woensdag 16 april 2014

Jennifer Ashley – Feral Heat

Book 5.5 in the Shifters Unbound series, published March 18, 2014
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: nice

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From the author of Lone Wolf comes a paranormal romance about two lovers torn between ecstasy and savagery...
Jace Warden is sent to the Shiftertown in Austin to find a way to free all Shifters from their Collars. But pulling off the Collars can cause Shifters to go mad or kill them outright.
In Austin, Jace meets Deni Rowe, a wolf Shifter with troubles of her own - she was deliberately run down in the road, and while her body has healed, she still has episodes of total memory loss during which she retreats into her pure animal self.
Jace has never met anyone like Deni. Courageous and beautiful, she volunteers to help him test the Collar removal. And as Deni and Jace work together, they feel the mate bond begin. But can Jace help Deni believe she can heal enough to be anyone's true mate?

I really enjoyed cowboy wolf shifter Ellison in one of the previous books, and now his sister Deni finds a second chance at love. Her husband died years ago, and she is raising her two almost adult (in shifter years) sons, with the help of her brother Ellison. Deni was a vibrant woman, who loved nothing better than to drive her motor cycle and go all out. Until the day an evil Shifter hunter purposely ran her over. Deni was severely hurt, but she survived, only to have lost most of her control over her Wolf. At times she takes over, making Deni very aggressive and even attacking her own family.

When the book starts, Deni is tired of sitting at home when everyone is out to the Fight Club, and she decides to go as well. She knows it is a bad decision but she is tired of living like this. The pheromones and aggression at the fight club really trigger her wolf, and when she sees someone she intensely dislikes beat up an unknown shifter, she has to jump in and help.
Jace, a snow leopard, and son of the Las Vegas Shifter Town leader, is here on the request of Dylan and does not really need her help, but he sure appreciates it, and the beautiful woman she shifts into as well.

While the fight between Dylan and Ronan is going strong inside, Deni and Jace really hit it off outside, until the cops show up in force, and they will have to hide the evidence of the fighting quickly. Deni comes up with a smart excuse for them gathering in force outside their Shifter town, but now Jace really needs her to cover for him. He is illegally in their Shifter town, the cops cannot find out or he will be arrested and the others will get in trouble as well. He needs Deni to take him home, and as he acted drunk, she will have to drive his motorcycle. If only until they have enough distance between them and the cops. Being with Jace, who is a real alpha, soothes her inner wolf, and Deni manages to stay in control although she is terrified of driving a motorcycle again.

When Ellison finally gets home, he is not happy when a strange male shifter is sleeping on his couch, but it was the only solution for the moment. And that Jace is smelling of his sister certainly does not please him either. But Deni is capable of making her own decisions, and her brother has no say in that, even though he is the alpha wolf of their pack.

Dylan and his sons have been working on a way of getting rid of their hated collars, without the shifter in question going feral. And of course without the humans noticing that they no longer wear their collars. As Jace is still unmated he is willing to take the risk of experimenting with removing the collar, but it hurts like hell. Deni seems to be the only one to care for him, and wants them to stop. And Jace starts to believe that Deni is his mate. When the police keep raiding their town, Jace has to stay hidden in the Rowe’s secret underground lair, where Deni keeps him company when she is able to.

Has their romance a chance when Jace has to go back home before he is missed? And when it is very hard for a shifter to obtain permission to change Shifter towns?

As most of you know, I am a huge Jennifer Ashley fan, and so far I have loved everything she has written. I especially love this Shifter series, and think it is one of the most original and best series I have ever read. Feral Heat was a nice addition to the series, I enjoyed both Deni and Jace as our main characters.

Ever since her accident, Deni has trouble staying in control of her wolf, almost going feral at times. She is a strong alpha wolf herself, and not many male shifters outrank her, and are thus able to help stay in control. But Jace is stronger, and him touching her really does help her. And of course does other things to her …
I liked how after their initial encounter they don’t jump into bed together, but get some time to know each other, and have her children and brother get used to him as well. Still, the attraction between them is powerful and Jace is completely taken by surprise when his leopard threatens Dylan for touching Deni. She is his! Deni is compassionate, she loves her children, and after loosing one mate, she is not afraid of falling in love again and finding a new mate. She knows life can be short in their violent world.

Fionn the Fae, father of Andrea Morrissey, wife of Sean, also makes an appearance in this novella, helping in the removal of the collars, and in keeping Jace safe in Faery when there is no time to go back to the hidden saferooms. I really liked that, and how he truly loves his daughter.

One of the main things I like about this series, is that it is a very close community of shifters, and you see previous couples again and again, and stay up to date with what is happening with them. Like Olaf, the little orphaned bear cub, he is happy now. And Tiger has an important position as well.

I do recommend this series, and look forward to reading Wild Wolf soon.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 15 april 2014

Recommendations from Peggy for April 2014.

In order to bring some more variety to my blog, I have asked some of my bookish friends to tell about the books they have in the past month, and to give us a recommendation. Today’s post is made by Peggy from Belgium.


I have read 9 books in the past month, and the 3 books I enjoyed the most are:

1. Easy – Tammara Webber

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2. Down London Road – Samantha Young

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3. The gamble – Kristen Ashley

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The one I can recommend to all Aurian’s readers is:

Samantha Young – Down London Road

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Down London Road is the unmissable sensual sequel to On Dublin Street by bestselling author Samantha Young.

Johanna Walker knows what she wants. And that's a strong, steady, financially secure man who will treat her well and look after her and her little brother, Cole - something her parents have never done.
But when she meets the gorgeous Cameron MacCabe, a new bartender at work,

Jo can't deny the instant and undeniable attraction she feels. Cam doesn't fit into her strict specifications of her perfect partner at all - but for once she is tempted to let her heart rule her head.
And as their intense connection grows, Jo has to stop hiding the truth about herself and her family. Is Cam prepared to accept Jo for who she really is? And is Jo willing to let someone into her life for keeps?
Down London Road follows the lives of characters introduced in Samantha Young's bestselling romance prequel, On Dublin Street.

I really loved ‘Easy’ from Tammara Webber and I can’t wait to read ‘his’ side of the story. But in this review I want to talk about ‘Down London Road’ from Samantha Young. She is one of the writers who is coming to the Love Letter Convention in Berlin. This book is part of the ‘On Dublin street’ series.

Jo (as her friends call her) lives together with her younger brother and her alcoholic mother. Because of her mother ‘condition’ she’s the only one working and taking care of her younger brother. The only good thing her mother ever did was move away from her violent father.
The one person that is important to Jo and for whom she would do anything is her brother Cole. It’s for him that she works hard. She wants him to have a great life and for her, that means having a lot of money. So she dates rich (older) men in the hope that one day she has a rich husband who will take care of her and her brother. And that’s how in the first book of the series we get to know her, as a young woman desperate looking for a rich man.

In this book we get to know a different Jo, someone who is warm and caring but with low self-esteem. When Cam and Jo first meet, they’re both in a relationship with someone else. There is an attraction between them but for different reasons Jo and Cam are fighting it.
Cam isn’t her type of man. He’s young, has several tattoos and isn’t rich but there is something there. But nothing can happen because she’s in a relationship with a good and rich man and everything is going well. Her dream of finding a rich husband is closer than ever. So she ignores her feelings for Cam. What isn’t hard to do because Cam is convinced that she’s a gold digger and behave really badly. Then things get more complicated when first he is the new bartender at work and second when he moves in the apartment under her. Slowly they get to know each other more and more. Cam is the only man who gets to know her family and the real Jo. Because before him none of the men in her life ever met her family, or got through her walls and heart. So now she has to decide what path to follow, will she choose her heart or her plan?

We meet Jo in the first book of the series. But in that book she didn’t do anything to me, so when I started to read this book my expectations weren’t high but luckily I was wrong. In this book we really get to know her and I must confess that I liked her. Although they both had a partner at the beginning of the story, it didn’t bother me at all. Usually I don’t like it but here it was part of the story.
I really enjoyed this story. I like Jo, Cam and her younger brother Cole and all their friends (old and new). I find it the best of the series so far. So I can’t wait to read the next one of this series.

