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Dragons of Autumn Twilight
Tracy Hickman, Margaret Weis
This Man Confessed (This Man, #3)
Jodi Ellen Malpas
31 Bond Street
Ellen Horan
Betrayal in Death (In Death #12)
J.D. Robb
Lover at Last
J.R. Ward
The Executor
Jesse Kellerman
City of Bones
Cassandra Clare
Dark Beginnings (Lords of the Underworld 6)
Gena Showalter
Blood Promise
Richelle Mead
Deadly Decisions
Kathy Reichs
Last Seen Wearing - Colin Dexter The second Inspector Morse book, which centres around the disappearance of a school girl - Valerie Taylor never returned to school one Tuesday afternoon, 2 years later a letter is sent to her parents - from Valerie letting them know that she's alright.

This comes after a police officer begins to look into her disappearance following an article in a Sunday newspaper. The policeman dies in the car accident and the investigation is passed to Morse.

It's not the kind of case that interests Morse - he's only really interested when there's a body involved. The central question is whether Valerie is alive - or whether she's really dead. There are a number of ideas, all ranging from her parents doing away with her (especially after it's revealed that Valerie was pregnant, possibly by a teacher at her school, possibly by her step-father) to Valerie assuming a fake identity.

The number of red herrings was quite impressive.

But that's part of what really annoyed me with this book. There's a lot of talk by Morse, about his extravagant ideas, but not much police work to back them up. In fact when they do look for evidence the ideas breakdown completely.

There was a certain point when I realised what had actually happened to Valerie and was rather disappointed that it took Morse so long to figure it out (just by looking in a kitchen drawer you knew).

The ending is what let me down the most, there was no real resolution - we know clearly what happened but no-one would be held accountable for it. There was a lot left unresolved for me as to the "why" it happened.

Also, Morse came over as a dirty old man for quite a lot of this book. Almost grateful that Lewis was not aware of his personal proclivities. As Morse said himself - he needs a woman.
A Is For Alibi - Sue Grafton A PI with commitment issues.

8 years ago Nikki Fife was put away for the murder of her husband. A divorce lawyer who died after someone dosed his allergy meds. A known ladies man it seemed at the time pretty obvious that this wife must have done it. But once released from jail Nikki wants to know who really killed her husband and she wants Kinsey Millhone to find out who really did it.

Kinsey likes to be constricted - she lives in a converted garage, doesn't cook, doesn't do relationships (she has 2 divorces to prove it). She remembers working for Laurence Fife (work is all she did for him though). His death is remarkable similar to another death - of his accountant just a few days later - from meds that had also been dosed. Was the same killer at work?

There are several possible suspects, ranging from his ex-wife, to his partner at work, to the accountants ex-boyfriend. I wasn't all that surprised at who the ultimate killer was though.

This book did come over as rather dated (it was afterall first published in 1982 - so there is a lot of talk about using answering services - having problems getting hold of people.

I'm not really sure what to make of Kinsey - as she makes some schoolboy errors in the course of her investigation. But I'll give the next one a try just to see if things pick up.
Shake Hands Forever - Ruth Rendell I hate reading a series out of order - but I desperately needed a quick book published in 1975, so I caved and picked this up. Considering this was only just over 200 pages it seemed to take a long time to read. The story seems very straightforward, which of course means that is isn't.

Robert Hathall returns home, bringing his mother with him for visit. She doesn't approve of his second wife, so this is only the second time she will have met her. But the disapproving mother-in-law discovers Angela Hathalls body - she's been strangled and Wexford has a good idea who's behind her murder.

The grieving husband doesn't really grieve, but then no-one in this family behaves as you would expect. They're all cold and disconnected.

Wexford is sure that somehow the husband is behind his wife's death, but he was working in London when it happened. The house has been wiped clean of prints, except for one which shows an L shaped scar.

Wexford becomes obsessed with proving that Robert Hathall killed his wife, roping in other people to watch him when he moves into London, sure that at some point he'll make a mistake. Over a year passes before the case comes to it's conclusion - after the discovery of a potential fraud the case overlaps with the disappearance of a local woman.

Final twist was rather good, but I did see if coming, after an innocent comment regarding a necklace the missing woman wore.

What I didn't like was trying to decide whether Wexford had cheated on his wife - personally I like to think that he didn't, but I suspect that he did.

This book left a rather sour taste in my mouth. Wexford was forever doubting his-self, the only person that really supported him was his nephew. He was depressed about getting old, but happy that he'd lost weight. It just didn't do much for me.
Judgement in Death (In Death #11) - J.D. Robb These books never fail to please. This time around we have an undercover cop who ends up dead in a club owned by Roarke. Yes, we have a cop killer on the loose and before the book is done the body count rises.

