Everything We Give

Everything We GiveAuthor: Kerry Lonsdale

Series: Everything We Keep #3

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Release Date: July 3, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

The thrilling and insightful conclusion to the Everything We Keep series!  Summer must read for sure!

Ian Collins is married to the woman of his dreams and a father to his beautiful young daughter. As an accomplished photographer, he has just completed a successful show of his work when he gets a call from National Geographic.  The magazine loves the images he did of the Rapa Das Bestas Festival in Spain, so much so that they want to send him and a writer back to Spain to get more images and a narrative for the magazine.  There is even a good chance that this could be his chance to land the cover image.  Everything is going great and he plans to celebrate with his wife Aimee.  Except he can’t find her and she isn’t answering her phone.  He finally finds her at a friend’s apartment and discovers that she has talked to James, her former fiancé who now lives in Hawaii.  She is really shaken up and having a hard time.  The next day, James comes to talk to Ian as well, which goes about as well as expected.  Ian realizes that they will probably never see James again and is shocked when he gets a card from James with the phone number for a woman he has been searching for that may have answers about his mother.  This brings to surface all of Ian’s abonnement issues that could further threaten his marriage.  Can Ian manage to save his marriage and finally get closure for his past?

First of all, thank you to Kerry Lonsdale for dedicating this book to her readers. This series has been phenomenal and keep me anxious for each character’s backstory. Everything We Give is no exception.  This book dives into Ian’s backstory, who had a substantial role in Everything We Keep and he fell in love with Aimee and was the right fit for her.  Now readers get to understand what makes Ian have some of the issues he does.  Young Ian’s mother had dissociative personality disorder, so she would shift between being people in her mind.  I’m not sure how anybody could cope with this, but Ian become her primary caretaker until an event that led to his mother being placed in prison.  He has carried this inside him for his whole life and never even opened up to Aimee, which becomes a bit of an issue to say the least.

I’ve always enjoyed the setting in California in an area that I know well, but shifting part of the story to Spain was amazing as well. Getting to read about a culture and events that I don’t know much about are always an added bonus.  This is a very anticipated summer read that I can’t recommend enough.  There are some minor cases of strong language and sensuality, but nothing too extreme.  Grab this book or the whole series and enjoy every bit of it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

A Steep Price

A Steep priceAuthor: Robert Dugoni

Series: Tracy Crosswhite #6

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Release Date: June 26, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

The newest Tracy Crosswhite book is a must read! Tracy and her crew are back and ready to tackle their toughest case yet, which will hit close to home for Tracy.

Detective Tracy Crosswhite has devoted her life to helping others after her sister went missing. When Tracy is called in to consult on a case involving the disappearance of a young woman, all the old memories come rushing back to her.  When the body is found Tracy knows her instincts were right.  The case becomes more complicated as Tracy is pregnant and trying to stay on the job as long as she can.  A new detective has joined the team and Tracy fears she is here to replace her. Tracy’s partner Vic is also facing trouble when his investigation into the murder of a local community member turns out to be more complicated than any of them could have expected.  With both of their careers on the line, Tracy and the team have to work together to save the lives of those they have sworn to protect and continue working together.

Robert Dugoni has done it again with the latest Tracy Crosswhite story! The nice thing about this story is the focus on the rest of the team.  Tracy is still a main part of the story but we really get to see into the lives of Vic and Del and the rest of the team.  This series has captivated me since My Sister’s Grave; some installments in the series are better than others but this one fits pretty close to the top of the list.  Tracy is my favorite character out of almost all the books I have read in a very long time. She is tough but also has her vulnerable side and Dugoni shows this side at all the right times. Showing her working a case while being pregnant and having to take on new challenges and responsibilities she has into consideration really changes her and the story.  Dugoni has a way of carrying a story forward in ways other authors have yet to figure out.  There are times he goes back and forth between characters as well as time but it never throws the reader from the story.  It is an intricate way of weaving a complicated plot and story line together to make an unforgettable novel and characters.  It’s not only the main characters that shine, each and every character in this novel had their moment to shine, and shine they did. Robert Dugoni is one of the top authors out there for a reason. He has mastered the art of storytelling and I can’t recommend his novels highly enough.  Everyone looking for a remarkable story that will leave you thirsting for more Tracy Crosswhite adventures needs to grab A Steep Price immediately.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Dominic

DominicAuthor: Mark Pryor

Series: Hollow Man #2

Publisher: 7th Street Books

Release Date: January 2, 2018

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Not every main character is honorable. Sometimes, they’re just a psychopath!

