BOOK REVIEW: Ice Hard by Tracy Goodwin

This review is going to center on the book Ice Hard by Tracy Goodwin. I received an ARC through NetGalley. This was published on October 8th, and is the second book in the New York Nighthawks series. The first book in the series is Ice Hot.

The main characters in this book are Nicholas Alexander George (yep, three first names make up his name), a right winger and NHL league enforcer, and Camille Bennetti, a loyal daughter currently running the family’s Italian restaurant.

Nick meets Cami while she’s helping out working a bar shift during Nick’s best friend’s bachelor party. Nick can’t take his eyes off her and the two share some quick banter. The major problem, as he finds out, is that she doesn’t date hockey players. Cami’s tortured past slowly comes to light throughout the story. Nick plans to prove himself worthy of Camille any way he can.

Will Camille be able to stick to the one night deal, or will she end up wanting more, much more?

I enjoyed reading this book and read it during this past weekend’s 24 hour Dewey Readathon. I think Goodwin did a good job of making her characters imperfect. They were believable in their personalities. It was clear that the characters understood that relationships are hard and take work to maintain instead of the many romance novels that are a bit easier in getting to the Happily Ever After. Persistence was a big aspect of this book. I hope those of you that pick it up enjoy it!

Happy reading 🙂


BOOK REVIEW: I Wanna Sext You Up by Evie Claire

This review is going to look at the new romance I Wanna Sext You Up by Evie Claire. It was released yesterday, Tuesday August 20, 2019–so go find a copy! I received an eARC of this title through NetGalley. I Wanna Sext You Up is the second installment in Claire’s Let’s Talk About Sext series. The books can be read consecutively, or independently.

This romance centers on Lorie Braddock, a rookie pharmaceutical sales representative who is trying to sell a new way to treat diabetes patients. One of the young doctors on her circuit, Dr. Saam Sherazi, is highly career driven and has ignored, kicked out, and even banned some of the representatives on Lorie’s team from his office. She also happens to be a former beauty pageant queen, a real southern belle.

Lorie goes above and beyond and gets a meeting with Saam. She notices that they have the same phone and puts her’s out on the desk to show him. In her rush to leave–you guessed it–she grabs the wrong phone, and in returning their phones to each other, they have to meet again, which leads to sparks, and of course sexts, flying.

Will Lorie and Saam be able to navigate making a relationship work? Or will they get stuck losing out on each other for the sake of others and their jobs? This was a quick, fun read so I suggest you take a little time and go find out! I know I’ll be going back to find the series’s first installment Let’s Talk About Sext at some point to return to the work romance world that Evie Claire has created.

Happy Reading 🙂

Shadow Fall (Tracers, #9)

The ninth installment of Laura Griffin’s Tracers series is called Shadow Fall and it centers in on Special Agent Tara Rushing and ex-Marine, security expert Liam Wolfe. For those of you following the series, yes, Liam is the brother of Delphi Center Mark Wolfe.

After a SWAT Team raid Tara is asked to go to a murder scene by a judge that she knows. She is supposed to gain control of the crime scene. This is a high profile case that focuses on the murder of a former public office candidate that was controversial. As time goes on more women are found murdered, and some old cases are linked to the same mystery killer. Which means that Agent Rushing has a serial killer on her hands.

Throughout the investigation the focus on Liam Wolfe as a suspect continues to be a distraction. Tara is sure he is clear, but the local officers continue to use him as a suspect. Rushing continues to go to the Wolfe Security Compound to learn more about the security company and Liam Wolfe himself. Along the way she realizes her intense attraction to the security expert. She also uses Liam for his knowledge of the small town they are in.

As Tara gets closer to figuring out the case the killer turns her into a target as his next victim. When this happens Liam goes alpha male in protection mode to make sure Tara is safe from harm. Tara is an alpha female though, and they butt heads for a while over who does or doesn’t need protection. Ultimately, the two work as a team to bring down the killer and both of their skills are needed in the take down. Without one part of their team they wouldn’t have been successful in ending the killing spree, and likely an FBI agent would have been the next victim!

This book was hot and thrilling with lots of intense moments. The way Griffin worked with this couple and their seconds in command was riveting. I’m coming to realize that I seem to prefer the books in this series that include more than just the main couple. I’m looking forward to the last few books of the series!

Happy reading 🙂

Twisted (Tracers, #5)

Hi readers–I’ve been a bit MIA lately…things have been a bit crazy lately–good crazy though. I spent a week in Arlington, VA for the Computers in Libraries conference which was a lot of fun, and I learned a ton too! But, this isn’t the time for excuses on my not posting–it’s time for my review on Twisted, the 5th installment in Laura Griffin’s Tracers Series.

