Gone in the Night by Anna J. Stewart


Gone in the Night by Anna J. Stewart
3rd book in the Honor bound series
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

A childhood terror rears its ugly head in USA TODAY bestselling author Anna J. Stewart’s latest Honor Bound romance. Psychologist Allie Hollister is still haunted by the unsolved death of her childhood best friend. She never expects her past to meet her present when a young patient is abducted and the cold case is reopened. Allie knows she shouldn’t get involved, but the child’s uncle, firefighter Max Kellan, needs her as much as she needs him. Once, Max simply wanted to put his past to rest; now he demands nothing short of justice. As he and secretive, sexy Allie track a lethal criminal, their chemistry is an undeniable adrenaline rush. Their attraction will be put to the test when they confront their most dangerous threat yet: the truth.

Aaaaaaaaah!! Thank you Anna J. Stewart for writing yet another spectacular book! I was combusting with excitement as I read Gone in the Night. It was so awesome!!

Gone in the Night is the third book in the Honor bound series written by Anna J. Stewart. The first was More than a Lawman and the second was Reunited with the P.I. All three can be read as standalones however it is much more fun to read them all in consecutive order. I was fortunate to be able to do just that.

Anna J. Stewart is a consistent writer. All three books are riveting! I’m talking about the kind of book that is impossible to put down once you start. Since I knew this I didn’t even start reading Gone in the Night until I had a rainy day so I could just sit and read it all in one sitting. I was not disappointed at all. Reading Gone in the Night was just as unpredictable and complex as the other books in the Honor bound series. Suspense that was thrilling! Romance that was passionate!

More Than a Lawman ended with one case solved and one unresolved. The unresolved one continues to be threaded through out Reunited with the P.I. along with a new case. The new case gets resolved but left the unresolved still unresolved. Gone in the Night finally resolves the unresolved case! Yahoo!! It was worth the wait!!

Aden, Simone and Allie are three best friends that share a childhood trauma that unites them in an unbreakable bond of friendship that has lasted into their adult lives. More Than a Lawman was Aden’s story. Reunited with the P.I. was Simone’s story and Gone in the Night is Allie’s story.

I couldn’t wait to read Allie’s story. All three leading ladies were relatable and I loved all three but Allie was my favorite. I was able to relate to her difficult childhood. I found Allie to be intelligent, strong and witty. She was perfect for Max, the hero. Oh my Gosh, Max. I loved the banter they had going with each other throughout the book. They had this ongoing guessing game that was so much fun to read. I loved Allie and Max! Max was my dream guy and I definitely have a book glow going on.

The final culmination of the unresolved case was epic! I did not see that ending coming. What a lovely final twist. I was left feeling completely satisfied. I am so happy for Allie that she found a happily ever after with Max. I loved how all the plot threads were tied this time. I would encourage anyone who loves suspense/mystery romance to pick up all three books in the Honor Bound series. Heck, I just might read them all again, they were that good!

Mothers and Other Strangers by Gina Sorell


Mothers and Other Strangers by Gina Sorell
Publisher: Prospect Park Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (320 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

“My father proposed to my mother at gunpoint when she was nineteen, and knowing that she was already pregnant with a dead man’s child, she accepted.”

Thus begins this riveting story of a woman’s quest to understand her recently deceased mother, a glamorous, cruel narcissist who left her only child, Elsie, an inheritance of debts and mysteries. While coping with threats that she suspects are coming from the cult-like spiritual program her mother belonged to, Elsie works to unravel the message her dying mother left for her, a quest that ultimately takes her to the South African family homestead she never knew existed.

I don’t know where to start on my review for this book. The author’s writing style captured me from the very start of the novel. This is a well written book that includes a wondrously structured plot of suspense. I couldn’t help but feel for Elsie as she opened up revealing various pains that all seem to have generated from the soiled relationship with her mother. Elsie has made the best of her life, but with the recent death of her mother, Rachel, old wounds start to open up and Elsie is challenged to face not only her demons but also her mother’s.

Elsie is a strong young lady who, even though she lacked her mother’s love and approval, still seemed to get through life. No, she wasn’t perfect and she had her faults but I guess that’s what made her so easy to connect with. She was a teen performance dancer, she dealt with being anorexic, she loses her best friend but gains the lead dance role. Any mother would be proud to have a daughter with such a successful early career. That’s one thing, even after finishing the novel I still didn’t understand why Elsie’s mother treated her like she did. She was her mother’s only child and yet in a way Elsie was motherless. Elsie’s self-pity is so strong that she’d rather be alone in the world; pushing away the one man that loves her beyond measure.