This is especially tricky for Eve and Roarke, as it appears things are linked to an ex-business associate of Roarkes, back in the day when his business wasn't strictly legal and the guy still holds a grudge. Eve wants to protect Roarke, but still do her job and Roarke wants to keep her away from the psycho nutjob. It won't end well will it - it never does.

Well, after a little bit of sulking (and Roarke "getting his dick in a twist"), they do both come around proving once again that together they are stronger and can deal with just about anything.

It still amazes me that these two have only been married for about a year, so much has happened in such a short space of time. They're still learning so much about each other and remain completely committed.

But in the end the bad guys go to jail and Roarke proved what a scary SOB he really is. Eve would do well to never forget that....
The Vesuvius Club - Mark Gatiss There are parts of this book that I read with a permanent wince. Some of the character names are positively painful - Miss Bella Pok, Mrs Midsummer Knight. It tries to hard to be clever and descends in the realm of silliness. It had a spark of something interesting, but then the crap got in the way.

Set in Edwardian England Lucifer Box is a portrait painter - struggling to make ends meet. He lives at Number 9 Downing Street (something to do with his family not giving up the rights to the house), a known womaniser (but swings both ways) and a bit James Bond, in the days before James Bond. Yes folks, he's an assassin for the Secret Service.

After doing away with his current assignment he's sent on the trail of some geologists who've disappeared then apparently died. He ends up in Naples, following an empty coffin. Whereupon he comes across Charlie Jackpot (waiter by day, gigolo by night), who becomes his man Friday. the baddie of the piece falls foul of the classic stereotype - a monologue where he explains his dastardly plan and allows the hero time to find an escape.

I have a real problem with central characters that I just don't like and I have to say I didn't really like Lucifer. He loved himself a little bit too much, was rather dismissive of those he didn't think worthy of him and basically wanted to jump anyone he thought pretty enough.

Get over yourself Lucifer. I'm not in any rush to read the next in the series (there are only 3), given that he's older in the next one he'll just lament how old he's getting and probably become rather maudlin.
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ - Philip Pullman I've never thought of myself as particularly religious. My father's side of the family are Catholic and I was christened Catholic but as I say religion has never really played a huge part in my life.

This book was chosen as a bookclub read earlier in the year - someone thought it would be a good idea to read it over Easter. I started it and immediately put it down again - I didn't go back to bookclub.

Even though this is a very short book - just under 250 pages, I couldn't read it for very long before having to put it down. The author's contempt for organised religion is very clear.

My main problem with the book is the whole concept that Mary gave birth to twins, Jesus and Christ (don't even get me started on Joseph's reaction to being told to marry the much younger Mary). Jesus came over as completely uncaring about his family and Christ did his best to blend into the background after a childhood of tidying up after Jesus.

Christ is continually visited by an Angel (?) and told to record everything that Jesus does so it can be used as the basis of a Church (Christ's idea).

The only part that touched me at all was Jesus raging at God in the garden of Gethesmane for being completely absent and questioning whether he believes in him at all.

The book finishes with Christ considering adding to his writings to further enhance the myth of Jesus - adding lies to his histories (this is after he impersonated Jesus to bring about the resurrection).

I didn't look on Christ as a scoundrel, he was trapped into every decision he made by someone with a much bigger gameplan.

I know everyone's entitled to their opinion, but this book made me realise that I'm actually a lot more religious than I previously thought.
Beneath This Man (This Man, #2) - Jodi Ellen Malpas The more I read, the more I love Jesse Ward. Yes, he's completely controlling, unreasonable with a violent temper - but he loves Ava with every fibre of his being. The problem is that he doesn't believe Ava feels the same. And he thinks everyone wants to take her away from him.

The start of this book ripped my heart in two. To see Jesse so destroyed by Ava leaving him (I couldn't count the number of empty bottles they found - if he was in a coma, then why didn't they get him to the hospital?? Why just leave Ava to deal with him? I know that was all he wanted, but damn, after everything that was thrown at her at the end of book one, you could forgive her for running in the other direction.

However, in this book, the shit gets even weirder.....

There's handcuffs, there a session on a rowing machine and an anniversary party for the Manor, during which Jesse gives her a tour of the infamous Communal Room.....

Why he took her up there, I'm still not completely sure, but I really felt for Ava hearing other women talk about Jesses sexual prowess (stuck in a toilet cubicle), but I thought she dealt with it well - after the predictable meltdown.

Jesse learnt that he has to talk to Ava. And Ava spent most of the book terrified that she'd do something to make Jesse pick up a bottle again - but the worst part didn't involve drink, it involved a whip.

