Watch Your Back

 A cold case reopened. A murderer re-emerging more deadly than ever before…
 
Baltimore Homicide Detective Stevie Mazzetti has suffered losses no woman should have to endure. And, despite it all, she’s still a fighter. When she learns that her ex-partner might have miscarried justice, she’s determined to put the past to rights, even when she becomes a target.
 
It’s former Marine Clay Maynard’s job to see the risk in every situation, but he doesn’t have to look hard to find the danger surrounding Stevie. Since the minute he first saw her, Clay has wanted to protect the wounded officer, and he started loving her not long after that. So when Stevie attracts the attention of a vicious psychopath, Clay will do whatever it takes to keep her alive. That is, if he can stay ahead of a killer with everything to lose—and something terrifying to hide…

Wow, this was one breathtaking, heart stopping, gut-wrenching ride!

Stevie is a character I have loved for the longest time and have been both frustrated and tearful both with her and for her.  Clay is just a sweetheart and is no different in this book.  When he does the powerful man thing though, it makes my knees quite weak!

I think this might be the final book focussing on this grouping of characters – I hope I’m wrong because I love them dearly but I’m not sure what direction it would go in now.  Having said that, Karen Rose does have the most amazing ability to connect characters and story-lines across books so there may well be some mention to see how they are doing.  I can only hope!

The story was fast paced and I thought it was extremely well judged to keep me right on the edge of my seat. The plot reveals came thick and fast and I don’t think I could have stopped reading even if I’d wanted to – there was just so much I had to KNOW.  I lost count of the number of times my heart was in my mouth and my husband had to keep checking I was OK, as I would make an audible sound (not that I was aware of it!).

The bad guys were actually really bad and Ms. Rose cleverly wove several elements from previous books into this one and the big reveal at the end – I thought I knew, but wow, I really didn’t.

Just phenomenal and as usual I am desperate for her next book, even if it does involve different characters.  In fact I think I need to read them ALL again!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Karen Rose
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

2013 – A bookish year

 So another year is behind us and in spite of the personal life stuff going on resulting in the dearth of reviews, reading was still going on behind the scenes.

So what books made us sit up and beg?

Grete

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett – The fantastic third book in the Demon Cycle.

Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole – Military sci-fi with superheroes.  This second book was an excellent addition to the Shadow Ops series.

Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey – This series needs to be on either the big or small screen – any screen!  Until then it’s an amazing sci-fi story and this third book was a brilliant addition to the Expanse.

Parasite by Mira Grant – An amazingly creepy but riveting novel. If you liked her Newsflesh trilogy, you are going to love this!

Kevin HearneThe Iron Druid Chronicles was a series that entranced me so much, I ended up romping through and didn’t take time to review.  It’s a fantastic series and one I will be re-reading, slower this time, so I can actually do reviews!

Bound by Night by Larissa Ione – The first in a new series by Larissa and just as exciting as her Demonica/Lords of Deliverance.  Speaking of which, the next book in that series, Reaver, is on this list too as it was utterly fantastic and had my jaw dropping several times as things were revealed.

Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones – This is another series I love so much that I keep racing through them and end up not reviewing.  It’s a habit I really have to stop as my memory is just not up to it these days!  Charley Davidson is one of my favourite paranormal heroines and I just can’t get enough of her!

Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon – I loved, loved, loved this book.  I cried, I laughed, I may have shouted a few times.  A worthy companion to Acheron and a brilliant addition to the Dark-Hunter’s series.  It does take you through the wringer though!

The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty – I absolutely loved this light hearted approach to the paranormal and look forward to the next one, out this year!

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan – A gritty and powerful epic fantasy debut.  I loved the magic system he devised and I hold high hopes for the second book.

Ice Forged by Gail Z. Martin – First in a new series by Gail and it’s off to a promising start.  I loved her two previous series a lot so it had a lot to live up to!  Looking forward to book two!

J.D. Robb – Thanks to Tracey, I discovered the In Death series and devoured the whole lot one after the other.  It amazed me how good they are and how, even 35+ books in, they are still extremely enjoyable and great reads.

