"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." Sir Richard Steele

Monday, May 28, 2012

Review of Consequences by RC Bridgestock

RC Bridgestock
Caffeine Nights Publishing 2012
ISBN 9781907565168

   As always, D.I. Jack Dylan's to do list just keeps getting longer.  He is on his way home to start a long weekend with his long time girlfriend Jen. "The best laid plans." He receives a call to stop a jumper on the bridge. It is none other than the poor goof off "Chubby" Connor. He has done it all.
   Two unconnected horrific murders and a missing detective top Dylan's list. Will he be able to solve these cases and salvage his slowly deteriorating relationship with Jen? A young boy is found brutally beaten and a young wife and mother is found burned alive in a public park. The worst part of all, his missing detective seems to be somehow connected in the whole sorry mess. 
   This is the second book in the D.I. Dylan series. I have to tell you, the first book was excellent; but this book beats the first, hands down. The authors just keep getting better and better. I can hardly wait for the third book to come out. The story line flows flawlessly despite there being several different cases being investigated. Once I started this book, I could not put it down. I had to see what was going to happen next. Dylan is my hero. He is not your flowery, mushy kind of guy; but he has a special something that draws me to him. I was a bit annoyed with Jen in this story. Even though she works in the field and has been with Dylan for a bit, she acts kinda like a spoiled child in this episode. She should be well aware of the intense hours that he has to put in; but yet she is slighted at every turn because he is not there as much as she wants him to be. As time goes by, my heart softens towards her when all becomes clearer. The murders are quite descriptive; but this only adds to the appeal and fantastic writing of the story. It never ceases to amaze me of the lengths that humans go to brutalize another human being. If you like a good murder mystery, you will love this one. It will keep you on the edge of your seat and asking for more. I cannot recommend this one highly enough.
   I wish to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in any way except to receive the book to review.

I give Consequences 5 out of 5 stars 

Review of The Messenger

The Messenger
Siri Mitchell
Bethany House 2012
ISBN 9780764207969

   Hannah Sunderland is a Quaker and is content being so, that is, until her brother is imprisoned. She wants to bring some measure of comfort to him and make sure he is well and fed. Her faith forbids her to visit the jail because they do not condone taking sides or taking up arms. How would she even get a pass because no passes are issued to visit the prisoners?
   Jeremiah Jones is a Colonial spy. He needs to gain access to the prison to help rescue men that are important to the cause. When he meets Hannah, a plan starts to develop in his mind. No one would suspect a Quaker visiting a family member, would they?
   Such a pair of unlikely allies. Hannah refuses to lie for Jeremiah. How can one be a spy and not lie? Jeremiah is not prepared for this woman who is so true to her convictions of right and wrong. Hannah is not prepared for the feelings that Jeremiah stirs in her, nor is she prepared for his ability to make her confront her faith and beliefs. 
   This is a story of the Revolutionary War and the inhumanities that humans can bestow upon one another. It is much more than that. There is an underlying love story of two unlikely individuals who are united for two entirely different reasons. Hannah is a rather strong willed Quaker who has a habit of speaking before she thinks. This frequently causes problems for her. Jeremiah is a dissatisfied and bitter former soldier who lost his arm in battle and now feels he is no longer a man. This makes him all the more determined to be a successful spy. The story is good; but there is little action. Most of the story centers around the prisoners and how Hannah and Jeremiah try to access the jail. I found it lacking in the overall aspect of the story. Since I have never read this author before, I have nothing to compare it to. It was a fairly enjoyable story even though I did not love the story. If you are a fan of the author or are just looking for a nice read, I would recommend it. If you are looking for action and an indepth storyline, you won't find it here.
   I wish to thank Bethany House for providing me with a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in any way except to receive the book to review.

I give The Messenger 3 out of 5 stars

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review of Million Dollar Diva

Million Dollar Diva
The Smart Woman's Guide to Getting Rich Safely
Pinkston, Kitchen, & Kap
Golden Wings Enterprises 2012
ISBN 9780979434051

    Women today face more challenges than ever before in managing careers and families.  There is a wealth of bad advice out there, as well as, some good. Author, Tristi Pinkston, has teamed up with authors Brett Kitchen and Ethan Kap to bring you this concise little book, Million Dollar Diva. You will travel with Tristi in her real life struggle to go from being in debt to looking at a million dollar retirement. This book offers some strategy to get you out of debt, make some wise, less risky investments to name just a couple. Please note: This book is not intended to give any tax or investment advice. It is also not meant to give any personal recommendations. It is meant to be a guide. A guide to give you some information to ask the proper questions and advice from a knowledgeable representative. Someone who can go over your own financial planning and give you advice in order to make your own decisions. More importantly, give you control of your own finances.
   The is a short fast read that gives you some food for thought in getting your finances under control and to help you pay down your debt in the shortest amount of time. It also offers some possible items to consider when making investments. This book should be used as a guide only. It also offers websites to visit and tools that can be downloaded to help in the journey to becoming debt free. There is actually a tremendous amount of information packed in this short little book that becomes overwhelming at times. Be cautious when reading. Even though I agree with some of the things that the books says, this is not a fit for everyone in all things. The authors have made this completely clear from the beginning. I have actually adopted a thing or two to my own situation. It is a well written book with some very practical advice. Well worth the read. 
   I wish to thank Tristi for providing me with a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in any way except for receiving the book to review.

I give Million Dollar Diva 4 out of 5 stars

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review of Bare-Naked Lola

Bare-Naked Lola
A Lola Cruz Mystery
Melissa Bourbon Ramirez
Entangles Select 2012
ISBN 9781620610046

   Lola Cruz has just become a full fledged detective at Camacho and Associates. She has been undercover before; but she gets drawn in to more then she bargained for when some Royal Courtside Dancers start getting anonymous letters that border on threatening. She is chosen to be a dancer herself and is forced to go out of her comfort zone by wearing some very revealing costumes. She attempts to keep her activities a secret from her on again and off again boyfriend, Jack, as well as, her ultra conservative family. 
   When one of the dancers is murdered, she has no choice but to visit a local nudist resort because all things point to the murdered woman having ties there. Now wearing skimpy costumes is one thing; but dressing in your birthday suit is another. 
   This is a cute story about a PI Lola who actually seems to be in the wrong profession. I went into this story thinking it was going to be funny like the Janet Evanovich, Stephanie Plum, books. There was a bit of humor in this; but nothing like I was expecting. The storyline is good; but I thought it had a tendency to drag a bit. Lola is a twenty-nine year old who is more concerned about living the way her family thinks she should live, then actually living her life. She sneaks in and out when she is on the undercover case because she doesn't want her family to know what she is doing. Of course, if she didn't live with her family, she wouldn't have to worry about it. She wants to make it as a PI; but she has real problems doing what is necessary when undercover. Other then the boyfriend, Jack, the entire cast of characters is a bit dysfunctional. Even Jack had been involved with a woman who will just not go away. This causes problems for his now relationship with Lola. Lola has a tendency to speak in phrases of Spanish. Since I don't speak Spanish, I had no idea what was being said and I am not going to try and look up the various phrases when I am reading a book. This detracted from my enjoyment of the story. 
   The story is  enjoyable, so, if you like a quirky mystery with some romance thrown in, this one is for you. There are several other Lola Cruz mysteries available; but this one can be read without having read the others. If you like to read books in order, check out the author's website for the listing of the other books in the Lola Cruz series.
   I wish to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in any way except for receiving the book to review.

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Review of Under Fire

Under Fire
Catherine Mann 
Sourcebooks 2012
ISBN 9781402245039

   Pararescueman, Liam McCabe, met Rachel Flores six months ago in the aftermath of a horrific earthquake in the Bahamas. (Hot Zone) They have an explosive first meet and have not seen each other since. Liam has made numerous attempts; but Rachel has ignored his repeated requests to see her. Liam has been unable to forget her and is quite surprised when she shows up unexpectedly at his door. He is not prepared for her claims of a high ranking traitor in the military. Will he be able to believe her?
   Rachel has left her dog rescue to train dogs to work with people with medical conditions like her friend Brandon. Brandon is a military cop, who is on leave because of a severe case of PTSD. Brandon is the one who told Rachel about the military traitor. Unsure of who to turn to when all attempts to the proper channels failed, she turns to the one person she trusts, Liam. Liam thinks she is being duped by Brandon until Rachel's entire block is burned to the ground. Their entire existence becomes a game of cat and mouse. Will they be able to identify the traitor before it is too late for them all?
   This is the third book in The Elite Force series. It started out a bit slow, but picked up nicely and I was not able to put the book down.  Of all the characters, I like Liam the most. Even though he has been unsuccessful in love and marriage, he has a bit of a bad boy image that just makes you love him. Rachel drove me a bit mad with her back and forth in decisions. There is another romance blossoming with Brandon and the dog sitter, Catriona. Brandon is a bit "gun shy," no pun intended, because of his PTSD; but you can tell Catriona is getting under his skin. Catriona has a poor self-image because of the way she was brought up. She is the one person who looks past the ill Brandon and sees him for who and what he truly is. The story line is well written and holds your interest after you get past the first couple chapters. If you enjoy a good romance with a bit of action and mystery built in, this is the book for you. You can easily read this installment without having read the other two; but I do recommend you also checking those two out.
   I  wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in any way except for receiving the ebook to read and review.

