Wednesday 20 January 2016

Rescued by the Ranger by Dixie Lee Brown (2015)

Protecting those in trouble is what Army Ranger Garrett Harding does best. But after helping a feisty redhead toss a couple of losers from her Idaho bar, the woman is anything but grateful for his assistance—in fact, she seems to know him. Worse, she almost certainly hates him.

The only thing Rachel Maguire wants is to send this smart-mouthed, muscled military man packing. She knows Garrett has his own reasons for staying, so when he offers Rachel a deal—two days to prove his worth or he leaves—she reluctantly agrees. Despite wanting to loathe him, Rachel finds herself drawn to his quiet confidence…and the way he fills out a t-shirt.

But when Rachel receives a phone call from the past, everything changes. The stalker who destroyed her life ten years ago is closing in once more. Refusing to put anyone else in harm's way, Rachel hits the road hoping to lure danger away from those she loves. But Garrett won't leave this sexy spitfire to face her stalker alone. He'll do anything to protect her. Even if it means risking his life—and his heart.

Review- 5 out of 5 stars

A non-stop action packed romantic suspense. 
The reader is immediately pulled into a tension filled scene from the very beginning where Garrett kicks into action to protect Rachel. The story gains even more momentum as the plot unfolds. Rachel and Garrett find their lives in danger from a stalker who has remained anonymous but scarily ever present in Rachel's life for the past ten years. I kept guessing who the stalker might be but it was so well written I wasn't able to guess correctly.

I love it when authors add a much loved dog or cat in their novels. Although Rachel and Garrett are both great characters I really loved Cowboy, the dog, who proved to be a hero on more than one occasion.
The suspense filled final chapters led to a nail biting and satisfying conclusion.

Highly recommended.

Damsel in Danger (Danger Incorporated, Book 1) by Olivia Jaymes narrated by Lance Greenfield

Publisher's Summary

Ex-DEA agent Jason Anderson is trying to rebuild his life after being held prisoner by a sadistic drug cartel. With a little help from his friends, Logan Wright and Jared Monroe, he's starting a new business and moving forward. He only thinks about the past during the long, dark nights. It's then that he feels most alone.
Brinley Snow has moved into her dream home. It's everything she's wanted and more, although she faces a mountain of renovation work. Luckily, it came with the bonus of a sexier-than-sin neighbor. One sultry summer night, Brinley gathers up her courage and asks Jason to join her for dinner. They're instantly attracted to one another, but the evening quickly goes downhill when she ends up in the interrogation room of the local police.
An unknown dead man had her address clutched in his hand. The authorities - and Jason - think she's the key to finding a cold-blooded murderer. With a first date like that, Brinley's not sure she'll survive a second. Then again she's never met anyone like Jason. He's not the typical boy next door. He's all man. And with a little luck, he could become all hers. They just have to stay alive long enough to catch a killer.

I would recommend this audiobook to all my friends who like mysteries with a little bit of romance. It is well narrated and the story has a good pace. I liked the narrator's tone of voice and expression. He has a nice voice, easy to listen to.

I liked the story and will definitely be looking out for the rest of the series. The mystery was good and interesting. The many twists and turns kept me entertained and had me guessing right to the end.   
Both Jason and Brinley are well developed and likeable characters. They each have a detailed and interesting back story. Jason also has good friends and brothers who supported the  story and I liked their teasing banter which added some humour.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday 17 January 2016

By Her Side by Lizzy Chandler


Review - 4 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. The action starts right at the beginning when Vince saves Rory during a hit and run incident. He is then hired by her grandfather to protect her. Neither Vince nor Rory are ecstatic by this move but they decide to make the best of it and they work together to figure things out. The mystery is intriguing and unpredictable. I thought I had it all figured out but the author spun the story in a different direction and kept me glued to the pages right to its explosive ending.
I'd definitely read more by the author.

I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

An Egyptian Affair (The Regent Mysteries Book 4) by Cheryl Bolen

The Regent Mysteries, Book 4 

A fresh romance with each new mystery . . . 

While Captain Jack Dryden would lay down his life for the Regent, he draws the line at endangering his wife in the dark alleyways of Cairo-the place where the Regent's friend and procurer of antiquities has gone missing. 

But Lady Daphne Dryden will not be denied the opportunity to see swaying palms, crumbling pillars, and soaring pyramids in exotic Egypt. She even insists on bringing her youngest sister, Rosemary, who's enamored of all things Egyptian. The Regent insists on sending Stanton Maxwell, England's most imminent expert on Egyptology, as their interpreter and his own soldiers as their protectors. 

