All posts by Pam

Pretty recent transplant to the midwest. Often described as an "obnoxious redhead who is rude, crude, and socially unacceptable". Dreams of winning the lottery and traveling the world.

Before He Finds Her by Michael Kardos

BeforeHeFindsHerBefore He Finds Her by Michael Kardos

Published 2/3/15 by Mysterious Press

Review Copy obtained through NetGalley

Synopsis: Everyone in the quiet Jersey Shore town of Silver Bay knows the story: on a Sunday evening in September 1991, Ramsey Miller threw a blowout block party, then murdered his beautiful wife and three-year-old daughter.

But everyone is wrong. The daughter got away. Now she is nearly eighteen and tired of living in secrecy. Under the name Melanie Denison, she has spent the last fifteen years in small-town West Virginia as part of the Witness Protection Program. She has never been allowed to travel, go to a school dance, or even have internet at home. Precautions must be taken at every turn, because Ramsey Miller was never caught and might still be looking for his daughter. Yet despite strict house rules, Melanie has entered into a relationship with a young teacher at the local high school and is now ten weeks pregnant. She doesn’t want her child to live in hiding as she has had to. Defying her guardians and taking matters into her own hands, Melanie returns to Silver Bay in hopes of doing what the authorities have failed to do: find her father before he finds her. Weaving in Ramsey’s story in the three days leading up to the brutal crime, Before He Finds Her is a stirring novel about love and faith and fear—and how the most important things can become terribly distorted when we cling to them too fiercely.

My Thoughts:  Thankfully, when I decided to read this I was on a road trip and I wasn’t driving…so I got to read uninterrupted which was great because I found this book incredibly hard to put down.

The story starts out as a blog post from an elderly, retired journalist explaining how the Ramsay Miller Murders were his “white whale” and he gives the readers the nutshell version of the story. Chapter 1 drops us in the lap of the supposedly dead daughter of Ramsay Miller who has been living in rural West Virginia for the 15 years since the murder.

The story perspective is told from the daughter’s POV as well as going back in time to Ramsay, the father, to relive the events leading up to the murders.  Ramsay is fascinating! I lived for the chapters where we saw life through his eyes…and his life has not been pleasant. Ramsay is constantly fighting demons and seems to teeter on the brink of an abyss.  As Ramsay’s story unfolds we also start to see that period through the eyes of other people who were there. It’s a very complex bit of storytelling and it’s done beautifully.

We do, eventually, learn the whole story and though I could see parts of it coming…I couldn’t see them until we were almost upon them. It’s a story I am still thinking about days later.  So much so I am off to see what other books Kardos has written.

My Rating: BAD-ASS BOOTS!

 

 

Cover Him with Darkness by Janine Ashbless

coverCover Him with Darkness by Janine Ashbless
Published 10/14/14 by Tempted Romance
Review Copy from Edelweiss/Above the Tree

Synopsis: A priest in rural Italy keeps a dark secret beneath his chapel—a prisoner. Only the elder holy man knows who this prisoner is and even the priest does not know how long he has been there—hundreds of years, perhaps, or even longer. Outside of the dark cellar chamber, the life of the cleric is filled with light, laughter and a family. The priest prizes his lovely young daughter highly, especially her innocence and her devotion to god. His worst fear is that anyone in his parish would ever come in contact with his mysterious and unholy charge.

What happens is even worse than he could have imagined. His daughter trails her father into the cavern and catches a glimpse of the prisoner, a beautiful being like the most handsome of men and yet not. She looks in his eyes and sees pain and wisdom and eternity. Try as she might, she cannot keep away from this silent creature chained to an altar stone. She lives in fear that her father will catch her. One day he does and sends her off to America to be raised by her aunt in Boston. But she never forgets her silent love.

Cover Him in Darkness is a thrilling story of an archangel, banished from heaven and the very human woman with whom he falls in love. He knows that his enemies, earthly and otherwise, will discover her and he must escape his chains to protect her. Or does she need protecting from him? Good and evil and love and pain are all part of this masterfully told tale.

My Thoughts: The synopsis sucked me in but the story…WOW, it had me enthralled from beginning to end. Read it in one sitting instead of doing chores on a holiday weekend.

Our heroine, Miljah, is put in an untenable position…she was set up to fail and does so spectacularly. It’s what follows that failure that kept me riveted. Miljah is frequently presented the opportunity to see things and events through the eyes of another, and she is unable to grasp their point of view. It is only once she has a very similar  experience that everything falls into place for her. I wanted to cheer for her when she finally “got it”, sadly it was too late…things had progressed past the point of no return.

I think I was expecting Azazael to behave like other angels in other books. He doesn’t. He surprised me in his love and appreciation of humans and yet for all his professing his love for Miljah, he didn’t seem to want to be with her. Or it was only on his terms. He was a dichotomy.

Egan…I felt about him the same way Miljah did throughout the book. He was “nice”…or so we thought?!?!? I loved the onion getting peeled back on him…so many layers! Nothing and no one is ever quite what you think in this book.

