2018 Book #35 – The Last Move by Mary Burton

51YpIzdnQeL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Last Move
Author: Mary Burton
Date finished: 4/29/18
Genre: Suspense, thriller
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Pages in book: 326
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: My friend Alex

Blurb from the cover:

In this gripping stand-alone from bestselling author Mary Burton, an FBI agent must catch a copycat killer. The only difference this time: she’s the final victim.

Catching monsters helps FBI agent Kate Hayden keep her nightmares at bay. Now an urgent call brings her back to San Antonio, the scene of her violent past. A brutal new murder shows hallmarks of a serial killer nicknamed the Samaritan. Tricky part is, Kate already caught him.

Either Kate made a deadly error, or she’s got a copycat on her hands. Paired with homicide detective Theo Mazur, she quickly realizes this murder is more twisted than it first appeared. Then a second body is found, the mode of death identical to a different case that Kate thought she’d put behind her.

Now Kate and Detective Mazur aren’t just working a homicide; the investigative pair is facing a formidable enemy who knows Kate intimately. While Mazur is personally trying to protect Kate, the closer they are drawn to the killer, the clearer it becomes that in this terrifying game, there is only one rule: don’t believe everything you see…

My rating:  3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review:

My friend Alex had recently read this novel and asked me to read it also to see if it was appropriate for our office lending library (I believe it is appropriate so I’ve already added it to the library). I like a good suspense/thriller so I gave it a try, started it while on vacation this past weekend. This was a pretty good thriller, the plot line was definitely scary/creepy. The writing really gets into the mind of the killer at certain points and it made me feel kind of icky after reading those parts. And the murders are pretty gruesome but add a good layer of fear to the story. The characters themselves did feel a little 2-dimensional to me and I wouldn’t say that the tension between the two main characters lept off the page but overall it was a good book and I’d recommend reading it. It did make for a great vacation read, would’ve been an even better read for the beach!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2017 Books #18-25 – Tough Justice series

51xOPnG8JdLTitle: Tough Justice series: Exposed (1), Watched (2), Burned (3), Trapped (4), Twisted (5), Ambushed (6), Betrayed (7), and Hunted (8)
Author: Carla Cassidy, Tyler Anne Snell, Carol Ericson, Gail Barrett
Date finished: 3/23/17
Genre: Fiction, crime, detective
Publisher: Harlequin Special Releases
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Pages in book: 649
Stand alone or series: Series, 8 books in the set
Where I got the book from: Harlequin Romance Insiders NOTE: I received this book for free from Harlequin in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Special Agent Lara Grant has finally put her life as an undercover agent in the Moretti gang behind her and started a new assignment in New York City. Until a dramatic sniper attack leaves Lara’s face — and real name — all over the media. In the blink of an eye, her cover is blown, her identity exposed.
Then a woman’s body is found, branded with the ritual Moretti tattoo. Someone knows who Lara is…and exactly how to make her pay…

My rating:  3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This is an 8 part series about FBI Special Agent Laura Grant. Laura recently went undercover within the Moretti crime syndicate and was able to make it all the way to the top, arresting Moretti and cutting the head off this particular snake. The undercover operation took a lot out of her though, more than she can really admit to anyone, especially her new team with the FBI. Her new partner Nick Delano doesn’t realize how badly scarred Lara is after this last assignment, but his sexy good looks bring her aroung to trusting him in the end. And when Moretti starts coordinating attacks on/near Lara from inside prison, Lara’s whole team must come together to put a stop to it.
Overall I liked this series. The plot line for this series was so interesting and there were some great plot twists. Some of the plot twists I kind of saw coming but they were still really good. I also thought it was really great that even though the series was written by 4 different authors it was still a cohesive story line and the plot line flowed well in between the books. That being said there were some things I didn’t love about the books. There were some holes in the story line and things that were introduced with the other characters that I’m not sure if they’re supposed to lead to another series or if they were just not followed up on. Also, similar to my issue with Rizzoli from The Surgeon series, I didn’t like that Lara was so insecure but also thought she was the coolest thing at the same time. And she broke some rules along the way which I also didn’t like. And her life was just so sad, the last book especially was heart-breaking. I still really liked the series overall though, it was an easy read (the books were shorter than a normal size book and the chapters were nice and short) and I would recommend it.

