Monday, April 28, 2014

Fear has a Name by Creston Mapes [2 stars]

Fear has a Name by Creston Mapes
From back cover:
It was more than a break-in. More than a stalking. It was personal. When a stalker targets his wife and two daughters, journalist Jack Crittendon must uncover who the person is and what his motives are-if he is to protect the ones he loves. The investigation leads Crittendon into a world of behind-the-closed-door secrets and faith gone awry, as does his story on a missing pastor, whose apparent suicide is more than it appears.

Each move Crittendon makes weaves him tighter and tighter into a web of lies, greed, hypocrisy, sin, and danger. He believed he'd never give in to fear and the hate it leads to. But that was before. And holding on to his faith won't be easy. Nor will keeping his family safe and ending the terror. Because that might require him to step over lines he said he would never cross.

Much of the beginning chapters were spent with the author going on and on about how perfect Jack's life is. He has the perfect wife, the perfect kids, he lives in the perfect town and has the perfect job. Everything is just too perfect. No annoying co-worker, no crazy barking dog next door, nothing to relate the reader to the characters, no real reason for me to really care about them and their well-being. I felt as though the author spent WAY too much time going on and on about details that really weren't important. Such as pages and pages describing the town Pam grew up in, the kids playing outside, all the shops she passes as she's driving around.

This book is categorized as a suspense/thriller, I really didn't find this book to be suspenseful or thrilling at all.
I found the secondary characters to be more interesting than the main characters.

The more I read about the villain, I felt more pity toward him than anything else. He's the only character with some back story. I'm not supposed to feel sorry for the bad guy! I'm supposed to not like him! You can't take him seriously as a villain because everyone knows he's just making a bunch of empty threats.

Evan was the only somewhat interesting character. He was the only person who had some depth.

The ending was just okay, but not good enough to make up for what was lacking in the rest of the book. Sadly, I would not recommend this book and I don't think I would bother reading the next book in the series.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Talon by Ronie Kendig [3.5 stars]

Talon by Ronie Kendig
From back cover:
Her brother is missing. And her only chance of finding him lies with a combat dog that has lost his edge.

All air force veteran Aspen Courtland wants is her brother back.
The US marine corps says he's dead, but Aspen won't believe it till she sees his body. Her only hope is her brother's tracking dog, Talon, but a brutal attack has left the dog afraid of his own shadow.

The truth is something Military Intelligence Operative Dane Markoski has never faced. But now it's the only thing-along with Talon's help-that can save him. But working with Talon means teaming up with Aspen as well, and Dane swore he'd never work with a woman.

Eventually they join forces to battle the elements and extremists. But if Talon can't rise up to his former glory for one last mission, the only outcome for all three will be game over.

While I enjoyed the book, I just haven't liked this series as much as I liked the Discarded Heroes series. The story was good, although I got a little confused at times with the plot, flashbacks, and character's names and nicknames.
My only real complaint was I couldn't stand Timbrel! I know she's the main character in the next book, (and I'm not really looking forward to that.) and I know she'll have some sort of backstory that will give you some insight into why she acts the way she does in this book, but she came across as incredibly arrogant and annoying!

I will definitely read the next book, although I am anxiously awaiting the release of Ronie Kendig's next series, The Quiet Professionals!!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Paige Torn by Erynn Mangum [4 stars]

Paige Torn by Erynn Mangum
From back cover:
The girl who does it all might miss what's most important.
Everyone knows they can count on Paige Alder. But between volunteering at church, putting in overtime at work, and helping her best friend plan an anniversary party, she's lucky to grab a cheese stick for dinner. She can't even remember the last time she had a few minutes to relax or dig into God's Word. Then she meets laid-back Tyler, an attractive, Jesus-loving guy. Will he be able to help Paige get her priorities on track?

I really liked this book. I have loved all of Erynn Mangum's books since the beginning, and this one did not disappoint! Paige Torn is a cute, fun read. I liked Paige and I felt as though I could relate to her pretty well. Paige deals with the same issues all of us deal with, but with some good natured humor thrown in! Nothing too exciting really happened throughout the book, so it's not a real deep and thoughtful book, but that's ok with me! So, all in all, I really enjoyed this book and am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series, Paige Rewritten.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Dangerous Stage by Camy Tang [2.5 stars]

A Dangerous Stage by Camy Tang
From back cover:
In A Dangerous Stage, the second book in  Camy Tang's Protection for Hire series, Tessa gets caught up in the web of lies surrounding a shady singing competition. Hired by one of the contestants, who has information that the show is rigged, she forms a prickly alliance with Charles Britton-the lawyer who sent her to prison-to uncover the dark figures manipulating the contest from behind the scenes.

Tessa's abilities are tested like never before as she's forced to balance the safety of her client's family and her confusing relationship with Charles. In the midst of the chaos, she hopes to bring down the shadowy organization all while holding on to her faith.

I really didn't care too much for this book. I liked the first book, Protection for Hire , but this one was a disappointing follow-up. I don't even know exactly what I didn't like. I had a hard time getting through it. The characters weren't as engaging as the previous book; I especially couldn't stand Charles. He comes across as way too much of a mama's boy. To the point where his mother pretty much runs his entire life and it got really irritating.

I thought the plot was lacking. The whole singing show thing was a little lame, it seemed a little far-fetched for some criminals to rig a singing show. 

I think there's a lot more that can be done with Tessa and I hope the third book will be much better!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Shattered by Dani Pettrey [3 stars]

Shattered by Dani Pettrey
From back cover:
When her prodigal brother's return to Yancey, Alaska, is shattered by his arrest for murder, Piper McKenna is determined to protect him.
Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKenna's like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. And he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth puts Landon's career in jeopardy.
When Piper launches her own investigation, Landon realizes he must protect her from herself-and from whatever complications await as the two follow clues deep into Canada's rugged backcountry. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.

After being dissatisfied with the first book in the Alaskan Courage series, I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I had trouble with all the different points-of-view in the beginning, it was a little confusing, but once I got all the characters straightened out it was ok. I just do not like having more that 2 or 3 different points-of-view throughout a book as it gets very confusing keeping everyone straight.
I also thought Piper was rather annoying with her 'I'm going to do whatever I want' attitude. There is a difference between being independent and being stupid!
I did like the plot line. The story was good and kept me guessing throughout most of the book. About 2/3 of the way through the book I started piecing things together and figured the plot out; but I thought the book was well done in that regard. I did find the romance aspect to be pretty cheesy and juvenile.
Again, I was disappointed in the authors lack of research. There are so many little facts that were wrong and could have been right had the author taken a couple of minutes to run a Google search! I really didn't get how Landon has jurisdiction in Canada and the fact that the ending
*mini spoiler below!*

takes place around this big blizzard in Portland when Portland rarely gets snow, let alone a blizzard!

*end mini spoiler!*

Overall, this was just an ok read for me. Not too exciting, but not a bad read either. I'll pick up the next book in the series and I hope by then the author will learn to do some research!!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Placebo by Steven James [3 stars]

Placebo by Steven James
From back cover:
While investigating a controversial neurological research program, expose filmmaker Jevin Banks is drawn into a far-reaching conspiracy involving one of the world's largest pharmaceutical firms. He seeks answers about the questionable mind-to-mind communication program-and answers to his own family tragedy.

I had high expectations for this book. I really like the Patrick Bowers series, and from the synopsis of this book, I thought it sounded pretty good. But, I ended up being disappointed. The plot sounded good, but it was so bogged down with crazy science facts (that made the story hard to follow at times and made me, and other readers I have heard, feel a rather dumb.) The book was difficult to get through until the end when most of the story finally came together. I think if this had been the first book I had read by Steven James, I probably would have quit reading part way through.

The characters were pretty interesting and well rounded. I liked Fiona, she was definitely one of my favorite characters. And I liked Xavier as well.

I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series, but I hope it will be a little easier to follow!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Every Breath You Take by M.K. Gilroy [5 stars]

Every Breath You Take by M.K. Gilroy
From back cover:
When the son of a Chicago billionaire is murdered, the only lead in this high-profile crime is an exclusive dating service that discretely caters to the rich and famous. Who better to go undercover in that world of promising matches and questionable motives than an ace cop who is as attractive as she is tough?
Detective Kristen Conner may not be able to figure out her own love life, but she is about to get a crash course on finding Mr. Right, even as she finder herself in the crosshairs of a determined killer's gun.

I very much liked the first book in the series, (Cuts Like A Knife) and I was very excited when this book was released. Sometimes the second book in a series isn't always the best, but this book did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
I really like Kristin. She's a great, well rounded and likeable character. It's hard to find a police book with a strong, female lead. Too many times I've read books about some dumb female who can't hold her own and does something stupid just so the 'hero' can come rescue her. But that is not the case with Kristin! She's tough and she's smart, and that's what I really like about her.

This is an exceptional action book with great characters, fight scenes, and a mystery that keeps you guessing until the end!

I can't wait until the next book!