I've always got a couple books on the go and usually in multiple genres. Not generally one for the fluffy, my go-to's are; romantic suspense, real life adventure/bio's, a bit of man-love and I have a soft spot when it comes to the tortured heroes and a good tragedy. What all this says about me...IDK?  Oh yeah, I'm also a (GR's) refugee.

Excellent urban fantasy/horror

The Turning - Jennifer Armintrout

Opening Line: “I read a poll in the newspaper once that said the number one fear of Americans aged eighteen to sixty-five is public speaking. Spiders are second and death is a distant third.”

Wow, this was a fun. Not quite what I was expecting but as it turned out a great ride. For some reason I went into this thinking paranormal romance which is so not the case here. I would categorize Armintrout’s world as urban fantasy/horror. Its dark, violent, blood spattered and often gory and that would include the sex scenes (notice I said sex and not love.) I should also mention that even though this is not my genre of choice I did really enjoy it.

The Turning is unique and let’s face it that’s saying something with all the vampire books on the shelves these days. The writing is smart, sassy and the overall plotline managed to surprise me several times along the way. Each chapter comes with a title heading, which I loved, there’s a love triangle (of sorts) and a wonderful balance of good VS Evil, made all the better because once I got to know the back-story of the characters I was sympathetic to all of them. Yes even the sadistic and maniacal Cyrus, which to me is the sign of some clever writing when you feel for the bad guy. So be warned there aren’t any sparkly vampires here and it’s a bit of a blood bath but its also super good.

Dr. Carrie Ames is working in the ER the night they bring in the horrifically injured “John Doe”. Through his one remaining eye, he seems to reach out to her, and when he succumbs to his injuries she is drawn to visit him in the morgue. Bad idea Carrie. John Doe is the evil vampire Cyrus Kerrick and Carrie’s blood is what he needs to heal himself. Through the violence of Cyrus’s feeding (attack) Carrie ingests some of his blood and the “blood tie” is forged. Over the following weeks as she recovers Carrie undergoes some major changes including a new sensitivity to sunlight and an insatiable hunger that no amount of food, drink or cigarettes will quench.

Eventually Carrie is found and rescued by Nathan Grant, a member of the “movement.” (His job is to destroy all non affiliated vampires and protect mankind.) Nathan takes Carrie in and quickly schools her in all things vamp which includes reading the Vampire bible (available on eBay FYI) He then offers her a choice; join the movement or be destroyed.

It should be an easy decision right? Especially with the growing attraction between them but Carrie can’t get past the invisible leash that binds her to the monster that sired her. She is quite literally a slave to the evil yet arousing Cyrus and he is of course #1 on the movement’s hit list and Nathan’s arch enemy. When a jealous witch vying for her sire’s attention casts a spell over Nathan the only way Carrie can save him is to give herself over to Cyrus for the cure. And that’s when the games begin. Hang onto your heart folks. Cheers



Super good (especially for dog lovers who like a HEA)

Lost & Found - Jacqueline Sheehan

Opening Line: "Bob had left the food carton on the counter the night before and it now smelled of grease and fish."

As a dog lover I was enchanted by LOST AND FOUND but just about anyone will be able to find something to like within this story. Filled with love, loss, adventure and even a little mystery, this is a story about the ability of the human (and dog) spirit to carry on and just what grief can reduce us to. Full of very real and charming characters, a surprising whodunit storyline and a suspense filled yet ultimately uplifting ending.

As we begin, the main character, Rocky discovers her husband lying lifeless on the bathroom floor. She tries using CPR to revive him but for Bob it's just too late. This forever sets into motion the abrupt transformation of Rocky's world. Unable to continue with her job as a psychologist (can she really help anyone while she's insane with grief?) Rocky cuts off the hair that Bob loved, takes a leave of absence and moves to a small island off the coast of Maine. There, she takes a job as Animal Control Warden. A job of which she knows nothing about but one that's thankfully a million miles from her old life.

Not having told anyone about her past Rocky is able to settle into a rather anonymous form of island life free, from the "I'm so sorrys" and concerned looks of friends. But the grieving process is proving harder than she thought and its not until she discovers a black lab with a arrow sticking out of his shoulder that the healing truly begins.

