2014.48 REVIEW – Eyes of Prey by John Sandford

Eyes of Prey
by John Sandford

Copyright: 1991
Pages: 358
Rating: 4/5
Read: Nov. 16 – Nov. 23, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 48
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Lucas Davenport #3

Eyes of PreyBlurb: Lieutenant Davenport’s sanity was nearly shattered by two murder investigations. Now he faces something worse … Two killers. One hideously scarred. The other strikingly handsome, a master manipulator fascinated with all aspects of death. The dark mirror of Davenport’s soul … This is the case that will bring Davenport back to life. Or push him over the edge.


Review: This is the 3rd book in the Lucas Davenport series. After loving the first book, Rules of Prey, I was excited to get into the second one, Shadow Prey. Unfortunately Shadow didn’t really work for me, so I was a little apprehensive to pick up the next one.

Stupid move, Tara.

I loved this book! Bekker is one creepy dude! And the ending … well, I don’t want to say too much, but I have a feeling that Bekker could possibly turn up in a future book! And whew, would that be interesting!!

I liked Lucas a lot better in this particular installment than I did in Shadow. My issue with that book was the womanizing … when he had a newborn and a woman he kept trying to propose marriage to. In this installment, he’s come back down to reality. He’s obviously spent some time in a serious depression. And this case somewhat snaps him out of it. I liked that we got to see Lucas a little bit vulnerable. And then we get to see him pulling himself back up and getting back on the right track.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. And I would highly recommend it. I think this series is just one that might be hit or miss. All series are like that to a point, some books are better than others. This particular book is better than the second in the series. But I’m definitely looking forward to getting to the fourth book.

And I’m kicking myself for letting the movers pack it up with all my other books! Boo!

2014.47 REVIEW – My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

My Sister’s Grave
by Robert Dugoni

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 408
Rating: 4/5
Read: Oct. 22 – Nov. 2, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 47
Format: Print
Source: TLC Book Tour
Series: N/A

My Sister's GraveBlurb: Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House – a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder – is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past – and open the door to deadly danger.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free in conjunction with a TLC Book tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

What a fun, thrilling read! This book really sucked me in from the very beginning and didn’t spit me back out until I had finished with it. I was so engrossed by the characters and the story that I never wanted to put it down.

I liked Tracy’s character. She’s strong. And likable. I find that to be a difficult combination for female lead characters. But Mr. Dugoni makes it work with Tracy. I hope we get to see more of her in the future!

The writing was excellent. The plot line was exciting. I think I may have found a new-to-me must-read author! I don’t know why I’ve never read anything by Mr. Dugoni before, but I’m definitely not going to let him get past me any longer.

The flashbacks really helped us get to know Sarah. And in my opinion without knowing Sarah, we wouldn’t understand who Tracy is. I thought it all flowed seamlessly. Sometimes flashbacks don’t work for me, but it was very well executed in this book.

I went back and forth trying to figure out the truth behind everything. And in the end I didn’t have it right. But all the guessing and back and forth kept me reading and practically dying to know what happened! I love books that keep me guessing until the very end!

Overall I can’t recommend this book enough. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


unnamedAbout the Author: Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed and New York Times-bestselling author of the David Sloane series: The Jury Master, Wrongful Death, Bodily Harm, Murder, and The ConvictionMurder One was a finalist for the Harper Lee Award for literary excellence. He is also the author of the bestselling standalone novel Damage Control, and the nonfiction work The Cyanide Canary.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Please be sure to check out the other stops on the tour:

Tuesday, November 4th: Crime Book Club

Tuesday, November 4th: Read Love Blog

Friday, November 7th: Not in Jersey

Monday, November 10th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage

Monday, November 10th: Psychotic State Book Reviews

Tuesday, November 11th: Mary’s Cup of Tea

Thursday, November 13th: Inside of a Dog

Thursday, November 13th: Lesa’s Book Critiques

Thursday, November 13th: Bibliotica

Monday, November 17th: Mystery Playground

Monday, November 17th: Red Headed Book Child

Tuesday, November 18th: Words by Webb

Wednesday, November 19th: Tales of a Book Addict

Friday, November 21st: Brooke Blogs

Monday, November 24th: A Bookworm’s World

Wednesday, November 26th: Patricia’s Wisdom

Date TBD: Simply Stacie

TBD: My Bookshelf

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2014.46 REVIEW – Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

