Tag Archives: books: quotes

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?”

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.

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.

Till I Kissed You (Cottonbloom Novels #3) by @LauraTrentham

Till I Kissed You (Cottonbloom Novels, #3)After watching her from a distance for years, their lives running parallel on opposite sides of the river, close yet miles apart, the past weeks had closed the gaps and fate had entwined their paths until he couldn’t get away from her. Didn’t want to get away from her. He just plain wanted her. Had always wanted her.

ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

Trope: Reconciliation Romance

Chemistry: Off the charts Scorchio

One-Sentence Summary: Two lovers from different sides of the river are drawn back together by the upcoming festivals

Review: This has been the book I have been waiting for in this trilogy, ever since I read the blurb for it – who doesn’t love a reconciliation romance full of friction, sexual tension and a muddy past?

When we meet Sawyer and Regan in previous books in the trilogy, Laura Trentham - Sawyerthey have always been arguing and accusing each other of underhanded deeds. By the start of this book, they have moved past that a bit to a mutual understanding that someone is trying to sabotage their festival plans. The build-up of sexual tension between them is greatly helped by the fact they conveniently seem to run into each other in various dark and cramped places in Cottonbloom but what I loved the most was how Sawyer was always there to protect Regan when they realised she was being targeted by the festival saboteur.

This was one of those books where I raced through it, eagerly awaiting every new interaction between Sawyer and Regan until they finally got together and accepted that their love for each other hadn’t died but had just been lying dormant.

I am really sad that this series is over as I have fallen in love with Cottonbloom. I can’t wait to see what Laura Trentham writes next!

Sunset in Central Park (From Manhattan with Love #2) by Sarah Morgan

Sunset in Central Park“I disagree. A book can give you most things a relationship can. It can make you laugh, it can make you cry, it can transport you to different worlds and teach you things. You can even take it out to dinner. And if it bores you, you can move on. Which is pretty much what happens in real life.”

ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 3*

Trope: Friend’s brother

Chemistry: Low boil

One-Sentence Summary: A relationship-phobe falls in love with her best friend’s perfect brother

Review: For all those longterm fans of Sarah Morgan out there, you’ll be as pleased as I am to learn that this book revisits the setting and characters from her previous trilogy and a large chunk of the story takes place on Puffin Island. Yay! It was a real pleasure to go back to that idyllic setting and make a pit-stop in the lives of those couples.

For those of you who have never read the Puffin Island books then a) you’re missing out but, b) don’t worry, it’s not a prerequisite to enjoying this book.

Focusing on the central romance in this book though, I have to say I was a tad disappointed. It’s always interesting to read a romance where the guy is more invested in the relationship than the girl and has been pining away for awhile, and I liked Matt for that. However, I have to say he was just a bit too perfect to be a nice match for Frankie.

As for Frankie, I really liked her at the start because we have a lot in common (book > socialising) but man she had enough issues to sink Puffin Island. I get it, we all have issues as do our heroes and heroines, that’s what makes their stories interesting but it seemed that all the characters were focused on in this book were these issues: Frankie herself and Matt and all her friends spent a huge proportion of time talking about her issues, discussing her issues and using her issues as an excuse etc. etc. It just weighed down the book so much for me that when Frankie started to let herself enjoy being with Matt, I wondered if this was even still the same character!

Kiss Me That Way (Cottonbloom Novels #1) by @LauraTrentham

Kiss Me That Way: A Cottonbloom Novel“You needed me?” Her voice was husky, and she lifted her gaze the last few inches to meet his, the green as dark and beautiful as a magnolia leaf.
“I do need you.” His whisper hooked her a step closer. His eyes flared and he cleared his throat. “I mean I need your help with my nuts.”
“Your nuts?” She dropped his hand and startled back a step.
“Of the nuts-and-bolts variety.” They both glanced toward his crotch. He scrubbed his hand over his head. Red tinged his cheekbones even as a small laugh stuttered out.
His smile lightened the mark so many desperate years had left and her lips mimicked his instinctively. She would put on a clown costume and hit herself with a cream pie if she could keep a smile on his face forever. She wasn’t sure what that meant, but it couldn’t be good.
“I’d be happy to help with your nuts.”

ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4*

Trope: Small town romance

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: Two people from different sides of the track rediscover an old friendship which grows into something more

Review: This is the first book I’ve read by Laura Trentham and it looks like I chose the right book to try. I fell in love with the characters and setting and before I had even finished, I was already looking forward the two subsequent books in the series.

This book is set in a small Southern town which is divided into two along economic lines. Cade and Monroe come from different worlds but started a blossoming friendship when Cade rescued thirteen year-old Monroe from one of her alcoholic mother’s predatory boyfriends. Cade moved out of town when he was a young adult and is only forced back by his brother and sister to recuperate from an injury.

Monroe and Cade reconnect and grow closer as they help each Laura Trentham - CadeMonroeother work through issues from their past. Throw in Cade’s brother and sister and Monroe’s best friend who will all feature in future books, you have a really well written romance which plays out in an interesting setting.

It lost a star because I felt that whilst Monroe’s job as a physical therapist is what brought Cade back into her life, her job and his injury (especially when he was lifting her up the riverbank) were soon forgotten about. Also I wasn’t sure about the fact that one minute Cade was exploring the idea of staying in Cottonbloom with Sawyer but as soon as Monroe turned up he told her categorically that he was going back to Seattle.

Definitely looking forward to the next book in the series!

Love Is Reviews 2