Author Archives: Nervous Nell Justice

Rakes and Roses by Josi S. Kilpack

A wholly different kind of romance.

Title:  Rakes and Roses
Author:  Josi S. Kilpack
Series:  Mayfield Family #3
Publish Date: May 5, 2020
Source: Shadow Mountain Press – for my independent review

Publisher’s Description: A Mayfield Family Romance

Lady Sabrina endured an abusive marriage, a miscarriage, and early widowhood to emerge as a smart, successful, confident woman who found a way to make her mark in a man’s world. She has friends and purpose, but cannot hide from the emptiness she feels when the parties are over and the friends have gone home to families she will never have.

Harry Stillman may be charming and handsome, but he’s a gambler and a rake who has made a mockery of his privileges. He turns to the mysterious Lord Damion for financial relief from his debts, but still ends up beaten nearly senseless by thugs and left in an ally.

When Lady Sabrina comes upon Harry after the attack, she remembers the kindness Harry once showed to her six years ago and brings him to her estate to heal. Though their relationship begins on rocky footing, it soon mellows into friendship, then trust. But Lady Sabrina needs to keep Harry at a distance, even if he is becoming the kind of man worthy of her heart. After all, she is keeping a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything she’s so carefully built.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

I loved the Mayfield Family romances to date and Rakes and Roses came from a different angle.  It’s still a proper romance but it’s the heroine that is completely the hero in this case.

The male protagonist is a down an out individual that has wasted his money, talent and resources on booze and gambling.  He does not recover quickly and save the day.  This is a study of how one man could get himself into such dire straights – beyond saving, but yet find a saving grace.

I found this story more along the lines of true life as far as what substance abuse can do to a person’s life.  How people that are thought of as friends, really are not there to prop you up, but let you fall a little farther.

This is not a modern story with a little historical thrown in for good measure, this is a true historical that, I feel, brought to the surface some of the darker elements of that time.

I have never read a romance that put an widely spread issue such as gambling and substance abuse into light as this one did.  Also, I found it quite extraordinary that once the male protagonist felt he could stand on his own, he didn’t just take over and assume the part of all powerful.  He still depended on the heroine and that’s what made it so special.

Our reviews in this series…

 

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Nell’s Gossip and Book Hunt March 15, 2020

 

Welcome to my Sunday book hunt and author gossip.  Keep coming back for updates on book releases and news from favorite authors.

Back with new releases again… they keep writin’ them, we keep readin’ them.

Exciting new release coming up!  I love anthologies.  If you aren’t sure you’d like an author, the anthology is an awesome way to test them out.  Besides, that – these authors are awesome!

TitleFantastic Hope
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton and William McCaskey are joined by Kevin J. Anderson, Griffin Barber, Patricia Briggs, Larry Correia, Kacey Ezell, Monalisa Foster, Robert E. Hampson, John G. Hartness, Jonathan Maberry, L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Jessica Schlenker, Sharon Shinn, M. C. Sumner, Patrick M. Tracy, and Michael Z. Williamson in this collection.
Release date: April 7, 2020
Description: A child’s wish for her father comes true. The end of the world has never been so much fun. Conquering personal demons becomes all too real. It’s not always about winning; sometimes it’s about showing up for the fight. It’s about loving your life’s work, and jobs that make you question everything.

In this anthology, seventeen authors have woven together brand-new stories that speak to the darkness and despair that life brings while reminding us that good deeds, humor, love, sacrifice, dedication, and following our joy can ignite a light that burns so bright the darkness cannot last.

 

 

TitleVooDoo Shanghai
AuthorKristi Charish
SeriesKincaid Strange #3
Release date:  February 18, 2020
Description: The third and final installment in Kristi Charish’s thrilling urban fantasy series finds beloved heroine and voodoo practitioner Kincaid Strange shanghaied away from Seattle and pursuing the ghost of a serial killer in Portland.

Just when Kincaid Strange thinks her life is back on track and she’s finally put her time as a paranormal practitioner with the Seattle PD to rest, her ex (and Seattle cop) Aaron asks her for help with yet another strange and ominous case. Martin Dane, the White Picket Fence Serial Killer who terrorized West Coast families living the suburban American dream, appears to be back at it with a fresh murder in Portland. There’s only one problem: Dane has been dead for three weeks.
    

Kincaid can’t resist a paranormal mystery. Despite her misgivings, she agrees to examine the Portland crime scene. What she discovers is a place of supernatural power unlike anywhere she’s ever been–and the reason Aaron had been so tight-lipped about the case details. There’s already a voodoo practitioner on the scene: Liam Sinclair, a TV celebrity of questionable talent and dubious intent.
    

Kincaid wants nothing more than to finish the job and retreat to Seattle, but the deeper she looks, the less the murder adds up. When she uncovers a much more sinister mystery–missing ghosts, scores of them, whom no one is looking for–there’s no turning back.

 

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A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.

Title:  A Bad Day for Sunshine
Author:  Darynda Jones
Series:  Sunshine Vicrum #1
Publish Date: April 7, 2020
Source: Netgalley – all opinions are my own – no incentive given

Publisher’s Description: Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.

Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, its strong cups of coffee—and a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff—an election her adorably meddlesome parents entered her in—and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of it’s reminding Sunny why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that trouble at her daughter’s new school and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and Sunshine has her hands full.

Enter sexy almost-old-flame Levi Ravinder and a hunky US Marshall, both elevens on a scale of one to blazing inferno, and the normally savvy sheriff is quickly in over her head. Now it’s up to Sunshine to juggle a few good hunky men, a not-so-nice kidnapping miscreant, and Doug the ever-pesky flasher. And they said coming home would be drama-free.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

It was good read Darynda Jones again. She has her trademark style from Charlie and incorporates it into Sunshine. There are the hilarious quotes that start the chapter and the snarky responses that are full on Charlie except are now being used as marquee signs about the town.

This story has a little paranormal in it but it could amp up throughout the series, just like with Charlie. There is a smoldering love interest, a quirky best friend, funny parents and a daughter. All the elements that can be mirrored from the Charlie Davidson series. There isn’t any sex in this story, but it is alluded to in conversation. There is no gore, but there is a murder. It’s a long ago murder that needs to be solved, but it’s one that isn’t hard to guess at the conclusion, HOWEVER,  I am sure that it won’t be as cut and dried as I think, which is a thrill.

I felt the story was chaotic and popping up with new characters every other page.  That could be because it’s a new series and the foundation has to be laid.   I enjoyed the back stories to the people of the town and their idiosyncrasies.  Every small town has those citizens that are strange and weird.  Each small town has those cases that just make you want to shake your head and ask, “Seriously?” Being the Sheriff, Sunshine would know them all. Darynda Jones knows how to make loveable characters. I like the way the daughter has got more of a focus, but I also think there is something about her that will bring the paranormal to the forefront. The book is wrapped around a town with key players waiting in the wings for their que.

I am somewhat on fence with this book.  I don’t want to disrespect this title or the author, but it’s hard for me to not make comparisons to her other work. There are a lot of reviews raving about this story, and I don’t debate that it’s good, but the cast has been cast before. It could be that the mix of characters that Darynda uses is her secret recipe and Sunshine Vicrum series will take on a life of it’s own. Here’s to hoping it’ll become it’s own singular style.

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The Dark Communion by Joey Ruff

Swyftt was a copper, a priest, a Night Hunter, a husband, a father. Now he’s just a burnt-out PI.  The only one that anyone can turn to when they encounter the other.

Title: The Dark Communion
Author:  Joey Ruff
Series: The Midnight Defenders #1
Publish Date: March 25, 2020
Source:  received from author – all opinions are my own and I did not receive this book as incentive

Publisher’s Description: When Daddy, Gramps, drunk Uncle Billy…whoever it was, looked at you when you were a little kid, blankets around your neck, trembling in bed, sure-as-shit convinced that there was something out to get you under your box-spring, in your closet, and they told you there wasn’t anything there – that monsters didn’t exist – they were lying to you.

Jono Swyftt knows this because that’s what he does. He kills things. Bad things. Nightmare things: Orcs, trolls, haunts, gnomes…the bloody Easter Bunny.

Swyftt was a copper, a priest, a Night Hunter, a husband, a father. Now he’s just a burnt-out PI with an arsenal of big-ass guns – an unrepentant foul-mouth who keeps everyone at arms length – and yet, whether your problem is a mating orgy of Cyclopes, a murderous imaginary friend, or a strip club full of horny Sirens, everyone from US Senators to Julia Roberts knows he’s the one man to call.

When a high-school student hires him to find a missing autistic boy and a catatonic billionaire runs away from a nursing home, it’s up to Swyftt, his partner, and his ward to piece together the clues and stop the nightmare that’s feeding on the city with an underground ring of serial-kidnapping bums. But that’s what Swyftt does. He’s the very last line of paranormal defense in the greater Seattle area.

And he ain’t bloody cheap.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

I would qualify this book as a horror novel. There is no sex. There is a lot of violence and some gore.  It involves missing and murdered children.  There is bad language.  It’s probably not for the faint of heart.

Right out of the chute, I’m going to tell you that I give this book 4 stars.  The premise is horrifying, but when you are looking for a dark thrill, that’s where it’ll lead ya.

Children are missing.  There are no leads for the cops and Jono wants to steer clear of the whole mess.  Why is that? Well, because it’s easier to look the other way and not see what is really there. It’s much easier to not see the child you lost in the faces that are taken…if you don’t look. He’d much rather not think about the things that are out there that could easily fit the criteria of child-nappers.  The horrid and scary things.  The monsters.  To clarify, the things that aren’t human.

Jono has an interesting life set up for himself.  He’s his deceased PI partner’s daughter’s caretaker.  He lives with a rich friend who has been cast away by his own family.  He has a paranormal PI business that is used by the rich and famous as well as those that are regular joes like you and me. He is also haunted by what creatures he’s seen and the mayhem in which these creatures create.

He knows what could be taking these children and in order to stop this…this…thing, he has to find it and put it down.  The only problem with that plan is that he needs more than himself to do it.  There is a non believer in the FBI that is trying her best to pin bad things on Jono.  Oh, and to throw the whole thing into a further uproar? Jono has the gift of Psychometry.  He touches something and can see into it’s past. He has to race time to stop the children from being taken.  He has to convince the cops to keep him out of jail.  He has to convince himself that he can really do some good.

The battle scenes are page turners.  The protagonist isn’t lovable but neither can I find fault in his actions.  He’s not exactly a hero, more like a survivor.  He does what he has to do and the job he has is worse than scary.  Very few will thank him for his work and even less will acknowledge he ever did it in the first place.

It’s a good book.   It’ll suck you in when you give it a try.

Other books similar to this that you may like to try…

 

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Nell’s Gossip and Book Hunt for March 8, 2020

 

Welcome to my Sunday book hunt and author gossip.  Keep coming back for updates on book releases and news from favorite authors.

Back with new releases again… they keep writin’ them, we keep readin’ them.

 

TitleNight Rune
Author: Brad Magnarella
SeriesProf Croft #8
Release date: March 2, 2020
Description: Where to turn when all roads lead to ruin?

Last night I barely escaped 1776 New York City – now I have to go back.

My teammates are trapped in a time catch. Worse, the demon master Malphas is building a gateway there, one that could trigger a full-blown apocalypse.

But returning will require new allies: a crabby goblin, a fae princess and former lover, and the demon-vampire Arnaud. Yeah, that guy. And we’re no longer facing one time catch, but several. All ruptured and on the verge of collapse.

Now a simple rescue has turned into a death-defying journey, one that’s pushing my spell casting and stamina to their limits.

But as hellfire lashes up and day dims to eternal night, I’m facing an even greater test…

Choosing between my faith in magic and my love for Vega.

Night Rune is the 8th novel in the 100,000+ selling urban fantasy series. If you like occult action, spell-crackling suspense, and moments of heart, heroism, and all-out laughter, you’ll love Prof Croft!

BOOKS IN THE CROFTVERSE

Prof Croft Series
Preq 0: Book of Souls
Book 1: Demon Moon
Book 2: Blood Deal
Book 3: Purge City
Book 4: Death Mage
Book 5: Black Luck
Book 6: Power Game
Book 7: Druid Bond
Book 8: Night Rune

 

TitleBishop
AuthorTeresa Gabelman
SeriesThe Protectors #15
Release date:  February 26, 2020
Description: Witch hunter and new VC Warrior, Bishop Valentino, takes pride in his duties, both past and present. Never once has he doubted his past as a witch hunter. That changes when a beautiful, independent witch occupies his mind more than he’s comfortable with.

Helping his new brothers of the VC keep all the Dragonfly Coven safe from the diabolical warlock, Orjyll, is Bishop’s number one priority. When that priority begins to shift and his focus is pulled away, his allegiance to the brotherhood is at risk.

Saving the world is something Bishop and the Warriors tirelessly do every day. But keeping witches safe is something new for Bishop, and if they fail and the Grail women fall to what the Fates bestowed on them many years ago, Hell on Earth could come swiftly.

To lose the epic battle between good and evil is not an option. Bishop has to find balance between his oath to the brotherhood and his heart. If not, life as he knows it will change forever.

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