Aurian: Thanks for the recommendation Peggy! At this moment I am not sure I will read her books in time for Berlin, but I know Maia has bought some.

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 14 april 2014

Heather Graham – The Seance

The fourth book in the Harrison Investigation series, published October 1, 2007
Genre: paranormal romantic suspense
Cover: creepy

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Haunted and Ghost Walk comes a new spine-tingling story from beyond the grave
A chill falls over Christina Hardy's housewarming party when talk turns to a recent murder that has all the hallmarks of the so-called "Interstate-Killer" murders from fifteen years before. To lighten the mood, the guests drag out an old Ouija board for a little spooky fun . . . and that's when things become truly terrifying.
Summoned by the Ouija board, the restless spirit of Beau Kidd, the lead detective -- and chief suspect -- on the original case, seeks Christina's help: the latest killings aren't copycat crimes, and he wants his name cleared. Back in the real world, cop-turned-writer Jett Braden is skeptical of Christina's ghostly encounters, but his police sources confirm all the intimate details of the case -- her otherworldly source is reliable, and the body count is growing.
The spirits are right. The Interstate Killer is still out there, and Christina's life is hanging in the balance between this world and the next.

As a little girl Christy saw her grandfather’s ghost after he died, but her mother convinced her it was not true, and when her grandmother told her seeing the dead was dangerous, she managed to close that window in her head, and started to believe it was only a dream …
But now her parents and her grandmother are dead as well, and she has inherited her grandparents house. As Christina works from home, she is a composer of catchy advertising jingles, she has decided not to sell the beloved house of her childhood, but to move into it. Even though it is worth a fortune in the current market.

Her best friend Ana lives close by, and she is ecstatic that Christy has come back home. She even talked her into having a housewarming party even though the house is still filled with boxes. But there will only be a few people at the party, Christy’s two cousins, who are her only living relatives left, Dan and Mike, her new neighbours and Ana and perhaps Ana’s cousin Jed. And the guy Christy had a huge crush on back then. Of course he never noticed her other than as Ana’s little friend.

The bad news of the day, is that a woman has been found murdered near the interstate. Is the Interstate killer back, or is this a copycat at work? The case was closed 12 years ago, when the main suspect, one of the investigating cops himself, was shot over the corpse of the last victim. As Beau Kidd was dead, there was no court case at all; he was condemned by public opinion alone and circumstantial evidence. And his family with him.

When Ana spots Christy’s old Ouija board in one of the boxes in the living room, she is determined to have a séance, ask the ghosts something. But when they really do get an answer, they are totally spooked when it tells them he is Beau Kidd … And that is when Jed arrives …

Jed quit the police force many years ago, he is now a private investigator slash author, he even wrote a fiction book about the Interstate Killer, never mentioning names, but he was convinced that Beau was the killer. But now, witnessing the autopsy with his former partner, he is not so sure anymore they “got” the killer back then. So he is not in the best of moods when he finally gets to Christy’s house. And when he hears a scream inside, and finds out they were playing with the Ouija Board, he is not smiling. He really does not believe in anything to do with ghosts or the supernatural. There is always a logical explanation.

When they all finally leave, after warning Christy again to be careful, as she matches the killer’s ideal victim perfectly, she suddenly feels no longer safe in her own home. And when a stranger appears at the foot of her bed in the middle of the night, she completely freaks out and flees the night. It can’t be happening, Beau Kidd cannot be really haunting her!

But apparently they made a connection 12 years ago, when a little girl shared a flower from her beloved grandfather’s coffin with the other small grieving family nearby, at which happened to be Beau Kidd’s funeral. And now, Beau needs help in clearing his name, and keeping his little sister safe. She also fits the murderer’s victim profile …

It takes a while for Christy to stop fainting when she sees Beau, she even adopts a cute little dog named Killer for her own protection. And when she sees Killer happily interacting with the ghost, she knows she is not going crazy after all. Her best friend Guinevieve had a scary adventure a few weeks ago as well, and she hooks Christy up with Adam Harrison, to help her communicate with Beau and find out more.

