Review: Eyes on You

Review: Eyes on YouEyes on You (Blasphemy, #2.5) by Laura Kaye
Series: Blasphemy #2.5
Published by Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated on July 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION:  Enjoyable novella which is not deep, but fun and the personalities of the main characters made this a novella that I really enjoyed as Liv discovers herself.

THE STORY:  Olivia Foster is on the blind date from hell when she meets Wolf Henrikson who “rescues” her from her boorish date.  Fireworks explode when Liv and Wolf meet as they seem to recognize one another. Liv is a woman who has fantasies of being an exhibitionist and Wolf is interested in voyeurism and public sex as well.  These two strangers quickly find that their complementary sexual interests might lead to something more.

OPINION:  This is a short novella.  Despite this, I really liked the development of the relationship between Wolf and Liv.  The story progresses quickly but I really felt that these characters had a connection.  The story was very, very sexy and was different than the other books in the series because of the particular kink the two share.

Liv is a woman coming into her own.  Having been told by her ex-fiance that what she desires sexually is not “normal”, she finds freedom in her relationship with Wolf.  I liked the fun interaction between these two as they work through the particular details of their relationship.

The story is quick and thus doesn’t go deep into the psyches of these characters, but I thought it was a fun read.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book has public sex (but only two participants).

CONNECTED BOOKS:  EYES ON YOU is book 2.5 of the Blasphemy series about the owners of a BDSM sex club.  While there are overlapping characters, this book can be read on its own.

STAR RATING:  I give this novella 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: Mastering Her Senses

Review: Mastering Her SensesMastering Her Senses (Blasphemy, #2) by Laura Kaye
Series: Blasphemy #2
Published by Laura Kaye on February 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION:  I liked these characters and they had a real hot read. My only complaint was the short length of the story combined with the emphasis on the sexual encounters between them left the emotional part of the story more superficial.  I enjoyed the book.

THE STORY:  Cassia Locke has developed a phobia of the dark after an accident.  She comes to Blasphemy to try and work through her fear. She ends up reconnecting with Blasphemy co-owner Quinton Ross.  Quinton is a dominant who specializes in sensory deprivation.  Several years ago, Cassia stood Quinton up.  Their attraction, however, hasn’t lessened in the interim. Now Quinton is willing to help Cassia overcome her phobia.

OPINION:  This was an enjoyable story, but the lack of emotional journey for the characters means that it isn’t one that I will think to pick up again.  There are some books that I enjoy without becoming connected to the story or the characters.  This was a book that engaged me while I read it, but I thought the relationship between Cassia and Quinton was too superficial for me to want to take their journey again.

Cassia and Quinton have a hot relationship. I really liked that the book focuses on Cassia and her phobia and her journey to finding peace again.  (One thing I would have liked would have been some resolution on the results as to her job).  There is a lot of focus on the hot scenes between Quinton and Cassia.

Cassia is a woman seeking to regain control of her life after a cave-in which left her afraid of the dark.  I really liked that Cassia is a woman who embraces her sexuality and is not shamed by her sexual experience or her desires. She might be the submissive in the relationship, but it is clear that she is an equal in the relationship.  I liked her active and adventurous spirit.

One scene is particular made me love Quinton.  He cares for Cassia when she is sick. I think every woman could love a man who cares for her when she is sick. While I thought Cassia was very active in the story, in many ways Quinton is more reactive and responsive even as he is the Dom. I never felt that I connected with Quinton as a characters as much as I did Cassia.

I enjoyed this book but wish that there was more of a conclusion regarding Cassia’s phobia.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book has a lot of graphic sex scenes.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  MASTERING HER SENSES is the second book in the Blasphemy series about a BDSM sex club.  It is not necessary to read the others in the series to understand this one although there are overlapping characters.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.

three-stars

Review: Spellbinder

Review: SpellbinderSpellbinder (Moonshadow, #2) by Thea Harrison
Series: Moonshadow #2
Published by Thea Harrison on July 18th 2017
Genres: Paranormal
Goodreads
five-stars

“There was no surviving some loves. No matter what happened to the love affair, whether it flourished or failed, those love struck mortal blows one carried for the rest of one’s life. This love she felt for him. This love was like that.”

