This was an audiobook that I bought simply based off the author's name and how much I've enjoyed the J.J. Graves mystery books on audio. I didn't really pay that close of attention to the story description, so the story took me completely by surprise especially Grace's side of the story line.
Grace is a sniper. That in and of itself takes a strong person, but Grace has been living with one goal....revenge. She wants revenge on the man who's responsible for the murder of her daughter and if that costs her her life, well, then she's okay with that too. Grace is truly a shell.
The man who hates to see her this way is Gabe, her ex-husband. He's willing to do whatever it takes to get Grace to live and to care about living again, so he hires her to be part of his new black ops team, the Collective. The Collective is tracking a new biological weapon that has to be stopped before it hits the market.
I LOVED the set-up of this series. The story between Grace and Gabe was riveting and heart-breaking, but it also had serious steam and romance to it. But this book is so much more than that. There's a fabulous suspense story that kept me guessing around each turn. The Collective is a five-man team and I loved the way that all these guys interact.
The narrator did an amazing job with the accents and inflections for each of these characters so they each really stood out on the audio. There are a lot of scenes where all the characters are speaking to each other (all in the same scene) via earpieces and walkie talkies. I'm amazed at how effortlessly I was able to follow the scenes just by the narrators skill with the different voices. I'm usually not a huge fan of male narrators, but he did an AMAZING JOB!
Everything about this book was great. I cannot wait for more in this series...seriously, so well-done. I need some more Collective books pronto!
What an interesting new world. There are three layers of reality in this paranormal setting....the Edge, the Weird, and the Broken. The Broken is our reality and the Weird is where magic reigns supreme. Rose lives in the middle, the Edge.
Life is hard in the Edge for Rose. She has two young brothers who are just as magical as she that she is simply trying to keep housed, fed, and out of trouble... a task that is much harder than it sounds. Rose has learned the hard way that she can't trust anyone other than herself and her family. At an early age, she showed to have a special kind of magic...it's pure and something that all families want in their heredity. So the bluebloods...who live in the Weird...have tried to take her. By force and by coercion. It's never been about her...only her magic.
Then along come two new men into the Edge...William and Declan...who both have appeal to her. But she certainly doesn't trust either of them or their motivations for approaching her, regardless of what they say.
I like Rose...she is tough and is most certainly a fighter. It's exhausting to think about being her though. She can NEVER take anything at face value and that makes me so sad for her. She constantly has to look for hidden motives from everyone around her.
But I also really loved both Declan and William. Declan is an interesting character just because his background as a blueblood makes him so clueless on a certain level. But he never looks down on Rose. In fact, he's very impressed by her and sees her strength. He wants to know about her world and will do all he can to fit in and fix what's broken there. William has a different vulnerability to him. I loved how he connected with Jack and actually both boys. He feels real...even though it's obvious he has secrets...it doesn't feel like they are evil secrets ever.
Then there are the boys...Jack and George. Still so little but having to act so much older than they should. I loved them and both their magical skills and the way those played into the story. My heart broke for George during the second challenge, but wow...it made for some powerful emotion in the book.
Overall, this was a great intro into this world. I've already downloaded book #2 from my Audible account. I like that every book follows two different characters in this incredible world.
Beth Harbison's books tend to fall more under women's fiction than my normal straight romance genres that I like to read, but every once in a while, I grab one on audio for something different. I absolutely adore the title of this one which is definitely what grabbed me and the story sounded intriguing.
This book is okay. It's really about Quinn and where her life has gone...or hasn't gone...in the last ten years since she left Burke at the altar. Since the notorious weekend, she has seen neither Burke (jilted groom) or Frank (best man and Burke's brother that she spent the weekend in Vegas with after the jilting) although neither has ever truly left her thoughts. Even though she hasn't seen them, she's still in the same place she always was. In fact, very little about her life has changed in 10 years. She's stuck in a rut which is made more obvious when the two guys come to town to help their grandmother close her life there.
There's another character to this story...Quinn's gay best friend, Glenn, who also grew up with the other three although he wasn't in their circle of friends then. He sees Quinn struggle and sets out to change her perspective with a 30 day challenge. Every day, he gives her an assignment to do something that isn't normal for her. He sees that she's stagnating and confused and wants to help shake things up for her.
This book isn't all that long...8 hours on audio, but it did go on for too long with the amount of story there. It got a bit old to listen to Quinn go on and on in her head about what happened with Burke and how she should have handled it all better back then. With two hours left on the audio, I actually considered DNF'ing it because I was getting so fed up with her. But I stuck with it and in the end, I was glad that I did.
