Monday, September 25, 2017

I just found author Leigh Bardugo, how did I miss her?!

So, I have heard people talk about Leigh Bardugo and especially her book "Six of Crows" for awhile. The first time I tried to read it, I felt lost and uninterested. I did not know that the Shadow and Bone series takes places a few years before Six of Crows, and if you read them first, some of SoC makes a lot more sense.

Shadow and Bone description:
Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold―a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.
Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite―and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.
As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.
Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.

Alina is just a regular soldier fighting with her best friend Mal for the safety of her country Ravka. She is a member of the first army, the normal people. The Second Army consists of Grisha, those with magical powers who also help protect the country, under the leadership of a dark and creepy guy called the Darkling. All children are tested to see if they have Grisha powers, and those that do are taken to be raised and taught at the Little Palace. 
Mal and Alina are both tested but neither had powers so when they were old enough they joined the army and learned to fight. Mal is a tracker, with an innate ability to track that surprises everyone. Alina is a mapmaker, not a great one either. However, on a perilous journey through a dead zone filled with monsters, Alina unleashes a power she never knew she had. She is taken by the Darkling to train. Told that her sun summoning abilities along with his dark abilities will be able to destroy The Fold, that undead area of the land that contains unimaginable monsters.
But nothing is as it seems at the Little Palace and soon Alina realizes that someone wants to use her powers not to save the country but to take it over and unleash more hell. 

This is just book one in a trilogy and I really enjoyed it. Why I never read it before, I have no idea. I finished Shadow and bone on Friday, book 2 on Saturday, and book 3 on Sunday, and then I read Six of Crows. I have to wait til tomorrow for Crooked Kingdom to arrive :/ Ugh. I hate being stopped dead in the middle of a series!

Anyways, this really was a great series and a fantastic author, so give it a try!

A woman held hostage for years and a woman held hostage by her past, desperate to put the same man behind bars. Sharon Sala returns with Race Against Time

Growing up in the foster system, Quinn O'Meara made a point of never getting involved. But when she discovers a crying baby amid a fiery crime scene, she knows she has no choice. Suddenly in way over her head, Quinn turns to the police, unintentionally positioning herself in the crosshairs of a deadly human-trafficking ring. 
The last time homicide detective Nick Saldano saw Quinn, she was still the young girl he'd shared a foster home with. The girl who'd loved and cared for him when no one else had. Now here she was, gorgeously all grown-up—and in terrible danger. 
Unwilling to lose her again, Nick insists on keeping Quinn close, especially when the bond they once shared heatedly slides into desire. Quinn finally has someone worth holding on to, but what kind of future can they have when she might not live to see tomorrow?

Sharon Sala never fails to bring us a good mystery mixed with a heart warming romance. I absolutely adore Ms Sala's books and crave the new one whenever they are released. This book brings us a mix of stories, as Starla Davis is kidnapped and sold to a man twice her age and kept captive for seven years. Upon escape, though, she ends up recaptured and her son saved by a woman named Quinn who happened to be passing by. Nick Saldano is surprised when a woman walks into the police station, shot and holding a baby. She recounts her story and is rushed to the hospital for surgery. Nick and Quinn come to realize that they have a past, a shared childhood. Nick was drawn to Quinn to begin with and now its a race against time to save her from the sadistic man out to kill her. Our secondary story is about Starla, desperate to escape again and find her son and to hide from the man who held her captive for so many years.

Both stories mix and mingle very well. Ms Sala always brings us a fantastic story. This one was really interesting because I had just finished my last class of the Citizens Academy, with the local police department, and we just learned about human trafficking. It was a weird coincidence. I feel like Sala definitely did her homework, though, when writing about this.

A great book as always!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Paige Tyler's X-Ops and SWAT Series.. WOW!

Okay, so I have been getting Tyler's books on NetGalley for a couple of years. I read the first, and thought they were meh, but my sister was reading them and loved them so I kept getting them. Fast forward to August 2017. On a whim, I grabbed all the books in both series and sat down with them and HOLY CRAP. I finished each series in less than a week. They were fantastic!

I love the strong female characters in both series. They don't take crap lying down, they fight for what they want. The men are equally awesome, because they see the women as their equals. Not like some series like these where the men are all alpha and the women lay down and take it. That drives me insane. 

The X-Ops series is about a group of people that are shifters. Now, they don't completely shift into animals, they only have claws, fangs, and the super human abilities. Men and women can be shifters, and apparently its a slight mutation in a persons DNA that has them become one. They are recruited to work for a secret government group, and throughout the series you can see that someone involved in the organization is trying to either take it down or take it over. 

The SWAT series is a series about a pack of werewolves who make up a Dallas SWAT team. Werewolves don't bite people to become a werewolf. It happens after a horrible traumatic event. All of the SWAT team were either cops or soldiers that experienced a traumatic event where they lived but became werewolves. And its a huge secret, too. 

Both series are really great and I hope that y'all take the time to read them!

The Troubleshooters series is back, another hot Navy Seal with a massive problem when his daughter disappears. Romance writer Shayle to save the day!

Navy men don’t come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can’t he handle one fifteen-year-old girl? His ex’s death left him a single dad overnight, and very unprepared. Though he can’t relate to an angsty teen, he can at least keep Maddie safe—until the day she disappears. Though Pete’s lacking in fatherly intuition, his instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie’s in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.

Romance writer Shayla Whitman never expected to be drawn into a real-world thriller—or to meet a hero who makes her pulse pound. Action on the page is one thing. Actually living it is another story. Shay’s not as bold as her heroines, but she’s a mother. She sees the panic in her new neighbor’s usually fearless blue eyes—and knows there’s no greater terror for a parent than having a child at risk. It’s an ordeal Shay won’t let Pete face alone. She’s no highly trained operative, but she’s smart, resourceful, and knows what makes teenagers tick.

Still, working alongside Pete has its own perils—like letting the heat between them rise out of control. Intimate emotions could mean dangerous, even deadly, consequences for their mission. No matter what, they must be on top of their game, and playing for keeps . . . or else Pete’s daughter may be gone for good.

I have never thought Ms Brockmann's books needed any introduction. I have been waiting years for a new Troubleshooters book. This series is so incredibly awesome. I think I started reading her sometime around 2002. In fifteen years, I have never been disappointed by a Brockmann book, and that still stands true.

Peter Greene is an instructor at the Navy Seal.. academy? School? He unexpectedly gains custody of his daughter Maddie when her mother dies. He tries his best, which maybe is not his best, but Maddie doesn't seem to be acclimating to her new life or new school and one day she disappears.

Shayla Whitman is driving along one day and out in the street pops a seriously hot guy. He flags her down and begs her to follow a car that he is positive he saw his missing daughter in. Although probably meant to be more serious, Shayle and Peter's journey to find Maddy has major ups and downs and plenty of humor. Shayla writes romance novels and her main character speaks occasionally in her head.

What they don't know is that Maddie's supposed friend has gotten her in a heap of trouble and she and her little friend Dingo are trying to solve it without dying or involving anyone else.  

I shouldn't have to say, "Hey, you need to read this!" because, well, its Suzanne Brockmann.. we should all know by now!  Anyways, I think there was just enough humor in this book to keep me from getting too worried about Maddie and her situation. It was really hilarious when Shayla's character talked to her, especially regarding the hot Seal next to her. Wowsa! So, obviously, I really enjoyed this book, so as soon as it is released, everyone run to the store!