Originally from England, Dominic has made quite a life for himself in Austin, Texas. He is a prosecutor with the district attorney’s office for Travis County and primarily works with juvenile cases.  He also is a local musician that plays at a lot of different scenes.  But only two people know that he is also a psychopath.  And the saying goes that three people can keep a secret when two of them are dead.  The two people are his special lady and her teenage brother, who also happens to be a psychopath.

When a cop starts poking around asking about Dominic’s involvement in a past murder investigation that left his roommate in prison, Dominic is afraid that his teenage protégé is going to do something stupid like kill her. So, when she is found dead, his thoughts naturally drift toward what must have happened and how this could all lead back to him.  With only himself in mind (he is a psychopath after all), Dominic begins the process to transfer all involvement of any of the crimes to someone else.

This is a very different, but interesting concept. I haven’t read Hollow Man, but don’t feel like I missed much, maybe just a little backstory.  I’ll probably go ahead and read it so that I can fill in some of the blanks.  Having the main character as a psychopath with no regard for human life is a little different from my normal reading genre.  However, it is interesting that the reader can still form a bond with him as a main character.  Its also told in an exciting way that makes the reader want to find out what he is planning.  Usually this would be told from the police procedural point of view, but this turns the tables in an effort to thwart the police from discovering the truth.  That in itself makes me want to continue with this series.  It also helps that I frequent Austin and I love it when scenes and settings can easily come to life for me because I’ve been to the locations that the author is describing.

There is some strong language used throughout the book, so I recommend this title for mature readers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Justice Betrayed

Justice BetrayedAuthor: Patricia Bradley

Series: Memphis Cold Case #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: June 5, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

With Elvis impersonators, unsolved murders, and an unstable murderer, Justice Betrayed is bound to leave readers all shook up!

Detective Rachel Sloan thinks she is ready for whatever comes her way until an Elvis impersonator comes asking for her help. Vic Vegas knew her before her mother died and wants Rachel to help look into a cold case that might even be related to what happened to her mother.  When Vic’s house is broken into and trouble follows the case, Rachel starts to think there might be more to this case than she or anyone else originally thought.  As things heat up in the case, so does the tension between Rachel and her Lieutenant, Boone Callahan.  They had a small spark between them once but were not able to pursue the relationship being in the same unit at the department.  Trying to solve the case will take them working together and putting aside any differences they might have in order to stop a potential serial killer from claiming any more victims.

Patricia Bradley has found a knock-out formula for romantic suspense with the Memphis cold case series. The characters are real and easy to relate to and the story itself is one that readers will enjoy to the end.  I found Rachel a great lead, she was sure of herself but not cocky. She went after what she wanted even if others around her didn’t agree with her decisions and she followed her heart and stayed true to that.  I didn’t want to like Boone at first but it didn’t take long at all for him to grow on me and find myself not only routing for him but also the relationship between the him and Rachel.  It was a fun mystery with the cold cases and the relationship between that and the murder of Rachel’s mother.  I’m sure there is an entire circuit of people devoted to that and cases within as well so I enjoyed seeing how Bradley brought the story to life.  This is one of those books that fans of not only Patricia Bradley but fans of romantic suspense in general will enjoy and want to continue the series to see what happens with the characters and what other cold cases they can try and solve.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Lone Witness

Lone WitnessAuthor: Rachel Dylan

Series: Atlanta Justice #2

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: May 1, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

An edge of your seat thriller in the world of white-collar crimes and gangs. Rachel Dylan has crafted a page-turner that must be read!

Sophie Dawson has recently been appointed to the White Collar division as a prosecutor and is intrigued at the idea of diving deeper into these crimes that affect so many. She is working on a case against a local bank employee who seemed to be cheating his clients out of money.  In the middle of preparing for this case, she becomes the lone witness to a double murder with a member of a local gang leaving her far from the white-collar crimes she was working on.  She needs security to stay safe, so her father hires former Atlanta police officer Cooper Knight, who is working in private security to be her protector.  Sophie refuses to back down, even after her life is in danger more than once.  Cooper works every angle he can think of to keep her safe while trying to avoid the growing feelings he can’t deny between the two of them.

