Friday, 30 September 2016

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: In Safe Hands by Katie Ruggle

In Safe Hands (Search & Rescue #4) by Katie Ruggle
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: October 4th 2016
My rating: 4 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25644437-find-her


He was her hero,
But one wrong move ended their future before it could begin.
Now he'll do whatever it takes to keep her safe,
Even if that means turning against one of his own.

As a member of the Field County Sheriff's Department, Chris Jennings is used to having it rough. The Colorado Rockies aren't for the weak-of-spirit, but he's devoted his life to upholding the law—and to protecting the one woman he knows he can never have. He'll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

Daisy Little has lived in agoraphobic terror for over eight years. Trapped within a prison of her own making, she watches time pass through her bedroom window. Daisy knows she'll never be a part of the world...until the day she becomes the sole witness of a terrible crime that may finally tear the Search & Rescue brotherhood apart for good.


My Thoughts:
Daisy has been unable to leave her house after a witnessing a violent crime eight years back. Just the thought of the outdoors sends her into a paralyzing panic! Deputy Chris Jennings and her father are basically her only connections to the outside world.  Chris is her best friend, and Daisy silently yearns for them to be more, but feels they have no hope or future if she can’t get over her fears.

Suffering from insomnia Daisy prowls her empty house many nights in the wee hours, most nights it’s quite, but one night Daisy witnesses what looks like a crime, putting her life in danger. Chris rallies to her side and brings in Lou, who has been investigating the murder of Willard Gray since the first book, and  and the rest of the gang to see if what Daisy saw fits in with the rest of the crimes happening in Simpson.  All the while the killer is piecing together just how he can get at Daisy!  I was very worried for her since Daisy was basically a sitting duck in her home, but thankfully she had Chris at her back.  This brought to mind Rear Window with James Stewart, or Copycat with Sigourney Weaver; chilling to be trapped when the killer knows you’re a threat!  Still, Daisy wasn’t a helpless puppy either. After years of training, courtesy of Chris, she kicks some major ass, and was capable of defending herself against attackers. 

I adored Chris and Daisy!  My heart went out to them and what they went through eight years back, and both are still haunted by the past. It was evident to anyone with eyes how gaga they were over each other; they just needed to get on the same page.  This was definitely a slow burn romance, and it took some time, but the payoff was well worth it!

I was thrilled that Lou and Callum and the rest of the couples were featured so prominently in this story! Catching a glimpse of the happy couples was a treat, and they were a big support to Daisy.

In Safe Hands brings the Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue series to an end and the mystery behind the fires and murders is finally solved.  Actually, the last book, Gone Too Deep, left us with a shocking revelation (I literally gasped!), the identity of the killer, and it was a complete surprise! The mystery wraps up in a heart pounding, action filled ending that had me on the edge of my seat! It’s been a fun, wild, and sometimes scary ride! I’m sorry to say goodbye to the characters, the small mountain town setting and the thrills! I’ll be on the lookout for whatever Ms. Ruggle comes up with next!






Excerpt:

When their laughter faded, the silence reminded Daisy of the purpose of Lou’s visit. “Did Chris tell you why he thought we should talk?”
“Not really,” Lou said. “He called me this morning and said it would behoove me to swing by Daisy Little’s house to chat, and that he’d ‘warned’ you I’d be coming. There were lots of meaningful pauses, but I had no clue what he was getting at. He was being very un-Chris-like in his vagueness, but he was pretty insistent about me talking to you. When I told him that Callum had the truck, Chris even picked me up from my house and drove me here.”
“He told me he couldn’t talk about the Willard Gray case, but that I should talk to you.”
Lou’s eyes lit, and she leaned toward Daisy. “Do you know something about the case? I’m doing a whole Encyclopedia Brown thing, ever since I discovered poor Willard.”
“Encyclopedia…what?”
Waving off the question, Lou tilted so far forward that Daisy was afraid she’d topple over. “I’ve been looking into Willard Gray’s murder, even before we knew who he was. Callum and I put together a murder board and everything.”
The more Lou explained things, the more confused Daisy got. “A murder board?”
“It’s just a whiteboard with everything we know about the case. I snuck a couple of my less wild theories on there, too, much to Callum’s dismay. He’s more of a just-the-facts kind of guy.”
“O-kay.” Daisy took a sip of coffee to give her a chance to digest some of what Lou had just thrown at her. “So, Chris wants me to tell you what I saw this morning so you can add it to your killer board?”
“Murder board.” Lou was actually bouncing on her sofa cushion. Daisy understood why she’d declined caffeine. Even without it, Lou looked about ready to rocket into space. “What did you see this morning? Did Chris actually think it was related to Willard’s case? You need to start spilling immediately. I’m dying here!”
“I’m spilling! I’m spilling!” Daisy hurried to explain before Lou started levitating. “I think I saw someone moving a body.”
Lou went perfectly still before shrieking, “What??
Wincing, Daisy shot the other woman a look.
“Sorry,” Lou mumbled through the fingers she’d clapped over her mouth. After a few deep breaths, she let her hand drop back to her lap. “I get excited when someone mentions dead bodies. Oh, wow, that just went to a really wrong place, didn’t it? Okay, so forget my disturbing remark and get back to your story. I promise there will be no more screaming, unless you reveal something totally shocking. Let’s just say that I will attempt to keep my verbal exclamation points to a minimum, how about that?”
“Um…sure. This morning, around three thirty, I saw someone loading what looked like a tarp-wrapped body into a sheriff’s department vehicle.”
Instead of screaming, Lou just stared, her mouth open. Daisy sipped her coffee and let the other woman process the information. After several moments passed, Lou finally moved. She set her water bottle on the coffee table with the utmost care. Pulling her cell phone out of her back jeans pocket, she jabbed at the screen and then put the cell to her ear.
“Cal,” Lou said into her phone, “you need to bring the whiteboard over to Daisy Little’s house. I’m getting vital information here. I need my markers.” Her forehead creased at his response. “The whiteboard is an important part of our investigation team, Cal. We need him here.” She continued in an overly patient tone, as if the answer should’ve been obvious. “Of course the whiteboard is male. I named him Emerson.” Lou paused again. “Because someone named Emerson has to be intelligent. So, are you up for a whiteboard delivery?”
By Lou’s crestfallen expression, Daisy was pretty sure the answer was “no.” “Fine. I still love you, even if you are leaving me lost and whiteboardless.” She glanced at Daisy and gave her an apologetic look, mouthing no whiteboard. “Daisy Little’s house. Uh-huh. That Daisy Little.” Absently, she reached out with her free hand and started turning her water bottle in circles. “Deputy Chris drove me here. He was being really insistent in a weird and vague way about how I needed to talk to Daisy. Apparently, she saw a deputy moving a dead body really early this morning.” Lou listened for a minute. “That’s okay. Chris can give me a ride ho—fine! I’ll call you. You know,” her tone turned crafty, “if I bought that old International pickup I want, you wouldn’t have to be my taxi service.” Her disappointed, no-whiteboard frown returned. “But it’s adorable. Who needs modern safety features when I’m driving something so awesome? Yes. Okay. We’ll argue about this later. I need to get all the body-moving details from Daisy now.” Lou looked a little too excited about the prospect. “Uh-huh. Love you, too. Bye.”
After poking at her phone again, Lou tucked it into her back pocket. “No whiteboard.”
Daisy snorted. “I got that.”
“Do you have a notebook or a piece of paper or something?” Lou asked. “I know I’m not going to remember everything.”
“Sure.” Daisy retrieved a small notebook and a pen from the junk drawer in the kitchen and offered them to Lou before taking her seat on the couch again.
“Perfect. Thank you.” Lou flipped open the notebook cover. “Now tell me everything.”



About the author:
When she’s not writing, KATIE RUGGLE rides horses, shoots guns, and travels to warm places where she can SCUBA dive. Graduating from the Police Academy, Katie received her ice-rescue certification and can attest that the reservoirs in the Colorado Mountains really are that cold. While she still misses her off-the-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains, she now lives in Rochester, Minnesota near her family.

  Connect with Katie Ruggle:






The wonderful people of Sourcebooks have provided this very generous gift! The complete Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue series! Fill out rafflecopter below for a chance to win.


Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr

The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr
Publisher: Mira
Publication date: September 27th 2016
My rating: 4 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Kobo

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25644437-find-her
#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr creates an emotional and uplifting ensemble of characters in this rags-to-riches-to-rags novel about women, friendship and the complex path to happiness In the aftermath of her financier husband's suicide, Emma Shay Compton's dream life is shattered. Richard Compton stole his clients' life savings to fund a lavish life in New York City and, although she was never involved in the business, Emma bears the burden of her husband's crimes. She is left with nothing.

Only one friend stands by her, a friend she's known since high school, who encourages her to come home to Sonoma County. But starting over isn't easy, and Sonoma is full of unhappy memories, too. And people she'd rather not face, especially Riley Kerrigan.

Riley and Emma were like sisters—until Riley betrayed Emma, ending their friendship. Emma left town, planning to never look back. Now, trying to stand on her own two feet, Emma can't escape her husband's reputation and is forced to turn to the last person she thought she'd ever ask for help—her former best friend. It's an uneasy reunion as both women face the mistakes they've made over the years. Only if they find a way to forgive each other—and themselves—can each of them find the life she wants.

