Review: Programmed To Please

cover97554-medium.pngVery human Tau Cetus police agent Jai Turner is sent undercover as a Beautiful Dolls sex robot to bring down the planet’s most notorious arms dealer, Marque Callex. The police have never been able to get close to Callex, and Jai’s assignment is to coax information out of Marque that will lead to his conviction.

Reclusive arms dealer Marque Callex only accepted an invitation from Beautiful Dolls because with his deadly line of work – and the dangerous secrets he’s keeping – he can’t afford to let a real woman into his life.

But neither Jai nor Marque are what they seem, and their week together has consequences neither expect.

This was a one-sitting kind of read for me. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and the cover didn’t really do it for me, but the story itself was a lot of fun. The quality of the writing was consistent from beginning to end, really drawing the reader into Jai’s journey. While there are definitely some great steamy scenes in this book. I’m not sure I would fully classify it as erotica, or even romance. There’s a lot going on between the pages of this book and it’s definitely worth reading.

I’m really excited to see that there are already two other books in this series. I will absolutely be checking them out.


cover96240-medium.pngFrom bestselling author Megan Linski comes an emotional new series that proves your past can never tame your spirit…

Flight. Hyperspeed. Clairvoyance.

These are some of the powers gifted to the Rhodi, an ancient sect of assassins who defend Crescentia, a dystopian world with a dying hope.

Dyliana Fairsson is one of them. After losing her parents to a suspicious accident, she and her twin brother, Devin, join the Rhodi to avoid starvation. Under the direction of her master, Dylan struggles to learn the strength of her magic …as well as hide the growing scars on her wrists. Can Dylan become the warrior, the hero, she’s destined to be? Or is she fated to fall from the light into the darkness?

The first installment in an epic fantasy series by young adult author Megan Linski, Rhodi’s Light is an action-packed thrill ride that will leave readers begging for more.

So glad I found Rhodi’s Light on NetGalley because I’d never heard of this series or this author before and I’m so totally in love. This was a dark and twisty story that crossed through a lot of genre’s and came together as a really fantastic story unlike anything else I can remember reading. And as a bonus, it looks like there are already two other books out in the series. I basically feel like the luckiest book nerd alive right now. So great!

I wont give too much away, but for those looking for more details, Rhodi’s Light follows Dylan and Devin after the death of their parents, when they’re swept up into the fairly epic world of the Rhodi. The Rhodi’s mantra centers around protection and the twins are lucky enough to begin training in their ways. I loved both the familial relationships at this stories core as well as the world building which I hope we’ll get to see even more of in future books.

There’s a lot of darkness in this book as well, and some very chilling scenes that will prevent me from just simply recommending this series to absolutely everyone, so reader be ware. For those who aren’t triggered by such things though, it is still very much worth the read as these scenes were an important part of the story as a whole.

Review: Random Bullets


After shooting and killing his nephew, a gunman runs amok in a London park. What drives Edward to commit such atrocities? Who will survive yet another of his moments of madness? Set in Jersey, Cornwall, London and Manchester, Random Bullets is a contemporary crime thriller with a paranormal twist.

This book was a hardcore adventure that kept me frantically turning pages right from the get go all the way to the thrilling conclusion. Edward’s character is what really propelled everything forward (though the writing from Mutter didn’t hurt things either), tying in elements from his past with the very personal mystery surrounding the book. There were also a lot of unexpected elements that were different from what I was expecting but worked together really nicely.

Review: Torn by Mary Brock Jones

cover96293-mediumTwo ecological engineers must change their world to save it.

Fee comes from the mountains of her world. She grew up with trees, rushing streams and rain. The grasslands beyond the foothills are Caleb’s home. Dry, windblown, a place of endless light and untouchable horizons. Both are ecological engineers for the Survey, the government organisation charged with protecting the planetary ecosystems on their world, Arcadia. Thrust into joint leadership of an important project, all they seem to have in common are the love both have for their home regions and the lies they must tell their profit-geared families.

Arcadia was engineered long ago to be an earth-like home for humans, but their ongoing changes have now pushed Arcadia to its limits. A proliferation of dangerously clashing, extreme ecosystems. Unless something is done, soon, the planet is going to hit back. Storms, floods, drought. Don’t bother taking your pick, says the planet, you’re going to get the lot.

Only the men and women of the Survey hear the call, working in secret for years to heal Arcadia’s wounds. Now the Survey has a plan to save their world. Fee and Caleb must make lakes where dusty grasses rule; meadows where dense forest stands, all without their corporate families finding out until it’s too late to stop them.

A plan that will cut out their hearts and change forever the lands they love. But why Fee and Caleb, and what does the Survey truly plan for them?

