Revell Reads Review: Justice Delayed

Justice Delayed (Memphis Cold Case #1)

Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

Memphis Cold Case #1

Fleming H. Revell Company – January 31, 2017

Purpose: Review

Source: Revell Reads Review Program

 I was given a copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.

2.5 stars

Andi Hollister is a TV crime reporter for a Memphis news station. Detective Will Kincaide has recently been promoted to the newly established Cold Case Unit. Eighteen years ago, Andi’s sister Stephanie was murdered. Eighteen years ago, Will’s cousin, Jimmy, was convicted of Stephanie’s murder. Today, in less than a week, Jimmy is scheduled to be executed. Today, he receives a letter stating that he did not kill Stephanie. And so the story begins.

I wanted to review this book because Bradley keeps popping up on my book radar. I really wanted to like this book, and for the most part I did. Well, it was just okay. There are some things that stuck out to me that I had a problem with. And I guess I should start with them.

First, Will was not the only detective investigating this case. There was his supervisor/partner in the Cold Case Unit, Lieutenant David Raines, and Brad Hollister, a homicide detective. Brad is investigating a case that may or may not have anything to do with Stephanie Hollister’s homicide. Andi is also investigating her sister’s murder, though she is doing so under the guise of reporting and making a documentary. So in total, you are following four different people as they investigate the same case. Some of it is them trying to cover as many possible bases as possible since they have such a short amount of time. That is not the problem. The problem is that they don’t talk to each other.  If they had talked to each other, they may have been able to make connections a lot sooner. Characters (Andi) would not be put into unnecessary danger or accidentally reveal information to the wrong people.

Something else that bothered me was the fact that none of the detectives were suspicious of anyone that they talked to. I understand that they were talking to people that were prominent figures in the community. They question each person, again not discussing what was discovered with each other, but it seemed to be more of going through the motions than real investigating. I would think that as detective that they would be more suspicious, or at least curious about the people that they talked to. But, no, they detectives and Andi took everything that was told to them at face value.

My final issue is Andi’s addiction to pain pills. It didn’t read as authentic as it should have been to make it believable. It read as more of a plot device than something that was really affecting the character. It read as if it was something thrown in to move Andi in and out of different positions that would move the story along. If she was not addicted to the pills, there would have been something more believable that would have done the same thing.

But on the other hand, I did  find the  story interesting enough to finish the book, I did like the characters and their relationship to each other.  I also liked the fact that the romance part of the story really did take a back seat to the main story thread.  Though the problems did stand a lot to me, enough to affect the rating, I would be interested in seeing where this series goes next.

Always Shine!

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Review: Friend Me by John Faubion

Friend Me

Friend Me By John Faubion

Melissa Montalvo folded her hands on her lap and stared across the table art her final interviewer.

Scott and Rachel are a married couple that has grown more than complacent in their relationship., Scott is a financial investor is facing a predicament that is putting a lot more pressure than he is used to. Perhaps, more than he can bare. Rachel is a stay at home mom for their two kids. She is longing for adult interaction and has growing doubts about Scott and his love for her. Enter Melissa and Virtualfriendme.com. This is a techno company that has developed software that will allow people to create a virtual that is essentially real in every aspect except for physical bodies.  Rachel decides to recreate a virtual friend with the personality of her dead friend Suzanne. When the pressure begins to get to be too much for Scott at work, he creates a friend Alicia. Through backdoor programming, Melissa is looking for the person that is her perfect match. That programming matches her with Scott. She sees him being married as a mild stepping stone, especially when Scott has gone further astray then he thought it was possible.

Okay, I am just going to say it. This book is twisted. From the very beginning. There really isn’t a build up before we see just how crazy Melissa is. And then Faubion just keeps it going. I enjoyed this not just because it was about her killing/stalking habits. It examines an average marriage and how easy it is to become complacent in it.  Don’t get me wrong, Melissa setting her sights on Scorr didn’t help the marriage. But Scott and Rachel’s relationship had issues, the first and most obvious one was lack of communication. Scott didn’t tell Rachel that he loved her and he didn’t talk to her about what was going on at work. And despite the popular opinion, it wasn’t because he thought she was too dumb to understand or that he was falling out of love with her. He felt that he was failing Rachel as a husband and wanted to protect her. Rachel, on the same hand, thought that she was failing him as a wife.  Both come to the realization, almost too late, that their marriage was something worth fighting for.