Ms Ashbless really surprised me. In no way could I have predicted where this story was going and how it would end. The ending was especially surprising and left the door open to a possible series. I’ve looked a few places and can’t find any intentions of this becoming a series, but I do hope it does. I would love to know more about the other “prisoners”. Yep, I will still be digesting this one for a few more days.

RATING: BAD-ASS BOOTS!

Cold Iron (Cold Iron #1) by D.L. McDermott

ironCold Iron (Cold Iron #1) by D.L. McDermott

Published by Pocket Star 2/10/14

Review Copy obtained from Library

Synopsis: The Fae, the Good Neighbors, the Fair Folk, the Aes Sídhe, creatures of preternatural beauty and seduction. Archaeologist Beth Carter doesn’t believe in them. She’s always credited her extraordinary ability to identify ancient Celtic sites to hard work and intuition—until she discovers a tomb filled with ancient treasure but missing a body. Her ex-husband, the scholar who stifled her career to advance his own, is unconcerned. Corpses don’t fetch much on the antiquities market. Gold does. Beth knows from past experience that if she isn’t vigilant, Frank will make off with the hoard.

So when a man—tall, broad shouldered, and impossibly handsome—turns up in her bedroom claiming to be the tomb’s inhabitant, one of mythic god-kings of old Ireland, Beth believes it is a ploy cooked up by her ex-husband to scare her away from the excavation.

But Conn is all too real. Ancient, alien, irresistible, the Fae are the stuff of dreams and nightmares, their attentions so addictive their abandoned human lovers wither and die. And this one has fixed his supernatural desire on Beth.

My Thoughts: I had heard this book referenced as a “time travel fantasy” which was not really true. It was more an “Immortal Fae Fantasy”.

The synopsis really doesn’t do the story justice…just enough to kind of give you an idea of what the story was about…but not really.

Conn is a fae warrior, that has been locked away in a druidic burial chamber/mound. Occasionally, over the millenia, he has awoken to fight battles. This time Conn wakes up because someone is digging their way toward him chamber, and he feel an odd pull toward the female he senses digging her way toward him.

This story created an interesting backstory for the fae and druids. There is a race against time to retrieve historical artifacts. The history for what happened to Conn and why. The explanation for the odd pull between Conn and Beth. Lots of story threads that kept the story compelling and really hard to put down.

There was plenty of sex…cuz you know those fae…preternaturally beautiful and sexually driven, leave us poor humans wanting more and more and more.

Overall I really like the writer’s style and her world building was exceptional. I have started on the second installment which follows characters introduced in the first book.

My Rating: Bad-Ass Boots

Taint by S. L. Jennings

taintTaint by S. L. Jennings

Published May 22, 2014 by CreateSpace

Review Copy purchased from Amazon

Synopsis:  Right now, you’re probably asking yourself two things:
Who am I?
And, what the hell are you doing here?

Let’s start with the most obvious question, shall we?

You’re here, ladies, because you can’t f*ck.

Oh, stop it. Don’t cringe. No one under the age of 80 clutches their pearls.
You might as well get used to it, because for the next six weeks, you’re going to hear that word a lot. And you’re going to say it a lot.
Go ahead, try it out on your tongue.
F*ck. F***ck.

Ok, good. Now where were we?

If you enrolled yourself in this program then you are wholly aware that you’re a lousy lay. Good for you. Admitting it is half the battle.

For those of you that have been sent here by your husband or significant other, dry your tears and get over it. You’ve been given a gift, ladies. The gift of mind-blowing, wall-climbing, multiple-orgasm-inducing sex. You have the opportunity to f*ck like a porn star. And I guarantee, you will when I’m done with you.

And who am I?

Well, for the next six weeks, I will be your lover, your teacher, your best friend, and your worst enemy. Your every-f*cking-thing. I’m the one who is going to save your relationship and your sex life.

I am Justice Drake.
And I turn housewives into whores.

Now…who’s first?

My Thoughts:  WOW! I am in love with Justice Drake! He is arrogant (and deserves to be), snarky and funny as hell. He tries to come off as all hard edges, but when he meets Ally he becomes all soft and gooey on the inside, but not nauseatingly so. He doesn’t pull punches with anyone, especially himself…which makes for some interesting reading.

Ally Carr starts out as this debutant-like NYC socialite who is really busy clutching her pearls. But she opens up and starts to show the real Ally and she is just as quirky and as cute as the girls on Friends that she loves. Justice was doomed from the start! Ally slowly reveals that her life is not what she envisioned and you can’t help but root for her. Then add that gooey center from Justice and the reader is doomed…you can’t help but root for the two of them.

This was a really fun, can’t put it down, read. Responsible for this mornings book hangover. The chemistry and tension are over the top, not to mention the class instruction.  I just loved this book and will likely read it again.

My Rating: Bad-Ass Boots