We hope you’re ready to be transported by Amalie Howard’s THE FALLEN PRINCE, a Young Adult Science Fiction novel and the sequel to THE ALMOST GIRL!
Dangerous Liaisons is very much an action-packed thriller. It opens in the thick of the action and never slows down. This is a plus and a minus – the plus: the action keeps you enthralled through the entire story; the minus: sometimes the plot gets a little convoluted and it’s hard to keep track of what is going on.
Jesse is everything a badass heroine should be – smart, sassy, kickass, but with a softness that keeps her relatable. While she works to clear her name, it quickly becomes evident there’s more on the line than just herself. As easy as it would be to walk away, her sister needs her.
Cole is a mystery for much of the story and his loyalties are questionable right up until the end. It adds an element of tension and intrigue to both his relationship with Jesse and their mission to clear her name.
The romance between Jesse and Cole takes a back seat to the action. Jesse and Cole are thrust into a situation where they have to trust each other and it stands to reason an attraction would develop, but at times it felt forced. The physical attraction is understandable, but other than that I never really got the sense that there was a deeper connection between the characters.
If you go into Dangerous Liaisons expecting a romance, you’re going to be disappointed. If you go into it expecting an action-packed thriller where the main protagonist is a kick-ass woman, you’re going to enjoy the hell out of this book.
Note: there are some editing issues that will catch your attention. Don’t let it distract you from the overall story.
Being an agent revoked her license to love . . . until she met the man sent to kill her.
Jesse Evans’ most recent mission turns deadly when Colombian mercenaries ambush her and her informant. She races across the jungle to warn the Special Ops team she sent to save an American Senator’s young daughter, but arrives just as the team is slaughtered by drug runners.
Within the hour, branded as the traitor who leaked the mission intelligence, Jesse Evans is now the most wanted woman in the world. She must prove she didn’t sell out the team or her sister dies. Only one man can save them both, but that man isn’t who Jesse thinks he is…and she can’t afford to fall in love with him.
Release Date: 1 December 2013
Available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle
***ARC provided by San Francisco Book Review in exchange for an honest review***
Joy to the Worlds brings together four talented authors and eight phenomenally written short stories. Centered around a holiday theme, each author takes the reader on an imaginative ride into the ‘what-if’.
Wild Hunt – Tyson Wallenstein, newest member of the Wild Hunt sets out to track down a supernatural murderer whose weapon of choice is mistletoe.
Escape From Old Yorktown – A hijacked president’s son, old-time Victorian carolers, and Independent minded rebels should make for an interesting holiday.
Odysseus Flax and the Krampus – Not all legends are fat and jolly; some are hairy and frightening. Misbehave in this story and you might get more than just a lump of coal in your stocking.
Ol’ St. Nick – Someone killed Santa! With an ode to Agatha Christie, Browncoats and Trekkies alike will enjoy this holiday murder mystery.
Bevel and Turn – Time travel and a cursed Christmas whirligig will have you never looking at family holiday traditions the same again.
Death Node – Is it possible to change the future by changing the past or is history doomed to repeat itself, no matter what you do? Or when you do it?
The Ringers – What if the ringing of Yuletide bells didn’t bring merriment and cheer, but death and fear? A young girl, full of magic and questions may be the only hope for a town living under a powerful Yuletide curse.
Mr. and Mrs. Mistletoe – 1950’s mentality meets the Jetsons; where being the perfect married couple is the quintessential pinnacle of achievement. Unless you happen to be the town’s spinster librarian.
This anthology is a great cross-genera mix of mystery, alternate history, and speculative fiction. Drawing from traditional mythology and lore as well as time-travel and science fiction, each author presents a unique perspective on the traditional holiday tale. I had my personal favorites among the different stories, but they are all entertaining. Each story includes a foreword from another author as well as a postscript describing where they got the idea for the story; a great personal touch which adds a special something to the story – almost as if each story is a small gift from the author to the reader.
Available now on Amazon Kindle
***ARC Provided by San Francisco Book Review in exchange for an honest review***
Jarrod Stryker is the golden boy of a small financial investment firm that managed to avoid the Wall Street collapse in 2008.Smart, good looking, and seeming to have the luck of the gods, Jarrod bets it all when his mentor and boss places their company in an untenable situation that could mean the loss of $500 million dollars, the company, and their freedom. Jarrod seems poised to beat the odds and rake in a fortune until world events take over, threatening to put the financial world and global politics in jeopardy. He’s forced to reach deep into his past as a CIA operative if he has any chance of preventing a global catastrophe.
