Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56, April 18, 2014

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56.
 Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and
Come Join us!

The Beginning:

"Ian Dunn's job for this assignment was a simple one.
Charm and distract."

Page 56:

"He hung up, then dialed Shelly's work number, but immediately got an automated message. It came through the speaker at a blaring volume as an additional fuck you. "the number you have dialed has been disconnected..."

The book is Do or Die (Reluctant Heroes #1) by Suzanne Brockmann. I won the book from the published several weeks ago and it is still sitting on my TBR pile. I keep thinking I will get around to reading it but haven't so far.

From Goodreads:

Navy SEAL Ian Dunn went rogue in a big way when he turned his talents to a lawless life of jewel heists and con jobs. Or so the world has been led to believe. In reality, the former Special Ops warrior is still fighting for good, leading a small band of freelance covert operatives who take care of high-stakes business in highly unofficial ways. That makes Ian the hands-down choice when the U.S. government must breach a heavily guarded embassy and rescue a pair of children kidnapped by their own father, a sinister foreign national willing to turn his own kids into casualties. Shockingly, Ian passes on the mission... for reasons he will not–or cannot–reveal.

But saying no is not an option. Especially not to Phoebe Kruger, Ian’s bespectacled, beautiful, and unexpectedly brash new attorney. Determined to see the abducted children set free, she not only gets Ian on board but insists on riding shotgun on his Mission: Impossible-style operation, whether he likes it or not.

Though Phoebe has a valuable knack for getting out of tight spots, there’s no denying the intensely intimate feelings growing between Ian and Phoebe as the team gears up for combat. But these are feelings they both must fight to control as they face an array of cold-blooded adversaries, including a vindictive mob boss who’s got Ian at the top of his hit list and a wealthy psychopath who loves murder as much as money. As they dodge death squads and play lethal games of deception, Ian and Phoebe will do whatever it takes to save the innocent and vanquish the guilty.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ghost Seer by Robin D. Owens

Paranormal Romance

From Goodreads:

There’s just something about Clare. Apart from the ghosts…...

When her eccentric aunt passes away, no-nonsense accountant Clare Cermac inherits more than just a small fortune. She receives the gift of communicating with ghosts. While Clare may not believe in spirits, it’s hard to overlook the shadowy talking dog appearing on her bed or spectral cowboys tipping their hats to her in the streets of Denver. And when she locks eyes with sexy—and living—Zach Slade, there’s certainly no ignoring him either.

A former deputy sheriff, Zach is leaving a painful past behind in Montana for a new life in Denver as a private investigator, a job that has him crossing paths with beautiful Clare. Not that she minds. After the restless ghost of a Wild West gunman demands her assistance, Clare finds herself needing Zach more and more—and not just for help.

Ghost Seer is the first book in a new series by Robin D. Owens. I enjoyed her Heart Mate series so I had high hopes for Ghost Seer.  I was not disappointed. 

Much of Ghost Seer is character development.  Clare Cermac and Zach Slade are both facing changes in their lives.  Zach is a policeman who is recovering from a gun shot wound that has left him with a bad leg.  He does not want a desk job and so is at loose ends.  Clare’s aunt dies leaving her all of the aunt’s money and also her ablility to see ghosts.  The two meet and connect but there are problems.

There are also some very nice side characters.  Enzo is a ghost dog that is Clare’s helper or at least he thinks he is.  Mrs. Flinton is an older woman who also can see ghosts or at least Ezno.  Both add a nice touch to the book.

There is tension in the book.  For Clare it is trying to come to terms with her new ability.  For Zach it is accepting the change that his injury has brought to his life.  Then there is the growing attraction between the two.  Clare’s new ability adds to the tension between she and Zack.  There is also an external danger to Clare.  Someone thinks a ghost has told her about a hidden treasure.

All of this is part of the world building in Ghost Seer.  The story is set in Denver and Denver today and Denver between 1850 and 1900 are important parts of the story.  Character development and world building are the most important elements of Ghost Seer.  All blend together to make a great start for this new series.

I lived in Denver and having it set in a place I knew added to my enjoyment.  I am ready for the next book, Ghost Layer, due out in September of 2014.

Berkley Sensations published GhostSeer by Robin D. Owens in 2014.

Marked (A Mindspace Investigations Novel) by Alex Hughes

Paranormal Mystery

From Goodreads:


Freelancing for the Atlanta PD isn’t exactly a secure career; my job’s been on the line almost as much as my life. But it’s a paycheck, and it keeps me from falling back into the drug habit. Plus, things are looking up with my sometimes-partner, Cherabino, even if she is still simmering over the telepathic Link I created by accident.

When my ex, Kara, shows up begging for my help, I find myself heading to the last place I ever expected to set foot in again—Guild headquarters—to investigate the death of her uncle. Joining that group was a bad idea the first time. Going back when I’m unwanted is downright dangerous.

Luckily, the Guild needs me more than they’re willing to admit. Kara’s uncle was acting strange before he died—crazy strange. In fact, his madness seems to be slowly spreading through the Guild. And when an army of powerful telepaths loses their marbles, suddenly it’s a game of life or death.

I have been looking forward to Book 3 in the Mindspace Investigation series.  After reading it I came away with mixed feelings.  Before I go further I do want to say that this is not a series you just drop into.  Go back to the beginning and start with book one, Clean.