This was one of the most intricate and layered sci-fi romances I’ve read in a long time. Fee and Caleb were very much the heart of what drove this story, but the world building and political setup was genuinely interesting all on its own, really drawing me into every element of the story. It created for a really genuine feeling basis for the main character’s relationship, something a lot of stories could really use more of.

I do feel like this great story would have been better server by a stronger cover. This one looks a little dated, and I don’t think it will stand out as well as it could on our shelves. Still, I am now obsessed with this series and can’t wait to read more.


Review: Shrouded Secrets

cover97537-medium.pngA CIA agent in dire need of medical help…

Eric’s mission to covertly save two American doctors in Bryoal, Hethiladin, the most anti-American Middle East nation on earth, is botched. He’s wounded and will die if he doesn’t get help fast. Death, however, might be the best option compared to being caught.

A celebrated eighteen-year-old humanitarian and quintessential virgin yearning to break out of her opulence-imposed bubble…

Mumtaz Al-Ghazi is the most beautiful and best-loved woman in Hethiladin for her relentless fight for homeless children and her secret fight for young woman in abusive relationships. She is overwhelmed by the opulence, the perfectly planned-out life and power she’d been born into as the only daughter of a chronically anti-American ex-prime minister. A fresh graduate from nursing school and the owner of a prominent orphanage, Mumtaz has been dreading her upcoming eighteenth birthday when her father will announce her engagement to Jafe, the intolerable head of security services chosen for her for political reasons.

A multi-faceted danger over their love…

Mumtaz’s life gets a super jolt when Eric falls into a coma in her presence, pleading for her help. With the country on lockdown searching for him, and her fiancé heading the search to validate his new security position, what will she do? In a country where helping an American is considered traitorous and punishable by death, Mumtaz must decide whether to hand Eric over to the authorities or add him to her growing list of Shrouded Secrets.

A thrilling romantic suspense novel with endless twists, action and drama.

I almost didn’t request this book. Something about either the cover or the blurb just didn’t grab me, but I wanted something to read and took a chance, and I’m really glad I did. Shrouded Secrets ended up being a really exciting story that mixed elements from some of my favorite genres into a story that didn’t read quite like anything else.

While the more suspenseful parts of the story made for a fun read, it was the romance between Eric and Mumtaz that made this story memorable. They both felt like genuine, dynamic characters who I wanted to know more about right from when they were introduced, and as they began to interact the story only got better.

There were a few spots where the writing felt a little stilted which did pull me out of the story temporarily, but ultimately all of the pieces came together in a great finale which I’m going to be thinking about for days.

3.5 stars from me! There were some areas where this story and its presentation could be improved, but I will absolutely keep an eye out for future works from Jason Edmeyer.

Review: Shattered

cover95917-medium.pngMeet Logan McKenna … fiercely loyal, and impossibly inquisitive.

In SHATTERED, the first book in the original mystery series and stunning fiction debut with which Valerie Davisson lets us crave for more, Logan McKenna loses her husband, her illusions, the company they built together, her music, and now, probably her job. But that won’t stop her from digging into a murder investigation that keeps Southern California’s tight-knit artist community on its toes and law enforcement cluelessly guessing.

At loose ends, and running out of money after buying a fixer upper on the coast, she decides to help out her best friend from high school, Thomas, a Native American artist, and his wife Lisa at their booth at the Otter Arts Festival, in the idyllic coastal town of Jasper, where she and her police-officer brother Rick grew up. When one of the talented, young artists is found gruesomely murdered at the festival, Logan is faced with the reality that her best friend not only lied to her, but may be guilty of murder. It’s up to her to find out what really happened that night, before the murderer kills again.

There was something so engaging about the central mystery of Shattered that made for an incredibly memorable story, one I would highly recommend to both mystery and general fiction fans. Davisson did a fantastic job of crafting a dynamic main character whose identity is what pushed this story from a four star to close to a five for me. I did find the cover a little old-fashioned looking, and I’m not sure how well this book will stand out on the shelves because of it, but it is still very much worth the read.

Logan KcKenna’s life has been completely upturned. In a short period of time she looses so much of what made her happy, and she has a lot of work to do restarting her own personal journey. But when a murder disrupts the new community she has begun to forge for herself, Logan dives right in, unveiling a new side of herself as she works with a well-crafted group of characters in order to uncover “whodunit.”

And the best part is, I already have access to book two! I can’t wait to see where this series goes next.