Once Lloyd enters the scene he fast becomes the focal point of the story, pulling in a host of great secondary characters; like her crotchety but compassionate boss, a pained teenager suffering with anorexia or the delightful old woman with sythesia. Rocky then begins a search for the truth behind the arrow in Lloyds shoulder. Inadvertently taking up archery in the process and getting pulled into a mystery that will endanger both her and her new canine best friend's lives.

This was a surprisingly great read with characters so real and well done that I didn't want their stories to end. Jacqueline Sheehan has also managed to capture the inner workings of a dog perfectly, giving him a unique personality. I did find it a little strange however that half way through a singular POV book she suddenly decided to add some secondary ones, almost as an afterthought. I enjoyed their perspectives though, especially Lloyds. She also repeats some of her characters back stories unnecessarily. In the end I was just glad to read a dog story without the usual heartbreaking ending (think Marley or Enzo) Cheers.

Mr Awesome!

Trust Me - Caroline Cross

Opening Line: "The shriek of the bolt being drawn in the cell block door shattered the sultry afternoon silence."


TRUST ME will appeal to those looking for a shot of pure romantic junk food to the brain, which lets face it we all crave from time to time. This quick, uncomplicated romantic-suspense is at times clichéd to the point of eye rolling, with descriptions of butterfly soft kisses, manly chests, tight abs, and hot sweaty jungle sex. There’s also plenty of action to keep things moving along and a reunion romance to deal with (complete with flashbacks to our couple’s unrequited young love) As well as every daring rescue scenario you could possibly think of. All of which are performed flawlessly by dark, dangerous and impossible to resist ex-US Navy Seal turned bodyguard for hire and incredibly handsome perfect man with a super cool name, Dominic Steele. Awesome!

Dominic Steele’s latest mission is pretty routine, (for someone as awesome as himself) He’s been hired to extricate a woman wrongly accused and locked up in a third world prison using any means necessary. Just another day on the job until he sets his sights on who the beautiful woman in the cell is. The fates are cruel indeed because the imprisoned woman is none other than the very wealthy and spoiled Lilah Cantrell also known as heartbreaker or the one that got away and he’s never quite been able to forget.

Lilah can’t believe her eyes, she hasn’t seen Dom in 10 years and now he’s come to her rescue, what a friggin relief. All she has to do now is resist his smooth words, rippling muscles and those pesky re-emerging feelings of love long enough to; tunnel through the wall and escape from jail, jump off a cliff into the ocean, evade the bad guys and their dogs while traipsing through the jungle for days on end, survive drowning, engage in car chases, shootouts and a night in a seedy cantina hotel and then finally, escape the island using a stolen sea plane in a death defying, movie worthy take off. (I actually quite liked this scene)

If our girl Lilah can achieve all this without getting so much as one bug bite and still manage to look alluringly fantastic (albeit artfully dishevelled )as well as getting Mr perfect to fall for her and proclaim that he needs her in his life forever. Then I must concede that she is equally as awesome as Dominic and that this couple is perfect for each other right down to the last sentence “And then he lowered his head and kissed her, and all was right in her world.” *sigh* Awesome!

This book is part of the super fun Men of Steele series which means of course that theres more awesome men coming to the rescue. So turn your brain off, and enjoy the ride…

She set about examining him. Careful to keep her touch as light as a kiss of sunlight.”

Got totally caught up in this; baseball hero, stalker plot, Florida setting

The Blue Paradise - Theo Fenraven

Opening Line: “Devin Carter had five days off thanks to a torn knee ligament, and he needed to get away from everyone and everything he knew, so he threw some clothes and a couple books in a bag, loaded the dog in the car, and drove down the gulf coast of Florida to Naples, where he picked up the Tamiami Trail.”

Wow, I totally got into this one, a real surprise as the story didn’t at all go where I was expecting it to and the love scenes were for the most part fade-to-black (which might explain some of the lower ratings?) Sure we get the usual hand jobs, blow jobs and make out sessions but except for a delicious “edging” scene (yup, learn something new every day in my M/M romances) our hero “makes love” and leaves the rest to our imaginations. Kinda refreshing.

Blue Paradise also gives us a creepy stalker plotline –which I didn’t see coming, and our hero is a professional baseball player. Yum! And wasn’t it fun going behind the scenes with him; locker rooms, agents, groupies etc. Giving me flashes of For Love Of The Game (without Kevin Costner) as he tries to break Barry Bonds homerun record on a failing knee. I should also mention the awesome Florida setting here; so well written that I could actually feel the humidly, smell the salt air and see the swaying palms. Total escapism and I loved it. This was a big hit for me and I’ll definitely be seeking out more from Theo Fenraven.

Professional baseball player Devin Carter is nursing a bad knee, benched by the team doctor he’s hoping a week’s rest in the Florida Keys will be just what his mind and body need to help him break the home run record when he returns for the remainder of the season. With no true direction in mind Devin just grabs his dog and hits the road, eventually checking into a non-descript hotel bungalow on the beach. It’s there at the Blue Paradise that Devin meets Jim, the grandson of the owner and the man he doesn’t know he’s been looking for.

Their affair is short lived but meaningful and when Devin returns to Sarasota they decide to keep it going over the phone. There isn’t any angst or unnecessary drama between Devin and Jim; it’s all very mature (that aspect has been saved up for Jorge.) Devin is still in the closet when it comes to the media and his teammates but otherwise quite secure in his sexuality so even though he’s never fooled around with a teammate before when the opportunity presents itself - and with Jim’s open minded blessing, he forges into unknown and potentially messy territory with the team’s new outfielder. And that’s when things get really interesting.

For a novella I managed to I got way caught up in the stalker aspect of this story and the utter helplessness Devin feels as his life crumbles around him. He can’t even go to his coach or the police without coming out, however as the violence escalates he also runs out of options. The bad guy here is nothing new or special but he still managed to make me hate him while upping the suspense level. My only real complaint here would be Dev and Jim’s initial meeting which just felt a little too easy and convenient but hey what do I know about gay hook ups?

Lastly I have to give a shout out to Rusty the dog who manages to get quite a bit of realistic page time. So much so that when the stalker starts threatening him I actually said to myself (and the author) you better not hurt the dog or I’m gunna stop reading and when I start talking to my books I know it’s good. Cheers



A short read but decades in it's telling

Sunrise on Kusatsu Harbor - Dan Maloney

Opening line: “I have always loved my wife


Wow, this was one of those short sneaky books that you devour in a day and then can’t stop thinking about. At about 130 pages SUNRISE ON KUSATSU HARBOUR has a huge story to tell and with about 200 more pages it would have made for an epic read. As it stands though it felt rushed and important events that I would love to have read about in greater detail were glazed over. However the narration style almost dictates this as it's the retelling of a story from a third person and the underlying message does still manage to shine thorough.


Sunrise is a frightening, tragic and haunting story of star crossed lovers. Encompassing love and hate, revenge and prejudice but most of all forgiveness. It’s a small book with a big message and a twist at the end that will really leave you wondering. I also think that this book would make for a fantastic movie, regardless I’m just glad I found it.



We begin with a man finding a video tape at a garage sale. Instead of the tape containing the movie he was expecting it instead shows the confession of an older Japanese man. And so our story begins with the writer of this tale telling us Meiko’s story via the video diary. Taking us back to Japan during the 2nd world war where we watch a young couple fall in love and make plans for a promising future together. One fateful day our hero Meiko is called to serve in the army, he pledges his undying love to his girlfriend Tori on Kusatsu beach, vowing to always be true to her and return and get married as soon as Japan wins the war. Meiko then leaves his peaceful village in Hiroshima to help create biological weapons for the war effort.


So, now that we know where they are, we all know what’s coming next and it was very interesting to see life from the other side of the war. On the day the US drops the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Tori is in Kusatsu harbour, missing her man. The blast knocks her from the beach and into the ocean saving her life. However everyone and everything else she has ever known is now gone. Deciding that she must try to find Meiko, Tori then travels many hundred miles to where he is stationed in Nagasaki only to learn that just the day before Meiko went AWOL and is now trying to find her back in Hiroshima.


That is when the 2nd bomb drops on Nagasaki, leaving Tori alive but horribly burned and disfigured. She is hospitalized for a long time. Meanwhile Meiko has of course not been able to find his true love and can only assume that she is dead. When the Emperor of Japan surrenders Meiko makes his plans for revenge, sailing out of Kusatsu harbour on a boat bound for America. Little does he know that the figure watching from Kusatsu beach is his Tori. As I said this a star crossed lover’s story and our couple cross paths many times before finally meeting again far away and under unusual and fateful circumstances. For such a short read this book is decades in it’s telling with Meiko paying a huge cost for his revenge. Not easily forgotten.



