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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain

The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain
My Rating:  5 of 5 Stars

Title:  The Good Father
Author:  Diane Chamberlain
Length:  400 pages
Publisher:  Harlequin MIRA
Published:  April 24, 2012
Genres:  Fiction; Suspense Fiction; Relationship Novel
My Rating:  ✮✮✮

A beloved daughter. A devastating choice. And now there's no going back.

Four years ago, nineteen-year-old Travis Brown made a choice: to raise his newborn daughter on his own. While most of his friends were out partying and meeting girls, Travis was at home, changing diapers and worrying about keeping food on the table. But he's never regretted his decision. Bella is the light of his life. The reason behind every move he makes. And so far, she is fed. Cared for. Safe.

But when Travis loses his construction job and his home, the security he's worked so hard to create for Bella begins to crumble….

Then a miracle. A job in Raleigh has the power to turn their fortunes around. It has to. But when Travis arrives in Raleigh, there is no job, only an offer to participate in a onetime criminal act that promises quick money and no repercussions.

With nowhere else to turn, Travis must make another choice for his daughter's sake.

Even if it means he might lose her.

My Review:
Prior to reading The Good Father, the only other Diane Chamberlain book that I had read was The Midwife's Confession.  It was such a good read, that I automatically went to my TBR pile to find another book and decided on The Good Father.  I was not disappointed by this book either!

Diane Chamberlain does such a good job writing about matters of the heart and she really knows how to pull at every little heart string that you have!  This is one of those author's that it doesn't seem to matter what book of hers it is that you're reading, but you can't help but compulsively read until you've finished the entire book in as few sittings as possible.   

I find Chamberlain's characters to be so inviting and welcoming, that I can't help but devour every single part of their lives, with The Good Father being no exception!  I just had to continue to read about precious Bella and what happened with her life!  I couldn't help but feel like I was involved in their lives, and I actually found myself worrying about how Travis was going to clear everything up and if Bella was going to be alright!  Ultimately, even though Travis made some bone-head choices that weren't the best for his daughter, at the time, he was only doing what he thought was right for that, and you have to admire that about a young, single father!

The plot of The Good Father was more original that any other book that I have read!  I enjoyed all the different aspects of the plot, from the relationship of a father and daughter, to strangers who happen to have a chance meeting, and how those chance meetings can affect our lives, both for the good and bad.  I appreciate that Chamberlain's writing really makes the reader sit down and think about consequences, and how we have them for every decision that we make, good and bad!  I loved the depth of thought that I got into while I was reading The Good Father and the different emotions that I felt throughout the entire book, which was definitely a roller coaster feeling!

Overall, I find that I want to read more of Diane Chamberlain and continue to be amazed at the emotional experiences that her books lead me on!  I would like to compare her writing to the likes of Jodi Picoult, even though she has her own stamp on writing, which I appreciate!  This definitely won't be the last book that I read from her!

Would I Recommend This Book:
I would shout it from the mountain tops that everyone should read this book!

Stand Alone or Part of a Series:
Stand Alone

Check out my other reviews on Goodreads, HERE!
Monday, January 27, 2014

The 7th Victim (Karen Vail #1) by Alan Jacobson {Audio}

The 7th Victim (Karen Vail #1) by Alan Jacobson
My Rating:  5 of 5 Stars

Title:  The 7th Victim
Author:  Alan Jacobson
Narrator:  Lila Wellesley
Length:  Unabridged; 13 hours
Publisher:  Phoenix Books, Inc.
Published:  May 13, 2010
Genres:  Fiction; Suspense
My Rating:  ✮✮✮

The Dead Eyes killer lurks in the backyard of the FBI's famed Behavioral Analysis Unit. His brutal murders, unlike any others previously encountered, confound the local task force, despite the gifted skills of Special Agent Karen Vail, the first female ever promoted to the profiling unit. But along with her keen insight, Vail brings considerable personal and professional baggage--both of which threaten to derail the investigation, destroy her storied career and get her killed.
Drawing from his meticulous research during seven years of study with the FBI's legendary profiling unit, Alan Jacobson brings dramatic realism and unprecedented accuracy to his pages as he takes readers behind the scenes of the FBI Academy. The 7th Victim is a terrifying and memorable work of psychological suspense, with rich, believable characters and a chilling intricate plot that will keep you guessing until the end.

©2009 Alan Jacobson (P)2009 Phoenix

My Review:
I was actually looking for Mary Burton's "The Seventh Victim" and came across this book and said what the heck, I am going to give it a try, and I am certainly glad that I did!  This was such an exciting and suspenseful thriller full of information, twists and turns, that kept me on the edge of my seat, and reading late into the night just to finish it!

The narrator, Lila Wellesley, did a great job of reading The 7th Victim, and seemed to be a good fit for Karen Vail.  

As with any strong female character, I instantly fell in love with Special Agent Karen Vail, a Profiler with the Behavior Analysis Unit of the FBI!  She is the very first female Profiler introduced to the group, and many of the other characters do not feel that she belongs there, so she really had to work hard to earn her place on the team, and she did!  There was a diverse group of characters that kept you interested throughout the story!

I felt that Alan Jacobson really knew his stuff when he wrote The 7th Victim.  He was very informative in his writing, which seems to help at least me, get a bigger and better picture of what he is actually writing about!  It makes it easier for me to escape within the story and feel like I know what is going on!  The story was very dramatic and full of psychological suspense, chilling,  and leaves you guessing clear to the very end!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and will continue with the Karen Vail series, and will check out Crush to see if I want to go any further.  If it is anything like this book, this will be one of my new favorite series without a shadow of a doubt!

Would I Recommend This Book?
This was a super suspenseful psychological thriller, so if you enjoy a guessing game, I'd say run out and get this book, and fast!

Stand Alone or Part of a Series?
Part of a Series

  • Karen Vail #1
Check out my other reviews on Goodreads, HERE!

Blood Orchid (Holly Barker #3) by Stuart Woods {Audio}

Blood Orchid (Holly Barker #3) by Stuart Woods
My Rating:  5 of 5 stars

Title:  Blood Orchid
Author:  Stuart Woods
Narrators:  Dick Hill and Susie Breck
Length:  Unabridged; 7 hours, 9 minutes
Publisher:  Brilliance Audio
Published:  October 14, 2002
Genres:  Fiction; Mystery; Police Fiction
My Rating:  ✮✮✮

Blood Orchid is the third adventure of one of Stuart Woods' most engaging characters, Chief of Police Holly Barker. This time out, Holly is trying to get her life back together after the shattering loss of her fiance. With the help of her wily Doberman, Daisy, and her father, Ham, she throws herself back into the job with a vengeance. At a local restaurant, Holly and Ham meet a gentleman new to the area, rich and dapper developer Ed Shrine, who has found an evocative name for both his favorite flower and his latest real estate venture: the "Blood Orchid". But before Holly can settle into her routine again, bullets crash into the home of a friend and a floater is found bobbing in the Intercoastal Waterway. Holly connects these events to the death-by-sniper-fire of two Miami businessmen and a man evading questions at a Federal agency - but she can't imagine how these violent occurrences could be related to her own quiet, unspoiled town of Orchid Beach. Joining forces with a handsome FBI agent, she tracks the clues straight to their source, only to find a scam more lucrative and more dangerous than any this idyllic town - or Holly - has ever seen.

My Review:
I must say that I normally take to female authors, but I can certainly tell the difference between a male's writing and a female's writing, especially with this series!  The subject of each book has been a more "manly" subject, per say, than many female authored mystery books!   Which is actually a great thing for me, because it throws something new into the mix!

I have quickly come to love the Holly Barker series, and am upset that I am halfway through it now!  Typically I will wait a good while between reading books in a series, however, I have managed to read the first three books in the Holly Barker in a month's time, and I don't intend to stop until I'm finished with the last book!

The narrators, Dick Hill and Susie Breck, really do an awesome job partnering up to read the books in this series!  I appreciate having the same narrator throughout the series thus far, and especially appreciate one narrator of each gender to help distinguish between the characters!  I have really come to know and love their voices and think that they do a wonderful job of reading the story!  I also appreciate the music at the opening and closing of each disc!  Nice extra added!
I have really grown to like the writing of Stuart Woods, and the more I read of this series, the more I like the characters and want to know what happens with Holly Barker, the main character of this series!  I appreciate that as a man, Woods was able to create one of the best female fictional characters out there!  She is everything that I would want to be...strong, beautiful, independent Chief of Police who isn't afraid of what's out there or to tell anybody what she thinks or how she is going to run her town!  I appreciate her bluntness and humor!  I also really enjoy Ham, which I was disappointed to hear from a lot less in Blood Orchid!  Instead, we meet his secret girlfriend, Jenny, which seems to be a great fit with Ham!  I love the relationship between Holly and Ham!

