Featured New Release Of The Week: Vital Lies by Daniel Pyne

This week we’re looking at the second book in Daniel Pyne’s Aubrey Sentro series of spy action thrillers. This week we’re looking at Vital Lies by Daniel Pyne.

Fast Paced Action Thriller. This is a spy thriller for those who like more of the pacing of a Jeremy Robinson / Matthew Reilly / James Rollins action thriller. It isn’t *quite* so action packed / always-on-the-move as those guys, but it is a solid blend of their style of insane and unexpected action combined with a more Robert Ludlum (Bourne series) level complex spy game.

Whereas the first book focused to a certain degree on Sentro’s older child, here the focus is more with her younger child as Sentro continues to try to repair their broken relationships… while getting drug into the very life she is trying to leave.

There are elements here that will give some pause – including a fairly brutal yet also passing/ flash-in-the-pan rape scene that works within the context of the story being told – but overall this is a great read for those who like a *touch* of thinking with their action… without having to be a Stephen Hawking level intellect to keep track of everything. Truly a great read, and I’m looking forward to seeing where Pyne takes this next. Very much recommended.

#BlogTour: Am I Allergic To Men by Kristen Bailey

For this blog tour we’re looking at . For this blog tour, we’re looking at Am I Allergic To Men by Kristen Bailey.

One Of The Most Hilarious Books I’ve Read Recently. Ok, so maybe it takes being an (elder) Millenial myself and the oldest of three brothers, but for me the comedy of this book was dang near off the charts. Yes, Lucy is a mess. Yes, she is fiercely independent and 100% committed to living her life her way – and you know what? It totally works. There is a touch of 13 Going On 30 vibes with both the opening sequence (which, contrary to the description, is *not* when Lucy wakes up from a coma – that happens later) and when she initially wakes from the coma, but in all honesty if you like that kind of comedy you’ll probably enjoy this book. One main point that the reviewers who *didn’t* like the book commented most on were that it wasn’t a romance, well, it isn’t currently marketed that way. Maybe it was initially, but it isn’t now at publication day. It is a “women’s humorous fiction”, and that category is spot on. The other was that it was part of a series – and it is, though Amazon doesn’t really mention this. (Goodreads does though.) That said, there was enough here that I didn’t even pick up on this until reading the reviews *after* reading the book myself. So now I’ll need to go back and read those tales, since I thought they were *upcoming* while reading this. In the end, I absolutely stand by the title of this review – this is absolutely one of the funniest books I’ve read in quite some time, and if you need a laugh, I very much recommend picking this one up.

Which Sister Are You? Take this interactive quiz created by the author and find out…

Below the jump, the various “publisher details”, including book description, author bio, and social media links.
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#TwelveDaysOfRomance #BlogTour: Rancher’s Forgotten Rival by Maisey Yates

For this penultimate day of the Twelve Days Of Romance blog tour series, we’re looking at a solid series starter romance that manages to combine the comedy of Overboard with the saga of the Hatfields and McCoys. For this blog tour we’re looking at Rancher’s Forgotten Rival by Maisey Yates.

Overboard x Hatfields and McCoys. This tale is essentially a ranching version of a combination of Overboard (take your pick on the 1980s version or the 2010s version) and the saga of the Hatfields and McCoys. Throw in two people dedicated to their families yet who have always wanted each other despite their families… and you get some pretty intense hate sex and a romance that Shakespeare could never be bothered with. (Yes, some might try to go the Romeo and Juliet route in their comparisons, but those were immature teenagers with a remarkably high body count. Here, our leads are more established – late 20s/ early 30s ish – and more importantly *don’t get anyone killed*.) As a series starter, it works in establishing that our male lead has several brothers and our female lead has a sister… who may be interested in one of said brothers. Overall a solid romance that elevates its basic elements into a more mature – and arguably more enjoyable for it – tale where people actually try to do the right thing, even when it may cost them everything. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
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Featured New Release Of The Week: Snowbound With Her Mountain Cowboy by Patricia Johns

This week we’re looking at a nearly 400 page romance with lots of secondary love stories embedded within it that reads much faster than its page count suggests. This week we’re looking at Snowbound With Her Mountain Cowboy by Patricia Johns.

Slow Burn Clean Second Chance Romance – With A Disaster. This is exactly what I noted in the title – a slow burn romance where the couple never really gets together until the very end, clean in that there is barely any kissing and certainly nothing beyond that (sorry, fans of near-erotica level steam), and featuring a couple that has been divorced far longer than they were ever married… but who neither ever quite got over the other. This one also has a few other love story tales embedded naturally within the story, all of which contribute nicely to the primary romance of the story here. Not short at nearly 400 pages, but does actually read a bit faster than other books of its length I’ve encountered. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” including book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
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#BookReview: The Stranger In The Mirror

W O W. You think you know what you’re getting into here. Standard amnesia plot. Person with no memory makes new ones, person from their past finds them and reveals their former life, conflict ensues. Right?

