Dead Heat (by Patricia Briggs)

Urban Fantasy

When Anna and Charles fly to Arizona, it’s to visit with some of Charles’s old friends and buy a trail horse for Anna. But on arrival they quickly find themselves rushing to the home of the Arizona alpha’s grandson whose wife, Chelsea has been bewitched.  What they find is three frightened children and Chelsea covered in blood.

It soon becomes apparent that Chelsea was bewitched by a fae and the fae has been kidnapping and killing children. Charles and Anna join forces with the Arizona pack and local law enforcement to hunt down and kill the fae.  But even as they are hunting the fae, he is hunting them and this particular fae is one of the most powerful of all.


 

Dead Heat is a great book which had just a little too much going on. The main story, that of Charles and Anna hunting down the fae who was taking children was great, but there was a lot of time spent on Anna looking at and trying out horses which didn’t really seem to go anywhere and honestly was a bit of a distraction. That said the ending completely blew me away and made it all worthwhile.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 9.12.41 pmMany thanks to Penguin and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

Yellow, Orange, Red. What it means:  red-orange-yellow-guide

Death & the Redheaded Woman (by Loretta Ross)

Mystery

Death (pronounced ‘Deeth’) is a bounty hunter and private investigator who’s down on his luck. After his ex-wife left him penniless and homeless he finds himself living out of his car. To top it all off, his lungs were severely damaged after an IED destroyed the humvee he was riding in while on a deployment and now any physical activity can leaving him gasping for breath.

Wren is an auctioneer and appraiser working on a deceased estate to catalogue everything for sale. Unfortunately one of the first things she finds in the house is a naked dead man.

When Death learns who the dead man was he immediately sees an opportunity to track down some stolen jewellery and collect a tidy reward. He joins forces with Wren and they begin their search. But one of the bandits also wants his payday and he’s none too happy to have them in the picture.


 
Death and the Redheaded Woman is a complete hoot. The minute Wren used an atlatl (spear thrower) against the bad guys I was hooked. Well actually I was hooked before then but that just sealed the case. The writing style reminds me a little of Molly Harper with its clever banter and very funny moments. This really is a great book.

If there is a downside, I don’t think it ended well…well actually it ended quite well and then an epilogue was tacked on which didn’t really work for me. But that’s a small thing and honestly hardly worth mentioning.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 9.12.41 pmYellow, Orange, Red. What it means:  red-orange-yellow-guide

A Ghostly Undertaking (by Tonya Kappes)

Cozy Mystery / Ghosts

After being rendered unconscious by a large plastic Santa Claus, Emma finds she has the ability to see dead people. Specifically people who have been murdered. Unfortunately for her now she is the only person in town who can see the town’s number one busybody, Ruthie, and it’s up to her to solve the crime before anyone else falls victim.

Along the way she enlists the help of Jack Henry, the town’s policeman but with her grandma the number one suspect she has to walk a fine line between helping to track down the killer and protecting her family.


 
A Ghostly Undertaking is a quick and fun cozy mystery set around a family run funeral home. It’s not perfect, there are a few things that didn’t quite work, some things I would have liked the author to spend a little more time with, but there is enough good in there for me to say this is a good book and a promising start to a new series.

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 8.51.33 pmMany thanks to Witness and Edelweiss for providing me with this ARC

Yellow, Orange, Red –– what it means: red-orange-yellow-guide

Sleight of Hand (by Mark Henwick)

Urban Fantasy

Amber is a private investigator. After discovering a drug and gun running operation in her client’s business she calls in the cops and turns the screws on Denver’s criminal underworld. Unfortunately for her, Denver PD have shut down the business while they investigate and her client is refusing to pay her.

With a serious cash flow problem, when Jennifer Kingslund shows up claiming one of her staff has been kidnapped and someone is trying to ruin her, Amber has little choice but to take on the job. She quickly discovers the job is much bigger than she first thought.

Adding to her problems, the vampire infection that has tainted her blood is taking over, and if she isn’t careful her government minders will throw her into a padded room where military scientists will control her every move.


 
Loved this book. It’s a bit of a cross between those great hard boiled detective novels of the 1930s and 1940s and more modern Urban Fantasy by authors like Jennifer Estep and Faith Hunter. Amber is a great heroine and this book is filled with secondary characters I can’t help but like. It took four or five books before Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series won me over. Not a problem with this one. I’m already hooked.

(There is a novella which precedes this book called Raw Deal. Well worth starting there to get some background on the characters.)

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Final Notice (by Jennifer L. Hart)

Cozy Mystery

Jackie, her husband Luke and his brother Logan are partners in a property management team in Miami. When a renter is smelling up the place or not paying rent, the landlord hires them to sort it out. Unfortunately for them on their very first job they stumble across a brutally murdered young woman.

When the police fail to find a suspect after a few days they put the case on the back-burner and Jackie decides if she doesn’t step in the case will join the thousands of other unsolved murders.


 
Jennifer L. Hart is a favorite author. She writes snarky and intelligent cozy mysteries that are high on fun and low on angst (despite the obvious triangle that’s bubbling away in the background of this one). I love every single character in this book –– honestly, they pretty much all deserve to be the star and I can’t wait till the next instalment.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 4.32.33 pmYellow, Orange, Red –– what it means: red-orange-yellow-guide-pdf

Love & Other Lies (by Madeline Ash)

Contemporary Romance

When Abby moved to the small coastal town of Belgulla, she wasn’t running from her shameful past, she was confronting it. The first thing she did when she arrived was tell everyone in the town what she had down and why they couldn’t trust her. Since then her life has been confined to her job as the town’s vet and a quiet, isolated life with few friends.

Rue has been travelling around Australia and is on the final leg before heading home when he arrives in Belgulla and crashes straight into Abby. Her brutal honesty somehow appeals to him so he asks her out. When she says he is too good for her, something that every woman before her has said, it’s a red rag to a bull and he decides if she wants a bad boy he’ll give her one.


 
Love & Other Lies is great. It’s a quick and easy story about a woman who genuinely has a past she can be ashamed of –– not the typical Hollywood scars you see in so much romance. There is a bit of ache, but for the most it is angst free. A lot of love for this book.

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Sabotaged (by Dani Pettrey)

Romantic Suspense / Christian

After her uncle, who is a competitor on the Iditarod Dog Sled Race, disappears Kirra goes looking for him with the help of Reef. They discover that Kirra’s cousin, Meg has been kidnapped to force her uncle’s cooperation in a terrorist act that will do untold damage to the environment and kill countless people.


 

 

 

 

 

Many years ago I was walking my dog in the park and a very pretty woman came up to me and said hello. Thinking to myself that all my christmases had come at once we struck up a conversation. Things were going so well until she asked me if I’d heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This book feels like that. I requested it because the synopsis sounded interesting. A romantic suspense novel set with the backdrop of the Iditarod Dog Sled Race. That part of it actually kind of works but the book is way too preachy. Honestly, it really should be mentioned in the synopsis that this book is christian romantic suspense. If I knew that from the start I would feel a lot more positive towards the book.

Christians who want a christian book will enjoy this, but the constant preaching will alienate many non-christian readers.

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 8.51.33 pmMany thanks to Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

Yellow, Orange, Red –– what it means: http://wp.me/P2B7b5-9l