That was my WTF moment. WTF was he thinking? But I did give Ava a mental high five for her treatment of Sarah, that witch deserved a slap down.

Once again the sex was curiously clinical, the writing was slightly lacking and in some places actually made me cringe ("don't do things like that when I'm in no position to violate you" - romantic it ain't).

But again, I'm not reading these books for the sex - I'm reading them for Jesse and something tells me he's still got some surprises up his sleeve.
This Man (This Man, #1) - Jodi Ellen Malpas Ok, so we've had Christian and Ana, Gideon and Eva, now ladies and gentlemen meet Jessie Ward and Ava O'Shea.

Or rather - meet Jesse..... Ava, I could do without, yet another clueless young woman, completely oblivious to all the warning signs around her. An interior designer no less, in London.

I loved the fact that this was set in London - my favourite place in the whole world.

Ava has a meeting about some work at a place called "The Manor", that she thinks is a hotel - well, it does have a lot of beds in it.... Owned by this man called Jesse. Blond, built, rich sex god, who of course becomes completely obsessed with Ava. She's only just come out of a 4 year relationship, but she falls for him.

Yes, there's a lot of internal dialogue - believing she should leave him before he dumps her, believing that she's just his current flavour of the month. Her best friend is awful, she just wants to drink and screw.

Yes, there is a lot of sex in this book, but I found it rather clinical (if you like "standing up sex", then you'll love this book, because Jesse spends most of his time on his feet, carrying her around) - it didn't really do much for me (Unlike Crossfire or FSOG).

What made this book for me was Jesse, crazy mad one moment, crazy tender the next. So protective of Ava, but she just doesn't get it. He's a very different proposition as compared to Christian and Gideon (who is definitely my favourite now), a man with a very nasty scar, a bit of a complex about his age, a business that he feels the need to hide from Ava, even though he wants her to work on his building. He is oblivious to his effect on women, all he can concentrate on his Ava - take her out of the equation and he's set adrift, he doesn't know what to do.

Well, that's not strictly true - he does one thing and makes him extremely unpleasant to be around. Jesse seems more human compared to Christian and Gideon.

He can be violent, but never in Ava's direction.

There was one huge thing that really annoyed me - I don't believe the word "writher" exists. I've googled it, it's not in the dictionary on my kindle. It was used ALOT and it really got on my nerves. The writing in places felt disjointed, it didn't feel right sometimes.

Having said that though I'm hooked, I'm Jesse's girl now.... And that's why it gets 4/5.
The Warlord Wants Forever (Immortals After Dark #1) - Kresley Cole Hmmmm, Nikolai Wroth.... In his human life he was a warlord, in his Vampire life, he's still a warlord, his life is all about the fight and his loyalty to his king. Until he comes across a crazy redhead, locked in a dungeon. Myst is an immortal, but Nikolai doesn't know what kind. He's never come across anything like her before - because the Valkyrie are a myth in his eyes.

Unfortunately for him, Myst is his bride, awakening something in him that has been dormant for centuries. When she leaves him, she leaves him in excruciating sexual need. Something that he lives with (if you can call it that) for 5 years - until he finds her again.

This was a sweet little story, I actually preferred it to some of the full length IAD books. Was it wrong of Nikolai to use power against Myst, to take away her right to choose (by getting his hands on the chain she wore that could control her), yes of course he was, but he wanted her to understand the pain he'd put her through. Imagine 5 years of constant sexual arousal and not being able to do anything about it - that's harsh. But he never forced himself on her.

There was the standard "How can you love me when I'm a complete shit" moment, the misunderstanding that causes the couple to break up. But nothing was dragged out, which was nice.

Yes, the ending was rather cheesy, with Nikolai willing to face the sun to save her (got a little bit choked up about that) and Myst going batshit crazy to save him.

It was good.
Casino Royale - Ian Fleming My dear Mr Bond, whatever have you got yourself into??

I have to say, that the film is one of my favourite Bond movies (I'm talking about the Daniel Craig version, not the David Niven - although that was fun in it's own way). So I knew what to expect going in.

But I didn't expect Bond to be quite so different. This is a man who doesn't realise his room is being bugged. Who knows that the woman with him is not all she seems - yet he decides to ignore his instincts. A man who believes that women have no place in his line of work - well they do have a place - beneath him in bed, so he can prove his equipment still works.

It's a book that shows it's age - first published in 1953, when the Russians were the bad guys and frequent mentions are made of the war. There is a particularly cringeworthy moment when an attempt to kill Bond with a bomb goes horribly wrong for the bad guys.

