Review: The Hero (Thunder Point, Book 3) by Robyn Carr

The HeroReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Devon McAllister is carrying her three-year-old daughter and then is lucky enough to catch a ride to Thunder Point. I hope if you’re reading this book that you’ve also read the other two in the series. You will continue getting to know about the town and some of its inhabitants. It will also leave you wanting to pack your bags and moving there.

In this story, we finally get to know the character named Rawley Goode. Rawley is a very caring soul and I wish there were more people like him in this world. Robyn makes me wonder if she has fashioned him after someone she knows.

Spencer Lawson is the new Athletic Director at the high school. He and his ten-year-old son, Austin, are staying at Cooper’s old place for now. He also has something in common with Devon.

While reading this book, in the beginning I kept thinking of Devon as a man – I have a nephew of the same name. The difference is that he spells his name with an “I” and she spells her name with an “O”. So now that I have that figured out, I don’t have that problem any more.

Robyn has put an interesting twist in this book – Devon has two men to choose from and both men have children. Scott is a doctor and Spencer is a coach – what an interesting dilemma. What a great reason to keep reading in order to find out who wins her heart.

This isn’t just Devon’s story. We get to see what’s happening with the other characters that we’ve come to love in the first two books. This book will have you smiling – our author knows exactly how to please her readers. She also creates a town where everyone cares about everyone else.

In my opinion this is a series that would be a good fit for the Hallmark Channel. Yes, there’s some violence but that is part of where Devon came from so it needs to be there. It also makes me wonder as to the type of research Robyn needed to do in order for the storyline to at least appear accurate. She also knows when to add something that will have the reader on the edge of their seats and holding our breaths until we know that everything is all right.

A great author knows how to create believable characters. It makes me wonder if she questioned any males to find out how they would behave during certain situations – this would include both civilians and men in the military. Or does she just instinctively know how to get these characters right? You will be happy to know that the next book in the series, titled The Chance, is due out in March 2014.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Hero (Thunder Point)

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Review: Extreme Measures by Rachel Carrington

extreme measuresReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Stuart O’Malley and Arlin Murphy are found in a cell located at Attica Prison and are planning their escape. Matt Giles’ duty is to try to recapture them. Rachel also lets us know that he has a personal connection to the case.

Erin Prescott is a waitress/owner of a coffee shop. One day at work she sees her ex-husband. There is one scene where Rachel has the couple spending time together and you can just about feel the tension between the two of them.

Rachel does a great job of showing how “nasty” Stuart and Arlin are. She also knows how to build the suspense and that will have you holding your breath. It will also have you wanting to turn the page so that you can find out how everything ends. It goes to show how desperate some people can become and how it can affect the people around them. I also have to wonder the amount of research that needed to be done in order to get all the facts and situations to sound believable.

This is a book with mystery, action, and suspense that starts right from the beginning. If you’re looking for a book that has lots of romance in it, you won’t find it here. But if you want a book that has lots of suspense and then ends with the romance this book is for you. If you have read other books by Rachel this is also a book that you will want to add to that list. I also felt that this is one of those stories that would be great as a movie.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Extreme Measures

Review: Yes by R. J. Lawrence

yes rj lawrenceReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Hannah is waiting for Ronnie to come in. Ronnie appears to be a very self-centered man. He also seems to be totally clueless where Hannah is concerned. Courtney is Hannah’s sister and they’re in Las Vegas together. Hannah goes to work with her sister and that’s where she meets Dominic Montero. Dominic is a man of mystery.

While reading this story, R.J. has kept me guessing as to what type of story this was going to be. I also found that R.J. is something of a mystery. One thing I don’t have to guess about is how erotic, hot, and dark it is. There are times that I felt like I was a voyeur.

When you get to the end of this tale, R.J. lets you know that this is a series. If you are like me and want to know what happens to Hannah and her sister, Courtney, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next in book two. It’s a quick read so if you only have a short amount of time this is a perfect fit.

I tried to do a search on the web for R.J. but came up empty except for Amazon and GoodReads. I’m hoping that as R.J. writes more that there will be more of a presence so we can see what else our author has in store for interested readers.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Yes

Review: The Exceptions by David Cristofano

the exceptions David CristofanoReviewed by Karin

The Exceptions by David Cristofano is the follow-up to The Girl She Used to Be, which was an Edgar Award-Nominated book. Either book stands alone.