I am going to point out something that may be overlooked in all of the action. I am not making an excuse or even saying that it was alright. But Scott was a decent guy. He made a virtual friend, not  in the hopes of replacing his wife or even to get some side action. It was a way to relieve the stress and pressure of his job. He did this with the understanding that the virtual friend was not software that had human behind it. Alicia was supposed to be virtual in every single way. Thankfully Melissa’s crazy pulled him out of the rabbit hole before he went irreversibly too far.  But isn’t that how it always start? When someone pulls up some porn, it’s not to replace their significant other. When a married person finds themselves alone with a coworker/church member/friend of the opposite sex, it’s not always because they sought that person out. It is very easy to fall down the emotional rabbit hole, unless a couple is conscious of the pitfalls and actively put up safeguards. And this is a lesson that Scott and Rachel learn when they decide that they are going to fight for their marriage and do everything that they can to protect their family.

Was it all believable? No, there were some things that were a bit of a stretch. But this story was realistic. And it happens in some form, maybe without the life and death drama, all too frequently.

3 stars 

Once again, as it had years before, Scott’s heart thrilled in the knowledge that this real and wonderful girl was his wife.

A copy of this book was given to me, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Always Shine! 

Friend Me is currently available!

If you want to know more about John Faubion or his books, check out his website,

Sexytimes Romance Report: Omega

Omega (Penton Legacy, #3)

Omega By Susannah Sandlin 

The Penton Legacy #3

David Jackson’s back slammed into the wall with enough force to crack the plaster, sending a cloud of dust, splintered lathing and blood-covered plaster chips pluming outward.

Challenge: #readmyowndamnbooks and Complete a series

I picked this book off of my shelf as a reading palate cleanser, as the previous book left me with a bad taste. I have been meaning to get to this book for a while. A really long  while. I read the first and second book of this series almost four years ago. (I can’t believe that it’s been that long, but that’s what Goodreads says….) While normally I wouldn’t recommend going 4 years between books in a series, at least not without rereading from the beginning, I wasn’t lost with this book. This is in part because each book is in itself its own story within a bigger story.

For those who have not read the first two books, I won’t go into this book with too much detail. But this series follows a scathe of vampires who are trying to survive the blood shortage caused by a human vaccination. Aidan Murphy started this scathe between vampires who are willing to live by a strong moral code and unvaccinated humans who agree to be feeders in exchange for living in peace. In short, the Penton scathe is an anomaly in the vampire world, and not vampires are happy about it. The vampire tribunal, the vampires’ governing body, at best, is passive about the Penton Scathe. Until a power hungry, morally bankrupt and twisted vampire, Matthias, starts whispering in their ear. This starts a chain of events putting the Penton scathe on the defensive, not just with assaults led by Matthias, but with the tribunal as well.

I am not sure if I did a good job explaining the series, but I promise you that it’s really really good. While  the overall story is about the Penton scathe trying to convince the tribunal that they are innocent and that Matthias is the bad guy, each book focuses on a particular couple. Redemption  is Aidan and Khrys’ story;  Absolution is Mirren and Glory’s story; Omega is Will and Randa’s story.

Will and Randa have had a rocky relationship, both carrying huge bricks from their past on their shoulders. Both are certain that the other hates them, but the grudgingly do what they have to since Aidan has made them patrol partners. Then things begin to change, and they realized that the other was carrying some baggage and their public personas was just a way to cope and deal with those issues.  As they are digging deeper with each other, for the sake of their partnership, they begin to uncover (or admit) the growing attraction between them. In this book, both will have to confront the truth of themselves as well as the truth of their fathers.

But this is not just your average romance. Ir’s not just hot and steamy. This love story is full of some blush worthy sexytimes.  There is almost sex, definite sex and loving sex. But don’t get me wrong, the sex scenes are done with great taste and it’s done between two people who deeply care for each other, even if they do not realize how deep their feelings go. While it is graphic descriptively, it is not smutty.

What I really, really enjoyed about this book is that the story could have stood on its own without the sex.  What I mean is that the scenes didn’t just set up the next sex encounter,  they were a part of the whole. And while the story would have been a great story without the sexytimes, it was also made much richer with the sexytimes.

This is a series that I would definitely recommend. I found the story engaging. I found the characters lovable and I am still invested in all of the characters, well all of the good guys. I found myself laughing out loud, because despite the danger that they are in, they’re still funny as hell at times.

5 Stars 

He leaned over and kissed her long and hard, ignoring the throbbing pain in his chest and the fact she’d accidentally beaned him in the head with her cast.

If you want to learn more about Susannh Sandlin and her books, you can check out her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Always Shine!

Review: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh 

May 3, 2016 -Berkely

369 pages – Adult, fiction, mystery, suspense

Clare Mackintosh

Facebook: yes

Twitter: @claremackint0sh

Purpose: Review

Source: Penguin First Flights program

I was given a copy of this book, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

From Goodreads: The next blockbuster thriller for those who loved The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl...a novel with “an astonishing intensity that drags you in and never—ever—lets you go.” (Daily Mail, UK) 
On a rainy afternoon, a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street . . .

I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.

At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them. Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner, says, “I read I Let You Go in two sittings; it made me cry (at least twice), made me gasp out loud (once), and above all made me wish I’d written it . . . a stellar achievement.” 
*Peter James, author of Want You Dead

My Thoughts: I finished this book this morning. I had been looking forward to reading it, and when I did I was a bit disappointed in the beginning. It was a bit slow for me, maybe it was due to what I had read before, maybe it was my reading mood. I wasn’t as certain of my enjoyment as I had been when I picked it up. But then…. then I got to the first jaw-dropping moment. And I had to go back and check what I read. How could I have not seen this coming? I had read carefully, making sure I followed all of the threads and breadcrumbs that were twisting into a complete story. But this?! When you get to the first twist, you  immediately think that you read wrong or that you missed something. It was all right there and there’s no way you would have missed something this big. But you did. I did. Others before me did. It is normal, do not be ashamed.

After that, the story picks up the pace, and it is much harder to put down. I don’t even want to talk about the details because I don’t know what will ruin a person’s reading experience.  And yes, it is an experience. Continuing on, knowing that there had to be at least a couple more twists in the story did not prepare me for what happened. It was as if Mackintosh actually enjoyed playing these mind games, but these were the mind games that I didn’t mind so much. I have a pretty twisted imagination, and I have to admit that there are some things that she did with a particular character that I would not have thought to do.

The ending. Yes, I sort of expected some of what happened to happened. Yes, I was still shocked at it, and still unsettled by it. Without ruining it, I can only say that you should definitely read this. You will be so glad that you did.

*A note about the comparisons to Gone Girl and the Girl on the Train: I didn’t like Gone Girl, I couldn’t get into the book at all. I watched the movie to find out what the twist was, and then I wasn’t all that shocked or impressed. I have The Girl on the Train on my TBR list, so I don’t know how this compares to that. *

And yes, I just found out that Mackintosh has a second book coming out in July. I will be pre-ordering that one as soon as it becomes available!!!

5 stars *****

Always Shine!

Review: Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani

Ink and Ashes

Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani

May 13, 2015 – Tu Books

368 Pages – Young Adult, Fiction, Suspense, Japanese, Diverse,

Valynne E. Maetani

Facebook: Yes

Twitter: @valynnemaetani

Purpose: Personal choice, A diverse read

From Goodreads: Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away when she was a little girl. But on the anniversary of his death, not long before her seventeenth birthday, she finds a mysterious letter from her deceased father, addressed to her stepfather. Claire never even knew that they had met.
Claire knows she should let it go, but she can’t shake the feeling that something’s been kept from her. In search of answers, Claire combs through anything that will give her information about her father . . . until she discovers he was a member of the yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed.
So begins the race to outrun his legacy as the secrets of her father’s past threaten Claire’s friends and family, newfound love, and ultimately her life. Ink and Ashes, winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, is a heart-stopping debut mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.

My Thoughts: 

Wow! There are so many awesome things to say about this book that I’m not quite sure where to start. I picked this for a diverse read. I that I was going to be getting a good story since it was published by Tu Books. (In case you didn’t know, Tu Books focuses on diverse young adult science fiction.)

This was a great glimpse in Japanese culture. This had depth, meaning and connection. ot was wan’t overwhelming , but it also didn’t feel as if it was just placed in the story as window dressing. This actually had everything that I could want in a good book: characters that I liked and cared about, suspense and mystery that had me guessing all the way to the end, great pacing for the story and a heroine that I could believe in.

Claire Takata was not perfect, but, I think that is what made her character so believable. She was a bit whiny, and I hate to admit it, but most girls have thier whiny moments.  She was also strong, brave and very capable of taking care of herself. Her position of being the only girl in a group of boys  was fitting, somehow.

Lately, I’ve been having trouble with romance in YA, but I am glad to say that it worked in this book. Not everything that happened was your run of the mill stuff. And everything wasn’t wrapped up nice and neatly. But… every question was answered, even if it was complicated.

Even though I focused on Claire, the other characters were well thought out and developed. They had their own quirks and endearing charms. I really enjoyed this work, and will be looking forward to more from this author.

5 stars *****

Always Shine!

Review: Swerve by Vicki Pettersson

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Swerve by Vicki Pettersson 

July 7, 2015 – Gallery books

338 Pages – Adult, fiction, suspense, thriller

Vicki Pettersson

Facebook: Yes

Twitter: @VickiPettersson

Purpose: Personal list

From Goodreads: It’s high summer in the Mojave Desert, and Kristine Rush and her fiancé, Daniel, are en route from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, California, for the July Fourth holiday weekend. But when Daniel is abducted from a desolate rest stop, Kristine is forced to choose: return home unharmed, but never to see her fiancé again, or plunge forward into the searing desert to find him…where a killer lies in wait. 

My Thoughts: 

Departing from the urban fantasy style that readers may be used to, Pettersson introduces us to the heroine Kristine Dash.  Kristine is taking a road trip with her fiancé, Daniel, to spend the July fourth holiday weekend  with Daniel’s mother.  Their romantic journey is cut short when Kristine comes face to face with a nightmare she had believed to be in her past.  Daniel is kidnapped and used as bait to manipulate Kristine into doing the bidding of a psychopath. This is a dangerous game of cat and mouse, and with each turn the stakes are raised. Each task, Kristine appears to be outsmarted, and with every failure Daniel pays the price. Our heroine finds herself stuck between the tortures of the past and the helplessness of the present. If she cannot find a way, her beloved fiancé, Daniel will be lost to her if he isn’t already.  In the end, the reader may find themselves wondering whether they love those closest to them enough to risk everything to save them. Readers may be also begin to question how well they know the people that they love.  Pettersson once again delivers a heroine that is strong , pushed to their limits and is completely relatable.

5 Stars *****

Always Shine!

Review: The Intercept by Dick Wolf

The Intercept (Jeremy Fisk, #1)

The Intercept by Dick Wolf

(Jeremy Fisk #1)

December 26, 2012 – Willian Morrow (HarperCollins )

387 pages – Adult, Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Terrorism

Twitter: @WolfFilms

Source: HarperCollins for review

I was given a copy of this book, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

From Goodreads:  Days before the July Fourth holiday and the dedication of One World Trade Center at Ground Zero, an incident aboard a commercial jet over the Atlantic Ocean reminds everyone that vigilance is not a task to be taken lightly. But for iconoclastic New York Police detective Jeremy Fisk, it may also be a signal that there is much more to this case than the easy answer: that this is just the work of another lone terrorist. 

Fisk—from the department’s Intelligence Division, a well-funded anti-terror unit modeled upon the CIA—suspects that the event might also be a warning sign that another, potentially more extraordinary scheme has been set in motion. Fluent in Arabic and the ways of his opponents, Fisk is a rule breaker who follows his gut—even if it means defying those above him in the department’s food chain. So when a passenger from the same plane, a Saudi Arabian national, disappears into the crowds of Manhattan, it’s up to Fisk and his partner Krina Gersten to find him before the celebrations begin. 

Watching each new lead fizzle, chasing shadows to dead ends, Fisk and Gersten quickly realize that their opponents are smarter and more agile than any they have ever faced. Extremely clever and seemingly invisible, they are able to exploit any security weakness and anticipate Fisk’s every move. And time is running out

My Thoughts:

First I have to say thanks to HarperCollins for sending this along with the second book. Then, I want to say it was quite refreshing to pick up a book and immediately get pulled into the story.  In case you don’t know or haven’t put it together, Dick Wolf is the creator of Law & Order. ( I didn’t.)

I really like Fisk and Gersten, mainly because they were competent at their job and as a couple.  The action of the story pulls you in immediately. It’s a race to uncover who the threat is and what the plan is.  As a reader, you’re only given enough to know that something is wrong. Soon, I found myself thinking like Fisk- “there’s something else going on”.

Terrorists are only scary when people fear them. But, they’re willing to do anything, including suicide. I truly hope that the real terrorists in the world are not as clever as the terrorists in this book.  I am not surprised that the face of terrorism is changing. No one should be.

I loved the character development in the story. I grew to get to know them all well, it was almost as if I had met them. The action zigged when you thought it was going to zag, always keeping you on your toes. There are casualties that I didn’t want to happen.  But there is also the rise of the human spirit, confirming that each of us plays  a vital role in overcoming fear.

5 stars *****

Always Shine!