Review

Rival’s Break. Carla Neggers

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Published: Harlequin – Mira
Date: 27th August 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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Rival’s Break  is #9 in the Sharpe/Donavon  series and I hadn’t read the previous books. Of course I prefer to read a series from the beginning but sometimes a later book just invites! There are quite a few characters to take in straight away. However Carla Neggers deftly gives enough information about each of them so that I can enjoy the story.

The setting is delightful – I have a weakness for books set in Maine and we also visit Ireland and its beautiful west coast. The characters themselves are a mixture of Maine and Irish and they mingle very well!

The book has a fun cast, art thief detectives, FBI, MI5 and MI6, an art thief (reformed)  and a priest to name a few of the varied roles. Many of them are either related to each other or married into a family. And half the time they seem to be trying to figure out what the other knows and is up to!

We start out with a stolen painting, a mysterious food poisoning on a yacht and links to some of the characters, makes for a mystery that soon has my brain whirling and wondering and desperately endeavouring to stay away from the back pages to peek! (I refrain – barely!) I did have one person in mind and it turned out I was on the right track, although I didn’t know the motivation.

I liked this story mostly for the characters, so varied and loveable. The mystery was interesting. I would have liked a little more action as the book tended to rely on a lot of dialogue rather than fast action. However I think it reads like a cozy mystery.

Would I read more in this series after my first foray into it? Yes I would because I’d want to find out more about the characters and what they have done and will do next.

 

 

Review

Night Magic by Emilie Richards

Book coverPublished: Emilie Richards
Date: 15th August 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 335
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Author

Rating
Goodreads callout

Skeeter is more than the maverick people usually see. The man who sells caricatures on Jackson Square has caught the eye of a gallery owner in New York, and now he can create the art he really wants to–if he’s willing to make the leap.

Skeeter must make another leap. He and Daffy have met before, and their latent attraction ignites immediately. Still, before they can move forward, Skeeter has to tell her the truth about his past. And Daffy, who has specialized in short-term relationships, must now face the reason why.

As Daffy and Skeeter delve deeper into the world of voodoo, danger is all around them. They must find a way to stop the exploitation of Daffy’s client. But as they do, will they be able to overcome their own difficult pasts to find a future they can share?

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Night Magic rounds out the New Orleans Nights trilogy by Emilie Richards. This is an entirely new book, the previous two were updated and republished. This one completes a series I was so happy to have the opportunity to read. Thanks to the wonderful phenomenon of Indie publishing.

I had loved Skeeter – especially in book one, and so it was with anticipation of a book I’d enjoy I opened up Night Magic. I had been hoping that Skeeter would still have a bit of the bad boy in him, but truly I don’t really think he ever was. He has a heart of gold and incredible talent as an artist. As well he’s open to a new relationship.

Daffy is a psychologist trying to crack open the world of a small group of teenage girls who are very tight lipped. She’s good at her job, astute and caring. But… she herself has some left over issues from childhood that truly are holding her back.

The baddie in this story? Well that would be one of the other characters and a whole lot of hokum pokum voodoo hoodoo.  It’s a race against time to track down the person, place and time to uncover who and what is at the root of the mysterious goings on.

Full of New Orleans flavour this is a highly entertaining and satisfying story. And… I got my wish – this story ended just as I was hoping.

Bitmoji Yes

Review

Bayou Midnight by Emilie Richards

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Published: Emilie Richards   2nd Edition
Date: 15th July 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 305
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Author

Rating
Goodreads callout

Homicide detective Sam Long is determined to solve his latest case, but he can’t move forward without help. His best witness to arson and murder is a little girl, and whatever she saw on the night of the fire is safely locked away in her mind.

The last thing Sam wants is to consult with anyone, especially Dr. Antoinette Deveraux, a beautiful psychologist trained in hypnosis. He’s certain there’s no place for someone like compassionate Antoinette in a murder investigation. But when she unlocks the child’s memories, Antoinette unlocks something primal and compelling in Sam’s own heart.

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Bayou Midnight is the second book in the New Orleans trilogy by Emilie Richards. It is a revised and updated version of a previously published book. These books are set in New Orleans before hurricane Katrina changed it up so much.

As a reader not familiar with this part of the world I have to say I was fascinated by the setting that Emilie Richards describes so well.   I was on my computer researching who cajuns are and their history.  I know the author dearly loves this place, myself I’d be a little nervous, but it certainly is unique.

This is a romantic story about Antoinette – a psychologist and Sam the policeman. We met both in the previous book, and Sam was  someone  I really didn’t like. He was a very suspicious and prickly man, although very loyal and once a friend – always a friend.

In this book he has all these same qualities, plus we see a gentle compassionate side, and that same prickly veneer. He is totally against getting involved and yet very attracted to the lovely Antoinette. I liked her very much, although she has one foible that could lead her into ill health if she kept it up.

