“The Conspiracy” – Kat Martin

AMAZON Link: https://amzn.to/2Ro16cj

Book 1 in a new series: 3rd Person, Dual POV (with a smidge (<5%) of other POVs)

This felt like a book of two halves. International and Domestic

The first half was Harper (Heroine) roping in Chase (her Brother’s former best friend who runs a security company) to track down her missing brother in the Caribbean.

The second half all took place in the US.

Then we have all the tropes, Brother’s Best Friend, Girl Next Door, Unrequited Love, Fish out of Water, Bodyguard etc etc.

The ebb and flow of Harper and Chase’s relationship, on again off again for *reasons* was good, but expected within this sub-genre. Although I’m not sure his grovel was enough.

It was just *A Lot* to be crammed into this story, is it the downside of book 1 in a series? Possibly, it felt like I was meeting not only the character base of this new series (the team at Maximum security), but maybe the characters for another series (the other Garrett brothers)?

I did like the attention to detail for 1) the International section, how travelling round Caribbean Islands & rescue ops in Jungles work, having to exchange money is a PITA etc 2) How Harper’s job/company/employees are impacted by the search for her brother. Although having $$$$ and private jets sure come in handy.

It just felt like it could have been “snappier”. The best analogy I can give is; If this were a film I might have gotten bored, but if it were a TV series, I’m sure I’d be happy with the ground work being done.

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“Elijah’s Hope” – S Doyle

Releases today: AMAZON LINK https://amzn.to/2Rf8GGp

S Doyle is a Sub-Genre hopper who I willingly follow. Plus, this cover!!???

ELIJAH’s HOPE is Bk1 in a new series. 3rd Person, Dual POV. It was SUPER Fun to realize this was set in the same world as Bad Assassin (now called Lover to Enemies).

Think “Love Island” meets “Alaskan Gold Rush”.

The Premise is Four Alaskan Oil Riggers. One Contest. Four Blind Dates. It starts out almost as a lark. In order to entice some women to Hope’s Point, these guys set up a dating contest for 4 women to win an all expenses paid trip to the middle of nowhere Alaska.

The men’s expectation is that they’ll experience some high jinx then send the ladies off on their way. As there’s limited accommodations there, the 4 women will all arrive at different times, with little to no overlap. This plan runs the gammit of “well thought out” to “Really?”. Like not telling the women what apparel they should bring with them for the weather…

All the guys are social mis-fits. Elijah is former army, He’s broody, views himself as unlovable, has a fractured relationship with his mom and a past he doesn’t talk about, but was incredibly formative in his view of women.

Elijah believes it’ll be 2 weeks of fun before they both go back to their “Real Lives”. Elijah’s winner is Shelby from Louisiana. From the moment you start her POV you know she is running from something. You know she wants to run away from her “Real Life”, It’s spoilery to discuss what/why she’s running from.

The first book in a series, whether it’s interconnected like this one or not, always does a lot of the heavy lifting for the world building. So we meet all the 4 ‘bachelors’ get a sense of who they are and their personalities.

This was a great read. Not as comedic as Bad Assassin/Lover to Enemies, but more nuanced. The revelations of both Elijah and Shelby’s back stories is done without flashback, but via reflection.

The Squee moment for me was getting to see Zeke & Eve pop up throughout the storyline.

CW/TW discussions of rape, sex work, deployed military situations.

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“Year One” – Nora Roberts

AMAZON LINK: https://amzn.to/2NcYJ69

As someone who has read only 1 Nora Roberts before. All I knew was people think she’s an excellent writer. Now I concur.

This book is NOT A ROMANCE, but this book is Deee-Licious.

Post apocalyptic/Distopian plus some supernatural/paranormal. Walking dead sans Zombie, plus Magick. It reminded me a little of the TV revolution (where the world loses electricity, but people work together to survive).

I. LOVED it. It made me laugh, cry, worry, etc. There’s tension, angst, joy, love, sorrow. It’s delicious. I couldn’t go to bed until I finished it. I’m trying to figure out when I can slot book 2 into my reading schedule.

BUT – It is NOT a Romance, nope, definitely not.

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“Nightchaser” – Amanda Bouchet

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2Lnkvn2 Releases Jan 1 2019
At time of posting Kindle Price: $5.68, Paperback: $5.98

Nightchaser was everything I hoped for and more. The analogy of Star wars meets Robin Hood is a good one. Sci-Fi/Fantasy awesomesauce.