The plot, of a real estate scheme brings us back to Palmetta Gardens and the purchase of it by a retired New Yorker!  It is definitely not a plot that you're going to read anywhere else, so I enjoyed the creativeness of the book!

Overall, I loved Blood Orchid just as much as I have the past two books in the series, and I am going right out to get the next book in the series, Reckless Abandon.  I see that it is a series combo, with Stone Barrington, so I am hoping that the fact that it is book #10 of the Stone Barrington series isn't going to damper my reading since I've not yet read any books from that series (although we briefly met him in Orchid Blues!)  Until next time...

Would I Recommend This Book?
Sure!  I found that it followed along nicely with the rest of the series, with a totally different plot and some new characters!

Stand Alone or Part of a Series?
Part of a series

  • Holly Barker #3 (Really should be read in order, as each book builds upon the main characters!)
Check out my other reviews on Goodreads, HERE!
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Body Count (Sophie Anderson #1) by P.D. Martin

Body Count (Sophie Anderson #1) by P.D. Martin
My Rating:  5 of 5 Stars

Title:  Body Count
Author:  P.D. Martin
Length:  400 pages
Publisher:  Harlequin MIRA
Published:  September 15, 2011
Genres:  Fiction; Thriller; FBI Profiler

My Rating:  ✮✮✮✮✮

FBI agent Sophie Anderson has been trained to uncover the minds of serial killers, to understand their vile impulses and cravings—to catch them before they kill again.
Newly relocated from Australia, Sophie is settling in to her job at Quantico with the help of her new friend, Agent Samantha Wright, and a potential new boyfriend, Agent Josh Marco, and is quickly becoming the FBI’s star profiler.
The only problem is the nightmares.
These intense images are more than dreams. They are psychic visions, like those she experienced during childhood when her brother was abducted.
When grisly details match recent crime scene photos, she confides in Sam, and her visions lead to several breakthroughs in the case. But when Sam is abducted, Sophie must finally trust her visions and use them. She may not have been able to save her brother, but perhaps she can save Sam—and herself.

My Review:
Let me start out by saying, this is my new favorite series and author!  I am going to go out on a limb here and say that P.D. Martin ranks right up there with mystery writer great, Lisa Gardner!  I am so beyond impressed with P.D. Martin and the Sophie Anderson series!

I love the fact that in her writing, Martin goes the extra step to explain things that might be left to the reader's imagination in other books.  She makes sure that the reader is aware of the procedures that are happening, to give them a better understanding of how the world of the FBI and a Criminal Profiler works, and I really appreciated that.  It didn't add that much more to the book, but added a world of difference in my understanding of what was going on.  I thought that the plot was well written with a different twist that you don't find in many other books.  The plot was a suspense builder, leaving me clueless as to who the killer was throughout.  Many friends of mine said they guessed the killer early on, but I was absolutely in left field and wasn't exactly sure who did it!  It certainly kept me on the edge of my seat and frantically turning the pages to get through the book as quickly as I could!  The strong sense of needing to know was present, but there were plenty of surprises throughout!  There is romance included in Body Count, but it certainly doesn't overpower the mystery or suspense by any means!

The characters of Body Count were interesting and diverse and enjoyable to read about!  I love that the lead character Sophie, is a strong, independent woman who knows how to take care of herself.  I thought that these particular characters were quite unique compared to your regular run of the mill characters!  I can't wait to follow Sophie and learn more about her as I go!

Overall, I loved Body Count and absolutely will continue with the Sophie Anderson series!  The only complaint that I even has is the lack of availability to everyone.  It is a book that is relatively hard to find and doesn't seem to be carried in most libraries, which is should!!  This is an amazing job for what appears to be P.D. Martin's debut novel, and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us in The Murderers' Club, because it certainly looks like it'll be an awesome book!

Would I Recomment This Book?
You betcha!  If you haven't read it yet...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!?   You're missing an awesome book/series!