It’s rare for me to find books that I enjoyed so much — and also are different and unexpected. Not really a romance, but a romance. Not really suspense, but definitely mafiosi. Not really romantic suspense, but a bit of terror, which is one-sided, and some well-earned violence, some of which might be over the top, but as you would expect for mafia.

The Exceptions is different, because in many ways it duplicates the first book, but adds additional information.

Melody has been in protective custody under witness protection, from the time she was a little girl. Her parents have been murdered while under protection.

In this book, we become privy to more of the inner thoughts of the protagonist Jonathan (Little Johnny) Bovaro. We see how what happened in his childhood has affected him his whole life. We see how he has loved Melody (under all her different aliases) from that point in time and has seen himself as her protector, which he is in many ways. In some ways, he is like a stalker, for he has watched her from afar, always telling his family, who has ordered him to kill her, that he cannot find her. She, of course, does not know this, so for her, their meeting is only a couple of days. Should she trust him or not? He is clearly able to deliver crushing violence.

And he definitely loves her, which he ultimately proves, and she loves him, just that quickly.

I don’t want to give any of it away, but there are some twists and turns. Some clever surprises. And a good ending. There is even a little door open for perhaps a third book, because Jonathan is told he owes the government agent. Will he come to collect? And what possible story could there be in that? I would definitely read it.

It is definitely a character study, very well done, and he changes under her influence, even though their meeting is in the past in the first book. How it is all resolved is part of the fun. Jonathan proves he is adept at navigating the morass of government agencies, as well as ferreting out the moles, for there are two. Then how to keep her safe — and how to keep him safe, that’s the story.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: The Exceptions

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Review: The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano

girl she used to beReviewed by Karin

A different romance
Not exactly a romance; almost a character study of the two main characters; yet a romance. This is a thinking man’s (or woman’s) romance.

I have to admit I started with the last chapter, then read the next to last, etc. for a few chapters, then reread from the beginning. I had to know how it ended before I began.

The story: Melody Grace McCartney has been a lot of different people over her 26 year lifetime. When she was 6, she and her parents witnessed a horrific mob hit by the Bovaro family. Since then, they have been on the move in the witness protection program, though her parents were later murdered. Their testimony didn’t matter in the the case against Tony Bovaro, because the elder Bovaro got off. Seemingly it did matter in a lot of peripheral cases, though that doesn’t hold any significance for Melody.

She contacts the program again, claiming she has been found, simply because she is bored.

And now as she is being moved again, the younger Bovaro shows up with orders to kill her, but he has other ideas. He has the crazy idea that he can set her free to find her own self, when she doesn’t even know who she is. Will his plan work?

In the meantime, she is pulled back by the witness protection program who finally offers her an offer that might mean something. They treat criminals in the program better than they do innocent witnesses. Which will she choose?

Jonathan Bovaro is already in love with her, with the real her, with the her that has been so many different people. He knows them all. And their two lives are not so very different in many ways.

The math: She’s a mathematician and in her most recent life, the program set her up to teach math. (Never mind she has no real credentials.) How she grades her average class is a sweet revelation. The sense of certainty that is math pervades a lot of the book and how she reasons.

I thought it was clever to start each chapter heading with an algebraic equation. I thought they might be a title for the chapter, some cryptic thing, but once I figured out chapter 2 and chapter 5, I had a pretty good idea, then I had to figure out what some of the symbols meant, because I have long ago forgotten them, though I used to love algebra.

At one point she is bothered by three young men. Her put down of the young man that comes over to her sounds like a mathematician — and is surely one for the books.

My take: This book is well written. There is much to like about the book!!! My only reservation is that Jonathan is a kind of loose cannon, with a short trigger. He has no problem with violence, but he has never killed before. I wondered how little it might take for him to turn against her and how far that violence would then go. I’m guessing RL might go that way, but this is a book.

I understand there is a sequel. The Exceptions.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: The Girl She Used to Be

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Review: Way Out of Line by Trish Jackson

Way Out of LineReviewed by Sandra Scholes

It’s what happens when two people are in love – age means nothing, but when one partner is underage, it tips the balance of what is considered right and wrong.