Once in Cairo, Jack and Daphne begin their inquiries, inquiries which almost certainly cause the murder of one woman and the abduction of Lady Rosemary. Will Jack and Daphne's wits-and the unexpected bravery of Mr. Maxwell-be enough to extricate them from danger and unmask the evil-doers?

Book 4 in the series but can be read as a standalone. I haven't read the others in the series.
I love historical mystery romances and I was immediately drawn to 'An Egyptian Affair' for this reason. There was just enough mystery to keep my interest but nothing very gripping. I would have liked a more menacing atmosphere and a build up of tension. With the story being set in Egypt there is plenty of scope to give it a more gothic feel and I was disappointed that the author didn't use this opportunity. There was some suspense when Rosemary was abducted but this was resolved very swiftly. The love triangle between Rosemary, Captain Cooper and Mr. Maxwell was not very believable and I didn't feel that Captain Cooper was necessary to the story. I liked Mr. Maxwell but I didn't care much for Rosemary. At nineteen years old she has a lot of growing up to do and her immaturity is reflected in her flighty nature and silly dialogue.

I may read more of the series but I won't be rushing out to do so.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday 6 January 2016

In Time For You (Knights in Time #4) by Chris Karlsen (2016)

Another book in the exciting, best-selling time-travel romance series, Knights in Time. 

While horseback riding in the English countryside, sisters, Electra and Emily Crippen find themselves trapped in a tear in time. Thrown back to 1357 England and caught by a local noble, they are in a place that is home but as frightening and unfamiliar as an alien world would be. With no idea how the tear in time came about, the one thing they do know is: they must stay together and stay near to where the event took place in hopes of discovering the way back to their modern life. That certain need to stay together is the first certainty taken from them when one sister is forced to remain in England and one is sent miles away to Wales by royal order. 

There is one other hope for help the sisters don’t know exists. It’s Electra’s lover, Roger Marchand. A time traveler himself, he never told her of his past. When he realizes what has happened to the sisters, he enlists the help of a scientist friend to help him open the suspected passageway through time. Any effort to save Electra and Emily will likely cost him his life. This was the time Roger came from, a time when his country, France, was at war with England. If he is discovered on English soil while searching for the sisters, he will either be killed or taken prisoner of war. Any risk is worth saving the life of the woman he loves.

Review 4/5 stars

Another great read in the Knights in Time series. 
I really love this series and I was looking forward to reading more of Roger's story. This fourth book is a little bit different in that we don't see the progression in Electra and Roger's relationship. They meet at the end of book 3 and by the beginning of 'In Time For You' Roger is already preparing to propose to her. I missed seeing their courtship and falling in love. 
There is a secondary romance involving Emily and Simon although it too is quite fast paced. 

As I had already read the first three books and knew what would happen when the girls get caught up during thunderstorm, I found all the detail and questioning surrounding their disappearance to be a bit drawn out. 
When the setting changed to medieval England, the pace of the novel sped up. I loved reading how Electra and Emily adjusted to their new time period and how they carved out a place for themselves. I found the secondary characters to be quite charming, in particular the two guards who were charged with escorting Electra around. They were quite funny and cute when they were competing with each other for her affections. I'm really hoping that they'll appear again in subsequent titles.
Towards the end of the story I was beginning to think that medieval England was going to be left with a shortage of knights, however the author manages to balance things out a little bit with a twist at the end.

I'd recommend this whole series and I would suggest reading it in order and in its entirety. 

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

In Time For You will be available now AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Monday 4 January 2016

Gallery Pieces by Larry Witham (Archway Publishing 2016)

In his forties, Julian Peale is getting a fresh start. Formerly in Navy intelligence, he's cast his lot in the New York art world. He's landed a job with the venerable Medici Studios, which also contracts with the NYPD and FBI. On a winter morning, they've run a sting operation to track Russian art smugglers. The caper goes awry, but an odd bit of evidence remains: four art catalogs with graffiti markings.
So begins Gallery Pieces, a story that will keep readers guessing until the end. Peale follows the clues where they lead. He meets a heavy at the Miami Art Fair, chases a mystery bidder at Merriweather's auction in Manhattan, and crosses paths with a Brooklyn performance artist whose pranks are dangerously entangled in the Russian intrigues. Step by step, Peale enters an art world permeated not only by the avant-garde, but by the Russian mob, hackers, forgers, hipsters, and the history of art looting in Europe during WWII.
When Peale least expects it, the catalogs lead him on another trail. He is drawn into a long-forgotten mystery surrounding his grandfather, Maxwell Peale, who had been a “monuments man,” a soldier who helped reclaim art looted by the Nazis. Peale is on his way to discovering paintings stolen in postwar Europe. Finding the culprits, however, brings him closer to home than he'd imagined.


