His Light in the Dark by L.A. Fiore

27857530Rating: 3 stars

Mia and Cole met as children when her father tried to save Cole from his abusive father. The story spanned about 2 decades showing how their relationship evolved. Mia was the good girl with the perfect life. Cole OTOH could never escape his demons. Despite their differences they were still drawn to each other.

I would have liked this better, but it started to drag in the middle. Cole and Mia’s dad got into some trouble, but they never let Mia know what was really going on. Someone betrayed Mia’s dad, and it set off a huge chain of events. No one knew who betrayed him, and Mia was desperate to figure it out. This part of the story was boring because it was fairly obvious who wronged Mia’s dad, and it took a long time for the characters to put it together. It would have been more suspenseful if the book had been shorter.

I wasn’t feeling any passion or chemistry between Mia and Cole until the last quarter of the book. They were close as kids despite the 5 year age difference. Then they were separated for several years. When they reconnected, Cole purposely kept his distance. No matter what happened, Mia tried to strengthen their relationship. Chapters from Cole’s POV gave insight to his reasons for this, but from Mia’s perspective I couldn’t figure out why she didn’t give up on him. He gave her the cold shoulder for over a decade. There were a few moments between them during that time, but they weren’t intense enough to really get the feeling they were meant to be. It was pathetic after a while for Mia to put herself out there over and over again while he barely gave her a response.

I’m not going to say anything specific about the ending because it would give away some major spoilers. It was too perfect and over the top. I didn’t want a dismal, sad ending, but it would have been okay if certain things hadn’t happened.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Altered by Marnee Blake

altered-500x700Rating: 3 stars

Series: untitled #1

 

Blue woke up one morning in her small town to find that almost everyone in it was dead. Seth was a stranger in town but also survived. The two of them met while searching for survivors and discovered they had developed superpowers. Someone was after them and didn’t want them to be found.

The romance was the best part of the story, which was a huge part of it. Seth and Blue developed feelings quickly but didn’t trust each other right away. It had an instalove vibe but it didn’t bother me much. They took more time getting to know each other than in other novels like this.

I had expected there to be more in terms of plot. The majority of the book they were on the run and it got slightly repetitive. I hadn’t realized until the book was over that this is the first in a series because there wasn’t really a resolution at the end. All of the character’s fates were left unexplained. I wouldn’t say it ended with a cliffhanger. It’s more like the story ended at a random point half way through.

I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Dead in Her Tracks by Kendra Elliot

Rating: 4 stars

Series: Rogue Winter #2

This is the second and final book in the Rogue Winter series. Stevie and Zane investigated another murder in Solitude. They discovered a link between this murder and the one Carly and Seth investigated in Tracks of Her Tears. Solving the murder would prove to harder than they thought when things go awry with their primary suspect.

The mystery tied up the loose ends from the prior book. The killer wasn’t obvious, but I was very satisfied with who it was. I liked this one more than Tracks of Her Tears, and it was probably because of Stevie and Zane. I find them to be more relatable than Carly and Seth. Serving justice is important to them, but they also know the value of having a personal life. Stevie and Zane fans will be happy with the development of their relationship.

I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tracks of Her Tears by Melinda Leigh

Rating: 3 stars

Series: Rogue Winter #1

Although this is technically the first book of a new series, it would be best to read the Rogue River series first since both series have the same characters. This can be read without reading the other series, but I like to know the background of characters when possible. Character wise this is a continuation of the other series. The difference is that each series contains a new mystery.

This novella was from the perspectives of Carly and Seth. Someone was murdered in the town of Solitude, and Seth was investigating it. The woman murdered had a baby, so Carly was involved as a social worker. I enjoyed the mystery although it wasn’t too complex since this is a novella.

I would have liked this a bit more, but I find Carly and Seth to be dull. Their romance lacked a spark that truly made me believe in them as a couple. They are committed to making their relationship work. At the same time they both seemed highly work oriented. It was hard for me to relate to a couple who struggled between balancing their personal lives and work. Nonetheless this was a good continuation of the prior series.

I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hanover House by Brenda Novak

Rating: 3 stars

Series: Hanover House Chronicles #0.5

Evelyn was tortured, raped, and left for dead when she was a teenager. She was emotionally scarred by this. Twenty years later at 36 years old years old she could not form meaningful relationships. The only way she knew how to function was to devote her life to studying psychopaths.

I would have liked this better if it didn’t have insta-lust. After spending decades avoiding relationships but also not having any genuine sexual interest, it struck me as slightly odd that she met Amarok and felt so drawn to him. She must have seen good looking men before. Why didn’t they have the same effect on her? I really did enjoy the budding relationship between Evelyn and Amarok, but would have liked it better if they got to know each other a little more before the lust was a strong factor.

Hanover House was a good prequel for the upcoming trilogy. Since this was an introduction to Evelyn’s story, it is likely the actual trilogy will focus slightly more on the psychopaths she studies, which could be very interesting. It’s a bit of a dark twist for romantic suspense novels.

I received this from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Untouchable by Cindy Skaggs

Rating: 2 1/2 stars

Series: Untouchables #1

When Sophia son was kidnapped, the number of suspects was fairly small. Since she was the ex-wife of a mob boss, it was likely that someone in the mafia took her child. Sophia didn’t have strong ties to the mafia anymore, so trying to find him was complicated. Turning to the police wasn’t an option. Logan and Sophia barely knew each other, but he was determined to help her find her child.

I wanted to like this more than I did. It was fast paced with plenty of action. The plot was decent, but the characters fell flat. I didn’t like or dislike them.

Sophia was cold and distant out of necessity, which didn’t bother me. I didn’t agree with all of her choices. For a woman with trust issues, ditching Logan wasn’t high on her priority list, and I didn’t understand why. The loneliness and isolation she had experienced was expressed well, but the panic and fear of having a child go missing wasn’t. A mother should freak out if her kid was at risk of being killed at any moment, but Sophia was fairly calm about it all. Logan was okay. There wasn’t anything special about him.

The romance lacked passion and chemistry. The instant attraction didn’t make sense since neither of them approved of how the other lived their lives. Plus the romance develops from strangers to love in just a few days. It wasn’t believable.

I received this from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.