Left In The Dark

Out of the Darkness - Jaime Rush

Opening Line: "This would go a lot easier if you'd stop screaming in pain," Zoe told the muscular man lying beneath her."

OUT OF THE DARKNESS is the second book in the Offspring series which centers on a group of twenty-something’s who are the children of psychic parents that participated in a government experiment. These “offspring” have for the most part hidden their abilities and are only now discovering that others of their kind exist. Our heroine Zoë is a great character; interesting, wild looking and a tattoo artist who just happens to be able to move objects with her mind. However because Zoë has no control over her powers she’s shut off her emotions to remain a ‘closeted’ telekinetic and not be looked at like some sort of freak.

The first part of this story is super exciting as Zoë’s search into her father’s past sees some scary, gun toting bad guys pursuing her as she takes off into the Florida Keys. Unfortunately as soon as Zoë is rescued by the sexy and mysterious motorcycle man (what happened to him?) and deposited at a modernized bomb shelter where she meets others of her kind, it fell apart for me and I struggled to finish the remainder of this book.

Inside the shelter Zoë is introduced to several other “offspring” in particular Rand who is able to see into the future and likes what he sees with Zoë. Together the group learns to trust each other as they try to locate more of their kind, improve their powers and determine why “Dark Matter” wants them all dead.

Unfortunately this book just didn’t do it for me although in fairness I did buy it on a whim without realizing that it was the second part of a series and I probably would have liked it a whole lot better had I first read A Perfect Darkness and been able to understand the back story and secondary characters better. As it was I was bored with too many bland characters, silly made up slang words (in an attempt at youth and coolness) unnecessary trips out of the shelter to visit grandparents and a romance that took forever to get going.

However all the other reviews I’ve seen have been positive so if you like your paranormal romance with a sci-fi edge, loads of action and some cool chase scenes then you may enjoy Jamie Rush’s unique world of offspring. Cheers!


"He'd loved her. Hated her. Craved her. But he'd never forgotten her."

Under the Wire - Cindy Gerard

Opening Line: Manny Ortega awoke from a dead sleep.”


Manny Ortega lost everything because of one woman. She really did a number on him too, taking his heart, and then betraying him to his enemies. Forcing him to become exile in his own country and eventually leave behind everything he knows and loves in Nicaragua and start again in America. 17 years later his heart and demeanor have hardened, years spent in the Special Forces and then as a police detective have taken care of that. Manny is no longer the swaggering, bright eyed Latin lover he once was and while he may be a different person now one thing hasn’t changed, he’s never gotten over his anger or forgiven his first love Lily.

"From the moment he’d seen her that fateful night in Nicaragua she’d been an obsession. Nothing had changed. He’d loved her. Hated her. Craved her. But he’d never forgotten her.”

Lily Camporna spent years believing that her young lover had been killed by Nicaraguan rebels so imagine her surprise when she sees him in a Boston Hospital. He’s aged like a fine wine and still makes her stomach flutter. But what is he doing here and why does he hate her so much? Then Lily’s son is kidnapped while in Sri Lanka, and with no aid from the government she goes to the one person she knows will have to help. Putting aside her questions and his animosity Lily begs Manny to help bring her son home.

Unlike some of the other reviewers I really enjoyed Part 1 which takes place years before the main story. I also didn’t have any problems with the 10 year age gap between our couple; even though when they first meet our hero is only 18. I enjoyed seeing how his personality changed in the years between. As a man he is no longer the swaggering, bright eyed, Latin lover, in fact he’s bitter and a bit of an ass. Holding a grudge for so long will do that to a guy.

Unfortunately where I did have a problem was when the story went to modern day, things just fell apart for me once all the action started in Sri Lanka, and I found it all kinda dumb. This was surprising to me because those are usually my favourite Cindy Gerard scenes. But when the hero and heroine are swinging from jungle vines, riding around on a klepto elephant and having sex in prehistoric caves with useable beds (?) its heading into OTT territory for me. I also found some of the long Sri Lankan names very awkward, like the host family ‘Muhandiramalas’ my brain was tripping over the pronunciation and I was taken out of the story. My thought there though, is that they’re authentic and I’m just being a lazy reader. 

Similarly to the beginning I enjoyed the last few chapters after all the action was done with, as Lily awaits the return of her son and tries to figure out how and if Manny will fit into their life in Boston. As always CG includes several other EDEN members in her story and the ever eventful closing chapter crochet game.

This is Book #5 in the Bodyguard series and while Cindy Gerard remains an auto-buy author this was not my favourite book of hers. It is however hugely popular so don’t take my word for it. Cheers


Taking the sensitive hero to a whole new level

Not Without Risk - Suzanne Brockmann

Opening Line: “Emily Marshall was in the bathroom. No not the bathroom the head."


Originally published in 1995 this was a pretty good light romantic suspense, nothing remarkable and not one of my favourites but definitely still enjoyable -except maybe for all the crying but I`ll get to that later.

Emily Marshall is a high school teacher in a rougher area of sunny Florida. While on a date with her new wealthy boyfriend she inadvertently discovers that he's quite the entrepreneur; importing and exporting the very drugs that she's seen destroy some of her students. Calling it a night Emily heads to the nearest police station, willing to do anything to keep those drugs from hitting the street.

The police choose to set up a sting, and as much as Emily hates the thought she's going to have to continue to "date" her drug dealing boyfriend for a while. They do however offer up one of their own to protect her, posing as her brother to potentially gain access to the yacht where all the deals seem to be going down. Seems simple enough but that's when things get interesting because wouldn't you just know it Jim Keegan is the officer assigned to go undercover. Jim from seven years ago Jim, Jim that broke her heart, Jim that she's never gotten over.

Detective Keegan is a typical Brockmann hero; all sensitive and tortured, still nursing a broken heart over his sweet Emily and full of remorse over how he left things the morning after they first made love (that was a bad move). He's also hosting some ghosts from the past and doesn't feel that he deserves love, having left Emily to protect her from himself. Initially I liked Jim but about halfway in his character changed and he became so screwed up and emotional that he was just plain embarrassing to read. Brockmann's heroes always cry but Jim managed to take the sensitive man-tears to a whole new level, come to think of it even the bad guy shed a couple within this story.

The suspense is quite good though (a ticking bomb on a boat always assures some fun times) while it does remain more romance than anything else. And the Florida setting was fantastic, a nice bit of escapism (for a snowbird like myself) with loads of action on boats and the clear blue seas of the Gulf of Mexico. Emily plays the bitterness card a little too long for my liking but I guess when your love interest is busy freaking out, running away and crying you've got a right. Cheers

Much more than expected

Liberating Lacey - Anne Calhoun

Opening Line:She didn’t belong here”


Liberating Lacy was a bit of a slow burn for me, unlike a lot of other readers it didn’t grab me right away and initially I just assumed it was going to be all sex and no substance. Maybe it was the terrible cover or the sex starting on page 3 but I had to work at it to get into or even find the characters here, however once I did I was totally hooked.

What a fabulous love story this ended up being, so much more than erotica and on that note I’ll be honest, I actually got kinda bored (*gasp, I know) with all the sex scenes, and found myself skimming through the “Oh god, more, deeper, harder, please’s to get back to the story because that’s where this really shines.

I genuinely care for both of these characters. I loved all their subtle interactions, their teasing, so much more was being said to each other than was actually on the page. They didn’t play games (well not emotional ones anyway) LOL and their problems in age and class were very real. Class, yeah Lacy is a class-act; successful, oozing money, confident but also caring. And Hunter, gah I could talk about him for ages, just awesome. A ton of character development here and strong chemistry, which surprised me, watching these two realize what they have is more than just a good time getting off on the stairs, out of the cuffs and in from the rain and quietly falling in love –not without a few bumps I might add, was just brilliant.

Lacey Meyers is newly divorced and despite her air of confidence looking very out of place in this hook-up bar. She’s had enough of years of zero spark and the missionary position so tonight she’s looking for something new, a first. She’s going to pick up a younger man and take him home or at least to the parking lot.

Who she gets is Hunter Anderson; 8 years her junior, gorgeous, intelligent more than willing to rock her world and also not wanting anything permanent. What neither of these two expected though was the connection, the fact that there’s going to be another hook-up and another and they both like grilled cheese sandwiches and fantasy role play because they trust each other.

It’s got to end sooner or later though doesn’t it? I mean where can this go? Hunter lives paycheque to paycheque on a cop’s salary; Lacey spends 1,500 dollars on a set of sheets and shops at Whole Foods. She has dinner with politicians; he wears a gun for a career, rides a motorcycle and works construction with his dad on weekends. There can’t possibly be a future can there? The heart wants what the heart wants. Cheers

I'm left a bit shattered, as expected

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

Finally caved and bought this super popular book, readied myself for the pain and...


Yup, this was good !?  Worth all the attention it's received, A beautiful love story with a few surprises along the way especially the end *sob* not what I expected. I'm left feeling shattered and a bit raw. Need more time to process before I can write a proper review that says anything more than why god why!?

 "Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love."

Smokin hot, totally addictive, OTT and surprisingly romantic

Reaper's Property - Joanna Wylde

Opening Line: "Crap there were bikes outside the trailer."


Well holy hell this was fun, a totally addictive read, sucking me right into the underground world of the motorcycle club. I actually wasn’t sure that I would like this, I mean I’m not into reading about woman being considered property but once again my friends reviews steered me in the right direction, this is so much more than it appears on the surface. Joanna Wylde has also done her homework too in regards to showing the ins and outs of club life, so that as well as this being an off the charts, anything goes, sexy-time read it’s also utterly fascinating. Who knew the MC world was such a secret society with so many of its own customs and rules?


Yeah I’ll admit this is also downright outrageous at times, even shocking but it’s a ton of fun, hilarious, romantic, and impossible to put down, just a great bit of escapism that any of (us) Sons Of Anarchy fans will love.


I was a little bit thrown by our hero “Horse” LOL, yeah that’s right (because he’s hung like one) He is obnoxious, uber alpha, into all sorts of illegal business –which is never deluged just described as “club business”  don’t go there. He’s a total chauvinist, considers women property but thank god he’s got soft side too. Pretty much from the moment he meets Marie he’s fucked. He wants her, has to have her and is willing to do anything to get her. I think even he was shocked by the intensity of his feelings. Marie was a great heroine too, adventurous, spirited a bit naïve and loyal to a fault I had a good time being in her head.  


Marie Jenson has just split from her abusive cheating husband and moved back into the trailer she grew up in with her brother. Her Mom is spending a bit of time in jail so for the time being it’s just the two of them. That’s when the Reapers Motorcycle club comes calling. Her stoner brother is doing some *cough*“web design” for the club and as much as these tattooed badass bikers scare her they also intrigue her especially the one they call Horse, him she can’t top thinking about (me either). The last thing she needs right now though is another man laying claim to her and she can’t help but be wary of his criminal lifestyle and the way he watches her.


Everything goes to shit however when her brother is caught stealing from the club, now they need to be paid in blood or they’re going to kill him. Marie is blood and until her brother finds a way to pay the Reaper’s back, they own her. She’s got 20 minutes to pack a bag before they torch the trailer, then she’s Property of the Reapers, Horse’s very own house mouse. But he may be getting more than he bargained for from this “sweet butt.”


All in this was a great read, I was surprised by how into it I got and how sigh worthy romantic this ended up being. I can’t wait to continue on with the series.

Unscary and ultimately unenjoyable

The Darkest Evening of the Year - Dean Koontz

Opening Line: " Behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition, Amy Redwing drove as if she were immortal and therefore safe at any speed."

I read THE DARKEST EVENING OF THE YEAR for a book club challenge although admittedly it had been sitting on my TBR shelf for a couple of years. I was happy to finally find a reason to stop passing it over (in favour of vampire romance and testosterone filled Navy Seals) and get into a good horror novel. Unfortunately I now wished I’d left it sitting on the shelf because this was not in any way an enjoyable read and ultimately a real struggle to finish.

To start with I didn’t enjoy Koontz’s style of writing, he seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r and a whole lot of adjectives to get across what he was trying to say and I found myself skimming almost immediately just to get on with the story;

"The pleasantly warm morning was freshened by a breeze as light as a caress, and the feathery fronds of queen palms cast shadows that resembled the plumed tails of the Golden’s." Um, yeah.

For something in the horror genre I also found this to be very un-scary, the plot revolving more around reincarnation and weird feelings then anything truly horrifying. Thankfully the chapters were short containing several alternating POV’s, mostly involving hit men who all appeared to all be trying to kill each other. The main antagonist, Moongirl was a nasty piece of work and our hero Amy Redwing had an interesting past that slowly got revealed however I never really got a feel for her either. So I kept plugging along thinking this has to improve, Koontz is hugely popular, what am I missing? Well upon completion I came away rather underwhelmed and realized I wasn’t missing anything.

The only good thing in this story would have to be the Golden Retrievers which Koontz knows well and obviously loves. His dog descriptions and mannerisms of the breed were spot on. However I couldn’t in good conscience even recommend this book to dog lovers, because the story was so convoluted and just plain painful to read. Koontz also tended to get a little preachy when it came to describing abused dogs, euthanasia and puppy mills. I’m a dog owner and lover (That’s originally why I bought the book, for the dog on the cover) And I understood the message he was trying to get across but I didn’t need these facts thrown in my face every couple of chapters. I get it, puppy mills bad, adopt from the pound, move on.

I also didn't appreciate the storyline involving a 10 year old girl with Down syndrome who’s abused, called "Piggy" and threatened with being lit on fire. That was WAY out of my comfort zone. Although maybe meant to be the horror aspect I kept waiting for? In the end I just wanted this to be over.


Alaskan location, pararescueman hero, meh romance

Cover Me (Elite Force: That Others May Live) - Catherine Mann

Opening Line:" It was a cold day in hell for Tech Sergeant Wade Rocha--standard ops for a mission in Alaska."

 I struggled through this and ultimately gave up about half way in. It's not that it was that terrible, it was just so, average on all accounts and I couldn't have cared less about the romance between Sunny & Wade, honestly I just I couldn't be bothered to finish, very meh.  I've read lots of Catherine Mann stuff before and she always seems to hook me in with a great beginning before settling into mediocre-ville.
It should have been a simple mission. Pararescueman Wade Rocha fast ropes from the back of a helicopter into a blizzard to save a climber stranded on an Aleutian Island, but Sunny Foster insists she can take care of herself just fine...

But when it comes to passion, nothing is ever simple. With the snowstorm kicking into overdrive, Sunny and Wade hunker down in a cave and barely resist the urge to keep each other warm... until they discover the frozen remains of a horrific crime. Unable to trust the local police force, Sunny and Wade investigate, while their irresistible passion for each other gets them more and more dangerously entangled...

Reunited lovers, amnesia and Navy SEAL's this seires opener has it all

Forget Me Not - Marliss Melton

Opening Line:"Gunfire rained down on the four-man SEAL squad, ricocheting off the concrete floor and metal walls of the warehouse in Pyongyang Harbour, North Korea.”

Navy SEAL Gabe Renault has no memory of the last three years. He doesn’t remember the mission that went wrong landing him in a North Korean prison camp and he certainly doesn’t remember having a wife and teenage daughter. And while the scars on his body tell a tale of torture he has no idea what they did to him or if he eventually broke, betraying his country. The doctors tell him he has PTSD and that given time his memories will return, but he knows the brass are also thinking the amnesia may just be a convenient way to cover up his disgrace at giving up government secrets. Meanwhile he’s been placed on disability leave, given a cocktail of drugs, and told to go home to his family, a family he doesn’t remember.

After Gabe was presumed dead Helen Renault did her best to pull the pieces of her and her daughters life back together. It wasn’t really all the that difficult, Gabe had never been home, always off on some mission and then even when he was he was he’d been distant, secretive and abrupt. Now she’s standing on her own two feet, with friends, a job she loves and a life. When the call comes in telling her Gabe is alive Helen decides that she’ll help him through his recovery but then she wants a divorce. What she hadn’t counted on was that the man returning is nothing like the Gabe she remembers, this is a man she could lose her heart to and spend the rest of her life loving.

With Gabe’s memories coming back Helen puts her heart under lock and key fearing it will only be a matter of time before the “old Gabe” re-emerges and breaks it again. Of course the men trying to kill him and his returning knowledge of government treason may put an end to their second chance at love before it begins anyways.

This is the first book from Marliss Melton’s SEAL team 12 series and also my first from this author. As a whole this was a great read, kinda Suzanne Brockmann-ish as it's more romantic then suspenseful but well written with a slowly unravelling storyline, lots of great secondary characters and a reunited lovers theme which is one of my fav’s. I did have a problem with some of the dialogue being stilted or age inappropriate, as was the case with the teenage daughter and unfortunately the ending went off into silly land but I will definitely be continuing on with the series. Hoo-yah, another SEAL team to get to know. 

Delicious love story

Coming Undone - Lauren Dane

Opening Line: "Even at the close of the day, the sun was enough to make the ride home from work totally perfect."

