Late Post – Review: Friction by Sandra Brown

Friction is another nail-biter from Sandra Brown. From the very first paragraph, to the last sentence, I was caught by the story and could not put the book down. Every time I got to the end of a chapter, something monumental would be revealed and I had to keep reading. A roller coaster of a book, this one is a definite keeper.

Friction is the story of Holly, a judge and Crawford, a Texas Ranger who’s trying to get his daughter back. They meet inside the courtroom where Holly is ruling on his custody plea. Before she can try and do that, there’s a commotion and a gunman enters the courtroom shooting.

I hadn’t read much about the back, I just started on the book and it pays to not know what is going to happen, because each turn and twist left me gasping, staring at the book in disbelief–and there are a lot of turns and twists.

I loved that Holly was a professional woman in a job that’s not usually reserved for the heroine. I liked that she had a job in law enforcement. And Holly takes that responsibility very seriously, further endearing her to me.

Crawford, on the other hand, has had a few too many punches from life and is a little cynical. He doesn’t care who understands him or who hates him. When he’s trying to help Holly out, his attitude sometimes backfires and causes more difficulties. He’s still hard to resist. Under all that tough bravado, he’s got a heart of gold and will give everything in his power to help out someone in distress. That’s hard not to like.

This one is a well-written, powerfully addictive book. One that I loved reading during the hot summer days and will enjoy again and again. If you haven’t tried Sandra Brown, check this one out and, if you’re a fan, don’t miss out. This one is a keeper.

(credit:sandrabrownbooklist.com)

(credit:sandrabrownbooklist.com)

Note: click on cover to go to site.

Review: Breath of Scandal

I picked up Breath of Scandal because the back intrigued me and Sandra Brown is a reliable bet. The book tells the story of Jade, a girl who leaves a small southern town after a horrible incident and comes back to face her attackers and find her happy ending. It seemed like a great read and it was thick enough at 500 plus pages, to keep me happy for a while. I wasn’t disappointed and thought I’d share this one with you.

One of the best parts of the book is the slow introduction of the characters. The book retells most of their lives, from an impactful beginning to the present, when Jade comes back to the town. It was delicious to see them emerge, slowly and hear about their lives. It made them fully fleshed, complete persons for me and all the more impactful when they spoke and acted.

The back explains the story happened this way: “On a rainy Southern night, Jade Sperry endured a young woman’s worst nightmare at the hands of three local hell-raisers.” The details of what happened were difficult to read, though I should add that I’m particularly sensitive to violence. Thankfully, Sandra Brown treats the topic with due respect and doesn’t dismiss it or play it down. In fact, the horrible incident is crucial to understanding Jade and her personality, so I could bear the difficulty of reading it because I knew it was pivotal to the story.

And that one night isn’t the entire story. Jade leaves the town but returns and…sure enough, like the book says, ‘all hell breaks loose’.

Hearing Jade’s story, like that of the other characters was amazing. I loved seeing and understanding the choices she made and how she moved up, through life until she was a competent professional with a tough attitude towards work that ensured her success.

I also loved seeing Dillon develop slowly. We hear about his life before Jade, what he did and who he was. Like her, the past doesn’t leave him unscathed but his story explains just why he huffs and leaves a scene or why he doesn’t say much in an argument. We know where he has come from and what’s going on in his head without the author having to tell us.

Dillon and Jade’s love story unfurls slowly while she’s trying to find peace to the demons from the past and he’s trying to find peace in his life. I won’t ruin it by revealing it but I will say that it was both believable and beautiful.

The story has many threads but they’re all carefully tied neatly at the end. There are, of course, some twists and turns but there is a happy ending–and a believable one. It was an ending that justified the long journey it took the reader to get there and that was just yummy.

I would obviously recommend this book. It’s a story of triumph over tragedy from an underdog and I love that concept. But I would say that the best part is the slow, rich tapestry it weaves, telling us a story that began with horrible trauma but ends in a happy resolution. If you’re a fan of Sandra Brown or would like a lovely story to read on a summer night, this one is for you.

(credit:goodreads.com)

(credit:goodreads.com)

Note: To go to site, click on cover.

Review: Heartbreaker

I’ll admit that Linda Howard is on my automatic-buy list. She’s just awesome. So when I spotted this new one, I didn’t even read the back, I just bought it.

Turns out that this book is more romance than mystery. Lately, Linda Howard had been moving towards mystery–to the dismay of this reader–but this book was a return of good, old romance. A change in the right direction, in my humble opinion.

Troublemaker is the story of Bo, our feisty chief of police heroine, her sweetie dog, Tricks and Morgan, a team leader of a paramilitary group, our hero.

When Morgan gets ambushed and shot, his boss sends him to stay with Bo and recover in her sleepy, little town. When she first sees the deadly-sick man at her doorstep, Bo throws a fit, but finally has to give in. And both chaos and romance ensue.