Space set vigilantes working against the “Big Bad”.
Our intrepid crew has their own tragic pasts, but have generated their “found family”.
Our Heroine has big secrets as well as a big heart, both of which she reveals sparingly.
Our Hero isn’t quite who he wants us to believe he is, on multiple levels.

The full rollercoaster of human emotions is here, even if they’re set in an alien world.

The world building we saw in The Kingmaker Chronicles is shining bright again in this new series and even though this book is just released, and was one of my most anticiptated 2019 releases, I am EAGER to get my inky fingers on book 2.

This is definitely the 1st book in a series, there is a HFN, but if you stopped here we will not be getting the whole story.

ARC received from NetGalley in return for an unbiased review.

“Atheists Who Kneel & Pray” – Tarryn Fisher

Buy from Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2F5nPj6

 

The most romantic of Tarryn Fisher’s books, still with plenty of angst. Told in dual POV with chapters in both past and present, really well handled so I never felt lost. I recently visited #Seattle where this is set and felt like I was revisiting. I love Tarryn’s writing. She handles words as if they are precious, as if she knows how powerful they are, as if they are magic. I’ve also found she is never predictable, and incredibly insightful into the human condition. None of her characters are perfect or predictable, they are real, raw and flawed, I suspect that’s why they feel so relatable.

“Beyond Danger” – Kat Martin

Buy from Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2oFuutA
I’ve enjoyed Kat Martin so I was eager to start this book, even thought it’s the second in a series and I’ve not read the first (RuleBreaker). Political Intrigue, Female Private Investigator, Swarthy Texas Billionaire plus a murder or two to solve? I’m 100% here for all of that. The development of the relationship was well paced given the intensity of the situations Beau and Cassidy found themselves in. Plenty of twists, plenty of heat. Loved the secondary story line about Beau taking on responsibility for his half sibling & the knock on effects of that.

“Judgment Road” – Christine Feehan

Buy on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2COFl9B
I think this must be a spin off. There were several instances where references were made to other characters/situations/place with a casualness that assumed we knew who they were. I found myself confused as to whether this was supposed to be a paranormal/supernatural book, because the “special skills” the Torpedo Ink members exhibited were kinda supernatural, but if they are then it’s not explained well. If they’re not supernatural, there felt like a disconnect as to how their special skills were discovered. The Hero was the wrong kind of Alpha for me and the heroine flip flopped between bad ass and meek. I was super excited to get this ARC from Net Galley; Christine Feehan is a name I’ve seen around and this seemed right up my alley. Turned out to be a swing and a miss.

“The Alibi” by Sandra Brown

Buy from Amazon Here: http://amzn.to/2CQ0zUl

Set in Charleston SC, a place I have some familiarity with, I loved this story. I have no qualms in admitting I rarely figure out *who did it* so I love a book that makes me accuse everyone at some point in the story. I loved the conflict, internal and external, of our two Main Characters as they were challenged by their circumstances & the situation they found themselves in. Secondary characters were great and #Charleston was a fantastic backdrop to display this all against.

“Without Merit” – Colleen Hoover

Buy from Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2owSH68
Without Merit is a book about family dynamics from a teenager’s perspective. Young adult is not my favourite genre, but Colleen Hoover always writes well, displaying a knack of describing real people and the situations they find themselves in either by default or design. The fleshing out of the family members (blood & found) was delightful. I find there are never caricatures or perfect people in Ms Hoover’s books. Everyone is the right amount of messed up. The best part of this story was mental health plot line. The realization that all was not as it should be was perfectly paced for both the person it affected and those around them. I hope that anyone who needs the message that depression comes in many forms finds it.

“Trust” – Kylie Scott

Buy from Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2CQ0UGB

This is only the second book of Ms Scott’s that I’ve read. Young Adult is not my preference of genre, but a book challenge is encouraging me to step outside my comfort zone. The circumstances under which we meet our hero and heroine are pretty traumatic; an armed holdup at a gas station. The repercussions of this cause both our hero and heroine to reevaluate who they are and what they want. Not in some grandiose “what am I doing with my life” but “is this who I am?” that late teens encounter. It was interesting to see the knock on effects on friends and family as they try to find a new kind of normal.