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What happens when you get pulled out of spy academy before graduation because you look good in a bikini? Continue reading
A love affair that even time couldn’t destroy.
When Abby and Dominic move into the beautiful Dower Cottage it seems like a dream come true. But beneath its chocolate box exterior, the cottage holds a terrible secret, and unknown to her; Abby holds the key to rewriting a terrible wrong from the past. Soon she becomes obsessed by the dark stranger whose spirit is trapped in the attic, a man who teaches her more about herself and new pathways to ecstasy than she had ever imagined possible, until she is lost in his world of dark pleasures and his overpowering need for her. As their love grows, Dominic fights desperately to keep his wife, and Abby is caught between her husband and her charismatic, jealous lover from the past. But their mutual obsession will take her to the edge of insanity as she discovers what her stranger needs from her to ensure they are the ones to be together forever.
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***