Ever since I read (Laid Bare) I’ve been waiting for Lauren Dane to continue with her sexy ‘Brown family’ series and with Erin’s brother Brody as our lead character here she doesn’t disappoint. COMING UNDONE grabs your attention right away with its cast of familiar characters, erotic love scenes, perceptive writing and Brody. Wow, who wouldn’t fall in love with this bad-boy on the outside, tender and sensitive on the inside charmer, sigh. I have to say though not much ever really happens within this story; it’s more a character study which Dane does very well, drawing the reader into the emotional lives of her characters with amazing dialogue and chemistry.

Our story takes place over the period of a year so we also get to watch the entire Brown family grow and change and in chapter 16 Erin/Ben and Todd show us what they’ve been up to in a detailed ménage romp and um yeah...it’s hot. As a whole though I think true erotica fans will be slightly disappointed (with the exception of chapter 16) because of the lack of heat. Don’t get me wrong Dane’s sex scenes are amazing (mirrored ballet studio or tattoo shop desk anyone) and so well written they’re just relatively tame compared to Laid Bare and it’s over the top kink factor. Still this is an amazingly hot and sensitive read that fans will love.

Brody Brown has always been responsible for others giving up a promising art career to raise his younger brother and sister after their parents died. Now that they’ve grown and moved on Brody’s life has finally become his own and with a prosperous tattoo shop, nice house and freedom to do as he pleases life is good. However when Elise Sorenson moves in next door he can’t help but get involved in more ways than one.

Once a world famous ballerina, Elise and her young daughter have moved far away from the horrors of her past hoping to start a new life. The last thing she wants is a relationship especially with a tattooed, Harley riding bad guy but what Brody offers isn’t a relationship instead he offers companionship with no strings attached. A friends with benefits you might say and it’s working for both of them until Elise’s past comes back to haunt her. Now as much as she doesn’t want to admit it Elise might need Brody for more than just a good time in fact he may be what she truly desires.

This could be read as a stand alone but readers would benefit from reading LAID BARE (because it’s awesome) and you get the entire back story on the yummy Brown family and friends. Cheers

Sexy cowboy vampires...yup!

Cody (Love at First Bite, #4) (Braddock Brothers, #1) (Harlequin Blaze, #496) - Kimberly Raye

Opening Line: "He hadn't had sex in forty-eight hours. While two days of deprivation was nothing for most men, Cody Braddock wasn't the average guy." 


I’ve really been enjoying Kimberly Raye's sexy and hilarious Love At First Bite series. Set in Skull Creek Texas (where I’m seriously considering moving) These quickie romances follow the love connections of several of the towns eligible women as they get their groove on and find true love with gorgeous cowboys who (oh yeah) also just happen to be vampires. Cowboy vampires who feed off sexual energy that is. Hmmm, now there’s an interesting concept.

Here we get Cody Braddock as our stud muffin. He’s a champion bull rider, so that piqued my interest even though he never actually rides a bull here. Anyways sexy vamp is seeking the one who turned him and murdered his family back during the civil war. Cody plans to kill his sire as an act of revenge but also to gain back his mortality. To have the strength required to destroy his nemesis though, Jake is going to need his batteries fully charged and since he feeds off sexual energy that’s where his little stop at a crowded bar in Austin Texas comes in.

Miranda Rivers has done everything possible not to be like her wild and wanton mama and sisters, even going so far as to except an e-mailed marriage proposal from her boring but dependable boyfriend who owns the town dry cleaners. Nobody will ever gossip about her again. But before she settles… down that is, Miranda wants one night of no strings attached, pure orgasmic sex. She’s looking for the big O and she may have just found him.

What our couple hadn’t counted on from this one night stand was an instant connection. Cody’s body hasn’t had “that” reaction to a woman in over 100 years and Miranda seems to be able to sense and feel his emotions. When Cody’s hunt for his maker takes him to Skull Creek choppers and back to Miranda and because one night wasn’t enough for either of them they decide to put a dent in the “Randy’s hottest sex spots” list. They’ll have one week to do it behind the bleachers at the football stadium, at the gazebo in the town square, the history section of the library etc. Then Cody’s either getting killed or leaving and Miranda’s going to marry boring ole what’s-his-name. Right?

I should mention that while I loved the first two books (Dead Sexy) and (Drop Dead Gorgeous) these more recent instalments just seem to more of the same, with slight tweaks to an almost identical story. In fact in going over my old reviews I realized that if you’ve read the first book then you’ve already read this story. Cheers people.