FINAL DECISION:  Dark and difficult and I absolutely loved it.  One of my favorite couples from the Elder Races series (and its spinoff) in a story that kept me engaged for every moment.  A true redemption story.

THE STORY: Morgan le Fae has been forced to serve the Queen of the Light Court for generations doing despicable deeds for her against his will.  Morgan believes that he has become hardened to everything and everyone until he hears the music of a human woman Sidonie Martel. His budding obsession with her does not go unnoticed unfortunately and Sid is captured and turned over to the Queen who has her tortured and maimed.  In prison, a man comes to her in darkness healing her and offering her comfort even as he warns her not to trust him. Both trapped in different ways, Morgan and Sid find peace and hope in one another.

OPINION:  I loved this couple. There was so much pain and loss and drama for them to navigate. Sid is a woman who is a musical genius but also suffers from OCD. I loved how everything in her is broken and rebuilt in this story.  There is something so beautiful about her spirit as she deals with the magical realm in a way that she never expect or wanted. There is something very compelling in this story about this woman who just wants to live her life being swept up in the larger forces which irrevocably change her life. Sid makes this story feel real and grounded — where a story about magical realms and battles might otherwise feel too fantastical.  The quirks in her character made her a fun character to read and balanced the darkness in the story.  She is intelligent and reasonable and has a good handle on her own limitations.  Watching her world get destroyed made my heart hurt but the redemption in the story was beautiful.

And speaking of redemption, Morgan was a superior hero.  I love stories about the villain who is redeemed by love.  And while it turns out that Morgan isn’t as much a “bad guy” as he appeared, he is certainly haunted by his actions even though he was forced into committing them.  His character is so nuanced that I absolutely fell in love with him.  Those tortured and tormented heroes are like catnip to me and Morgan is definitely one of those.  He has been a “bad guy” who has made a couple of appearances in the series and now his story is revealed as more complex than it appeared.

Morgan’s background is founded on the Arthurian legend and this book puts an interesting twist on the legend.  For those who are familiar with the legend, this book takes a different angel that feels fresh. For those who are not as familiar, this book doesn’t require any prior knowledge.  It is merely intriguing flavoring to the story.

The relationship between Morgan and Sid builds in such a quiet and gentle manner.  The two are thrown into intense events and yet their relationship builds from little gestures and quiet moments.  This book is such a wonderful combination of these quiet and deeply emotional moments and these big wild adventures.  It was refreshing to have a story where the romance was slowly developed.  Time passes in this book and yet it didn’t feel like it was slow in its pace. Indeed, there is a lot packed in this book.  Much happens to these characters in a short time but their relationship has time to breathe and develop.

By the time this book was done, I wasn’t done with these characters. I hope that we will see them again in future books.  I would love to see how their relationship develops in the future.

WORTH MENTIONING:  Elder Races fans will get a welcome surprise by the end of the book.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  SPELLBINDER is the second book in the Moonshadow series which is a spin-off of the Elder Races series.  This book can be read on its own but is better as part of the series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC of this book from the author in order to have the opportunity to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

five-stars

Review: Trust

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: TrustTrust by Kylie Scott
Published by Kylie Scott on July 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  Incredibly engaging story that doesn’t let up from the first page. I loved that this book felt so real with all the traumas and difficulties of young love and teenage relationships. Edie and John are so sweet and yet their relationship feels authentic even with the incredible drama which moves the plot of this story.

THE STORY:  A robbery threatens the life of seventeen year old high school senior Edie Millen.  Saved by the actions of John Cole, Edie finds her world turned upside down as she tries cope with the traumatic events of the robbery.  Edie becomes more wild, wanting to try things for the first time in response to her near death experience.  Leaving her private girls school, Edie comes to the local public high school and finds new friends and John Cole.  John and Edie become friends and then things become weird between them as John’s offer to help Edie lose her virginity results in emotional turmoil between them.

OPINION:  This is a book that grabs the reader from the first page as there is no wait for the action to begin.  The scene is raw and scary and emotional. Seeing the events through Edie’s eyes made the fear more immediate and thus more enthralling.  This book may take place among high school students but it is raw and frightening and doesn’t pull its punches. It is also violent in parts.

