Friday, April 20, 2018

Lady Rogue by Theresa Romain

Lady Rogue by Theresa RomainCallum Jenks and Lady Isabel Morrow had a short affair months ago. And now she's asking to see him again. This time it's not for romance; she needs help. Her deceased husband, it appears, was selling forgeries. And she needs to make things right before anyone finds out and her ward is ruined.
As they start investigating, it opens questions about how Isabel's husband died. Was it really a suicide?
This was a good book for some world building. While it didn't hold my attention for long periods of time, I don't think regular Romain readers will be disappointed.

Three stars
This book comes out April 24
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hot Response by Shannon Stacey

Hot Response (Boston Fire, #4)Gavin Boudreau isn't sure why Cait Tasker is so prickly around him. As a firefighter, he generally gets along pretty well with the EMTs he works with. But Cait stymies him. She doesn't seem susceptible to his usual charms.
Cait had toyed with asking Gavin out. But then he Ma'amed her. She assumed that it was his way of letting her know (rather rudely) that she was too old for him. But, after an intense call, the two bond and Cait takes Gavin to breakfast. And then she spends the night at his apartment (he's not there; she just needs to get away from her family for a little while). And then... well.
I liked that Gavin and Cait actually talked to each other (for the most part). I didn't like that Gavin was such a jerk but it was nice to see his family talk to him and tell him when he's stepping out of line.

Three and a half stars
This book comes out April 24
Follows Fully Ignited

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Marmalade Murders by Elizabeth J. Duncan

The Marmalade Murders by Elizabeth J. DuncanIt's fair time and Penny Brannigan has been roped in to helping out. She's going to judge the children's pet contest (where everyone wins) and also help log the entries in the cooking competition. Like any small town, the competition is fierce. Penny's friend Florence, an incredible cook, gets a call telling her that the deadline is the day after the actual deadline but she gets her jam, her cake, and her marmalade in on time. Gaynor Lewis, another top contender, wasn't as lucky and her entries are not turned in by the deadline. Yet, her marmalade wins the competition while Florence's is nowhere to be found. Then, Penny finds the marmalade... along with Gaynor Lewis. Is the competition stiff enough for someone to kill in order to win?
There were some lovely twists and turns but I didn't love the ending; the murderer wasn't exactly fairly clued (at least in my mind) but it didn't turn me off the series. I really like the way Duncan deals with Penny's "romance" with Gavin. It's a bit easy to shuffle him off scene but at least he doesn't remain creating yet another cozy series with a love triangle.

Three stars
This book comes out April 24
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley
Follows Murder is for Keeps

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green

The Leavenworth CaseWhen an older gentleman dies under mysterious circumstances, suspicion falls on one of the two nieces that lives with him. For some reason, one of the nieces is set to inherit the bulk of his fortune while the other niece is not entirely excluded from the will but she is certainly slighted. The body of Horatio Leavenworth is found with a bullet in the head in the library of his mansion. The house was locked but filled with not only his nieces but also various servants (including one who has come up missing).
Our first person narrator, Mr. Raymond, works with Ebeneezer Gryce (who will become a regular in Green's mysteries) to find out whether, as the evidence seems, niece Eleanor really killed her uncle out of spite.
An interesting story. Definitely a good mystery within the Victorian writing -- a little meandering but worth reading if you like the classics.

Three stars
This book comes out April 18
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Boss of Her -- anthology

Lead Counsel by Aurora Rey
My favorite of this anthology, Elisa Gonzalez is startled to learn that the lead attorney her firm is bringing in is the same woman she had a crush on in law school, Parker Jones. They had had one night of heavy making out but Parker burned her the next day. Now they're both powerful women who are better able to deal with their emotions as well as the pressures of life.

Four stars

For Your Eyes Only by Julie Cannon
The Boss of Her by Julie CannonRiley Stephenson is a powerful CFO but she's awkward. Like, super shy and awkward. So she's astonished to find herself making the first move and ordering a stripper for herself after meeting her at a friend's birthday party where Jessie, the stripper, performs. I liked this story because the two were able to meet outside of work and Cannon really worked to make Jessie have her own agency in the romance. I wish we had had a better/softer ending to the story.

Three stars

Opportunity of a Lifetime by M. Ullrich
Luca Garner is a stellar intern who is assigned to work under VP Stephanie Austin, known as the office ice queen. She works hard and eventually the two find that they appreciate each other both for their good working rapport and their mutual attraction.
This was the story that worked least for me. I'm not sure how we're supposed to connect to either character nor how we're supposed to believe they work as a couple. There was so much packed into this short story that I felt a little whiplashed from how fast emotions went from love to hate.

Two and a half stars

Four stars overall
This book comes out April 17
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah KrasnosteinI chose this book because I thought it would be about the work that a cleaner does. This book is more the portrait of one particular cleaner. That threw me off as did the fact that the "Present Day" chapters of this book is told in the present tense. For some reason, that just grates on me as a reader. Another thing that grates, the author is clearly a good friend/in deep awe of her subject and that ruins her objectivity. While I agree that Sandra Pankhurst is a pretty amazing woman, this book shows only a shining light on Sandra. I like to see a little more grit, more of the dark side of a biography's main topic. And we know for sure that Sandra herself is an unreliable narrator, so how much can we trust the historical chapters interspersed with the present day?

Two and a half stars
This book comes out April 10

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Sixth Day by Catherine Coulter; J.T. Ellison

The Sixth Day by Catherine CoulterThe book opens in the 1400s during a battle with Vlad Dracul. We find out that his twin half-brothers have some book with magic powers and he sends them away during the battle that takes his live in order to save the book.
Now present day, there is another set of twins who are about to sell an army of drones to the highest bidder. Then we jump to Nick and Michaela who are on vacation in London. Nick is supposed to help his grandfather solve a problem with ransomware that has taken over his company but then they get pulled in to this bigger mystery. And it's possible that the book we read about in the beginning is going to play a part.
I think I'm going to have to stop reading this series. It just keeps feeling more and more disjointed. There were so many things going on in this book, Ellison and Coulter had a hard time weaving it all together.

Two and a half stars
This book comes out April 10
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley