Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Books Read and Listened To

A bumper batch as I've been ploughing through review copies this week...

Troy Chimneys
by Margaret Kennedy
Published by
Print book
ISBN 9780860685661

None available.


I loved the structure of this book – diary entries framed by correspondence between the inheritors of the papers and the descendants of the diarist's family – but the story and characters left me cold. Miles Lofton has redeeming features, but 'Pronto', the part he plays to those who might support his political career just didn't work for me. The book didn't shy away from its inevitable tragic ending, but I can't help feeling it needed something more somehow.

The Marriage Wager
by Jane Ashford
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402277177

It was scandalous, to wager one's reputation on a hand of cards. But Lady Emma Tarrant felt she had no choice. She had watched her husband gamble his life away, and when she saw another young man losing heavily, she was determined to save him from a similar fate. So she challenged the scoundrel who held his debts to the one thing she knew he could never refuse: another game.

After eight years of war, Lord Colin Wareham had returned home a changed man... still handsome, still wealthy, but weary, impatient, restless. Then a furious beauty with pale gilt hair dared to accost him, and Wareham found himself suddenly intrigued --- and aroused. So he named his stakes: a loss and he'd surrender the debts. A win, and the lady must surrender herself...


Reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.

Dead Scared
by S. J. Bolton
Read by Lisa Coleman
Published by Corgi Books
Audio book
ISBN 9780552159838

A spate of suicides. Each one a female university student. Each one more shocking than the last. The police know it cannot be coincidence. But they can't prove it. The only way to investigate is to send someone undercover. A young policewoman, as vulnerable as the others. As unprepared for the nightmare that will greet her. Watch your back, Lacey Flint...

Lacey is a wonderfully screwed up character, and while this book skirted around a lot of the issues thrown up in the first of the series, it did bring back one (or possibly two) of my favourite characters from one of her standalone novels, along with some of the supporting characters from the previous novel.

Lacey and Evie (from Blood Harvest) are up against one or more severely twisted (and highly intelligent and resourceful) antagonists and there seems to be nobody they can trust – not even the local police or Evie's colleagues at Cambridge. Both of them start having the same type of nightmares as the previous victims, and someone seems to be able to get in and out of their houses and rooms. But then there's the suggestion that they might just be imagining the whole thing, and those closest to them start to be victims of unlikely accidents. It all seems to be leading to disaster for both of them, unless they can either work out the final solution or find someone who can break through the tangle of deception that's been built around them.

Enthralling, and made me want to move straight on to the next in the series, even if not all the characters from this one are going to show up again.

The Shadow Collector
by Kate Ellis
Published by Piatkus Books
Print book
ISBN 9780749958008

Lilith Benley and her mother, rumoured to be witches, were convicted of the brutal murder of two teenage girls. Eighteen years later Lilith is released from prison, and shortly after she returns to her old home, a young woman is found dead at a neighbouring farm where a celebrity reality TV show is being filmed. When DI Wesley Peterson is called in to investigate he has to deal with fragile egos and hidden truths, as well as the possibility that Lilith Benley has killed again. Meanwhile, archaeologist Neil Watson discovers a gruesome wax doll at a house that once belonged to a woman hanged for witchcraft in the seventeenth century. And when Neil has a near fatal accident, some suspect a supernatural connection. Even though Wesley has problems closer to home to solve, it is up to him to uncover terrible secrets, banish dark shadows collected in the past and bring a dangerous killer to justice - a killer who will stop at nothing to dispense vengeance and death.


I love the way Wesley's family develops through this series. His son is now approaching secondary school age, and is struggling with the pressures of being one of the clever ones as well as the only mixed-race boy in his year, or possibly the whole school. Meanwhile Wesley's latest case could make him and his boss unpopular with many of the locals, as they look into whether the real killers were caught in an old case. And Neil seems to be under threat from a different source again, unless one person is behind all the current and past crimes in the story. The historical mystery doesn't seem to tie in as neatly as in some books, but this was still a gripping read.

Born Wild
by Julie Ann Walker
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402282720

"Wild" Bill Reichert knows a thing or two about explosives. The ex-Navy SEAL can practically rig a bomb blindfolded. But there’s no way to diffuse the inevitable fireworks the day Eve Edens walks back into his life, asking for help...

Eve doesn’t know what to do when the Chicago police won’t believe someone is out to hurt her. The only place to turn is Black Knights Inc—after all, no one is better at protection than the covert special-ops team. Yet there’s also no one better at getting her all turned on than Billy Reichert. She has a feeling this is one blast from the past that could backfire big time...


Reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.

When The Marquess Met His Match
by Laura Lee Guhrke
Published by Avon

In the first of a dazzling new series, USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke introduces London's most renowned matchmaker—and a scoundrel intent on seducing his way to the altar. She's the matchmaker... Lady Belinda Featherstone's job is to guide American heiresses to matrimony, and away from men like Nicholas, Marquess of Trubridge. But the charming, disreputable marquess needs a wealthy bride, and he hires Belinda to help him find one. Her task seems easy: find that scoundrel the sort of wife he so richly deserves. But Nicholas's hot, searing kiss soon proves her task will be anything but easy. He's the perfect match... Nicholas plans to wed a rich, pretty young darling to restore his fortune, and he's happy to pay a marriage broker to help him. But one taste of Belinda's lips and Nicholas's sensible scheme to marry for money goes awry, and he yearns to show his beautiful matchmaker he's the perfect match... for her.


Reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.

Forgiving Lies
by Molly McAdams
Published by William Morrow & Company
ISBN 9780062267733

A matter of secrets...
Undercover cop Logan "Kash" Ryan can't afford a distraction like his new neighbor Rachel Masters, even if she's the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. To catch a serial killer, he needs to stay focused, yet all he can think about is the feisty, long-legged coed whose guarded nature intrigues him.

A matter of lies...
Deceived and hurt before, Rachel would rather be a single, crazy cat lady than trust another guy, especially a gorgeous, tattooed bad boy with a Harley, like Kash. But when his liquid-steel eyes meet hers, it takes all of Rachel's willpower to stop herself from exploring his hot body with her own.

A matter of love...
As much as they try to keep it platonic, the friction between them sparks an irresistible heat that soon consumes them. Can Kash keep Rachel's heart and her life safe even as he risks his own? Will she be able to forgive his lies... or will she run when she discovers the dangerous truth?


Reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.

Daughter of the God-King
by Anne Cleeland
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN 9781402279850

The Cursed Tombs of Egypt Hold Many Secrets...

Miss Hattie Blackhouse has never been close to her parents...and no wonder, since the Blackhouses are renowned scholars who spend most of their time excavating ancient tombs in Egypt. But news of their disappearance forces Hattie to leave England and embark on a voyage that will reveal the long-buried secrets of her past. An encrypted senet board and a gold medallion lead Hattie on a perilous quest to track down her missing parents – and discover why people associated with the Blackhouses continue to turn up dead. What she uncovers is a secret that could alter the course of history...

Filled with intrigue, romance, and ancient secrets, Anne Cleeland's thrilling novel takes you on an unforgettable Egyptian adventure.


Reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.
Tags: audio books, ebooks, good-bad-unread, goodreads, print books, reviews
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