Little Girl Lost – DI Robyn Carter #1 by Carol Wyer

REVIEW

Carol Wyer knows how to bring suspense and conceal secrets in this first DI Robyn Carter novel.  An exciting and gripping story that had me hooked from the first page.

Little Girl Lost begins when a young girl is indecently assaulted by her soon-to-be step-brother and the fallout from this incident, along with the tragic events that follow, send the girl on a road of anger and revenge.

When Abigail Thorne starts to receive anonymous letters and phone calls she knows that her secrets may not stay secret for much longer.  But who can she trust?  Is her husband having an affair?  Does she hear voices? Is someone trying to make her crazy? Or is it all in her head?

Whilst on temporary leave and working for her cousin’s PI firm, DI Robyn Carter finds herself embroiled in a missing persons case. When Robyn notices a link between the missing person, a murder, and the unusual incidents happening to Abigail, she must find out how and who connects them.  The truth must be told if the Little Girl Lost is to be found.

This story starts with an harrowing incident and spirals into a world of secrets and suffering.  As the reader, we know who is doing it, we just don’t know who ‘she’ is!  The twists and intrigue associated with this story kept me listening at every opportunity, whilst ideas and thoughts bounced around inside my head as to who the girl actually is.  Very well written, and although it took me a while to get used to the narrator of this audio version, I soon became lost in the story.

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Emma Newman.

Rating 5/5 

Synopsis

A perfect family hiding disturbing secrets. A killer who wants the truth to be told. 

A teacher goes missing under suspicious circumstances. 
A millionaire is murdered at a local reservoir. 
For Detective Robyn Carter, there’s no obvious link between the men. But as she starts to delve into the cases, her investigations lead her to Abigail, perfect wife and mother to beautiful little Izzy. What was Abigail’s connection to the victims? And why is she receiving threatening messages from an anonymous number? 

But as Robyn starts to inch closer to finding the killer, Izzy is abducted. 

Unless Robyn gets to the twisted individual in time, a little girl will die … 

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32762388-little-girl-lost)

Taking Turns, Turning Back, His Turn -Turning #1, #2, #3 by J.A. Huss

REVIEW 

WARNING!  Enter this series with extreme caution! High chance of getting burnt on the heat that comes out of these pages! 

The Turning Series revolves around three men – Elias Bricman, Smith Baldwin and Quin Foster – who have been friends for a very long time and have, during that time, found that they enjoy sharing women. Not just sharing them but playing games with them…everything is a game. That is, until it is not. 

Taking Turns finds theses men in a confusing situation when the woman they have spent the last three years with has vanished and someone else is in their place.  Chella believes she knows what she is letting herself in for.  She needs the pleasure and pain that these men can inflict on her.  Quin wants nothing to do with her, Bric doesn’t care either way, and Smith finds that he cannot stay away.   Something draws him to her but what secrets is she hiding? 

Turning Back sees the return of Rochelle, the woman who broke Quin’s heart and left him in a world of pain for a year.  Why has she come back?  Smith wants her to leave  before she hurts his friend all over again, Quin relies on anger to get him through the time ahead, and Bric seems to know more than he is letting on.  With Smith no longer playing can Bric and Quin find a way to bring Rochelle back into the game? 

His Turn is all about Bric. At a loose end he finds a new partner to play games with, Jordan Wells. Jordan introduces him to Nadia, who although is not anything like either Chella or Rochelle, she is more his type.  The only problem is that they both want the same thing – control! Are they all playing the same game or have each got their on set of rules?

I absolutely loved this series from start to finish.  I was a bit unsure, as I’m not overly into the BDSM Club scene books but having read numerous series by this author before I couldn’t not give it a try.  The club is not highly focused on, the stories are more about the main characters and the relationships they have and build together.  The subject of sex and sharing is very open within these books so, if that is not your thing or you are adverse to three/foursomes, then they may not be for you. 

The build up of the characters is fantastic.  I’ll be honest, if I had read His Turn first I would not like Bric’s character at all.  However,  knowing his backstory and having seen the softer side to him in the previous books gave me knowledge of the character that explained why he did what he did. I think may favourite is Smith.  I can just picture him with his two rat dogs and the puppy, he really will make a great father if they ever have the chance 🙂

The end of this series leads nicely onto the next – Jordan’s Game – which I will starting in the New Year! 

Rating 5/5 

Synopsis

Taking Turns – I’ve never been afraid of the dark…but that doesn’t mean I wanted to live in it. And maybe everyone wants what they can’t have, but I should’ve thought it over before I accepted the key and unlocked the door to their forbidden world.  Number One is mostly silent. He watches me with them very carefully. His gaze never wanders. His interest never wanes.  Number Two is mostly gentle. But it’s the other side of him I like best. The wild side.  Number Three is mostly reserved.  He refuses to cross the line. Even when I beg.  It was carnal, it was sensual, and it was erotic. That’s it. That’s all it was supposed to be. A trip into the dark. A peek into the forbidden.  I just didn’t expect to like them. (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33192096-taking-turns)

Turning Back – I lived in the dark for three years. My whole world revolved around the whims and happiness of three men. It was just a trip into the forbidden. A way out of a bad situation and forward into nothingness.  Quin, with his easy smile and charming good looks. He was always there for me… Until he wasn’t.  Smith, and his dispassionate attention. He was never there for me and he never regretted it.  Bric, the one who listened, but only to himself. Self-absorbed, self-obsessed, and self-serving. He was never the one I wanted.  And now he might be the only one I have left.  It was good while it lasted, I guess. But it could’ve been so much more. It could’ve been so much better.  And that’s why I’m turning back. (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33867511-turning-back)

His Turn – I look her body up and down as I circle her.
Mine?
I smile a devious, deviant, I’m gonna make you sorry you ever started playing this game with me smile.
And then I take her hand.
I lead her to the elevator.
We go up to my apartment.
I tie her wrists together with rope.
Raise her arms above her head.
And chain her to the ceiling.
It’s my turn. (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34818548-his-turn)

Say You’re Sorry – Morgan Dane #1 by Melinda Leigh

REVIEW

Melinda Leigh is starting this new series in a spectacular way.

Morgan Dane, mother of three, and the potential new DA’s assistant finds herself on the other side as she agrees to defend her neighbours son against a murder charge. Enlisting the help of her friend, PI Lance Kruger, the couple set out to find the truth behind the killing and unearth the real murderer.

Morgan Dane is a likeable character who has had a tough time over the past few years.  She is a widow with three small children and has recently returned to Scarlet Falls to live with her grandfather.  Morgan’s sense of justice has always been to ensure that the bad guy is locked away and not let back out on the street, but when the ‘bad guy’ is  a friend and neighbour she is conflicted by her principals.

Morgan and Lance work great together. They have known each other a long time and the connection that they now have is building beyond friendship.

This was an interesting opening to the Morgan Dane series.  The story is exciting and edgy, and the characters are enjoyable to read. Looking forward to finding out what will happen next to Morgan Dane and Lance Kruger.

Rating 4/5

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Cris Dukehart

Synopsis

After the devastating loss of her husband in Iraq, Morgan Dane returns to Scarlet Falls, seeking the comfort of her hometown. Now, surrounded by family, she’s finally found peace and a promising career opportunity—until her babysitter is killed and her neighbor asks her to defend his son, Nick, who stands accused of the murder.

Tessa was the ultimate girl next door, and the community is outraged by her death. But Morgan has known Nick for years and can’t believe he’s guilty, despite the damning evidence stacked against him. She asks her friend Lance Kruger, an ex-cop turned private eye, for help. Taking on the town, the police, and a zealous DA, Morgan and Lance plunge into the investigation, determined to find the real killer. But as they uncover secrets that rock the community, they become targets for the madman hiding in plain sight.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33149088-say-you-re-sorry)

Checking Out by Nick Spalding

REVIEW

Unpredictable, emotional and entertaining.

I was not sure what to expect from this book as Nick Spalding is a new author to me, however when this one came up on the online book club I am in I was really looking forward to it.

The main character, Nathan James, did not come across as a particularly likeable person to begin with. He made a lot of money inventing children’s T.V. characters (that he does not even like), his girlfriend is a self-absorbed model who cares only for herself and Nathan’s notoriety, and he spends far too little time with his family.  Nathan is given a none-too-subtle wake up call in the form of an inoperable brain tumour.  This little smack in the face sends Nathan on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. As Nathan reassesses his life and begins to live each day as though it is literally his last, the antics and mishaps that befall him are hilarious.

Alison is great.  Her personality is a direct contrast to Sienna’s – the former model girlfriend – and I don’t think Nathan deserves her love and patience.  She is so calm with him and does everything she can to make him appreciate what he has right now.

This is a fun, light-hearted story based on very real issues and the way a terminal illness can change a persons outlook on life.

Rating 4/5

Synopsis

What do you do when the doctor says you could die at any moment? Well…after you’ve made a cup of tea, of course.

Nathan James is young, successful and has the world at his feet. Unfortunately, he’s also about to die—which ruins things somewhat. And now he’s staring imminent death in the face, Nathan is having to rethink some of his life choices very hard.

This means embarking on a hectic journey of self-discovery that includes, amongst other things, losing his dignity to an inescapable bean bag, suffering screaming nightmares about a monstrous potato, and getting up close and very personal with a bipolar donkey.

All of which is fine, but then Nathan falls in love with a charming girl called Alison, which is a really stupid thing to do. Because how can you give your heart to someone when it might be about to stop?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36261372-checking-out)

She Can Kill – She Can… #5 by Melinda Leigh

REVIEW

This is the fifth and final book in the ‘She Can’ series and follows two characters that have appeared in previous stories, Christan Rojas and Sarah Mitchell.  I really enjoyed this story as it essentially began in ‘She Can Tell’ and has waited until the end to be told.

Sarah Mitchell started off her married life to her charming, funny, high-school sweetheart with all the promise of happily ever after, but when an injury stopped Troy Mitchell from achieving his goals he took his displeasure out on a bottle and his wife. Scared for herself and her children, Sarah finally decides to leave but Troy is not going to make it easy for her.

Christan Rojas has been running from his former life for 12 years in order to keep his daughter safe and give her the life she deserves, but when it seems that it has finally caught up to him he knows he must leave again.  Unfortunately for him, his daughter and his blossoming relationship with Sarah put his plans on hold.  Can he stop running and keep his daughter safe. And when those he loves finds out the truth about his past will they ever forgive him?

Parents will do anything to keep their children safe and both Sarah and Christan do what has to be done for theirs.  Sarah has a fight on her hands against a husband who doesn’t love her or their children but will use them a leverage over Sarah.  Christan’s threat is much more violent and life-threatening.  As a parent I often wonder if I am doing the best for my children. Are they happy? Are they safe?  I don’t think that will ever go away.  Both these parents have the same doubts but on different levels and for different reasons.

The romance between Christan and Sarah is a slow simmer that bubbles away under the surface of the trouble they find themselves in.  Christan is the type of man that Sarah both needs and deserves, someone caring, considerate and wanting to make her happy.  For Christan, Sarah is what he needs.  He has had the drama, excitement and thrills and now wants to settle down, raise his daughter and enjoy life.

The threats to Christan keep the story exciting and engaging, along with the drama of Troy and Sarah.  Full of action and intrigue, this final book brings the series nicely to a close.  I have really enjoyed meeting all the characters and following the ups and downs of their lives as they face unknown threats and fall in love.

Rating 4/5

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Amy Rubinate

Series in order:

She Can Run – Elisabeth and Jack

She Can Tell – Rachel and Mike

She Can Scream – Brooke and Luke

She Can Hide – Abby and Ethan

She Can Kill – Sarah and Christan

Synopsis

Reformed assassin Cristan Rojas just wants to raise his daughter in peace. But after twelve years on the run, he learns that even the quiet little town of Westbury, Pennsylvania, has many hidden dangers. Although he can’t shake the feeling he’s under surveillance, Cristan’s attraction to Sarah Mitchell continues to grow, as do his concerns that his secret past could jeopardize anyone who gets too close to him.

Sarah is ready to start her life over with her children, a new job, and a budding romance. Her newfound happiness is threatened when her ex-husband becomes increasingly violent—and she soon learns her ex isn’t the only person stalking her.

Cristan fears someone from his past has arrived in town, someone far worse than a jealous ex. Someone who may be responsible for a brutal—and unsolved—murder a dozen years ago. To protect Sarah and his daughter, he must shine a light into the darkest recesses of his nightmarish past.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25682621-she-can-kill)

Sorrow: The Heart of a Princess – The Reluctant Princess Book 1 by Melanie Woods

REVIEW

This is the first book by new author , Melanie Woods, and I loved it.

Elena’s life is just as she likes it.  She is engaged to a wonderful caring man, Daniel, she has close friends and no worries.  But then tragedy strikes and her life turns upside down.  She becomes a Princess and therefore a bargaining chip.  She does not know who to trust and those who are supposed to be protecting her seem to be against her as well.  The only person she can trust is Damon, the head of her security protection and the General’s Son, who proves himself over and over again.  Damon has sworn to protect Elena and that is exactly what he plans to do but the the more time they spend together the closer they become.

The story is intriguing and exciting.  There are black cloaked figures trying to assassinate Elena, there are dangers from all around including those inside her own security team, and even her own parents could be against her.

The characters are well written and I loved Damon.  His heart is definitely in the right place and the torment and torture he must endure, especially at the hands of his own father, proves his loyalty to Elena.    Elena is a strong female role who will not take her circumstances lying down, she is a fighter. The twist at the end had me reeling! I don’t know about Elena having trust issues, I was having some myself.  Just when I thought I knew where the story was going it shifted and left me with a “WHAT?!” moment.

I really hope there will be a second book soon as this was left on a cliffhanger and I need to know how it finishes…so many questions!

A great first book.  Look forward to reading more by this author in the future.

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

Elena’s future is no longer in her hands. Caught between the ambitions of powerful men, she is trapped and in mortal danger… 

The King is dead, and there’s a threat against the whole Royal Family. 

The King’s niece, Elena, is ripped from her friends and fiancé for her protection. Can she trust her new protectors, or is she being used as a pawn in someone else’s game? 

Elena’s life has changed forever. Whether she likes it or not, her Father is now the King, she is the Princess. She desperately clings on to her freedom as everyone around her now only sees her as their ticket to power. She finds that she can no longer trust anyone. Even her fiancé could be responsible, as the Prince of another Kingdom… and then there’s Damon… Should she trust her head, or her heart? 

As the son of a high ranking General, Damon was bred to be a soldier; trained from the moment he could crawl. Pushed to the limits of human endurance, his skills are now legendary, his reactions verging on precognition. Damon’s mandate is to protect the new Princess, but he is about to find out if the task is beyond even his abilities.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40179188-sorrow)

False Memory – False #1 by Meli Raine

REVIEW

Following on from the amazing Shameless series, we catch up with Lily and Duff as they try to piece together what happened when Lily was shot and what a catch up it is!

You would think that having half the book based solely in a hospital room would become boring or tedious but it is the complete opposite.  The thoughts and reactions of Lily when certain people enter her room made me want to scream – ” Trust Duff! Tell him!” but the reasoning behind her silence is understandable. Lily knows who shot her, but the fact that he is so close makes her doubt her trust in others.

Duff relives the day he couldn’t save Lily from the bullet and suffers with the guilt every day, finding the man who did it may be the only way he can live with the past.  Knowing that Lily is keeping something from him, he tries to find out the truth.  Will the growing connection between them be enough for her to trust him?

Lily became friends with Jane in the Shameless series and at the end tragedy strikes.  Although this is a whole new series it essentially follows on the story that started with Drew and Lindsey in the Harmless Series, however it could be argued that it stems right back to the first series – Breaking Away.

The  main characters appeared in the preceding series and to now have their own is fantastic.  I am a massive fan of Meli Raine and find the characters and story lines both engaging and thrilling, there is no shortage of action!  She is not afraid to damage the lead role, in fact, the lead female never comes away unscathed.  In this book, Lily started off damaged and it does not stop there.

This book is part of a series so expect to be left with a cliffhanger.  It also refers to characters and actions from previous books, so to get full enjoyment I would highly recommend reading the following series in order:

Breaking Away – Finding Allie, Chasing Allie, Keeping Allie

Coming Home – Return, Revenge, Reunion

Harmless – A Harmless Little Game, A Harmless Little Ruse, A Harmless Little Plan

Shameless – A Shameless Little Con, A Shameless Little Lie, A Shameless Little Bet

False – False Memory (release date – 13/11/18), False Hope (release date – 11/12/18), False                Start (release date – 15/01/19)

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

It all started with the bereavement flowers with my name on them.
Not the best way to wake up, right? I work in a flower shop. I know a funeral arrangement when I see one.
I know a killer when I see one, too. And one is standing in my hospital room right now, straight behind the man who saved my life.
I can’t tell anyone the truth, because that’s the fastest way to really die. So I do the next best thing. I “lose” my memory. 
I fake my amnesia.
Pretending not to remember a brutal attempted murder has its perks. The killer is backing down, spending less time around me, loosening the noose.
The less I claim to recall, the more my rescuer, Duff, works to help me “remember.” I hate lying to him.
But he doesn’t understand that my memory is dangerous. To me. And to him.
Fooling everyone isn’t easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Except it’s starting to look like I’ve been fooling myself.
In more ways than one.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40405827-false-memory)