Mini-Reviews 2022: November

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106. The Witness by Nora Roberts ( ND fugitive/small town cop) One night of rebellion, twelve years on the run, and affectionate persistent man who helps find a way to stop running.  I got stuck halfway because I worried so much about how it might go wrong! ( Cw: guns, murders). 11/14/22

 

107. Voice of Fear by Heather Graham (WM/WW, ghost-seeing FBI) hoping I can let this series go now that I’ve finished this arc.  Lost its charm a while ago.  But hooray for no confederate ghosts in this one!  Cw: murder, human trafficking, kidnapping ( 11/17/22)

 

108. Public Secrets by Nora Roberts ( WM/WW, rock royalty/cop)  Emma’s tragic childhood in the public eye dominate this WF/thriller.  Had to skim parts! Really enjoyed how messy the Love interest is. 

 Cw: depictions of child abuse, death, grief, drug use, depictions of homophobia, intimate partner, violence, guns, fatphobia 11/ 22/22

 

109. Sacred Sins by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, serial killer) button-down psychiatrist teams up with cops to stop a religiously motivated murderer. Nora leaves so many sequel bait 2ndary  characters on the table!   So much smoking! Cw: murder, suicidal ideation, grief, guns. 11/25/22

Update:  Ed gets the next book! It wasn’t a standalone after all! Sequel bait pays off! 

 

110. Brazen Virtue by Nora Roberts

Grace is shattered when her sister is violently murdered and she needs to make sense of it by involving herself in the investigation…I loved Ed’s steadfastness as he falls for Grace.  

 

Cw: slut-shaming, fatphobia, violence, murder, SA

 


Mini Reviews 2022: October

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101.  Into the Storm by Rachel Grant (Mexican American WM/WW, RS archeologists/Navy SEAL ).  Love Grant’s stubborn archeologist under duress but Audrey certainly forgave Xavier for his lie so much sooner than I did. Cw: murder, terrorists, sexual harassment accusation, pregnancy 10/12/22

101.5. Before the Storm by Rachel Grant ( see above) Prequel. This was fun and sexy but ooof the ending —-leads right into Into the Storm but wow I was mad at the MMC! 10/12/22

102. Soul Taken by Patricia Briggs (UF, WM/Native W)  one of my favorite Mercy books in a long time!  Tense revelations, build up for more books but the things that need to be solid (Adam/Mercy, the pack, family) are. Cw: murders, possession, abuse, violence. 10/17/22

103. The Liar by Nora Roberts ( WM/WW, contractor/widow) Shelby’s husband is dead, & everything about their life together was a lie…so she comes home…but trouble follows.  Loved Griff and their dynamic, where he cares for her without taking over (Cw: murder, stalking, guns, DV) 10/20/22

104. Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik ( SFR, BK 1, M/W, enemies to lovers). Secrets, nagging suspicions,  too fresh war wounds complicate Tavi & her crew’s an already risky job, yet attraction and admiration grow irresistible. (Cw: PTSD, violence, guns, past trauma: war crimes). 10/23/22

105. Eclipse the Moon by Jessie Mihalik (SFR, 2, adhd rep, m/w, mutual longing)  misunderstood feelings, undercover heists and confounding villains.  Wanted to smack both MCs for their assumptions. (Cw: torture, abduction, guns, violence,murder) 10/29/22

 


Mini-Reviews 2022 : September

96. Aura of Night by Heather Graham (RS, WM/WW, ghosts, serial killers) oooh so boring.  Editor heroine (cw: murder,guns, abduction) 9/4/22

97. High Noon by Nora Roberts (RS, WM/WW, hostage negotiator heroine ) Loved this couple and their dynamic. Tons of competence and found family but I need an epilogue! FTW (cw: transphobia, SA, Harassment, stalking, murder, gore) 9/4/22

98. The Villa by Nora Roberts ( WM/WW, RS, family saga)   Wow La Nora surprised me with how she wrapped this up.  I was on the edge of my seat.  Loved Pilar & her 2ndary romance.  And Maddy!! ( Cw: stalking, murder, violence, harassment ) 9/14/22

99. The Tribute (WM/WW, RS, generational trauma).  3rd Gen. Hollywood royalty turned contractor & house flipper returns to her family’s neglected family home to restore it and make a home but unearths secrets, falls for the nerd next-dr. Cw: murder, ableism harassment, vandalism. 9/18/22

100. Cold Pursuit by Toni Anderson (WM/WW, RS, mall shooting, terrorist false flag attack).  So I finished but mostly out of frustrated bafflement. There were some intense good moments but mostly this was a big no. Cw: murder, slut-shaming, DV, poor “maybe it’s autism”rep) 9/24/22

 

 


Mini Reviews 2022: August

91. Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, RS). For Rowan Smoke jumping is not just her job but her family and passion.  But her job doesn’t make relationships easy…so she has rules and Gull makes her  breaks all of them (Cw: murder, slut-shaming, violence, abandonment issues) 8/16/22

92. Fire and Rain by Pamela Clare ( WM/Indigenous W, Kodiak AK, Coast Guard Helo rescue, RS, survivor guilt BFF & widow, single parent) Sean is doing his best to fill Justin’s shoes but feel guilty and conflicted when he starts falling for his widow. Cw: drugs, guns, violence 8/20/22

93. Sanctuary by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, RS, serial killer, past trauma) a family fractured by a long ago loss, reopens old wounds and finally heals.  Intense trauma. Heroine and Dad read as ND. MMC kept secrets too long.  Cw: graphic on page SA, abandonment, murder, lying 8/21/22

94. Homeport by Nora Roberts ( WM/WW, RS, thief hero!) Prim, proper Dr. Jones is having her professional reputation shredded by and thru an unexpected series of events the thief that stole from her might be her best ally! Cw: murder, toxic parents, violence, stalking. 8/23/22

95. Ruby Fever by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy series, WM/WW, UFR, resolution) aaaaaaaaaaaaah, so many plot threads resolved, new avenues hinted at.  (Cw: violence, guns, war, past trauma: abuse, also lots of imperial Russians. ) 8/26/22

 


Mini-Reviews 2022: July

82. Sound of Darkness by Heather Graham (Paranormal RS, WM/WW) the romance was pretty perfunctory, dislike to love, only the dog and the amusement of Ragnar over the couple and the serial killer got me through it.  Cw: murder, rape, emotional abuse. 7/1/22

83. Hostile Pursuit by Juno Rushdan ( bodyguard/witness, WM/WW, LEO excessive force history).   Last days in WITSEC and all hell breaks loose, non-stop action and a hero that needs therapy and a new line of work.  Liked the backstory and supporting characters. Cw: assassinations 7/1/22

84. Finding His Mark by Piper J Drake (RS, WM/Thai-Am W, fake girlfriend, assassins). I loved the tension in this story as Su & Michael as they figure out if the can have a future together. Cw: murder attempt, past trauma: rape) 7/1/22

85. Storm Echo by Nalini Singh (m/f, PNR, amnesia, healer/self-hating killer pairing) I feel like I forgot everything that happened in Payal & Canto’s book but I got very invested on Lei & Ivan’s love anyway. Cw: violence, murder, drug addiction, past trauma: parental neglect). 7/1/22

86. The Search by Nora Roberts ( RS, WM/WW, serial killer, competence p rn) dog trainer heroine, serial killer survivor/widow & grumpy wood artist.  Loved it. Great supporting characters, small town vibes. Cw: abduction, murder, SA, guns.7/11/22

87. The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths (mystery with rom elements, Covid-19/lockdown) set in the early days of the pandemic, the team explores suspicious suicides and Ruth uncovers an unexpected family connection to her cottage by the sea. (Cw: suicide, abduction, medical drama). 7/14/22

88. Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts (m/f, missed connections, arson, revenge murders, LEO) family drama, felt sad about the sister’s non-HEA but I loved BO fumbling so hard when he finally meet her.  Cw: stalker, murder, SA, arson. 7/17/22