Elsie’s ex-husband Ted is her stronghold and voice of reason. I enjoyed reading their story. I was sad to read that Elsie’s willingness to give up and free Ted, but I was glad and found it touching that Ted’s love continued during the bad. I was glad Ted is true and consistent in Elsie’s life and that even though they are divorced he still took time to answer her calls and to help her when he could.

I enjoyed the writing style and the voice of Elsie as she looked for answers in finding herself and along the way making sense to find answers to her life. Her mother’s death didn’t necessarily mean an end, but it seemed to give Elsie strength and purpose. As I mentioned earlier, I still didn’t understand Elsie’s mother’s reasons for her actions and way of mothering. The many years that her mom had ties with the Seekers was strange to me. This part of the story is different and I tried thinking of some other reason that could put a wedge between a mother and a daughter; I guess Rachel’s deep involvement with the Seekers is good enough reason for a wedge. Reading about a cult-like religion is something new to me and it worked for this story.

I highly recommend this story for readers who enjoy going deep into a character’s emotional life where their story remains long after the you’ve turned the last page.

Heartfelt by Kay Springsteen


Heartfelt by Kay Springsteen
Publisher: esKape Press
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (205 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Orchid

The story that began on a North Carolina beach with a blind marine, a divorced mother, and a child with Down syndrome continues as the young family struggles to adapt to a new addition. Now eight months pregnant, Trish worries about her baby, her daughter, and her husband. But maybe she should be more concerned with herself. Dan struggles to prove himself at work in the face of what others consider his disability. As he wrestles with his job, he is also concerned with life at home and the impending birth of his son. How will he connect with a son when he’ll never even be able to play a game of catch with him?

A truly lovely story regarding love in almost impossible circumstances. Both hero and heroine, Trish and Dan, have things in their past, and lurking under the surface in the present, which make both hesitate to take the final step into a relationship.

Dan is blind due to an explosion in Afghanistan, while Trish has a daughter with Downs Syndrome. Her daughter Bella, is gorgeous. She is the pivot around which the story revolves. A lovely young girl who is stubborn and determined, but who is loved by both her mother and Dan.

Living near the beach means life by the sea plays a big part in the story especially toward the end. Both Dan and Trish must decide what they want for the future, not what they know they should do, but what they want to do. Once this is decided they can then work out if there is a future for them together, although of course Bella has already made up her mind what she wants to happen.

A wonderful book with a warm and fuzzy story although at times it becomes a tear jerker. Great read.

The Last Detective by Brian Cohn


The Last Detective by Brian Cohn
Publisher: Pandamoon Publishing
Genre: Inspirational, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (232 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

It’s been two years since the invasion.

Two years since the slicks came to our planet and herded humanity together like cattle, placing us under constant watch in the few cities that remain. The lucky ones are left to their own devices. The unlucky few are rounded up and carted off to labor camps to face an unknown fate.

Former homicide detective Adrian Grace was cut off from his family, but has somehow managed to survive. When one of the slicks is murdered, they ask him to find the killer. He reluctantly agrees, and in the course of his investigation witnesses the best, and the worst, that humanity has to offer: a plot to escape the labor camps; a pending war between an in-your-face councilwoman and the corrupt city mayor; and a priest who claims to have befriended the dead alien. But worst of all, he stumbles onto a conspiracy that puts the fate of the entire city in jeopardy. In the end, Detective Grace discovers that the killer might just be the last person he would have suspected.

A story about betrayal, redemption, faith, fear, and hope, The Last Detective is a thrilling look at what happens to humanity when our world crumbles around us.

Humans, by nature are very adaptable- unfortunately this can be good and bad.

Since the aliens conquered humanity, daily existence is just that-existing and surviving. There are no goals, and no real jobs unless you are unlucky enough to be chosen for the labor camps or if you choose to work for the aliens policing the rest of humanity. Adrian Grace used to be a homicide detective, but not anymore. That is, until he is asked to undertake an investigation into the death of one of the aliens.

The Last Detective is a stunning in-depth story that looks at life after the destruction of civilization; and not where many stories try to pick up with the rise of the underdog-but a true look at what happens when there is no impending insurrection, when there is no hope. The Last Detective is an amazing look at the rivers of humanity that flow between the islands of despair in the darkest depths of loss.

Brian Cohn draws the reader into a world that has given up. The plot of The Last Detective is not sadness or the bleakness of reality, but what humanity can and will do to survive. I love how the author took the perspective of Adrian Grace as an individual not set on “fixing” the world, but with a realistic view of the society. While working the case, turn after turn, things change and hidden agendas are revealed.

I love a good mystery and Brian delivers. I was sure I had everything figured out, and then suddenly I was wrong. Not only that, the evidence to the contrary was sitting in front of me the whole time! The dark schemes and the intense dialogue and plot make this one of the best Science Fiction Mysteries that I have read in some time.

I highly recommend reading The Last Detective! It will give you a new view and a very real understanding of human nature!

Enticement by Sierra Cartwright


Enticement by Sierra Cartwright
Master Class 2
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (160 pgs)
Other: M/F, BDSM, Spanking, Anal play, Toys
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Staff Sergeant Pierce is everything Ella Gibson doesn’t want in a man, dominant, dangerous, and a member of the Special Forces. But his determination demolishes her resistance.

Ella Gibson is dating with a purpose. She’s got a good job, a car, a townhome. The only thing missing is the perfect man. After having her heart broken, she’s decided that Mr. Perfect will be steady and solid and come home at the end of the day. Bonus points if he’s a sexy Dom. A little kink is the only thing she really misses from her last relationship.

But when her best friend’s older brother, the sexy Staff Sergeant Pierce Holden, interrupts her flirtation with a successful attorney, she’s furious.

Pierce is intent on saving her from a making a mistake. Yet she knows that giving into the temptation of being with him would be an even bigger one.

She’s had a crush on the hero for years. But he’s everything she doesn’t want in a man. Not only is he in the military, he’s a member off an elite Special Forces team. He goes on harrowing missions, and danger is his constant companion.

The more she tries to resist him, the deeper she falls in love. One thing she is sure of, she’s helpless to resist the dominant man’s determination to have her.

From page one, I was captivated by Sierra Cartwright’s Enticement.

On the one hand, we have the heroine, Ella. I easily sympathized with her. She didn’t do one night stands or casual flings. She was looking for a good guy, someone she could marry and settle down with. Fortunately, she meets Pierce, who makes her see that good guys come in all sorts of different packages.

Ah, Pierce. He had me from the moment he appeared in the story. He’s hot, sexy, with an edge that speaks of dangers and mysteries untold. He’s confident in his skin and he’s a Dom. He takes charge of situations without bullying his way in and he displays both tender and lighthearted moments. I was hooked.

Together the pair make a sizzling combination. They banter, they share emotional journeys and they have scorching sex. As always when it comes to BDSM sex scenes, Ms. Sierra Cartwright is the master. They were well written, realistic (for instance, when Ella gets a caning tears come to her eyes), drawing me into the situation, the excitement.

Finally, I was extremely pleased with the ending of the story. I never would have guessed it to go in that direction.

Enticement was a scorching, romantic read, which I’m definitely adding to my Sierra Cartwright collection of must reads.

Winning the Mail-Order Bride by Lauri Robinson


Winning the Mail-Order Bride by Lauri Robinson
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

She was promised to another…

When widow Fiona Goldberg and her two adorable sons arrive in Oak Grove, Kansas, proclaimed bachelor Brett Blackwell is instantly captivated. But when he learns she is promised to the mayor, he tries his best to keep his distance…

Out of desperation, Fiona had agreed to become a mail-order bride to the disagreeable, self-important mayor. But something about her neighbor Brett makes her feel safe. She knows she must fight her growing feelings for the forbidden blacksmith, even while longing for him to rescue her and take her as his bride himself!

I am officially a Lauri Robinson fan. I’ve read Winning the Mail Order Bride (Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove Series), Surprise Bride for the Cowboy (Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove Duet), and The Cowboy’s Orphan Bride, and I’ve loved each one. I’m hooked on the Oak Grove Series. Everyone who knows me knows that I avoid reading series because I honestly am an impatient person and I can’t stand waiting for the next book to come out. Now I have no choice but to wait for A Bride and a Baby for Christmas (Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove Series) to be released in September/October 2017. I feel like a two year old and I want to have a tantrum because I seriously do not want to wait. The good news is that each book can be read as a standalone which means if you feel the way I do about reading a series then don’t worry. You can read just one but I can’t help you pick which one since I recommend them all. The only reason I have to read the next one coming out is because I fell in love with the characters. They are my family now. I have to read about Teddy and Hannah in the A Bride and a Baby for Christmas (Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove Series).

How did I fall in love with the characters? It just happens with Lauri Robinson’s novels. Her flawless writing style is consistent in each of her books. She creates a web of characters that are intertwined in a community that hooked me in and made me care about them. I find them to be unforgettable. I think about them after I finish reading the books. I think I love them more than my own family. LOL. I’d go so far as to say it’s like watching Little House in the Prairie but better.

In fact the hero, Brett, in Winning the Mail-Order Bride reminded me so much of the character, Mr. Edwards, in Little House in the Prairie. Brett was gentle, kind, generous and fun with a great sense of humor, just like Mr. Edwards. He’s the ideal man you’d want to marry and be the father of your children. Everyone in Oak Grove thought highly of Brett. Fiona the heroine, had a rough life and I was happy to see her and Brett fall in love. She deserved to be cherished after all the horrible tragedies she’d suffered in her life. She was a wonderful mother with two adorable boys in need of a new life. Arriving in Oak Grove was her blessing. Brett and Fiona were a heartwarming romance story. They demonstrated sweet chemistry with strong values that made it easy for a reader to love and respect the couple.

There was plenty of drama and conflict in this sweet romance to keep you flipping the pages. The mayor was deplorable. I’d consider him the villain in the plot, so what eventually happens to him was unexpected. There are plenty of surprises in the plot that either made me gasp, worry, laugh and cry but mostly made me feel satisfied. Every time I considered putting the book down to go do something that needed to be done something would happen that made it impossible to put the book down.

Lauri Robinson writes genuine love stories that inspire me to be a better wife, mother, friend, sister, neighbor, etc. I wish I lived in a small town such as Oak Grove where everyone felt welcomed. I loved the happily ever after ending that undoubtedly left me with a book glow. I strongly urge readers to pick this book up and get comfortable for a few hours. Winning the Mail Order Bride was an entertaining read.

The Rose in the Wheel by S.K. Rizzolo


The Rose in the Wheel by S.K. Rizzolo
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Genre: Historical, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full (310 pgs)
Rated: 5 stars
Review by Rose

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

This well imagined, carefully detailed, and cleverly plotted debut draws on actual historical events of 1811 London.

Regency London knows Constance Tyrone as the conspicuously celibate founder of the St. Catherine Society, dedicated to helping poor women. One wet November evening a carriage mows down Constance outside her office. Why was a gentlewoman abroad in the night? And if she died under the wheel, whose hands bruised her neck and stole her monogrammed crucifix?

Dismissing the idea of an accident, Bow Street Runner John Chase forms an unlikely alliance with Penelope Wolfe, wife of the chief suspect. A young mother paying the price for an imprudent marriage, Penelope is eager to clear her husband Jeremy, a feckless portrait painter whose salacious drawings of the victim suggest an erotic interest. Barrister Edward Buckler, drawn despite himself to Penelope, shakes off his habitual lethargy to join the investigation.

As horrifying murders on the Ratcliffe Highway claim all London’s attention, the trio discovers that it won’t be easy to unravel the enigma of Constance Tyrone, a woman who revives the legend of martyred St. Catherine.

I absolutely LOVE English mysteries– movies, books, TV shows — you name it, I’m willing to give it a shot. So when thihs book became available to review, I jumped at it, and I’m so very glad I did.

With it being a debut novel, I was prepared for a few issues and, with it also being the first book in a series, there was the very good chance that it might be a little slow in places as the author introduces her characters. What a surprise when none of those expectations came to pass. The book kept me intrigued to the point where anytime I had a few minutes, I picked my reader up to read another few pages.

The characters are wonderfully drawn, and I really enjoyed the chemistry between them. I’m looking forward to reading more and seeing how their relationships grow in future books. One of my very favorites is Penelope’s daughter, Sarah. Children are sometimes hard to capture, but she is just adorable.

The pacing moved right along without feeling rushed, and the mystery itself was very neatly solved with true detection and “putting the puzzle together-ness” that was refreshing. Often a mystery will be solved through a series of coincidences and pure luck, and it’s not the case here. All the clues are there for the reader to see, and this reader was surprised at the culprit. Always the mark of a good mystery, in my book.

I would love to see this series wind up on BBC (are you listening?)… it’s that good.

I’ve already downloaded the next book in the series, and I can wait to jump back in the world of Chase, Wolfe, and Buckler. Kudos, Ms. Rizzolo– you are now on my auto-buy list, so I hope you have many more books in store for us.

