Book Review: The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

The Dead Romantics book with typewriter, yellow rose, a candle, and a little black crow figuringe

58885776Title: The Dead Romantics
Author: Ashley Poston
Genre: Romance
Date of Publication: June 28, 2022
Publisher: Berkley


Synopsis

A disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, has to find her way back home in this sparkling adult debut from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.

When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.

For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.

Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.

Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.

Goodreads

My Thoughts

The Dead Romantics is a sweet and inspiring love story about a romance ghost writer (who just so happens to be able to see ghosts), who can no longer write about love, because she no longer believes in it.

Ashley Poston has a fun and humorous writing style. She writes such relatable and effective imagery and inserts clever asides throughout the book, which really helped me as a reader to relate to Florence Day as a character and to visualize the world that I’ve stepped into. Because of the imagery and heavy description, the story is a little slower paced, with more of a focus on setting and character development than plot. 

This book deals with the theme of grief and loss in a few different avenues. Florence Day no longer believes in love, ever since her boyfriend of three years betrayed her in the worst way possible (at least, what I believe is the worst way possible, but I won’t state it here, because it’s a minor spoiler). She’s unable to write about love, and she’s dealing with the potential loss of her writing career because of it. She’s a ghostwriter for a famous romance author, and she can’t just switch genres. Florence can also see ghosts, and while she’s spent the better part of a decade ignoring them, in the past she’s helped them to move on, and suffered quite a bit in her home town from bullies and naysayers who didn’t believe in her gift. And finally, her father dies, and she’s forced to go back home and deal with the funeral, facing people she hasn’t seen in ten years, and trying to recover from the loss of the only other person in the world who could relate to her and her gift. Despite the darker theme of grief and recovering from loss, the book never feels too heavy, and it’s a perfect pick-me-up, especially for someone who’s experienced similar losses in their own life. 

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Book Review: The Incomplete Artist by Philip Wyeth

The book surrounded by art pens, sketches, a red candle, and books

The Incomplete Artist book cover by Philip WyethTitle: The Incomplete Artist 
Author: Philip Wyeth 
Series: Ashley Westgard #2
Genre: Mystery
Date of Publication: March 12, 2021
Publisher: Self-published


Synopsis

An evening at the art gallery… The clinking of wine glasses… The hopeful thrill of a first date… But someone has murder on their mind!

All that Detective Ashley Westgard wanted was a night off—and maybe a little romance later on. But when a body is discovered during an event with dozens of wealthy art collectors in attendance, her fairy tale dream turns into a nightmare for everyone. Now Ash must put her hopes on hold, flash her police badge, and take control of the crime scene… “This is my gallery now!”

In the hi-tech world of 2045, where even artists are threatened by the encroaching tide of automation, a self-proclaimed anachronistic group called Movement 24 both asserts and defends the value of human creativity. But along with popular acclaim come the temptations of greed, and now M-24’s idealistic quirks risk crossing over into fanaticism. Or… have they already gone too far?

While Ash explores this peculiar niche of society to track down a killer, she is also forced to confront some of her own worst flaws. Her heart, her mind, and her instincts all vie for center stage in a battle of conflicting priorities—but can the pursuit of truth and justice coexist with personal ambition and the quest for contentment? An intense, complex, and enigmatic heroine, Ashley Westgard is well on her way to earning a place in the pantheon of famous female sleuths.

Here, in his seventh novel, author Philip Wyeth once again delivers a full-immersion experience complete with polished prose, vividly drawn characters, and an imaginative plot. As always, he balances his prescient visions with touches of humor to remain grounded and digestible for readers.

With The Incomplete Artist, Wyeth offers more than the average murder mystery through a unique blend of police procedural, fairy tale, science fiction, and psychological elements. At the same time, it is very much a treatise on the philosophy of art, and pays tribute to artists of all stripes who engage in that noble and often lonely struggle to bring their creative visions into the world.

Goodreads

My Thoughts

An Agatha Christie murder mystery–but with robots. 

