Review: Caught by Surprise

Caught by Surprise Caught by Surprise by Jen Turano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found myself laughing out loud several times while reading this delightful story. It is the 3rd, and you'd probably do best reading the first 2 before this one because the cast of characters is gigantic. So gigantic that you might get lost like I did.

We have two main characters (MC). Temperance and Gilbert who grew up together, went about their separate lives, and then were thrown back together by her evil-minded cousins. At least for most of the book they are evil-minded.

There is some great writing here as well as pretty good plot development. However, the problem is there are too many characters to wrap your head around if you didn't read the first 2 books. It felt like this book was the wrap up so there were lots of story threads that had to be knotted and woven back into the tapestry of the overarching storyline. In some places the thing is extremely predictable. In other places, the story is quite surprising and full of humor. There is a slight mystery going on in the background. But don't worry there isn't one strand or thread left undone.

I got to what I thought was the perfect ending and realized there were several more chapters. Again, this was for the first 2 books. This might be a good way to write to sell books. I don't know. There was quite a bit that didn't interest me.

However, from the very first page the reader is drawn into a delightful story about two people who do not know they love each other, lots and lots of money, parents killed in the Amazon jungle, evil cousins, and several eccentric, peripheral characters that give you a few belly laughs.

Received this book from Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.

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Review: Justice Betrayed

Justice Betrayed Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very well written!

Love the premise of an Elvis week in Memphis. You don't really get a great feel for Memphis the town, but Patricia Bradley does an excellent job of characterizations. These are real Southern people in a big city (not like New York, but not small town, either). Believable characters in a stand alone story, even though it's the 3rd in the series. I didn't get lost or feel like I missed something, or even like I started reading in the middle. That is hard for a writer to do, and Bradley does it well.

Suspense is good, maybe not edge of your seat, but you find out as Dect. Sloane finds out, so you can detect along with her. I really like that. You've also got a nice romance that walks along with you. The romance isn't the main focus, but it is a nice sub-story that lends interest.

The mystery is good. Also rare these days that a mystery author plays by the rules. Nothing is held back for a "surprise" ending. If you pay attention, you'll know whodunit. But that doesn't detract from the story or the mystery.

One thing I don't like is for an author to get into the head of the murderer for a chapter or so. Why? There was really no point here, either. Motive for murder is totally different than the reason why someone is capable of murder (or even has committed murder before). Motive is a driving force. It's compelling and must be believable. Here motive is believable, but it is a little blurred. Yet, that blurring is rather compelling as well. Sorry for the mixed signals here, it's just that I'm waffling between the extra info and if it was really necessary to move the story along, or if it was kept because it was good writing and very suspenseful. Don't know. So you'll have to get the book and find out for yourself. If you form an opinion on it, I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know.

Received this book from Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.

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Review: Lost Solace

Lost Solace Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lost Solace is a good read. It isn't hard science. It has a lot of heart. Opal is a believable character, and the AI is quite fun. There is a great deal of tension and some scary parts. All good and woven well together.

One irritating factor is that we've got a mystery to the reader, but the MC Opal and the MC Clarissa (AI) know the answer. That just doesn't work for me. If the MC knows, then the reader should know. The people after Opal know. Everyone in the story knows what Opal wanted and needed, but the reader is left in the dark about it. That seems more like an underhanded ploy for suspense than good writing.

However, we are taken on a roller coaster ride with lots of action when the "bad" guys show up. Lots of suspense and tension when gravity does what comes natural to it. Plus there is the interaction between Opal and Clarissa that adds some pretty good spice to the stew.

Oh and the language is a bit rough.

Four of Five stars.
Received this book from NetGalley This is my honest review.

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Review: Burden of Proof

Burden of Proof Burden of Proof by DiAnn Mills
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think this is one of DiAnn Mills' best novels ever. The tension, the characters, the stakes, the story take a grip on your heart and never let go.

What's great is these characters are believable, so much like real life characters. There's a little humor, a lot of suspense, some seemingly impenetrable mystery, and a desperate, handsome, loving father who is trying to figure out why it's all happening. He draws FBI special agent April into the fray--or rather his baby daughter does.

What's not to like about this story?

Romance is good.
Suspense is good.
Mystery is good.
It's a page-turner. So you won't go wrong by purchasing this book.

Five of Five stars.
(Received this book from Netgalley. This is my honest review.)

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Review: Brilliant Disguise

Brilliant Disguise Brilliant Disguise by Mary Anne Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quite a good read, although it drags a bit in the middle. This is one mystery/romance that works well. The blend of it works well. However, telling the story from 2 main POVs limits the tension on the Whodunit part of the book. There isn't really enough given during the investigation to indicate Whodunit except at the very end. But it was done well because the reader finds out as the MC finds out. I hate it when a character finds out something but the author keeps it a secret to reveal at the end. That really bugs me.

So the characters are developed well. You care about what happens, although the beginning the MC has a basic mental breakdown that seems to evaporate almost immediately when the 2nd MC appears. Not quite, but almost. Not all that believable.

All in all, a good read.

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