But for all that you can see the essence of Bond, the relentless drive to get the job done, the love of fast cars (a Bentley that ends up as a bit of mess), Vodka Martinis and women.

Le Chiffre on the other hand is a nasty little man, a paymaster for the Russian Unions that's helped himself to some of their money, money that went into some very bad business investments. To make his money back he's gambling and Bond is sent to make sure that he doesn't win.

I will admit a lot of the gambling references went straight over my head. I don't understand baccarat, but my heart dropped when Bond lost everything (even though I knew how it would end) and soared when he won.

It wasn't long until I had arrived at the bit I dreaded the most - Bond's torture. Very well written, the tension, the pain that Bond felt, it was all so palpable.

The one part that I didn't care for was Vespa - even if I hadn't seen the film I couldn't have trusted her - it was all so blatantly obvious what was going on with her. It was Bond I felt sorry for, when he realised what was happening.

For such a short book it wasn't a quick read, I found I had to re-read things sometimes, but I'm glad I started the series.

James Bond will return........
Run For Your Life - James Patterson Not bad, although it went a little overboard at the end.

A series of random shootings, that happen in a very short timeframe. Using different guns, by men dressed differently. Could it be the same man?

Michael Bennett heads up the investigation, while contending with a flu outbreak at home which manages to take down all 10 children and Grandpa - who seems more interested in finding out who's robbing the poor box in church (once he does find out who does it though the storyline is never resolved).

The main storyline concerning "The Teacher", a man who wants to teach people to have more respect for others is interesting. This is a man with an agenda and a list of people he wants to deal with.

But there's something missing from this story, something that was there in the first book and I just can't put my finger on what the problem is. I felt disconnected from the story, not enough was explained about The Teacher, about his background.

Bennett seems to spend the entire book looking after his kids and running around after the mad-man that's on the loose. He gets help from a female FBI agent who could be a possible love interest in the future - if the nanny doesn't her hands on him first.

But it lost me at the end when Bennett had a vision of his dead wife while facing his own possible death. Too cheesy, way too cheesy for me. I had high hopes for this series after the first book now I'm worried it will go the same way at the Womens Murder Club. Lets see what happens with book 3.
Step on a Crack - James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge OK, so this maybe a really cheesy book, but I liked it. Yes, I could have done without the Homicide Cop (Mike) with a terminally ill wife (Maeve) and 10 adopted children - yes you read that right - 10, 10 adopted children. The Irish au pair who mysteriously appeared the day before Christmas and the Catholic Priest Grandfather.

Actually I take that back, I couldn't have done without Mike, he was pretty awesome.

This book starts out fairly unassuming, with the death of a former first lady from a nut allergy. Her funeral is attended by an array of the famous and fabulously wealthy and is promptly hi-jacked. The hi-jackers seem to be able to predict every move that the NYPD/FBI make and it's left to Mike to negotiate with them - while he's juggling his kids and visiting his wife in the hospital.

It's this book that reminds me of why I started reading Patterson's books (yes, I know he didn't write it on his own, probably didn't write it at all, just provided the storyline). Take one crime and follow it through (although the conclusion is wrapped up pretty quickly). The action moves quickly and I found it a really enjoyable read.

So, why only 3 stars? If a character is named something like "the neat man" then you just know that you've already come across him under another name, that he's hiding in plain sight. That kind of thing really annoys me.

The cheese could have been cut back a little bit and I felt that the ending was pretty rushed - overnight Mike gets a brainwave as to who the hi-jackers might be. Not scientific, just a feeling he gets. There's no mention of the hostages once they've been rescued, one of them had a serious hand injury and it's not mentioned at all when they reach him.

But the biggest problem I have is that one of the hostages is killed and it's never explained why. Now the NYPD and FBI are aware that the guys ransom will not be paid - but as far as we are aware the hi-jackers are never told that. So his death comes out of no-where. Call me OCD if you like, but I have to know why things happen and that just didn't make sense to me.

However, this series looks promising - God knows I'm struggling with the Womens Murder Club. Maybe Michael Bennett is what I need instead.
8th Confession: (Women's Murder Club 8) - James Patterson Famous people killed by Snakes? Really? These books just got on-board the crazy train.

So, on one hand we have Cindy getting obsessed with the murder of a homeless man. On the other we have Yuki dealing with a possible patricide trial. If that wasn't enough you have Lindsay and Conklin investigating the suspicious deaths of several famous people. In the midst of it all you have "Pet Girl".