Twisted centers in on detective Allison Doyle. Detective Doyle is the rookie that was reassigned to the homicide unit after her help in the university shooting case over the summer. Now, she’s the only one that doesn’t believe that a young woman’s murder was as simple as it appears to the rest of her department. As she tries to make her case with her department, experienced FBI profiler, Mark Wolfe arrives on the case, and he’s on Doyle’s side. Wolfe has been chasing a killer for the last 10 years of his career, and he believes the killer has struck again. As he mentors Allison through the case, he also falls for her.

Most of the book shows the two characters falling for each other in secret, hiding their feelings from each other for several reasons. As the case gets ever more dangerous, it becomes harder for the two to hide their feelings for each other, eventually leading to them coming to terms with their feelings.

Although I enjoyed the novel, I didn’t like it as much as I have liked others in this series. I find this entertaining because as I report my ratings on Goodreads, I see that others rated Twisted higher than others in this series. I guess that really proves that every book has its reader!

Do you think every book has its reader? And, as always–Happy reading!

PS–Although I haven’t been writing, that doesn’t mean I’ve slowed down on my reading. I’ve got several posts to catch up on!

Snapped (Tracers #4)

I am loving the speed at which I am able to get through the books in the Tracers series. I have been rotating through fiction and nonfiction books and it takes me much longer to read a nonfiction book, especially when I’m only half interested in the nonfiction book.

This installment of the series dives into the lives of Sophie Barrett, secretary at the Delphi Center, and Jonah Macon, a homicide detective for the SMPD. The book begins with what appears to be a random school shooting at the local university. As the plot unwinds the reader comes to learn just how meticulously planned out this attack was. Sophie, of course, had been walking through campus at the time of the shooting and was witness to much of the attack, making her SMPD’s key witness. She was the one to point out that the shooter had an accomplice, that the shooter’s car was planted in a certain spot, she even was the one making the 911 call and notifying the take down team of where the shooting was coming from! Sophie was at the center of it all.

Sophie makes the “mistake” of going on the news with her accomplice theory when the police don’t believe her. This sets up the scene for the rest of the book hiding from the mysterious Sharpe. There are a handfull of attempts to kill Sophie and each one draws Sophie and Jonah closer together.

It was another enjoyable book from Laura Griffin, and I’ve put in a hold at my local library for the next book in the series. Although I enjoyed it, there were a few parts that bother me a bit. I realize this book was written several years ago, but it makes me a bit uncomfortable to be using even fake school shootings as the background plot for a romance novel. I mean, I get it, the trauma brings the two main characters together, but I’m not really a fan of using a school shooting for subplot substance. For the most part I liked how Griffin portrayed Sophie. She is an independent woman who takes care of herself. That being said, most of her character development in this book seemed like a waste. Maybe that’s because the timeline of the book is so short, but I think it does the character a unjustice. She’s working really hard to get a promotion at the Delphi Center, and midway through the book we hear a rumor that she’s on the shortlist for the promotion, but we don’t find out any further what happens there. The reader gets a sense that Sophie and her parents and siblings are quite different in how they live life. At one point it seems we will finally meet a part of that famiy and get some closure there, but no, that meeting is brought to an end before it even ever really begins. Maybe we will continue to see Sophie throughout the series and some of these questions will be answered, but if this turns out like the pattern the rest of the books follow, we likely won’t see her character built upon much.

Happy Reading 🙂

Unforgivable (Tracers 3)

The third installment of the Tracers series was a fun read. The previous novels vaguely introduced us to Unforgivable’s main character, Mia Voss, the DNA tracer at the Delphi Center. I was excited to get to the story where Mia is the main character since she had made brief appearances in a few of the previous books.

One thing I love about this series is how Griffin portrays her female characters. They demonstrate that it is ok to be intelligent, nerdy, and tough. Each character has their vulnerabilities, but triumphs over whatever initially holds them back. Mia Voss is as smart as they come being at the top of her field in DNA.

Mia is the target of a carjacking during which an innocent man is killed. She is deeply hurt by this and doesn’t want much outside help as she doesn’t want anyone else to get hurt. Detective Ric Santos has other plans though, as he and Mia bonded before this incident he wants to protect her from the perpetrator.

I enjoyed this book for the depth of the story. Just when you think it can’t possibly get worse–it does. It was multi-level between the police involved, the detectives, and finally the FBI being drawn in. It wasn’t one of the more simple cases, that’s for sure.