Edie is the heart and center of this book.  And I loved her. She is intelligent, snarky, overweight and insecure, and funny. Even thirty years her senior, I could identify with her character and I had great empathy for her.  As she struggles with both the normal crises of high school — boys, classes and bullies — she also is dealing with the aftermath of the robbery and that changes her whole perspective on life.  And makes her a risk taker when she wasn’t one before. Sometimes I find depictions of teenage girls annoying but here she is perfectly balanced in that age of becoming an adult but still making silly choices.  And that was one thing I really liked.  Both John and Edie are changed by their experience and in that shared experience the two are able to talk through their choices.

John ends up being an incredibly sweet guy. He wants to protect Edie, but he is also willing to allow her to fight her own battles. It was also interesting to see how the robbery changed John’s life as well since he has similar but also different battles as result.  While we do not get John’s point of view during this book, Edie and John talk enough that his perspective is adequately represented in this book.

I really enjoyed the development of the relationship between Edie and John. Their relationship evolves over time and I thought the entire progression was well done.  I also liked the complications about sex between these two. There are no sugar sweet glasses in this book.  While Edie and John are sweet together, there is also something raw and real about them.

I didn’t think I would like this book when I first approached it, but it ended up being really good and I only wish I knew more about what happens between Edie and John in the future.

WORTH MENTIONING:  TRUST is a young adult novel with characters ages seventeen and eighteen in high school.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  TRUST is a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-half-stars

Review: A Scandalous Vow

Review: A Scandalous VowA Scandalous Vow by Ava Stone
Series: Scandalous Series #7
Published by Ava Stone on July 18th 2017
Genres: Historical
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  I loved this book because these characters were so mature in their relationship which was based on intelligence and genuine liking for one another. While the two have a stormy past, their relationship was an intelligent pairing of people who talk to one another.

THE STORY:  Marcus Gray, Marquess of Haversham, has been in love with Lady Caroline Staveley for years.  For most of those years, however, she was married.  Now a widow, Caroline spends her time raising her children.  When Marcus discovers that Caroline has become the focus of an inquiry by the Home Office to find a code book being deciphered by her deceased husband, Marcus springs into action to find the book and protect Caroline. His search, however, brings Marcus into repeated contact with Caroline as the two discover the passion that is allowed for the first time.  At the same time danger surrounds the couple as various interests search for the code book.

OPINION:  I loved this book because of the heart involved.  The torch that Marcus has carried for Caroline feels like it has been a force for good.  It has made him a better person as he knows that he can never have Caroline but has concentrated on being her friend.  (As an aside, the two have a somewhat rocky history when Marcus kissed her once, but not having read most of the prior books in the series, I only am reviewing what I read in this book).

Caroline is a mature woman who has been married for half her life.  The mother of three, she had a very good marriage (what a relief from the “horrible first husband” stories that are so common).  I loved watching her balance her personal desires and her need to be a good parent to her children.  With four children between them, the kids are not just props but an important part of the relationship between Marcus and Caroline.

Marcus is a man with a dangerous past that costs him his relationships with those he loves. I really felt that Caroline freed Marcus from a past that trapped him from truly being the good man he is.  Always pretending to be worse than he is, having to deny those he loves. My heart hurt for him. His willingness to do anything for Caroline and his insistence to her daughter that he will not lie to Caroline was mature and I ended up liking him so much.

While this book has some action with spies and danger and thieves, what I loved most about this book was its quiet mature heart that is the love shared between Marcus and Caroline.  This book really made me buy the rest of the series.

WORTH MENTIONING:  I’m now waiting impatiently for Rachel and the Covent Guard!

CONNECTED BOOKS:  A SCANDALOUS VOW is the seventh book in the Scandalous Series.  There are many appearances by characters from the series and while this book is understandable without knowing about the prior books, it was difficult for me to sort out everyone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC from the author in order to write a review.  I was not required to write a review or a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-half-stars

Review: Beautiful Tempest

Review: Beautiful TempestBeautiful Tempest (Malory-Anderson Family, #12) by Johanna Lindsey
Series: Malory Family #12
Published by Gallery Books on July 11th 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 384
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  I completely satisfying book that I approached with trepidation.  I love, love, love the book about Jack’s father and I feared that this book wouldn’t live up to my expectations.  Instead, this book went in a different direction than I expected, but I loved these characters and their adventurous romance.