89. The Collector by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, RS, caretaking Artist/commitment phobic house-sitting-author). She witnessed a murder while watching “window show” and his need for answers tangles them up in deadly treasure hunt. The BFFs get HEAs! (Cw: murder, torture, g*psy imagery) 7/20/22

90. Angels Fall by Nora Roberts ( WM/WW, RS, grumpy writer/wounded chef, violence survivor) living nomadically while healing from a mass shooting, Reese stops in small town & unexpectedly witness a murder… but few believe her (Cw: gaslighting, murder, stalking, guns, G*psy slur) 7/23/22

 


Mini Reviews 2022: June

76. Always Time to Die by Elizabeth Lowell (NM-set, WM/WW, RS) Incest, rape, casual racism and slut-shaming run rampant through this tangled story of an family historian & genealogist who newest job makes her a target of a murderer intent in keeping family secrets quiet. 6/4/22

77. Northern Lights by Nora Roberts ( WM/WW, RS, Alaska, bush pilot/ depressed chief of police)  Missing kids, a cooooold murder case and small town, city boy in the small Alaskan town. Loved it. (Cw: murder, suicidal ideation, guns, gore, dead dog) 6/7/22

78. The Obsession by Nora Roberts ( WM/WW, serial killer stalker, house renovations) a review I read critiqued  just how much house renovations is part of this book but I loved it. From her awesome gay uncles to her rock mechanic. (Cw: murder, abuse, suicide, rape, abduction) 6/10/22

79. Murder Takes the High Road by Josh Landon (WM/WM, mystery rom, librarian, fandom)  secrets, jealously, bad blood and other intrigues on a Literary Bus Tour Hijinks. Cw: murder, guns. 6/13/22

80. Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, RomSus, false accusations, family secrets). I really love this mini-genre of sadman with lots of baggage gets bulldozed by quirky woman in this case with bossy post-it notes, (Cw: murder, family secrets, past trauma: rape, stalking). 6/15/22

81. Under Currents by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, Abuse, IPViolence, Stalking)  I only had the audio for this and some of the sections were so hard to listen to.  Did love Darby/Zane and the whole family HEAs. Cw: murder, abuse, stalking, harassment, children in peril, guns… 6/18/22

 


Mini-Reviews 2022: May

58. The unforgiven by Heather Graham (m/f, white mc’s) survivor of brutal slaying is out to get the ax murder who is out for blood once again. (Cw: betrayal, murder, gore).
5/1/22

59. The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths (multiple POVs, queer Anglo-Indian detective, romantic elements). Twisty, turny and engrossing mystery about an quirky old lady’s murder, her passion for crime novels and her friends who seek to find out what happens. Cw: guns,murder. 5/2/22

60. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths (UK  mystery with a Gothic twist) Multiple POVs, Divorced English teacher, her daughter & the Detective Srgt on the case with their narrations Intercut with passages from gothic horror story. Sublimely engrossing. (Cw: murder, stalking) 5/4/22

61. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway series: mystery, archeologist bone expert). Moody, engrossing, w/vulnerable but solitary, judgmental, idealist & brilliant protagonist (Cw: fatphobia, murder, abduction, child death, pet death) 5/5/22

62. Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths (RGM #2)  Love how the relationships continue to change, grow & complicate. Cw: fatphobia, child murder, grief, abduction, secret pregnancy. 5/8/22

63. The House at Sea’s End by Elly Griffiths (RGM#3) childcare, new parental worries & precarious secrets dominate in this subdued mystery.  Cathbad is the best. Cw: child death(past), war crimes, murder, grief, secrets. 5/8/22

64.  The Room Full of bones by Elly Griffiths (RGM#4) 

A lot happens & I'm squint at a lot of it. Cathbad continues to be the best, and I am fascinated by the complicated relationship developing btw Nelson, Michelle & Ruth

Cw: Transphobia, medical procedures, murder, animal abuse 5/9/22

65. A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths (RGM #5) Really felt like a mid-season ending. Lots of new faces, goodbyes, endings, changes & grief. 

