RED METAL by Mark Greaney & H. Ripley Rawlings IV

July 22, 2019

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The authors, one whom is an experienced combat officer, have combined to present a picture of what real war is like. There are no descriptions of computers fighting one another, but of real men and women doing battle with modern weapons with many casualties as a consequence.

Several years prior to the opening of the book Russia was driven from possession of three Rare Earth Mineral mines located in Africa in the country of Kenya. The Russian prime minister now feels that it is time to retake those mines and orders two troop movements. The first is an attack across Poland and into Germany drawing the United States and NATO allies into defending those countries. Using this assault as a means of taking attention away from her real target the Russian military will than utilize a second assault into Kenya in order to capture the mines.

The authors utilize back and forth reactions by both sides on the two fronts to tell a masterful story of war. First, the Russian attack driving through Poland brings reactions from a poorly outfitted Polish army, but than occasions the decision by armed citizenry to fight the invaders. A young Polish girl whose normal occupation is as a barista in a coffee shop becomes a hero as she begins to lead other citizens into the defense of their country. The Russian side is depicted by military officers who are in tune with the war and want to make sure that they stand out for recognition for their efforts.

The second phase is a defense by American forces of the mines in Kenya. At the point of undertaking this defense the U.S. navy is engaged in a “show the flag” contest with the Chinese and are forced to sail across the world to take part in the defense of the mines in Africa. Individual, and realistically described moments of courage are described on the part of both sides during the battles. A U.S.submarine commander manages to destroy a crucial part of the Russian fuel supply by brave movements against the Russian invasion fleet. An American aviator manages to do a good deal of damage to Russian air support, while brave men and women move into precarious positions in order to maximize their efforts against Russia’s tanks.

The book is an all nighter due mainly to it’s use of personal experiences encountered by characters that are fleshed out sufficiently enough to be believed as active participants in the horrors of a shooting war. Very well done indeed.

7/19 Paul Lane

RED METAL by Mark Greaney & H. Ripley Rawlings IV. Berkley (July 16, 2019). ISBN 978-0451490414. 656p.

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THE GIFTED SCHOOL by Bruce Holsinger

July 21, 2019

7/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE GIFTED SCHOOL by Bruce Holsinger. William Morrow (May 28, 2019). ISBN 978-0062861214. 432p.

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THE HALLOWS by Victor Methos

July 20, 2019

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An absolutely grabbing novel that will not allow the reader to put it down until finished. The book deals with a high powered and very successful lawyer practicing in Miami that suddenly finds himself dissatisfied with his work when a client that he had successfully defended on a charge of murder walks out and immediately kills someone else.

Tatum Graham the lawyer just decides to give up the big bucks in Miami and go home to small town Utah where his roots are. Arriving there he meets an old flame of his who is working at the county attorney’s office and asks him as a favor to take on the role of a prosecutor in a murder case. Tatum knows the people involved and most importantly the girl killed and her father who is a friend of his father. In addition he visits his father with whom he has been estranged from for many years and who isnow suffering from cancer.

To round out a fascinating group of characters one of the two boys accused of the murder comes from a wealthy family and his father hires a top tier attorney to defend him. Not surprisingly Tatum has gone against that lawyer several times in court and the trial shapes up as a battle between titans. The depiction of the trial is just that; one expert attorney versus another as gifted as he is. The maneuvers between the two become a fascinating study of the reality of a trial where one man and than the other come out with twists and turns.

On the side is the rekindling of the romance between Tatum and his old girlfriend and the feelings each has harbored for many years. A very well done portrait of Tatum’s dad who is fighting his disease and trying to explain his attitude towards the son that he has kept at bay for a long time. This is one of the better handlings of a flawed individual and the treatment of the man adds to the story and what transpires. A very well done novel and without doubt a five star story.

7/19 Paul Lane

THE HALLOWS by Victor Methos. Thomas & Mercer (July 1, 2019). ISBN 978-1542042741. 350p.

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QUEEN BEE by Dorothea Benton Frank

July 19, 2019

7/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

QUEEN BEE by Dorothea Benton Frank. William Morrow (May 28, 2019). ISBN 978-0062861214. 432p.

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THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF SAM HELL by Robert Dugoni

July 18, 2019

7/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF SAM HELL by Robert Dugoni. Lake Union Publishing (April 24, 2018). ISBN  978-1503948976. 447p.