Review: Nobody’s Angel

cover95546-medium.png“From the driver’s seat of his cab, Eddie negotiates a city splintered by race and class and rapidly losing its economic underpinnings. Nobody’s Angel has the wry humor and engaging characters typical of the best of the hard-boiled genre, but Clark’s portrait of Chicago in the 1990s, with its vanishing factories and jobs, its lethal public housing projects, its teenage hookers climbing into vans on North Avenue, is what gives it legs. Sure there are a couple murderers on the loose, but the larger violence is coming from systemic forces wreaking havoc in a place that, maybe, used to be better.” –Chicago Reader

Not to long ago I had the opportunity to read Backdoor to L.A. by Jack Clark, and even though it was the second book in a series I’m still glad I jumped in. It was a lot of fun to see what came first in Eddie’s Chicago saga. I’m actually not sure which of the two stories I enjoyed more as they were both really engaging, fueled by the great character that Clark has in Eddie.

I’m definitely planning to pick up a copy of both books in this series for our system, if nothing else so that I can see these awesome covers in person. I think a lot of our patrons are going to find something a little different and a lot of fun to read in this series.

Review: Lost Reaper

cover94439-medium.pngThe first dead body I ever saw was my own.

For twenty-five-year-old Tyler Morgan, being murdered was easy. Easy in comparison with working for the Grim Reaper.

Jonathon Grimm may have brought her back from the dead in exchange for working as a reaper for her hometown, Easton, but she has to find his lost reaper before she can enjoy her second chance at life. Only … the lost reaper isn’t actually lost. He has a new body and a new life and no intention of turning himself in, even if it means giving Tyler her life back.

Tyler begins the grisly task of reaping the souls of Easton’s dead while searching for the reaper. He could be anyone – the intriguing detective, Sam Lockwood; the handsome, wealthy Chris Bradbury; or the serial killer stalking the women of Easton. Women who bear an uncanny resemblance to Tyler.

But what is the ancient secret, hidden from mankind, that has motivated Grimm to chose Tyler for the morbid task?

As the killer closes in and Grimm’s deadline draws closer, Tyler discovers she is fighting a much bigger threat than the Grim Reaper and time is running out for everyone.

When it comes to Lost Reaper I was hooked from the first line of the blurb. Not the book, but the blurb. There was just such a cool tone that touched every inch of this story and it kept me hooked throughout. I’m not sure if I’ve read any Grim Reaper stories before, but Shelly Russell Nolan has me on the hunt for some more. If you have any recommendations, let me know!

Tyler’s death was easy compared to her new life reaping the souls of the people in her town. There were a lot of levels to the plot here and while I was never quite sure where the story was guessing, all of the pieces came together nicely. Tyler was also a strong, dynamic character. Her personal life crumbled pretty quickly but she was able to bounce back. Seeing the mystery unfold from her perspective made for an interesting guessing game of figuring out who the murderer really was.

Review: Liar, Liar

cover91325-medium.pngInvestigative reporter Cleo Morgan believes a successful tabloid needs is the ability to lie. Now that she’s one herself, she’s getting a lot of practice. She’s lying to everyone in her hometown, pretending she still works for a reputable paper. She’s lying to Alec Ramirez, the tabloid’s star reporter. He doesn’t know the high-profile-murder suspect in the story they’re covering is her mother. Or that Cleo is conspiring with her old boyfriend to steal that story out from under him to buy her way back into her old life. Perhaps worst of all, she’s lying to herself that she can leave Alec behind once she’s made everything right.

Cleo’s story was such a fun read.

Life as a tabloid writer balances on some very gray areas, something that former journalist Cleo learns to deal with, accepting lying as part of the game. But as you’d suspect her new career quickly leads to trouble. This series is full of great writing, dynamic characters, and more chemistry than I would have expected from this type of story. I really loved it! Quint’s adventures with Cleo are well crafted, page-turning adventures!

Review: Backdoor to L.A.

backdoor.pngWhen the daughter he lost in a divorce settlement shows up on his doorstep, Chicago cabbie Eddie Miles thinks it’s an answer to his prayers. Instead it’s the beginning of his worst nightmare. This is a follow up to “Nobody’s Angel,” which the Washington Post called “A gem,” and “just about perfect.”

First up, while I read insane amounts and can take a chance on unknown entities, I’d really love to see more of a blurb for Backdoor to L.A. Our readers are generally looking for books they’ve already heard of in some place or another, and while I’m always encouraging them to take a chance on a new author, I’d be much more likely to persuade them to read this book (which I did really enjoy) if they could see more of what it was about and what to expect upfront.

All in all though, I’m glad I decided to give my first Jack Clark book a go. I hadn’t read (or heard of) Nobody’s Angel but didn’t have any trouble feeling like I knew Eddie Miles well enough to jump into his story. There are some great noir elements weaved in here as well as intricate details about both the characters and Chicago that bring the story to life. I’ll be curious to go back and read the first book in this series.