Criminal Minds: 11×15 – A Badge And Gun

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It’s very hard to get me excited about a Criminal Minds episode nowadays. It seems that the spark has gotten out of the show the past couple of seasons and there have been barely any cases which have kept me sitting at the edge of my seat.

Thankfully, courtesy of a piece of inspired guest-star casting and a cliffhanger ending, this episode was somewhat thrilling.

I haven’t seen Carmine Giovinazzo in anything since CSI:NY ended and in typical Criminal Minds fashion they made him into a really believable bad guy and erased all of the good cop Danny Messer about him.

Interesting setup of having him pretending to be law enforcement.  It’s scary how natural it would be to let someone in your house if you believed they were a cop.

As to the ending?  Wow, poor Derek.  I’ve heard rumours that Shemar might be leaving the show?  I hope not.  Anyway, I can’t wait to find out why the gang of men attacked him.  Usually with big character episodes like this, there is some sort of build-up and moments laying the groundwork but this time there’s been nothing.

The Martian

The people who watch this film can be classed into two categories: those who have read the book first and those who haven’t.

I come in the former category and can honestly say that this was a decent adaptation. However, there were three key events that were missed out from the film: where Watney loses communication with NASA after blowing up the comms system with a drill, the dust storm that prevents him recharging his solar panels and when he is approaching his final destination and the Rover runs into some problems with the sand dunes.

I’ve seen enough book-to-film adaptations to know that films ALWAYS miss out stuff and are never a word-for-word adaptation but my befuddlement this time around is that the aforementioned three events provide copious amounts of drama in the book and I would have thought they would have wanted to include them in the film. Maybe a case of Hollywood thinking if too many things go wrong for Watney the cinema-going public would lose hope / roll their eyes??

One of my favourite scenes in the film has to be the whole “Council of Elrond” at NASA.  Having Sean Bean there was just such a wonderful inside joke.  And Jeff Daniel’s comment was just so Will from The Newsroom-like:

If we are going to have a secret project called “Elrond”, then I want my code name to be “Glorfindel”.

I think if I hadn’t read the book first, I may have found the film a bit boring, especially the first half. The book is definitely more thrilling and it’s more exciting to be able to use your own imagination in this setting. So overall a good attempt but needless to say Matt Damon has done much more thrilling stuff.

Code Black: 1×18 – Blood Sport

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The most intense, gripping season finales usually involve a main character being in trouble and for that reason, the story arc surrounding Malaya probably would have worked best as an end-of-season finale. As it is, the finale focused on a set of political characters that you only meet at the start of the episode and whose fate you are expected to care about. Whilst the storyline of having various spouses die and bring some friends together was touching it wasn’t exactly season finale material.

I love Angus/Mike’s relationship but as for Angus’s drug abuse it is just such an obvious storyline. Code Black moves pretty fast when it comes to personal story lines so hopefully by the start of next season he would have put the drug abuse behind him.

As to Neal/Christa, they are very sweet together but it was waaaaay too soon to throw a spanner in their relationship and create a love triangle. We never got to enjoy them simply being a couple and working together.

So overall a disappointing finale but I’m looking forward to season two.

Hold Your Breath (Search and Rescue #1) by @KatieRuggle

Hold Your Breath (Search and Rescue, #1)ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4*

Trope: Suspense

Chemistry: Low Boil

One-Sentence Summary: A search and rescue newcomer gets targeted by a stalker

Review: Admittedly, the novella which introduced the series didn’t really win me over but this first full length novel completely made me a fan.

This book focuses heavily on the whodunnit element and the romance slowburns away in the background which is a really nice change of pace. I’ve read loads of ‘insta-love’ romances recently and it was great to see Callum and Lou’s relationship build slowly.

The fact that they are both rescue divers makes for an interesting setup and I wish we had seen more of Callum and Lou out rescuing and less time in Lou’s tame other job as a barista. The scene in the ice at the climax of the book was really something though and had been racing through the pages like I was actually there.

As to one of the whodunnit elements then beware this book ends on a cliffhanger and I guess several of the characters we have already met in passing are going to be key to solving that mystery. I’ll definitely be coming back to find out.

Best Friends with Benefits (Most Likely To #1) by @CandySloane

Best Friends with Benefits (Most Likely To, #1)She was kissing him now. Screw her stupid rules. They couldn’t stop her from this feeling, from this want. From responding to the sweet gesture he’d offered her that morning. She leaned in to him, slowly at first, so he’d know exactly where she was going—for his lips, his sweet, hot, naughty lips.

She brushed against them lightly, testing, but when Alec pressed against her with more force, opened her mouth with his tongue and dove in deep, she could do nothing but meet his demand—nothing but ride to wherever he was taking her.

ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 5*

Trope: Friends-to-lovers

Chemistry: Off the charts Scorchio

One-Sentence Summary: Two friends become more at a high school reunion

Review: Holy smokes, this book is HAWT!!!! I don’t think I will ever look at a Coca Cola vending machine the same way again! Seriously, wow. Bring me some of that ice now to cool me down!

I loved the setup of the book. Usually friends-to-lovers romances are a little tricky when it comes to explaining why two characters suddenly decide to cross that line but here Alec and Valerie haven’t seen each other in person for ten years and it is sort of believable why.

Candy Sloane - AlecThe setting of a high school reunion is believable as a catalyst as well and it made for some interesting set ups and comic scenes – I kind of feel a bit sorry for Reece though?

As to Alec and Valerie themselves, I love their backstory. Alec has a bit of an angsty background but rather than shoving some angst in there for no other reason than to make you feel sorry for a character, his past does come into play and directly explains his reluctance for a relationship in the present. Valerie also has her own stuff going on, waiting for a job offer in London and trying to understand her conflicting feelings she has for her friend/lover.

It seems like this book is the first in a series and whilst I can’t find out any more information about the followup at the moment, I know I can’t wait to read more from this author.

In conclusion, if you are a fan of friends-to-lovers trope – of if you just want a well-written sexy read – you will LOVE this book.

He pointed at the wilting flowers in her hand. “What are those?”
She’d forgotten she still had them. “I was going to Pretty Woman you,” she explained. “Roses are hard to come by on short notice.”
“You brought me flowers?” His mouth quirked up and displayed his dimple.
“What?” She stood up straighter. “You’re the only one who’s allowed to be sorry?”
“Typical Val.” He stepped closer to her, his eyes not leaving hers. “Trying to steal the thunder of my apology.”

Taking The Score by @KittyMeader Book Tour

 TAKING THE SCORE
Tall, Dark and Texan #2
Kate Meader
Releasing February 15th, 2016
Entangled Brazen

 Love’s A State Of Mind “Taking The Score” Review HERE

A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

His office temptation is now his full-blown fantasy…

Paying down her sister’s debts has left Emma Strickland with little more than the thrift store suit on her back. And as if the suckfest couldn’t get worse, she’s forced to moonlight as a waitress to support herself and her cat. At a strip club. Her uptight, sexy-as-hell boss Brody Kane can never find out.

Texas property tycoon Brody Kane hired Emma for her spreadsheet skills, but her prim and proper demeanor sealed the deal. There’s no room in his life for a sexy distraction … and yet, he can’t stop lusting after the delicious Ms. Strickland. And then he takes an important client to a Chicago strip club and gets the worst lap dance in adult entertainment history. From Emma.

Now that he knows his office good girl has a naughty streak, Brody makes it his mission to uncover her secrets, one steamy, illicit, over-the-desk encounter at a time. But Emma is hiding more than her side job, and her final secret could end up destroying them both.

Originally from Ireland, Kate
Meader
cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper
novels, with some Mills & Boon thrown in for variety. Give her tales about
brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a
fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary
romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for
quip.

 

 
Don’t Miss the First in the Tall, Dark & Texan Series
EVEN THE SCORE

Grey’s Anatomy: 12×09 – The Sound of Silence

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Poor old Meredith Grey – she hasn’t exactly had a lot of luck since coming to work at Seattle Grace hospital. She almost got blown up by a bomb, drowns, almost gets shot, survives a plane crash, watches her sister die, watches her husband die – and this is to name but a few tragic events – and now she gets beaten up by a patient and ends up in hospital for weeks. That’s enough to put anyone off becoming a surgeon in America!

However, this is TV and whilst I do feel like Meredith must be the unluckiest doctor ever, !angstyMeredith does make for good drama. This episode was really interesting and cleverly filmed/written for maximum impact. Plus it made for some wonderful Alex/Meredith scenes. I only wish that they mentioned something in passing about Cristina coming to visit Meredith.

Code Black: 1×15 – Diagnosis of Exclusion

‘Code Black’ has gone from strength to strength with each episode, outdoing every other medical drama on TV and this episode just raised the bar even further.

I thought the way the episode was structured was really clever, jumping from real time with the doctors being questioned to the events of Malaya’s attack.

I love that we got to see the strength of Angus/Malaya’s friendship and Angus’s “secret” brings a whole new dynamic to his character and I am sure we’ll start to see him unravel in future episodes. I love his brother Mike as well and hope that he sticks around and becomes a regular.

I’m a Neal/Christa fan of course and like how that has evolved quite subtly over the past few episodes.

Can’t wait to see where the show will go after this amazing episode.

Criminal Minds: 11×11 – Entropy

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I know for most people, Reid is their favourite character in Criminal Minds. He isn’t mine but I did miss him whilst he was gone and what an episode for him to come back!

I think they cast the perfect actress to play Cat – 9 parts creepy and sadistic and 1 part vulnerable. It was a real battle of minds between her and Reid and the interplay of the tension in the restaurant and the flashbacks with Reid telling her how they managed to catch her was really gripping.

I haven’t been particularly wowed by the “contract killers” plot arc and I’m glad it’s over – and even more glad that it ended with a really strong episode.