Monday 28 July 2014

    A Rip in Time (Out of Time #7) by Monique Martin

Another fantastic, time-travelling adventure for Simon and Elizabeth Cross. This time they are sent back to Victorian London with the sole purpose of preventing the murder of Jack the Ripper thus restoring the time-line and their lives together as they know it. But, first of all, in order to prevent his murder, they have to figure out who Jack the Ripper actually is. At least they know when and where he will be, in Whitechapel committing his own gruesome murders. At the same time, the couple must face off an old adversary who is responsible for the rip in time.

I loved the blend of historical fact and fiction. The adventures of Simon and Elizabeth never grow old. I eagerly anticipate their next adventure as well as finding out what happens next with Victor. Not to mention their other friend, Jack, whom I'm assuming was restored to the time-line from which he disappeared at the beginning of the story.

As this is book 7 and if you haven't read any of the others in the series I recommend you start with the first book for free on your kindle 'Out of Time: A Time Travel Mystery.' 

Unknown Assailant  by Lina Gardiner

Someone is trying to kill Liz but nobody believes her. No matter how many 'accidents' she has the police still don't take her seriously. When her house is blown up she decides to fake her death and start a new life in Canada. Jake, her handsome next door neighbour, takes an interest in her but when Liz starts having 'accidents' again he has his doubts about her. Being the good guy that he is, he comes to her rescue anyway. It soon becomes a race against time to catch the killer before Liz's luck runs out.
An enjoyable, fast paced romantic thriller. I read this in two sittings. The reader is plunged into the action right from the beginning and it doesn't let up until the final twist at the end.

Saturday 26 July 2014

Ghost Ops Trilogy by Lisa Marie Rice

Book 1  Heart of Danger 

This series takes place in the near future. 'Heart of Danger' introduces us to a covert military group living off the grid, after escaping custody, before they could be court martialed. They were betrayed and set up to take the fall for the murder of scientists working on a cure for cancer. Three of the operatives survived the doomed mission and live in hiding. They have set up a semi self sufficient community, Haven, for themselves and other misfits and geniuses, who for various reasons needed to disappear. Only two people know where they are. So, when Dr. Catherine Young, an empath, arrives out of the blue looking for Mac McEnroe, with a message from the man who had betrayed them, it is feared that a trap has been set to capture them. Will Mac's attraction to Catherine jeopardise their safety? Will they act on her message that they have to rescue the man who betrayed them?

Book 2     

I Dream of Danger

Nick Ross, one of the Ghost op soldiers, disappeared suddenly from Elle's life and she is convinced he has abandoned her for the second time. In her distressed state, she moves away, changes her name and enrolls herself at university. She has an interest in the field of psychic phenomena, as she herself has the ability to travel outside of her body when she is dreaming. She becomes a respected scientist and researcher, ultimately working for the same dodgy pharmaceutical company that Catherine Young worked for. When her colleagues suddenly start disappearing one by one Elle is warned that they will be coming for her next. She sends out a desperate psychic call to Nick for help. Nick has been haunted for the past ten years by his feelings for and memory of his time with Elle and he can't explain why or how he has this sudden and desperate feeling that she is in danger, but, the Ghost Ops team will stop at nothing to find her.

Book 3 Breaking Danger.

In this conclusion to the trilogy, a virus manufactured by the pharmaceutical company has been unleashed on the general population. People are turning into mindless hunters with only one kill. With one bite being enough to become infected with the virus, people are dying by the thousands and soon there are only pockets of surviving healthy people. One researcher, Sophie, manages to escape the lab with an antidote but needs the help of Elle's friends to get her out of Dodge and to a place where she can start working on mass producing the antidote, before society is completely destroyed. Jon takes it upon himself to find his way through the swarm of infected to find Sophie and bring her safely home to Haven. Ultimately, it comes down to these two people to save humanity.

This series is an exciting mix of sensuous romance, suspense and action. Don't read if you are offended by any explicit sex scenes.

Thursday 24 July 2014

When Day Breaks Maya Banks

The Kelly Group International (KGI) are top secret, serious kickass dudes who specialise in hostage/victim recovery.

I loved the earlier titles in the KGI series.
This latest instalment was a disappointment. Most of the book was taken up with Swanny's insecurities about why a beautiful model like Eden would be interested in him. Eden has as many insecurity issues as Swanny.
There wasn't any sense of real urgency in this novel. The characters had plenty of time to go shopping and go out for dinner in Paris. Even some of the KGI characters complained of being bored with their assignment! Eden is supposed to have target on her head as revenge for something her father did but there is very little action in relation to this threat.
                                                                 Too much puppy love and not enough edge.

Read book one 'The Darkest Hour' for a better introduction to the Kelly clan.

E Shivers Box Set Volume 3  

Harlequin/Mills and Boon

A superb collection of gothic historical and contemporary romance. There was enough spookiness in this collection to make me sleep with a light on!

Valley of Nightmares by Jane Godman
Highly recommended.
A classic gothic historical romance complete with the crumbling mansion, a brooding hero and the obligatory governess. It sits apart from others in the genre as it is set in 1938 with the threat of Nazi fascism and the supernatural adding an extra twist. Loved it.
His to Possess by Delores Fossen   
Oliva and Lucien have never met but share erotic dreams that are not their own. When they do meet it is with the realisation that they are being possessed/haunted by two lovers who were murdered decades earlier. They need to find the killer before they become the next victims. Entertaining.
The Girl in Blue by Barbara J. Hancock   
Trinity Chadwick once brought Samuel Creed back from the brink of death. Now he watches over her. Trinity, however, is plagued by misfortune. She can see malevolent spirits haunting her town, causing accidents and even death. She herself has been haunted from a young age by a girl in blue. The ghost sets fires and causes the death of Trinity's friend. Trinity must delve into the dark past of her town to find the answers and lay this particular ghost to rest.  Spooky!
The Ghosts of Cragera Bay by Dawn Brown
Declan James inherits an estate in Wales along with its aging staff but all is not as it seems. Declan finds it difficult  to sell the estate as it was the site of multiple murders. In addition to this the spirits of these murder victims are trapped and can't move on. Declan is haunted by malevolent shadow people and a woman who was burned to death.  Dr. Carly Evans is a parapsychologist who insists on investigating this ghostly estate to prove her theory that evil is attracted to the site and that the murders added fuel to its power. With three people arrested for the murders it comes as a shock when Carly's assistant goes missing. Can Carly and Declan find the real killer and put an end to the evil once and for all? Creepy!