Stand Alone or Part of a Series?
Part of a Series
  • Sophie Anderson #1
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Night Season (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell #4) by Chelsea Cain {Audio}

The Night Season (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell #4) by Chelsea Cain
My Rating:  3 of 5 Stars

Title:  The Night Season
Author:  Chelsea Cain
Narrator:  Christina Delaine
Length:  Unabridged; 8 hours, 45 minutes
Publisher:  MacMillan Audio
Published:  March 1, 2011
Genres:  Fiction; Mystery

My Rating:  ✮✮✮

With the Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Archie Sheridan—a Portland police detective and nearly one of her victims—can finally rest a little easier. Meanwhile, the rest of the city of Portland is in crisis. Heavy rains have flooded the Willamette River, and several people have drowned in the quickly rising waters. Or at least that’s what they thought until the medical examiner discovers that the latest victim didn’t drown: She was poisoned before she went into the water.
Soon after, three of those drownings are also proven to be murders. Portland has a new serial killer on its hands, and Archie and his task force have a new case.
Reporter Susan Ward is chasing this story of a new serial killer with gusto, but she’s also got another lead to follow for an entirely separate mystery: The flooding has unearthed a skeleton, a man who might have died more than 60 years ago, the last time Portland flooded this badly, when the water washed away an entire neighborhood and killed at least fifteen people. With Archie following the bizarre trail of evidence and evil deeds to catch a killer and possibly regain his life, and Susan Ward close behind, Chelsea Cain—one of today’s most talented suspense writers—launches the next installment of her best-selling series with an electric thriller.

©2011 Verite Inc. (P)2011 Audio Renaissance
My Review:

The Night Season was not my favorite book in the Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell series, however, it wasn't a horrible book by any stretch of the imagination!  
Chelsea Cain quickly became my go-to author when I needed a really good head screwing and am craving a psychological thriller!  She is phenomenal at writing totally off-the-wall plots that leaves you sitting back and wondering who the heck can come up with this stuff!!  I've always been amazed at her detail and ability to leave you on the edge of your seat and keep your head shaking throughout the entire book, and The Night Season is no different!
This is the first book of Cain's that the narrator, Christine Delaine has read, and I must admit that at first, she wasn't my favorite narrator.  I think the change in narrator compared to what I had been used to in the first books of the series, was the first dramatic difference in me liking this book less than I did the others. I don't think that this narrator did a bad job, I just think that the original narrator, Carolyn McCormick, was such a fantastic fit for this series, that I had a hard time adjusting mid-series!  I think it was just big shoes for Ms. Delaine to fill!
The plot of this book wasn't as exciting to me as the others and I did find myself having a hard time following it throughout the first part of the book.  Once I got through a little of the book, it did seem to pick up and I didn't have as hard of a time finishing it as I originally thought I was going to!  
Cain has created an awesome ensemble of characters in this series and I really enjoy following them throughout the different books and learning what happens to each character as they go.  Each book is a character building book, and we get to really get up close and personal with Susan in The Night Season, as well as getting to learn more about Archie and his relationship with Gretchen!  We also learn more about Archie's co-workers, Henry and Claire!  
Overall, this book does not deter me one bit from continuing on in this series, so I am very interested to see what else Chelsea Cain comes up with in Kill You Twice!  As with every series that a person reads, I am sure there is one book or another that you do not favor, and this was my book of this series!  I can't wait to see what else Cain has in store for her readers!!

Would I Recommend This Title to Others?
This is not my favorite of this series, however, it wasn't a horrible book!  If you enjoy this series, I would say absolutely, read it!

Stand Alone or Part of a Series:
Part of a Series

  • Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell #4

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fatal Secrets (FBI Trilogy #2) by Allison Brennan {Audio}

Fatal Secrets: A Novel of Suspense (FBI Trilogy #2) by Allison Brennan
My Rating:  3 of 5 Stars

Title:  Fatal Secrets
Author:  Allison Brennan
Narrator:  Ann Marie Lee
Length:  Unabridged; 12 hours, 29 minutes
Publisher:  Random House Audio
Published:  May 19, 2009
Genres:  Fiction; Suspense; Thriller;
My Rating:  ✮✮✮

