Alias by Cari Hunter

Cari Hunter gas a new book out, Alias. You don’t need to read further to know that this is a damn good book. It was written by Hunter, a damn good book is guaranteed each time she puts one out? I will expand because this is my review, DUH :), but one thing you can count on is that when you pick up a book by Hunter it is going to be awesome. She is an amazing author that weaves intricate tales and keeps you right on the edge of your seat.

Alias introduces us to a woman, Rebecca Elliott, who has been severely injured in an automobile accident. She has large gaps in her memory and has no clue who she is and how the accident happened. The passenger how was riding with her is deceased and the Welsh police are asking questions about what happened on that fateful night. The clues just aren’t adding up, something is definitely off. I won’t go into more details, I’ll just leave you with this Rebecca is not who she seems and there is a big ol’ can of worms about to get opened.

Detective Bronwen Pryce was the first one on the scene. She has a gut instinct that this automobile accident is way more than what it seems. Nothing fits and something continues to niggle at her mind. Pryce refuses to let things go and write this off as an accident. She needs to know more about Rebecca Elliott and why she was headed out of town in such a hurry.

In Alias, I loved the mystery, crime, suspense of the book. I thought it was done fabulously. Perfect if you will. What nags me about this book is I thought the romance was misplaced, ill-timed and surprisingly unnecessary. If it wasn’t a romance it would have been better, it just didn’t help the book at all. It felt like an afterthought that was pasted into the book and didn’t really jive with the characters or the flow of the story. It would have been so much better if the characters had a moment in the end when everything was squared away and all the I’s were dotted and the T’s were crossed.

Overall a fabulous mystery that I highly recommend.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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Outside the Law (Lone Star Law Series #4) by Carsen Taite

I think this book is a fabulous closing to the Lone Star Law Series. I think Taite improved the series with each book and this one being the best overall. This book felt more romance than crime. Which I cannot say about the others. Of course, we had to wrap up the ongoing investigation, put those bad mofo’s in jail but I just felt more spark this time around. I think you will see that the characters are given more time in the book to explore that romance and as a romance junkie, that was much appreciated.

Tanner Cohen is one of the FBI agents you met in the previous books. Tanner has been very much an auxiliary character until she helped with the rescue, Bianca Cruz’s daughter. Tanner is your strong silent type. She is the job, 100%. What we didn’t know is that Tanner gave up the love of her life for this career and that former love just showed up in Dallas and is on the case as well.

Sydney Braswell is Tanner’s law school sweetheart. They had their lives planned, finish school, take a job at a high-powered law firm, big house and kids to finish it out. The only problem, Tanner wanted something else and that desire to join the FBI broke them. Sydney found out the high profile firm wasn’t all it was cracked up to be either and is now a special prosecutor for the Justice Department.

Tanner and Sydney’s journey back to each other is sweet, sexy and sure to keep you entertained. Overall this series has been delightful, I was thrilled that the book to finish out was this good.

3 out of 5 stars

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A Heist Story by Ellen Simpson

I really like Ellen Simpson’s first book, The Light of the World. It captured my attention and gave me a fabulous story with captivating characters. So needless to say when her second book dropped I raced to get started on it.

Right from the beginning, I was like okay what do we have here and Ocean’s 11 type heist story, maybe some Keyser Söze big reveal type character. Nope, no we have none of those things. I’m really not sure what we have other than a lot of talking and characters that are just unlikeable. Marcey and Kat are just awful. So unpleasant, the more they hooked up the dirtier the story felt. You have to have someone for the reader to cheer for. The main players are so horribly dreadful. If the story ended with their demise I would have cheered.

I hate ragging on a book. I really do, especially when the author is obviously a very good writer. The problem everything piece of this book is so long, so confusing and then it’s just over. I am assuming this book was setting its self-up for a sequel, but it didn’t make me want to come back for more. I would love to read another book by Ellen Simpson, I just don’t ever want to read about Marcey or Kat ever again.

2.5 out of 5 stars

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The Last First Time (Norfolk Coast Investigation Story #3) by Andrea Bramhall

The third installment of the Norfolk Coast Investigation Story series is gruesome, gory, violent, enchanting and heartfelt. So many feelings all rolled into one magnetic story. Kate and Gina are back and life keeps throwing them into chaos and danger. It also brings them closer than ever before.

The book starts with a bang. Literally, unfortunately. Gina and Kate’s co-worker Stella are shopping for Christmas presents at the local mall. While deciding on presents and Stella notices something off about two of the other shoppers. By the time she relays the message to Gina, the bombers have set off a massive explosion that takes the lives of many. Terrifying, gut-churning fear jumps right off the page and lands in the pit of your stomach. You feel and see the horror of the crime scene.

