Jo-Anne Boyko

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Jo-Anne Boyko

  • Musk Creek on Sep. 02, 2013

    Musk Creek is a crime novel about murders and drug labs/sales in Australia. Sargent Lewis McBride is a homicide detective trying to solve the murder which he finds out is connected to the drug trade and the crimes involved with it also. This is a fast paced story that kept me wondering all the way through - who actually did it. Lots of characters were involved in the story in both the crimes as well as the Police force "solvers". The character descriptions were very detailed and well written. Kettle even described the secondary characters in detail so that I felt I knew them well.
  • Deadly Offerings on Oct. 20, 2013

    Anne is going through a lot of stressful situations. She is getting a divorce which costs her a lot in assets which she has to sell to give her ex half the money and then there are some dead bodies that are being dumped on her farm. Anne figures out that the bodies are just the beginning and she is next to be killed. Even though Michael appeals to Anne when she meets him as her ex's attorney she doesn't feel she can trust him. Michael takes a job as County Prosecutor and buys a farm beside Anne's so they become neighbours and run into each other constantly. Michael is seriously attracted to Anne and seems to make sure they are at the same place at the same time quite often. Grace wove a wonderfully suspenseful story so that I never guessed who the killer was. The character development was well done. The reader gets a very clear picture of their personalities. I did get a bit tired of Anne's constant insistence that she didn't need help (when she really did). And Michael was so obsessed with Anne that he was pretty much stalking her. I really liked the secondary characters and would love to hear more about Lane and Frankie. I look forward to reading the other two books in this series. If you like romantic suspense books, you will like Deadly Offerings.
  • First Strike on Nov. 08, 2013

    Laura Nilsson is a news reporter who covers news in dangerous situations in countries very different from North America. Javier Corbray is a handsome special operations Navy SEAL on a weekend leave. First Strike is the erotic prequel to Striking Distance and tells us how Javier and Laura met. They were at a restaurant in Dubai when two men approached Laura and would not leave. Being a SEAL Javier felt had to help Laura by getting rid of the men. Javier and Laura end up having a drink and talking a bit. They decide to have sex - no strings attached. This was tricky for them because in Dubai there are laws that unmarried men and women cannot be alone together so they had to be very careful. At the end of the weekend, they leave each other as agreed but both are thinking that they will find the other someday. Then there is the epilogue which is two months later and tells us something awful happens to Laura. Javier swears he will get back at the ones responsible. Definitely a cliff hanger ending. I won this book in a giveaway from Blithely Bookish Blog.
  • What the Doctor Didn't Tell Her on Nov. 16, 2013

    Daniel Durand and Sarah Matthews had a romantic relationship during their medical training. However, Daniel left suddenly without telling Sarah that he was going or why. After six years with no word from him, Daniel comes back to town and takes a job in the same medical group as Sarah. When he moves back to this little town, he has a little girl with him. What The Doctor Didn't Tell Her was a terrific story and Diamond is a terrific story teller. The story was drawn in such a way that I felt I could walk down the street or go into the hospital and know my way. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I didn't want this novella to end. But there really wasn't anything else to know since the author answered all the reader's questions. It had a great ending with a wonderful twist. I really liked that the story wasn't predictable. I will definitly be reading more by this author.
  • Father Found on Nov. 29, 2013

    Jamie finds an infant on his back porch with a note saying the baby is his. He is a bachelor that doesn't have a clue what to do with a baby. He found out that a nurse runs a weekly class called the Daddy School so he attends thinking he will find out what he is suppose to being doing for his new daughter. Allison is the nurse giving the class and there is instant chemistry when Jamie and Allison meet. I loved Jamie's character. He is the 'ultimate guy' and writes a weekly humorous column about men. Even though he is way out of his depth in looking after his baby, he tries so hard that you just have to love him. Allison was not so nice. She was so judgmental about Jamie and how he came to be a parent that I couldn't connect with her at all. I wanted to give her a shake but shaking a book really doesn't do much good! I enjoyed the novel. It was an easy read and it had me laughing, crying and angry at times which I liked so much.
  • All I Want for Christmas is You on Dec. 04, 2013

    Lauren Alexander left home six years ago, just after her baby was born because her parents didn't want her to keep the child since she was unmarried and 18 years old. Lauren has raised Kristen by herself even though it was a struggle for her. She doesn't trust men at all because the father of her baby left once he found out she was pregnant. The other main character is Kyle Preston. He has had a tough life. He lived in foster care and when he was 12 he was finally placed with a family who loved him and adopted him. Kyle started out as a very troubled teenager and got into his fair share of trouble. But thanks to his father, he turned his life around and became a very successful real estate developer. He is also handsome, well built, good sense of humor and considerate. So absolutely PERFECT. Just before Christmas Kristen goes to see Santa in the mall. Santa is Kyle Preston, who owns the mall. Kristen asks Santa to bring her a Daddy for Christmas. He explains that all the Daddy's are spoken for this year but once he sees Lauren, he would like to make Kristen's wish come true. All I Want For Christmas is a nice story but I expected more Christmasy stuff to it instead of just taking place at Christmas time. I liked the secondary characters in this novel. Kyle's family was terrific, especially his parents. The editing could have been better. It was irritating when Kyle's hair changed from blond to dark and back to blond. Also Kyle's father's name changed from Will to Wally.
  • The Proposal on Dec. 10, 2013

    I really liked The Proposal. The main characters were great. Nadine was a business woman who thought of nothing else but work and she met Nathan at her sister's bachelorette party where he was filling in as a male stripper. I liked the vast difference in their personalities and occupations. It made their attraction even more interesting. I always like it when the male lead is considerate - as Nathan certainly was. He found a way to get Nadine to loosen up but still respected her feelings so she wasn't embarrassed. While this book may not win any awards, I really enjoyed it. The editing could have been better which would have improved my rating. I liked the characters a lot and was impressed with the way Lily Zante drew them together when they came from such different worlds.
  • Secret Santa, A Bluegrass Series Novella on Dec. 11, 2013

    I was looking for a quick Christmas read so Secret Santa looked liked what I was hoping for. Not. It sure was about Christmas in a small town but there were so many characters that I just couldn't keep track of who everyone was. I haven't read anything else in this series so maybe that was my problem. The secret Santa part was great. I liked the mystery of who he was and why he was giving out the unique gifts. I also loved a bit during the delivery of one of the babies. It went like this: "It hurts!" she screamed. "Of course it does, that's why it's a woman's job." Marcy joked quietly. I loved that!
  • Mistletoe Mischief (Romancing Wisconsin Series #1) on Dec. 13, 2013

    Mistletoe Mischief is a short, fun read that is about the zoo having a "Christmas in July" day. It could really be read at any time, not just at Christmas. Marissa was dropping her daughter, Heather, off for a day camp trip to the zoo when she found out that some of the chaperoning parents did not show up. She agreed to go on the trip even though she wasn't dressed for it, in order to not let her daughter down. One of the no-show parents arrives late and Marissa is pretty angry at him because she imagines he is like her ex who doesn't spend much time with Heather. Eric is the late arriving parent and is also divorced. He would love to have his daughter, Reese, more often but his ex-wife will not allow it. Going on the zoo trip is just as important to him as it is to his daughter so he is bothered by being late. He is attracted to Marissa and feels she is interested in him too but she goes back and forth with being angry at him and then nice to him. Lucky for Eric, Santa Butch is a big help in the match making department. The author made the characters very real so we got to know them. I liked that they weren't always perfect. Marissa was pretty nasty to Eric at the beginning because of her misunderstanding of his personality. The secondary characters were well developed and helped the story along without taking away from the main characters. This was a cute romance that left me smiling. I would have liked the misunderstandings between Marissa and Eric to have been straightened out sooner. Terrific ending to this story.
  • Bah, Humbug! (A Romantic Comedy Christmas Novella) on Dec. 16, 2013

    Lexi is divorced with two children and has a decorating show on TV. She buys a house on Christmas Street and moves in just before Christmas. Lexi immediately decorates for the holiday, both inside and out. One of her decorations is a snowman which she builds on the property line between her and her new neighbor. Kyle is a famous author and her neighbor. Lexi first meets him when he is taking the head off her snowman, but she doesn't know who he is - just a snowman murderer. Kyle is pretty grumpy and doesn't like Christmas - or almost anything. Kyle's brothers remind him that it is his turn to host their family Christmas but he says he can't because he is on a deadline. This is a very difficult time of year for Kyle's family because their mother passed away on Christmas Eve over twenty years earlier. Finally, Lexi and Kyle meet for real and Lexi makes a deal with Kyle that if he will go to her son's birthday party, she will handle all the Christmas decorating and meals for Kyle's family's Christmas festivities. I loved this book and didn't want to put down. I thought the writing was really good and the characters were wonderfully written. Even though Kyle wasn't likable at the beginning, he turned out to be a good guy. Even Lexi loosened up as the story progressed. The author did a great job with having a lot happen in such a short story and a short time frame. This was a great, quick Christmas read and I highly recommend it.
  • Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift on Dec. 17, 2013

    Mackenzie Family Christmas brought all the Mackenzie siblings, spouses and children together for the holiday. It was an entertaining story where the readers could easily feel the affection the family had for each other. Since I had not read anything else in this series, I was a bit confused with all the characters. Overall I felt that Jennifer Ashley this story wrote well. I was actually nervous sometimes, wondering if or when Ian might lose it. Again, since I haven't read anything else about Ian, I imagine he has asbergers and is not actually mad.
  • Christmas with The Alexanders (The Alexanders, Book 3.5) on Dec. 19, 2013

    This is a wonderful Christmas story showing us the Alexander family together and how they celebrate Christmas. I have not read the previous Alexander books but I still had a clear picture of who everyone was. There were a few things I didn't know about and thought the explanations must have been in earlier books, but the author kept the story flowing easily and I didn't feel that I was missing anything. What a great family the Alexanders are. I just love them! The relationship between Elliot and Kaylee was a big part of this novella but neither of them thinks the other likes them so the next book will tell us what happens to their relationship - if there is one.
  • Crime at Cripple Creek (The Sisters Week Series #1) on Dec. 19, 2013

    Beth lives in Atlanta and is flying to Cripple Creek, Colorado for a vacation with her two sisters. They go on vacation together often and have a great time being silly and laughing at each other. On the plane she meets Tyler who is an attractive FBI agent, also going to Cripple Creek on vacation. It has an interesting story line with romantic and suspenseful scenes. Better editing would have made a big difference in how much I enjoyed it.
  • Three Girls and a Baby on Dec. 24, 2013

    I must admit that through the first half of the book I really did not like Ginny. She was only thinking of herself and not about the baby much. She chose to ignore the pregnancy rather than accept it and act responsibly. If it wasn't for her friends telling her what she should be doing, eating, etc. she wouldn't have a clue. I was tired of her constant mopping about Josh not being with her. He left after she told him to and not to contact her again. He did not know she was pregnant and Ginny kept putting off telling him. Again, she was not very mature. I loved her friends Jen and Annie. They were great and fun additions to the story. Josh was a pretty decent guy and I kind of felt sorry for him when Ginny wouldn't tell him she was pregnant. I didn't really understand why he left Ginny. When I finally got it, then I didn't understand why he had stayed with her for so long. It wasn't until near the end of the book that I realized that Ginny had changed, then their relationship started to make sense. So why did I keep reading? I did really like the story and most of the characters. It made me chuckle and cry a bit so it was entertaining. I thought this book was well written. Luke was a surprise to me. He was gorgeous and so perfect. I wasn't expecting the way Ginny and Luke's relationship turned out but liked that part.
  • Second Chance Cowboy on Dec. 28, 2013

    Carly and Chance Taylor have been separated for two years when Carly goes back to her father's home for a visit and ends up having sex with her ex-husband. She falls down the stairs and gets amnesia - losing the last four years of her life. She doesn't remember that she had left her husband and lost her baby. Chance feels he has to play along with Carly's memories (or lack of) for her own good, so he pretends to still be married to her. He never stopped loving her. I have great respect for authors who do their research before writing fictional work based on fact. Rhonda Carver definitely researched amnesia patients. I could relate to Carly's injury since I had a head injury several years ago. While I didn't have amnesia, I did lose memories, especially unpleasant memories. So it made sense to me that Carly did not remember the death of their child or leaving her husband. I liked the writing style of the author very much, it flows smoothly and keeps you turning the pages. I absolutely love the characters in this novel. Chance is such a strong individual who was stuck in a situation that he could not change or control.
  • The Maid In The Cupboard on Jan. 02, 2014

    The Maid in The Cupboard is a fun short story having Lord Byron sneak up on Charlotte, the maid, while she is dusting the top of a large cupboard. For such a short story, there are a lot of emotions in this book. When the pair hear some people about to come in the room, they jump into the cupboard where they proceed to have sex. It was pretty funny to picture their activities in the cupboard while trying to be quiet and not be found by the people who have entered the room they are in. The only problem I had with this story was that I fully believed that Charlotte was the maid and was being given improper attention by Master Byron. Toward the end, it is clear that they know each other well and have played this game before. I would like to have had a hint early in the book about this. But I don't know who Charlotte actually is.
  • Worth The Weight (The Worth Series Book 1: A Copper Country Romance) on April 16, 2014

    Liz has her own successful PR firm in Detroit where most of her clients are well known athletes. She had gained a lot of weight after school and worked hard to lose it in the last three years. One of the things she wanted to do now was to Find, F*^% and Forget Finn Robbins who she was in-love with when she was a teenager, but he broke up with her, leaving her heart broken. She goes back to that small town to stay with her parents for two months so she can carry out "The Plan" with Finn. Liz wants to complete "The Plan" for two reasons. To get Finn out of her system and to try out her new body before finding the real relationship. Finn's life has not been easy in the 15 years since he has seen Liz. His alcoholic wife left him and his two children and his 10 year old daughter is in a wheelchair with a spinal problem. Surgery may help her problem so Finn has constantly struggled to save money for the surgery. Also, he had to give up his career dreams for his family. What Finn thought was an accidental meeting with Liz was actually set up as part of "The Plan" but when they get together things don't go the way Liz expected. She didn't expect to fall in love with Finn again. I liked the character development and thought it was very well done. While I didn't like Liz's "Plan", I did like her and how she was so kind to everyone - except for what she planned on doing to Finn. Finn was a really nice guy and tried to provide for his family. He always felt like he came from the wrong side of town and was never good enough for Liz so getting rid of the chip on his shoulder was not easy. He had a lot of problems in his life but dealt with them. Finn's son, daughter and grandmother were great additions in this story. They helped show the strength of Finn's character. I really liked this book and thought the ending was terrific. I highly recommend it.