There are no winners here because all three of these people are entwined in each other's lives and they are ALL very emotionally involved, regardless of the fact that it's been 10 years. I definitely had a favorite with who I thought Quinn should be with, but even with that, there really wasn't a bad choice here. In fact, even Quinn choosing neither guy would have been okay, too. NO SPOILERS HERE. The point of the story was that life moves on and she needed to move past that event in her life and find happiness in her choice...in whichever way possible.
Normally, I am a HUGE Orlagh Cassidy fan, but there were a few issues with her narration on this one. Toward the end of the book, the voices kept getting crossed and it was hard to tell who was speaking which lines. Even the main characters, especially Quinn got lost in the other voices in those final scenes which is really bad and distracting at those pivotal moments in the book.
Overall, I'm not sad that I took the time to listen to this one, but it definitely isn't one I would ever listen to again. Like I said, it was okay...and sometimes okay is good enough for a little escape.
Overall... 5 star
Performance.... 5 star
Story... 5 star
Whoa, what an amazing, amazing book. Stacy and Leo...omg, they just broke my heart. There is so much incredible emotion in this book. Bravo, to Lucy March...you ROCKED the writing on this one!
Ten years ago, Stacy and Leo were completely and totally in love. Then he blew it. He got drunk and slept with someone else and ruined everything for both of them. When he told Stacy, she blew up. He left and decided to become a priest and never came back. Well now Stacy's brother, who just also happens to be best friends with Leo, is getting married to one of Stacy's best friends and Leo is back for the wedding...and NOT a priest. Stacy is devastated on so many fronts, but she still has her pride and is determined to never let him see it.
When Leo left, it devastated Stacy and she changed...and not necessarily for the better. She acted out and made choices. When those choices came out in the story, I literally was bawling. She has hurt so freaking much and works so hard so that no one ever sees it. She's tough and strong and just not the person you would think has all these incredible vulnerabilities. Seriously, I just wanted to curl up with her and give her a huge hug. And once she allowed Leo to see...bawling again. And the best thing about all that was how the author wrote it. If it had been up to Stacy, Leo would have never truly seen her pain and hurt, but she was willing to reveal that to help others. On the surface she's this selfish, shallow girl, but it's ALL just a ruse. Seriously, she's one of the most kind-hearted people willing to do WHATEVER it takes to save others who simply don't deserve anything...certainly not her sacrifice when they've been so awful to her.
And then there's Leo...he's so obviously still in love with her and so confused by why she won't even consider them anymore. He just doesn't get it and when he finally does, I fell in love with him. Throughout the entire book, little pieces of my heart broke off from page to page. I can't think of too many books where I was so emotionally shattered throughout the entire book for two characters.
But at the same time, the book is fun and entertaining. I loved the magic element and how that all played into the story. Although I will admit, I wanted to kick Nick, Stacy's brother, towards the end of the book. How could he turn on Stacy like that? Another example of just how strong she's had to be despite EVERYONE in her life that should be supporting and helping her.
This book was amazing. I enjoyed book #1 in this series and thought it was good, but this book so far surpassed that one. Seriously, so good!!! It absolutely works as a stand-alone and I HIGHLY recommend you read or listen to it.
The audiobook is fabulous. I've listened to a lot of Amanda Ronconi's narrations before, but she reached new levels of perfection in this one. Every single emotion and character is so easily identifiable from her inflections and accents. I don't think I would have gotten near the enjoyment out of the book reading it as I did listening to it just because she injected so much emotion into the characters' voices. It was just an incredible audiobook!!!
I thought book #4 in this series was going to be the best in the group. I was wrong. This book...wow...this book blew me away. And I completely ignored every single thing I needed to do in my life to read/listen to it because I absolutely could not pull myself away from this story. Wow...it was just so good!!
This book is written completely different from the others as there are events happening in present day and events happening in the past all in conjunction in the story. Every chapter takes place in a different timeframe with something incredibly shocking and shattering happening in that first chapter. Then you spend the next half of the book trying to figure out exactly how Quin and Ella got to where they were at in that first chapter. It's an incredible way to write a book and it literally kept me riveted to the story. I could not walk away. I NEEDED to know what happened and how in the world anything was going to be okay again. As a reader and a writer, it was an incredible lesson in how to create and weave an unforgettable, completely suspenseful story. I cannot stress to you how good this book was.
