Friday, July 3, 2015

DREAMWEAVER TRAIL by Emily March

 

An Eternity Springs Novel
Ballantine Books
May 27th, 2014
978-0-345-54230-4
Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Publisher
3.5 Hearts




After another lonely Valentine’s Day, Gabi Romano decides to trade snow and cold for the sun and sand as she dog sits in the gorgeous Caribbean. But what she doesn’t anticipate is finding two passions- creating glass art and the mysterious Flynn Brogan, her next door neighbor. When she meets Flynn, sparks fly but when their island fling goes down in the flames of violence, Gabi finds out that the Flynn she knows is a fa├žade and living a lie. Heartsick, Gabi returns to Eternity Springs and finds a way to move on with her life without Flynn and the passion they shared together.

Flynn knew his secrets would come out but he expected to be the one to tell Gabi himself, not the media but when he is caught by enemies he didn’t see coming, his desire to survive overcomes his desire to make things right with Gabi. Until Flynn moves to Eternity Springs for the winter and Gabi returns home for the Christmas holidays. This time the healing power of this small mountain town will show these two bruised warriors that love can heal the damaged of hearts and second chances are right there waiting for you…if you take the chance.

Emily March has penned a delightful addition to her Eternity Springs series with Gabi Romano’s story in DREAMWEAVER TRAIL. I love this series with a passion. It has characters you can’t help but fall in love with, a serene yet enjoyable setting that makes me long to visit anytime of the year and so much more. This is an author who is a wonderful storyteller, who knows how to hook her readers in and doesn’t let up until the very end of the book. She lets the characters take over and tell their story which is what makes this series so enjoyable in my opinion. The writing is tight, story flows smoothly and the few twists in the story left me flipping the pages quickly to see what happens next for Gabi and Flynn.

We met the intrepid Gabi Romano in earlier books in the Eternity Springs series and  now it was  her time to find her own happy ever after. Restless and listless, she finds her passion on the beaches of the lush Caribbean in the form of creating glass art. But that is just one side of her passion especially when she meets Flynn and then all bets are off. She falls head over heels and loves the time she is able to spend with him. Until danger and violence crash into their idyllic fling and tear these two apart. I got to admit I loved seeing Gabi find her passion for a career in the form of creating glass art. She is lively, strong and capable heroine who is more than a match for the damaged Flynn Brogan. Flynn is at first charming, delightful and quite sexy but after the danger that catches him unaware, he is damaged and living in the shadows. It will take all the strength Gabi has to heal his heart and soul in order for these two to have a chance at happy ever after. I got to admit Flynn grew on me after the attack that left Gabi reeling and running scared. Flynn became more than a rich man hiding out but a wounded warrior who hid his scars inside and out as best he could, letting the shadows hide him away. There was a line in the book that really spoke to me. It was about life is worth living, even if we stumble, it was worth it because life is made up of stumbles and falls. Flynn needed to learn that and Gabi was the perfect person to show him that even as the healing powers of Eternity Springs worked its magic on them. There were new characters introduced that left me eager to know more of and some returning ones that left a smile on my face. This is an author who knows how to create a wide diverse cast of characters to appeal to anyone who picks up one of these books.

DREAMWEAVER TRAIL can be read as a stand alone title in the series but it is best read in order because you might not get the back story as complete for some of the characters there. I got to admit I am eager to see where this author goes next in the series and can’t wait to start the next book in the series even if it is to reconnect with a few old friends as well as meet some new ones. If you enjoy small town stories with a touch of magic, hope and more then you will definitely find the Eternity Springs series to be right up your alley. So run-don’t walk-to grab DREAMWEAVER TRAIL and settle in for hours of reading pleasure.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement




Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid



Publisher:    Grove Press
Published:   July 7, 2015
ISBN:     978-0802123916
Genre:    Non-fiction  
Format:  Ebook   
Obtained via:  Publisher via Edelweiss
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina Gina@loveromancesandmorereviews.com

FIVE HEARTS

Somehow I have missed reading any of Val McDermid’s fictions, but after reading her Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell us About Crime I am going to start working me way through her back list.  If they are half as good as Forensics I’ll be one happy reader.

I was immediately interested when I saw Forensics offered up for review.  Despite the title and blurb I was expecting a decent summation of the techniques the police use along with how they interface with other agencies.  There is that – the first chapter deals with the killing of a British police officer and how the crime scene techs tracked the evidence and how the killer was brought to justice. 

McDermid goes beyond my expectations with chapters on fire investigation, entomology, pathology, toxicology, fingerprinting, blood spatter and DNA, anthropology, facial reconstruction and of particular interest to me, forensic psychology.  Forensics is not a dry non-fiction where the author produces a series of paragraphs that describe the investigative topic and moves on.  Rather McDermid treats readers to a wonderful combination of the historical background for each of the sciences, modern techniques and how today’s techniques would have impacted and/or interfaced with the historical methods.  She includes real crimes and how the investigators at the time they were committed solved…or attempted to solve them along with current or modern day events.  She presents failures of the criminal justice system along with the successes and information on why mistakes were made.  The leaders of each investigative area are introduced through their most notable crimes.

Forensics:  What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell us About is not a quick read because of the complexity of each different subject yet each is presented in an easily readable and understandable manner.  I venture to say there is something for everyone in the book—whether you are a fan of today’s TV crime solving shows or historical reading such as Conan Doyle or a writer, something will catch your attention.  Taking it a step further, it is a “must have” for anyone writing romantic suspense, thrillers, mysteries or cozy mysteries.  It is an interesting read and a well written text book on crime solving. 


