Monday, July 27, 2015

Review--The Mask by Taylor Stevens

The Mask: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel (Vanessa Michael Munroe, #5)The Mask: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel by Taylor Stevens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I decided to read and review this book, I was not aware that it was part of a series.  Number five in the series to be exact.  I'm a big fan of thrillers especially when there is a character like Vanessa Michael Munroe.  I can't wait to go back and read the rest of the series.

Vanessa Michael Munroe is very good at what she does.  Just off a recent job, she decides to spend some time with a very special person in her life, Miles Bradford. They were in the same line of work, but their personal relationship was something different.  On assignment in Japan, Bradford's on the hunt for a thief at ALTEQ. Munroe asks several times to join Miles at work and help with the assignment.  More times than not, he refuses.  When Miles is framed for murdering a Chinese woman at the company, Vanessa, the girlfriend takes a backseat and Michael the mercenary takes over.  Not just to finish the job Bradford started, but also find the real killer.  Not sure who she can trust, Munroe, disguised as a man takes on this arduous task.  Will she be able to find the killer before she herself is killed?

I'm really upset that I haven't read this series chronologically.  I feel like there are parts of Vanessa Michael Munroe that I am missing.  I want to know more about her relationship with Bradford.  Munroe is the kind of woman we all wish we could be.  Able to evoke fear with just a glance, can read people like a book.  She is strong, intuitive, resourceful, and smart.  I'm not sure if it was love or devotion to the job/craft that made her go to the length she did to save Miles.

This book takes you on a journey where you are unsure of what is going to happen next.  In a foreign country where you're not sure who is in charge and who you can trust, it's difficult to get help.  The way Munroe handles herself shows the skill in her profession.

**I received a galley copy of the ebook in exchange for my honest review.**

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review--The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross

The Blue ZoneThe Blue Zone by Andrew Gross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the outside, the Rabb family looks like the perfect family.  They live in an amazing house, drive nice cars, their oldest daughter is a research assistant at the local University, their son get great grades, and the youngest is a ranked squash player.  Benjamin Rabb is a gold dealer, and for the past twenty years has been doing very well for his family.  When Benjamin Rabb is investigated by the FBI for money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy with known drug dealers, his family is placed in the Witness Protection Program.  All, except Kate, who is old enough to do her own thing.  When Kate makes some interesting discoveries and strange things start to happen, she may find that her perfect family may not be just so.

This is the first solo authored book I have read by Andrew Gross.  I am pleased to say that this book had me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning to the very end.  So many different surprises and twists in this book.  The book centers around Kate Rabb and her life after her father has testified in court against the Mercado Family and her family has been in Witness Protection for more than a year.  The thing I really like about this book is that I never knew what was going to happen next or who I could trust.  Every time you turn around, another something falls in your face that makes you yell expletives at the book.  Not knowing who to believe and where to turn for help, makes a person feel lost.  Kate's determination to find the truth and get her family back together, has her in the fight of her life, in more ways than one.

I listened to the audio of this book and it was read by Ilyana Kadushin.  She gave an excellent performance and made me feel as if I was a part of the action.  I could see the action as it played out.  I can't wait to read other solo authored books by Andrew Gross.  Another great author to add to my every growing list of favorites.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review-Unbound--Colors of Love by Kathryn Taylor

Unbound - Colours of LoveUnbound - Colours of Love by Kathryn Taylor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Grace Lawson is about to start the greatest internship.  She gets to spend three months in London, interning at Huntington Ventures.  Jonathan Huntington, the company's CEO is a gorgeous guy who is almost always wearing black.  Catching the red-eye to London from Chicago, and having to rush off the plane to make it to her new job on time, Grace runs(literally)into Jonathan Huntington at the airport.  Making the mistake of thinking he was there to pick her up, she gets a ride with him in his limo(along with some colleagues he was actually waiting for) to the office.  Feeling embarrassed the whole time.

Once at Huntington Ventures, Jonathan extends her internship from working in the investment department to working side by side with him.  Grace or no one else in the company was expecting this turn of events.  Jonathan has never had an intern working with him before.  Will Grace be able to work this closely with Jonathan without falling in love with him? Everyone has warned her about this man, including Jonathan himself.  This is going to be an interesting and exciting three months.

Unbound is the first in the Colors of Love series by Kathryn Taylor.  I'm not sure how many books total are in the series.  Book two Uncovered, is set to be released in the United States on August 17, 2015.

This book starts off a lot like 50 Shades of Grey.  The virgin meets this wealthy, handsome man and is enticed by his power and the fact that he is unattainable.  Jonathan's sexual desires aren't sadistic the way Christian Grey's are, I would say he's just a bit kinky.  Then there's a little "Eyes Wide Shut"(Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman sex club movie) thrown in.  I enjoyed this book.  The erotic scenes are believable.  I think a few words may have been lost in translation, though, as I believe this book was first written in German.  For instance, the word clit is never used, but "sensitive place" is used quite a bit and, in my opinion, in those instances, clit would have been an appropriate word to use.

I'm not a big fan of Jonathan Harrington, he seems to be abrasive to everyone.  Grace seems a little naive for a woman embarking on her own to London for three months. Maybe these two are meant to be or maybe we have another erotic romance series on our hands that we will grow to love to hate like 50 Shades and the Crossfire series.  Either way, come on August for Colors of Love #2 - Uncovered.