The Incomplete Artist is the second in the Ashley Westgard series. While I didn’t read the first, the author provides a nice little note at the beginning that prepares the reader for an unconventional murder mystery. How is it unconventional, you ask? It’s set in the year 2045.

The first half of the book takes place during an art auction. Detective Ashley Westgard is there as a civilian. She’s on a first date with a man named Thomas who’s regaling her with his extensive knowledge of the art world. She spends the evening meeting the artists and other event attendees. But then one of them ends up murdered.

That’s when the book becomes a little more science fiction. As I said before, the year is 2045, and forensic science has changed quite a bit in just 23 years. Despite the sci fi elements, the book still reads like a typical murder mystery – more cozy than procedural, though elements of the latter genre get heavier as the book progresses. 

The style of writing and the pacing all reminded me a lot of a Hercule Poirot mystery, many of which I devoured when I was younger. The old style of talking and Wyeth’s narrative style nicely blends the antiquated concept of an in-person art auction with a nice spattering of futuristic content. Ash is a strong female lead who also happens to be a police detective, and in this novel, her profession encroaches on her personal life.

The Incomplete Artist is slow paced, like historical cozy mysteries, and there are a lot of characters to meet and names to learn. Considering the length of the book, I would have liked for a little more action earlier in the story, and maybe for the murder investigation to move a little quicker. That said, Wyeth’s explorations of the future of art and automation was quite interesting, if not what I was expecting from the story when I first started to read it.  

I enjoyed getting a snippet of Wyeth’s interpretation of what the art world–and forensic investigations–could look like in 23 years. I recommend this book if you’re a fan of classic whodunits–with a twist. 

The book surrounded by art pens, sketches, a red candle, and books

*Thank you to Blackthorn Book Tours and the author for the ebook to review*

Three stars

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Book Review: Book of Night by Holly Black

Book of Night on wooden background surrounded by a black crow, blue candle, black books, a black quill, and scattered pages

Book of Night Book CoverTitle: Book of Night
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Fantasy
Date of Publication: May 3, 2022
Publisher: Tor Books


Synopsis

#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of Ninth House and The Night Circus

In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.

Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.

With sharp angles and prose, and a sinister bent, Holly Black is a master of shadow and story stitching. Remember while you read, light isn’t playing tricks in Book of Night, the people are.

Goodreads

My Thoughts

Book of Night is Holly Black’s debut adult fantasy novel. Her style is so beautiful, and her worldbuilding is phenomenal. I loved her wild imagination and how the magic of shadows works in such complex, yet logical ways. The unique shadow magic that she’s developed is ubiquitous in the world, and the author expertly inserts the worldbuilding and casual mentions to this magic throughout the book. That said, the beginning does feel a little information dumpy, particularly with regards to the different types of magic and the different types of people who can manipulate shadows. 

Holly Black has a way with words, where everything she writes feels lyrical and poignant. I highlighted dozens of lines in the book itself, but since I had an arc and didn’t feel like checking out the “finished copy” I can’t share them here. But seriously, wow. You’ll just have to check out the book yourself to know what I mean 😉 

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Book Review: The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

Picture of the book with a black crow, a green candle, a notepad and pen, and a set of black binoculars

58909880Title: The House Across the Lake
Author: Riley Sager
Genre: Thriller
Date of Publication: June 21, 2022
Publisher: Dutton


Synopsis

The New York Times best-selling author of Final Girls and Survive the Night (“a master of the twist and the turn” – Rolling Stone) is back with his most unexpected thriller yet.

Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of liquor, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple who live in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing—a tech innovator, Tom is rich; and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous.

One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other—and the longer Casey watches—it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage is not as perfect and placid as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey becomes consumed with finding out what happened to her. In the process, she uncovers eerie, darker truths that turn a tale of voyeurism and suspicion into a story of guilt, obsession and how looks can be very deceiving.

With his trademark blend of sharp characters, psychological suspense, and gasp-worthy surprises, Riley Sager’s The House Across the Lake unveils more than one twist that will shock readers until the very last page. 