The best thrillers are the ones that make the reader think it could happen and that is exactly what RD Gupta manages to do in The Icarus Prediction. Gupta incorporates many elements of current world conflict to give credence to the idea of a terrorist attempting an attack of this type and the resulting catastrophe. The author takes the time to develop the story and the cast of characters, building the suspense and throwing in a bit of humor in the process. Some points of the story were easy to figure out, but many others left me guessing. I could see how the dominoes were being placed, but was never sure in what direction they would fall when they were finally tipped over.
A lot of the setup for the main story involves Wall Street and stock trading. I have some familiarity with basic trading practices, but I was a little lost when it came to trading on oil options and I wish the author had taken more time in the book to spell out how it works. It’s a key point of the story line and a major reason why Jarrod goes off to try to defeat the terrorists, so it’s worth noting. I managed to get the gist of what was going on and it didn’t take anything away from the overall plot of the book.
The Icarus Prediction is the first book in a series and the author does a good job of leaving enough questions unanswered to pique the reader’s interest in the next book without leaving a huge cliff-hanger. A great read for lovers of thrillers and spy mysteries.
Release Date: 20 October 2015
Available on Amazon Kindle
After a decades-long career combating wildfires, Elizabeth has traded in her former life for a quieter one with her husband. Now she works as the local arson investigator in a beautiful, quaint town in the Rockies. But that tranquil life vanishes when she and her husband agree to divorce and a fire in nearby Cooper Basin begins to spread rapidly. For Elizabeth, containing a raging wildfire is easier than accepting that her marriage has failed.
For Elizabeth’s ex-friend Mindy, who feels disconnected from her husband and teenage children, the fire represents a chance to find a new purpose: helping a man who has lost his home to the blaze. But her faith is shattered by a shocking accusation.
As the encroaching inferno threatens the town’s residents, Elizabeth and Mindy must discover what will be lost in the fire, and what will be saved.
Smoke starts off somewhat slow. The author spent the first third or so of the book developing the characters and setting the stage for the investigation into the origins of the fire threatening the town of Nelson. It took a while to get into the story, but once it picked up it was hard to put down. What will keep you engaged is the relationship between Elizabeth and Ben as they deal with the not-yet-accepted failure of their marriage – still in love, but riding that fine edge between loving someone and giving up.
While the characters were well developed, I felt as if there was something lacking in Elizabeth – an element of strength I kept expecting that never appeared. In one scene, her husband accuses her of something terrible. I expected Elizabeth to be angry, outraged, or defensive; something other than apologetic. This may have been by the author’s design and, if so, well done. Additionally, the small town sheriff and District Attorney were just a little too cliche for me to really see them as more than caricatures.
“The fire is already retreating, whipping around the base of the trees it destroyed, creating its own atmosphere, making sure it eats everything there is before it moves on.”
The fire though…the fire came to life in this book like it was a character in and of itself. It breathed and fed and destroyed; not just the forest around the town, but the lives of those closely tied to its origins. It was a physical manifestation of the turmoil devastating Elizabeth and Mindy’s lives. In the same way fire can bring new life by burning through brush and deadfall, this fire burns through the lies and mistakes Elizabeth, Ben, Mindy, and Mindy’s son have buried and acts as a catalyst for renewal within their own lives.
Ultimately, Smoke will pull you in and keep you guessing until the final reveal.
*** ARC received via Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing in return for an honest review***
***Free copy received from Online Book Club in return for an honest review***
Counting Stars by Steve Salter is a modern fiction thriller set in the prestigious world of Irish horse racing and follows Frank Rooney, a recovering compulsive gambler and equine veterinarian. Frank, along with three of his friends, hatches a scheme to secretly breed a star racer. Frank struggles to fight his addiction while he uncovers deception, intrigue, and corruption within the same institution he and his friends are attempting to undermine. Using mindfulness and meditation to overcome his addiction, Frank may just pull off one of the biggest coups of the Irish racing world.