Hal fell for Trent one balmy, heated summer, and the effects of that meeting last almost forever in his mind when he becomes charged with statutory rape and has to spend years in prison where he can think about what he has done. Prison is the one place he never wanted to be though, surrounded by felons who had done far worse than he. After too many beatings he and his friend Demetrio plan an escape that could land him a harsher sentence if he were captured.

All the way through the story Hal can’t help but still think of Trent and how she must be feeling when he was dragged away from her so cruelly. They know what they felt in their own way, but it doesn’t fit in with what society says is right or wrong. Her act of telling him she was older causes the havoc in his life, yet he is prepared to overlook that one slight if it means he can get away from prison to tell her how he really feels about her. She is a poor little rich girl who has everything she has ever wanted, and more, and readers will wonder what he could possibly offer her in return for her love.

Way Out Of Line is a sad, touching story that will tug at the heartstrings in the way it has been written. Trent is a seductive siren of a girl who does all she can to convince Hal that she loves him and that they are meant to be together, but what happens to him shadows partly the love he once felt. Hal struck me as a very strong and enduring character that could come through pain and suffering and make something positive of it at the end. I enjoyed the soulful pleas from Trent to Hal in the letters she wrote to him in prison, and the feelings throughout the story.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Way Out Of Line

Review: Murder, Mayhem & Mama by Christie Craig

murder mayhem and mamaReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Calie McKay is in Hopeful, Texas. She’s a teacher and her mother recently passed away. Her boyfriend, Stan, isn’t very sympathetic. Detective Brit Lowell works in the Hopeful’s Homicide Division. He’s currently working the graveyard shift.

One night Cali comes home and Stan’s not there. When she goes to sleep her mother fits prominently in her dream. You would think with the title Christie used that it might be a little dark but it has some quirky moments – not to give too much away but “I hear dead people”.

I think that this book would make a great murder mystery movie. Christie gives us the dark side of murder. We get to see how the police department works to solve the murders that have occurred. And she makes us laugh a little when we see the ghostly side of the story. We would need actors that can be serious one moment, make us laugh the next, and then talk to people they cannot see. Who would you choose to play the parts?

There was one scene that just started getting to the interesting part and then we cut to another scene. You’re left wondering “what happened, what happened!” But this is what makes a great page turner. We have to keep reading so that we can see what’s going to happen next.

Christie shows her readers how officers feel, and act, after one of their own has been killed. This hit home for me after one of our area towns had an officer that was killed in the line of duty. And as I read this story, I’m reminded how my own mother passed away several years ago. I would like to think that she’s somewhere looking after me.

One thing that I found a little predictable, probably from watching too many cop shows on TV, was how the cops believe that somehow Cali is involved with what is going on. Brit surprised me too when there were times he could be romantic. He seemed like such a jerk. You’ll love the nickname that Cali gave him.

I have read some other of Christie’s work and this is another good one. Her story flows right from the beginning. She makes us think that guardian angels are possible. It also shows that our men, and women, in blue go through a lot to protect us. If you get this read within the next couple of months, you will be ready for her blog tour that starts toward the end of August. If you visit her web site, http://www.christie-craig.com/, you will find out what book will be involved with the tour.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Murder, Mayhem and Mama

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Review: Sex, Lies, and Valentines by Tawny Weber

Reviewed by Cara Lynn

This is a Harlequin Blaze, a romantic suspense, higher on the romance than suspense.

Gabriel Black is a consummate con artist, the son of an even better con artist. He left home and never looked back, working cons to better his father’s record.

Then he is caught in a sting of his own, forced to con his father, in order to hopefully prove his father’s innocence. the FBI has entered the fray with an agenda of it’s own, and sexy agent Danita Cruz is in on the deal — or she thinks she is.

But who is conning who? There are double and triple cons going on here. Who is innocent and who is guilty?

And there is a lotta sex. And it is well written, not to mention hot.

And you know along the way there will be love.

There is family love and loyalty. Friendships. New love. Commitment. Redemption and change. What else would you want in a book?

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Sex, Lies and Valentines (Harlequin Blaze)

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