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BARK OF NIGHT by David Rosenfelt

July 17, 2019

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An Andy Carpenter Novel, Book 19

This is Rosenfelt’s 19th novel featuring Andy Carpenter and his more than slightly askew team of helpers. Andy, as most of his fans know, is a defense lawyer who has inherited money and consequently would rather not work at his profession. In spite of his predilection, each novel features him picking up the defense of a person​ charged with murder. He is helped in building up the defense of his client by his wife Laurie who was previously a law enforcement officer and now acts as his investigator.
In addition there is Marcus, silent but a deadly weapon who defends him, an office manager who would rather be retired and normally is found resting, and several other individuals including an assistant manager of an FBI office, a police chief and an assistant lawyer. Most important are his two dogs, who do nothing but get walked while Andy thinks things through.
The author’s unabashed love of dogs, especially Golden Retrievers, is showcased in his novels. Andy and his partner Willy own and operate a center for the saving and placement of stray dogs. In Bark of Night, the action is begun when Andy is called by his veterinarian to check out a dog that has been given up with an order to destroy it. Andy takes the dog and places it in the Center and asks his partner to look after the animal, to not destroy it and await developments.
Sure enough, beginning at this point Andy is dragged into a situation where he must defend a young man accused of murder. Rosenfelt takes this novel up several notches which makes a good read into a better one. The plot brings a national criminal activity to the attention of the FBI, Homeland Security and the police forces of many jurisdictions around the United States.
The author does an excellent job of bringing all the threads in the book to a very clever conclusion while allowing his readers their normal satisfaction with the novel. The writing style, as always, is clever tongue-in-cheek, and does influence the reader to finish the book in one sitting. It is a given that there will be future novels featuring Andy and his helpers, the defense of someone on trial, a dog or dogs and a good time had by all.
7/19 Paul LaneBARK OF NIGHT by David Rosenfelt. Minotaur Books (July 16, 2019). ISBN 978-1250133090. 304p.

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THE KISSING CONTRACT by Amy Andrews

July 16, 2019

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BLOG TOUR!

From the publisher:

Marshall Dyson wants one thing and one thing only: to raze his grandfather’s island to the ground. Everything is ready to go—except for the freakin’ bunnies! Hundreds of the furry critters hopping about and multiplying before his eyes. And then there’s the American Bunny League, along with one distractingly beautiful veterinarian, taking him to court to save them…

Dr. Augusta “Gus” North can’t believe the grumpy—and annoyingly hot—builder she’s facing in court cares more about demo-ing some cabin than the lives of 200 bunnies. But when the judge orders Marshall to stay on the island and help her rehome the rabbits—the entire month—she knows they’re going to need to lay some ground rules.

Like, for example, absolutely no kissing. Might as well go ahead and get that in writing. Sure it’s on a napkin, but that still counts.

How hard could it be to keep their hands off each other amidst all the fighting? Surprisingly, harder than wrangling 200 bunnies…


This was a really fun and sexy read! The bunnies were just an added bonus. The characters were interesting people, and the way they get together is more complicated than you might think. The sexual tension builds on every page, although at times it just seemed redundant. I liked the characters, the plot line and the setting and recommend this read.

About Amy Andrews:

Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written seventy contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. Her books bring all the feels from sass and quirk and laughter to emotional grit to panty-melting heat. She loves frequent travel, good books and great booze although she’ll take mediocre booze if there’s nothing else. For many, many years she was a registered nurse. Which means she knows things. Anatomical things. And she’s not afraid to use them! She’s just moved back to her central Queensland roots taking a sea change in the pretty little coastal town of Yeppoon where she gets to stare at the ocean all day.

Connect:

Site: http://amyandrews.com.au

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmyAndrewsAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmyAndrewsbooks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1128457.Amy_Andrews


7/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE KISSING CONTRACT by Amy Andrews. Entangled: Amara (July 15, 2019). ASIN: B07PF632Q2. 277p.


ONCE UPON A BAD BOY by Melonie Johnson

July 11, 2019

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Sometimes in Love, Book 3

From the publisher:

NEVER SAY NEVER

Sadie Gold is ready to take her career to the next level with the role of a lifetime. Finally, she can shake her reputation as a pretty face with more wealth and connections than talent. But Sadie is not prepared for the wild turn her own life is about to take. The man in charge of training Sadie for her most demanding role yet is none other than her first real boyfriend―the one who took her heart and ran away.

WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE

Bo Ibarra is as good-looking and irresistible as ever. Maybe even more so, now that everything once worked against them―Sadie’s pampered and privileged upbringing and Bo’s childhood in a family struggling to make ends meet―is in the past. But the future is still unwritten…and getting there, together, means coming clean about painful secrets and slashing through nasty tabloid rumors while trying to control the attraction that crackles between them. Maybe it’s finally time for them to walk off into the sunset and into a true and lasting love?


This is the third book of the series and I’m quite proud of myself for reading them all in order. That said, this was my least favorite of the series so far. Not that it’s bad or anything, it just wasn’t as good as the first two, which I loved.

The characters are well developed and there is a bit of a twist near the end. I just had some trouble with this couple and the way they interacted, it didn’t feel real to me. A lot of the tension between them seemed contrary to what else was going on, like the sex. It seemed very high school to me, I just didn’t buy it. Despite that, I raced through this book and did enjoy it. I really like these women and I’m looking forward to seeing whose story is next. It is hinted at but it really could go a different way and I wouldn’t be surprised.

While this was not my favorite entry in the series, I still recommend it!

5/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

ONCE UPON A BAD BOY by Melonie Johnson. St. Martin’s Paperbacks (May 28, 2019). ISBN 978-1250193056. 384p.

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LAYOVER by David Bell

July 10, 2019

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Joshua Fields is a workaholic. The good part of that is he works for his father who has every intention of turning their thriving business over to his son as soon as Joshua is ready. The bad part of that is that he is always traveling; in and out of airports all around the country and living out of suitcases in one hotel after another. He has a girlfriend that he thinks he will marry but is not that excited about the prospect. He also does not like flying, and lives on Xanax in order to be able to board a flight.

The story begins with Joshua meeting a beautiful girl at an airport, sharing a drink, and a kiss and realizing that he wants to have more with Morgan; the lady in question. He than begins a round of chasing after her from one city after another until they meet again. This time the two share a beautiful interlude of sex until Morgan just disappears again. Joshua chases after her; does not meet his father at a very important meeting with prospective customers in Florida, and becomes involved with Morgan’s problems which may include being involved with murder.

The events of the novel are laid out in a very enticing way, and they lend themselves into having to finish the book in one delightful read. It has been several years since Mr Bell’s last book was published and that for me was a spoiler via hoping that his next book will be available shortly. But than again one cannot ask a gifted writer to hurry the next finished project and risking the possibility that it will not match his previous books. A five star novel and one that does continue the author’s literary reputation and the hope that more of his works will be available shortly.

7/19 Paul Lane

LAYOVER by David Bell. Berkley; 1st PB edition (July 2, 2019). ISBN 978-0440000877. 416p.

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DEATH HAS DEEP ROOTS by Michael Gilbert

July 9, 2019

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Inspector Hazlerigg, Book 5

This novel was first published in 1951 by Gilbert, a lawyer and a prolific writer. He passed away in 2006, leaving behind quite a legacy of published works which are fortunately being reissued for today’s reader. “Death Has Deep Roots” is in no way a dated piece and will take it’s place among current day novels in the mystery and conspiracy genre. The only difference the reader will find is that it was written shortly after the end of World War II and is grounded in an event that was than fresh in the minds of the entire world.
Victoria Lamartine, a young lady that was very active in the French resistance during the war, is on trial for her life accused of the murder of Eric Thoseby, a major in the British army.  The crime committed in England is being tried in British court, but the background and causative factors stem from events in France in 1943 as the French underground fought the Nazi army of occupation. The murder weapon is a knife that was shown to have been used in a manner reminiscent of skills taught to the members of the French underground.

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The novel presents two continuing events to tell the story.  First, there is Lamartine’s trial, very well described and carefully illustrating the work of both the prosecutor and the defense attorney. Second, Nap Rumbold, member of the defense team, is granted just eight days to travel to France and the areas where events pertinent to the association of Lamartine and Thoseby occurred in 1943. Also brought out in the story is the fact that Victoria became pregnant and had a boy in an affair during the period. The child died due to conditions experienced in fleeing the Germans.  It is thought that Thoseby was the father with Victoria seeking him out and killing him when he did not acknowledge the child.
The novel is absolutely one that will grab the reader and make him or her stay glued to the book until finished.  It will also be of interest that more of the author’s works will be reissued in the next few years making him a gifted writer for today’s readers as well as those that began when he first started publishing.

7/19 Paul Lane

DEATH HAS DEEP ROOTS by Michael Gilbert. House of Stratus; New edition edition (December 11, 2011). ISBN 978-0755105205. 240p.