Thursday, January 30, 2014


Sara B. Larson

A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect? (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

I totally enjoyed this first book in the Defy series. Alexa can kick butt with a sword. After having to disguise herself as a boy, she is confused on how to handle herself and her feelings once her secret is out and she can live life as a girl. I was racing through the last pages to see how this story would end. I’m anxious to continue this tale to see what becomes of Alexa.

Thanks to Scholastic Press, via Netgalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Publish date: January 7, 2014.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Lis Wiehl

Two little girls, frozen in black and white. One picture worth killing for.

Federal prosecutor Lisa Waldren’s estranged father wants her to investigate a cold case from his FBI days. Lisa nearly refuses, even though a wrongly convicted man faces execution for murder. Then her father reveals a photograph: a little white girl playing alongside a little black girl at a civil rights rally in 1965 where the crime—the shooting of a civil rights leader—took place. She recognizes herself in the photo.

She was there.

Lisa agrees to help, resolved to boldly seek answers she’s skirted for decades. What she discovers are layers of deception, both personal and professional, reaching as high as the head of the FBI. Possibly even the president.

And though Lisa and the other girl may have escaped the 1965 shooting physically unharmed, her little friend, now grown, bears the scars of it. All because of the color of her skin. As Lisa and her father get closer to the truth, the real killer turns the hunt around.

My Thoughts:

Lisa Waldren is a hard working, highly ethical prosecutor who has a very limited relationship with her Dad, retired FBI agent James Waldren. When he calls for help in trying to save a death row inmate from being executed for a crime he did not commit, she reluctantly agrees to help.

This was an enjoyable read. I though the characters were believable and I liked how the different relationships developed as the story progresses. I’ve always liked Ms. Wiehl’s writing and this is a good example why. Good pacing and a nice level of suspense.

I’d like to thank Thomas Nelson, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cross and Burn

Val McDermid

Internationally best-selling crime writer Val McDermid’s work speaks for itself: her books have sold millions of copies worldwide, won numerous accolades, and attracted a devoted following of readers around the globe. Her latest, Cross and Burn, picks up where The Retribution left off: following the best crime-fighting team in the UK—clinical psychologist Tony Hill and police detective Carol Jordan—who when we last saw them were barely speaking, and whose relationship will now be challenged even further.

Guilt and grief have driven a wedge between long time crime-fighting partners psychologist Tony Hill and ex-DCI Carol Jordan. But just because they're not talking doesn't mean the killing stops.

Someone is killing women. Women who bear an unsettling resemblance to Carol Jordan. And when the evidence begins to point in a disturbing direction, thinking the unthinkable seems the only possible answer. Cornered by events, Tony and Carol are forced to fight for themselves and each other as never before.

An edge-of-your-seat page-turner from one of the best crime writers we have, Cross and Burn is a chilling, unforgettable read.(from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

This is book #8 in the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series. Prior to this I had only read #7. At this point, I am so totally hooked on this story line that I have no choice but to go back to the beginning to fill in some of the blanks.

Cross and Burn takes the reader on quite a ride. The whole MIT team have been disbanded, Carol and Tony don’t even speak to each other any more. Is it really true that this incredibly complex relationship is no longer going to exist? When something totally inconceivable happens to one of them, a small portion of the old team has to pull together to try and make things right. Do they succeed?

Val McDermid is an amazing story teller. She knows how to take the suspense right down to the very end. The one thing I know for sure is that I want more! Nobody is more excited than mean that I gave this series a go.

Many thanks to Gove/Atlantic, via Netgalley for allwoing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

In The Blood

Lisa Unger

LANA GRANGER LIVES A LIFE OF LIES. She has told so many lies about where she comes from and who she is that the truth is like a cloudy nightmare she can’t quite recall. About to graduate from college and with her trust fund almost tapped out, she takes a job babysitting a troubled boy named Luke. Expelled from schools all over the country, the manipulative young Luke is accustomed to control­ling the people in his life. But, in Lana, he may have met his match. Or has Lana met hers?

When Lana’s closest friend, Beck, mysteriously disappears, Lana resumes her lying ways—to friends, to the police, to herself. The police have a lot of questions for Lana when the story about her where­abouts the night Beck disappeared doesn’t jibe with eyewitness accounts. Lana will do anything to hide the truth, but it might not be enough to keep her ominous secrets buried: someone else knows about Lana’s lies. And he’s dying to tell. (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

Lana Granger has a secret and has spent many years trying to keep it hidden. The question - just who is Lana and what will one person do to keep her past from being discovered?

Whoo doggie - this was excellent. My first read from this author and I’m hear to tell you, I will not hesitate to read more of her writing. I loved the suspense and couldn’t read fast enough to find out what Lana’s story was about. I must add - the ending - spot on!

Many thanks to Touchstone, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Published date: January 7, 2014.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Ascendant

Drew Chapman


Numbers don’t lie. Not according to Garrett Reilly who, just two weeks past his twenty-sixth birthday, thinks he’s probably the best bond analyst at his brokerage—maybe even the best in all of Manhattan. Garrett’s memory for numbers is photographic. But he doesn’t just memorize them; he sorts them, ranks them, senses patterns in them. As he watches buy and sell numbers float across his Bloomberg terminal, Garrett notices what nobody else can: that US Treasury bonds are being sold off at an alarming rate—two hundred billion dollars’ worth. It’s a discovery that he knows will make him incredibly rich.

