Category Archives: Nell’s Reviews

Before It’s Too Late by Sara Driscoll

Before It's too LateTitle: Before It’s Too Late
Author:  Sara Driscoll
Series:  FBI K-9 #2
Publish Date: September 25, 2018
Source: reviewer bough from Audible.com

Publisher’s Description: Somewhere in the Washington, D.C. area, a woman lies helpless in a box. Barely breathing. Buried alive. In Quantico, the FBI receives a coded message from the woman’s abductor. He wants to play a game: decipher the clues, save the girl. The FBI’s top cryptanalysts crack the code and Special Agent Meg Jennings and her K-9 partner, Hawk, scramble to the scene of the crime—too late. But the killer’s game is far from over . . .

Another message, another victim. The deadly pattern is repeated—again and again. As the body count mounts, Meg decides to break protocol and bring in her brilliant sister, Cara, a genius at word games, to decipher the kidnapper’s twisted clues. Meg knows she’s risking her career to do it, but she’s determined not to let one more person die under her and Hawk’s watch. If the plan fails, it could bite them in the end. And if it leads to the killer, it could bury them forever . . .

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


Nervous Nellie says…

This story is ENTIRELY different than the first book.  This isn’t a cookie cutter mystery series, for sure!  The premise is very disturbing as the killer is asphyxiates his victims in a myriad of different ways but each victim has a remarkable resemblance to Meg.  If I remember correctly, only one of several victims die thanks to Meg’s sister and Clay McCord.  Meg’s sister Kara is incredible with puzzles and all the notes the killer leaves are encrypted PLUS McCord is a whiz at civil war history.  Those two work together amazingly well so therein starts the romance.  Todd Webb makes his move on Meg, but all of this romance is not the center of the book.    The center of these books (that I’ve discovered so far) deal with the mystery and the chase of the killer.  This book did not disappoint me in the least as it was the same fast paced and a great storyline.

Again, there was no sex, some foul language, a lot of close calls of death and a crazy twist at the end for the killer.  I thought I had it figured out, but in the end I was close but sadly no cigar for me.  Oh, and those of you who are like me and HATE cliffhangers?  There is none.  So far, each book finishes the case but the character building keeps evolving.  Also, the narrator Angela Dawe was incredible as in the first book.

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Our reviews in this series…

  • Lone Wolf by Sara Driscoll

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Lone Wolf by Sara Driscoll

I picked up this book on Kindle Unlimited quite awhile ago.  Surely can’t figure out why I waited so long to read it!

loan wolfTitle:  Loan Wolf
Author:  Sara Driscoll
Series:  FBI K-9 #1
Publish Date: August 29, 2017
Source: Kindle Unlimited @ Amazon

Publisher’s Description: Meg and Hawk are part of the FBI’s elite K-9 unit. Hawk can sniff out bodies anywhere—living or dead. When a bomb rips apart a government building in Washington D.C., it takes all of the team’s extensive search-and-rescue training to locate and save the workers and visitors buried beneath the rubble.

But even as the duo are hailed as heroes, a bomber remains at large, striking terror in a widening spiral of unpredictability. As more bombs are detonated and the body count escalates, Meg and Hawk are assigned to a task force dedicated to stopping the unseen killer. It will come down to a battle of wits and survival skills between Meg, Hawk, and the bomber they’re tracking to rescue a nation from the brink of chaos.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

I love animals and it just so happens on my summer reading bingo card, one of the squares is to read a book with an animal in it.  I figured I’d start the book and if I didn’t like it, I wasn’t out anything.  Oh, MAN!  I would have spent full price for this book!  It was a page turner and I loved it!

Meg is a K-9 handler for the FBI and Hawk is a black lab rescue that she’s taught search and rescue.  I gotta tell ya that I’d LOVE to have that training skill.  Anyway, this story is about a homegrown terrorist bombing public buildings.  Meg meets Todd Web and Clay McCord.  Clay McCord is instrumental in helping to solve the case even though tensions are high with him being a reporter for the Washington Post.

The story was sad as much as satisfying in the end.  The end didn’t change all the people who died, but at least the guy got caught and Hawk took a bite out of him.  There was no sex, there is some foul language and a lot of death, but the bright light shown on those who survived.

