Known Threat (Agent O’Connor, #3) by Kara A. McLeod

From Kara A. McLeod’s first book to her now third book, there has been such a progression from really good to phenomenal. I was enthralled by the third installment of her Agent O’Connor series. She made my heart race, my emotions jump all over the place, I was taken right into the book, real life be damned.

McLeod has become a master in on writing a fantastic story with main characters that exude fortitude, strength kindness and underneath it all, raw vulnerability. It hard not to be captured by this series, I can easily say this is one of the books I have been most excited about this year.

Like I have said before this is a series, each book building off of each other. Do not start here, you want to pick up Actual Stop and then Worthy of Trust and Confidence. Without a doubt, this is a damn good series and you will not be disappointed have three amazing books to devour.

Special Agent Ryan O’Connor returns to action after being somewhat physically and emotionally recovered from her bullet wounds. Back to active duty and dealing with the craziness that life continues to throw her way. When we ended the second book, we knew that Ryan’s girlfriend, Special Agent Allison Reynolds was having some type of an issue with her boss Beau Byers. Well, get ready for that onion to be peeled. It’s picked right off the headlines of today’s papers and it is enough to make your blood boil for both of the Agents.

The Beau debacle is just one iron in the fire. Ryan has another monstrous disaster to put out. Her sister has been captured by a madman. Remember the paranoid schizophrenic from the last book who thinks the president’s daughter is his wife. Well, Adam Royce Walker is back and has taken Ryan’s sister as a way to meet up with Zoey Carmicheal.

This is a heart-stopping adventure that will drag so many emotions from you. My heart broke for all the ladies involved. There are parts of this book that will crack your heart into tiny fragments. One part, in particular, will cause you true anguish.

While I say this, I’m also saying its worth it because this book is so, so good. You are there every moment, McLeod transports you into the story and never takes you out of it until the very last page is turned. The book will stick with you and have you impatiently waiting to meet up with these characters again.

This one surpasses the first and the second in the series. Not an easy feat to do. The best of the series so far! I cannot wait for the next one. Kara A. McLeod, you have stolen my heart with this series. If you read this review, thank you!

A big 5 out of 5 stars

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Time Will Tell by M. Ullrich

I loved the beginning, shook my head at the middle, and am totally perplexed by the ending. Was it well written? Absolutely! Did I like it? Well, I’m unsure. So, so unsure to be honest. There are parts of this book that are brilliant, parts that made my heart hurt, parts that made me smile and parts that I thought what the bloody hell. This book is a conundrum.

If you give it a read, I would love to hear what someone else thinks.

3 out of 5 stars

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Drawn Together by JD Glass

I love when I read a book that just makes your heart sing. Whatever the genre may be, it’s a great feeling when you find a book that you just connect with. They same cannot be said, obviously, when the book is just not your favorite. This, unfortunately, is the case with Drawn Together by JD Glass. Let me explain…

Zoe Glenn Edwards is one of or main characters. A graphic artist, who is very well known and respected in the comic book world. Her drawings are amazing! A loner by nature, Zoe connects through digital media with a relatively famous author to collaborate on a new book. The author’s writings move her so much, they take her art to another level.

Dion “D” Richards is that author. Dion is beyond flattered that the superbly talented Zoe Glenn would want to work with her. Through their project, these two become besties, even though they have never met in person. To her wife, Kerry’s consternation, Dion cannot help the connection she feels to the other artist.

My first issue with the book is character related. Never once do you know what Zoe looks like or what her backstory is. Dion’s character is much the same, maybe slightly more, but not nearly enough. Character development is essential for me to connect and to “see” the story. In Drawn Together the characters are very flat. Over and over I was told how a character feels, but you don’t feel the connection. Other than being talented in their craft, and working well together, you never know why these two are drawn together. The book starts out as gushing emails/texts/blog posts about their amazing work relationship. Then you have the same emails/texts/blog posts about how they are now BFF’s. Literally, the same conversation about how you’re my best friend happens over and over and over again. Like eleventy billion times. STOP! Best friends don’t do that…maybe once or twice, maybe if you have had way too many pints, but come on it was supreme overkill.