Well, yes.

And then… We go back 4 years. And we get tossed into a mind so sick, so twisted, so utterly narcissitic, that it is a massive shock even as the sisters Constantine play it pretty straight in the actual narrative.

It was a solid book before the trip back in time. More character drama than true mystery/ thriller, but it worked for what it was. Several compelling storylines and conflicts through this section really drove the reader to want to know more. And then we travel back in time and begin the race to the finish. ๐Ÿ˜€

Very much recommended.

This review of The Stranger In The Mirror by Liv Constantine was originally written on July 24, 2021.

#BookReview: A Thin Disguise by Catherine Bybee

Solid, But With A Glaring Error Early. As a romance between an amnesiac assassin and an undercover FBI agent, this story works great. As a continuation of this new Richter series (which is apparently a spinoff from the First Wives series, though I did not know that until perusing the reviews on Goodreads for this book), this works quite well. As a forced-proximity romance, this is actually fairly inventive, as the leading couple is not alone in the house… *and* there are cameras and sensors (almost) everywhere to boot!

But there is one *blinding* in its glaringness issue that needs to be mentioned, even though it isn’t objectively strong enough to remove a star over (though I know some who would likely 1* the book on this issue alone). And that issue is the very moment the assassin becomes an amnesiac. When she is shot on a crowded Las Vegas street in a drive by shooting with a “silenced” weapon. That nobody hears.

Why is this so glaring?

Because I know from both handling firearms and speaking/ listening to others who do that suppressors – they aren’t actually called “silencers”, for one – don’t actually silence a weapon, unlike what happens so often in Hollywood. Depending on several factors such as barrel length of the gun (usually shorter, in drive by situations), temperature, humidity, etc – all of which would be known and factored by professional hitmen/ security / assassin types – a suppressor *at best* takes a gun shot from sounding like you’re standing beside the speakers at a rock concert to sounding like your is using a chainsaw to cut down a tree on the other side of the fence you are standing beside.

In other words, for the shot not to be heard by *everyone* nearby – inside or outside – is so implausible that it brings the reader out of the story if they know the realities of these devices *at all*.

And since Bybee herself noted during the discussion of her Canyon Creek series that she knows her way around a shotgun, it is implausible that the author is not aware of these issues directly. Which makes them being written this way even worse. Though again, because it was a singular point in the book and not a recurring problem, it isn’t a star-deduction level error.

Ultimately, this is a quite solid book for what it actually is, and I’m still very much looking forward to seeing where this series goes from here. (And I’ll need to go back and read the book this series spins off from, since I bought it years ago and have yet to read it. :D) Very much recommended.

This review of A Thin Disguise by Catherine Bybee was originally written on May 27, 2021.

Featured New Release Of The Week: You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon

This week we’re looking at a fun tale that showed a fairly large set of steel balls in both its writing and its ending. This week we’re looking at You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon.

As always, the Goodreads review:

Misery Loves Company. McKinnon gets bold, trying to tell one cohesive story from three separate primary perspectives – and largely having it work. The ending itself isn’t quite as mind-bending as her 2020 release Sister Dear, and perhaps elements of it are in fact fairly well established much earlier in the text. But it also isn’t *quite* so predictable as some other reviewers make it seem, as many of the actual details aren’t really known until McKinnon actively reveals them. And then that ending. Mind-bending? No. But showing that McKinnon has balls bigger than many male authors? Absolutely. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Very much recommended.

And in quite possibly a first for this blog (which will actually be repeated in about a month… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), we have a surprise! This week’s Featured New Release is ALSO a Blog Tour! After the jump, an excerpt followed by the publisher information! ๐Ÿ™‚
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Featured New Release Of The Week: Memories In The Drift by Melissa Payne

This week we’re looking at a book that I’ve been talking about for weeks, one that made me cry unlike any this year. This week, we’re looking at Memories In The Drift by Melissa Payne.

Here, the Goodreads review below really does sum up my thoughts on the book quite well. It is a very well told, very visceral look at memory loss and pain, and it is so gut-wrenching it will leave you breathless. Truly one of the best books I’ve read this year for that very reason.

Prepare To Cry. Holy hell y’all. This book is one of the more tragic and yet also visceral books about memory loss I’ve encountered to date, bringing you into the mind of the person more than any other I’ve yet encountered. And it is also the one that made me *BAWL* unlike any since Barbara O’Neal’s 2019 WHEN WE BELIEVED IN MERMAIDS. Which was over 300 books ago for me. If you’re looking for a great story and a good cry, you’ve found one here. And just to be crystal clear, it isn’t like the things that make you cry are hidden – in both cases I picked up on them about a quarter ish of the book before Payne actually explicitly revealed them. And yet the execution on the actual reveal was so gut punching both times… wow. Very much recommended.