Goodreads

My Thoughts

I, like most other Sager die-hard fans, have very mixed feelings about this book. The first two-thirds of the book is very familiar. The general plot has been done so many times before. An alcoholic woman sits in her window watching the couple across the lake, and when the wife goes missing, the heroine becomes convinced that the husband did her in. The plot is clearly inspired by Rear Window, and, unfortunately, a good chunk of the book did not have an original spin on this. 

But then there’s the twist. At first, I was amazed. It was such a clever and shocking twist that floored me. The book is told in two timelines, with the “Now” timeline giving us little snippets of what’s currently happening, and the “Before” timeline taking up most of the narrative. Once that twist happened, I was absolutely taken aback by how brilliantly Sager had misled the reader in the “Now” timeline, and I’d been convinced of very specific things that were clearly misdirections. Unfortunately, Sager did not take this twist in the direction that I was expecting. I don’t want to spoil this for readers, but if you’ve read other Sager books, you’ll know that he generally follows the typical script of thrillers. He doesn’t deviate too far from genre norms, or dip into other genres. The twist in this book requires a huge suspension of disbelief, one that he could have prepared the reader for with more thoughtful writing in the first two thirds of the book. Instead of preparing the reader to be absolutely stunned by the nature of the twist, he should have been laying the ground work for readers to find that type of twist more palatable.  

All this said, Sager does have a fabulous writing style, and I was sucked into the way that he describes the setting, the lake, and the faded movie star’s tragic past. But that just wasn’t enough for me.

It pains me to give this book 3 stars, because Riley Sager writes like no other and, as a writer, I get serious imposter syndrome every time I read his prose. I love his use of metaphors and description, and he writes heart palpitation-inducing scenes like they’re going out of style. I absolutely love his writing, and I (usually) love his plotlines and clever twists. I feel like I would have enjoyed this book a lot more had I been forewarned that he was going to be going in a completely new direction.

Picture of the book

*Thank you to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for the ebook to review*

Three stars

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Book Review: Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

Love on the brain book beside The Love Hypothesis, a notebook, colourful pens, a blue candle, and blue flowers in a white vase

59571699._SY475_Title: Love on the Brain
Author: Ali Hazelwood
Genre: Romance
Date of Publication: August 23, 2022
Publisher: Berkley


Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis—with explosive results.

Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the mansplained universe, Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project—a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia—Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.

Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. And sure, he caught her in his powerfully corded arms like a romance novel hero when she accidentally damseled in distress on her first day in the lab. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school—archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.

Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle. Perhaps it’s her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas…devouring her with those eyes. And the possibilities have all her neurons firing. But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do? 

Goodreads

My Thoughts

Words cannot express how much I loved this book! But I’m writing a review, so I’ll have to try my best to articulate just how amazing this book is. Love on the Brain has it all–it’s hilarious, relatable, heart-warming, and a little angsty. I absolutely adored Dr. Bee Königswasser so, so much. She’s a neuroscientist who’s brought on to co-lead a NASA/NIH project. And her co-lead is Levi Ward, her nemesis from grad school. 

I absolutely love the author’s use of reader’s double vision throughout the story. The book is told entirely from Bee’s point of view, but that doesn’t mean that we, as the reader, don’t know exactly what Levi is thinking. This isn’t a spoiler, because it’s obvious right from the beginning, when Bee is outlining her past interactions with him. She thinks he hates her guts, but it’s clear to the reader that his feelings are quite the opposite… 

Just like with The Love Hypothesis, this book is chock-full of scientific and nerdy references. I ate all of them up! In this book, Bee’s assistant is a goth who is obsessed with the macabre, so on top of getting hilarious scientific references, we get little snippets of history and legend, including the curse of La Llorona. 

The author provides a witty and timely commentary on misogyny in STEM throughout both the narrative and the plotline itself. For instance, she talks about “Sausage Referencing” being when a man validates a woman’s opinion, and only then do the other men respect and/or believe that woman’s opinion, regardless of her level of expertise or the level of expertise of the man doing the Sausage Referencing. Hilarious and oh, so accurate.

This is definitely a ten-star read for me, but since five is the highest that my rating system goes, I’m going to have to settle for giving this five stars!