There’s a little bit of fish-out-of-water challenges here because Morgan is way in over his head in this tiny town of quirky characters. Add to that the comical antics of Tricks and I laughed out loud at some parts. But the best part was, of course, the romance.

Bo and Morgan fall for each other without realizing it in a way that’s almost funny. He’s not used to her ways and she’s definitely not used to his, so they start out not liking the other and basically realize they’re in love long after it happens. It’s lovely and I won’t destroy it by trying to explain it here.

There’s also mystery, which always does me in and makes me super anxious. I’m someone who never sees those twists coming or how things are going to get better. In my head, I was terrified for all three, Bo, Morgan and even Tricks. If you’re like me, rest assured, there’s a happy ending for all of them.

If you’re a Linda Howard fan, you won’t be needing my recommendation, because you know what she’s like but if you have never tried her, I recommend you give this one a shot. It’s romance with a little mystery and a wonderful pet. I couldn’t ask for more than that in a great book.

(credit:goodreads.com)

(credit:goodreads.com)

Note: to go to buy links, click on book cover.

 

Review: Mean Streak

Sandra Brown usually does mystery and I’m not a big fan of that genre. Having said that, I loved Mean Streak. It’s got a fantastic plot, a mystery simple enough that it kept the romance alive, and a beautiful love story. Add to that, the amazing Sandra-Brown-touch with cliffhangers and you have a page-turner that I just couldn’t put down.

The plot was awesome. It stars with a prologue. Not a huge one, so I didn’t get put off, but it left me hanging and I had to read on to find out what happened. Emory is our heroine and she’s an accomplished doctor who likes to run. I immediately liked her. Running endeared her to me even if her personality hadn’t been awesome, but it was. She’s determined and tough and will keep trying no matter what. I loved her.

She’s training for a marathon and has an ‘accident’, then wakes up captive by a very intimidating man. He’s our hero and will remain nameless, like he is for quite a bit of the book, but he’s really awesome. He’s gruff, introverted, cryptic and just as determined to do the right thing as she is. While he’s presented as mean-looking, I was almost immediately won over because he’s incredibly gentle and kind to Emory, taking care of her to his own detriment and putting all other considerations aside.

The mystery of who hurt Emory keeps the book going, though for me, the big issue was how the hero and heroine were going to get together. Finally, when things are explained, it wasn’t so complicated that I couldn’t make out what happened or understand it. And there was a happy ending, which made the romantic-lover in me grin with delight.

Mean Streak was so much fun. It was easy to read, incredibly addictive and not too gory. I would recommend it strongly for any Sandra Brown fans, anyone who likes mystery and anyone who’s into romance. It’s got a special place on my keeper shelf and has me looking for more books from this author.

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

Note: click on cover to go to site.

Monday Morsel

Monday Morsel is a little twist I put on the bookish meme Teaser Tuesdays hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. It works just like Teaser Tuesdays…except it’s on Monday. 🙂

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 for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other Monday Morsel participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“Do you know the expression ‘children pay for the sins of their father’; well in your case you’ll be paying for the sins of your mother.” From Sins of the Father by Melissa Barker-Simpson.

 

sins-of-the-father

Note: Click on image to go to page.

Review: Hands of Evil

Hands of Evil caught me from the get go. It’s incredibly well written but that’s not what got me. What caught my interest and didn’t let it go was the humanity of the characters, their honest appeal. Add to that the fact that the book is like a fantastic version of CSI and I was hooked.

We meet JJ who’s a tough guy who is also caring and protective without losing a sliver of that meanness. JJ is the kind of guy I’d want watching my back. He’s smart, dedicated and can drop a bad guy in under two seconds. I liked him from the start and reading the book only increased his appeal.

Grace is a survivor of abuse. Not a victim. The difference is powerful and delightful. She’s a woman determined to find her wings again even if life has thrown her some tough cards. I loved that she was into self-defence and she worked out. I loved that she had a job and stood up to bullies without caving in. She was awesome.

There’s a bad guy in Hands of Evil and I won’t say too much because I don’t want to give anything away. Suffice it to say that this particular nemesis had a tragic past that gave him a touch of humanity sometimes laking in romance.

This book is rich with stories and likeable characters without taking away from the main love story. I wanted to know more about Justin and the rest of the team. I was curious about their lives and histories. They were tough as nails, smart as they come but somehow approachable and funny. I got a sense they’d be awesome friends.

I love romance and I don’t usually like mystery but this book had me. I had to find out what happened. The pace wasn’t rushed or slow, it was exciting. I had to stop myself from gobbling up the book and I know I’ll read it again to savour it slowly. A really great read, I’d highly recommend it.

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Note: click on cover to go to site.