When a top lieutenant in a notorious ring of human traffickers agrees to turn state's evidence, Immigration and Customs Enforcement senior agent Sonia Knight believes she'll finally take down the illegal operation's devilish mastermind, Xavier Jones. But when an FBI sting on Jones' criminal enterprise collides with an ICE stakeout, Sonia is enraged: Her informant's life and her evidence are in grave jeopardy.
FBI agent Dean Hooper has been chasing Jones for years on money-laundering and tax-evasion charges and doesn't need or want a hot-headed ICE agent second-guessing his every move. When the Bureau is ordered to join forces with ICE, Sonia is just as livid: Her job is to save lives, not money. But their team effort pays off as fierce mutual resentment fades and passion flares along with risk.
For Jones is just one piece of a depraved puzzle, answering to an even more dangerous predator. Denied his expected prey, this pitiless fiend intends to make Sonia and Dean pay with their own blood.
©2009 Allison Brennan; (P)2009 Random House Audio
My Review:
I really enjoyed the first book of the FBI Trilogy, Sudden Death, so I automatically thought that I would have a 5-star read with Fatal Secrets, however, that was not quite the case.  I can't say that I hated the book and had a really hard time getting through it, however,  I can't say that I loved the book, or even that I really liked the book, thus the 3 star rating!  Could I give it half ratings, I would give Fatal Secrets a 3.5 of 5.
I think that Allison Brennan is a brilliant writer and does such wonderful work in many of her books.  I don't even think that the writing was as lacking in this book as the story.  I just could not get connected with the story.  I think that Brennan's writing is good throughout the book, but it was just the plot that didn't thrill me.  I guess maybe international human trafficking wasn't something that peaked my interest.
The narrator, Ann Marie Lee,  did a good job reading the story and kept me about as invested as I was going to get, but there was only so much she could do for a story that just didn't hold my interest.  
The characters were good characters, and I genuinely wanted to know what happened with them, but I just could not find myself forming bonds and vested relationships with them throughout the story. I felt disconnected.
Overall, I won't let this book stop me from reading more from Allison Brennan, as I didn't feel it was her writing in particular that I didn't care for, but just the subject of the story at hand that didn't peak my interest.  
Would I Recommend This Book:
That's a tough one, because it wasn't thoroughly entertaining to me, but that doesn't mean that other people might not love it!  I would say if human trafficking is something that you feel might peak your interest, then give it a try, if not, then maybe you shouldn't!
Stand Alone or Part of a Series:
Part of a Series (However...I believe that this could be read as a Stand Alone!)
  • FBI Trilogy (Book #2)

Creep (Creep #1) by Jennifer Hillier

Creep by Jennifer Hillier
My Rating:  5 of 5 Stars

Title:  Creep
Author:  Jennifer Hillier
Length:  368 pages
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Published:  July 5, 2011
Genres:  Fiction; Suspense Fiction; Psychological Fiction

My Rating:  ✮✮✮✮✮


Pulsing with the dark obsession of Radiohead’s song “Creep,” this taut thriller—Jennifer Hillier’s superb debut—rockets from its seductive opening to a heartpounding climax not easily forgotten.

If he can’t have her . . .

Dr. Sheila Tao is a professor of psychology. An expert in human behavior. And when she began an affair with sexy, charming graduate student Ethan Wolfe, she knew she was playing with fire. Consumed by lust when they were together, riddled with guilt when they weren’t, she knows the three-month fling with her teaching assistant has to end. After all, she’s finally engaged to a kind and loving investment banker who adores her, and she’s taking control of her life. But when she attempts to end the affair, Ethan Wolfe won’t let her walk away.

. . . no one else can.

Ethan has plans for Sheila, plans that involve posting a sex video that would surely get her fired and destroy her prestigious career. Plans to make her pay for rejecting him. And as she attempts to counter his every threatening move without her colleagues or her fiancĂ© discovering her most intimate secrets, a shattering crime rocks Puget Sound State University: a female student, a star athlete, is found stabbed to death. Someone is raising the stakes of violence, sex, and blackmail . . . and before she knows it, Sheila is caught in a terrifying cat-and-mouse game with the lover she couldn’t resist—who is now the monster who won’t let her go.

My Review:

Wow!  What a debut novel from Jennifer Hillier!  If this book is any indication of her work to come, this lady will have an amazing career as an author of suspense and psychological novels!  I was amazed at her writing abilities, especially as a newbie.  She writes like a pro, as if this is her twentieth novel, not her first!  I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us!

The title of the book is absolutely the most fitting of any title I've ever read!  Everything about this book was creepy, from the characters, down to the plot!  

The characters in this book were such a diverse group, but enjoyable to read about throughout the book.  I can't think of any other book with characters like these, and I enjoyed that!  I am one to always root for the good guys and the happy ending, so I must say that I was rooting for Sheila and Morris from the get-go!  Ethan creeped me out from the first moment I met him, and I enjoyed Jerry later on in the book!

The plot was so thick and full of details, with many different unpredictable twists and turns!  I had determined early on that I knew who the killer was and that Hillier was just trying to show the reader's what went through a killer's mind, but BOY WAS I WRONG!  It was one of those, I knew what it was until it slapped me in the face, and it left me standing there, with a big red hand-print on my cheek, stinging, going WHOA!!! I totally DID NOT see that happening!  What a thrilling read!!  The second half of this book was a total rumdinger, as it kept me on the edge of my seat, dying to know what happens next!  I went to reading two to three chapters a day, to reading the whole second half of the book in a matter of 24 hours!  I COULD NOT PUT THE BOOK DOWN!