*Thank you to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for the ebook to review*

Five stars

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Book Review: Unforgiven by Rebecca Zanetti

cover249572-mediumTitle: Unforgiven 
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Genre: Thriller, Romantic Suspense
Series: Deep Ops #5
Date of Publication: June 7, 2022
Publisher: Kensington Books, Lyrical Press


Synopsis

Run:
Gemma Falls never expected to use her game theory expertise to outrun a killer. But for years, that skill is all that kept her one step ahead of a deadly stalker. When Gemma gets the chance to teach at D.C. University, she hopes she and her young daughter have found a safe harbor. The only flaw is the arrogant philosophy professor who’s always underfoot giving unwanted advice—in his sexy British accent . . .

Hide:
Jethro Hanson has blood on his hands. He’s working within ivy-covered university halls now, but he knows that his work with the Deep Ops team and the deadly acts he once committed for the sake of Queen and country place him beyond forgiveness—until he meets Gemma . . .

Seek:
Soon, the passion between them stuns them both. But when Jethro discovers a threat is fast overtaking her, he must choose between the redemption he seeks—and releasing the ever-present killer inside . . . 

Goodreads

My Thoughts

Gemma Falls is a single mother who’s been on the run from her child’s abusive father for years–ever since she found out she was pregnant and made her escape. She manages to orchestrate a temporary job for herself as a professor at a university outside of DC, but her new life is far from easy. She doesn’t have much money, and a fellow professor, a handsome Brit, is paying her far too much attention. It turns out that he has secrets of his own–ones that put the both of them in grave danger.

This book was not at all what I was expecting! While Gemma’s backstory is one of the plots of the book, the main premise surrounds Professor Jethro Hanson, a former MI6 operative who now works as a professor. A serial killer who he hunted in his previous life has crossed the pond to target him–and whoever he cares about. Unfortunately for Gemma and her daughter, that now includes them.

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Book Review: Wicked Beauty by Katee Robert

Wicked Beauty book surrounded by black and gold books, a black candle, and black roses

58945351Title: Wicked Beauty
Author: Katee Robert
Genre: Romance, Paranormal Romance
Series:  Dark Olympus #3
Date of Publication: June 7, 2022
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca


Synopsis

She was the face that launched a thousand ships,
The fierce beauty at the heart of Olympus,
And she was never ours to claim.
*A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Helen of Troy, Achilles, and Patroclus that’s as sinful as it is sweet.*

In Olympus, you either have the power to rule…or you are ruled. Achilles Kallis may have been born with nothing, but as a child he vowed he would claw his way into the poisonous city’s inner circle. Now that a coveted role has opened to anyone with the strength to claim it, he and his partner, Patroclus Fotos, plan to compete and double their odds of winning.

Neither expect infamous beauty Helen Kasios to be part of the prize…or for the complicated fire that burns the moment she looks their way.

Zeus may have decided Helen is his to give to away, but she has her own plans. She enters into the competition as a middle finger to the meddling Thirteen rulers, effectively vying for her own hand in marriage. Unfortunately, there are those who would rather see her dead than lead the city. The only people she can trust are the ones she can’t keep her hands off—Achilles and Patroclus. But can she really believe they have her best interests at heart when every stolen kiss is a battlefield? 

Goodreads

My Thoughts

Wicked Beauty is the third steamy and suspenseful paranormal romance with a plotline that reminded me of an adult Triwizard Tournament from Harry Potter.

This book is a little different from the first two books in the series, in that it doesn’t feature an MF couple, but an MMF couple. Achilles and Patroclus have been together for over a decade. Achilles wants nothing more than to become the new Ares, so when the current Ares dies and trials are set up to appoint someone to replace him, he’s eager to prove that he’s the best for the job. The problem is that anyone can enter these trials, including non-Olympians. Patroclus also enters the competition as an ally for Achilles, so that he can help him as far along as he can. But what they don’t bank on? The beautiful Helen Kasios entering the trials, especially when part of the prize is supposed to be her hand as a wife. 