Happy Reading!

Unstoppable (Tracers 2.5)

I am thoroughly enjoying the Tracers series from Laura Griffin! Each installment has been interesting and captured my attention in different ways as it focuses on different characters each time.

Unstoppable is a short novella focusing on forensic anthropologist Kelsey Quinn who works with bones and decomposing bodies at the Delphi Center. She is also a teacher of a graduate class and the book focuses on her time at a dig. Since there have been a scurry of crimes in the area her Navy SEAL father sends Navy SEAL Gage Brewer to play bodyguard for the remainder of the dig. Chaos ensues and Kelsey and Gage have to come together to solve the crime going on in the area.

I went into this novella being skeptical about it because I couldn’t understand why Griffin would publish it as a novella, instead of a full-length book. These main characters come back for book #6 of the series so after finishing Unstoppable it makes a bit more sense with the timeline of the series. By the time I got close to the end of the novella I didn’t want the book to end! I’m trying to quickly read the in-between books to get back to Kelsey and Gage’s story-line.

Happy Reading!

Unspeakable

Unspeakable is the second book in Laura Griffin’s Tracers series. Each of the novels in this series focus on two characters in the criminal/forensic fields in Texas. This book focuses on Elaina McCord, an FBI agent, and Troy Stockton, a true crime writer who was featured as one of the characters in the first book in the series.

Elaina is a rookie FBI agent trying to demonstrate her skills, but the men on the case want nothing to do with her and are essentially icing her out from being helpful on the case. She constantly has to prove herself, but often gets herself into more trouble than she should because she is more of a loner than part of a team. She always feels that she needs to do things on her own to prove that she isn’t a weak link to the team because she is a woman.

The team is investigating a series of murders of young women who were violently killed and left to decompose in the muggy Texas marshlands. The murderer begins taunting Elaina with phone calls and other notes. Luckily, through every dangerous turn Elaina has Troy Stockton keeping an eye on her. Stockton is the only one that believes Elaina is on the right track right from the get go and helps her develop her leads and interview suspects and witnesses. He introduces his contacts at the Delphi Center to Elaina so that she can get evidence tested when her supervisor doesn’t believe it is worth the FBI’s time. Troy seems to be the only one watching out for the safety of Elaina, when even she jumps into dangerous situations without thinking.

With the killer knowing how to get to Elaina, while she doesn’t know who he is, it is a race against time to figure out who he is before he gets more victims, or targets her. This is the cause of several arguments between Troy and Elaina as his first priority seems to be her safety.

Through a search back several years it is clear that the killer has been honing his skills for quite some time and in several locations. Police from different areas of Texas come in to help out and the forensic specialists at the Delphi Center score big when testing the evidence sent in. It was a true group effort to solve this case, and an enjoyable read. I can’t wait to continue the series!

Untraceable

As a Technical Services Librarian, pretty much every book that my library orders comes across my desk at some point. Fortunately, and unfortunately, that means I have a huge TBR list so a lot of my posts aren’t about the most recently released books. Nevertheless, they are still enjoyable reads. A few weeks ago, the most recent book in Laura Griffin’s Tracers series came across my desk. The plot sounded great to me, since I love detective/forensic murder mystery series. I didn’t want to start with the most recent book though, so I looked for the first book in the series and ILL’d the book–“Untraceable.”

Griffin introduces readers to a crime in the middle of it, instead of after the fact. I really liked that she did not bring us in to the plot by immediately introducing us to PI/computer genius Alexandra Lovell and Detective Nathan Devereaux. Lovell also takes on clients who are women who have suffered abuse and are looking to disappear. Alex helped victim Melanie Bess disappear and now she is really missing and Alex has a gut feeling that something isn’t right.

I really hate giving spoilers–yes, even for a book published in 2009, so I don’t want to give away too much plot. But the rest of the book focuses on searching for Melanie and what crimes are connected to her abusive husband, who is a cop. There are many twists and turns throughout the story line including some that I didn’t see coming.

The other subplot going on is the budding relationship between Alex and Nathan. There is a sexual tension between them throughout the novel, and includes some back story as to when they met previously. As I was reading I had to double check that this was the first book in the series because their meeting was brought up so often.  I’m intrigued to find out how their relationship further develops and was surprised to see how much happened in just the first book of the series. Normally, authors will let the tension build up a few books and slowly jump in, but this book jumps right in.

This book was a fun, quick read, and I am very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I can’t wait for the book to get shipped to me so I can get started!