My Thoughts:
Emma has returned to Sonoma County after the suicide of her husband, a man convicted of bilking millions of dollars from investors reminiscent of Bernie Madoff.  Her husband was a piece of work, but Emma sort of let herself be taken on a fairytale ride without examining the details too closely before everything blew up. After living a life of supreme luxury, Emma is left with nothing and not many options for employment on the East Coast after the notoriety of the trial. At the urging of an old friend Emma returns, after sixteen years away, but not without some reservations.  Going back will surely mean that she’ll run into her former best-friend, Riley.  Riley and Emma were like sisters until Riley’s betrayal in college, and I couldn’t blame Emma for leaving after discovering the details. 

It’s a little more difficult to talk about Riley without spoiling some things. At first I was really ticked at her for what she did in the past.  But life isn’t black and white and when you get down to the details and feelings, I could understand, and I felt bad for Riley, too.  One mistake was a huge blow to both of them with the loss of such a close friendship they never quite recovered from the betrayal. Emma’s situation paved the way to understanding and reconciliation, because it’s really hard to stay mad at someone when you see them on a regular basis.  You end up having to face the problem, and work it out.

My heart went out to both women, but I have to say Emma was my favorite here.  She didn’t let humiliation, regrets or self-pity stop her from trying to get her life back. Her plight really touched me! It made me grateful for what I have and my place in life.

Besides the story of Emma and Riley’s friendship, there are two romances, and I loved both!  These romances felt true to life, and had the just the right amount of steaminess! Adam, Riley’s older brother, made a wonderful love interest for Emma; so steadfast, determined and an amazing support for Emma! Riley’s romance was a little more complicated, but I’m very pleased how it worked out.

I’m a huge fan of Robyn Carr. I’ve been working my way through her Virgin River series and I’m happy I still have several books to go.  She really makes you feel for the characters, not only the main ones, but also all the secondary cast, too.  Once I pick up one of her stories, I’m consumed, and time flies by! The Life She Wants made me feel a whole range of emotions, and I closed my kindle with a happy, contented sigh by the end!



Connect with Robyn Carr




Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #5)

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #5)
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: September 6th 2016
My rating: 4.5 stars. 


The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't. As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear. Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

To be honest I really wasn’t going to pick up Empire of Storms, I really was left disappointed with Queen of Fire, I had lost faith in the characters I’d grown to know and adore, but Audible really twisted my arm, on a whim I decided to pre order a copy. I’m also the fussiest person ever when it comes to a narrator’s voice, Elizabeth Evans in my eyes did an excellent job, her voice for the male characters was good too, at times she could speak quite quietly that I would miss what she has said (but that could also be because I listened to the audiobook everywhere I went it was a mammoth 25 hours long, so walking on busy streets  with buses zooming by really didn’t help) but Evans will definitely go onto my list to look out for audiobook narrators.

So onto the book; what I liked: as I said I had lost faith in certain characters and the direction that things had gone in, but I’m glad that Maas came through with other characters such as Elide and Manon. Whereas in previous books I wanted to skip over their chapters, here their perspectives were ones that I was really looking forward to, and some other characters which I really didn’t expect I would like at all!.
The introduction of new characters too was also fantastic, it’s always refreshing when you get to know new characters, but more so when you quickly become attached to them and don’t want anything to happen to them. Two in particular really stood out for me in Empire of Storms. Once again Maas created a read which full of action packed scenes, always something come along which would surpass what had previously happened. Some scenes would leave you reeling with a sucker punch blow that I didn’t want to continue with the everyday things like going to work; I just needed to know what was going to happen next! I’m a huge fan of a good romance within a story and you could say I was really surprised with what happened in Empire of Storms. The romances I least expected to happen I ended up being a fan of the most and the one’s that had been apparent for some time, those unfortunately not so much.
There were some kickass female characters, there are several strong fae characters around, but these ladies aren’t ones to take a back seat, they go on to show that they don’t need a guy to fight their battles. I was thoroughly impressed with their strength and determination!

And the not so much.
There were two characters; Aelin and Rowan that I just found myself not being able to deal with, I know a lot of readers are huge fans and were impressed with the development of their story. But like I said, I enjoyed it when other characters were with them in their chapters and I was eager in finding out how things would go, but when these two were alone together, I just couldn’t feel their relationship anymore. I think I’ve just lost that connection that I had with them in Heir of Fire, which is sort of disappointing.

Overall Empire of Storms was a really surprising read for me, it definitely got me excited about continuing with this series with the influx of new characters and the development of others that I didn’t expect. I for one can’t wait to join them on their next journey! 