Second, this book is pretty dark. If I had known that from the plot description, I would have passed on it. I didn’t, so I went in pretty blind. Okay, I can put on my big girl pants and deal, but there are so many cringeworthy moments that are left as loose threads, oy vey. First, is the story these two are working on. The story characters are twisted. You have suicide attempts, cutting, physical/emotional abuse and quite frankly a rape scene that made me want to puke. I had zero clue it was coming, and talk about a WTF moment. Still makes my stomach hurt. That isn’t where the darkness ends either, the main characters have a lot of that in their own tale as well. Kerry, Dion’s wife is a straight up psychopath. [ She is a master manipulator, serial cheater, she drugs her wife continuously as a control method, she’s abusive and Oh this is the big one, she may have had her wife sexually assaulted to have a hero moment (with her father’s help no less). You’ll never know because this is one of the loose threads of the book. (hide spoiler)]

Third, when out two mains finally get together, they exude ridiculousness. I love you, turns in a baby this, baby that. Stop, stop, stop it now. It’s not cute, it’s back to that your my best friend weird. Cringe!

To be quite frank, I’m surprised I finished this one. I like the plot idea of two artists collaborating, and add into the use of digital media as a forum for their connection, but it just didn’t work character wise for me, and the gritty/darkness didn’t help the matter at all.

2 out of 5 stars

  • Ylva Publishing
  • www.ylva-publishing.com

To Purchase: Drawn Together

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The Fortune Teller’s Daughter by Diane Wood

The Fortune Teller’s Daughter by Diane Wood is a gritty read that will hold you in it’s clutches till the very end. While the book is superb it should also come with emotional armor and a gallon jug of brain bleach. There are parts of this book I wish I could erase from my memory. At one point I actually gagged. While the bad parts are not overly graphic, they are disturbing enough to make even the toughest of the tough shudder. To say this book is dark would be putting it mildly. Are you still interested in reading it? Well let me explain just a little what you can expect.

Nathalie “Nat” Duncan is a lawyer who changed her path and become a police officer. She also spends her all of her free time volunteering at a local women’s center. So, is she the heroine of the story? Yes, but Nathalie is severely flawed, and her flaws stem from a lifetime of horrid abuse. She has suffered insurmountably at the hands of a woman who could give Sybil’s mother a run for her money. Incest, rape, child abuse, sex trafficking, and murder, all wrapped up in one crazy, evil, diabolical woman. Yep it’s all there, and the details are truly harrowing. Nat is haunted by her past, right fully so, yet despite breaking free from the evil mother’s grasp for years, one phone call brings in back into the world she thought she had left behind.

Nat’s love interest in the story is Alex Messner. Alex just happens to be a psychologist that begins volunteering at the very same women’s center. Her attraction to Nat is immediate, and this is the first time she has felt anything in two years since she lost her longtime partner to cancer. Alex is everything that Nat is not. She is grounded, open and has nothing but love in her heart. She has set her sights on Nat and will do everything she can to bring happiness to Nat’s life. Nat just needs to trust her, and let her in.

So love conquers all? Sure, but I don’t think I would classify this as a romance. It doesn’t follow the standard romance formula. This book has love, sure, but this story is very multi-faceted. To me it leaned heavy towards an intrigue or a mystery. The romance of Alex and Nat is definitely not on the main stage. Plus, there is also a sub-plot of a lesbian targeting serial killer. Nat just happens to be on the task force hunting this murdering SOB. I told you it was heavy!

So overall this book is very good. Dark and twisty, and at times very hard to stomach. Would I re-read this book, no never again, brain bleach remember. Would I read another book by this author, oh yes I would.

4 out of 5 stars

  • Publisher: Bella Books
  • www.bellabooks.com
The Fortune Teller’s Daughter
by Diane Wood
Amazon Link: http://amzn.com/B00KJQDJ0I

The Moment by T.C. Anderson

Sometimes you find a book that is so powerful, so moving, that it literally steals your breath away. Profound, painful, beautiful, poignant all can easily describe The Moment by T.C. Anderson. This book is not an emotionally easy read. There are times when you can feel your heart being ripped out, but it is good, so very good.

The book follows the lives of two teen-aged girls living in Boston. Mia Durrett is rich, she is a genius and she is very lonely. While having the resources of a driver, a maid, and a cook, it still doesn’t give Mia what she longs for, companionship. Mia’s parents travel all over the world for work, and when they do Mia stays home in a big house, all alone. Her above average IQ doesn’t make her life at school any easier as well. Mia’s genius status leaves her on the sidelines when it comes to high school social status.

Jessie Carelli is in dire need of help. She is being horribly abused by the man raising her. Jessie’s life is literally in peril, she is starving, for so much in life it at times is painful to read. Her life changes, the moment Mia Durrett becomes her partner in science class.

This book is hauntingly beautiful.

5 out of 5 stars

The Moment
by T.C. Anderson et al.
Link: http://amzn.com/B00GZ8PCFE