Dead to the World
by Charlaine Harris

Copyright: 2004
Pages: 291
Rating: 4/5
Read: Oct. 25 – Nov. 1, 2014
Challenge: RIP IX
Yearly count: 46
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #4

Dead to the WorldBlurb: It’s not every day that you come across a naked man on the side of the road. That’s why cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse doesn’t just drive on by. Turns out the poor thing hasn’t a clue who he is, but Sookie does. It’s Eric the vampire – but now he’s a kinder, gentler Eric. And a scared Eric, because whoever took his memory now wants his life. Sookie’s investigation into who and why leads straight into a dangerous battle among witches, vampires, and werewolves. But a greater danger could be to Sookie’s heart – because this version of Eric is very difficult to resist…


Review: Paranormal is not normally my cup of tea, but for some reason I really enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse series. This book is another good installment, in my opinion.

What gets me every single time is just how much trouble Sookie manages to find herself in. And how she gets out of it is even more remarkable!

There’s not much that I could possibly say about this book that hasn’t been mentioned a gazillion times before.

I enjoyed it. And I would recommend this series to just about anyone.

A complication I never saw coming…

What I have to share today is extremely hard for me to write. But when I talk about it, I feel better. So I feel it’s best to share my story here.

When I announced my pregnancy on here about a week and a half ago, I never thought that I would end up in the hospital four days later.

With Garrett I had a pretty normal, somewhat textbook, pregnancy. The only “complication” I had was gestational diabetes … which was easily controlled with my diet.

Tuesday, November 4th, was a normal day for me. Election day. I got up, took Garrett to daycare, went to work, had a good, but busy, day. Went to pick Garrett up. Had a good drive home. And was on my way to go vote (Garrett was very excited to go vote, by the way!) …. only to start to feel extremely nauseous. And then I started to feel funny. I don’t know what made me look down, but I did. And thought I had peed my pants.

Oh, if only that had been what it was…

No, instead I was bleeding. A lot. So I turned the car around, called my husband, and headed straight for the hospital.

To shorten this extremely long story … I had a hematoma (fancy medical term for blood clot) behind the placenta. Luckily it had started to break up on its own. Unfortunately, because it was behind the placenta, we still do not know if it did any serious damage.

While in the hospital, I had two ultrasounds. Both showed a healthy bouncing baby with a heart rate of about 166. That is encouraging. What is tough is that there is no guarantee that the placenta hasn’t been separated at all. That could cause a miscarriage. At any time….

So I’ve been taking it pretty easy since getting out of the hospital. At first, I was so weak I did nothing but sleep. Now I’m feeling much better. But I’m still cautious. And taking it one day at a time.

Because at this point, that’s all I can do.

Why do some decisions suck?!

So as you already know, my family and I are packing up and leaving Kentucky to head back home to Illinois. We have had a wonderful 6 years here. We have celebrated every wedding anniversary we’ve ever had here, we bought our first home here, we welcomed our first child here. And in all this time I never considered it “home.”

But now that it’s time to leave … I find myself wondering if we’re making the right decision. Maybe it’s more “home” than I realized. And I’m having a really hard time with it.

When my husband first accepted his new job I was over the moon. I was finally getting what I had wanted for the past 6 years … a chance to go home. Then the reality set in. And we put our house on the market. Went searching for a new home in our new town. Found a new home, put in an offer and close on Dec. 5th. Sold our home and close here on Nov. 25th.

It’s real. It’s happening. And I’m heartbroken. And I shouldn’t be. Because this move is going to be the best thing that has ever happened to us. Ten years down the road we will look back fondly on our time in Paducah, but will know that we made the right decision. So why does it hurt so much right now?! Why?

Our families and friends are ecstatic that we’re coming back home. But both my husband and I are struggling with our decision. Was it too rash? Did he make the right choice for the right reason? I can’t help but think he didn’t. 

You see, there’s more to the whole story. I’m expecting baby #2. I’m due in May of 2015. And I KNOW that my pregnancy had a lot to do with my husband’s decision. Financially it’s a better deal. Realistically, we’re closer to family. We will have pretty easy access to a ton of babysitters. Something that we haven’t had here in Paducah.

So I have tremendous guilt that my husband is making this change because of my pregnancy. And I don’t want him to hate his new job. He likes his current job, he loves his coworkers. And his new job is completely different. He is a civil engineer. He worked hard to get his degree and then worked his tail off and studied for the Professional Engineering test and became a PE. That’s something that he wanted since the day I met him when we were 17. It’s what he always wanted. And now he’s leaving engineering, and probably for good. I mean how many people can truly say that they are working in their chosen field, actually utilizing their college degree for what it was meant for? (I know I sure can’t).

He has asked me numerous times in the past week or so if I was sure this was what I wanted. And I finally owned up to it and said that I truly didn’t know. I know it was a crushing blow to him. Because I know that he made this choice for me, thinking it was what I wanted and would make me happy. Which is exactly why I’m not happy about it .. because he’s doing it for me, not for him. And that is exactly what I had hoped to avoid.

All I can tell him is that sometimes decisions suck, but we have to be confident that when we look back on things, years from now, we will know that this decision, while the hardest, most gut-wrenching one of our lives, was the right one.

It just sucks right now.

2014.45 REVIEW – Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne

Angel Killer
by Andrew Mayne

Copyright: 2012, 2014
Pages: 353
Rating: 4/5
Read: Sept. 29 – Oct. 10, 2014
Challenge: RIP IX
Yearly count: 45
Format: Print
Source: TLC Book Tour
Series: Jessica Blackwood # 1

Angel KillerBlurb: FBI agent Jessica Blackwood believes she’s left her complicated life as a gifted magician behind her . . . until a killer with seemingly supernatural powers puts her talents to the ultimate test.

A hacker who identifies himself only as “Warlock” brings down the FBI’s website and posts a code in its place that leads to a Michigan cemetery, where a dead girl is discovered rising from the ground . . . as if she tried to crawl out of her own grave.

Born into a dynasty of illusionists, Jessica Blackwood is destined to become its next star—until she turns her back on her troubled family to begin a new life in law enforcement. But FBI consultant Dr. Jeffrey Ailes’s discovery of an old magic magazine will turn Jessica’s world upside down. Faced with a crime that appears beyond explanation, Ailes has nothing to lose—and everything to gain—by taking a chance on an agent raised in a world devoted to achieving the seemingly impossible.

The body in the cemetery is only the first in the Warlock’s series of dark miracles. Thrust into the media spotlight, with time ticking away until the next crime, can Jessica confront her past to stop a depraved killer? If she can’t, she may become his next victim.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free in conjunction with a TLC Book tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

I accepted this book for review with the reservation that I am not generally into magic. It just stretches my boundaries of what is believable. But there was something about the description that really drew me in … probably just the FBI aspect, to be honest.

Either way, I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to try this book. It worked. Really, really well, in my opinion. I found myself flying through the pages. There were a lot of twists and turns throughout the book that kept me guessing until the very end – and I never did have things figured out!

Jessica is a great character, but her self-doubting trait kind of got a little irritating at times. I like a little more confidence personally. And Damian – what a character! I don’t really know what else to say about that…

Overall, I definitely think this is the great start of a new series that I think will attract a very wide audience … magic lovers, mystery lovers, it’s just an all-around good book that I would definitely recommend!


Andrew MayneAbout the author: Andrew Mayne is the star of A&E’s magic reality show Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne, and has worked for David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, and David Blaine. He lives in Los Angeles.

Connect with him through his website, Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

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 Purchase Links

Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

Other tour stops:

Tuesday, September 23rd: Always With a Book

Wednesday, September 24th: Living in the Kitchen with Puppies

Thursday, September 25th: Priscilla and Her Books

Thursday, September 25th: Mysteries and My Musings – spotlight

Thursday, September 25th: Why Girls Are Weird

Monday, September 29th: From the TBR Pile

Monday, September 29th: Mysteries and My Musings – review

Wednesday, October 1st: The Road to Here

Friday, October 3rd: Not in Jersey

Monday, October 6th: BoundbyWords

Tuesday, October 7th: Ace and Hoser Blook

Wednesday, October 8th: Book Loving Hippo

Thursday, October 9th: Open Book Society

Monday, October 13th: Tales of a Book Addict

Tuesday, October 14th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Wednesday, October 15th: Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Wednesday, October 15th: A Bookworm’s World

Thursday, October 16th: Book Marks the Spot

Friday, October 17th: Girl Lost in a Book

Friday, October 24th: A Dream Within a Dream

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2014.44 REVIEW – Ryder by Nick Pengelley

Ryder
by Nick Pengelley

Copyright: 2013, 2014
Pages: 280
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: Sept. 23 – 28, 2014
Challenge: RIP IX
Yearly count: 44
Format: E-Book
Source: NetGalley via TLC Book Tour
Series: Ayesha Ryder #1

RyderBlurb: As Israeli and Palestinian leaders prepare to make a joint announcement at the Tower of London, an influential scholar is tortured and murdered in his well-appointed home in St. John’s Wood. Academic researcher Ayesha Ryder believes the killing is no coincidence. Sir Evelyn Montagu had unearthed shocking revelations about T. E. Lawrence—the famed Lawrence of Arabia. Could Montagu have been targeted because of his discoveries?

Ryder’s search for answers takes her back to her old life in the Middle East and into a lion’s den of killers and traitors. As she draws the attention of agents from both sides of the conflict, including detectives from Scotland Yard and MI5, Ryder stumbles deeper into Lawrence’s secrets, an astounding case of royal blackmail, even the search for the Bible’s lost Ark of the Covenant.

Every step of the way, the endgame grows more terrifying. But when an attack rocks London, the real players show their hand—and Ayesha Ryder is left holding the final piece of the puzzle.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free via NetGalley in conjunction with a TLC Book tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

When I was first pitched this book I was immediately intrigued. I love a good action adventure novel. What I didn’t realize was that this book would have a lot of references to the Middle East. I am not a very political person. In all honesty, I know very little about what goes on in that side of the world. So for me, this book was a little over my head in regards to everything Middle Eastern.

That being said, I still liked the book. Because I liked Ayesha’s character. I wanted her to succeed. There came a point in the book when someone who I thought was trustworthy did a total 360 on Ayesha. I actually gasped out loud. And from then on I was hooked. It was at that point when I went from being slightly intrigued by this book to being full-on, Ayesha-has-to-succeed-no-matter-what. There were so many twists and turns, but it was that one revelation that really turned the whole book around for me.

The writing was very good. The action was extremely well written. The storyline, while I personally found it somewhat hard to follow just because of my lack of Middle Eastern knowledge, was still easy enough to follow that I wasn’t completely lost. The characters were interesting (Lady Madrigal Carey! What. A. Character!)

Overall it’s definitely a good book, but not necessarily the easiest book to read just because of the Middle Eastern slant. But I’d definitely like to revisit Ayesha again in the future.

Recommended.


There is a GIVEAWAY included in this tour. For a chance to win a $25 gift card to the e-retailer of your choice AND a copy of Ryder, please CLICK HERE.


About the author: Nick Pengelley is the author of the political thriller Ryder. Australian by birth, he’s had careers in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom as a law professor, legal consultant, and analyst on Middle East politics, which is his passion. Pengelley lives in Toronto with his wife, Pamela.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-a-Million | Barnes & Noble

Other tour stops:

Monday, September 22nd: Bell, Book & Candle

Monday, September 22nd: Omnimystery News – guest post

Tuesday, September 23rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Wednesday, September 24th: D. L. Kamstra | Writing about Stories

Thursday, September 25th: From the TBR Pile

Monday, September 29th: Reading Reality

Tuesday, September 30th: Tales of a Book Addict

Wednesday, October 1st: Patricia’s Wisdom

Monday, October 6th: Crime Book Club

Tuesday, October 7th: Read Love Blog

Wednesday, October 8th: 2 Kids and Tired Books

Thursday, October 9th: Queen of All She Reads

Friday, October 10th: A Fantastical Librarian

Friday, October 10th: Mystery Playground – Drinks with Reads guest post

Monday, October 13th: By the Book Reviews

Tuesday, October 14th: the smitten word

Wednesday, October 15th: Dwell in Possibility

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