 

Cw: murder, arson, grief, cancer, child peril, white supremacy, transphobia, homophobia, racism, ableism. 5/10/22

66. The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths (RGM #6)  finally some romantic resolutions to one of the set of secret baby having lovers!  Two of my faves get their HEA! 

 

Cw: murder, child death, child peril, ableism, abduction. 5/11/22

67. Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths (RGM #7) oh Ruth!  That is all I got.  Also super creepy!  And I love that Cathbad is so happy even when he is wrong.  

 

Cw: murder, assault, pigs that eat people. 5/12/22

68. The Woman in Blue (RGM #8) The intersection of misogyny and religion converge in pilgrimage town and Ruth, Cathbad and Nelson get involved in another murder together.  This one kept me guessing.

 

Cw: Murder, assault, threatening letters, addiction, suicide. 5/16/22

69. The Chalk Pit (RGM #9) Creepy tunnels, murdered street people and kidnapped women.  Nelson & Ruth's relationship gets even more complicated!

 

Cw: murder, kidnapping, addiction,  and as always fatphobia! 5/16/22

70. The Dark Angel (RGM #10)  Loved Ruth and Nelson in Italy, and Michelle, wow what a journey she's had. 

 

Cw: murder, threats, fatphobia, eating disorders, death of supporting character. 5/16/22

71. Stone Circle (RGM #11) lots of lies, deaths and relationships come full circle in this episode. Everyone continues to grow and change. 

 

CWs: murder, grief, guns, secrets, child abduction, fatphobia 5/17/22

72. The Lantern Men (RGM #12) I really liked this one. Creepy, unexpected resolution and the two most repressed lovers start coming closer to acknowledging their feelings and trusting their instincts  Cw: murder, grief, medical procedures, eating disorders, fatphobia 5/18/22

73. Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths (RGM #13). I need the next book right now.  Wow. Really glad I read this series I’ve become so invested in all the characters, flawed and stubborn as they are. 

 

Cw: murder, child abuse, guns, grief, medical procedures 5/19/22

74. Miss Moriarty, I presume.  by Sherry Thomas ( Lady Sherlock #6) oh I loved this! So many cyphers, conspiracies and counter-moves!  (Cw: hostages, guns) 5/21/22

75. The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths (1950’s Brighton UK, Police Detective/Magician team up) great odd-ball friendship, post-war angst, and secrets unraveling.  (Cw: murder, kidnapping) 5/30/22

 


Mini-Reviews 2022: April!

41. The Cursed (wm/ww, Haunted Inn, lost treasure). Set in Key West. Returning Krewe members. Cw: murder, gore, betrayal, human trafficking, drug addiction. 4/2/22

42. The Hexed (WM/WW, serial killings, Salem MA).  Introduces characters I met out of order. Murders are close to home Cw: murder, gore, betrayal 4/2/22

43. The Betrayed (WM/WW, Sleepy Hollow) surprisingly chaste, as the MCs often don’t fight attraction this much! Cw: headless bodies, child in peril, sympathetic confederate ghost  4/2/22


44. The Silenced (WM/WW, DC/Harper's Ferry), presidential hopeful's untimely death, unearths a slew of murders and twisted partnership. Cw: abduction, misogynic murder, and confederate ghosts.)4/7/22

45. The Forgotten (WM/WW, Miami) Medical experiments, zombies and dolphins. CW: murder, kidnapping, sexual harassment. 4/7/22

46. The Hidden (Latino M/WW, Estes Park Co, 2nd chance)  Ghosts, hidden gold and a serial killer killing descendants of a murdered couple. Cw: guns, murder, gore, and yet another former confederate ghost!!) 4/7/22

47. The Stalking (biracial M/WW, Louisiana, serial killer) like the suspicion between the mc’s but twist was eh. Cw: sympathetic confederate ghosts 4/19/22

48. Haunted Destiny (WM/WW, cruise ship, serial killer). I actually loved this one! Lots of ghosts, some helpful and sons not!  Haunted cruise ship/ great mix of supporting characters 4/19/22

49. Deadly Fate (WM/WW, reality tv, gore). A few too many elements in common with Haunted Destiny but I loved the Alaskan location. 4/19/22