I give Under Fire 4 out of 5 stars

Monday, May 14, 2012

Review of Never Lie Down

Never Lie Down
J. Carol Goodman
iUniverse 2011
ISBN 9781450255431

   This story takes place in the height of the depression. The minister's daughter, Theodora Davis and her best friend, Glorybe are determined to make money in order to put food on the table. Glorybe's father is ill and may lose his job and his life from the illness. Theodora has her first serious crush on him as she is coming of age. 
   Tensions rise between Theodora's parents because her mom is an activist for the "Colored" people. Her father wants equal rights for them; but he wants to change the hearts of people through the spirit of God and not by being an activist. He fears for their friends welfare despite her wanting to help.
   In amidst this turmoil, their friend Jeremiah is accused of murdering the owner of the yard where he is employed. Is he truly responsible for the man's murder?
   This is a short and fairly fast read. The story line was a bit slow for me and did not always flow smoothly. There were several times throughout that I was lost because the story seemed to jump onto something else and it took a while to figure out where they were and who they were talking about. Theodora and Glorybe were both lovable characters. They had a very unusual friendship when segregation was part of the normal everyday existence. Not only that, Theodora has a crush on Glorybe's father, who is not only old enough to be her father; but he is of the Indian heritage. Several suspect the crush, but no verbalizes their suspicions. During his illness, Theodora visits him often. This is very hard on her as she watches him fading away from his illness. To add to the drama, the sheriff and his deputies do everything in their power to prove that Jeremiah is guilty of the murder that he is accused of committing. This is resolved by Theodora's father who not only goes against his moral principals; but breaks the law in the process.
   Overall, this is not a bad read. If you want something for a short reading session, this will fit the bill. This is a story of friendship and a dark time in American history. It is a story of mystery, hatred, humanity, and will even give you a few laughs along the way.
   I was provided a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in any way except for receiving the book to review.

I give Never Lie Down 3 out of 5 stars  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Review of Deadly Pleasures

Deadly Pleasures
Mary Firmin
iUniverse, Inc.
ISBN 9781462042371

   Megan Riley has just cancelled her engagement. Her fiance won't let her alone to get on with her life. He is an alcoholic and she is a recovering alcoholic. He is also into drugs and she just wants to make a fresh start. 
   Her best friends are having cheating husband issues so they all decide to hire a handsome stripper to be their new timeshare boy toy. Oh, the things that money can buy. Little do they know that the sexy stripper is a prime murder suspect. 
   One of the wealthy men from the yacht club suffers a heart attack while having carnal pleasures with a hooker. Shortly after, the hooker is found dead and mutilated. More women are turning up dead and mutilated and it appears there is a serial killer on the lose. Handsome police detective, Matt Donovan, is on the case. The more he investigates, the more he becomes attracted to Megan. She starts checking out matters for herself and finds herself in bondage parlors and sex clubs. Matt sees her and begins to wonder if Megan is really who she appears to be. The entire investigation becomes a game of cat and mouse and time is running out.
   This is a very good murder mystery. The author keeps you guessing until the end as to who the murderer is. There is a lot going on in this story and it gets just a tiny bit confusing at times. The story drags in the beginning but picks up and you have to keep reading to see what is going to happen next. I was really thrown for a loop when the murderer was finally identified. 
   My favorite character is the detective. He is not only handsome and sexy; but there is a sensitive side to him that just makes you like him. On the other hand, I can't say I liked Megan too much. I am sure there are those who find her strong and somewhat heroic. I personally found her to be rather meddlesome and far from being heroic. She went into places she shouldn't have and ended up putting herself in harms way. I also found her to be just as shallow as her rich friends. She would talk about them or criticize them. Her friends are all rich, so rather then make herself look bad for not having enough money, she would pretend that she had money. 
   All in all this was an excellent read. If you like murder mysteries combined with cheating husbands, sex clubs and bondage, this is the book for you. You will not find hard core sex scenes in this book, so don't look for them. This is a  debut novel for this author and I have to say she has made an excellent start.
   I wish to thank the author for providing me with a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not compensated in any way except for receiving the book in exchange for an honest review.

I give Deadly Pleasures 4 out of 5 stars