Red Curtains by Leanna Sain


Red Curtains by Leanna Sain
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (338 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Cleo Davis must find a model for her senior art project or she won’t graduate. When she discovers Lily Telfair-Gordon, she gets more than just an eccentric old woman who spouts famous quotes, talks to ghosts, and wears a weird hat. Lily has unwittingly stumbled upon a counterfeiting ring, and Cleo gets dragged right into the middle of it.

Jonas Holmes, an investigative reporter for the local paper, is asking the question: why do bodies of homeless men keep showing up in the river? But the homeless are scared and won’t talk to him. When he finds Cleo and Lily, he thinks his problems are solved; he doesn’t realize that they’re just beginning.

While romance blossoms between Cleo and Jonas, they work together to see how the two things are connected, but will they find out before it’s too late?

Just before the first chapter begins there is a note from the author that says “I alternate points of view between Cleo, Jonas, and Lily. Each chapter will tell you from whose eyes we’re viewing the story.”

I want to thank Ms. Sain for warning me that she’d alternate points of view between the main characters. I’ve never read a book written like that and I think that I would have been out of my element if I didn’t have that warning. I know I would not have enjoyed the book as much as I did. It took me a few chapters to get into the swing of it. It was an amazing ride once I figured out how to switch gears. It was really nifty to see different perspectives from the main characters especially when they were all involved in the suspense/mystery. It was like viewing a scene from three different angles. It’s hard to describe therefore I really suggest this book needs to be put on the must read list.

Why else should this book be on a must read list? You mean, besides for being a well written, unique and totally captivating plot? Well, it should be on a must read list for the love of the characters. They were well developed and unforgettable. Lily Telfair-Gordon, Jonas Holmes and Cleo – the three of them together make for a positively entertaining story. Cleo is the heroine of the story and not your typical heroine. In fact in the author’s note she explains her type of heroine and I quote, “I create main characters who are strong, creative, successful Southern women—GRITS, if you will. No, they’re not perfect, but they grow and overcome some pretty big obstacles, coming out stronger and more confident at the end.” That sums it up better than I ever could which is why I had no choice but to quote the author’s note again. I loved Cleo and found her relatable because many people experience shyness at one time or another. I loved how she overcame her shyness with the help of Lily. Lily was an amazing character as well. I especially enjoyed her famous quotes that were threaded throughout the novel. Jonas was the hero and while this was more than a romance story with all the suspense/mystery, there definitely was still the thread of a romance between Cleo and Jonas. It was sweet and blossomed slowly into a beautiful enduring relationship. Their romance could be considered most realistic and win a “most genuine couple” award. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Jonas right along with Cleo.

The synopsis explains there is the suspense/mystery of the counterfeiting ring and bodies of homeless men showing up in the river. I was on the edge of my seat. Talk about plot twists that were unpredictable. I don’t dare speak of it for fear of giving a spoiler.

I also wanted to mention the setting was in Savannah, Georgia. The author described it in a way that now I totally want to go there on vacation. I love cities with history such as St. Augustine, FL which I have visited. Unfortunately, homelessness is an issue in many big cities such as it is in Savannah Georgia and this novel brings the issue front and center but not in my face to the point that it detracted from the story. I was made aware of the issue through the character, Lily. I need to reference the authors note, again, because I think it’s important to tell future readers that the author stated that a portion of the proceeds from the sales of this book will go to the Stand Down program that was mentioned in the story to help the homeless in Savannah, Georgia.

In conclusion, Red Curtains was a wonderful book. It was well worth my time and I actually feel honored that I got to read this book. I don’t recall ever feeling that way about a book but this one touched my heart. I appreciate the time the author took to write a memorable novel for me to read that I won’t soon forget. Thank you. I encourage others to pick up this book and hopefully they’ll be as touched and as entertained as I was with this thrilling suspense/mystery romance.

Remedial Rocket Science: A Romantic Comedy by Susannah Nix


Remedial Rocket Science: A Romantic Comedy by Susannah Nix
Publisher: Haver Street Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (289 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Alstroemeria

Rocket science is no problem. Falling in love, on the other hand…

College student Melody Gage is craving a night of no-strings fun when she meets charming out-of-towner Jeremy, and that’s exactly what she gets. Until three years later, when Melody relocates to Los Angeles and finds herself thrust back into Jeremy’s orbit.