Didn’t bother with the third in this boxed set: Darkest Journey based on the blurb. (Ha…see 57…I ended up reading it anyway)

50, 51, 52. Krewe of Hunters Vol 7 by Heather Graham. Trilogy with the same leads in Dying Breaths, Dark Rites & Wicked Deeds.  Really enjoyed sticking with the same MCs for 3 books and guest Krewe cameos. And Edgar Allan Poe as ghost was well done. 4/19/22

53,54 & 55. Krewe of Hunters Vol 8  by Heather Graham (M/F, white Mc’s, trio of PI brothers. 2 set in LA and 1 in Key West.  Only one sympathetic former confederate ghost!  Serial killers, stalkers, greedy people—. 4/24/22

56. The Summoning by Heather Graham (WM/WW, Savannah-set) Cw: murder, kidnapping, drugs, YET ANOTHER Sympathetic Confederate ghost...sigh 4/28/22

57. Darkest Journey by Heather Graham (mixed race M/WW, haunted paddle boat). My completionist tendencies got me (Cw: good men/sympathetic confederate ghosts). 4/30/22. Jokes on me…read it anyway. 

 

 


Mini-reviews March 2022

29. The Forbidden by Heather Graham (WM/WW, PNR/RS, ghosts help stop serial killers, actress/detective) A horror movie set becomes a crime scene.  Cw: murder, SA, gore, guns, knives. 3/2/22

30. Heart of Evil by Heather Graham (WM/WW, PNR/RS, plantation-set, serial killer) there are so many sympathetic confederate ghosts in these books…I just…what?? (Murder, abduction, Past: rape, murder, slavery, war). 3/6/22

31. Sacred Evil by Heather Graham (WM/BW, PNR/RS, Jack the Ripper, serial killer).  No confederateghosts!!  But she wrote more than two ripper related books??  Will everyone the team eventually see ghosts…so many flaws but still.  (Cw: murder, rape, gore, violence, suicide) 3/7/22

32. The Evil Inside by Heather Graham (WM/WW, PNR RS) when a gentle boy is framed for murder the team unofficially makes it presence felt uncovering a conspiracy (Cw: bullying, gore, murder.) 3/10/22

33. Crowbones by Anne Bishop (Alt Fantasy) brutal like all Bishop’s books but it felt good to visit the Jumble and Sproing again as they heal and survive another case of trouble & murder. (Cw: murder, gore, abuse, drug-use, abduction). 3/12/22

34. The Unseen by Heather Graham (Native M/WW, serial killer & ghosts, new team)  eh didn’t sink into this one as much the beats are a bit too obvious Cw: murder, SA, human trafficking, drugs, abduction 3/15/22

35. The Unholy by Heather Graham (WM/WW, FBI/special effects Queen) Humphrey Boggart’s ghost is her undead roomie and he constantly quotes his famous lines!  I just what did I read?? Cw: murder, suicide, gore, biphobia. 3/18/22

 

36. The Unspoken by Heather Graham (Mixed race M/WW) Krewe Crossover, with negative first impressions. A cursed shipwreck and lost Egyptian treasures.  Cw: Murder, gore, betrayal 3/23/22

 

37. The Uninvited by Heather Graham (WM/WW) Revolutionary spy mystery, uncanny ghostly doppelganger, lies and families secrets uncovered by a historian  brings deaths to the current day (Cw: murder, betrayal, snakes, magic tricks). 3/23/22

 

38. The Night is Watching  by Heather Graham (WM/WW, ghost-town AZ) Ghost haunted ghost town, tourists & locals looking to unravel the mystery of missing gold cache. (Cw: sympathetic former confederate ghost) 3/23/22

 

39. The Night is Alive by Heather Graham (WM/WW, haunted savannah tavern) Young women are being kidnapped by pirate wannabe. Cw: rape, kidnapping, murder 3/28/22

 

40. The Night is Forever by Heather Graham (WM/WW, haunted horse farm)  a rash of unlikely accidents nearly destroy a therapy horse farm before the killer is stopped Cw: murder, kidnapping 3/38/22