Then the United States military arrives at his office, and Garrett’s life is blown to pieces. As Captain Alexis Truffant explains, Garrett has stumbled upon something much larger—and scarier—than he could have imagined: the first attack in a covert war of unthinkable proportions. His biggest problem? Numbers don’t lie…but governments can.

In this taut and cunning novel, Drew Chapman takes readers into a scenario that is eerily plausible and utterly terrifying—an unconventional war capable of bringing a superpower to its knees. The Ascendant is a brilliant new twist on the art of the white-knuckle thriller. (from Edelweiss)

My Thoughts

Garret Reilly has a knack for seeing patterns and uses this talent in his job as a bond analyst. He doesn’t just see patterns in the financial world, but in all facets of life. When the government discovers this, they put his skill to use in a way that will change his life forever.

When I first started reading this, I did not like Garret Reilly. He was an egotistical, cocky SOB. But the more I read, the more I realized Garrett’s behavior was somewhat justified because he was so damn good at what he could do.

This was a fast paced story that I found hard to put down. In this age were everything is online, is it so hard to believe that the next war would be fought via the internet? In many ways, this story was pretty scary because of the possibilities that it presented. Mr. Chapman did a great job of making this a heart pounding, page turning thriller.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster, via Edelweiss, for allowing me to read this is exchange for an unbiased review.

Publish date: January 7, 2014.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Mountain of Light

Indu Sundaresan

From the internationally bestselling author of The Twentieth Wife, a novel based on the tumultuous history of a legendary 186-carat diamond and the men and women who possessed it

As empires rose and fell and mighty kings jostled for power, its glittering radiance never dimmed. It is the “Mountain of Light”—the Kohinoor diamond—and its facets reflect a sweeping story of love, adventure, conquest and betrayal. Its origins are the stuff of myth, but for centuries this spectacular gem changes hands from one ruler to another in India, Persia, and Afghanistan. In 1850, the ancient stone is sent halfway around the world where it will play a pivotal role in the intertwined destinies of a boy-king of India and a young queen of England—a queen who claims the Mountain of Light and India itself for her own burgeoning empire, the most brilliant jewels in her imperial crown.

The Mountain of Light is a magnificent story of loss and recovery, sweeping change and enduring truth, wrapped around the glowing heart of one of the world’s most famous diamonds.(from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

I know nothing - zero, zip, nada - about the history between England and India. I also did not know anything about the Kohinoor diamond. This book tells a combination of both in a very interesting way.

The books begins with the story of who owns the Kohinoor diamond in the early 1800s. Each chapter ends with how the diamond gets passed to the next owner. The subsequent chapters move forward in time, spinning a little tale surrounding the diamond, until it finally comes to rest with the Queen of England in 1850. With each chapter, we learn a lot about India, it’s culture and the how the British moved to eventually annex the Punjab empire with it’s other holdings in India.

This is historical fiction that I found fascinating. I was constantly googling some of the names and places mentioned to understand a little more of the background of what I was reading. This book has certainly peeked my interest of this complex relationship between these two countries. I’m very glad I read this well written novel.

My thanks to Atria Books, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Publish date: October 8, 2013.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Descent

Book Three of the Taker Trilogy

Alma Katsu

The final installment in the “mesmerizing” (Booklist, starred review) and addictive trilogy—find out who truly holds the key to Lanny’s heart and whether she’ll be reunited with her beloved in this gripping supernatural tale of magic, lust, and longing.

Lanore McIlvrae has been on the run from Adair for hundreds of years, dismayed by his mysterious powers and afraid of his
violent—even murderous—temper. She betrayed Adair’s trust and imprisoned him behind a stone wall to save Jonathan, the love of her life. When Adair was freed 200 years later, she was sure that he would find her and make her existence a living hell. But things turned out far different than she’d imagined.

Four years later, Lanore has tracked Adair to his mystical island home, where he has been living in self-imposed exile, to ask for a favor. She wants Adair to send her to the hereafter so she may beg the Queen of the Underworld to release Jonathan, whom she has been keeping as her consort. Will Lanore honor her promise to Adair to return? Or is her intention to reunite with Jonathan at any cost?

Of all the forces of the universe, the most mysterious, confounding, and humbling is the power of love. The epic story of love and loss, magic and destiny that began with The Taker and sparked a chase around the world in The Reckoning comes to a surprising conclusion with The Descent. (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

It was with great anticipation that I opened this, the third and final book of The Taker’s Trilogy. I had grown to like the two main characters, Lanore and Adair - although I will admit it was not always easy to like Adair. I liked the way these two had grown and changed in books one and two. Could anyone help but wonder how it would all end? Would the author do justice to the story line or would I be disappointed?

I can only tell you that I was very pleased with how Ms. Katsu brought her tale to a close. I thought it was very smart and this third book answered many questions. When I started this trilogy, I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy it. I am very glad I was among the many readers who made the decision to pick up that first book and get drawn into the mystical world of Lanny and Adair.

Bravo, Ms. Katsu!

Many thanks to Gallery Books, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
Publish date: January 7, 2014.