THE STORY:  Jacqueline Malory is the darling daughter of James Malory.  When Jack returns from escaping her kidnapper, James and his family are determined to take care of their enemy and sail for the West Indies to confront an old enemy.  Jack is angry that her father has left her in London while he confronts the man that kidnapped her. When a mysterious man approaches her at a masquerade ball, she is intrigued but realizes that he might actually be her kidnapper.  Instead of capturing him, Jack once again ends up in his clutches at sea.  But this time, things are different between them.

OPINION:  This is a book that I approached with trepidation.  GENTLE ROGUE (the story of Jack’s parents) is my all time favorite romance book.  Whenever an author extends the story of characters there is always the possibility of a letdown.  My concerns: Will Jack’s book be as compelling as her parents? How will the characters of James and George be presented? Will this book diminish my enjoyment of the original?  I’m glad to report that I was completely satisfied by this book.  As good as James and George’s book? No, but this book is filled with adventure and strong active characters — including Jack who seizes her own destiny.

Johanna has been writing for a long time (and I’ve been reading her for most of that time!).  Her books began in the time of bodice rippers and I found this book to be an interesting flip of many of those books.  Scenario:  heroine kidnapped and taken on the high seas as part of revenge against her father, hero is attracted to her and she is reluctantly attracted to him. The book also contains threats of rape, adventure and exotic locations.  In a prior book, the heroine would be a woman to which the action happens.  But those heroines of the past are not Jack Malory.

Jack is a woman who takes the reigns of her sexuality. She is determined, and takes all the autonomy that her brother does.  While she has a different sensibility, she refuses to be shamed or deterred by her male family members.  Ultimately, she navigates respect and care for her father and brother with her own self-determination. I really liked her own sense of self and her active nature.  Even as the times and protective nature of her male relatives dictate that she should be submissive, she (and the women of her family) are strong and independent.

Lindsey knows these characters so well and it was a joy to get an update on Malory family which contains a very colorful collection of characters that has engaged me since I was a teenager.  These characters are larger than life. While the story doesn’t have emphasis on historical accuracy and detail, I have always enjoyed how Lindsey places her iconic characters in the tapestry of history without becoming overly engaged in that history.  (There are other authors who are masters of weaving their characters into time, but that is clearly not Lindsey’s goal).

The hero Damon is an interesting contrast to Jack.  He has murky motivations but as things become clearer, I loved him more — and so did Jack!  I thought he was an interesting match for Jack. Sweeter in many ways — although he is definitely not a beta hero.  I love these shipboard romances and this one has some twists that kept me reading quickly to find out how things were resolved.

I loved this book and think that anyone who follows the Malory series will be especially pleased with this entry.  Probably my third or fourth favorite in the series overall…which says a lot considering how much I love this series.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book brings up characters that are candidates for future books in the series.  One can hope!

CONNECTED BOOKS:  BEAUTIFUL TEMPEST is the twelfth book in the Malory Family series.  The book is a standalone, but is connected with its immediate predecessor STORMY PERSUASION and, of course, the heroine Jack is the daughter of James Malory from GENTLE ROGUE.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

four-half-stars

Review: Down a Dark Road

Review: Down a Dark RoadDown a Dark Road (Kate Burkholder, #9) by Linda Castillo
Series: Kate Burkholder #9
Published by Minotaur Books on July 11th 2017
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 320
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  A strong mystery made important by the personal emotional journey of Kate makes this book compelling.  The force of the book comes not only from the twisty mystery but also the strength of Kate’s emotional involvement.  Plus some sweet time with John.

THE STORY:  As this story begins, the series heroine Kate Burkholder is still the chief of police of her small town in Amish country.  She receives notification that a man, Joseph King as escaped from prison.  An Amish man convicted of murdering his wife, police believe there is possibility he will come for his five children who are living in Kate’s jurisdiction.  Kate knows Joseph King.  He was her first crush when the two were children but they haven’t seen one another since Kate was fourteen.  When she is ambushed by King, who has taken his children hostage, she hears a tale of a man who claims he did not murder his wife but was framed.  At first, Kate doesn’t believe anything King says until things begin to seem strange in the supposedly straightforward story.

OPINION:  This book proves what I believe about this series — the best stories are ones where Kate is personally connected and invested in the outcome.  While the mystery is good on any level, her personal connection, the struggles the investigation causes for her are what kept me reading this book.

This case tests Kate on both a personal and a professional level.  Kate has so little space for innocence in her life that the corruption of one of her sweet childhood memories challenges her.  Her adult cop skepticism and her belief in her childhood friend clash dramatically as she struggles to reconcile what she knows the truth is and what her intuition tells her.  The complication here is that her police intuition keeps taking her in different directions.

The fascinating thing here is that this book is also a journey of innocence, loss of innocence and holding on to something pure in the past.  Although the lives of all those children have become more complicated, more nuanced and less pure and innocent, something of those people still remains in the adults they have become.

I don’t want to discuss any of the particulars of the mystery since that is the central part of the story, but I really enjoyed the interaction between Kate and the Amish community here as she navigates her investigation.  This book relies less on the Amish customs as a hook in the story.  Indeed, this book is of the Amish community without being about the community.  The story could have taken place anywhere with anyone.

There is a common theme of the dark underbelly of what appears innocent and good.  This series often uses this in terms of the Amish community.  The same appears here, but there is another twist that I really enjoyed.

This series continues to be a compelling read for me and I highly recommend it for those who love mystery with some romance on the side.

WORTH MENTIONING:  Although this book isn’t classified as a romance, I’m still compelled by the romance between Kate and BCI State agent John Tomasetti continues to pull me in although there is little drama between them and thus less “screen time”.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  DOWN A DARK ROAD is the ninth book in the Kate Burkholder series.  This is a self-contained mystery novel but, of course, there are recurring characters and relationships secondary to the mystery.  This book can be read as a standalone although it is better to be immersed in the overarching personal story as well.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-half-stars

Review: Tycoon

Review: TycoonTycoon by Katy Evans
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on June 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 252
Goodreads
two-stars

FINAL DECISION:  I liked the premise of this story, but I ended up not liking the characters much.  Too much cheating and selfishness for me.

THE STORY: Bryn Kelly is desperate for money for her startup business.  So desperate she is willing to appeal to Aaric Christos — rich, handsome, a New York power player — and also the boy that wanted her in high school and Bryn rejected.  He’s a man who invests in what others believe is too risky, but he wants to know everything before he invests.  Thus starts a relationship that is part past, part present and all sex and romance.

OPINION:  I really like second chance at love stories and I wanted to like this one, but I ended up disappointed.  As the story starts out Aaric is about to propose to his girlfriend that he conveniently doesn’t love and has an open relationship with.  Knowing that he has someone in his life, Bryn pursues him anyway which didn’t make me like her much.  The story just seemed to snowball from there.  I tried to like the characters, but they seemed too selfish.  There are spoilers out there about what happens with the girlfriend and I can confirm that it was as terrible as others make it out to be.  Nothing is really resolved in this story as things are left hanging.  That bothered me and even more Aaric’s decision of “my happiness is more important than anything” really bugged me.  My suggestion would be “keep it in your pants for a while and be a man with responsibilities”.  (Especially since he is a repeat offender).

The last portion of the book really disappointed me because I had the feeling that the book was going in the right direction and I would have ended up liking it.  Instead, there were just too many things that triggered negative reactions for me.

WORTH MENTIONING:  There is a lot of disjointed storytelling techniques as the story jumps between characters and also time period.  I liked the method of writing most in this book.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  TYCOON is a standalone, but apparently there will be a second book with other characters from this book.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 2 stars.

 

two-stars

Review: Sight Unseen

Review: Sight UnseenSight Unseen: A Collection of Five Anonymous Novellas by Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran, Erin Satie, Emma Barry, J.A. Rock
Published by Open Ink Press on June 6th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Historical
Pages: 386
Goodreads
four-stars

SIGHT UNSEEN is an anthology of five stories written by different authors.  Three months after the publication, the authors will be revealed.

LOST THAT FEELING:  Alma is being held in prison where she is told she is a thief and a murderer.  Having cast a spell on herself, Alma has lost her memories from the last seven  years.  When she is rescued by a man named Driss, he tells her he is a friend and that she is actually a hero helping to overthrow an oppressive leader. Alma, however, doesn’t know who to trust and also who she really is.  This story was a disappointment to me.  I really loved the setup and the relationship between Alma and Driss seemed to have much promise, but instead of focusing on the relationship, the story spends too much time on the reasons that Alma’s spell went wrong. I wish there was more relationship development.  Rating: 2 stars.