Jed is very protective of Christy, and they become lovers, and he is not happy with the presence of Adam and the others in Christy’s house. He quickly finds out that Adam is the real deal, but he still does not believe in ghosts and refuses to believe Christy when she tells him things Beau has revealed to her.

But who will find the killer first, the police, the FBI, or Christy? The killer does not take it easy either, more victims are being found.

Another great book in an amazing series. I loved it, but now I am reading them close together, the heroes are a bit all the same. Denying there are ghosts, refusing to believe the heroine and still wanting to protect her and of course sleep with her. Distrusting Adam and his motives even when told by the “powers that be” that he is genuine. I am getting a bit fed up with this type of hero, the unbeliever who knows better.
Still, I enjoyed the story very much, and of course Christy. Christy is a strong woman, she has lost so many loved ones already, but she does not give up on living. She is good at her job, and finds joy in her music. At first she really does not believe in ghosts either, but the memories slowly resurface, and she just knows when someone has been in her house, messing with her things. But who has ever heard of a ghost making her coffee?

I liked the cast of secondary characters a lot as well. Jed and Ana, Mike and Daniel, Jed’s old partner who keeps him fully up to date in the police investigation. And Beau’s younger sister who hires Jed to find out who the real killer is and clear her brother’s name.
They live in Orlando, in a city with lots of theme parks, which means many people work in the entertainment industry, and so do Christy’s two cousins. One is a screenwriter, the other an actor. It makes for a nice background for the story, as “the gang” visits the various entertainments.

Again Heather Graham manages to make me very suspicious of one of the people close to Christy, but the truth was much more creepy and evil. I really never suspected that.

So, a great story, a ghost to love, a sweet little doggy named Killer, great characters, a mystery and a love story. What more do I need in my books? I highly recommend this author if you like your romantic suspense with a serving of ghosts.

9 stars.

Autobuy author
Love this book

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 13 april 2014

Guestpost by author Duffy Brown

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I really love the Consignment Shop cozy mysteries by Duffy Brown, so when she offered to do a guestpost for me, I jumped at the chance. I love everything Southern, and her books are so much fun to read. So, take the test Duffy has made for us, and tell me what you are. Sadly, I am neither …

Southern Belle or Northern Deb? Which are you?

Granola or Grits…Big hair or Flat…Pearls or Beads

I live in Cincinnati, right on the border of granola and grits. The Ohio River is not very wide I mean people swim across the thing...usually after a few beers but that’s another blog.

On the south side of the Ohio River sushi is and always will be bait and granola is squirrel food. On the north side if you order sweet tea they toss you a packet of sweet-and-low. I don’t have big hair but I use hairspray, I love sweet tea and pork is the food of the gods but it has to be free-range pork where they treat the piggies nice.

So, am I North or South? The reason this is important, is my Consignment Shop mysteries are set in the South, so what part of my life goes into to the story and what gets ditched? I made a checklist to find out want part of me was Belle and what part was Deb.

So my question is... Who are you? Are you a Deb or a Belle?

-Do you never wear white after Labor Day or before Easter or do you go by the weather?

-Do you own a strand of real pearls and wear them with pride or are you into beads?

-Do you drink sweet tea and love it when they have it on the menu or do you order Coke Zero?

-A part of you truly believes in damn Yankees or are the Yankees the baseball team in NYC?

-Civil War? What Civil War? That there was the unfortunate Northern Aggression!

-Do you have Lee as part of your name or your children’s name or is it Kaitlin?

-Are GWTW and Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes, Something to Talk About your favorite movies and do you recognize all the places or are you a Sex and the City girl and watch The Wire?

-Do you have a tiara hidden in your panty drawer? Do you know how to twirl a baton, or do you have a hockey stick in the closet beside your down coat?

-Do you have a dad or a daddy?

