Tuesday, December 11, 2018

THE WINTERS by Lisa Gabriele

Publisher:      Viking
Published:      October 16, 2018
ISBN:      : 978-0525559702
Genre:     Contemporary, Gothic
Format:     Print from Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  myreviewbooks@aol.com



An unnamed woman works at a boat yard in the Caymans.  Her life hasn’t been all that easy, especially with the death of her father.  He’d worked for Laureen, a woman who owned several charter boats in the marina.  When he died, the woman whose story this is, took his place.  Living day to day, sailing, fixing boats, taking our charters, her life is fairly routine.  Then one day Max Winter arrives.  Recently widowed with a teenaged daughter he is in the Caymans seeking some peace.  When he and the narrator meet there is a connection neither can deny.  In short order he asks her to marry him and she agrees.  They return to his home, on Long Island, Asherley, and there begin their life together.

But all is not easy, Dani, Max’s daughter is troubled.  She smokes, drinks, gets high and generally acts out like a spoiled teen.  At first it seems Dani is attacking the narrator, trying to undermine her relationship with Max.  But then the story of Max’s first wife,  Rebekah, begins to come out leaving the narrator with more questions than answers.  Still, she loves and is in love with Max and will do anything to remain by his side…anything.  But after their wedding things begin to spiral out of control leaving the narrator to wonder just who did she marry.

I’m of two minds about Lisa Gabriele’s THE WINTERS.  Based on, or as the blurb says inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s REBECCA, parts read like a revised REBECCA.  Much like Hollywood, rather than create a new story is redoing original movies, classic movies with modern elements, at times I felt the “original” REBECCA” was a better read.  But then, I am a huge du Maurier fan.  I wondered what would be next – MY COUSIN RACHEL?  FRENCHMAN’S CREEK? 

Then again, Gabriele tells an often page turning story.  There were parts that lagged and I wanted to skim, but I won’t skim a review book-I might miss something.  But the white knuckle-keep you up late a night-just one more chapter sections were wonderful.  It was a little weird not having a name for our heroine—interesting device, but how to refer to her? 

There were times I wanted to swat Dani on the behind because she was such a brat.  Not in a bad way, but in a way that leaves you feeling like you are part of the story…that there is a piece of you in the story.

I struggle with what is to me the needless killing of an animal.  I know there are sick people who do that—I don’t need it in my fiction.  I knew what was coming with the kitten was introduced but read on hoping I was wrong.  Warnings need to be put on books that an animal is brutally killed in a book.  At least be warned.

THE WINTERS was a decent read.  I’ll read Gabriele again.  And there were, as I said, page turning sections…many more of them than mundane or skimable. 

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

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

HIS TOUCH (DARK MAGICK 1) by Dulce Dennison

Changeling Press
Date Published:10/19/2018
BDSM, Dark Fantasy, romance
Reviewed by : Gabrielle (meingee@yahoo.com)
Weblink : https://www.changelingpress.com/his-touch-dark-magick-1-b-2780
Obtained via publisher
Rating: 4 Hearts

Prince Llewellyn has lived alone for so many years. The darkness being his only friend. When a beautiful light Fae calls to him Llewellyn will do anything to get Pyk to come to him and even more to keep him at his side for all time. Pyk has always longed for something darker something more that no other light Fae could ever give him. Yet it seems that Llewellyn is the man that can give him what he wants. Can the two find something together, something to fight for that will last? When the time comes will Pyk give his heart to the dark Prince?

Pyk and Llewellyn’s adventure is a good read. Llewellyn is nothing like what they say he is and Pyk is more than ready to make up his own mind. The two men find that their desires are met with each other and they must decide what they will do when trouble comes calling. The dark and the light Fae are constantly at war, but a time comes when change is needed. Llewellyn must decide if he wants to be that change. Will Pyk follow his heart and the man who has stolen it? It was nice to watch the bond grow between the two men and see the two fight for their love when push came to shove.  Pyk and Llewellyn’s story is fast paced, and character driven. The author weaves a wonderful story that grabbed my attention right from the start and kept it all the way to the end.

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

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

THE DARKNESS BY Ragnar Jonasson


Publisher:      Minotaur Books
Published:      October 16, 2018
ISBN:        978-1250171030
Genre:      Thriller
Format:     Print from Library
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  myreviewbooks@aol.com


Hulda Hermannsdóttir is a few months from her retiring after a lengthy career in law enforcement.  Despite her excellent work and drive to solve the crimes that have come her way, she’s never truly been admitted to the “boys club” of the police department.  Left out of investigations – often key investigations, demeaned more than recognized by her supervisor, she still has taken pride in her work.  Now as her career is winding down she’s looking at her options…what is out there for her.  Among her options is a new romance—a truly kind and understanding retired doctor.  Before she goes her supervisor allows her one more case—a cold case of her choosing—to solve.  She chooses the death of a young woman who had been seeking asylum from Russia in Iceland. 