When I first began reading Creep, I wasn't aware that Hillier had written another book, so I was a little taken aback by the ending, thinking what they heck?  Either she left it wide open for another book, or that the readers are just going to be out in left field forever.  When pulling up the title to do this review, I found that Hillier wrote a book that takes place after Creep, which is Freak and I can certainly assure you that I will be running out to get my hands on a copy of it as soon as I possibly can!  I HAVE to continue with this author and find out what other great reads she has in store for me!

Overall, I LOVED this book!   I was thrilled with the writing, the story, the characters, the suspense...everything about it!  I am STUNNED that this is a debut novel, because it is expertly written, like that of a professional.  I would compare this work to that of suspense greats, Lisa Gardner and Chelsea Cain!  This girl has got the talent, and I can't wait get my fill of more!!

Would I Recommend This Book:
Seriously, need you ask after that review??  I WOULD NOT HESITATE to recommend this book to anyone and everyone that will listen to me!

Stand Alone or Part of a Series:
Part of a series

  • Creep #1
Sunday, January 19, 2014

Orchid Blues (Holly Barker #2) by Stuart Woods {Audio}

Orchid Blues (Holly Barker #2) by Stuart Woods

My Rating:  5 of 5 Stars

Title:  Orchid Blues
Author:  Stuart Woods
Narrator:  Dick Hill and Susie Breck
Length:  Unabridged; 6 hours, 27 minutes
Publisher:  Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Published:  October 29, 2001
Genres:  Fiction; Mystery; Women Detectives

My Rating:  ✮✮✮✮✮


Holly is on her way to be married to Jackson Oxenhandler, her steady beau, when her wedding day is shattered by a serious crime that takes place very close to home. A highly disciplined team of men hit a bank in Orchid Beach, Florida, and the waves from this robbery nearly capsize Holly's life. She vows to find these men - who have been careful enough to leave nothing behind except the corpse of a bank customer - and quickly, she discovers evidence that leads her into the midst of what appears to be a politically motivated clan. Her father, Ham, a retired Army chief master sergeant, is her ticket into this strange world, and what Ham finds there stuns both Holly and her FBI contact, Harry Crisp. 

Holly and Ham find themselves sucked into a whirlpool of crazed criminality and, in the end, the FBI can do little to help them. This time, Holly, Ham, and Daisy are on their own, and they wouldn't have it any other way.
My Review:

I have found that I rather enjoy the Holly Barker series, and found that I absolutely enjoyed listening to Orchid Blues, Book #2, by Stuart Woods!

I absolutely love Holly as a character!  She is the perfect woman character for me.  She is strong, charismatic, independent, and doesn't give a darn what anyone else says or thinks, she does what she feels is right!  She reminds me of Lisa Gardner's D.D. Warren. Holly Barker is quickly becoming one of my favorite leading ladies.  And Ham, her father, is just as awesome!  He is witty and brave and is obviously where Holly gets all of her great traits from!  I'm so glad that he continued on in this series in book two!

The story was intense and suspenseful!  It wasn't your typical detective mystery, which is what I liked most about it!  It involved the Orchid Beach Sheriff's Department, the FBI, and mainly the Secret Service, just to give you an idea of the hugeness of the crime at hand, with Ham right at it's center!

I really enjoyed the fact that there were two narrators for the reading of Orchid Blues.  Dick Hill and Susie Breck are such wonderful selections for Holly and Ham.  Granted, they do read the other characters, but they do the main characters such justice!  I also thoroughly enjoyed the music provided at the beginning and end of each disc.  

Overall, I can't wait to continue with this series, and loved listening to Orchid Blues. 
Would I Recommend this Book?
Yes!  Holly Barker has quickly become one of my favorite series, especially to listen to.
Standalone or Part of a Series?This book is Part of a Series
  • Holly Barker #2

Visit all of my reviews on Goodreads, here!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Broken Silence (Romantic Suspense #14.5) (Baltimore #3.5) by Karen Rose {Audio}

Broken Silence by Karen Rose
My Rating:  5 of 5 Stars

Title:  Broken Silence
Author:  Karen Rose
Narrator:  Marguerite Gavin
Length:  Unabridged; 1 hour, 44 minutes
Publisher:  Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Published:  October 15, 2013
Genres:  Fiction; Mystery; Romantic Suspense