-Do you have an umbrella that looks a bit like a parasol or a North Face rain jacket?

-Does the term red-eye go with gravy or taking a picture?

-Biscuits from the bakery or from you grandma’s cookbook?

-Prime real estate is NYC or the mall, country club and the beauty salon?

-White gloves or black leather?

-Southern Living or Martha Stewart?

-Shorts or sundresses?

-Pineapple doorknocker or lion’s head?

-Mind your business or mind your manners?

-Follow NFL or NASCAR?

-Drive a hard bargain or drive an SUV?

So, how do you measure up? Is a part of you a Southern Belle? Part of you Northern Deb? All of one or the other? Do you know someone who is?

I am definitely a closet Southern Belle! I do make fried chicken and bathtub gravy. That’s what my kids call my cream gravy because they could eat a bathtub full of it. I do make my own pies, have white gloves, crab at my kids if they don’t mind their manners, buy extra-hold hair spray, subscribe to Southern Living, have a fancy umbrella that I’ve been known to twirl from time to time and I do know how to twirl a baton for real. I even took lessons and still have the baton!
On the Southern Belle scale I’m about a 7. Well, maybe an 8. Guess that’s why I wanted to write a book and set it in Savannah. What is your Southern Belle Score? Your Deb score?

Ya’ll have a good day now, ya’ hear.

Hugs, Duffy Brown

Thanks Duffy! I really enjoyed reading this. You can find my reviews of Duffy’s books here:

Iced Chiffon: book 1

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Killer in Crinolines: book 2

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Pearls and Poison: book 3

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And that is not all folks, Duffy is so kind as to give away two Pearls and Poison totes to two lucky commenters on this blog. Be sure to leave your email address if I don’t know you already. And Duffy will also send Pearls and Poison swag to anyone who wants it, if they email her at: DuffyBrown at DuffyBrown dot com
I have a tote bag for Killer in Crinolines, and I love it, and use it almost daily.

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Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While other girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She has two cats, Spooky and Dr. Watson, and conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime.

Iced Chiffon, out October, 2012, is the first book in the Consignment: Murder series. Duffy writes romance as Dianne Castell, is a USA Today bestselling author, won Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, HOLT-Medallion Award, has been on the cover of Romantic Times Magazine and the Waldenbooks Bestseller list.

Ya’ll can find Duffy here:
Website: DuffyBrown
Facebook: here
Twitter: Twitter

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 12 april 2014

Celia Kyle - No ifs, Ands or Bears about it

The first book in the Grayslake series, published December 23, 2013.
Genre: sexy paranormal romance
Cover: nice

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The first day of Mia's new life in Grayslake, Georgia is not going as planned. The house her grandfather left her looks ready to crumble, boxes cover every inch of the floor and - oh - there's a bear cub in her pantry. It gets worse when the cub's uncle comes by and busts out his fur and claws while on her front porch. Then it gets loads better because suddenly there's a hot hunk of badge-wearing werebear on her lawn ready to rescue her. Yum. Of course, he has to ruin things by trying to take the cub out of her hands. Ha! The cub is hers... No ifs, ands, or bears about it.
Werebear Ty can't seem to get the curvaceous, delectable Mia to understand that, even if she is one-quarter werebear, she isn't keeping the cub. Ty is the Grayslake Itan, the clan's leader, and the little werebear is going home with him... Unless it isn't. It's her smile. If she'd stop smiling and being gorgeous, his inner-bear would support him and Ty would get his way. But the beast wants to make their woman happy, so it's perfectly content to let her do as she pleases. Then things change. Threats arise, danger comes close, and Ty demands she return to his den. No ifs, ands, or mates about that.

My second Celia Kyle novella, and I really enjoyed it. Her writing style is fluent and fast and I love her humor. Yes, there are some hot love scenes in it, but not as much as in the first one I read, more of a story this time.
Mia is thirty-three, single, graphic designer and wannabe web programmer and part Bear shifter, but she is not able to shift. Her Grandfather and father could, and she was fascinated by it. Now her beloved grandfather has died, and she has inherited his old house in Grayslake, Georgia. She knows she is in werebear country, but she does not expect trouble. Of course, her grandfather is not with her now …

The trouble starts when she finds a terrified bear cub in her pantry, and an aggressive drunken male werebear demands she gives him over. Mia refuses flat out, the little bear is terrified of this man and she has no intention to give him up. He is hers already, and the man is destroying her beloved house! Her favourite window has already cracked, and she is thoroughly pissed of.
Someone has called the police, and they take the man away. One of the officers is the werebear’s Itan, their alpha, and he is really interested in this strange human woman in his town. Of course, he can’t let her have the cub, he will have to go to social services if they can’t find a relative. But when Ty sees the cubs many bruises, he is outraged! Cubs are to be cherished and protected, and he will just take Mia and the little Parker to the den and take care of them. His bear approves of Mia and wants to take her for himself.

Mia doesn’t really want to leave her new house, but she also doesn’t want to give up Parker to a bunch of strangers, and so she agrees to come home with Ty. But that does not mean she will share his bedroom with him! Ty thinks it is a done deal, and if she does not want to sleep in his bed, he will just join her in hers. To sleep together, he needs to keep her protected. And Mia quickly gets used to his presence in her bed. But even though he calls her his Itana, he will have to court her first.

When her father arrives to check up on her and Ty, she learns a lot about herself, her mother and her family, she never knew. She is sad by what happened, but Parker is her cousin, and she is his closest relative, apart from their evil grandfather. Who is the Itan of another clan and city. The bad people have a reason for wanting Parker dead, and Mia will do whatever it takes to keep him safe, and so do Ty and his brothers.

But there are traitors amongst them, and they have a nasty fight on their hands…

I enjoyed this story a lot. I have a weakness for bear shifters, and I adored little Parker. He is missing his parents, his uncle tries to kill him, and now he has found a new home in Mia’s loving arms. Mia is very caring and thanks to her previous boyfriend, not very sure about her own looks. But Ty and his bear like her just fine the way she is, and try to convince her of that. Mia misses her grandfather and father, but she loves Parker instantly, and is very attracted to the handsome Itan. Still, she manages to hold of on having sex with him immediately, and for that I do admire her.
Ty is convinced Mia is his mate, his Itana, and starts calling her that, demanding respect from his brothers and other clan members. Still, he does not really treat Mia as his equal, not telling her the things he learns concerning Parkers safety, and I did not like that about him. Of course he does get what he deserves when she walks out on him, and he has to grovel a fair bit to get back in her good graces. I enjoyed that.

The sparks really fly of the page between them, but the intrigue was very well written, especially when the evil grandfather himself arrives to take Parker away from them. The fight with the hyena’s, the possible treaty with the wolves, all nice set ups for the rest of the series.

Recommended little novella, it really felt like a complete story while most often I complain that I want more.

8 stars.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 11 april 2014

Lisa Lutz – The Spellman Files

The first book in the Izzy Spellman Mysteries series, published March 12, 2008
Genre: not sure, chick lit mystery?
Cover: my book has a different cover, I prefer this one.

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Izzy Spellman is 28, single and works for Spellman Investigations, a family–run private detective agency. She might have a chequered past, littered with romantic mistakes – but at least she’s good at her job. Invading people’s privacy comes naturally. To the whole family. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman, sabotage a Spellman+ dig up dirt on, blackmail and wiretap a Spellman.
But when Izzy’s parents hire her 14–year old sister to discover the identity of her new boyfriend, Izzy snaps. She wants out. Her parents make her a deal: solve one last case and her employment contract with Spellman Inc will be terminated. Trouble is, the Snow case is decades old, ice–cold and more twisted than a pretzel.

Melliane from the Between Dreams and Reality blog loves this series, and she writes very enthusiastic reviews about the books. So I was excited when I finally got my hands on the first book in the series and could start reading it. Unfortunately, I did not like it nearly as much as she does.
The book is written in a kind of diary form, and that is not something I enjoy reading very much. It is supposed to be very humorous, but that is not how I took it all, it is really a battle between all the family members for the things they want and I found it a sad thing.
You have the Spellman parents, private investigators. The oldest son David is super perfect and he can do no wrong. He is brilliant, polite and follows the rules.
Izzy is the second child and very early on she realized she could not compete with David, so she went completely bad girl. Vandalism, petty theft, drinking and doing drugs, you name it. Still, she has worked for her parents since she was little, and she likes it. But when her parents start investigating her, and her new boyfriend, she has had enough. She wants out.

Then there is her uncle Ray, who used to be a cop like her father, doing everything healthy until he got cancer and miraculously survived it. Sensing being good as being pointless, he then embraced all the vices, like smoking, drinking, gambling and whoring. All while wearing his lucky shirt.
The third child is Rae, named after her uncle when he was supposed to die. Which he didn’t. She doesn’t like it when Uncle Ray moves in, as he takes over a big part of her job! And she loves working with her parents and her big sister.
So there is war between Ray and Rae, and well, it went ugly at times.

Izzy’s parents agree to let her leave the firm if she will handle one more case. A cold one. And Izzy agrees, and stubbornly sets out to investigate. But she opens old wounds and her parents are being threatened with a lawsuit if she does not stop. And now Izzy refuses to stop, she feels like she can solve this case of the missing Snow brother.

So of course you can think this is al fun and games, but that was just not how it came over on me. I admit that I don’t have a very good relationship with my family myself, but the Spellman family sure is dysfunctional. They spy on each other, get the others in trouble, destroy their property and what not. They all want to win what they are after, they manipulate, blackmail etcetera. From the little Rae to the parents. And when Izzy finally gets her freedom from her parents, she realizes there is nothing else she is capable of doing, and she loves her job. And without money of her own, she has no choice but to go back to them.
The little Rae is really bad and spoiled, and she gets away with so many things, it is horrible. Uncle Ray is certainly no role model and the perfect brother David is being used by all his family members.

I did like how Izzy tries to make herself better, especially when she notices that Rae is copying her bad habits, but she is also extremely hard-handed with her little sister at times. I did not like that at all.

The Snow case was interesting, and I was completely wrong in my assumptions. But it did not safe the book for me. I do have two other books in this series, and I am really not sure if I will read them. Perhaps when I have forgotten my thoughts and feelings about this book.

But if you want a completely different opinion, read Melliane’s review of the fourth book here: http://www.betweendandr.com/2013/06/25/the-spellmans-strike-again-by-lisa-lutz/

5 stars out of 10.

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 10 april 2014

Robin D. Owens – Ghost Seer

The first book in the Ghost Seer series, published April 1, 2014.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: nice, but she does not dress like that at all.

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There's just something about Clare. Apart from the ghosts...
When her eccentric aunt passes away, no-nonsense accountant Clare Cermac inherits more than just a small fortune. She receives the gift of communicating with ghosts. While Clare may not believe in spirits, it's hard to overlook the shadowy talking dog appearing on her bed or spectral cowboys tipping their hats to her in the streets of Denver. And when she locks eyes with sexy - and living - Zach Slade, there's certainly no ignoring him either.
A former deputy sheriff, Zach is leaving a painful past behind in Montana for a new life in Denver as a private investigator, a job that has him crossing paths with beautiful Clare. Not that she minds. After the restless ghost of a Wild West gunman demands her assistance, Clare finds herself needing Zach more and more - and not just for help.

I love Robin D. Owens Celta series very much, and when I found out she had a new series coming out, urban fantasy this time instead of fantasy romance, I hit that pre-order button as soon as possible. So when the book fell on my doormat, I read it the same day.

Clare has just inherited a small fortune from her aunt Rachel, and she has just quit her job. After all, she doesn’t need to work for her money anymore, and someone else might really need the job. She really did love her job, so it is a hard thing to do, and her bosses are sorry to see her go.
What she did not count on inheriting, are her aunts powers to communicate with ghosts, in order to help them solve problems in their pasts, so they can move on. Having the ghost of her aunt’s dog Enzo visiting her, makes Clare doubt her own sanity. Especially when a ghostly cowboy visits her as well, claiming she is the only one who can help her, and the time is just right. Clare is terrified, and so extremely cold. Clare even goes to see a psychiatrist, but does not really have faith in the man. Being submitted or drugged is not an option for her. And so she sets out to research the ghost who is visiting her, demanding her help. The infamous Jack Slade needs her help to right a wrong he committed. The history books are all wrong, he did not kill the man they say he did, nor did he rob his own boss and stole a major transport of gold meant to pay soldiers.

Meanwhile, ex-cop Zachary Slade needs to start his life over, when he has become unfit for active duty when he was shot on the job. He has a bum leg and foot now, and he refuses a desk job. His severance pay is enough for him to live on comfortably, but he does not have the intention of lazing about for the rest of his life. Still, the idea of going into the private sector does not sit well with him, being hired by those who can afford to instead of serving those who really need him.
But his former sheriff hands him the card of a friend of his, who runs a private investigating company in Denver, and he reluctantly agrees to go see the man.

And then the paths of Zach and Clare cross, after Zach has gotten a new job, and has a nice and cheap apartment thrown into his lap. He is still so very angry about what happened to him, and his new disability. But he likes Clare, and certainly wants to see more of her.

Clare has to believe in her gift, and accept it, or she will die. She has no appetite whatsoever, and is always feeling so cold. Her aunt wearing so many layers and shawls suddenly makes sense to her. And if she does accept her gift, and refuses to help the ghosts who come to her, she will go mad. But if she does help them, she will be rewarded. Her aunt did earn her fortune, and her own parents are living of the fortune and old uncle who had the gift before her aunt Rachel, amassed.

But the more Clare starts to believe, the more Zach refutes it. He does not believe in ghosts, even though other people do think he has a gift himself. And he certainly has strange and creepy encounters with crows …
But ghosts are not the only danger for Clare, someone thinks she is on the trail of the hidden treasure that Jack Slade supposedly stole, and he wants it. He will do whatever it takes to get his hands on it and he won’t take no for an answer …

I really liked the story in this book a lot, and Clare. She was a wonderful heroine, refusing to believe in it all immediately, doing her best to find out what was wrong with her. But when she finally accepted her gift, she went of it, helping ghosts and taking risks. Clare came over as a bit lonely, no real contact with her globetrotting parents and only a distant bond with her brother and his family. She does not really have friends to confide in.
And then she met Zach, and things hit off between them. He does come to her rescue when necessary, but he also refuses to believe in ghosts. Even when he sees enough of her world to prevent a bank robbery in progress.

I had a lot of trouble with liking Zach much. He was kind of whining about his disability, and not being able to be a cop anymore. He was still alive, he had enough money, a brand new job and a great apartment and two old ladies who spoiled him. I had the feeling that he took advantage of what people wanted to do for him, without giving back the same effort. Like truly investigating his landlady’s case, or supporting Clare. He was stubborn, and only towards the end of the book did he realize it about himself. But by then he was losing Clare, and that opened his eyes. I really liked that Clare stood up for herself and totally kicked him out of her house and her life.

The book is told from both points of view, Clare and Zach. I do prefer one point of view, but it worked in this book. I really like the worldbuilding, and the story behind the ghost business. Clare can only see and help the ghosts in a certain time period, which is a good thing or she would grow mad.

The bad guy in this book is a total psychopath, and I was glad that Clare got out of his hands on her own. I liked Enzo, how he tried and tried to make Clare see the truth of his words, and help her out. The different ghost stories are intriguing, and when Clare finally decided to embrace it, she totally went for it. It made her feel better immediately, but the ghosts still freeze her when they touch her.

The book has a lot of good things in it, and I really look forward to reading the next book. I think Zach has learned his lesson and will be a better hero in the next book. And I am also happy that he does not move in with Clare in her new dream house immediately, but that they will take some time to learn each other.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian