Tag Archives: books: 4.5*

Holiday in the Hamptons (From Manhattan with Love #5) by @SarahMorgan_

Holiday in the Hamptons  (From Manhattan with Love #5)“Long story. Come to think of it, everything in my life is a long story. I don’t seem to manage the short, simple version. Forget novellas, I’m War and Peace meets Game of Thrones, without the dragons and dead people.”

ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

Trope: Reconciliation Romance

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: Broken hearts learn to heal at the beach

Review: Ahhh this was everything I hoped it would be ever since we first met Fliss in New York, Actually.

Seth and Fliss gave me all the FEELS and the build-up and UST between them was borderline overwhelming. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s enjoyment of their story so that’s all I’m going to say about their relationship for now.

Other things I loved was the beach setting and the relationships between Fliss and Grandma and Fliss and Harriet (hope we get to enjoy more of that in the next book) – I love the contrast between Fliss the impulsive feisty one and Harriet the quiet reliable one. I thought it was a nice idea bringing back Chase/Matilda from the novella that started the whole series and cameo appearances from the three heroines from the first trilogy in the series.

If all that wasn’t enough to win me over then the abundance of cute dogs sure did.

I am looking forward to Harriet’s story but can’t help but feel that the series has peaked with this book as writing reconciliation romances definitely seems to be Morgan’s forte.

Hot for the Fireman (Boston Heat #1) by Gina L. Maxwell

Hot for the FiremanARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

Trope: Firefighter

Chemistry: Off the charts Scorchio

One-Sentence Summary: Firefighter Versus Therapist

Review: It’s been awhile since I’ve read a romance that gave me all sorts of tingly feels but this one certainly did it!

I loved the set up of Erik and Olivia meeting each other and not knowing that they were going to have to work together in “real life”. Erik’s persistence at getting her to go out with him was nicely mirrored in the latter half with Olivia refusing to give up on him.

Whilst I spent the first half wondering when Erik’s PTSD, the whole reason for them meeting, would come into play when it finally did, it did so in a big way. It felt so raw and real and I really felt for him.

Erik’s condition keeps him off work for the duration of the book so for those of you looking forward to a book full of sexy firefighting action, you may be a little disappointed but I am sure Maxwell has plenty of time to explore that side of things in the rest of the series

One of my favourite things about the book was undoubtedly the introduction of Dozer and Angie. I am guessing their book is up next and I, for one, absolutely can’t wait to read it. I love a good reconciliation romance.

PS. Loved the shout-out to Kate Meader’s awesome Chicago firefighting series!

Echoes in Death (In Death #44) by J.D. Robb

Echoes in Death (In Death, #44)Eve angled her head. “Good. That’s good. Either way. If Mira’s right, we’re looking for a schmuck with an Edison thing.”
“Edison? Like Thomas?”
“Who’s Edison Thomas?”
“I mean Thomas Edison. The inventor?” Peabody explained. “The lightbulb?”
“No, for Christ’s sake, this isn’t about lightbulbs. Like the sicko guy who married his own mother, then whined about it.”
After a moment’s confusion, Peabody’s own lightbulb went off. “That’s Oedipus. I’m pretty sure that’s Oedipus.”
“Edison, Oedipus, platypus. Whatever.”

ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

One-Sentence Summary: Dallas hunts a serial killer targeting rich married couples

Review: 44 books into this series and J.D.Robb is nothing but consistent in her greatness.

For those trying out this series for the first time, you will enter a world that despite being set in the future and having all the benefits of superior technology (Autochefs, gliders, droids …), there are still some things which have never changed from the present day: humans still kill each other and human detectives are still needed to solve these crimes. Dallas and her tightknit team, including her billionaire husband Roarke, will always make sure justice is served.

For those who are familiar with Eve and Roarke then whilst the case does not involve or directly affect Dallas or her small circle of family and friends, it hits a little too close to home given what she went through as a child and it is interesting watching her try to solve the case whilst keeping those memories at bay.

As ever some of Dallas’s banter with Peabody and Roarke is one of my favourite things about the book, as is the ever faithful cat Galahad.

I think it’s fair to say that this is an all round welcome addition to this solid series.

“I thought we’d dive right in to The Avengers rather than take you through the individual vids establishing the characters.”
“Superheroes.”
“Exactly.” He went to her, took her hand. “Ironman, for instance.”
“Like Cal Ripken, Jr.?”
“Sorry?”
“Ha – got you on one. Cal Ripken, Iron Man Ripken – late-twentieth-century baseball player, Baltimore. Third base, shortstop. Still holds the record for most consecutive games played.”
“You often amaze me,” he said as they started out.
“Well, it’s baseball. Ironman, but not like Ripken.” Her eyes narrowed. “Is this porn?”
He laughed. “It isn’t, no.”
“Ironman sounds suspicious to me. What are the others?”
“There’s Thor, the Hulk,” he began.
“Sounds like porn.”

Dark Water (DCI Erika Foster #3) by @RobertBryndza

Dark Water (DCI Erika Foster #3)ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

One-Sentence Summary: A girl’s skeleton found in a quarry brings the old team back together

Review: There’s so much to love about this crime series: the combination of the fact it is set in towns near me that I am familiar with – Lewisham and Bromley, the very Britishness of it with mentions of Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Deal or No Deal, the amazing characterisation and of course the gripping whodunnit element. When I’m reading, I really feel like I’m there with Foster crime-fighting on the streets of South East London.

There was just one scene – that scene between Crawford and Amanda Baker – that I could have done without imagining thank you very much.

Best crime series of 2016!

Someone like You (Oxford #3) by Lauren Layne

Someone like You (Oxford, #3)ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

Trope: Friend-of-sibling

Chemistry: Off the charts Scorchio

One-Sentence Summary: Two troubled souls find love with each other

Review: It’s been a long old wait for those of us eager to get our mitts on Lincoln’s story but, like the underlying theme of this story, sometimes the wait is worth it.

Daisy and Lincoln first meet at Cassidy/Emma’s wedding; they are lauren-layne-lincolnboth hiding secrets from their friends but find unexpected solace in their friendship. Needless to say this leads to love – eventually – but not until they both find a way to deal with their baggage and move on with their lives.

This book starts as the sort of fun, flirty book that you would expect from Lauren Layne and the Stiletto/Oxford series but by the end you will have experienced a whole new layer to Layne’s storytelling.

Now that my rollercoaster ride with Lincoln and Daisy is over, all I can say is that I can’t wait until Nick/Taylor’s story.

The Killing Game by J.S. Carol

The Killing GameARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

One-Sentence Summary: A hostage situation involving Hollywood’s elite plays out in an LA restaurant

Review: When done well, there is nothing quite so edge-of-your-seat thrilling as a hostage situation whether in a book, TV show or film. You get to see how characters react in a highly tense situation and there’s usually a clever battle of the minds between the hostage taker and the police.

The trouble is that nine times out of ten, the resolution is a bit of an anti-climax as there’s usually a low volume of deaths and a high volume of survivors.

Well folks, let me introduce you to The Killing Game which does not hang around in terms of piling up the body count and if you’re expecting lots of background and build-up then you’re going to be disappointed. You get a short introduction to the main character “JJ” and then the author basically jumps right in there with the hostage situation which plays out for the remainder of the book.

Definitely one to whizz through in a couple of sittings: tense, gripping and full of twists and turns.

Sparking The Fire by @KittyMeader

Sparking the Fire (Hot in Chicago, #3)ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

Trope: Reconciliation / Firefighter romance

Chemistry: Off the charts Scorchio

One-Sentence Summary: Destiny throws a firefighter and an actress together again

Review: It seems like only a few moons ago that I first discovered Kate Meader through her Hot In The Kitchen series and here we are wrapping up her third series already!

In Sparking This Fire we get to find out the broody Wyatt’s story and the secret he has been hiding from the rest of his family, their niece! Then there’s the small matter of another secret – his past with a certain Hollywood actress Molly Cade.

Needless to say when Wyatt and Molly meet again and are forced to work together on the set of her latest film, sparks fly again and there is a lot of sneaking around whilst they are both forced to confront how they fit in each others’s worlds.kate-meader-wyatt

Meanwhile the whole of the Dempsey gang are busy creating a lot of noise and drama as you would expect, especially over the discovery that Logan had a daughter. Having them all learn to build a relationship with this new arrival certainly added another layer to the story to balance out the Wyatt/Molly romance.

I’m really sad to be leaving the Dempsey family. Meader has an irresistible way of immersing you in a world and exploring human emotions that leaves you wanting more.

Kate, I know you have a hockey series on the way but if you ever feel the need the give Dick Wolf a run for his money and expand this Chicago series to explore the world of PD and Med then I’m definitely game!

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.

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.

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.