Apprentice in Death (In Death #43) by J.D. Robb

Apprentice in Death (In Death, #43)ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

One-Sentence Summary: Dallas and Roarke stop at nothing to stop a couple of snipers targeting New York City

Review: Even though I am far from caught up with this series, tuning into a new J.D.Robb book is like coming home. The characters, relationships, setting, future, technology, Galahad (<3) all become familiar after a couple of outings with this series and it’s as comfortable to read as it would be to slouch on your settee watching the latest episode of a CBS procedural crime drama.

If you are a fan of such TV dramas, then the crime in this book is not necessarily a new one but where Robb does continuously well is the characterisation and dialogue that makes it all seem so real, even if it is set 40 years into the future.

Whilst the main characters in the book obviously have history with each other built up in the 40 preceding books and there are small mentions of events that have happened previously, this should not stop the casual reader from giving this a go.

As for me, I’m just waiting for my personal AutoChef to arrive to provide me with a steady stream of coffee before I start work on getting up to date with this series.

Flashpoint Season 2

The start of the season wasn’t amazing for me as the cases just didn’t get me as emotionally invested as all the ones in season one.

I missed Jules but liked Officer Sabine.  I kept thinking how the actress looked familiar but it wasn’t until I looked her up on imdb that I realised she was Paula Cassidy from NCIS!  I much preferred her to Leah.

Some standout episodes:

2×04 – Aisle Thirteen with the kid trying to save his friend in the shop
2×07 – Perfect Storm with the bullied kid trying to get revenge on his bullies
2×08 – Last Dance with the heartbreaking story of the girl that was dying and her boyfriend wanting to give her the perfect last evening and starring the actress who played Flack’s sister in CSI:NY!
2×09 – Exit Wounds with the guy trying to save his brother from gang members and playing cat and mouse in the hospital
2×10 – One Wrong Move …. oh god this episode! I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY KILLED LOU OFF!  Granted he was the character with the least characterisation but SERIOUSLY?!  Such an amazing episode for Lou and Spike.  When it started off, I wasn’t overly invested since there weren’t any perps to feel sympathetic to and then Lou stood on the landmine …..

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I missed Sam/Jules together of course but understand why they broke up and I hear there are good things in store for them in the future!

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Thomas Gibson Fired in Wake of On-Set Altercation

In a statement, ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios — which co-produce the CBS procedural — said, “Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from Criminal Minds. Creative details for how the character’s exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date.”

The move comes in the wake of an on-set altercation in which Gibson allegedly kicked a producer. “There were creative differences on the set and a disagreement,” Gibson said earlier this week. “I regret that it occurred. We all want to work together as a team to make the best show possible. We always have and always will.”

I did NOT see that one coming!

That’s certainly going to make this season an interesting one ……

Chicago Fire: 4×19 – I Will Be Walking

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I have really not been feeling this show this season.  To be honest ever since Shay was killed off there hasn’t been a character that I truly love and am invested in which has probably contributed to my lack of interest in the show.

However, now and then an episode comes along which reminds me why it’s still on my watchlist (that and the fact I’m watching the other Chicago shows).

I’m not invested in Casey’s Alderman run but I loved his storyline with the boy determined to walk to his graduation.  I’m glad that they are giving Otis a storyline – I hope he goes for his blood test ASAP!  The bar Olympics between Stella and Herrmann was hilarious and brought a nice lighthearted angle to the episode.

My only complaint is with Severide’s storyline.  He keeps getting these random storylines where he gets involved with law enforcement or things from his past, where there is a bit of a mystery, which isolates him from the other members of the team.  The detective’s son and Pouch was cute but how are we meant to suddenly care about the detective’s troubles after meeting her for one episode and why is Severide getting involved again?!

Cold Kill (Monkeewrench #7) by P.J. Tracy

Cold Kill: Monkeewrench Book 7ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

One-Sentence Summary: The epic return of the Monkeewrench crew

Review: 10+ years ago Want To Play was my first real introduction to the world of crime thrillers and as such the Monkeewrench gang (plus Magozzi and Gino, of course!) have held a special place in my heart. I caught up with the series last year and have been eagerly awaiting a new book in the series ever since.

Cold Kill definitely lived up to expectations. It has all the hallmarks of a great whodunnit plus the added dimension of seeing the ever complicated Grace and Magozzi’s relationship develop.
Another dynamic which I absolutely love in the series is Magozzi and Gino’s banter which never fails to make me smile:

” ….look at my loafers. They’re going to rot by lunchtime and I’ll probably freeze my feet off and have to walk on my ankles for the rest of my life.”
“You have boots in your locker. And free will, which for some reason you decided not to exercise this morning.”
“Thanks for the sympathy, Leo, but you don’t get it. I’m a married man. When you get married, you lose all free will and rely on your wife to make sure you’re dressed properly for the weather and occasion.”
“That’s pathetic. Do you lose all cognitive function when you get married, too?”

I only hope we don’t have to wait for another 4 years for the next book in the series.

Q&A With … @MiraLynKelly

Today I am delighted to be hosting a Q&A with Mira Lyn Kelly  in honour of her new release ‘May The Best Man Win’.

Q. What gave you inspiration for ‘The Best Men’ series?

A. The inspiration for the Best Man series goes back to an??????????

impassioned debate over “Construction worker hot” vs “Tuxedo fine” between a couple of like-minded man-candy aficionados I gab with from time to time. We were pulling snaps from Pinterest to support our cases when suddenly I had this group of tuxedo clad hotties piled up in front of me. An idea was born, lol.

Q. What can you tell us about future couples in ‘The Best Men’ series?

A. I can tell you that all the guys from this tight knit group of friends will get their day on the page. And as different as they all are, I’m more than a little bit in love with every single one of them! Jase (MAY THE BEST MAN WIN) is a banker and has his hands full with the girl he loves to hate; Max (BEST MAN FOR THE JOB) is a cop scoring a second shot with the girl who got away; Hotel heir Sean (BEST MAN WITH BENEFITS) knows better than to cross the line with his best friend…mostly; and bar owner Brody (STAND IN BEST MAN) is a chronic fixer who can’t resist helping out a beautiful woman.

Q. What was the easiest part to write in ‘May The Best Man Win’?

A. Probably the snowy parking lot scene when Jase and Emily first give in to the sizzle that’s been building between them for, well, the last decade. I get a little emotionally invested in my people (err, characters) and when they’ve got that whole heart poundy thing happening so do I…so that scene was loads of fun. I couldn’t wait to give them a taste of what they’d been wondering about for so many years!

Q. And the hardest?

A. Honestly, I hate to put obstacles in front of my people. I’d love to get them past the first challenge and then spend another seventy thousand words writing about how blissfully happy they are from that day forward. But that’s not really much of a story…so the hardest thing I have to do is give them mistakes to make, opportunities to miss, heartache to suffer. Sniff. Why can’t it all be hot nookie against the fridge?

Q. What’s your favourite trope to write?

A. Friends-to-lovers. Without a doubt. And I’d say it comes through to a certain degree in pretty much all of my books. Even in this Enemies-to-lovers story, friendship plays a major role. I’m a sucker for it—probably because it’s so close to my very own happily ever after. I married my best friend 🙂

Q. And finally, who are your favourite romance authors?

A. Lexi Ryan, Lauren Blakely, Kresley Cole, Helena Hunting, Tessa Dare, Megan Mulry, Kristan Higgins… okay, honestly I could go on all day. I have about a zillion girls I could read 24/7 and never get tired of!

Read my review for May The Best Man Win here!

Flashpoint Season 1

THIS SHOW!

On the one hand I am annoyed with myself for not picking up this show when it was still on air and getting to enjoy the experience “live”.  On the other hand, I am grateful that I have discovered this show when I can get my hands on the whole series at once and be wowed episode after episode.

I’ve only watched the first season so far but it is just wonderful.  It combines all the things I love about my favourite procedurals: great team, cute ship, high stakes situations, and perps you can sympathise with.

The Team

Greg ParkerVeronica Mars‘s Dad!  What a steady leader who knows exactly what his team needs

Ed Lane – The first episode was very Ed-centric and I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about a whole show where he was the main character but it turns out they only chose to focus on him in that episode and ultimately whilst “his” storyline bookended the season, it is very much a team show.  He definitely grew on me more and more as the season went on.

Jules Callaghan – my favourite character.  Yes you’re shocked I know!  Smart sassy female in a man’s world.

Sam Braddock – when we first met him my initial thoughts were that he was a cocky lad but he won me over as much as he won Jules over.

Spike – he brings the laughs.

Wordy – loved how we found out about how he met his wife early on in this season and that he doesn’t mind getting in touch with his feminine side since he has daughters

Lou – probably the only character we know nothing about at the moment!

The Perps

As much as I love the team, the cases are what makes this show amazing.  There wasn’t a single episode I didn’t love and I would go as far as to say the majority of them were outstanding.  Favourite ones:

1×02 – First In Line with the father of the heart transplant girl.  That’s when I knew I had to keep watching this show.  Wow.
1×04 – Asking For Flowers with the familiar face of Rebecca from Played.
1×06 – Attention Shoppers with the poor teenage girl and great setting for an episode in a busy shopping mall.
1×08 – Never Kissed A Girl with the wrongly imprisoned boy.
1×10 – Eagle Two with the team on protective detail

Sam/Jules

Gah!!!!  I spoiled myself completely for what happens in future seasons when I was looking for gifs which I’m slightly mad at myself for but still, I can’t wait to see their happy ever after play out

  • I loved Sam’s flirting at the start
  • I loved the scene in the changing room where he was examining her back
  • I am surprised they got together so soon
  • I liked the whole blue paint thing meaning that Parker knew about them
  • The look on Sam’s face when Jules got shot!!

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To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1) by Lauren Layne

To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles, #1)ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4*

Trope: Weddings!

Chemistry: Low Boil

One-Sentence Summary: Cynical millionaire meets romantic wedding planner.

Review: Lauren Layne is back with another scorching series, this time based in the world of wedding planners. This was a slick romance with the wedding planner going head-to-head with the cynical brother of the bride.

I am always of romances that start with the couple being hit with a barrage of instalove the minute they set eyes on each other but I quite enjoyed how this one played out in the end.

However, I was probably more intrigued with the idea of Grant/Maya than with Seth/Brooke and I really wish that Grant/Maya were given proper secondary romance status and that we got to see them actually get together.

Rewatch: Third Watch Season 1

1×01 – Bosco and his epic footchase. Love the retro background music and the medical/personal talk. Sully/Ty. I must have watched this episode a few times, it all seems very familiar. Mantooth the firehouse dog! The peanut butter prank Kim pulled on Carlos. “Think he’s pissed? I think he’s pissed.” Such a gripping Pilot, especially the last twenty minutes.

1×02 – The team talking about Jerry’s pranks. The homeless guy crapped in Bosco’s car! Ah Bobby’s interested in “someone else” …. Perving at Kim. I’m getting vertigo just looking at Carlos hanging out of that window. “Now it just smells like someone took a dump in a pine forest.”

1×03 – Bosco pranked Sully’s car …. Except Bosco didn’t even do it! Sully and Ty having to rescue the family from the car in the river. That is so obviously a dummy Jimmy just rescued from the boot of the car. Sully’s flour prank on Bosco! Bosco’s car prank on Sully. Bosco/the captain’s daughter caught on camera! Who stole Bosco’s car? “How are we not going to attract any attention? We’re chasing another squad at 12 miles/hour?!” Bobby/Kim have a fight which sends her running to Jimmy

1×04“He’s just getting even because I parked my car in his space.” “Is that what they’re calling it nowadays?!” Bosco and his weird walking. Bosco and Faith losing that jumper. Jimmy vs Bosco. Carlos and Doc butting heads. Bobby and Joey. It’s been a bad bad Monday for everyone. Bobby’s sweet and replaced the money Sunny stole. Bosco wants in on the BBQ so badly.

1×05 – Jimmy getting his son to pull a woman for him in the shop. The mugger trying to get more jail time to stay inside and avoid the mob. “I know you’re upset but if we’re going to rely on me being the level-headed one, we’re going to have some problems.” Jimmy fighting Bobby for Joey’s affection. Faith is on the warpath.

1×06 – Bobby’s brother! OMG that’s Jon Seda from Chicago PD! What a small world! Sully/Ty’s mother Maggie. Carlos knocked someone over! It’s been a few episodes since we’ve seen Jimmy/Fire in action. Sully and Ty singing in the car together. Doc calling Bobby on his feelings for Kim. Doc/Carlos fighting. Sweet Bosco/Faith moment. Oh god awkward moment when Bobby goes to kiss Kim. Love and Happiness – I love this song.

1×07 – Dead body in the burning car! Oh man surely Carlos is never going to be left to drive again after that crash. “Got a call about a man stuck up a tree?” “Looks like gravity took care of it.” Sully/Ty’s Mum.

1×08 – Thanksgiving madness. Bosco is missing Faith. Hostage-taker at Thanksgiving dinner.

1×09 – Look at those mobiles! Doc’s father is in hospital. Morbidly obese girl. I like seeing Bosco’s softer side. Ty trying to do the right thing has got the boy into more trouble.

1×10 – Poor Faith. She is too good for her husband. Building coming down! Look at the size of that camera!! What a heartbreaking episode.

1×11 – Oh no the poor woman jumped in front of her son. Kitten! Poor Kim is really feeling this one. Furry hats! Bosco is obsessed with that homeless person’s car. Doc/Morales. Kim’s looking after the cute kitten. Poor Sully.

1×12 – Bobby definitely doesn’t want to listen to Matty’s list of misdeed. Foot patrol for Davis. The retarded couple. Poor schoolgirl – brains in her hair. Bobby and Kim on the ice rink. LOL! Jimmy’s gambling. Bosco’s geography knowledge – or lack thereof! Poor Bobby, his brother his putting him through the ringer.

1×13 – Doc/the doctor. Epic gunfight and crazy amount of shots fired and then manhunt. Moral question – was Bosco right to let the perp bleed out and die? Oh no some Bobby/Kim pity sex coming. This is not going to end well.

1×14 – Mass shooting at a church! “I think you should know we’re having physical relations.” “Physical relations? What you’re arm wrestling with her?” Nice Doc/Carlos moment. Faith arresting her husband. Malcolm, Ty’s friend makes a reappearance. I can’t believe the out-dated attitude towards gays. Jimmy down the fireman pole. Faith calling Bosco out on being a bigot. Oh God Carlos and that crazy chick. Bobby moves on fast.

1×15 – I really don’t remember this episode. Poor Ty accidentally shooting an innocent guy. Bosco’s being hard on Faith for splitting up with her husband. Oh man this whole episode about police shooting an innocent black man – nothing has changed in 16 years since this episode was written ….. Carlos’s creepy stalker girlfriend. The boy trapped between the two walls – cute dog.

1×16 – Bosco becoming a robber from a robbee. Doc and Carlos caught in the middle of a gang war. Jimmy’s gambling is catching up with him. “FOOD! NOW”. Bosco and Faith are hilarious in this episode. Kim/Faith girl talk. Jimmy is a LOUSY father.

1×17 – Faith and Bosco hanging out in the kitchen. Funny hearing references to Hilary Clinton. The whole gang hanging out. Hilarious Bosco making fun of “President Hilary”. Storytelling time – worst cases, political sides, for/against the death penalty/religion

1×18 – Candyman is back. The guy with a screwdriver coming out of his head. Doc’s dad. Basketball competition – PD Vs Fire. Never got to find out who won!

1×19 – LOL that poor cat having to witness that! OMG that’s Lea Michele from Glee!!!!!! Carlos’s crazy stalker girlfriend is back …. And she’s pregnant! Sully’s priest was stabbed and now he’s on a mission

1×20 – Massive fire! Davis impersonating Sully! Bosco’s good with that little boy. Doc/Morales are cute together.

1×21 – Sully letting Davis drive. Jimmy’s getting married! Carlos is in trouble. “This guy is going to wallpaper with all the tickets I’m going to write him” Bosco and Faith’s epic car chase. “Looks like we found our combatants.” “Either that or a ballroom dance competition.” Candyman’s back. Bosco in his tux. Kim is being really unfair by talking to Bobby about Jimmy when she knows how he feels/felt about her. Doc and Carlos looking at cassette tapes – not even CDs!!!!

1×22 – Jimmy/Kim – really?! Doc/Moralez is cute. I hate that Faith is pregnant – I can’t stand her husband. Crazy fire and Doc and Carlos are trapped! The firehouse dog finally makes an appearance again. The guy shooting at Jimmy and all the firemen! I don’t remember any of this! Kim driving like a boss. Hmm, I always thought Bobby got killed in this episode ..

Lured In (Fishing for Trouble #2) by @lauradrewry

Lured In (Fishing for Trouble, #2)ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

Trope: Friends-to-lovers

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: Long-time friends Finn and Jessie become something more as they work towards getting Jessie over her fear of water

Review: I love love love a good friends-to-lovers romance! There’s something so sweet about seeing the relationship change between two friends. It was a really nice change to see that it was the guy n this case who realised his feelings before the girl.

I adore the setting of this story and Laura Drewry does a really goodLaura Drewry - Finn job of scene-setting and making you feel like you are out in the fishing shack near the water with the O’Donnell brothers.

When I read that *SPOILER* Finn and Jessie acted on their attraction before the arrival of Sam I was really disappointed as I was looking forward to more UST and jealousy on the part of Finn. However, I should never have doubted the author as it still all played out wonderfully and there was a satisfying happy-ever-after for two characters haunted by the events of their childhood.

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