Friday, 23 September 2016

Mini-reviews: To Have and To Hold and For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

To Have and To Hold (The Wedding Belles #1)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: July 26th 2016.
My rating: 4 stars.  


Discovering her fiance is an international con man just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Baldwin's business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet—if slightly spoiled—hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse strings. Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister Maya's fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiance is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning... is theirs?

I was thrilled when I found out that I still had two books that I could devour straight away In the Wedding Bells series. I adored from This Day Forward and so couldn’t wait to be back with these characters once more, with this series it certainly became the case that when a new couple is introduced they are quick they are quick to become my favourites. Brooke and Seth were perfect for one another, the passion and couldn’t keep their eyes or hands off each other was clearly apparent from very early on. It made me laugh how much having Brooke around was effecting Seth. I could understand Brooke wanting to take a step back with what had just gone down with her, but with a grumpy, growly, hot, did I mention hot guy like Seth around how could one resist? I admit Seth did make some jerky moves along the way, but it clearly showed his love for those around him despite it not coming across that way. Once again the build up of sexual tension between Brooke and Seth was off the charts, the little obstacles that got in the way really bugged me at times as I wanted more from them and I wanted it now! Layne once again delivered a sexy read in From this Day Forward; I for one can’t wait to dive into the next book!



For Better or Worse (The Wedding Belles #2)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: August 30th 2016.
My rating: 4 stars.  


Discovering her fiance is an international con man just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Baldwin's business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet—if slightly spoiled—hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse strings. Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister Maya's fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiance is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning... is theirs?

Layne always ups her game when introducing new swoonworthy characters. I was a complete sucker for Josh and his rippling abs and perfect muscles! But not only was Josh a pretty face and gorgeous body, I adored the vulnerable side that Layne bought out in him. We’re not really sure what has gone down with Josh, of course we’re given some kind of inkling, but there’s always the case that Josh is holding back when it come to Heather. The chemistry between Josh and Heather is clearly apparent, but they both agree a serious relationship is not on the cards. I really wanted to knock some sense in these two at times; a beautiful, meaningful relationship could have developed if they quit playing games earlier on. Later on I could understand Josh’s fear about having more with Heather, it really was heart breaking to watch at times, but I appreciated the softer side of Josh that we got to experience. What I also loved about For Better or Worse was that the characters that we got to know and love in the previous books really played an integral part of the story. I loved finding out what was happening in their lives and just getting to spend time with them once more! I honestly don’t know who my favourite couple is anymore, I just love them all! The next book To Love and to Cherish is meant to focus on Alexis and Logan! I can’t wait to see how that will turn out.



Monday, 19 September 2016

Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona Andrews
Publisher: Ace
Publication date: September 20th 2016
My rating: 5 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Kobo

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25644437-find-her
Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…
 


My Thoughts:
The threat of Kate’s father, Roland is coming to a head with him pushing, and it seems war with him will be inevitable.  Roland’s decides to set up camp right outside of the border of Atlanta, building his fortress, not crossing the land Kate has claimed, but coming right up against it. Kidnapping Saiman is the last straw, but Kate must consider all her moves before charging in or thrust them into a war with Roland before she’s ready to take him on.  As if this wasn’t bad enough the witches have looked into Kate’s future and it is either: 1.) Bad or 2.) Really, really bad!  Can Kate change the course she’s headed on: doom, gloom, and death?  Gotta say, I was a little worried!

But that’s not all that was going on, Kate and Curran’s impeding wedding brings humor and laughs in an otherwise tense, action filled story.  Picking dresses, colors, and a cake is so not Kate’s thing, but she has some surprising help.  I was so thrilled these two were finally going to tie the knot! One of the things I love about this series is that it doesn’t rely on relationship woes to make the story interesting.  Magic Rises (book 6) was sort of an exception, but still, for the most part Curran and Kate are a strong united couple, still passionate for each other, yet not without normal relationship issues. Battling for their lives and the lives of the people they love adds quite enough thrills to this series.

A lot of the regular characters I love were featured: Julie, Derek, Andrea, Raphael, Jim, Dali, Roman, Barabas, Christopher, but not in depth, because the conflict with Roland was at the forefront. I liked that Julie continues to grow into a more important/interesting character, even with the little page time.  I’m rooting for much more with her and Derek, and I would be thrilled if we got another Derek and Julie story like Magic Stars! 



Magic Binds was epic, action packed, and thrilling! As I finished and closed my Kindle, all I could think was, “Wow!”  Ilona Andrews manages to keep this series fresh, and exciting even after nine books. I truly think the series just gets better with every installment with Kate growing, evolving, and coming into her own. The story here was pretty much resolved, but the greater story arc continues on, and I wonder what will happen especially with that last revelation?!  



Connect with Ilona Andrews:




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...