Watch Your Back by Karen Rose – So many of Karen’s books have characters that appear or are related to people in other novels and this one felt like it had been a long time coming.  It was utterly amazing and prompted me to go back and read ALL the previous books!

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan – This book honestly surprised me and I’m annoyed at myself that I didn’t do a review after I read it, as it so very much deserved it.  It’s an amazingly gritty fantasy, written with a single focus and I urge anyone who loved David Gemmell’s work to pick this up.  I will be re-reading this (and reviewing this time, dammit)!

Unseen by Karin Slaughter – Every time I think Karin has outdone herself, she releases the next book and raises the bar even higher.  I can’t get enough of Will Trent and Sara Linton!

Lover at Last by J.R. Ward – The latest book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series was hotly anticipated and I was not left disappointed!

Tracey

While my list has some similar ones to Grete, I also have some totally different genres to her.  Being much more of a romantic sap, it will come as no surprise that I have a number of romances on my list.

The books I share Grete’s love for are :

Styxx of course – the most anticipated book of the year for me and one that did not disappoint. Probably my book of the year!

Reaver by Larissa Ione – another eagerly awaited novel that ticked all the boxes for me.

The In Death series by J.D. Robb – I read all 35 books in 4 weeks and absolutely loved them.

For me though the year was all about romance! There were books from my favourite romance authors: Stephanie Laurens, Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Sarah MacLean and Sarah Morgan.

I really cannot express all the books that I loved this year, I read well over 100 of them! Since I tend to read books I know I will enjoy, it is so hard to only pick a few.

If I was to recommend a few books to other readers I would go with the following:

Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan – I have been a fan of Ms. Morgan for many years, reading all her Mills and Boon books and it was great to have a longer book to enjoy. This is romance at its best and a great start to a new series.

Nora Roberts has featured heavily in my reading this year but a trilogy I particularly enjoyed was the Key Trilogy – Key of Light, Key of Knowledge and Key of Valour. This has a paranormal slant with Ms. Roberts’ usual excellent romance story.

Sarah MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels series is recommended reading, particularity if you enjoy historical romance. I have loved all the books in this series and look forward to the next one hopefully coming in 2014!

Will definitely be doing more reviews this year, even if only a few lines, there are so many great books I want to share my love of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did You Miss Me?

 Just when I think Karen Rose has done the best book possible, she proves me wrong with the next one.  Did you Miss Me was a suspenseful masterpiece with an old horrific and tragic crime at the heart of it.

It did feel a bit like this was a get together of characters of previous books, and I couldn’t always place which book or family they were from so it did detract a little bit from the focal characters.  Normally I would mark that down but in all honesty it has made me want to go back and re-read the ones I have and catch up on any I’ve missed.  It was good to see those characters again though, and it widens the ‘world’ for me.

The crimes really hit me on a visceral level, and at times they were very hard to read.  I thought the way they were written was excellent, no excessive drama or padding it out.  It didn’t need it.

I loved Joseph and am so glad he managed to figure things out, to see the real Daphne who in turn I also loved.  She is such a strong woman, it was hard to like her in the previous book.  Here you see her at her most vulnerable and you realise what lies behind the facade.  Just wow.

The masterpiece came when I realised I had followed Karen Rose perfectly down the path she wanted, not even guessing who the real person behind it was.  Genius and a huge OMG! moment.

Creepy, horrific, loving, scary, hot (oh yes there was more heat in this book!), a whole gamut of emotions and I felt wrung out by the end!

The pace was spot on, I didn’t have time to react or ponder as things came left right and centre and the plot was quite simply masterful.  I think it must be hard to write a book like this, to ‘be’ in a psychopath’s head and be able to get out of it again (I don’t know how any crime writer does it). Much kudos and simply brilliant.

