Book Review ~ The Good Samaritan by John Marrs

Book: The Good Samaritan

Author: John Marrs

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Psychological

Release: Thomas & Mercer | April 12, 2018

She’s a friendly voice on the phone. But can you trust her?

The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life is worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn’t want them to hope. She wants them to die.

Laura hasn’t had it easy: she’s survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn’t love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it.

But now someone’s on to her—Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together?

The sinister truth is within Ryan’s grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to…

Because the best thing about being a Good Samaritan is that you can get away with murder.

Give me all the stars to give this exquisite psychological thriller. This mind bending, clusterfuck of a novel. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a story like this one, and truth be told, I’m not even sure if I’d still gone ahead and read it if I knew what I was getting myself into. But who cares? Because I’ve read it, and it was brilliant. Shocking, disturbing, intriguing, sad, so so sad, but most definitely worth it.

I wasn’t exaggerating when I said this book was sad. The underlying emotion in the story was sadness. It was everywhere. In the way Laura thought so dismissively about her ‘candidates’, the people she chose to ‘help’, in the way Ryan was so desperate and cornered about his wife’s apparent suicide, and in the general tone of everything that happened around these two messed up people.

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Book Review ~ Jordan Reclaimed by Scarlett Cole

Book: Jordan Reclaimed (Preload #1)

Author: Scarlett Cole

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release: Swerve | February 28, 2017

He’s a rockstar, she’s a ballerina, they’re worlds apart yet just what the other needs.

Jordan Steele’s life began when he was ten. When he was taken from his parents and a house that was never a home. When he met his brothers, the other lost and abandoned boys in his group home. When he learned what friendship and family and love looked like.

Now he’s made a career out of playing the music he loves, touring the world with the band he and his brothers formed in that crowded group home. No one but his found family really knows the man under the fame and fortune, the scars he hides behind the rockstar lifestyle. Until he sees her through the windows of the National Ballet, dancing, and suddenly the world doesn’t seem so dark.

Aleksandra Artemov ticks all the ballet boxes. Father a legendary Kirov dancer. Check. Prepping since birth for classical ballet. Check. Compulsive control over the food she eats. Check. Principal dancer at The National Ballet of Canada. Check. But what she craves is freedom.

She craves Jordan.

Everything about him should terrify her. His size, his tattoos, his hard rock edge. But he doesn’t. He stirs her very soul. Jordan has nothing but himself to offer her, and he’s never been good enough for anyone. Can he figure out how to face his own demons before he loses his light for good?

I don’t know if you’re familiar with Scarlett Cole’s writing, but if you’re not, I suggest you start making that happen. I met with her characters first in her Second Circle Series, and then it was one big case of inseparable love. It was about a group of people who had a tattoo parlor. JORDAN RECLAIMED is the first book of the spin-off series that I’ve anxiously been waiting for because I wished for it. Badly. Preload series is about the members of a metal band, guys who come from foster care, and ever since I met them, I’ve been wishing for books of their own.

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Book Review ~ Punishment by Scott J. Holliday

Book: Punishment (Detective Barnes #1)

Author: Scott J. Holliday

Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller, Mystery

Release: Thomas & Mercer | July 31, 2018

Do you want to know what it’s like to die, to kill, to really fear for your life? Then get hooked…

Detroit-based homicide detective John Barnes has seen it all—literally. Thanks to a technologically advanced machine, detectives have access to the memories of the living, the dying, and the recently dead. But extracting victims’ experiences firsthand and personally reliving everything up to the final, brutal moments of their lives—the sights, the sounds, the scents, the pain—is also the punishment reserved for the criminals themselves.

Barnes has had enough. Enough of the memories that aren’t his. Enough of the horror. Enough of the voices inside his head that were never meant to take root…until a masked serial killer known as Calavera strikes a little too close to home.

Now, with Calavera on the loose, Barnes is ready to reconnect, risking his life—and his sanity. Because in the mind of this serial killer, there is one secret even Barnes has yet to see…

PUNISHMENT by Scott J. Holliday was a book that I’ve been meaning to read for a while. While the cover was what got my attention in the first place, it was the plot that sealed the deal for me. A futuristic story where a machine is invented to extract people’s memories? Yes please. Kinda like what they did in Harry Potter-which I always found so cool, what with them extracting their memories to store and live through again later- but more sci-fi, and with the receiver actually living as the owner of the memory rather than witnessing it like they did in Harry Potter.

Interesting so far? There’s more.

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Book Review ~ Cut and Run by Mary Burton

Book: Cut and Run

Author: Mary Burton

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release: Montlake Romance | October 9, 2018

Twin sisters separated by the past are reunited by unspeakable crimes in New York Times bestselling author Mary Burton’s throat-clutching novel of suspense…

Trauma victims are not new to medical examiner Faith McIntyre, but this one is different. The unconscious woman clinging to life after a hit and run is FBI agent Macy Crow. What the woman from Quantico was doing in a dark alley after midnight is just one mystery. The other is more unsettling: Macy is Faith’s mirror image—the twin sister she never knew she had.

Faith knew that she was adopted, but now she’s finding that her childhood concealed other secrets. Following the trail of clues Macy left behind, Faith and Texas Ranger Mitchell Hayden make a shocking discovery on an isolated country ranch—a burial ground for three women who disappeared thirty years before.

They weren’t the only victims in a killer’s twisted plot. And they won’t be the last.

As the missing pieces of Faith’s and Macy’s dark lives snap into place, Faith is becoming more terrified by what she sees—and by what she must do to save her sister and herself from the past.

I’m fairly new to the romantic suspense genre, a fact that still amazes me because it has the two things that I love reading about, romance and a thrilling case to solve. And Mary Burton’s CUT AND RUN ticks all my favorites boxes that I just mentioned. A sexy romance that slowly but surely builds? Check. A murder case that interests and begs you to dig it deeper? Check. So you see, I easily read through this one.

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Book Review ~ Up In Flames by Jennifer Blackwood

Book: Up in Flames (Flirting with Fire #2)

Author: Jennifer Blackwood

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release: Montlake Romance | October 9, 2018

It takes one little spark for enemies to ignite into lovers in a searing-hot novel by USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Blackwood.

Sloane Garcia has butted heads with Reece Jenkins ever since he was a colossal jerk of epic proportions on a night she’d rather forget. So what if he’s overconfident, ultramasculine, and hard muscled? When she finds out he’s on the auction block at the annual firefighter’s charity event, she decides to give this cocky firefighter a dose of his own medicine. Now that she’s won the hunk, he’s on call—to do whatever Sloane wants.

Sure, Reece and Sloane had a rocky start, but he had his reasons. None of that matters now that he’s the bachelor at her beck and call, tasked with granting her four wishes in four weeks. He runs into burning buildings for a living, but nothing will be as tough as dousing the flames Sloane ignites in him. What started out as just a game might end up with Reece losing the one thing he swore he’d never give up: his heart.

Jennifer Blackwood’s second book in her Flirting With Fire series was surely a pleasant read for me. Just like the first book of the series, BURNING UP, UP IN FLAMES was most fun at the misfortune of the two protagonists. Well, mostly the hero, Reece, because he had to volunteer in a firefighter for charity, and his long time friend/recent arch enemy-for reasons relayed to us at the beginning- buys his time for a good amount of money. You know, for charity. Not at all to torture him for the duration of one month that’s supposed to take for him to complete four chores in total for whoever pays the highest.

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