As she delves into the case that was quickly written off as suicide Hulda finds herself with more questions than answers.  It soon becomes clear that not only did the young woman not commit suicide, but there may be a cover-up that extends beyond the simple hostel she found refuge in. 

This was my first Ragnar Jonasson read, but it will not be my last.  The blurb on my library website immediately caught my attention and I had to order THE DARKNESS.  When I read the intro I wasn’t sure what kind of read it would be because it was translated from the original Icelandic.  Clearly Jonasson is a master storyteller and his translator is amazing for capturing the emotional ups and downs of the story.   An outstanding team. 

Jonasson created a multi-layered, utterly fascinating character in Hulda.  It was wonderful to read an older police detective who is still on the top of her game – even more so because of how her supervisor and co-workers treated her.  How her history got her to where she is today, including what readers are told at the very end, adds to making her a likeable character.  You want to know this woman.  Hulda grows, changes and changes perspective throughout the story.  The other characters are equally interesting and have some well-done twists to their stories.

The setting in Iceland was refreshing and unique for me.  While Jonasson didn’t describe much of the landscape, what he includes has me wanting to know more.  

The story itself has some super twists and turns and most especially the ending.  Book 2 takes place 25 years in the past and I can’t wait to read it.  Since this is a trilogy I strongly suspect there will be yet another jaw dropping conclusion.  There simply has to be.

Ragnar Jonasson is one author you definitely want to add to your list of must read authors.

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

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Sunday, December 2, 2018


Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Date published: July 31, 2018
Genre: Mystery
Reviewed by Gabrielle (meingee@yahoo.com)
Weblink: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-case-of-the-sexy-shakespearean-by-tara-lain-9782-b
Obtained via publisher
Rating: 4 Hearts

When a woman comes to the university claiming to have proof of the true person who wrote as Shakespeare looking for the help of Dr. Llewellyn to prove her claims nobody thought much of it but when she turns up dead all bets are off. Who could have done such a thing and just what are they after? Money? Fame? Truth?  Dr. Llewellyn must figure it all out and decide if Blaise is truly the man that he has fallen for or has the man played him for information? Can what they have been building be a lie or can he trust in his heart?

Affection is not something that should be given lightly or falsely. Blaise and Llewellyn learn this the hard way. It seems that everyone has a secret to hide and everyone is a suspect. Yet Llewellyn cannot forget the taste of heaven that he had with Blaise and is determined to find the true killer. I loved seeing the attraction that the two men share turn into something deeper and the way that the men fight for it when it comes into question. The author does a wonderful job of mixing romance and mystery giving the reader an engaging read. This story moves along nicely and gives you many interesting twists to the story. This is a sweet story full of intrigue and emotions. Double lives and murder top the list of adventures for the shy college professor and his associates. This is an engaging read that grabbed my attention right from the start and I hope to see more from these characters in the future.

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

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

TOO FAR GONE by Allison Brennan

A Lucy Kincaid Novel, Book 14
St. Martin’s Books
October 30th, 2018
Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary, Suspense
Mass market Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by self-purchase
4 Hearts

A man walks into a coffee shop and proceeds to hold them captive. When he dies in a shoot out with the FBI, Special Agent Lucy Kincaid is assigned to find out what happened and why. All Lucy is turning up is more questions than answers since everything she has found about Charlie McMahon, tells her he is mild mannered and quite normal. What happened the next two months to him left him broken, paranoid and hiding. From what, Lucy has no idea why or from who. Even as Lucy puzzles out this case, her husband, Sean is having a wonderful time with his son, Jesse, who is visiting for the summer. But when someone follows Jesse and Sean one night then runs Lucy and Jesse off the road, Lucy and Sean find that maybe Lucy’s case is intertwined with the Jesse and his stepfather’s criminal past.

TOO FAR GONE is an adventure filled story filled with so many twists and turns that I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading this latest addition in the Lucy Kincaid series. Allison Brennan is a marvelous storyteller and one that just takes her stories to new heights with each book. I adore the Lucy Kincaid series since the very first book where the readers met the Kincaid family. TOO FAR GONE is a perfect addition to the series. This time we see Sean as a father and trying to adjust to that new normal. Lucy’s case is complex and baffling in the beginning to her and the FBI. Add in Jesse’s mother and step-father’s criminal activities catching up with extreme consequences that will leave your jaw to the ground as you flip the pages to see what is next for Lucy, Sean and the gang.

TOO FAR GONE is a delight and very addicting. I couldn’t put it down. Allison Brennan is a talented storyteller that will keep the reader enthralled and highly entertained. I love this series and this author and find her books so intriguing and entertaining. With a surprise twist at the end, I can’t wait to see where the author takes Lucy and Sean next. I just hope we won’t have to wait too long for the next amazing Lucy Kincaid book!

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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