body means no case. But as much as he wants to believe that Alex’s hunch about Melanie’s murder is wrong, his instincts — and their visceral attraction — won’t let him walk away. As a grim picture of what really happened begins to emerge, Nathan realizes this investigation runs deeper than they could ever have guessed. And each step nearer the truth puts Alex in danger of being the next to disappear….

Review:
I’m conflicted over how to rate this book for a main reason, so I’m going to try and explain that before I get into the review itself…I originally picked up this book about a week and a half ago, knowing that it was #1 in a series, and not being able to find a noted prequel, figured I would be good to go. However, I quickly realized that I was missing something in the interaction between Alex and Nathan – you could tell that there was some kind of history, unfortunately, I didn’t know what. A quick tweet to the author and I discovered that they had met in a previous book in a different series (Whisper of Warning), and since I needed to make sense of their relationship before I could continue, I grabbed it. Which is where my conflict lies – once I factored in Whisper of Warning, I actually really enjoyed Untraceable and would probably give it 3.5-4 out of 5 stars. However, since I had to read another series (because I ended up reading both Whisper of Warning and the preceding book), I have to drop my rating to a 3. If i had known about the linkage ahead of time, it might not have been as big of a deal, so this is more frustration on my part. So I am saying very blatantly, I highly recommend you read the Glass sisters books (Thread of Fear and Whisper of Warning) before trying this series.

Now moving on, having gone through a variety of romance/suspense books (although leaning more towards the romance side), recently, i have to say that Alex was an improvement on many of the heroines. Yes, she had her dumb moments and there were a few times where I was like, seriously…but thankfully she didn’t exhibit the TSTL traits that many seem to have had recently…and then there is Nathan – overall I liked him as a character – he wasn’t the complete Alpha male than shows up so often in rom/sus, and seemed a bit more believable – I also liked that he was a bit older (late 30’s, vice early 30’s) – that gave him an air of experience that I find is often missing in books. Or rather, a more believable air of experience…sometimes I find it hard to believe the stuff that 28-30 years old have gone through in their lives prior to their book (maybe that is a bit jaded of me…).

The mystery aspect of it was ok – for the most part, you knew who did it prior to the reveal since it was discussed early in the book – but there were a few twists that I didn’t see coming. The ending did get all tied in a pretty bow a bit too quickly for me however – I would have liked to see some carry over into another book in the series (although, who knows, maybe this will be the case)…

Overall, 3 stars because of the issue discussed in the first paragraph – but I’ll def. be checking out the rest of the series (especially since I have books #6 and #7 to review as ARC’s…)

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2013 in Book Review

 

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