Not only does her hunky one-night stand work at the same aerospace company where she’s just started her dream job, he’s the CEO’s son. Jeremy’s got a girlfriend and a reputation as a bad boy, so Melody resolves to keep her distance. Despite her good intentions, a series of awkward circumstances—including an embarrassing crying jag, a latte vs. computer catastrophe, and an emergency fake date—throw her together with the heavenly-smelling paragon of hotness.

As the billionaire playboy and nerdy IT girl forge an unlikely friendship, Melody’s attraction to Jeremy grows deeper than she’s ready to admit. How much will she risk for a shot at her happy ending?

The debut novel from author Susannah Nix, Remedial Rocket Science follows in the tradition of contemporary romantic comedy favorites like Penny Reid, Sally Thorne, and Jennifer Crusie. This lighthearted second-chance romance is the first in a series of standalone romcoms featuring geeky heroines who work in STEM fields.

Melody Gage and Jeremy Sauer come alive within the pages of this novel! Melody Gage is a spunky girl who is highly educated at MIT in computer sciences. A nerd to the core, but represented in such a delightful way!

Finally a book that shows women’s empowerment and the importance of education! I loved reading about a smart girl who was invested in her career and when she got where she wanted to be, love followed.

Jeremy Sauer is a rich and sexy bachelor, but not in the least bit snobby. He is sweet and sensitive, and he encourages Melody to pursue her career goals. With his own set of issues of course…

The side characters of the novel also fill the story rather than just hang as empty names in the margins. This book promotes friendship to people different than you, and celebrates being who you are.

The editing was impeccable and the plot line kept the pages flipping. It was easy to eat up this story and I cannot wait until Nix’s new book comes out in October. I will be sure to get my hands on it!

Love scenes were realistic and steamy without being graphic and crude. The romance in this novel just makes you feel warm and fuzzy. The novel makes great allusions to different popular works which makes the novel relatable, while tying each allusion into the story in clever ways.

This book can be recommended to anyone age 15 or above and I highly recommend buying this book for your personal collection. Susannah Nix completely knocked this one out of the park. You will not regret giving this novel a read.

The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka


The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (321 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

Nobody knows what happened to Sarah Cook. The beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton―black and from the wrong side of the tracks―was convicted of the murders and is now on death row. Though he’s maintained his innocence all along, the clock is running out. His execution is only weeks away when his devoted sister insists she spied Sarah at an area gas station. Willing to try anything, she hires PI Roxane Weary to look at the case and see if she can locate Sarah.

Brad might be in a bad way, but private investigator Roxane Weary isn’t doing so hot herself. Still reeling from the recent death of her cop father in the line of duty, her main way of dealing with her grief has been working as little and drinking as much as possible. But Roxane finds herself drawn in to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she links the disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl.

The stakes get higher as Roxane discovers that the two girls may not be the only beautiful blonde teenagers who’ve turned up missing or dead. As her investigation gets darker and darker, Roxane will have to risk everything to find the truth. Lives depend on her cracking this case―hers included.

Everyone has baggage, even those that we ask to help us.

Roxane Weary knows this better than anyone else. Working as a private investigator, jobs come and go, and she feels that she does okay, even well at her line of work. When Roxane is hired to complete one last ditch effort to save a man from his execution date, Roxane’s bank account and liquor cabinet are running low. When she begins the investigation, she has no idea of where it will lead.

The Last Place You Look is a wild ride from start to finish. The demons that Roxane faces are only compounded by the loss of her father and the frustrating family dynamics that are set into motion. While trying to remedy her past and understand her own future, Roxane struggles with keeping up with each day-although some days get away from her.

The character development, deep plot lines, and dynamic conversations all add to the depth of this wonderful read. The story is smooth flowing, full of energy and never a dull moment. Yet, the story flows and does not feel rushed or forced. As a reader, we experience life from Roxane’s eyes, we see how she analyzes the case, the developments and interestingly, when things go wrong, they go horribly wrong! Roxane is a person, a real character that the reader can fully comprehend. The ups and downs of the story do not feel like they were set to create a plot, but feel like a natural reaction to the world of the characters.

The story comes to a pivotal point when Roxane realizes that she cannot keep going on like she has, she must either back down or push forward-but there is no stagnation. This is a resolution for the reader-our lives will change and we can choose to have a direction of the flow or we can back down and crash with the waves-this is illustrated deeply by Roxane’s choices and the shaping of her development throughout the story.

The Last Place You Look is an amazing suspense story with a strong amount of action/adventure and an awesome amount of human character development-make sure you don’t miss this amazing read!