I could deal with that craziness, but then throw in Yuki getting hit by a car and falling for the doctor that gave her a buzz cut. Then have that same doctor admitting to being raised as a girl (because they weren't sure what he was when he was born), but having his "boy parts" rebuilt in his late 20's. Add to that Lindsay and Conklin grappling some more and then Conklin jumping into bed with Cindy - THAT MAKES NO SENSE, WTF???

This book seemed like a mishmash - so many different things going in so many different directions that nothing seemed to make sense. Is this the point where this series "jumps the shark"? Because it really felt like they threw any half baked idea into this one.

I'm not convinced that Lindsay actually wants to marry Joe, Conklin took himself off the table when he got together with Cindy - there's still a lot that unsolved, but I don't get the feeling that it ever will be and I'm not sure that I even care anymore.

I've got the next two to read and after that it might be time to give up....they have to get better.
Entwined with You - Sylvia Day So, after demolishing all 3 books in just over a week, I'm a little bit worn out - mainly through lack of sleep - it's hard working, coming home and reading late into the night!!! Now I can finally get some sleep!

But emotionally as well, I feel wrung out and I think Gideon felt a bit like that by the end of this book. So much happened, whether it was Cary, Eva, Corinne (who needs a damn good slap by the way), everyone had drama of some sort. Eva especially, not only did she have to contend with Brett making another appearance, she had her parents hooking up, a sex tape to worry about as well as trying to get back to Gideon, who seemed a little bit closed off for parts of the book.

Up until the point where he proposed...

The scenes leading up to that point - on the plane, my heart broke for him. Eva pushed him to a place he didn't want to go, but it made him love her even more. This is a couple designed for each other - it's inconceivable to me that they could ever break up.

There's so much more to come (kids for one thing). But I have a lingering worry about Gideon. It was casually thrown in that this abuser killed himself and that he had a young son - you just know that son will make an appearance at some point and I'm already trying to figure out if he's already appeared in some way (could it be Megumi's stalker or the new guy Will). One way of the other that can't end well. Also who is covering for Gideon where Nathan's murder is concerned?

So many questions. I can't wait for the next book!
Reflected in You - Sylvia Day I love him, I love him, I love him. Gideon Cross is THE MAN. Seriously. I feel like a lovesick teenager. I barely remember who Christian Grey is. Gideon doesn't need any toys, he just needs Eva.

Sometimes I get a song stuck in my head when I read a book, this time it was a song by Mumford & Sons, just keep hearing the chorus in my head "I will wait, I will wait for you".

Gideon doesn't make the right choices sometimes, but he genuinely thinks he's doing the right thing. We got the see the strength of his love and jealousy where Eva's concerned, in two very frightening instances. Firstly when Eva comes across an ex-boyfriend unexpectedly (is it wrong to say I found it a bit of turn-on for two guys to be beating the crap out of each other - the same feeling I had watching parts of Star Trek Into Darkness). Secondly with the demise of Nathan. Gideon must have guessed what Nathan had planned (after what happened to Cary) and needed Eva to have plausible deniability. But to do that he had to cut her off - leaving her completely distraught. I must have killed him to be so cold towards her.

You knew that everytime he saw her or talked to her he was having to restrain himself.

We did get to learn more about his childhood trauma, but I get the feeling there's a whole lot more to that story (please, please let him work his way through the sleep issues he has, it would kill me if I couldn't sleep in the same bed as the man I loved).

It was so good to see him spend some time with his sister. I really like Ireland, she's a sweet girl who seems in complete awe of her older brother.

I love these books and want to get straight into the next one! I'll even forgive the Twilight quotes ("Your mood swings are kind of giving me whiplash"), and extreme cheese, because Gideon makes it all worthwhile.
Bared to You  - Sylvia Day You can't read it and not see the parallels between a certain trilogy that has taken the book buying world by storm.

But this is a much darker story, where both central characters are equally damaged - in fact pretty much everyone is messed up in some way.

Gideon Cross, young, hung and full of self loathing. Prone to nightmares and attempted sexual assaults while sleeping. Worth billions. Something terrible has obviously happened to him (several mentions of "consensual sex", which implies that he's been forced at some point)

Eva Trammell, young, stalked by her mother because of a very bad experience Eva had during her mothers first marriage. Living with her seriously messed up bi-sexual model best friend Cary (he needs a damn slap).

It's a great first book in the series - Gideon is almost hypnotic.

Yes, it's cheesy in places and I did roll my eyes at one line that I'm sure was lifted straight from Twilight (and another from Jerry Maguire).

Yes, Gideon reminds me of Roarke from the In Death books. I think it's that feeling of barely restrained violence along with the striking physical similarities.

I have to know what happens, thank goodness there are another two books already published (and another 2 still to come).