Rachel Dylan’s background in law makes her work writing legal thrillers the perfect combination. At times, the legal jargon and courtroom scenes can slow the pace a bit but are necessary for the story and characters.  Sophie may not want to admit it, but she is scared for what might happen as she pursues justice and tries to prove that she will not be walked over.  There were several nice twists throughout, especially towards the end that caught me by surprise, not an easy thing to do either.  I usually see the twists coming but this one did surprise me.  The romance between Cooper and Sophie felt slightly forced at times but when put in a high stress situation it does make sense that feelings could escalate quickly.  It is easy to think of crimes and exclude white-collar crimes because the physical damage isn’t seen, but it still affects many people and doesn’t need to be discounted for lack of visible carnage.  Overall I really enjoyed Lone Witness and recommend it to fans of legal thrillers and romantic suspense.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Cutting Edge

Cutting EdgeAuthor: Ward Larsen

Publisher: Forge Books

Release Date: January 23, 2018

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A new type of super soldier that is hard to wrap your mind around!

Trey DeBolt is a young rescue swimmer with the coast guard stationed in Kodiak, Alaska. While out on a rescue, severe weather causes his team’s helicopter to crash.  Everyone is killed, including Trey, or so it says on paper.  Sometime later, Trey wakes up in a cottage in Maine with a personal nurse.  She fills him in on some of the details of what has happened, but will provide very little information.  She oversees Trey’s physical recovery and explains about the brain surgery that was required to save his life.  One night while Trey is outside, a team of combat men show up and murder the nurse.  As they try to find him, Trey dives in the freezing north Atlantic water and manages to swim away before they can kill him too.  Now Trey has no money, no phone, no place to go, and no idea what is going on.  However, he is starting to discover that he has new abilities.  He can ask questions of his mind and discover details about people and places that he shouldn’t know.  It’s almost as if his mind has full access to the internet.  Is this why those men wanted to kill him?

Shannon Lund is a civilian officer with the coast guard investigative service (CGIS). While looking into the accidental climbing death of a coast guard member, things start to resurface for the case of Trey DeBolt.  A private Lear jet took DeBolt to a hospital instead of an air ambulance.  Further investigating tells her that it didn’t go to Anchorage as they were told, but changed the flight plan to Minneapolis and then dropped below 18,000 feet to go visual flight so they wouldn’t be tracked.  Then she receives a call from a detective in Maine that Trey’s fingerprints have been found out a doorknob to a cottage by the coast that was destroyed in an explosion.  Lund’s decision to further investigate could be the end of her career.

This was a new idea of a technological thriller. I enjoyed the way that Larsen played it out with Trey by slowly building up his abilities and scaring him half to death.  It made it feel much more realistic than just suddenly having the full abilities at once.  There was definitely some cat and mouse games going one with some of the characters, which made the story keep going strong in several places.  The main characters were well developed, but sill flawed enough to keep it real.  The plot was exciting and changed once or twice to keep me on my toes.  And the twist was a surprise, but shouldn’t have been unexpected.

If you are looking for a new type of thriller, give this book a try . Then grab the Assassin series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Blind Betrayal

Blind BetrayalAuthor: Nancy Mehl

Series: Defenders of Justice #3

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: April 17, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Nancy Mehl’s newest installment to the Defenders of Justice series gives readers their favorite characters in the most heart stopping adventure yet.

In what starts out as a routine day escorting a reporter to Washington to testify before a grand jury quickly turns into the most dangerous assignment U. S. Marshal Casey Sloane has had yet. The witness was reporting on an up and coming environmentalist with potential ties to terrorism.  As she and her partner are getting ready to transport their witness, their office is bombed leaving them unsure of who they can trust and where to go to stay safe.  They flee with their witness and together, with an old flame from her past Casey, is tasked with doing all she can to keep everyone alive and safe.

As the final book in the Defenders of Justice series, Nancy Mehl has crafted a story that wraps up the series successfully and with as much, if not more, tension than all of the previous books. Each book is unique in its own way and can be read together or individually with equal enjoyment.  I enjoyed the way this story was crafted showing how technology can be harmful and helpful at times. With the use of social media, Casey and her team found their way out of a tough spot that otherwise might not have given the team the help they needed.  I liked Casey. She was tough but not over the top or even stubborn.  Being a leading lady and in law enforcement, authors have to show these characters are able to keep up with their male counterparts and are not to be messed with but are still human and not exempt from harm or other problems.  It would have been easy for Mehl to put the romance element at the forefront, but she kept the suspense tight throughout keeping me glued to the page until the very end.  I enjoyed the secondary characters more than I thought I would at times, they helped carry the story along when it could have started to drag.  Overall I enjoyed this book and recommend to fans of Mehl and those that enjoy romantic suspense.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.