Saturday, 14 July 2018

Ruthless (The Blackwell Files Book 2) by Steve F Freeman


A disabled ex-Army officer turned world-class cryptographer...a beautiful FBI agent...and a ruthless murderer on the loose in Atlanta.

A heartless killer ambushes and guns down ex-mobster Jay Mancini. Days later, the killer disposes of Mancini’s live-in girlfriend in cold blood. Desperate to identify the culprit, Jay’s niece Chelsea convinces work colleague and amateur detective Alton Blackwell to help investigate the seemingly run-of-the-mill professional mob hits.

Alton and his girlfriend, FBI Agent Mallory Wilson, race to sequester Chelsea away from wrathful mob gangsters intent on silencing anyone with knowledge of “family activities.” But the investigation spirals out of control as a series of new events with no apparent mob connection serves to confound their efforts to identify the assassin. 

As Alton and Mallory struggle to make sense of scant evidence, unseen danger marches inexorably closer to them and Chelsea, who seems to lie in the vortex of the mayhem. Will Alton and Mallory unravel the mystery in time to avoid becoming the killer’s next victims? And will their growing relationship survive the presence of the beautiful Chelsea Mancini?

Combining edge-of-your-seat psychological thrills with a side of romance, RUTHLESS keeps readers guessing until the final clue is revealed.

My review

Ruthless is the second book in the Blackwell Files series.

Thank you to Steve Freeman for the first time he asked me if I was interested in reviewing one of his books. That book was Tears of God, the seventh book in the Blackwell Files series. I loved the characters and his writing style in that book and the subsequent read, The Dig. I went back to the first book in the series to start at the beginning. So, after finishing Nefarious I got onto Ruthless. Neither book disappointed and I am eager to continue catching up with Alton and Mallory as well as David and Fahima in the next episode of their lives.

I should say while I am now reading them in sequence it is not necessary, they do standalone quite well. Freeman includes just enough information if you haven’t read earlier books but does not bog down the reader who has.

Ruthless has a well written storyline gripping the reader with plenty of action, mystery, suspense and a touch of romance

I love the characters. Alton and Mallory complement each other both in personality and skills for solving the crime. Their romance is slowly developing but not dominating the story.

There is a little sub-mystery involving David and Fahima who met and fell in love in the first book. Will they be able to overcome red tape, so she can join him in the US?

I enjoy Freeman’s writing because he gets straight into his story line without any unnecessary preamble. The momentum grows throughout until the final reveal. There are no dull or boring patches.

Ruthless is pure mystery free from undue violence, gore or sex scenes

There are plenty of twists and turns. I guessed the who but not how or why.

I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series. Just the development of Alton and Mallory, as well as David and Fahima relationships, while knowing there will be another good read, will push me on.

If you love reading mysteries/thrillers in a series don’t miss The Blackwell Files.

My rating 4*

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Saturday, 30 June 2018

Illusive Butterflies: A New Adult Romance by Livia Heart


How far would you go to discover who you really are?

Twenty-five-year-old Julia and Ania are best-friends who share everything. But there comes a time when you must do something all by yourself: discover who you really are. Outgrow your old skin and become an adult. And for Julia and Ania, that time is now. Both will be shaken by destinies unasked for: hidden family secrets, forbidden passions, riveting mysteries, shocking pain. In this pivotal moment in time, life will alter them forever. They will never be the same.

From their homes in Toronto, Canada, to the vineyards of Vignale Monferrato, Italy, and the charms of Cracow, Poland, no distance is too far in the quest for the meaning of love, family and self.

My Review

I think it has been more than 30 years since I read a romance novel so Illusive Butterflies is not a genre I would normally choose but I agreed to accept the book in return for an honest review. 

I can truthfully say I enjoyed the book because it is not a simple romance. The chapters alternate between each of the girls and their search for happiness. As their lives move through this period of discovery they experience great joy and tragedy. The author not only constructs a good story she demonstrates good insight into a variety of cultures, lifestyles and history in post war Europe.

As a first novel it is well very written, although needs some proofing to pick up the typographical errors throughout.

I must be honest, when I first started reading the novel I had a mindset it would only rate a 3*. How wrong I was. The story drew me in and I was keen to find out how the girls fared; even if Julia’s attitude and behaviour did annoy me for a while – but she came good.

My rating for Illusive Butterflies is 4*

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Saturday, 26 May 2018

Touchfeather (A Touchfeather Thriller Book 1) by Jimmy Sangster

I received an electronic version of this book as a LibraryThing Early Reviewer.

When I agree to review a book, I make every effort to read it to the end. I couldn’t do that with Touchfeather.

I know reading can be a distraction from the real world, but this storyline is ridiculous and totally outdated. It could be said the characters are larger than life. I would call them ludicrous.

The story is sexist and includes varied and unnecessary love scenes.

My rating 1*