Review: Bound to Danger (Deadly Ops #2) by Katie Reus

isbn9781472212214-1x3aOwn the book: Yes
Source: BookBridgr
Format: Paperback
Publish date: 5th August 2014 by Headline Eternal
Price: N/A
Date Read: 8th August 2014

Note: I received this review copy of Bound to Danger (Deadly Ops #2) by Katie Reus for free through BookBridgr in return for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

 

Bound to Danger is the second book in the Deadly Ops series. Although it is in a series, it can be read as a standalone novel although characters who were previously major characters do show up in minor roles. This does not detract at all and seems to be the way for series of this type. It comes firmly under the genre heading ‘Romantic Suspense’ – my absolute favourite right now. The story was exciting and the characters real and appealing.

While attending a benefit dinner, Maria Cervantes overhears men plotting a terrorist attack. Before she can alert the authorities however, the building explodes and almost everyone is killed. As the only guest still alive, Maria becomes a person of interest to the NSA. With her memory of the evening gone however, she only remembers that she knows something important; not what. With an NSA agent needed to babysit/bodyguard the survivor, one man takes the job. Cade O’Reilly. Maria is the woman he never forgot, having abandoned her following the death of his best friend – her brother in Afghanistan. Cade though, as a member of the NSA’s Black Death 9 agents is the person who will protect Maria whether she likes it or not. As they get closer and Maria starts to regain her memories, Cade and Maria must decide if they want to let each other go again.

I really enjoyed this book. I found the explanations for words at the beginnings of chapters were really good – it was something relevant to the oncoming chapter and helped to explain to someone who has a vague idea but no proper definition. I also really liked the old emails between Maria and Cade every now and again throughout the book. It really brought out the old relationship between the two and added a lot of backstory. Along with all that, the action and the excitement I certainly enjoyed the romance part – I found it rather stimulating *ahem*. Warning: This book is not for under 18’s.

I found everything in the story so well described I had a perfect picture of the whole book in my head. The muscles, the guns, the boats and so on all came to life inside my head. Thank you Katie for such a fantastic book!

 

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ – I loved it

 

 

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Review: Do or Die (Reluctant Heroes #1) by Suzanne Brockmann

Own the book: YesDo or Die Cover
Source: NetGalley
Format: E-book – read on Kindle
Publish date: 4th February 2014 by Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books
Price: N/A
Date Read: 2nd August 2014

 

Note: I received this copy of Do or Die (Reluctant Heroes #1) by Suzanne Brockmann for free through Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books on NetGalley. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

 

When I was a teenager I got rather addicted to Mills & Boon books – I loved the easy read, the heart breaking near-end and the guaranteed happy ending. Unfortunately I read so many of them I ended up mixing them up in my head. One that really stayed with me though was – I discovered after much searching years later – ‘Prince Joe’ by the author Suzanne Brockmann. Re-discovering this amazing author years later has been an absolute pleasure.

Ian Dunn is an ex Navy SEAL and now apparent jewel thief and conman who is currently serving time in jail. Phoebe Kruger, a lawyer only days into her new job, takes on the case of Ian Dunn from her absent boss; Dunn’s usual point of contact. Whatever Ian Dunn is really doing by being in jail, the FBI are springing him out to rescue two children trapped in a foreign embassy in Miami by their father. Ian Dunn has his secrets though and passes on the mission and the promised freedoms. Saying no though is not an option, and Ian Dunn is freed – taking his feisty new lawyer along for the ride. Well, at least to begin with. Phoebe soon persuades Ian to rescue the children and let her help in the mission. With the addition of Ian’s old team; his brother Aaron, Aaron’s partner Shelly and their baby Rory along with Francine and a whole host of other characters, a plan is soon formed and it’s time to put things in motion.

This story comes in under the Romantic Suspense genre umbrella and it’s exactly what I love to read. And to be honest, I adored this story. I loved the characters of Ian and Phoebe. Ian the strong-willed alpha, ready to lead and so protective of his family. Phoebe, at first out of her depth in such a strange and unknown situation who takes back control and finds strength and courage. And the romance between the two… phew!