Helen is the sister to the new Zeus and her other sister is Aphrodite, and she’s tired of being a pawn and viewed as nothing more than an object because of her extreme beauty. She wants to become Ares–not just to prove herself to her family and everyone else in Olympus, but because she wants to have a meaningful impact on the city she loves. 

I loved the dynamic between Helen and the couple, though I did get a little bit of whiplash and feel weird about it at first, because Achilles and Patroclus have been a couple for so long, and their jealousy of each other and Helen gave me cheating vibes. Fortunately, that clears up rather quickly, and all three of them end up becoming the perfect throuple. However, the book does end rather abruptly, and it might have benefited from either an epilogue or a scene set a little while after the end of the main events of the book to cement their relationship as a success. 

Continue reading “Book Review: Wicked Beauty by Katee Robert”

Book Review: Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel

Just like Mother book surrounded by blue blanket, white flowers, and a blue burning candle

Just like motherTitle: Just Like Mother
Author: Anne Heltzel
Genre: Thriller, Horror
Date of Publication: May 17, 2022
Publisher: Nightfire


Synopsis

A girl would be such a blessing…

The last time Maeve saw her cousin was the night she escaped the cult they were raised in. For the past two decades, Maeve has worked hard to build a normal life in New York City, where she keeps everything—and everyone—at a safe distance.

When Andrea suddenly reappears, Maeve regains the only true friend she’s ever had. Soon she’s spending more time at Andrea’s remote Catskills estate than in her own cramped apartment. Maeve doesn’t even mind that her cousin’s wealthy work friends clearly disapprove of her single lifestyle. After all, Andrea has made her fortune in the fertility industry—baby fever comes with the territory.

The more Maeve immerses herself in Andrea’s world, the more disconnected she feels from her life back in the city; and the cousins’ increasing attachment triggers memories Maeve has fought hard to bury. But confronting the terrors of her childhood may be the only way for Maeve to transcend the nightmare still to come…

Goodreads

My Thoughts

Just Like Mother is an atmospheric, twisted story that starts off innocuous enough, but gradually evolves into a horrific nightmare fuel.  

After an explosive first chapter, the novel is slow paced as Heltzel sets the stage for what eventually becomes a twisted and disturbing story. At first, the book reads like a mild psychological thriller, but the author gradually weaves in the terror until a horrifying and quite satisfying conclusion. The pacing reflects this, in that it’s quite slow to start, but the events gain momentum as the story progresses, leading to a book that no one can question being a true horror novel.

Maeve is a survivor from a cult, which was disbanded when she was only eight years old, but the damage is long lasting. The book mostly focuses on present day events, when Maeve is thirty-three years old, but there are flashbacks throughout. They almost read as an additional timeline, but they jump back and forth. The majority of the flashbacks are to when Maeve has already left the cult and is adopted by a nice elderly couple. I was initially disappointed by this – why read a book about a cult without flashbacks to the horrors of the cult? But Heltzel’s writing is far more subtle than that. Sure, we’re following Maeve after the “good stuff” has happened, but we can infer a heck of a lot from observing her time being integrated into normal society afterward. We can glean the gist of what happened to her from her reactions and interpretations of the world around her. This allows the reader to use their imagination, with just enough handholding and flashbacks to her time at the commune to truly traumatize the reader. 

Continue reading “Book Review: Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel”

Book Review: In the Midst of Magic by Christian Cura

In the Midst of Magic surrounded by a crystal ball, blue candle, black books, and a black skull

58995486._SY475_Title: In the Midst of Magic 
Author: Christian Cura
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: June 4, 2022
Publisher: Self-published


Synopsis

Meet Kara Hartman, a photojournalist who is hiding her magic from the world. Traumatized by her brother’s death, she wants nothing more to do with magic. But just when she thought she could neglect her gift, it becomes apparent that the universe has other plans for Kara. When she discovers that an old foe has broken out of prison, hellbent on destroying her new life, Kara has no choice but to embrace the only power that can stop her.

Goodreads

My Thoughts

In the Midst of Magic is an epic fantasy story set in modern day America. It has it all–action, romance, betrayals, all in the midst of magic (See what I did there?)