Kate joins the scene quickly, only to find out in the midst of the rubble that Gina and Stella were in the very store where the bomb was detonated. These ladies cannot catch a break! This is where the story begins to weave one of the many subplots into the story.

Bramhall brings the past and present to life. History is weaved throughout the story while Kate and Gina conquer the demons of both their past and present. While emotions rocket all over the place there is still time for that beautiful romance between the two leading ladies amidst the craziness and danger. Everything about this book is done very well. Even when it was hard to read, I wanted more. Kate and Gina’s softness was the perfect anecdote to the scary heart-wrenching crime portion of the book. I cannot wait till the next book.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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A More Perfect Union by Carsen Taite

A More Perfect Union by Carsen Taite is a military scandal with the potential to rock Washington to its core with a small side of romance. This web of deception is riveting to the end.

Lt. Colonel Zoey Granger has arrived at our nation’s capital to tell members of Congress the corruption she uncovered while stationed at Fort Bragg. A whistleblower who knows that her life is going to be turned upside down, but her sense of honor about doing what is right overrules anything else.

Rook Daniels is a fixer. She, like Olivia Pope, handles the scandals that D.C. breeds and changes their narrative to assist politic’s elite. This has made her one of the whos-who of Washington D.C.

A chance run-in at an airport bar, Rook helps Zoey get out of the eye of the media for a short time. These two immediately hit it off and have that moment where you wish you were anywhere else, not dealing with a work disaster. Never fear, they will meet again. Only this time the corruption is much direr and includes the Oval Office. The problem is they are working on the same case just one for the heads of military and Rook straight for the White House.

This is a fabulously written tightly woven political/military intrigue with a large helping of romance. I enjoyed every minute and was on the edge of my seat the whole time. This one is a great read! Carsen Taite never disappoints!

4.25 out of 5 stars

A More Perfect Union

Lucy’s Chance by Jackie D

Lucy’s Chance by Jackie D was just what I needed after a long week of craziness that just won’t quit. A great escape, that didn’t overthink what it really was, two ladies with a life-long bond that even after twelve years of separation, the love was still there.

Lucy Rodriguez made a terrible decision at the age of twenty. Caught up in the razzle-dazzle of undergrad she decided to break up with her girlfriend to see what dating life was all about. She has regretted that decision every day thereafter. She broke her true love’s heart and has spent every day thereafter paying the price. She works and she works with very little else in life. A renowned journalist who covers the crime beat for San Diego and has Pulitzer for her stories from the Middle East, her works is her lifeblood.

Erica Chance is a small town police officer in Northern California. Erica has spent the last decade of her life trying to repair the hole in her heart Lucy left behind. She doesn’t let any woman close to her heart anymore. Four months of casual dating and then that relationship must end. Erica’s regimented life is thrown out of orbit when dead college-age women appear in rapid succession. It also brings Lucy Rodriguez back into her life.

Add a bit of conflict, add a bit of angst, a derail killer and you have a really good read. Is this anything revolutionary? Not so much. What this book is a great escape. You have a few hours to decompress from real-life’s craziness, and enjoy a quality story with interesting characters. Well minus the psychopath murderer, but you know what I mean.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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The Price of Cash by Ashley Bartlett

Last year when I read Cash Braddock I was floored by the story’s paradox. Cash is a drug dealer with a heart of gold. You cannot help but love her soft heart, funny quips and bucket loads of sarcasm. Her career of choice is reprehensible, absolutely. The thing about this character is she makes you care deeply for her and the predicament that she finds herself in knowing that it is wrong but finding ways to justify her actions. This year, Cash Braddock is back in the Price of Cash. Life has changed immensely for the character and her growth is palatable.

Warning: If you haven’t read the first book and you are thinking that you might. Stop reading this review!!! I’m about to spoil a big reveal in Cash Braddock. Go read it. It’s amazing, I totally promise!

Cash comes back in the Price of Cash heartbroken, pissed and despondent at the curveball life has thrown at her. 100% in love with Laurel all those feelings have to be pushed aside because her dream girl is actually an undercover police officer and now her handler. Cash must also take a good hard look at where her life is going. Is selling soft drugs any better for society as opposed to heroin or cocaine? A moral dilemma of epic proportions and one she will wrestle with throughout the story. Add to it that college students and former customers of Cash’s are now dead thanks to a new drug on the street.

While the book is written through Cash’s POV Laurel remains our other main character. As much as I love Cash, Laurel is the one I am most drawn to her. A stoic, tough law enforcement officer, Laurel struggles with her feelings for Cash. She absolutely wasn’t faking her feelings for her mark, more than anything she struggles with what to do with her attraction and love for Cash. She absolutely should not have these feelings but she cannot stop herself.