At 577 pages (according to Amazon.co.uk) it was a long read but it went so quickly – I don’t think I put it down except to sleep for the night and that was only when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. After a Mills & Boon length story I felt spoilt! Although the story was a long one, I didn’t feel like there were any parts I could have skipped without missing out on big parts of the current or back-story the characters had. Each character had secrets and a history which made a lot of the things going on make sense; their reactions to a situation or a specific person. It was this intertwining of stories which made me love this book all the more. Oh, and the action. Can’t have a romantic suspense book without action – especially when your male lead is a massive, highly-muscled ex Navy SEAL. Pulse. Racing. For more reasons than one.

Overall this was a fantastic re-introduction to a wonderful author and I’m so excited that this is the first in a new series. I can’t wait to read more – I even have an old copy of ‘Prince Joe’ waiting for a re-read!

If you like your stories with a mix of romance, action and feisty characters this is definitely the story for you.

 

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ – Bl**dy brilliant

Review: The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House by Stephanie Lam

21443281 Source: Goodreads First Reads
Format: Paperback ARC
Publish date: 28th August 2014 by Penguin
Price: N/A
Date Read: 24th July 2014

Note: I received this copy of The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House by Stephanie Lam for free through Goodreads First Reads. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

I was delighted to receive this copy of The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House through the post as it was one which greatly appealed to me. I was shocked to discover on it’s arrival that it is an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC), so I am not allowed to post any quotes from it – much as I may wish. At a little over 500 pages, this paperback book is rather thick but surprisingly lightweight with reasonably sized but not overly large text. I especially enjoyed the floppiness of the pages – it was a joy not to have to wrestle to open a book! The cover is somewhat sedate and rather dignified but striking – I adore it.

The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House is a story set in two different time periods. The scene is set in the seaside town of Helmstone, a place with sharp cliffs, holidaymakers, day-trippers, a fairground and a hotel – among other things. Chapter one begins the story in 1965 with the main character of that period Rosie Churchill. She is a young woman in her late teens and run away from home and sixth form to rent a bed in the rundown yet still beautiful Castaway House in Helmstone. Castaway House though has its secrets. Rosie is soon set on discovering who the mysterious ‘R.C’ is; a drawing of a man with the initials ‘R.C.’ is found wedged behind some skirting boards, a mysterious message is discovered carved and inked into the frame of a window and whispers of trouble years ago come to Rosie’s ears.

In 1924, a young and somewhat naïve nineteen year old Robert Carver makes his way to Helmstone to stay with his wealthier, older and more exciting cousin Alec at his beautiful home, Castaway House. He arrives to find that Alec has married, walking straight into the lives of a damaged, un-loving couple with far-reaching secrets. Little does Robert know that his summer at Castaway House will change his life and the lives of all he comes in contact with.

At 500+ pages, The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House rather intimidated me upon first glance. Once I started reading however I was hooked. The story is written in the first person, from the viewpoint of either Robert or Rosie depending on which year the chapter was set in. I think the span of time covered in both 1924 and 1965 was only a few months; the summer of 1924 and sometime from September in 1965 although there were links between the two. The story was brought to life by the author’s words. The characters were wonderfully flawed and exquisitely human. No one was perfect and each had characteristics and traits and got into situations that you could easily understand, feel and relate to.

This book was very much set in the UK – Helmstone sounded  to me like the seaside town of Brighton on the south coast of England. There were also many mentions of the 1st and 2nd world wars. In 1924 and 1965, both would still be very near memory to the population. Many would have lost parents, bothers, cousins, uncles or sweethearts in the fighting. There would still be reminders, especially on the coast – shops previously used as lookout posts and maybe a pier destroyed so it couldn’t be used to land enemy planes.

The story of Castaway House and its inhabitants in both 1924 and 1965 were linked wonderfully, with little tendrils of knowledge and hits at answers – and even more questions – coming throughout the story. The way the author intertwined the characters throughout the book and between 1924 and 1965 was magnificently done and I am completely in awe. I was kept guessing throughout the majority of the book until the full story was told and the characters truly unveiled. I will admit to making a few guesses which ended up evenly split between right and wrong!

The mystery of Castaway House and its inhabitants was one which touched many lives. I was completely enchanted and thrilled with the story and characters and didn’t want to finish reading. Unfortunately I had to in order to find out what had really happened.

This book is one I will keep going back to and will loudly praise to all who will listen. Why? Because it’s bl**dy brilliant.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Review: The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride…and Baby by Shoshanna Evers

TTCB&BOwn the book: Yes
Source: NetGalley
Format: Kindle E-book
Publish date: 28th July 2014 by Entangled Publishing
Price: N/A
Date Read: 16th July 2014

Note: I received this copy of The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride…and Baby by Shoshanna Evers for free through Entangled Publishing on NetGalley. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

First off, i’m going to abbreviate this title to TTCB&B as typing that out a few times would likely double the length of my review on its own.

TTCB&B is the story of two people, Mack; rich tycoon and playboy, and Lauren; career business woman who has put all thoughts of a family of her own firmly behind her. The two are brought together when Mack’s business partner and best friend – the twin brother of Lauren – and his wife go missing and are presumed dead leaving behind their baby daughter. The little cutie Callie, bound by her fathers will to live with a married couple, is left to the fate of the fostering system unless Mack and Lauren can find a way around it. And they do… they’ll marry each other. Just until Callie’s parents are found. They can get an annulment, right?

I really enjoyed TTCB&B – it was an easy, engaging read which made me eager to read more and I sped through it in a few hours. The characters Mack and Lauren were at times beyond frustrating. Many times I was longing to hit their heads together or lock them in a room so that they’d just come out and say something, not just hope that an action was being construed for what they should have been saying out loud. This frustration just made the book better though and the ending even more poignant.

Shoshanna’s work was a wonderful escape and I absolutely loved it. There was heat (boy, was there!), love, misunderstanding, despair and so many other emotions all rolled into one little package. All in all a wonderful story. Thank you for allowing me this preview.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Review: Elysian Fields (Sentinels of New Orleans #3) by Suzanne Johnson

Own the book: Yes9780755397709
Source: BookBridgr
Format: Paperback
Published: (Originally) 15th August 2013 by Headline
Price: N/A
Date Read: 15th July 2014

Note: I received this copy of Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson for free through BookBridgr. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

Elysian Fields is the third book in the Sentinels of New Orleans series, preceded by Royal Street (#1) and River Road (#2). It is classed by Headline as a Fiction/Urban Fantasy mix. I couldn’t quite work out if this was aimed at a teen or adult audience however, but I think it could easily be enjoyed by both.

Before reading this book I will fully admit that I had not read either of the other books in the series but I was intrigued too much by the storyline and the gorgeous cover to let my chance to read it pass. And I’m so pleased I took it.

The Sentinels of New Orleans series focuses around the main character of DJ – Drusilla Jaco. DJ is an odd mix of wizard and elf, with the powers of both. The books are set around New Orleans in the times around Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane opened a passageway from the Beyond to present day New Orleans, giving characters still remembered by the world of today the opportunity to came back for periods. These characters can be good, bad or a charming pirate named Jean who is a mix of both. The world DJ lives in contains elves, werewolves, witches and wizards along with shapeshifters, elves and who knows what else.

Book three was an absolute joy to read. The characters imagined by Suzanne Johnson fully came to life in my mind and her descriptions were wonderful. I laughed, I hid in fear and I couldn’t put it down. I even had a 3am incident when I just didn’t want to stop reading, despite having to work the following day! I found that though I had missed the first two books in the series, I could still really enjoy the book as everything was explained succinctly enough to get the gist of what had previously happened without it ruining the flow.

I loved too the hints of romance in the story – the will they/won’t they play which still wasn’t sorted at the end. Can I hear a book 4 in the distance? Please? If bribery will work I’ll send cupcakes…!

It was a clever book and one I would certainly recommend. So please, give it a try!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