On the plus side Marked continued with the world building started in the first two books.  There is more background about the Tech Wars and the Guild.  Along with the world building the characters continue to be fleshed out.  Finally Adam and Cherabino start to work on their attraction, just working – nothing resolved.

On the minus side the main premise for Marked just does not make sense.  Why on earth would Adam ever go back to help the Guild.  They used him to test a drug that was very addictive and threw him out instead of helping him when that experiment left him an addicted.  I have never liked the Guild and I really had trouble believing he would every willing walk back into a situation that gave them any power over him. They have not changed - they do not treat him well this time either.

Having said all of that after I got over how stupid I though Adam was the plot was interesting.  Like Adam I would think I knew what was going on only to be fooled again and again.  I do hope the next book leaves the Guild way, way in the background.  I like Adam and did not enjoy seeing him back in the power of the Guild.

Roc published Marked by Alex Hughes in 2014.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - April 16, 2014


 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature sponsored by Breaking the Spine.  It is a great way to share upcoming releases.

I am waiting for The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Steadfast by Jack Campbell to be released May 6th.  This series is one of my favorites.  Every time I think Campbell cannot keep the series new and fresh he proves me wrong.  I am counting on him doing it again with Steadfast.

From Goodreads:

"New York Times bestselling author Jack Campbell’s action-packed Lost Fleet series has propelled readers from deep space to the very edge of their seats. Now Admiral John Black Jack” Geary embarks on a thrilling new adventure to defend the Alliance and safeguard the future.

Geary and the crew of the Dauntless have managed to safely escort important alien representatives to Earth. But before they can make tracks for home, two of Geary’s key lieutenants vanish. The search for his missing men leads Geary on a far-flung chase, ultimately ending at the one spot in space from which all humans have been banned: the moon Europa. Any ship that lands there must stay or be destroyed—leaving Geary to face the most profound moral dilemma of his life.

To make matters worse, strains on the Alliance are growing as the Syndics continue to meddle. Geary is ordered to take a small force to the border of Syndic space. But what he finds there is a danger much greater than anyone expected: a mysterious threat that could finally force the Alliance to its knees.

As Geary spearheads a desperate battle to protect the Alliance against a shrewd and powerful enemy, he’s left with just one question: Who are they?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teaser Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:"
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book. 

Tax Day in the US and Teaser Tuesday!! What a combination.

My Teaser:

"I do work for them," he said...."They pay me to have interesting ideas, while at the same time recognizing that I could never function in an orthodox corporate environment."  Page 65

This is from Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds.  The book was published in 2012.  I purchased it several months ago and it has been sitting on my TBR pile.  I think it will be there for awhile longer just because it is 562 pages long.  It is also book one in a trilogy.  Have any of you read it?  If so let me know if I need to move it up to the top of my pile. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Musing Mondays, April 14, 2014.

MusingMondays5Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…Musing Mondays is sponsored by Should Be Reading.
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

I am trying to turn over a new leaf.  I keep buying books that I don't get read and accepting too many review copies.  Right now I have to read one of my purchases before I read one for review.  I am also trying to cut down on the number I request from Netgalley and Edelweiss.  One week into this new schedule I am doing OK.  The real test is over the next month.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Spider (Elemental Assassin #10) by Jennifer Estep


From Goodreads:

The tenth book in the bestselling and “outstanding” (Romantic Times) Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series finally reveals for the first time the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadliest of assassins.

For the first time, the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadly assassin “the Spider” are revealed in full. In a story that pre-dates the other nine books in the series, Gin Blanco goes through her paces to become the most feared assassin in the Ashland.

About this time last year I read the first book in the Elemental Assassin’s series and inhaled the next 7 in very short order.  # 9 came out shortly after and I immediately read that one too.  For some reason I had The Spider on my TBR pile for several weeks before picking it up to read.  I think maybe I was worried that this would be one that I did not like.  I do like it but with some reservations.

This story is set in the past, long before the events in the previous books.  For the first time we see Fletcher alive and working.  Gin and Finn are getting over sibling rivalry and working out their relationship.  Gin takes a job Fletcher has questions about and the story unfolds from there.

You might think starting here with a prequel would be the best way to get into the series but I do think you need some back-story before you read The Spider.  Hints are dropped into the story but you will miss some of the small things if this is your first book in the series.

Some of those include the introduction of characters that will play an important part in the series.  They are just side characters here and without the knowledge gained from the first 9 books you will not see how important they will become.  Even Owen has a bit part here.
For me the story divided into two parts:

Part one is a train wreck waiting to happen.  You can see it from Gin’s actions.  She thinks she knows it all and it is a set up for part two.  I really did not enjoy that part.  In fact I almost skimmed thought it because I could see what was about to happen.  I read really fast get to part two.

Part two was where all the action happened.  Gin realizes that she was set up and takes revenge.  Here Gin really comes into her own as an assassin.  She learns and uses what she learns about herself to really fully grow into The Spider.

While this is listed as telling the origins of Gin Blanco’s career what it really tells is the job that happens after she had started her career.  It tell a lot about how she accepts jobs in the future and shows that she is more than her job makes her.

The Spider is not my favorite book in the series but it does play an important part in the series.  If you have started this series The Spider is an important book to read.  If you have not started the series you have 10 books ready to read.

Pocket Books published The Spider by Jennifer Estep in 2014.