My Rating:  ✮✮✮✮✮

From the internationally best-selling author of Watch Your Back comes a suspenseful new novella featuring Assistant State Attorney, Daphne Montgomery, and Baltimore Special Agent, Joseph Carter.
After a traumatic kidnapping, Daphne's boss insists that she take time off. But she refuses to sit on the sidelines when she meets a six-year-old girl who the police call Angel. Angel hasn't spoken a word since they found her four days ago next to a burned out car, frozen with shock, and not far from the bodies of two adults who may or may not have been her parents.
Joseph knows that helping Angel is exactly what Daphne needs right now. But when Daphne gets Angel to talk, a mysterious and chilling crime begins to unravel - one that drives Daphne into the darkest corners of her past as she and Joseph track a ruthless killer.
©2013 Karen Rose (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
My Review:
It was great to get a tidbit more information in the lives of Daphne Montgomery and Joseph Carter, and find out how life is treating them after the horrible things they had been through in Did You Miss Me?
I found this novella to be a refreshing change from the usually lengthy, but very entertaining Karen Rose novels!  I enjoyed the short story and the snapshot into the character's life after the main story!
The characters were the best, as always and the Narrator remains at the top of her game!  Marguerite Gavin is such a splendid and pleasant Narrator to listen to, and I just HAVE to find more books that she reads after this!
Overall, if you enjoy Karen Rose books, Broken Silence will be no different, other than you can get through it just a little more quickly that her other books!
Would I Recommend this Book?
Absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt!
Standalone or Part of a Series?This book is Part of a Series
  • Romantic Suspense #14.5
  • Baltimore #3.5
I was provided this audio book by the Publisher, Blackstone Audio, Inc.,  courtesy of Audiobook Jukebox, in return for an honest, unbiased review.

Did You Miss Me? (Romantic Suspense #14) (Baltimore #3) by Karen Rose {Audio}

Did You Miss Me? by Karen Rose
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: Did You Miss Me?
Author: Karen Rose
Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Length: Unabridged; 20 hours 46 minutes
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: February 5, 2013
Genres: Fiction; Mystery; Romantic Suspense

Visit my review/blog HERE!

My Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

New York Times best-selling author Karen Rose is back with her 14th pulse-pounding thriller.
Best be nimble, best be quick, I’m right here and you’re my pick.…
Baltimore prosecutor Daphne Montgomery pulled herself out of a damaged past to build a solid life for herself and her son. But after she helps convict a killer, her confidence is shattered once again by the news that her son has been kidnapped.
Daphne believes it’s connected to the recent high-profile trial, and at first FBI special agent Joseph Carter agrees. But together they find the reality even more troubling, and it runs deeper than Daphne fears. With her son’s life in jeopardy, she must unlock a dreadful secret about her past and confront a truth that will change everything for those closest to her—and, if she survives, threaten the lives of everyone she loves.
©2012 Karen Hafer (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

My Review:
It seems that I cannot get enough of Karen Rose, as I have read more of her books in the last few months, than I have read of any author total, except maybe Lisa Gardner and Sherryl Woods (but that's where my roots come from!)  I believe Karen Rose has expertly perfected her craft of writing romantic suspense, and there's no author like her!  Sometimes I find that the further into a series that I go, the more boring and less interesting the books get, however, that is SOOOO not the case with these two series sets that blend together, The Romantic Suspense Series and The Baltimore series!  It actually seems to be the exact opposite, the deeper I get, the more I have to have, the more I want to read, the better the stories become!

As I've mentioned on the reviews of the other books in this set of series, the Narrator, Marguerite Gavin is a phenomenal narrator.  She is at the top of her game when it comes to reading Did You Miss Me? and I couldn't imagine listening to another narrator for these books!  I can't say enough good things about her reading and technique!

Unlike many of the early Romantic Suspense books, the Baltimore series has been following the same set of characters, that I have absolutely fallen in love with!  We've met Paige and Grayson, Lucy and J.D., Stevie and Clay, and now we learn more about Daphne, Ford, and Joseph!  They are all so unique and just perfect characters, especially for the story!

Rose has perfectly woven many plots and twists into this story that will absolutely keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire book (all 544 pages, if you're reading, and all 20 hours if you're listening!)  I think that this is the only author that can successfully write such long novels, that doesn't intimidate me away from reading them, nor do they keep me wondering how much longer!  I just keep listening with peaked interest throughout the finale!