The suspense part is that someone is trying to blow up an oil rig and damage an oil company who have been poor employers.  Sam is on the case, but he doesn’t seem to get anywhere until suddenly it is very close to home.

I loved the writing and the descriptions in this book and of course really the characters are just so adorable.  I am so waiting for Night Magic which is Skeeter’s story – a friend of Sams.  This will be a totally new story because back in the bad old days of publishing they thought he was too much of a bad boy to have a book. Oh my! Little did they know then. For my taste he has been cleaned up a bit too much in Book 2 so I hope he still has his attitude when his book now comes to life next month. We shall see!

Review

Lady of the Night by Emilie Richards

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Published: Emilie Richards
Date:  June 15th 2018
Format:  e-ARC
Pages:  276
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Author

Rating
Goodreads callout

The fragile young woman, lying comatose in the ward of City Hospital in New Orleans, has no name and no memories. When she finally awakens, the one thing she can remember is a man’s voice calling her back to consciousness.

In all his years of training, no one has touched psychologist Joshua Martane in the same way, and he is determined to help her. Suspected prostitute. Near victim of a serial killer. Mystery surrounds who she is–and who she isn’t.

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Lady of the Night is the first of three in the series New Orleans Nights.   I loved reading this one and I certainly look forward to the next two.

This book tells the story of a young woman who awakes in the city hospital, with no memory of who she is, after experiencing terrible trauma. She has been in a coma for so long that they have put her in a psych ward and pretty much given up hope. Except for one psychologist who spends time talking to her, and when she awakes goes into bat for her against the establishment.

The opening chapter immediately sucked me in and I was wondering about this mystery, questions of who, where, what, why, how arose and I wanted them all answered. And eventually they were!

Joshua is the psychologist who helps Maggie as they name her.  He is a compassionate man, a passionate and good therapist. In the face of challenge he can be strong, and calls a spade a spade and tells it like he sees it. But… he has an achilles heel as a result of a past experience, so… he is imperfect and human!  Which makes him a bit frustrating as well.

Josh has two friends from his youth, and both are interesting so I anticipate we will also have Sam’s and Skeeter’s stories to relish along the way. Sam was a bit of a nuisance to begin with but after awhile I liked him.  However it is Skeeter I felt really drawn to… yeah he’s an insightful artist and seems to dabble still in a little ‘crime’ like all three did in their youth.

Maggie’s story is heartbreaking, but once she starts to heal there is no stopping her, and often I thought she was as gifted with insight as Josh or even had more. Sometimes I had to stop and think who was the psychologist!

There is a nasty character as well, of course there is! And he is out to get Maggie. So the plot moves along really well with good pace until all is sorted!  All very satisfying! I just might have bought a paperback copy to put on that keeper shelf!

Review

The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard

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Published: William Morrow
Date:   6th March 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 400
Genre:Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Rating
Goodreads callout

Levi Butcher is singularly devoted to his work. As team leader for the GO-Team, his unwavering focus is on the mission. Levi knows all too well that one minor distraction can hold deadly consequences. But with the soothing, sensual voice of “Babe,” the team’s communication expert, constantly in his ear, keeping his concentration on the dangerous work at hand is becoming extremely difficult.

Jina Modell definitely doesn’t feel like a “Babe,” especially when she’s working with the gruff, no-nonsense Levi. When the base where she’s stationed is attacked, Jina manages to escape but the rest of the team, working some distance away, is exfiltrated, thinking Jina died in the explosion—leaving her stranded. To survive, she’s got to figure out how to get back to safety before she’s discovered by the enemy.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this military like romantic suspense novel – The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard. It was pure escapist reading, that kept me up reading two nights in a row.

Jina or “Babe” as her team name her to her disgust, is a gritty, sassy and very able young woman who just cannot quit. Her brothers have given her the basis for that and now when she finds herself thrown into a entirely new and different experience, she does not give up.

The team is a little like a Seal team, they train hard and they go on missions that involve stealth and secrecy. They might be government approved but they are not ‘official’. The team is led by Levi or Ace as he is known to his team, on the first day that Jina turns up for training with a new group, they draw her out and make sure they train her. Its gruelling stuff, not for the fainthearted. However Jina is not one to take any nonsense and she has a mouth on her and the ability to stand up to them.  And very soon bonds are formed and they are moving towards trust. I loved the whole team aspect and the guys on the team. The training period takes up a good deal of the story, and I liked that – all the challenges and the final one of parachuting which Gina finds really difficult.

Then they are out on missions and Gina is out with them, its her job to operate a drone that surveys the field while the team carry out there task – which usually involves weapons. And then one time things go really wrong and Gina is left on her own and lets just say it rocks her world.

A romance is obviously brewing – Gina and Levi are attracted to one another, but because they work on a team together they can’t let it go any further. Watching the two sidestep each other was very entertaining – right through to the final resolution.

Action, romance, a little suspense and team comradeship. Now and then its just the kind of read I find perfect.

Review

Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

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Published: Hachette Aus/Piatkus
Date: 2nd January 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 338
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Hachette Australia via NetGalley

Rating
Goodreads callout

Seattle gallery owner Virginia Troy has spent years battling the demons that stem from her childhood time in a cult and the night a fire burned through the compound, killing her mother. And now one of her artists has taken her own life, but not before sending Virginia a last picture: a painting that makes Virginia doubt everything about the so-called suicide – and her own past.

Like Virginia, private investigator Cabot Sutter was one of the children in the cult who survived that fire… and only he can help her now. As they struggle to unravel the clues in the painting, it becomes clear that someone thinks Virginia knows more than she does and that she must be stopped. Thrown into an inferno of desire and deception, Virginia and Cabot draw ever closer to the mystery of their shared memories – and the shocking fate of the one man who still wields the power to destroy everything they hold dear.

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Promise not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz is #2 in her Cutler, Sutter and Salinas series. This one is about Cabot Sutter, one of three men, who as a boy was rescued at a crime scene and adopted by their rescuer.

Has the mad cult driven Quinton Zane returned? Why has a woman gone off a cliff? And so the mystery and the suspense begins.  Virginia and Cabot combine to follow the clues.  Virginia was also there that horrible night when fire almost engulfed them as children, she now runs an art gallery and has had contact with the artist who is now dead after going off the cliff.

Virginia and Cabot are a great couple. They have been together as children, suffer from the same horrific experience in their childhood, so they understand each other and the way they still suffer from that now in adulthood. Each was very compassionate towards the other. As they work on the case, they grow in their relationship. I liked how there was no false parting and then reuniting due to some mistaken issue.

I really enjoyed as well Cabot’s issue with his family, his grandfather disowned his mother when she went off to do her own thing, but now he is dead, and there is some new happenings. Greatest of all a surprise visit from one relative – one who soon became very much part of the story.

The mystery kept me guessing, I thought it was all clear early on, but no – plenty of twists and turns and a very good set up for the next book as well. The plot moved along at a great clip, moving from one event to another with speed, which kept me turning the pages.

The kind of suspense I like – not too graphic in the gory detail, and characters who worm there way into my heart. I am certainly looking forward to the next one in the series.

Review

Edge of Darkness by Karen Rose

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Published: Headline/Hachette Australia
Date:  2nd November 2017
Format:e-ARC
Pages: 608
Genre: Suspense/Crime
Source: Hachette Australia via NetGalley

Rating of book
Goodreads callout

Homicide detective Adam Kimble is no stranger to battling demons. But Meredith Fallon is a different kind of weakness: one that could actually be good for him, if only he would let himself depend on her. Meredith has loved Adam for a year, and seeing how hard he’s worked to deal with his PTSD makes her feelings only stronger, but she respects his needs. Her work keeps her busy anyway: she counsels sexually abused women like Mallory Martin to help them reintegrate into the world.

But someone doesn’t want Meredith helping women like Mallory, and Meredith finds herself the target of a very determined killer. Adam would risk anything for Meredith, but they’ll soon find out the killer is just a little too close to home…

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Edge of Darkness by Karen Rose is one of those books that I just had to keep reading. By rights I shouldn’t even like it, it is full of crime, nasty crime and so many killings. However its the fight of good against evil and I know the evil is going to be eventually overcome.

I’ve only read two other books in this series but I want to go back and read all of them! Some day! In the meantime this was perfect and while it is part of a series it can stand alone, although it doesn’t hurt to have met the characters before. Yes there are quite a few of them. The first time I read a book in the series I jotted down names and how they are related, and hey presto now there is “no problemo”.

This is the story of Adam Kimble – detective and Meredith. We’d seen Adam withdraw from his family and friends – they didn’t know why and neither did the reader. In this book all is revealed as Adam becomes centre stage. Adam and Meredith are always seeking to do what is right for others, they are both wounded people and are coping with their own dysfunctions. Yet their hears are full of love, loyalty and courage.

The story ranges over about a week – it is told from the viewpoint of many – Adam, Meredith, the perpetrator of the crimes and some of the victims. For a long while we don’t know who is behind the shocking things that happen and when we do find out it is to discover that greed, jealousy, callousness and evil are alive and kicking in the heart of the person who has caused such devastation.

What draws me to these books are the strong bonds that exist between all the detectives, the people who help victims as does Meredith, the newspaper team and the IT team. Bonds of loyalty, support and love are strong. I loved Meredith’s grandfather, I want to see more of Diesel the IT newspaper guy who walks a fine line in terms of the law and Dani the doctor – sister of one of the detectives. The little cameos of fun and humour don’t hurt either.

Fast paced, full of tension, fantastic characters and a plot that took me away from my world into another. Can’t ask for more.