Stolen (by Shiloh Walker)

https://i0.wp.com/photo.goodreads.com/books/1331854182l/13531840.jpg Tearing her mouth away, Shay ducked to the side. “We … we can’t do this.” She pressed a hand to her buzzing lips. “I’m just getting to the point where I’m used to going through the days without you calling. I’m just getting to where I can pass a few nights without dreaming of you.”

As a child, Shay suffered unspeakable horrors at the hands of her step-father. Everything about her adult life has been about hiding from the trauma of her past. She lives in a remote town in Alaska. and has isolated herself from her family and friends.

Elliot broke off their relationship because Shay couldn’t open up to him, but he can’t let go of what they had together. When a stalker, someone who knows Shay’s most closely guarded secrets starts stealing her life and attacking her friends, Elliot is determined to be there for her…determined that he won’t abandon her a second time.

But in order to find her stalker, Shay will need to remember the horrifying events of her childhood (events so horrifying that even this reader winced). With Elliot’s support she figuratively returns to her past, as she literally travels to her childhood home town. There she comes face to face with the person who has stolen who she is.

Stolen is an intense and gripping story, packed with truck-loads or romance and suspense. It never strays too far from the tried and true formula you’ll find in many books of this type. It does everything it’s supposed to do and also manages to throw in a surprise or two.

It’s very good adult romantic suspense.

Many thanks to Ballantine Books and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (by Denise Grover Swank)

https://i0.wp.com/photo.goodreads.com/books/1339609072l/12066944.jpg

 

 

I didn’t know anything about saving anybody. I didn’t even know where to go, let alone have a car to get there. But I did have a gun, even if I’d never shot one before. I unwrapped it, careful to point it away from me. I couldn’t find the round spinny thing for the bullets. Then I remembered, those were the kind of guns they used in prehistoric times. That covered most of the television shows I’d watched pre-cable. I was looking for the thing at the bottom of the gun. After a lot of fumbling and, I hate to admit it a little bit of cussing, I got it opened. 

 

Rose has a mundane job at the Department of Motor Vehicles. She lives with her mom and dresses like a nanna. The most interesting thing about her is she has the “second sight”, but even her visions are pretty unremarkable. She sees visions of toilets overflowing or dogs getting out of yards. Then one Friday afternoon while at work, she has a vision of herself dead in her home. Later when her mother turns up dead, suspicion immediately falls on her.

With dead bodies turning up, gangsters gunning for her, the police suspecting her and pretty much the entire town convinced she’s a murderer, things aren’t going so well for her. The one bright spot is her sexy neighbor, Joe who seems to be the only person in her corner. But he has his own secrets and at a time when she needs him most pulls away.

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes is a seriously good fun murder mystery set in Arkansas. It’s a laugh out loud funny story with a quirky heroine. Most of the books I read have interesting heroines. Look at the books I read an you’ll see it time and time again. For me Rose stands out in that long list of interesting heroines as something a little more. I put her in the same league as Lisbeth (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Nora (The Siren), Angel (My Life as a White Trash Zombie) and Justine (Mind Games).  I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next story about Rose Gardner.

The Disullusionists Trilogy (by Carolyn Crane)

“You wish to be free, but there is no such thing as freedom. You can redecorate dungeon to give illusion of freedom, but you are still in dungeon.”

“I should’ve had the choice.”

“Choice is illusion, same as happiness and freedom.”

As a hypochondriac with extreme levels of health fears, Justine makes for an unlikely crime fighter, but that’s exactly what she is. Together with a ragtag bunch of men and women she uses her irrational fears for good, by psychically zinging them into bad people so they can be broken down and rebooted.

Her life is complicated by the two men in her life. Packard is a crime boss, he’s mercenary and unscrupulous. He has an agenda, and uses his band of disillusionists to achieve that end. Otto is the exact opposite to Packard. As the chief of police and a psychic with the ability to create force fields, he is able to imprison criminal highcaps who can not be held in any conventional prison, using the power of his mind. But is it moral to imprison people for life without a trial?

Book https://i2.wp.com/photo.goodreads.com/books/1320403092l/6890220.jpg1:  Mind Games

Justine is recruited by Packard into his group of Disillusionists.  Teamed up with Simon, a disillusionist who can zing his own reckless behavior into others, and Shelby, who can zing people with her bleak view of the future, she struggles with her first mission to disillusion a woman who brutally murdered her husband.

She soon discovers that Packard has another agenda and that she is a crucial part of his plan to destabilize one of Midcity’s most prominent crime fighters. A man she idolizes.

https://i0.wp.com/photo.goodreads.com/books/1320472137l/7759629.jpg

 

 

Book 2: Double Cross

Justine has managed to get Packard his freedom, on the condition they disillusion the Highcap criminals Otto has imprisoned around the city. One such woman is a dream invader named Ezmerelda. After Justine accidentally touches her, Ez gains access to both her’s and Packard’s dreams. But despite a shocking crime-wave in which the sleep walking criminals bite their victims, Justine can’t help but think Ez is the victim of a frame-up.

Added to this, a group of killers  is targeting highcaps, and the trail leads back to a conspiracy theorist. A man who could be Shelby’s perfect match.

 https://i0.wp.com/photo.goodreads.com/books/1318454681l/10165210.jpg

Book 3: Head Rush

Justine is getting married to the man of her dreams, Otto. But she can’t seem to get Packard out of her mind, and with every one in the city gunning for him, why is he still hanging around.

The city is under martial law, crime is rampant and Otto is keeping secrets from Justine. In the end the fate of all her friends are in her hands, but can she find the courage to make the ultimate sacrifice for them.

The Disillusionists series is great urban fantasy. Quirky and funny, but also plenty of action. These books flow well and are entertaining from start to finish.

Fashion magazine disease articles. My personal Kryptonite.

Tab Bennett and the Inbetween (by Jes Young)

The first time it happened I was completely unprepared. I was in the kitchen making a peanut butter and banana sandwich when I started to feel light headed. I steadied myself against the the counter, closing my eyes so the room would stop spinning. When I opened them, I was with Molly, I was Molly, and I was in the dark gasping for air. I panicked until there was nothing left to breath and then she died…

https://i1.wp.com/photo.goodreads.com/books/1335929498l/13630560.jpgTab Bennett has lived her entire life without knowing who she really is. Then she starts having visions of a world that has been hidden from her. A world in which dark elves are trying to kill her, and the people she thought were her family are actually guardians, sent to protect her.

After her mother, the queen of the Elves was killed, Tab was sent to the human world to protect her from those who meant to do her harm. Now in her twenties and coming into her powers, her enemies are stepping up their efforts to kill her.
Adding to her problems, there are two men vying for her affections, Alex to whom she was promised at birth and Robbin one of her guardians.

Tab Bennett and the Inbetween is an unusual book. It reads a little like a Young Adult novel but then I would be hit with a very adult sex scene. There are elements of Paranormal / Fantasy, Romance and even a little Mystery there. I could spend hours trying to figure out where it belongs, or I could just say it’s a very good book which doesn’t quite fit anywhere.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Jes Young for providing me with this ARC.