The bottom line: I liked this series, though the conclusion of it wasn’t my favorite. The series itself though was very interesting and had some great plot twists. I would recommend it.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #9 – Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood

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Title: Heartbreaker
Author: Julie Garwood
Date finished: 2/2/15
Genre: Romantic suspense
Publisher: Atria
Publication Date: July 1, 2000
Pages in book: 423
Stand alone or series: Buchanan / Renard / MacKenna series Book 1

Blurb from the cover:

In the still shadows of the confessional, the penitent kneels and makes a bone-chilling disclosure: “Bless me father, for I will sin….” Slowly, tauntingly, the man describes his murderous past — how he stalked his victim, worked his way into her life, and then took that life in a violent rage — and his plan to kill again. Only this time, he has raised the stakes in his twisted game, daring authorities to catch him if they can. This time, he has revealed the name of his next intended victim. “I’m a heartbreaker. And I do so love a challenge….” Agent Nick Buchanan has come face-to-face with society’s worst monsters and depraved minds in his work for one of the FBI’s most elite units. He’s about to take a much needed vacation from his high-stress job when he’s called on to stop the killer who has mockingly confessed to the deadly crime he’s to commit. Nick can’t refuse –for this time the threat has hit close to home. The intended victim is his best friend’s sister. Soon he is caught up in an intricate chase with one of the most devious psychopaths of his career — in a case that suddenly, unexpectedly, pulls him in like no other. Laurant Madden found a home and a sense of security when she moved into the small Iowa town of Holy Oaks — but her contented life is shaken to the core as a cagey predator closes in on her. Her brother, Tom, insists that she turn to the only man he trusts to help her: Nick Buchanan. As an electrifying attraction grows between Laurant and Nick, so does the danger — and one false move will cost both of them everything that matters.

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “over 400 pages” square. This series is one that I enjoyed reading in the past and I have decided to re-read through the series. I liked the story line in this book a lot, there were just enough twists and turns to keep you interested without making it seem like a farce. The characters felt a little bit outdated and honestly didn’t really seem that well matched. I liked the murder mystery piece of this one more than the romance piece. Mystery plot line was thrilling.

The bottom line:  I would recommend this book. I like the overall series as well.

Author website:
 http://juliegarwood.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Heartbreaker-Julie-Garwood/dp/0671032992/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1422996587

2014 – Book #87

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The eighty-seventh book I read in 2014 was Mean Streak by Sandra Brown. I finished this book on 9/30/14. I rated this book 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book was about Dr. Emory Charbonneau, pediatrician and marathon runner who decides to complete a training run up in the mountains of North Carolina. While in the midst of her run, she is knocked unconscious by an unknown assailant.

Emory wakes up in a stranger’s cabin. She has no memory of how he got there. And the man staring back at her looks far from gentle. Worried about why this strange man has brought her to his cabin, she shrinks back at first. However, after the stranger proves again and again that he won’t hurt her, she begins to relax around him. As he nurses her back to health, he tries to ignore the sparks that start to fly between them.

The thing that scares Emory the most is that this mystery man won’t tell her anything about himself, even his name. What is she supposed to tell her husband when this strange man finally returns her to her normal life? Does she even really want to return to her normal life? And then a crisis comes up and Emory and the mystery guy end up having to work together to help someone in need.

Overall I liked this book a lot. This wasn’t my favorite book of hers but the plot was interesting, it was well paced, and was even a little scary in the beginning, a good thriller novel. My only complaint is that the plot was a tad predictable. I usually can’t figure out this author’s plot twists but this one I did see coming a little bit. Was still great and I would definitely recommend!!

Link to author website: http://sandrabrown.net/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mean-Streak-Sandra-Brown/dp/1455581127/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1412207014&sr=8-1

2014 – Book #72

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The seventy-second book I read in 2014 was Fast Track by Julie Garwood. This is book 12 in her Buchanan / Renard / MacKenna series (mostly FBI thrillers). I finished this book on 8/14/14. I rated this book 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book is about Cordelia Kane and Aiden Madison (Cordelia is best friends with Aiden’s sister Regan, who is the heroine in book 4 in this series – Murder List).

Cordelia’s dad has had his third and final heart attack and he isn’t going to get any better from this one. He makes a deathbed confession to Cordelia and tells her that he’s lied to her for her whole life, her mother isn’t actually dead. She is in fact alive and living in Sydney Australia. He confesses that he waited all this time for her to come back, that he should’ve given up on that dream long ago but couldn’t seem to move on.

Cordelia knows exactly how that feels. She’s been in love with her best friend’s older brother Aiden since she was five years old. Not wanting to follow in her father’s footsteps, she decides to make some big changes to get Aiden out of her life and out of her mind. First thing she needs to do though, is confront the mother who abandoned her so long ago. As she plans to travel to Sydney, Australia, Aiden decides he needs to tag along to keep her safe. He’s just starting to realize that Cordelia is really the one thing that’s been precious to him all along.

Overall I really liked this book. I liked the heroine’s character and to be honest I loved the hero’s character, as bad at communicating as he was. I also liked the connection to characters from previous stories in the series. This was a great read, I couldn’t seem to put it down!

Link to author website: http://www.juliegarwood.com/index.asp

Link to Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Fast-Track-Julie-Garwood/dp/0525954457/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1408032916&sr=8-1