And I don't know what to say without giving anything away. OMG...because each and every little revelation steals your breath away as you read it. I don't want to do anything to jeopardize that experience for any other reader. These characters, this story...just wow! When I hit a book this good, I have a hard time sticking to just the audiobook, because I can read it so much faster. My hubby kept laughing at me on this one. Johanna Parker's narration was so good and her ability to express the emotion of the story was amazing. I couldn't walk away from the audiobook. So I got where I would listen to the beginning of the chapter with audio, reading along on my kindle. Then I would stop and read the last half of the chapter with just my kindle. That way I was able to move it along faster without completely abandoning the incredible narration.
So, so, so good. This entire series has been incredible, but this book was perfection. I have loved getting to know the Kinncaids and am truly sad to let them go. It's been a great series. Thank you to my friend, Amy, for pushing me to read this. It's taken me a couple of years to get to them, but that way I was able to read them all back-to-back...so it worked.
A phenomenal series!!
Yes! Ian...I have been waiting for his story for so long and it was so worth the wait. OMG, this book was so good!
Ian has shown up in all the books in this series, but we've never really known how he became estranged for the family...only that he is just as loyal as the other Kinncaid men and willing to do WHATEVER he needed to save their women and protect his brother's families and has helped his brothers time and again. In this book, all those questions were answered. The book began with the fight between Ian and his father, Jock, that resulted in him getting kicked out of the family...and while I knew what that probably entailed...reading the details of the fight and the results broke my heart for Ian. He was so young...and did nothing wrong. Jock...grr. But on the flip side, it was nice to have some insight into Jock and his realizing how deeply he betrayed and hurt his son by his actions and how that led to the man he became.
And the man he became is the heart of this book. Ian works for the government and has been undercover in Russia for five years, doing unspeakable things...but doing good things whenever he can. When the book begins, he is tired, worn out, and heartsore. He's about through with this job...it's gone on for too long and he simply doesn't care anymore. He's in danger of losing himself if he continues. He's also had a hit put out on him...Raven is coming after him.
Raven is Rori and she quickly discovers that Ian...or Dmitri...is not the man he appears to be and they begin to work together to save a young girl from a life of sexual slavery. To do so, they have to get her somewhere safe and the best way to do that is to pose as her parents and for the first time in a very long time, Ian begins to hide in plain sight...his new cover...Ian Kinncaid, with his wife Rori, and their newly adopted 4 yo daughter, Darya. But they both have many, many bad people out there who would like to see them all dead.
So freaking good...I'm telling you, this book was amazing. From page one, it jumped into the action and both Ian and Rori can kick butts and take names. I love, love, loved that she was just as tough and fearsome as him. It made her the perfect match for him. She also completely understands the world he's come from and the sacrifices he's had to make. I'm telling you...she was perfect for him. When he had his migraines, she and her actions, simply made me fall in love with her. She is awesome. She also has her own insecurities...especially when it comes to little Darya. I loved how she won Rori over.
I'm telling you...everything about this story was so good. It was an intricately woven Romantic Suspense that covered the world of politics, but still managed to include the entire Kinncaid clan. And Quinlan...OMG, the twists that involved his character. *sob*... just broke my heart for him. This entire series has been good, but this particular book went so far above the already, very high, bar. It was a great book and I continue to be amazed by Johanna Parker's incredible skill as a narrator. Her range of voices is PERFECTION and she does an amazing job, especially considering how many scenes she has to do with a huge cast of characters. They are all easily distinguishable during the dialogue. She is amazing...simply amazing narration.
So far, this has definitely been the best of the series. I loved this book...probably just because Christian and Brayden have had such a long relationship. She had been part of the family since she ran away from her family in her teens. To the other Kinncaid brothers, she's like a sister, which is why Brayden is so discombobulated by his new sexual feelings for her. He doesn't know what to do with this, but knows he doesn't want to do anything that could threaten Christian's standing in the family, so he steps back from his feelings for her. Something she does not appreciate at all.
I liked the by-play between Christian and Brayden at the beginning and LOVED how she stood up to him. She's always been there for him in raising his daughter Tori and just assumes that she always will be, no matter what happens between them emotionally. I love that she stood up to him on that and showed him that he couldn't take advantage of her. And watching her entire life-story unfold was heartbreaking. She's been through so much and has come out as such a strong character. I loved her.
And with this entire series...Kinncaid men...one word- YUMMY! Brayden doesn't change that at all. I love these guys and how protective they are and how they all work together to protect their women...including Ian, the black sheep who always shows up to help out. (I can't wait for his story!)