CLEAR VIEW OF YOU:  Kate was raised by her mother as a future witch, but Kate was a disappointment to her mother. As she grew, Kate realized that her mother was actually running a cult and that magic is fake.  Fleeing to the “real world” Kate finances her education by acting as a psychic.  When her new client, North, has a special request for Kate, she wonders if this is an offer of a lifetime or one too good to be true.  I really liked this story.  My complaint was that it was too short.  I would love to read more stories in this world with these characters.  For such a short story, there is a lot of development in the story with both discovery of self and also dramatic plot developments.  Fun and intriguing.  Rating: 4.5 stars.

FREE:  Brad White is in love with Wren Masters.  The complication is that Brad works for a criminal motorcycle club and Wren is the club’s president’s daughter.  When Wren discovers the truth about the club, she works with Brad to discover the truth about what is going on with her father’s club.  The truth may, however, threaten any future for Brad and Wren.  This story was uneven and parts of it were unsatisfying, but I loved Brad and his devotion to Wren even when she doesn’t respond to him.  There was something fresh and intriguing about the story even if it didn’t feel polished.  I wanted to know more about the future of these two.  Rating: 4 stars.

CHARIOT OF DESIRE:  CJ Crespo has always been interested in her bandmate Donny Times. After years of self-destructive behavior (it was the 1970s after all), Donny has joined a cultish religion which imposes a morality that threatens to tear the band and Donny and CJ apart.  This is more a vignette than a fully reconciled story.  I was unhappy because while the story tells something about these characters, it felt unfinished and I was left asking what would actually happen between these characters.  Rating: 2.5 stars.

THE HEART IS A UNIVERSE:  On the planet of Pax Cora a young woman is slated to be the sacrifice in order to save her planet.  Vitalis, however, has moved from acceptance of her fate to the decision to flee and save herself.  Her desperation leads her to accept an invitation to a courtship summit where she meets the heroic and handsome prince Eleian of Terra.  Immediately upon their meeting the stranger Eleian proposes marriage. What is unclear is what are Eleian’s motives in wanting to marry a woman who will die in sixteen days if she doesn’t escape.  Absolutely wonderful.  My favorite story in the anthology.  While all the threads didn’t come together for me in the end, I thought the journey and the relationship between these characters was compelling.  I couldn’t put it down and kept turning pages wanting to know what the secrets between these characters were, how the two would resolve the dilemmas facing them and just wanting to know what the end would be.  Rating: 4.5 stars.

four-stars

Review: Only the Lucky

Review: Only the LuckyOnly the Lucky (Kate Burkholder, #8.5) by Linda Castillo
Series: Kate Burkholder #8.5
Published by Minotaur Books on May 23rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
Pages: 56
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION:  This is a nice short story in the Kate Buckholder universe. The story isn’t particularly complicated but gives a small sense of the overarching issues that are invested in the series — Amish-English relationship and conflict, Kate’s work as a small town police chief and her romance.

THE STORY:  It is Friday the 13th in Painters Mill and plenty is going wrong.  A “rager” is being held where both Amish and English are attending.  Drinking, drugs and all sorts of problems that young people can get into are expected and enough to give Kate a headache. At the same time, an accident causes a power outage in town.  When one of the Amish girls attending the rager is attacked and left for dead, Kate has to find out who wanted to hurt this young woman.

OPINION:  I enjoyed this story although the solution seemed pretty basic to me and I figured it out almost immediately.  I did like, however, this glimpse of Kate who seems much more settled and happy. I wish we had seen more of her and Tomasetti because I really love their relationship but we did see how peaceful they are right now which was nice.

Because of the length of this story, things happen pretty quickly. I also liked the secondary romance in the story and was surprised at how well everything dropped into place with all the moving parts of the story and the various characters.

The novels in this series tend to be much more angst driven so it was nice to see a more uncomplicated mystery for Kate to solve.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is a very short story and only gives a small taste of the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ONLY THE LUCKY is a short story that is 8.5 of the Kate Buckholder series. This story is a taste and introduction to the series for new readers and a bridge story for readers of the series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars