Tag Archives: books: arc

Nothing Stays Buried (Monkeewrench #8) by P.J. Tracy

Nothing Stays Buried (Monkeewrench, #8)In retrospect, she probably could have been more tactful, but that was another thing she considered a deplorable waste of time.

ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 5*

One-Sentence Summary: The Monkeewrench crew Versus a Cartel serial killer

Review: The Monkeewrench series is without a doubt my favourite crime series out there and P.J. Tracy never disappoints.

This plot in this book revolves around Magozzi and Gino’s hunt for a serial killer targeting female joggers and leaves a calling card next to the bodies. At the same time, the Monkeewrench crew are looking into a missing person’s case as a favour to a sheriff out in the country. Needless to say, it soon becomes apparent that their cases are linked leading to a manhunt out in the middle of nowhere.

In addition to the serial killer manhunt, Tracy throws in a tornado to amp up the action and I was riveted by the last quarter of the book which read like something out of Twister the film crossed with Criminal Minds the TV show.

As ever though whilst the whodunnit element is interesting, what really makes this series the best is that the mother-and-daughter writing team have created such a fantastic family in Magozzi & Gino and the Monkeewrench gang that it is an absolute pleasure coming back to them time-after-time. There are also a number of secondary characters in this book, like Walt and Jacob, that you warm to and you’re on tenterhooks hoping and praying that the serial killer’s latest victim will be found alive.

It saddens me to hear that P.J. has passed away. I only hope that Traci will continue writing this series in her memory.

“Lesson number one—don’t ever argue with a pregnant woman, or she’ll take a pound of flesh, and it’s not the flesh a man wants to lose.”
Magozzi crawled out from under the crib. “That’s kind of a generous weight estimate, isn’t it?”
Gino smirked. “Speak for yourself.”

New York, Actually (From Manhattan with Love #4) by Sarah Morgan

New York, Actually (From Manhattan with Love, #4)ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 3*

Chemistry: Low Boil

One-Sentence Summary: “Must Love Dogs” with secrets

Review: This was a bit of a schizophrenic read for me:

+ I love dogs
– I frown upon dogs being used as props

+ Using a dog as a Meet Cute is cute
– Using someone else’s dog to stalk a woman is frankly scary

+ Dogs are cute
– Molly have erotic thoughts whilst watching Daniel stroke a dog made me want to throw up
Molly watched, transfixed, as those long, strong fingers caressed her dog. Her pulse sped forward. Her insides tumbled and turned. And still she stared at those hands, watching as he seduced her dog with easy, comfortable strokes

+ I like New York
– The first few chapters with the repetitious stalking in Central Park made me want to stop reading

+ I loved it when Molly turned up at Daniel’s office to call him on his lie
– There were just so many lies/hidden truths between them

+ I LOVED Daniel’s sisters and Molly’s gay best friends
– I liked Daniel/Molly

+ I love Sarah Morgan
– This book didn’t completely win me over

Overall, what I took away from this book was that it was a bridge to Fliss and Harriet’s stories that I am really looking forward to, especially Seth/Fliss’s.

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.”

A Millionaire at Midnight by Naima Simone

A Millionaire at Midnight“The prince slid the glass slipper on Cinderella’s foot, and of course it was a perfect fit. So then he carried Cinderella to his waiting carriage and his castle where they wed. But the prince ended up being a cheating asshat, and Cinderella, who really wasn’t all that sweet in the first place, moved out, taking the prince for half his kingdom and his entire fleet of carriages. Which served him right because he should’ve kept his dick in his damn pants in the first place. The End.”

ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4*

Trope: Fake Relationship

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: Bachelor auction prize -> Boss -> Fake fiance

Review: This was my first introduction to Naima Simone and what an introduction it was!

I loved Morgan, the sassy heroine who always seemed to have a quick-witted reply on the top of her tongue and Alexander the hero with a love of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings was broodingly delicious.

Mentions of fandoms like Criminal Minds and Gilmore Girls made me smile. The only thing that I didn’t really like was the overly sugary sweet ending – scrap gooey baby stuff I say!

If like me you haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading the previous books in the series then do not fear as I am pleased to say that you don’t need to in order to enjoy this one.

“So you’re trying to convince us you don’t care about Cynthia and Troy?” Angela scoffed.
Morgan shrugged. “Sorry to disappoint you. Sure, I was upset for a minute. I mean, I’d just sent in the check to have the Backstreet Boys perform at our reception.” Again, she lifted a shoulder. “But what’re you going to do? Besides, this city is full of CEOs and millionaires. Where there’s one, there’s another, and most are ready and willing to get laid… and agree to have Nick Carter sing “As Long as You Love Me” for our first dance. As a matter of fact, there are ten of those ready and willing men here tonight. What can I say? We can’t all marry for love like you did, Angela.” Cocking her head to the side, she pointedly glanced in the direction of Angela’s husband, who resembled Hugh Hefner’s older brother. “Can we?”

Crossing Hearts (Cross Creek #1) by @KimberlyKincaid

Crossing HeartsARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 5*

Trope: Reconciliation romance

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: Small town reconciliation romance

Review: When I first saw a that there was a new release for Kimberly Kincaid I was filled with a mix of emotions – excitement and then disappointment that it wasn’t a new addition in her Rescue Squad series and then excitement again as I realised that hopefully this means that she has two series on the go and therefore multiple books for me to look forward to this year!

Well, this new venture into the world of small town living and farming definitely did not disappoint. This is a reconciliation romance at heart but it was nicely paced and the two characters didn’t just fall into bed and pick up where they left off immediately. Additionally, the addition of Emerson’s illness added a unique layer absent from most romance – can the hot sexy guy really be perfect enough to be willing to commit to someone with a debilitating illness (*spoiler alert* Yes he can!).

Add in some family drama on both sides (Emerson trying to avoid her controlling parents and Hunter trying to referee his two brothers) and you’ve got all the makings of a perfect small town romance.

Now I’m eager to get my paws on Eli and Owen’s stories and more importantly find out what the hell is going on between those two brothers!

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!

Accidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay #3) by @JillShalvis

Accidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay, #3)ARC received from: Edelweiss

Rating: 4*

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: Elle’s past comes back to haunt her and Archer

Review: Archer/Elle’s story is the one I’ve most been looking forward to in this series but I have to say that it didn’t play out quite how I thought it would.

Given their tension in previous books, I thought Shalvis would focus on that and the repressed feelings. As it turns out Archer and Elle didn’t wait long to act on their feelings and the majority of the story is concentrated on who is less likely to want to commit to giving their relationship a real go.jill-shalvis-archer

Archer/Elle have an interesting history together which is brought to the forefront when Elle’s sister Morgan makes an appearance. The history that Archer/Elle shares is probably the most interesting thing about their story and gives a unique foundation to their relationship.

I am hoping that other characters in this book will get a chance to have their stories told but fear that this is another trilogy-based series which comes to an end with this book. Poor Spencer!

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.

Miracle on 5th Avenue (From Manhattan with Love #3) by @SarahMorgan_

Miracle on 5th Avenue (From Manhattan with Love, #3)“Here lies Eva, whose Christmas wish was to find herself up close and personal with a man, but didn’t specify the circumstances.”

ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4*

Trope: Festive romance

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: Opposites attract in a NYC penthouse apartment at Christmas

Review: No one quite writes a festive romance like Sarah Morgan!

This book had an unusual setup in that I don’t think I have ever read a book where the “Meet-Cute” goes quite like that or that the Heroine gets paid to be a crime writer’s inspiration! Bonus points for originality.

Lucas Blade is an anti-Christmas, anti-love, brooding hero whilst Eva sarah-morgan-lucasis the overly optimistic, ridiculously nice heroine. It really is a case of opposites attract and watching these two dance around each other was magical.

As well as the romance, this book deals with grief and loss and follows two people trying to move past that grief-rutt they’ve been stuck in. I love how Lucas and Eva founded what they needed in each other to close those chapters of their lives.

My one gripe was that I was so sure that when Lucas proposed the abandoned puppy would be there waiting, or at the very least when they got back to his apartment. I feel robbed of a secondary happy ending!

I thought there were hints in this book as to what Morgan’s next series is going to be about and I’m glad that my suspicions were confirmed. Can’t wait to start reading the spinoff from this series.

“To friendship,” Frankie continued. “Because true friendship transcends differences. I’d rather read a thriller, you’d rather read a romance. It’s okay. I forgive you for having weird taste.”

The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay #2) by @JillShalvis

The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2)“Hello?” Willa answered, sounding soft and sleepy.
“I woke you. I’m sorry.”
“Keane?”
“Yeah,” he said. “I’ve got a problem.”
“Still?” She yawned. “Aren’t you supposed to call a doctor if that conditions persists for more than four hours?”
He froze for a beat and then laughed. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he shook his head. “Not that kind of problem.” He paused. “And I’m pretty sure there’s no guy on earth who’d actually go to a doctor for that.”
“Yet another reason why men die younger than women. What’s the problem, Keane?”
“Pita.”
“You have her today too?”
“Yeah. My aunt had to go into a rehab facility with assisted living. While I was working, Pita went down a vent and either joined a rat compound or she’s just enjoying fucking with me like every other female I know, but I can no longer see or hear her.”
Silence.
“Willa?”
“Your aunt had to go into a home?”
Hadn’t he just said so? “Yes, and—”
“And you’re holding on to Pita for her? Indefinitely?”
“Well I was,” he said. “Now I’m pretty sure I’ve accidentally killed her.”
“I’ll be right there.”

ARC received from: Edelweiss

Rating: 5*

Trope: Festive romance

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: Hot guy, cute cat and lovable heroine meet under the mistletoe

Review: Is there anything more perfect than a Jill Shalvis novel which combines Christmas, cute animals and an even cuter Hero?

Probably not.jill-shalvis-keane

This book ticked all the right boxes for me from the setting, the hilarious group of friends, the festive season and all the cute animals. Keane and Willa had oodles of chemistry and the book had just the right amount of focus on their history for the readers to understand their mutual reservation about relationships without it taking over the whole story.

Added bonus shipping material came in the form of Archer and Elle whose story I absolutely cannot wait to get my paws on.