This is an objective review and an endorsement of this book.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Diabolical Miss Hyde: An Electric Empire Novel by Viola Carr



Publisher: Harper Voyager
Date published: 02/10/2015
ISBN: 9780062363084
Fiction, Science Fiction / Steampunk
Print

Reviewed by Gabrielle (meingee@yahoo.com)
Weblink: http://www.harpercollins.com/9780062363084/the-diabolical-miss-hyde
Obtained via publisher
Rating: 3.5 Hearts



One of my favorite stories is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This book gives readers an interesting version of that story. I was intrigued and more than a little interested in this story. It seems that Dr. Eliza Jekyll is the daughter of the infamous doctor and she has inherited the curse that her father was laden with. 


In this tale Eliza and her partner are trying to solve the latest crimes in an alternate nineteenth century England. Captain Remy Lafayette has been sent to town to assist Eliza in the investigation. There is chemistry between the two but is it Eliza or Lizzy that wants the captain? Can they solve the crimes before it is too late and is the Captain really there to help or has Eliza being looked at herself? As Eliza is trying to figure out just who is the killer she must deal with Captain Lafayette and the feelings he brings out in her.


Eliza’s story is filled with action and a bit of magic. I enjoyed the glimpse at this magical part of her world and the creatures that come with it. Hopefully there will be future books in which readers will be able to see and explore more from this part of the Eliza’s world.


I also thought that the relationship between Eliza and Lizza was a unique and intriguing one. I enjoyed seeing the difference between the two and how they reacted and communicated.


I was pulled in to a wondrous world full of interesting characters with this book. It has a steam punk feel to it and it moves nicely keeping ones interest.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY by Susan Mallery



Mira
February 24th, 2015
978-0-7783-1602-2
Contemporary/Women’s Fiction
Hardback
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Library
5 Hearts




For three friends, Nicole Lord, Shannon Rigg & Pam Eiland, life is moving at a nice pace when things happen to throw them in a tailspin. Nicole finds herself supporting a husband while he chases his dream of writing a screenplay while working and raising their young son. Meantime, Shannon is looking for Mr. Right, the one man to make her dreams of a happy ever after with the promise of a family in the future. When she meets Adam, well let’s just say things look promising until he spills a secret that will either make them stronger or tear them apart. Then there is Pam who has it all or so it seems. Doting husband. Great kids. But when she takes the chance to put the heat back in their thirty year marriage, things heat up to explosive for Pam and her husband, John until tragedy leaves Pam scrambling as life takes her on a roller coaster of a ride. Three friends find that love, life and more weave there way around them as they try to make sense at all the changes-good & bad-even as they navigate their trials life has thrown at them, they find that friendship makes it all more bearable.

I got to admit this was the first book by this author I read and I could not put it down. With characters that literally float off the pages to real life situations that left me hanging as I flipped the pages, Ms. Mallery leads the reader on an extraordinary journey alongside Pam, Nicole and Shannon as they navigate life as it tosses a curve ball at each of them. I laughed, cried, smiled and cheered as I read THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY. The author delves deep into a world where real people live, work and love. From single parenthood to troubled marriages to finding that spark in a long lasting marriage; with each chapter these three women experienced, the reader is right alongside them as they tried to figure out where to put their feet even as the author tossed another twist that leaves the reader gasping in shock.

The writing is tight, the story flows smoothly and I got to admit, the characters are what this book is all about. Complex yet vulnerable, discovering life isn’t all sunshine and roses and more, Ms. Mallery delivers such life like characters that I was ready to go meet these wonderful people the moment I meet them. That right there is the testament to this author’s storytelling. Her characters are believable, their situations something you can understand and might have experienced and just, for one second, can sympathize with them as well. You will fall in love with Pam, Shannon and Nicole right from the first page and I got to admit, I am really, really hoping she makes this a series because I want to know where these three friends are going. She leaves just enough unfinished sub-plots going on that make me hopeful we will see more of Mischief Bay in the future.

If you enjoy tight knit friendship stories then you will enjoy the latest book by Susan Mallery. THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY will leave you reaching for tissues even as you laugh at some of the scenes as you flip the pages and the ending will leave you with a smile on your lips while you hope these three wonderful multi-dimensional characters get their own happy ever after. I am really eager to pursue her backlist to see what appeals to me as I await more on Mischief Bay and these wonderful friends.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Kinko de Mayo by Tymber Dalton



Publisher: Siren
Date published: April 2015
ISBN:
978-1-63259-132-6
BDSM
E-book
Reviewed by Helen
Weblink: http://www.bookstrand.com/kinko-de-mayo
Obtained via publisher
Rating: 5



The Suncoast Society throws a party, and as usual there’s plenty of kink in it. For Kinko de Mayo, the group meets, gathers, talks, jokes, and enjoys a wide range of BDSM activities and equipment.



The book opens well, introducing some previously met characters and a source of conflict right from the very start. That issue resolves at the very end of the book. Meanwhile the characters party, and share with each other, and the reader gets to follow the various scenarios, catching up on characters they’ve met in previous books, and finding out what they’re doing, as well as watching them relax, play, seeing them try out new things, grow and develop, and interact with and help each other.

The basic outline of the story is very simple. Throw a whole group of people from previous books together at a party. A BDSM party is sure to have sex, toys, equipment and everything to make BDSM and erotic romance readers happy. But it also has an opportunity for people to sit and to talk, to share, to wrestle with issues and to come to conclusions.

Setting up a scenario like this and handling it so very well highlights the true professionalism of a very good writer. The book could so easily have ended up a mishmash of disconnected fragments. Yet Tymber Dalton doesn’t disappoint. She weaves all the threads together with ease, leaving the reader turning the last page with a very happy smile on her face. It’s an absolute delight to read such a good book by an author of such high caliber.


This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.