Karen Rose is without a doubt one of the best writers of romantic suspense I have found so far, and long may she continue proving me wrong!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Karen Rose
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

You Belong to Me

When a mutilated body is left close to her home, Forensic Pathologist Dr. Lucy Trask is shocked, but the eventuality is just another day at the office.  As she performs the autopsy puzzling things are revealed.  The figure ‘I’ has been burned into the victim’s back, the heart, eyes and tongue all carefully removed,  actions that appear to have obvious meaning for the killer.  Neither Lucy, nor Detective JD Fitzpatrick, have any clue what the message is supposed to tell them.  When the body is finally identified, Lucy realises she had a connection to him, and finding him was no accident.  Another body is left for her, with the same mutilations, and that additional connection leads Lucy to something from her past.  Tragic events, hidden truths and cover-ups from her childhood resurface, and a simple bracelet is her only clue to to the killer’s mysterious intent.

I had a list of things to do today, nothing that important, just usual day to day things.  I started reading You Belong to Me with a morning coffee and everything else went out the window, I could not put it down!  Right from the first page I was intrigued, and got completely caught up in the story.  I even had to stop myself from flipping to the back page to see how it turned out, it was that intense, and I’m glad I didn’t in the end.

The main characters were superbly brought to life and I cared so much about JD and Lucy, at times I didn’t want to turn a page for fear of what was going to happen to them.  The moments between the two were so sweet and powerful, it left me a little breathless.  The supporting characters were just as well written, and I had a lot of affection for some of them, but as it should be, they didn’t hold quite as much of my heart as JD and Lucy.

The story itself was amazing.  The plot was both intricate and simple, almost as if two layers are going on at the same time, and I honestly don’t know how Karen Rose kept it all straight.  It was never confusing, however, and I think that is where this book went from a great read, to an outstanding one.

It was truly chilling at times, especially when the antagonist was centre stage or when his handywork had been left to be discovered.  Getting ‘into’ the killer’s head can’t have been easy, nor describing his deeds, yet Rose managed it in a believable and convincing manner.

The pace of the story was excellent, utterly gripping and tuned just right to keep me turning the pages as fast as I could read.

You Belong to Me has now become one of my favourite books from Karen Rose and is quite possibly the best one she has written… so far!

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Karen Rose
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Books I can’t wait for in 2011

There are so many books in already established series’ I am looking forwards to reading this year, not to mention new ones I have yet to discover.  Here is a selection that I really can’t wait to get my paws on :

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

January

A Hard Day’s Knight (Nightside) by Simon R. Green (Ace Books)
Kitty goes to War (Kitty Norville) by Carrie Vaughn (Gollancz)

March

River Marked (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs (Orbit)
Invincible (Chronicles of Nick 2) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (ATOM)
Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood) by J. R. Ward (Piatkus Books)

April

Ghost Story (Dresden Files 13) by Jim Butcher (Orbit)
Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Orbit)
Born of Shadows (League 4) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Piatkus Books)

June

Hunt the Moon (Cassie Palmer) by Karen Chance (Signet Books)
Deadline (Newsflesh Trilogy) by Mira Grant (Orbit)

July

Kitty’s Big Trouble (Kitty Norville) by Carrie Vaughn (Gollancz)

August

Pale Demon by (The Hollows) Kim Harrison (Harper Voyager)
Retribution (Dark-Hunter) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Piatkus Books)
Downpour (Greywalker) by Kat Richardson (Piatkus Books)

October

Envy (Fallen Angels) by J. R. Ward (Piatkus Books)

Fantasy

March

Land of Painted Caves (Earth’s Children Book 6) by Jean M. Auel (Hodder & Stoughton)
Twilight’s Dawn (Black Jewels) by Anne Bishop (Roc)

April

Shadow Chaser (Chronicles of Siala) by Alexey Pehov (Simon & Schuster)

Chick Lit

February

To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell (Headline)

March

Summer of Love by Katie Fforde (Century)
Kiss and Tell by Fiona Walker (Sphere)

May

Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson (Corgi)

Crime

January

You Belong to Me by Karen Rose (Headline)

May

Virals by Kathy Reichs (Arrow (Young))