I absolutely loved this book and I think that I find that each book is my new favorite, upon completing another Karen Rose novel!  I would not hesitate to recommend this book to anyone that will listen to me and hope that you all find as much enjoyment as I have out of Karen Rose's books, especially Did You Miss Me?

Would I recomment this book?
Absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt!  READ THIS BOOK...This whole series!!

Stand Alone or Part of a Series?
Part of a series

  • Romantic Suspense #14
  • Baltimore #3

View all my reviews

Book Giveaway and Jubilee's Journey Book Tour Interview with Author, Bette Lee Crosby

Bette Lee Crosby – Interview for JJ Tour

1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?

My mother, born and raised in the mountains of West Virginia, was not a writer, but, she was a wonderful storyteller. Not realizing that at heart I was my mother’s daughter, I studied art intent upon becoming a graphic designer. My first job was that of a packaging designer, but it was a short-lived career. Faced with an immediate deadline and a blank space where the copy should have been, I began to write. I never looked back, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that my love for words far outweighed any design skills I acquired along the way. 

2. Jubilee’s Journey is Book Two in the Wyattsville Series, but wasn’t Book One, Spare Change, written as a stand-alone novel?

Yes it was. Actually all of my books are stand-alone novels, but after Spare Change was published, I discovered that both I and my readers were not ready to leave Wyattsville and the people living there. That’s when I turned it into an ongoing series. Like many writers, I tend to favor the books that reflect the most poignant aspects of their life. For me, it’s my Southern heritage. 

3. Will there be more books in The Wyattsville Series?

Although I do not have one currently planned, I’m sure there will be. Once you get involved with characters you are fond of, it’s hard to let them leave your life forever. I find that I think of characters like Olivia Doyle, Ethan Allen, Paul and Jubilee as friends. I might not get back together with them for six or eight months, but I always know they are there…waiting for me and ready to start off on a new adventure.

4. You’ve written six novels, in those books, which character is your favorite and why?

I suppose I’d have to say Ethan Allen of Spare Change and the reason why is because he is the type of kid I imagine my mom being when she was his age. She came from a family of eleven siblings and they were what many of us would consider poor; so she had to be resilient and determined to survive. And although she wasn’t one to toss around obscenities indiscriminately, she could cuss up a storm when she was really mad. When Mama started cussing we knew to step aside and mind our manners.

5. Is Ethan Allen is modeled after your mom, is there a character that you’d modeled after yourself?

There is probably a bit of me in every character, but the one most like me would probably be Olivia Doyle in both Spare Change and Jubilee’s Journey. Like Olivia, I have quirky ideas about life, I am an eternal optimist and regardless of the odds, I will always go down swinging. When life takes a turn for the worse, that’s when you need to be strong, draw on your Faith and cling to the love of those around you…which is pretty much what Olivia does.

5. What is your next book project?

I am currently working on a novel titled “Previously Loved Treasures.” Although it is not a sequel, it does dovetail into the mystery that ended “The Twelfth Child.” One of the protagonists in this book is a delightful man of magical talents called Peter Pennington and much of the story centers around a very special second-hand store. I believe this book is scheduled for release in April or May of 2014.

6. What is your favorite quote?

It probably depends upon when and where you ask me. I would love to be deep and profound like so many brilliant writers, but I’ve learned over the years that I am still my mother’s daughter – sometimes irreverent, always a story-lover, but seldom brilliant. So here is the quote that most closely reflects my own thinking…"The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues." Elizabeth Taylor

7. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Be yourself. Discover what’s in your heart and create characters you love or love to hate. Never allow yourself to follow in the tracks of another author simply because he or she sold a million copies of their book. If you stumble on that pathway, your readers will know; your characters will sound shallow and superficial. But if you’re true to yourself and work to develop your own voice it will ring loud and true with believability. It isn’t something that happens overnight. I wrote four novels before the fifth was published, but the truth is that the first four didn’t deserve to be published, they were all part of my learning curve. So, stay with it and learn from the writers who inspire you, from the books you love, and from the books you hate. You learn something from every book you read, and sometimes that something is what not to do. Most of all enjoy every minute you spend writing—because if you’re not writing for fun, you shouldn’t be writing.

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All blogs and reviews posted here are the sole property of the blogger and represent my very own opinions. In some cases, books reviewed are supplied to me in exchange for an honest review. Such cases will be noted on the blog post.

All other books reviewed have been purchased or borrowed through the normal channels.

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Andrea has read 65 books toward her goal of 100 books.

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