It was a great book – very mystery/thriller but not as thriller-ish as a psychological thriller (those books are INTENSE).  Oh and the narrator?  Angela Dawe was magnificent!  I sunk so far into the story with her narrating, I didn’t even notice her narrating – that’s how good she was!

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The Face of Deception by Iris Johansen

Out of Nell’s comfort zone challenge!  I tried a new to me genre.  I’m not much into thrillers, but I’m glad I started with this one!

face of deceptionTitle:  The Face of Deception
Author:  Iris Johansen
Series:  Eve Duncan #1
Publish Date: 1999
Source:  reviewer borrowed from library

Publisher’s Description:  An unidentified skull…

A trail of terrifying secrets…

And a woman whose talented hands could reveal the shocking truth…

As a forensic sculptor, Eve Duncan helps identify the dead from their skulls. Her own daughter murdered and her body never found, the job is Eve’s way of coming to terms with her personal nightmare. But more terror lies ahead when she accepts work from billionaire John Logan. Beneath her gifted hands a face emerges from the skull he has given her to reconstruct—a face no one was ever meant to see. Now Eve is trapped in a frightening web of murder and deceit. Powerful enemies are determined to cover up the truth, and they will make certain that truth goes to the grave…even if Eve gets buried with it.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

This was a VERY good read.  I finished it in 2 days and that’s practically a miracle for me anymore.  Ruby Lee and I were disappointed that the library didn’t have it’s annual book bingo game this year so we made our own.  The first challenge I had was to read a book that she has already read.  I picked this one.  I was not sorry.  This book has action all the way through.  The heroine is a bit um…nieve is the word I think I want to use.  She had a hard childhood, she was a mother at 16, she had a mother on drugs but yet she can’t accept that her friend that was a Navy SEAL and is now a cop killed anybody?  Mmmm…that one is a bit hard to swallow.  She’s also very strong willed and a take control kind of woman who lost her child to a murderer, but she doesn’t want to believe a side to her friend that we all know exists?  And this friend of hers who I KNOW FOR A FACT thinks himself more than a friend but doesn’t show it?  What the hell?  And then he married a different woman who he didn’t love instead?  What’s up with that?  I don’t get that at all.  That relationship is messed up.

Anyway, the story was action packed, like I said.  I mean page turning action packed.  Yes, there was murder – multiples.  The author didn’t pull any punches when she lets you get to know a character and then kills him off.  Brutal that was…geez.  So, the premise is kind of politically directed and the end intent of the master villain was sort of noble, but they went far too far with their secret.  Of course, I didn’t find out about this until towards the end.  That part was kind of a whaaaa? kind of moment.  There was no sex, there was no swearing if any at all.  I read a couple of reviews where the reader didn’t want any kind of romance in the book, but I didn’t actually feel much romance.  The two heroes of the book would like to keep the heroine for themselves, but the one lost his chance when he married and this new guy kinda screwed it up by nearly getting her killed.  I thought there was the right amount of romance for a thriller.  It was a good book.  I’d give it 5 stars for keeping me entertained.

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Always Be My Banshee by Molly Harper

Title:Always Be My Banshee
Author:  Molly Harper
Series:  Mystic Bayou #4
Publish Date:  April 7, 2020
Source: Audible audiobook

Publisher’s Description: Cordelia Canton is on a top-secret assignment: travel to Mystic Bayou and use her powers as a touch-know psychic to learn more about the mysterious artifact that’s been pulled from the rift site. She’s partnered with Brendan O’Connor, a rare male banshee whose tall, dark, and broody good looks are a major distraction. Before long, it becomes clear that the artifact they’re studying is sentient – and brimming with supernatural power. Can they harness its magic in time to stop the secret forces conspiring to steal it?

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


Nervous Nellie says…

This audio book is an Audible exclusive.  You won’t find it anywhere else.  If you like the Mystic Bayou series, then you’ll be glad to know there has been an addition to the family.

I have to be a bit critical here.  I’m sorry, but I feel like the story wasn’t as good as the other three prior books.  I don’t recall the reason the Banshee was brought in to begin with as it wasn’t explained.  The romance was sort of instant and there wasn’t much substance to it like between Zed and Danni or Jillian and Bael.  It just kind of happened.  I guess I was expecting a bit more depth to the characters.