An intelligent and complex mystery set in the highbrow art world. Anyone with an interest in history, art and the mystery genre will find themselves engrossed in this fascinating tale involving art fraud and organised crime.

The author, Larry Witham, expertly guides the reader through the complexities of the art world and introduces us to the various players involved in the art scene. The investigation takes many twists and turns involving various dangerous and mysterious characters.

The crux of the story lies in the origins of the stolen art as well as the part played by the monuments men, one of whom was Peale's grandfather, in the retrieval of looted art from the Nazis and their ultimate fate once they reached America. In order to put the puzzle pieces together, Julian Peale has to investigate the involvement of the Russian mob, hipsters, hackers, art collectors, sellers and old friends.

I was impressed by the wealth of knowledge the author has in his subject material. In a book of this kind, where the author is so knowledgeable, there is the danger of slowing the pace with the minutiae of art theory and historical detail but Larry Witham manages to avoid this pitfall. He expertly balances the mix between fact and fiction and just gives the right amount of information to complement the plot. It certainly whetted my interest in learning more about art crime and the work of art experts who are trained to spot works of art looted during WWII.

I highly recommend this excellent, fast paced mystery. It won't fail to interest and entertain.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday 2 January 2016

The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay (2015)

When Lucy's secret is unearthed, her world begins to crumble. But it may be the best thing that has ever happened to her.
Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy's secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.
In a sudden turn of events, James's wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy's predicament better than anyone else.
As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen's wisdom, as Helen confronts the ghosts of her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters' beloved heroines, who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of change.
Now Lucy must go back into her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that's been waiting for her all along.

Review 4/5 stars

A gently paced read with sprinklings of literary references thrown in. From the title, I was expecting a mystery somehow relating to the works of the Bronte sisters. I found that idea quite intriguing but I was completely wrong in making that assumption as that is not what the book is about. 
It is more to do with Lucy's journey, both physically and emotionally, towards self discovery. She comes to the realisation that her personal history doesn't have to define the type of person she becomes. Past mistakes can be made up for and forgiven.

I enjoyed reading this book. I particularly liked the parts where Lucy and James' grandmother were travelling around England and visiting different areas of literary significance. Each area and the people they meet along the way are described with such detail and charm that I found myself thinking about going on a similar trip the next time I visit England.
The characters are all very human in the respect that they are all deeply flawed. Lucy has some very dubious selling practices and it is only when she gets caught out does she decide to change and try to make amends. The little bit of romance concluded the story in a nice upbeat way.

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday 1 January 2016

Playing With Fire by Tess Gerritsen (2015)

What if your child wanted you dead?

Julia doesn't understand what is happening to her daughter, but she thinks she knows what's causing it. She is terrified for Lily, and for herself, but what scares her more is that no one believes her.

If she is going to help Lily, she will have to find the answers alone, embarking on a search that will take her to the shadowy back streets of Venice. 

There, Julia uncovers a heartbreaking, long-buried tale of tragedy and devastation - a discovery that puts her in serious danger. Some people will do anything in their power to keep the truth silent . . .

Review 5/5 stars

A standalone novel from Tess Gerritsen.
Clever and well written. It is a story that will stay with you long after you have read it.
The mystery starts after Julia buys an old music sheet and plays the music on her violin. The music seems to have a strange effect on her little daughter. The family cat is found stabbed to death after Julia plays the music for the first time and then Julia is stabbed in the leg during the second playing. The only other person present each time is her daughter. 
Julia is convinced that somehow the music is responsible and sets off to discover its history.

There are two stories woven through the novel; the story behind the origins of the music, and the present day story of Julia's investigations. The tragic circumstances surrounding the music's origins unfolds as the narration switches from the present day to WWII Italy. It is a haunting and emotional tale told with great eloquence. 
There is a twist at the end of the novel which I didn't see coming. The mystery surrounding the violence that occurred when the music was played was resolved and it rounded the story off on a more optimistic note.

The book is available to buy now from the BookDepository 

But the best price you'll find for the hardback copy is at Amazon (UK) where it is currently reduced to £5.

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.