Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Lost and Found by Ashley Ford

Naima is a succubus, and she is fleeing for her life through heavily wooded terrain when her pursuers are attacked by a large wolf. Bryce, one of her attackers and the group’s leader, escapes and hides out in a nearby barn to recuperate briefly before going after her again. He is hunting Naima to avenge his brother’s death at her hands. The brother had become obsessed with the succubus, kidnapped and held her captive, until she accidentally absorbed his entire life energy when he’d attempted to sexually assault her.

Following the wolf to safety in a secluded cabin, she meets the grief-ridden occupant, a shapeshifter named Gage. He is the wolf and has hidden himself away in the woods suffering from the loss of his mate, Alicia, the year before in a car accident.

The story of Lost and Found is about these two lost people finding each other and healing together. There is instantaneous attraction between the two which both fight making for some nice tension and wonder on the part of the reader – “Will they overcome their problems or not?” The story contains somewhat graphic sexual situations, but I thought they were well done.

This novella is recommended for readers that enjoy paranormal romances, shapeshifter stories, wolf pack tales, and something a little different – a succubus.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

I Am Terry Walker by Skye Andrews

Horrific confession-journal of a serial killer.

When a night out at a pub ends with a mindless, drunken murder, Terry Walker discovers that the horror at his actions also brings with it a deep feeling of satisfaction. Trying to recreate the feeling, Terry plots and picks up prostitutes, people he believes no one will ever miss, and murders each using a different method of torture. This story is presented in the form of a personal letter by Terry as he sits in his cell after being caught, tried, and sentenced to 120 years in prison: a confession-journal of his crimes, known and those that, until now, have gone undetected. Terry is writing the missive in an effort to increase his notoriety and is in no way seeking forgiveness.

This horror story starts out strong but does not sustain becoming a short recitation of different torture methods and vaguely how they work each occurring on Christmas of each succeeding year. The presence of a companion – a female tourist he kidnapped early in his years of crime – is mentioned infrequently during the years and I kept wondering (until the conclusion of his narrative) if she were still about or if he’d disposed of her at some point. The reader is privy to Terry’s thoughts and his motivations but there’s really not much to consider or dissect – I guess, though, that fits in with what we’re supposed to be reading: a quick and final confession of these additional crimes.

Horror is not my reading forte and I’ve not encountered the opportunity to book-talk the genre much. Having said that, when I say I cannot recommend this book, I really mean I am not able to suggest a group of readers that would find it a must-read. It is just too short and too shallow in its current form. It is often hard to understand because of uncertainties due to grammar. I do think the author is on to an interesting idea and it has the potential to become really horrific with care and expansion.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Murder at the Makeover by Sandi Scott

When Georgia Kaye receives an invitation to a high school class reunion (of sorts), she jumps at the chance to go see old friends and relive past memories. With sister, Aleta, in tow, the event unfortunately turns out to be little more than an attempt by Clara Lu, the event organizer, to introduce her pyramid-scheme, The Better You!, makeup business to her old friends, gain recruits, and expand her empire. Before the sisters can quietly slip away, someone screams and one of their former classmates, Samantha Alfred, is found dead on the floor of the ladies’ room. Chicago Police Detective Stan Toon, Georgie’s ex-husband, arrives on the scene to investigate and the sisters are once again embroiled in the search for a killer.

Murder at the Makeover is the 6th book in the sweetly, entertaining Pet Portraits Mystery series by Sandi Scott featuring the sixty-something twin sisters, Georgie and Aleta Kaye. In this story, readers are treated to a walk down the sisters’ memory lanes, revisit characters from previous books, and get a little closer look at Georgie’s feelings for ex-husband, Stan, and become more familiar with Aleta’s family. This series is recommended for readers that like their mysteries cozy, with lots of fun, snappy dialogue, and enjoy protagonists of a “certain age.” This series would be great on television! I can’t wait for the next one to come out.