The chemistry between Cash and Laurel is fantastic. This match has tension, heartache that pulls you deep into their dilemma. You want them to go for it and damn the consequences. It is so good! The whole book is fantastic, the love story, the crime, supporting cast, really top notch. Ashley Bartlett has written a fabulous follow-up. I cannot say enough good things about this one. I am absolutely hooked on this series!

5 out of 5 stars

Fearless by Robin Alexander

Robin Alexander is one of my go-to writers. She writes these amazing fun loving books that pull at your heart, bring a tear to your eye and make you laugh as you turn the pages of her story. She is one of the few writers where you don’t even have to tell me what the book is about, I’m going to buy it immediately. Fearless her newest addition is no exception, this book has it all (humor, romance, adventure) and it was a fantastic read.

Falon Whyte is on a cruise ship vacation trying to relax and have an amazing time. The problem is she just broke-up with her girlfriend on said trip. Not exactly what she had planned but the constant fighting had to stop.

Haley Hollis is on her first vacation since undergrad. Holly is a workaholic who takes no time for the fun in life. The problem is her bunkmate continues to hook-up in their shared cabin and Haley has spent most of her vacation sleeping on a poolside lounger.

Neither Falon or Haley imagined their vacation to start so epically bad, and that’s not going to be the end of it either. I’ll let you read about their mishaps and experience that for yourself. What I will tell you it’s a glorious adventure full of romance and fun. Two fantastic characters who explore their past and presents to create the future that they desire. I loved this one!

4.25 out of 5 stars

  • Publisher: Intaglio Publications

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Sawmill Springs by Gerri Hill

Gerri Hill is one of my favorite go to writers. She has beautiful style and while every book might not be a 5 star it’s almost guaranteed a four star, that saying something pretty spectacular, right? That you can rely completely on her books being quality reads time and time again.

Mandi Murphy moves from Houston to Sawmill Springs after a horrible case goes wrong and ends up resulting in the death of a friend. She decides a slower pace is needed and she takes a job offer in sleepy Sawmill Springs. Expecting to give traffic tickets and break up the occasional bar fight, Murphy no way expects to start her career with a murder case that continues to escalate daily.

Kayla Dixon is the Police Chief’s daughter, she just happens to be a former FBI agent as well. Kayla leaves Dallas to escape a terrible breakup and the frantic pace of the FBI. Her dad offers her a job on his staff and she jumps at the chance to come home. Thank goodness she does, because Murphy and Kayla are the only officers in town that can handle a killer on the loose.

Kayla and Murphy are partnered together. They both are new on the Sawmill Springs police force to solve a multiple murder case. This case is one with very little clues, and a whole town frightened by the turn of events. As the case increases in intensity, so does their friendship and attraction.

This one is a great murder mystery with a heavy dose of romance. The interaction between our two mains is cute and the dialogue is well written and believable. A really good story, my only complaint, and it is pretty small, it I wish just a little more time was spent on the mains interacting with each other outside of solving the case. Take that chemistry up one notch and it would have been stellar.

4 out of 5 stars

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Sidebar by Carsen Taite

Carsen Taite is one of those authors if she writes I’m going to read it. At this point, I’m sold on her stories so much, I don’t even need to read the synopsis, not necessary, I know without a doubt it’s going to be a quality book. Sidebar is no exception, I knew within the first couple of chapters Taite has written something special with this one.

If I think back over all the books I have read by this author, one always stands out to me. It Should Be a Crime, to me has always been my favorite of Taite’s. It was special. That book had bucket loads of chemistry, angst and two very intelligent, strong female leads all wrapped with a well thought out and interesting plot. What more can you ask for, right? I guess at this point you can ask for Sidebar. It has that same magic. This is book swings for the fences and delivers a bases-loaded home run.

Camille Avery is a newly appointed federal judge. After a controversial case cost her re-election at the county level, Camille is ready to start over and get her career back on track. A kink is thrown into her plan of all business, no fun when her new clerk arrives. West Fallon is everything Camille usually stays always from. She’s a fierce, social crusader who is ready to change the world. Chemistry is one thing you can’t fake and these two have it in spades. No matter how much they try to dance around it, the magnet of attraction is just too much. Neither was looking for this, but there is no denying it either.

This book has it all, two fantastic lead characters, an interesting plot and that sizzling chemistry that great authors can make jump off the page. While all of Taite’s books are fantastic, this one is on the next level. No critiques, no criticism, you only need to know one thing…this is a damn good book.

5 out of 5 stars

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