And, as always, Johanna Parker was AMAZING at her narration. I love her voices...both male and female. They work for me and she is definitely up there as one my favorite narrators.
This is my first Jaycee Clark read although I have a friend who urged me to read these books ages ago because she knew I would enjoy them. (You were right, Amy!)
From the moment this book began, the energy and expectation that I love with romantic suspense began. Right away the energy ramps up when Jesslyn comes upon the murder of one of her best friends in the middle of the night. From that moment on, her life is at risk because the murderer knows that she might have seen something. And so the story begins.
There were so many little things I loved about this book. Jesslyn is a writer. As one myself, I loved how she could use her writing as a stress reliever. Aiden is a renter in her house and although their first encounters are fairly acrimonious, he remains very protective of her. I loved that. What I didn't absolutely love and my one real complaint about the book was how their relationship did a 180 so suddenly. One minute they are jibing at each other and the next they realize that they are in love. What? I can usually deal with insta-love, but this one went a little too fast in a totally different direction too quickly for me. But other than that it was a great book and an incredible audio listen.
The narrator was great and the addition of Aiden's parents at the end as well as his brother convinced me that I want to listen to the entire series on audio and went and bought them all on audible. BTW, the narrator does some spectacular voices and accents. I really, really loved her narration on this one and the good news is that she narrates the entire series. Yippee!
This is definitely great romantic suspense, too. I had my suspects narrowed down to three at about 2/3 of the way through and then down to two at the end. I was completely and totally wrong about the bad guy. I love it when a story can twist me around that way and since I've started writing rom suspense, I've gotten pretty good at figuring out the bad guy so bravo, Jaycee, on the writing on this one!
It was good and I am already half-way through the audio on book 2 and it's shaping up to be even better. I think I have a new author to fan-girl on....
I am really loving the audiobooks by this author and narrator. This one was particularly good for the first part of the book. I liked the strife between the hero and heroine. I enjoyed the dynamic of their jobs (even though their initial meeting was extremely tragic)...the social worker and the physician. Their chemistry was incredible through the first parts of the story. I also really enjoyed the whole backstory for Taylor and her ex-husband. That just about broke my heart when that all came out...what a shocker.
Although I really loved the two of them together, I'll admit that their relationship flip-flopped WAY too quickly for my liking. It seemed like they were at each other's throat one minute and then pledging forever in the next. What? That was my main issue with this book, although the ending did help to make up for it because the ending of the book was really good, too.
And I need to note the narrator here. This book features a whole host of characters...about a dozen adults and two kids which speak regularly. Never did I have an confusion about who was talking at any point in time. Johanna Parker has a HUGE range of voices and inflections that made her simply a joy as a narrator.
The suspense line features a bad guy that's never a secret or a surprise in this book, but I did find myself incredibly intrigued by older Kinncaid brother, Ian. I need to know what exactly he does that has left him estranged from the family for so long while still remaining completely loyal.
I'm officially in love with this series. I love Jack. I love J.J. and I love where their story went in this book! After the ending of book #1, J.J.'s world was pretty much shattered and she's been in hiding and away from Bloody Mary and Jack in the months since. This story starts with her coming home, hitting the city limits and finding a mutilated body as she comes into town. Nothing like being thrown right back into work and Jack with no time to adjust. And that's a problem for J.J. because she's still reeling from the events that happened months before. While she's still in shock though, it's just solidified things for Jack....he's in love with her and it's time for her to simply accept it. *sigh* I love how absolutely sure he is of them and their love. Jack's character is amazing!!
This story twists all over the place as J.J. and Jack are once again trying to track down a murderer. The clues are leading everywhere but through it all the amazing part of this particular book for me was the new relationship between Jack and JJ. They've always been best friends so watching slip into something more was fabulous. I love how real JJ feels. She is so scared of this...so scared of screwing it all up. She adores Jack and that terrifies her because her life hasn't been a happy one. For her, loving him means a guarantee that she's just going to lose him. But at this point, she simply can't resist him anymore. Even though she's sure it's going to end, she goes into it all planning to enjoy it while she can so she can have the memories to savor for later. *sigh* My heart just aches for her.
I love this ongoing series and the cliffhanger KILLED ME!! Seriously, I was vacuuming when the audio ended and stopped in the middle of the room to go buy book #3....thank goodness it was already out, even if it wasn't in audio yet.
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