Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Taylor Adams: Hairpin Bridge

Taylor Adams show how far a sister will go to figure out what happened in her sister's last moments:

When Lena heard about her twin sister's death, she knew that things did not add up. Cambry is not one to take her own life, and she is set on finding out the truth. And the place for her to start is the bridge that Cambry drove to and jumped 200ft to her death and her only clue is a text message that referenced Officer Raycevic. When Lena meets Officer Raycevic she know that he is hiding something. Lena will stop at nothing to find out what happened, but there are those that don't want the truth to come out and what started as an investigation turns into a fight for survival.

I had really high hopes for this book as I was seeing it everywhere getting rave reviews, as well as people raving about Adams' other book No Exit (which I have not had a chance to read yet). I'm going to be the minority in this one as this book was a DNF for me. I made it to about 30% and I just had to put it down.

One of the main problems that I had was the format that the book was written in. It was I was never sure if we were hearing Cambry's story as she lived it or reading what Lena thinks that happened to her sister. I just found it confusing and not sure why Adams did not fully define at times who was talking and kept switching back and forth constantly.

I actually really liked Cambry as a character, and her wild and free spirit and Lena with her sense of justice that needs to be had for Cambry and going to any lengths to get it, but just the format threw me off. I'm also not sure about the whole blog aspect that Lena is engaged in, but those are the times these days.

So this one wasn't for me, but I'll probably still pick up No Exit and give it a try as I have read that those who did not enjoy this one, really enjoyed that one.

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Monday, June 20, 2022

Ruby Dixon: Ice Planet Barbarians

In the first of a series, Ruby Dixon show what could happen when a group of women crash land on an ice planet:

It was just another normal night for Georgie, well minus the crazy dream and very bright light. That is when Georgie wakes up and realizes she is not in bed and has been abducted by aliens, possible a good or bad thing she is not the only one. You would think that being abducted would be the worst thing, but when you are seen a just cargo crash landing might not be so bad. Georgie is the only one that is fit enough to try and find some sort of help, what she finds is a whole lot more than that.

If you have been following my reviews for awhile you will know that this is not a book that I would normally pick up but I am trying to read more out of my comfort zone genres. I have seen this book/series recommended by several people and thought to give it a try. Well I really enjoyed this book, I read it in just over a day (it is a shorter book though) but I found that I was invested in the story and characters right from the start. It had everything you would expect from other genres, just with some added sex scenes thrown in, but they did not take away from the overall story or characters, it was woven well right into the story and made sense.

I like Georgie as a character and her drive to survive but she does not only want herself to survive but the women that she came with as well. She does everything she can on a strange planet with a strange Alien in order to achieve that and I do not think you can fault her for that. She also has some funny one liners that she uses throughout. Vektal was very much the barbarians one would want when reading in this genre, though it was a little trying after awhile hearing about the resonance over and over again.

I think the on thing that I did not like about the book was how the language was shown in the text. I fully get that they are unable to understand each other as they are from two different planets, but I felt  when I was reading Vektal parts when he was trying to understand what Georgie was trying to say it was like a bad game of Mad Libs (did I just date myself there?) and it took me out of the flow of the story.

Erotica/Smut/Romance always gets a bad rap for some reason about those books not counting as reading but pretty sure you need to read the words on the page to get through the book but I feel logic is beyond those people. They also say there is not story or plot around those stories, also 100% untrue. This book is no exception, it has a story/plot of wanting to survive, it just may not be the typical survival story you are used to reading.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to those who enjoy these genres and maybe to those as well that want to try something in this genre. I mean for all the sex it was really PG sex (minus is being with an Alien) at that, so a good one to experiment with in my opinion. I'm going to try the next book in the series and see how it goes, Some major plot aspects were wrapped up in this book, so I'm not sure where Dixon is going to take the next story but I am going to try it.


Monday, June 13, 2022

D. J. Palmer: My Wife is Missing

D.J. Palmer shows how far a man will go in order to find his family, even if they don't want to be found:

A husband's worst nightmare comes true. While on vacation in NYC Micheal goes out to get pizza for his family and when he returns to the hotel they are all missing. The only thing left behind is his son's favourite Teddy Bear. Convinced they have been kidnapped Michael quickly contacts the police but is soon proven wrong by security camera footage, the family left of their own free will. Now things turn toward Michael, why would his wife flee with their children? All Michael knows is that he needs to find his family, his wife has been unstable lately with insomina issues and he thinks that is what has caused her to flee and could be a danger to herself and the kids.

