Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another round of drive-bys...

So, I read another bunch of books. Flew through most of my library books, with the exception of Outlander. Yeah. A little intimidated by that one, so I finished everything else. And although I finished Hot Pursuit, you'll have to wait to see what I thought, as Jen and I will be doing another buddy review of that one, since we had so much fun reviewing the last Brockmann.

Here's my latest round of what seems to be mostly suspense reads this week.

Surrender of a Siren by Tessa Dare: Another wow. Completely and totally different than Goddess of the Hunt, with the exception of Dare's amazing prose once again. This is the story of Sophia, Toby's wayward fiance. This one is much... harsher... than GoTH, and I really felt it was far more the hero's story than the heroine. Another wonderfully written hero. This time, I had to acknowledge the way the heroine was raised - to be spoiled, frivolous, and move past it. These traits exposed themselves in various ways, much to her displeasure, even as she found herself using them to her advantage. Interesting. And yet, I still loved it. Every second. If you haven't read GoTH, read it. And be sure to pick up this one as well. Beautiful, beautiful book.

The Bridegroom by Linda Lael Miller: The next book in the Stone Creek series, and another winner for me. I can't help myself. I love Miller's western historicals. Interesting twist on this one, as the 'villain' drives a Ford. In 1915. How cool. Gideon and Lydia were but children in Lark and Rowdy's book. Gideon had written a letter for Lydia to mail to him if she ever needed him. When she finally mails it 10 years later, he comes running. All the Stone Creek guys and their women (mostly the Yarbro men) are in this book. Can't wait for the next one! Miller has another Christmas book coming out - a Montana Creed family historical, and another O'Ballivan family book (a contemporary Stone Creek novel) in November for SSE.

Malice by Lisa Jackson: Rick Bentz's (from Cold Blooded) first wife has come back from the dead to haunt him and he goes back to LA to figure out what's going on. He's now married to Olivia (also from Cold Blooded), and still partnered with Montoya. This was another Jackson psychological masterpiece, as we struggle along with Bentz to figure out why the body count keeps rising (tremendously high!) and he's at the heart of it all. Someone is out to drive Bentz over the edge, and then they bring his wife into it as well. When the truth finally came out, I was a little disappointed, I have to say, at the reason behind all the killings. But nonetheless, Jackson as always, does a fabulous job of keeping the tension high and the reader guessing as to the whodunnit. And her writing is fabulous! As always, I'll be waiting for the next one. On the edge of my seat.

Pitch Black by Leslie Parrish: Book 2 in the Black CAT series. This is Alec Lambert's story. This one reads more like a traditional RS than book 1, but still keeps the tension high and the TSTL factor low. With another evil villain, made moreso because he doesn't even see himself as such, and a heroine who is smart, resourceful, and keeps her head, Parrish takes us on another wild ride as the Black CATs try to solve a series of internet murders by the Professor, aka Darwin. The internet pitch is one that we've all been exposed to, and Parrish greedily and handily feeds into the reader's worst fears in these books. Pitch Black gives us even more insight into members of the CAT team, 2 in particular, and gives one hell of a shocker at the end. I'll say this: Parrish once again writes a thriller that has smart characters who know their stuff, who never inappropriately stop to get it on while they're working their case, and who work tirelessly to solve crimes. Add to that, the tension and heat and romance between the hero and heroine as well as a whole host of "it could be him"s, and Pitch Black is a fabulous read. I'm dying to get my hands on book 3, Black at Heart, which comes out in September.

One Scream Away by Kate Brady: Yet another RS read for me. I read this one on my iPhone. Creep factor is high here. Emotional damage factor for both hero and heroine is also high. I liked both Beth and Neil. The killer always managed to stay one step ahead of them, and although there were a few times when I was pulled out of the story, for the most part it was gripping and tight and tense and yet still had a romance as well. There's a sequel coming next summer.

Chosen to Die by Lisa Jackson: The sequel to Left to Die, it picks up right where Left to Die ends, with the kidnapping of detective Regan Pescoli. Tight, suspenseful, and gripping. Loved Nate. Loved how he came to terms with his feelings for Regan over the course of the book. The team continues the search for the Star-Crossed Killer in the dead of winter in Montana. These are real characters, with real flaws, along with some full-on small town stereotypical ... interesting... folks as well. You know immediately that the killer is someone who lives in town and who interacts with the people of the town. Where Jackson excels is making you look at every single character and wonder, "Is he the one?" And never truly knowing until the very end. A typical perfect Jackson read for me.


  1. I read The Bridegroom a little while ago and really enjoyed it. It was my first book by this author, and now I am going back to find the beginning. Part of the reason I liked it was the fact that it was set in the early 1900s - lots of technological advances at that time, but still sufficiently historical as well.

  2. So you've been on a bit of a romantic suspense kick as well? I hadn't read much in the last few months, but in the past weeks, it's pretty much all I want. The second Parrish looks very good... I've been trying to hold off and not read it immediately after the previous one, but I think I've waited enough now :-)

  3. Wow, Lori, I've been seeing Tessa Dare's name everywhere lately. Guess I must check her out!
    Love these drive-by reviews! :-)

  4. Chosen to Die sounds really good!

    I can't wait to hear what you say about Hot Pursuit!

  5. Ugh, my reading has been less than impressive this week... Hope to pick that up!!

    I picked up One Scream Away last week... But now, I'm a bit worried ^_^; LOL, for you to say that the creep factor is high... LOL.

    I'll try to read Leslie Parrish very soon! She sounds really good!!

  6. Was Malice a RS or just straight suspense? I gave up on Jackson after Montoya's book.

  7. Marg: The order of the Stone Creeks are, The Man from Stone Creek, A Wanted Man, The Rustler, A Stone Creek Christmas, The Bridegroom. The first one takes place only 10 years before the Bridegroom, so all in the same time period. (except Stone Creek Christmas, which is a contemp SSE)

    Rosario: I thought the 2nd Parrish was excellent. It didn't grip me as immediately as the 1st one did, but it built up to it. And there's quite a shocker at the end. She's really good, isn't she?

    Renee: I can see you really liking the 2nd one especially - it's a bit darker than the 1st one. And it's my sheer laziness that's making me do these drive-bys, LOL!

    Tracy: The Jacksons are excellent! But definitely more in the thriller column than the RS column. She has moved pretty far away from the romance, although there's always a couple in the story. You know I'm not an advocate of series, but here's one where you should read the first one in order to read the 2nd one.

    Nath: LOL!!! Just cause I said the creep factor is high, doesn't mean it was too creepy for me :) I dug it. And yes. Definitely pick up the Parrish books!!

    Casee: Malice firmly goes in the suspense/thriller category, although there is a couple in it (Bentz and Olivia). I don't mind the straight thriller, so Jackson is still an autobuy for me. (although I admit to getting this one from the library - hardcover, ya know)

  8. I'll look into them today when I'm in the bookstore! :) Thanks Lori.

  9. If you could just make a list of all the books you read, and have links to the reviews that would be better than just posts called drive-bys and what not.


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