Review: Imposter’s Lure by Carla Neggers

I’ve adored FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan since I began this series. Later I came to appreciate the whole Sharpe clan with their art expertise, and all of those Donovan brothers showing up at just the right time. And while Oliver York was thought to be a criminal art thief for several books, he’s now helping the Sharpes and lovely Henrietta solve crimes.

That’s the backstory of Neggers’ well-developed characters and the intricate relationships among them.

Enter Imposter’s Lure. Same characters – plus some – but a bunch of contrived details that seemed like they were backfilled into a pre-written ending. This book needs paring down and re-writing just so I can understand all the complexities. After whittling away some of the convoluted family and friend relationships that don’t move the plot forward, then maybe I could enjoy the New England chahhhm, the English countryside, and the Irish lowlands as a backdrop to a sinister plot to make money off of art forgeries … and destroy the evidence.

-calliope

Buy IMPOSTER’S LURE

Read the review for Book 4 in the Sharpe and Donovan series – one of my faves!

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Review: Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre

When I first read the synopsis of this, I was intrigued. Can you imagine waking up in someone else’s body? I would flip out. That’s exactly what happens to Liv when her and Morgan and their boyfriends get into a car accident. Liv seems to have died, while Morgan survived. Except she didn’t, sorta.

But it’s not just the new body that would freak me out. It’s the mysterious texts. The boyfriend that should be mine, if she were really Morgan, and the general sense that nothing is as it should be.

When Liv finds a file in Morgan’s room, a whole new world opens up for her. There is more going on around her than she ever knew. Scary and horrifying, if I’m being honest. She must try and put the pieces of her past together and see why this has tampered with her future.

My heart was racing a quite a few times as I was reading. I wanted to read faster just to get to the end. When it was over, I sat back and wondered what in the world just happened. There’s a bit of mystery, romance and sci-fi working here. While it was good, I’m having a hard time figuring out how I feel about the end. For some reason I didn’t expect it to happen this way, and yet my head can’t wrap around any other way it could’ve happened. What a ride!

~Melpomene
Buy Like Never and Always https://amzn.to/2JDe2Cq

Review: The Family at Number 13 by S.D. Monaghan

I think this would’ve been really good as a short story. It had a few clever little bits here and there, it definitely had some psychologically disturbed characters, and it had a little grisliness. However, it also had a lot of extraneous detail (I decided to just skim a few pages in each chapter, didn’t miss much) and some plot points that made me go “hmmmm” — and not in a good way.

I think this book just needed an editor. An editor to make the author get rid of the cheesy parts, tighten up all that description that led nowhere, and perhaps not have the main “problem” revolve around a trampoline in the back yard. Really. (And I use the trampoline as the euphemism for all the things that happen in relation to that trampoline, but I don’t want to spoil the plot, so I’ll remain vague.)

Anyway, this is an okay book, fairly entertaining, and somewhat of a psychological thriller… but again, might be best if born again as a short story.

-calliope

Buy THE FAMILY AT NUMBER 13

Review: Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I’m not usually a historical fiction fan, but this book was terrific, with its focus on Nantucket and the Quaker religious sect. I grew up in Massachusetts, so reading this book put me back in grade school, on fun-filled field trips to Plymouth Rock, the whaling museum in New Bedford, and Sturbridge Village.

Phoebe isn’t your average young lady. She has a plan. The plan involves not hanging out with her poverty stricken dad who can’t finish a plan or a project. The plan involves not playing games with her childhood crush. The plan involves marrying a handsome, rich, prestigious Captain of a whaling boat.

Phoebe makes some headway on her plan, but the childhood crush crashes her party a couple times, and the Captain is much more (or way less) than he appears to be. Lucky for Phoebe, she has her great grandmother’s journal as her personal treasure map, leading Phoebe toward the light, the righteous, and the Divine. Phoebe takes her successes and multiplies them, much to the blessing of the rest of Nantucket.

-calliope

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Quick Review: Seek by Mia Sheridan


Holy cannoli!! This book was a wild ride. I’m not even kidding. My stomach was in my toes the entire time. I was downright stressed. The suspense was killing me. The twists and turns had me feeling like I was on a roller coaster. I read non stop for three hours. I couldn’t put this down. From the very first page, I was hooked.

Olivia hired Thomas to take her to Columbia so that she could search for her missing fiancé. The country has suffered from a deadly tsunami and earthquake. So many roads are impassable. Danger is everywhere. But Thomas knows how to get her there and will do anything to do so. But traveling proves more difficult, and deadly, than she ever imagined.

They started out as strangers but stressful situations has a way of pushing people together. Between the life and death situations, something was brewing underneath. But can she trust this stranger? Will she find what she seeks?

She was sunshine. Warm and bright, too sweet for this cruel, dirty world.

Secrets. Lies. Heartache. This book had it all. I won’t say anymore, except that this will get your heart pumping and keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time. THE ENTIRE TIME. Gah! Mia sure changed things up with this book. This isn’t your sweet angsty romance. Not even close. I hope we get more books like this.

~Melpomene

Buy Seek http://amzn.to/2BkmQZM

Review: Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

Oh the drama! Quinn and Nora are distant sisters who would still do anything for each other. Tiffany is Nora’s bff… and a messed up drug addict with an illegitimate daughter. When Nora texts Quinn that she and Tiffany need her help, Quinn steps up. But it’s hard to know how to do the right thing when Nora won’t give her any details, and Tiffany is nowhere to be found.

I was psyched reading the first half of this book – there are good guys and bad guys, weak women and strong women, loving yet dysfunctional mothers, and a criminal so disgusting he turned my stomach. Baart weaves them all together in a dramatic and suspenseful plot, a story you don’t want to stop reading because you can’t believe what’s happening next.

And then — I’m not sure if it was my particular frame of mind, or if I’ve just read way too many books — I by mistake figured out the one big unknown. The mystery. The root of the drama. The guy who caused the secrets to grow bigger and bigger. And I hate that I figured it out, because it ruined the rest of the story for me. I skimmed the last half of the book, just in case there were some worthy plot points (and there were).

Baart is a master at expressing the love and confusion and envy and all the emotions in a sisterly relationship. What I appreciated most is that Baart lets her female characters be unapologetically themselves. There are no victims here, except maybe a little girl. The grown women own their choices, support each other, and make their own new beginnings.

-calliope

Buy LITTLE BROKEN THINGS (publishes on Nov.21, 2017)

Murder Over Mochas by Caroline Fardig

Solid, cute, cozy mystery with a dead guy, an amateur sleuth, an ex-fiancé, an ex-boyfriend, a potential boyfriend, and a couple of cops. Oh – and a coffee shop! I’m going to admit, I often choose books based on their covers, and I chose this one for the coffee. #yesidid

The protagonist Juliet is likable and genuine. I liked that I could envision her expressions and feel her exasperation. The police officers and a few other secondary characters were a little bit one dimensional to me, but I didn’t mind, as I was busy trying to solve the mystery before they did. I liked Juliet’s best friend Pete, also. He’s a sturdy, reliable dude – and every cozy mystery needs a Pete.

Fardig did a nice job weaving a creative, fresh mystery with just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. I was onto the perp before Juliet was, but it still took me a good while to do it, and I had fun from beginning to end.

-calliope

Buy MURDER OVER MOCHAS