This is the second book that I have read by Palmer and her first book The perfect Daughter, was almost the perfect book for me, so I had high hopes for this book as well. I will say that it had me hooked from the very beginning with Michael returning home to discover that his wife and children are missing and then getting the perspective of Natalie and where they were/why but my overall investment of the book waned as the book went on. It lost the suspense as the farther we went into the book and it felt like all Natalie did was drive, drive, drive and then drive some more, tell us that Natalie suffers from insomnia but never really address this aspect fully in the book. She doesn't know what is there and what is not but this unique  aspect was under utilized throughout the book. The last 25 % of the book are fairly intense as everything and everyone seem to come together at once and while I was able to predict part of the ending I was not able to see the full twist that Palmer had coming.

I keep debating whether I like how this story was laid out with the present and before events, essentially we eventually get to why Natalie ran. Normally I like these POV but I'm not sure it worked entirely for this book or maybe there was just a few too name of the before POV of Natalie where more of her insomnia instances are established (but never fully explored...sorry if I keep repeating myself). Michael and Natalie are both unreliable characters in the book, Natalie due to her mental health and Michael due to secrets he is keeping. And can you really know the person that you love.

This was a good book, it kept me entertained but it did slow down quite a bit and get repetitive near the middle of the book, which caused the story to lag. I like the twists that Palmer came up with in the end story and I couldn't actually figure it all out. I look forward to reading more by Palmer.

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Sunday, June 5, 2022

Kelley Armstrong: A Rip Through Time

In the first book in a new series, Kelley Armstrong transports a modern day detective to the Mid 1800s where a killer is on the loose:
Mallory is in Edinburgh visiting her dying grandmother, when the unthinkable happens, she is drawn into an alley where she believes a woman is being harmed only to be set upon by a serial killer, but things do not go as planned. Mallory wakes up, but she is not in her own body, and she soon discovers she is not in modern times either. Mallory must put aside shock quickly and adapt or she will be out on the street from her job as a maid in an undertakers house. Mallory discovers that Dr. Gray is a the beginning of forensic science and she is keen to help as she was a homicide detective in her time. Mallory is hoping that if she catches the killer in this time, it will lead her to getting home, before it is too late.

Any time that Armstrong is going to release a new series, I plan to be there to pick it up, especially if there is a mystery aspect to it. I like that Armstrong has switched it up from some of her other series but kept the elements that I like, for example the lack of modern forensic similar to her Rockton series.

This book starts out quite slow and this is due to the time period that Armstrong has decided to have Mallory time travel/body switch to, the Mid 1800s. In this era of time, women do not have rights, they are looked down upon by many, so having Mallory be part of murder investigations takes some time and work. Armstrong also has to take time to have Mallory adjust to her new way in life in this era, which means quite a bit of cleaning as a maid and learning who Catriona was to the people around her.

The book starts to pick up around the 50% mark and I really did not want to put the book down after that. It is around this mark that Mallory really becomes involved in the investigations the best that she can and it less about trying to adapt to the 1800s and more trying to figure out who the murderer is. I like the who-done-it aspect of the book and to good "old fashioned" detective work, with some modern thinking/theories thrown in as Mallory cannot deny who she is. Mallory has to be careful what she says and what she suggests as part of the investigation as she does not want to screw what is to come. This causes her to have to use more of a deduction skill in order to figure out who the murderer is.

I like Mallory as a character, as she has both whit and strength (though she does have to down play the whit at times due to the time period and people are unfamiliar with what she saying). I'm not sure any of us would adjust to waking up in someone else's body in a different time period half as well as Mallory did and this shows her strength. I like how Armstrong thought to put in how many times Mallory missed her phone from simple google searches to needing to use the map for directions to just wanting to kill some time. Mallory seemed more real that way as she was missing what many of us would in the convenience of our cell phones.

I did enjoy this book in the end, even though it was a slow start. I think that now that the leg work has been done with establishing Mallory as being able to participate in investigations the next books in the series will be faster paced and great read. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series.

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