Sunday, 15 December 2013

Sleep with the Lights On...literally! (Reviews)

dear readers,

(Brown and De Luca: Book One)
Written by Maggie Shayne
genre: suspense, paranormal, thriller


Rachel de Luca is a famous self-help author who does not believe in what she preaches.  She is sarcastic but in public she must keep up her image of positiveness.  Rachel lost her sight at a young age and has honed her other senses.  It is these senses that has Rachel looking into her brother, Tommy's disappearance. Tommy may be homeless and an addict but she does not think his disappearance is voluntary.

Detective Mason Brown was having a good until he ran his car into the blind author and then gets an alarming text from his brother.  He races home when he gets a bad feeling only to watch his brother blow his brains out.  Things only get worse when he reads his brother's Eric's note detailing his life as a serial killer of young men.

In a quick second decision Mason covers his brother's murder and talks his family into donating his organs.  Mason makes sure that his corneas go to Rachel.  Rachel has her doubts but goes in for the surgery.  Within hours she is having homicidal dreams and an uneasy feeling.  There has been the theory that a organ receipient gains some of his donor's likes and dislikes.  

Once Rachel lets Mason know what she has been dreaming Mason realizes that he may not be able to keep his bother's killing a secret.  And, worse the killing has continued since his brother's death.  Rachel will continue to dig until she finds out what happened to her brother especially now that she has her sight back.  Will Mason trust her to find the killer?

This novel is...creepy and good.  The idea of organ donors passing on their traits and/or memories was really interesting and the creepiness of the book.  Rachel's sarcasm and wit makes her an interesting and likeable character. Having a character like Mason who decides to obstruct justice makes you question everything.  Shayne is unpredictable and this makes reading this novel an adventure.


The Marriage Mart: Reviews

dear readers,

Amanda Forester is a new author to me and the storyline for A Midsummer Bride sounded fun so I requested a copy. Then I found out it was book two so looked for A Wedding in Sringtime...

(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).

genre: historical romance

(Book One) 


Genie Talbot's debut into London society is the talk of the ton and has made her a leper to any future social engagements all because she laughed in front of the Queen.  Being a country girl she wants to return home but is afraid she will let her family down. Her Aunt has decided the best course if action is to get her married off soon as possible before she becomes a scandal like her mother (eloped with another man).

William Grant in part was the reason Genie had laughed and now the rogue decides to help her get invitations to London's best soirĂ©es.  While he is smitten with the young beauty he has vowed to never marry and knows he must leave the young girl alone.  Yet the thought drives him mad and they seem to get closer together.

Lady Louisa, Genie's cousin, has nursed and watched her fiancĂ© die and is now set yo marry his brother and heir, Lord Marchford. Marchford has returned home to set a date but finds his young bride to be distancing herself from him. The other woman in his life, his grandmother has set her heart to remaining in the estate and being the mistress.  Marchford decides to cut her allowance if she does not return to the country.

Penelope Rose has watched all her sisters wed and has resigned herself to spinsterhood at her youngest sister's wedding. She takes on a job as Lord Marchford's grandmother's companion.  The dowager has plan for them to make their own money so she can remain in London. The scheme is matchmaking and as plans are hatched and secrets kept this is soon headed for further disaster.

The gifts novel in the Marriage Mart series is bit only refreshing but quite adventuress. While matchmaking is the main game in the book there is espionage, affairs, secrets, elopements, orphans, mysterious characters, gambling and much humour.  There was a lot going on in this novel and many characters but I never felt bogged down or overwhelmed. It feels like a Jane Austen novel mixed with a little Charles Dickens and Alexandre Dumas for excitement. I loved the romance between Genie and Grant and their escapades with the orphan, Jem.  My only compliant with this novel was that the characters were not fleshed out more. As there were so many characters (and siblings) it takes away from getting to know them as individuals. While I really liked this read it is on the lighter side and more for a quick read. I will be continuing the series.

Amanda Forester holds a PhD in clinical psychology and a Masters degree in theology.  As a psychologist, she has worked as a clinical researcher and a university instructor (what they call you when they don’t want to give you tenure).  None of which has anything to do with writing romance novels.  After trying for many years to stop the internal storylines floating around her head, she finally gave up and wrote one down.  Now when she is caught daydreaming and talking to herself she can just say, “I’m plotting a scene for my next novel,” which sounds so much better than, “I’m hallucinating and responding to internal stimuli.”

Amanda lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family, three lazy house pets and one destructive puppy who is part yellow lab part tornado.  
Amanda enjoys writing historical romance and splits her time between the rugged Highlands of medieval Scotland and the lively banter within the drawing rooms of Regency England.  She enjoys researching the history almost as much as the writing, and attempts to provide the reader with a glimpse of the historical reality, though usually without the fleas. 

(Book 2)


Madam X is back and is to help American Harriet find a titled suitor to fit into high English society. Traveling in the Americas a British ship looking for soldiers takes Harriet back to her estranged grandfather in England in hopes for a reward.

When Harriet's mother was a young girl her father, Lord Langley arranged her marriage to an older man she runs off with ship's captain. Lady Beatrice's father has not contacted or spoken to his daughter since she eloped. When his granddaughter has been dropped off at his door Lord Langley decides that this is his second chance. He looks to his ex-fiance and her companion to broker a match.

Harriet is loud, opinionated and loves chemistry as well as being very tall. Right away she is isolated by her peers and feels homesick. The only people that make an effort is Penelope and Lord Thornton. Penelope finds the American girl a bit odd but a genuine person. Lord Thornton cannot help but be interested in the tall chemist. When Harriet's dowry amount is announced the poor titled men start to hover by her but Lord Thornton starts to keep his distance. 

His father married for money to save his estate and it was a disaster and now he watching his father gamble away the estate. No matter what he will not marry for money even if he has an interest in a lady.

As the two debate their feelings for one another Lord Marchford is again on the trail for a traitor. What was supposed to be a small house party has turned into carnival.

I love Antonia and Penelope with their matchmaking. Antonia and Lord Langley's banter is cute as well as Penelope and Marchford's shy flirting. Harriet and Thornton's romance is sweet but at times I found Thornton a bit annoying with his insistence on not marrying a woman with money. Again the novel has several story lines and characters but it is getting more seamless. And I am glad my hunches from the first book turned out true in this book. So ready for the next one.


Sunday, 8 December 2013

REVIEW: Redemption by C.J. Barry

dear readers,

This book has been listed as a metaphysical novel and I was not exactly sure what that meant...

(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).


(Soul: Book One)
Written by C.J. Barry (aka Samantha Graves)
genre: urban fantasy

To save her own soul Reya Sinclair has taken on the painful job of being a Redeemer.  As a man dies Reya offers them a chance at atoning for their sins based on free will. The only person that stands in her way is Detective Thane Driscoll.  Thane believes in justice...his own brand of justice.  He will do anything to capture the culprit even if it is the beautiful woman in black who has been present at a string of death.  Fate has other things in store for the duo and now they must work together to fight the dark.  And, also fight the desire they feel for each other.

I had no expectations for this novel and only knew it was paranormal fiction.  Reya and her job as a redeemer grabs your attention from the beginning.  The world within Redemption is nicely outlined and explained by Barry.  This novel is more paranormal (or metaphysical as the author labels it) with a little romance.