Here’s the story:  Cordi gets picked up in the airport by Brenden.  Cordi has been brought in to decipher the black box that was found in the rift.  I assume that Brenden was brought in to ground her, though it was never mentioned.  She has a bad reaction.  Days go by. Brenden kind of makes a move.  Then Cordi’s ex is brought in to take over the directorship of the project from Jillian due to her maternity leave.  He’s quite the wet noodle.  No personality.  Then the BIG head guy comes down and chews Cordi for not working.  Push comes to shove, the bad guy makes the move, Brendon and Zed atop of Bael save Cordi.  The black box is handled and everything turns out.  There is, of course, more to it than that, but not a whole lot – at least I don’t feel there is.  It feels like the editor edited the crap out of the book and left only bare bones.  I was underwhelmed.

Our reviews in this series…

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The Solstice Countdown by Lisa Shearin

Title:  The Solstice Countdown
Author:  Lisa Shearin
Series:  SPI Files #7
Release date:  March 9, 2021
Description:  As an agent of Supernatural Protection & Investigations (SPI), I know that evil doesn’t take a vacation, but this time it made an exception and followed me on mine.

I’m Makenna Fraser, seer for SPI, and I’m taking my boyfriend, goblin dark mage Rake Danescu, home for the holidays to meet my family.

Weird Sisters is a small town in the North Carolina mountains that was built on a network of ley lines that magnify psychic and paranormal energies. It doesn’t show up on Google Maps, was named after the three witches in Macbeth, and the first word of the town name perfectly describes most of its human and supernatural citizens.

A stranger has come to town, bringing with him a dormant source of primordial evil. Soon, magically gifted locals start vanishing, and the power of the ley lines is turned against us, cutting us off from the outside world and any source of help.

For a town and its people steeped in magic, and my family sworn to protect both, it’s a race against time to use a local winter solstice phenomenon to free the town from its prison. But first, I must trust a father I’ve never known to fight and defeat an awakening evil that’s existed since the beginning of time. If we fail, and it is unleashed, the world will not survive.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

The Solstice Countdown was another hit by Lisa Shearin.  I LOVE the SPI files.  With the conclusion of this book, I really feel the need to go back and start at the beginning.  Mak (Makenna Frasier) made mention of the cases that she’s handled since she’s worked for SPI and I have to admit, my interest piqued all over again.  There were the Dragons, the gem mage, the Grendels, the hell pit under Baccanalia, the pocket dimension in Rafe’s hotel.  There was the buildings popping from one world to another, portals to here and yonder, there were the ghouls and all sorts of things I could go on and on about.  Bad nasties that Mak helped the team take care of in only the way they can.

In this book, there is no sex, though implied (only a couple times), there are only gory deaths of ghouls and no good guys were harmed in making of this movie…in your head.  An ancient Celtic god that makes a VERY interesting appearance and Mak’s family who basically run Weird Sisters, NC.

I could guess a lot of the story line which I do not have a problem with.  It makes me less nervous in the “OMG!  What’s gonna happen next” anxiety.  Rafe was his normal glorious kick ass self and MaKenna was too even though Rafe outshone her with his dark magey thing.  But then there was MaKenna’s revelation of parentage.  That was a big deal too. And then there was her and the Wild Hunt…that was pretty cool.

This wasn’t a normal SPI case.  Actually, it had no case number and involved no agents except MaKenna.  She was on vacation and was on her own as representative of SPI.  Push come to shove, I would say it really wasn’t a case at all since she wasn’t “on the clock” per se.  I’m trying to be as vague as I can in order to not give away spoilers.  Mac’s granny was awesome, as well as the rest of the fam.  It was nice to see Rafe a bit uncomfortable in the girlfriend/boyfriend interrogation that families give.  It appears he passed with flying colors and Mac got a lot of respect for her part in protecting the townspeople from certain death.

Ok, fine.  Here’s the skinny.  Mac & Rafe come to town.  They are “attacked” by a Celtic god.  They get away.  The find that a nasty shouldn’t-be-but-is-anyway-mage is trying to manipulate the First Hunter of the Wild Hunt to basically give him all the souls he’s ever collected in order to give the shyster more power to take over the world.  Mac’s family and Rafe join in and do whatever they can in order to stop the bad guy from doing what he wants.  Throw in some family history (which is VERY interesting) and some massive characters in myth and legend, and you have a mystery that leads a reader by the nose until conclusion.  Like I said before, the book made me want to go back and enjoy the prior books all over again.

Our reviews in this series…

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