Right on the very first page, we’re dropped into the action. While the world that Cura has created is complex and dynamic, very little time is spent on worldbuilding at the beginning, which is perfect for those who aren’t fans of exposition or information dumps. It seems like most fantasy novels have those early few chapters which are spent explaining to the reader how the world works, which sometimes feels like reading a textbook. With this novel, I found it quite easy to slip into the magical world the author created. While the worldbuilding is scant in the beginning of the book, Cura makes up for it with plenty of theology and backstory for characters, with explanations for why the world is the way it is, all inserted into the narrative at the appropriate spots.

This novel has many strong female characters (almost exclusively!) which I greatly appreciated. Kara, the protagonist, is a photojournalist, and she’s hiding her magic from the world ever since her best friend’s betrayal, which resulted in her brother’s untimely demise. But when she witnesses a rogue demon hunter in action, she’s required to expose herself, using her magic to save innocent lives. I liked Kara a lot as a protagonist. She’s strong, yet vulnerable. She carries a lot of guilt about what happened to her brother, and she’s in denial about who she is. Selene, the rogue demon hunter, is a total bada$$, but she has her softer side too, which she gradually reveals to Kara as the novel progresses. This book has a romantic subplot between Kara and Selene, but it by no means overshadows the overall plotline. It’s quite sweet, and it provides some much-needed breaks from all the action sequences!

Action packed with detailed fight scenes, this book would make for a fabulous TV show. With the ensemble cast, dynamic worldbuilding, and lots of cliffhangers, I could easily see this book as a limited series or even a movie.

At one point, a character says “they’re a hybrid of Harry Potter and Robocop”, which is a perfect way to describe this fast-paced, action-oriented book.

In the Midst of Magic surrounded by a crystal ball, blue candle, black books, and a black skull

*Thank you to the author for the ebook to review*

Find the book:

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Book Review: A Final Call by Eliot Parker

A FInal call on wooden background with a blue candle, notebook, pen, a forensic science book and a pair of binoculars

59148763._SY475_Title: A Final Call 
Author: Eliot Parker
Genre: Mystery, thriller
Date of Publication: October 19, 2021
Publisher: Headline Books


Synopsis

Cleveland Homicide Detective Stacy Tavitt is contacted by a former college classmate who asks for help in finding her missing son, Colton. Still reeling physically and emotionally from her last investigation—which led to the disappearance of her brother–Stacy reluctantly agrees. At first, there is little reason to suspect foul play in his disappearance until he becomes the primary suspect in the murder of an ex-girlfriend. It’s a race against the clock as Stacy tries to find out what happened to her brother and clear his name, all while stopping a lethal killer who continues to target the friends and family connected to Colton. Beset by threats inside and outside of her life, Stacy must go to great lengths to find a killer and save her brother.

Goodreads

My Thoughts

A Final Call is a fast-paced procedural thrill ride, chock full of twists and genuine surprises in the plot. Told in third person, we get multiple perspectives throughout the book, which layers on levels of depth to an original storyline and engaging voice.

The heroine, Detective Stacy Tavitt, is far from perfect, making her the perfect protagonist. She’s dedicated to her job, but after her brother, Chance, went missing, she’s been driven to find him–no matter the cost. In addition to these conflicting drives, she also has a medical condition that impairs her ability to do her job. She has something called ‘thoracic outlet syndrome’, which makes it difficult for her to breathe at times, causing her to pass out and require oxygen. This adds yet another layer of suspense to the novel, because she’s vulnerable, and you never know when an attack might flare up, putting her in even more danger. Though, her condition does make her more reckless than I would have liked (Maybe don’t run into a burning building when your lungs can barely handle a jog through the woods?) As if all this isn’t enough to make Stacy a memorable heroine, she also has complex relationships with her coworkers and family members, which adds yet more drama and tension to an already engaging story.

I recommend this book to those looking for a jam-packed thrill ride with lots of twists and an intriguingly unique protagonist. 

A FInal call on wooden background with a blue candle, notebook, pen, a forensic science book and a

*Thank you to Blackthorn Book Tours and the author for the ebook to review*

Find the book:

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