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Review--Eyes on You by Kate White

Robin has just started a new job and is about to release her first book.  RIght now, is seems as if life couldn't get any better for her.  When a series of strange events begins to happen, Robin has to figure out exactly who is trying to sabotage her career.  There are a few people it could be and right now Robin isn't sure who she can trust.

This book held my attention from start to finish.  It was hard to put down.  The book had a little bit of everything in it.  A little thriller, a little romance, some conspiracy and murder.  All throughout the book, you think you know who is going to be the one doing all of the dirty work.  There seems to be so many suspects.  Is it the handsome co-host?  The ambitious intern who is desperately trying her best?  The veteran at the station who will stop at nothing to stay on top and relevant?  The associate producer whose story ideas always seem to fall a little short.

I could not put this book down.  I had to know what was going to happen.  I stayed on the edge of my seat.  There was even one part where I shouted, "Holy Shit!" out loud.  Luckily, I wasn't any place public when that happened.

This was a great book.  One of the best that I have read this year.  I look forward to reading more from this author.

I read this book as a part of Overdrive's Big Library Read.

Other books by Kate White:

The Wrong Man
The Sixes
So Pretty It Hurts
Lethally Blonde
Over Her Dead Body
'Til Death Do Us Part
A Body to Die For
If Looks Could Kill

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review--Local Girls by Caroline Zancan

Three friends walk into their favorite dive bar, The Shamrock, and are shocked to see their favorite actor, Sam Decker there.  When he joins their table and starts buying drinks, the conversation turns to each others pasts and how their lives got to be  at the point they are.  This night will change everyone's lives forever.

From the beginning of the book, we know that someone is going to die.  And now I am just trying to figure out the when and how.  The book flips between present day and the past when the group of three girls used to be a foursome.

Something about this book that I liked is that you get to see how the girl get to this point in their life.  I liked the flashbacks and it transported me back to my high school days.  I could see me and my friends in this same situation although my friends and I were not quite as wild as these girls.

One part that really struck me was a reference to Virginia Woolf and her suicide note.  In the note she says, "I don't think any two people could have been happier than we have been."  The character reading this mentions that this phrase is said twice in her short suicide note.  I find it ironic that the author mentions a phrase twice in this book, "Only boring people get bored."  I think deep down these girls were bored, but used the antics they pulled help to add some excitement to their lives.  Another interesting thing about this book, is that we are never really introduced to the narrator.  I can only recall her name being mentioned twice in the book.

**I received an uncorrected proof of this book through Goodreads Giveaways and this review is based on that copy.**

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Review--Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

Eeny MeenyEeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

People are being kidnapped from off the street in couples and forced to make a horrible decision.  Killed or be killed!  Who is the killer and what is her motive?  Yes, her.  The killer in this book is a female.  And it's up to Detective Inspector Helen Grace and her team to figure this all out before any more people end up dead.  After abducting the victims, the killer drugs them and keeps them in a dungeon of her own making.  There in the middle of the floor, the victims find a phone and a gun.  The phone has just enough battery life to receive a message.  "On the floor by the phone you'll find a gun.  It has one bullet in it...That is the price of your freedom.  You must kill to live."  I don't know if how I could make the decision.  The only other option is for both people to die from starvation.

M.J. Arlidge gives a gripping tale that leaves you wanting more.  It was very hard for me to put the book down, but I had to while on vacation because it was impossible to keep sand out of my Kindle.  It had me on the edge of my seat and I had to find out who the killer was and why she was doing this to these poor innocent people.  When DI Grace finds out the common denominator with each victim is her, the pressure to find the killer intensified with her as well as with me.

This was a great book with a fast pace that will keep you interested until the end.  WIth little twists and unexpected circumstances you will thoroughly enjoy this book.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review--If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

If I Fall, If I DieIf I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Will Cardiel and his mother live together in Thunder Bay.   To Will's knowledge, he has never been outside of his house.  He has never been to school, never had a friend, and has never been to a family members for the holiday.  His mother has taught him everything; how to create masterpieces on canvas, how to write a check and how to answer the door for all the different delivery people who visit their house.

When Will hears a loud bag Outside, he is determined to find out what it is and why his mother insists he stays Inside.  Will's Mom, Diane, is agoraphobic and the idea of Will or herself going Outside sends her to a place, Will calls the Black Lagoon.  When Will finally makes it Outside, he's not sure what the big deal is.  He find himself on the Outside more and his mom gets sucked deeper into the Black Lagoon.  

Michael Christie writes an interesting quirky novel that keeps the reader guessing about where they are.  While the location of most of the book takes place in the town of Thunder Bay in Canada, but the Cardiel's have named each room in their house after a major city.  The Basement is Toronto, the Kitchen is Paris, Will's Room is New York, Diane's Room is San Francisco, the Living Room is Cairo and the Bathroom is Venice.  Inside and Outside are capitalized throughout the book as if they also are their own little towns.

I have never met anyone who has agoraphobia before.  Diane reminded me of Joan Cusak's character on the show Shameless.  When she was first introduced into the show, she could not leave her house.

While Will is Outside, Diane tries all she can to relax.  Will these two be able to both live their lives in a reasonable manner?  Is there any way for Will to enjoy the Outside without sending his mother so far into the Black Lagoon, she may never return.  This is a beautifully written book, but it gave me many mixed emotions throughout.

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.**

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