Tuesday 8 July 2014

The Vengeful Earl  by L.A. Hilden
After the death of his father, an earl plots to get revenge against a family whom he believes his father loved more than him and his mother. He decides to ruin the reputation of  Lady lydia, the daughter, by seducing and abandoning her thus ruining her chances of a good marriage and continued acceptance by the haut ton.
However, he didn't expect to fall in love with her along the way.

I love a good regency romance but I was hugely disappointed in 'The Vengeful Earl.' The premise had promise but it was not well enough researched, huge chunks of the book (in particularly the first quarter) were tedious and boring and I didn't like either of the main characters.

Why write in this sub-genre and then completely disregard the social conventions of the time? The book was full of social inaccuracies. A duchess scrambling about looking for a maid and then opening her own front door? Eh...what was the butler doing?
The Duchess leaving her cousin alone with the highly suspect Earl of Sinclair while she goes out to call on friends? Lydia dancing two waltzes in a row with the earl and then leaving the ball with him on a three day carriage ride to his home without telling anyone where she was going?
Everything was resolved far too easily in the end and one character in particular made a very sudden and complete turn around in personality!

Don't bother with this one. Re-read a Julia Quinn or Georgette Heyer novel instead.

Saturday 5 July 2014

The Curse Keepers (Curse Keepers Series, Book 1) 

                  Amazon publishing

'The wall between our world and that of vengeful spirits has protected humanity for more than 400 years. It’s about to come crashing down.
Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life by the site of the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the North Carolina settlement that vanished without a trace around 1590. Only the descendants of the two men who banished the spirits of an enemy tribe from the material realm know what really happened to the colony. Ellie is one of those descendants—a Curse Keeper. Her father took pains to teach her what he knew of the curse and the responsibilities of its guardians. He taught her that if the two Curse Keepers ever meet, the curse will be lifted, the gate will open, and the raging Native American spirits will be unleashed to seek their revenge.
Despite her father’s seriousness, Ellie has always taken the legend for a harmless fairy tale. Until she meets the darkly handsome, but downright infuriating, Collin Dailey and realizes everything she was told is true. For when they meet, it’s like the air is sucked from the room. Collin’s presence is electrifying… and it’s not just attraction Ellie feels, but the inexorable pull toward her destiny. The prophecy is real, and now Ellie and Collin must battle supernatural forces and their loathing—and passion—for each other to set things right.
The Curse Keepers are all that stand between the world and its destruction.'

Ellie and Collin are curse keepers who break an ancient curse when they meet for the first time and touch. Consequently, the gates of Hell are opened and only they can close it and send all the spirits back. We follow them on their quest as they face off adversaries, both human and nefarious gods, while they retrieve lost family artifacts needed in performing the ancient 'gate closing' ceremony.
 The native American lore was very interesting and linked well with the supernatural forces in the story. In fact, the supernatural beings were the best part and I would have liked to see them take more of a lead role as they added a bit of bite to the story. 
Ellie was a likeable enough character and we get an understanding of who she is and what motivates her but Collin is a bit of an enigma. It was difficult to sympathise with him when he had no story to justify him being such an ass.

Friday 4 July 2014

Married to a Rogue (Classic Regency Romances Book 9)  by Donna Lea Simpson

Previously published under the title Lady Delafont’s Dilemma.

         An entertaining regency romance, full of humour, intrigue and strong characters. It was refreshing to read a romance about a couple who are several years into their marriage and how eventually, after five years of estrangement, a mistress in tow, an ardent young French suitor and an interfering, overbearing mother in law, they overcome their misunderstandings and forgive each other. There is enough intrigue in the story to keep it interesting and the extra characters added to the humour. There is plenty of scope for sequels based on the side characters. Georgette Heyer fans will not be disappointed with this addition to the genre. Highly recommended.         

Thursday 3 July 2014

Where in the World will we go Today? by Heather. C. Toner
Publication date 30 September 2014

This is a lovely rhyming book with hand painted maps and facts about various places around the world. It would be a nice way to introduce the study of other countries and where they are on the world map.
Each country is introduced un-named with its place on the globe and children will enjoy guessing which country it is before the rhyme on the next page tells us. With repeated reading children will enjoy joining in with the rhyme. A lovely picture and rhyming book for children but also an extra resource for the teacher.

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly  illustrated by Rashin
Publication Date August 2014

A beautifully illustrated version of the classic rhyme. The pictures are very colourful, bright and funny. The old woman's cat also appears on every page and adds a nice touch to the story. This is a beautiful picture book to add to any child or classroom library.

   Sleep Tight Little Bear by Britta Teckentrup Publication date 01 August 2014
This is a beautifully illustrated children's book about Little Bear who is ready to go into hibernation for the winter. He says goodnight to all of his animal friends who are also going into hibernation and to the owl who stays awake, before finally saying goodnight to Mommy Bear who snuggles in beside him.
The author adds some helpful notes to explain hibernation at the end of the story.
I would read this story aloud to a child aged 3-6 years.