Review: In the Enemy’s Service


intheenemysservice

ReviewStars-4

Read from April 19 to 24, 2016 — I own a copy
Synopsis: When the Malornian army invaded Alasia and Prince Jaymin was forced to flee for his life, what happened to those left behind? In the Enemy’s Service tells the story of ten-year-old Anya, imprisoned among other survivors and forced to work for the occupying troops. While pretending to follow orders and serve diligently in the palace, Anya discovers ingenious ways to spy on enemy officers and slip valuable information to the Alasian resistance.

But as she helps to craft plans that may eventually free Alasia, Anya accidentally uncovers a disturbing reference to her own family. Her fears are strengthened when she is confronted by a mysterious Malornian who seems somehow to know the truth behind the role she has been playing. Holding her life in his hands with that knowledge, he claims to bear information implicating her father in the betrayal that led to the Invasion itself. Continue reading

Review: Riding the Dog by Sybil Rosen


ridingthedog

ReviewStars-4

Read from April 15 to 17, 2016 — I own a copy

Synopsis: Riding the Dog is a collection of nine short stories, all of which take place on a Greyhound bus. Strangers collide in cramped spaces. Secrets are told to faceless seatmates in the dark of the bus in the middle of the night. Two travelers exchange trinkets, unaware of a past that connects them. A woman searches the country by bus, looking for her brother who disappeared in New York City on 9/11. A cowboy loses his most treasured possession on a deserted road in West Texas. If you want to learn about America, ride a Greyhound bus. If you can’t ride the bus, then read Riding the Dog. Continue reading

Review: Blazing Obsession by Dai Henley


blazingobsession

3 stars

Read from April 11 to 14, 2016 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Synopsis: How would you react if your wife, stepson and baby daughter were murdered in an arson attack and the arsonist was tried and acquitted on a technicality? How would you feel if DNA evidence proved the arsonist’s guilt, but the 800-year-old laws of double jeopardy meant that he couldn’t be retried?

This is a story of obsession, revenge and justice. James Hamilton meets and falls in love with Lynne Burrows, whose ex-husband Nick is a violent, drug-dealing control freak who will not accept that their marriage is over and continually harasses her, and questions their eight-year-old son Georgie constantly about Lynne’s relationships. After Lynne falls pregnant again with James’ child, Nick abducts Georgie and flees to Florida. James and Lynne trick him into returning voluntarily and Nick is arrested on landing at Gatwick. He’s charged and sentenced to seven years.

James and Lynne marry and live a life of bliss for two years, until there is an arson attack on James’ holiday cottage. Four months later, the police charge a small-time criminal and drug dealer. Despite overwhelming evidence, he’s acquitted and never reveals who is behind the arson attack. The obvious candidate is Nick, but he’s still incarcerated and the police can find no evidence linking him to the crime. Sickened by the judge’s decision, James becomes obsessed with getting justice for his family when he discovers that Lynne has been concealing secrets about her past. Together with a private eye and Lynne’s best friend, he plans the perfect retribution against the perpetrators…

Blazing Obsession shows how powerful revenge and obsession are, and how they can result in fatal consequences. The novel, which combines police procedural, legal drama and amateur sleuth genres, will appeal primarily to crime fans. Continue reading

Review: Hold Still by Lisa Regan


holdstill

3 stars

Read from March 20 to April 07, 2016, read count: 1

Synopsis: 

After years as a patrol cop, detective Jocelyn Rush is almost immune to the depravity that stalks the meaner streets of Philadelphia…almost. After saving her three-year-old daughter from a carjacking, she ends up in the emergency room—and discovers that Anita, a former prostitute and acquaintance from her old days on the beat, has been hideously mutilated in a brutal assault.

With the help of her partner and Philadelphia’s Special Victims Unit, Jocelyn discovers that Anita isn’t the first victim of these attacks and it looks like she won’t be the last. When the violence hits closer to home, Jocelyn knows she must do whatever it takes to stop the sadistic attacker—even if it means confronting a terrible secret from her painful past.

Award-wining author Lisa Regan’s Hold Still is a captivating thriller that crackles with intensity. Continue reading

Review: Underwater by Julia McDermott


underwater

2 stars

Read from February 29 to March 12, 2016 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Synopsis: After years of guilt over a long-ago tragedy, Candace Morgan is finally poised for success. The CEO of her own women’s shapewear company, she’s about to launch a new swimsuit line—and make a fortune. When she is guilted into loaning her brother a huge sum of money for real estate, she believes she’s simply fulfilling a family promise. In reality, she’s enabling a devious sociopath…and now, she’s roped into the renovation from hell.

For years, Monty Carawan has envied his sister’s wealth. Spiteful and self-centered, he’s convinced that her success came at the expense of his own future. But when the housing market plunges and Candace attempts to disentangle herself from Monty’s mess, her brother’s malicious streak brings the family tension to a dangerous boiling point. Continue reading

Review: Queen of Arlin by T.C. Southwell


queenofarlin

2 stars

Read from February 15 to 28, 2016 — I own a copy

Synopsis:  When Queen Tassin is forced to flee her kingdom on the backwater planet of Omega V, she has no idea that the strange warrior who helps her is a cyborg; the deadliest hi-tech killing machine ever created. Her world has forgotten the technology that almost destroyed it, but then a freak accident damages the micro-supercomputer that controls Sabre, and he is free to take charge of his destiny…

Bookish Things: 214 pages. The cover is amateur but it does tie in with the story.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for Free or paperback for $15.00

My Review: 

Queen of Arlin should have been called: Annoying, whiny brat gets saved repeatedly by the cyborg.

Initially, I could understand Tassin’s predicament. She’s been left by her recently deceased father and must stand as Queen of Arlin, but she’s only young (16 or 17) and has few allies to lean upon. This becomes even more dire when the three king’s of the adjoining realms long to marry her and gain control of Arlin and all its land and wealth.

None of the three kings are suitable, and Tassin ends up having to flee her kingdom with a magical warrior (aka a cyborg) who has been charged with keeping her safe.

The adventure the two find themselves on, was quite interesting, the twists and turns that they were forced to take made for an intriguing tale. What really let it down for me was the sheer idiocy of Tassin. I hated her. Every time she opened her mouth I wanted to shake her. That the cyborg, Sabre, couldn’t harm her was the only reason this book wasn’t 50 pages long.

Sabre himself was initially a boring character. When things changed and he started to develop a personality, I began to enjoy the story more, but alas, his slight personality was no match for my hatred of all things Tassin.

I felt that Tassin’s petulance far outweighed even what the most stubborn of teens are capable of. It was gargantuan in proportion and as such has very firmly put me off picking up any of the next books.

A few things I noticed:
13% – …great explosion went go(delete go) off in…
16% – A(t) least she was safe…
35% – “I could.” And 15 lines below it are tabbed in.
There was another instance of this about 70-80% through.