Graelen Scott is one of four brothers - two sets of twins –all four are witches born under a family curse which forces them to live apart from each other. Rena Gallagher is staff historian at the Museum of Art History in San Diego specializing in tarot history. Rena has been commissioned to study an ancient deck of tarot cards, during her research she discovers a connection to Grae’s family and goes to his house to question him about it. From the moment Grae and Rena meet sparks fly, literally, and they soon discover their attraction to each other is something neither of them can deny. Grae discovers Rena is in possession of a deck of tarot cards that has disappeared from his family’s vault and is distrustful of her explanation as to why she has sought him out. Despite Grae’s misgivings he agrees to help Rena and their search for the truth behind the tarot cards leads them into a journey of dark danger and sensual delight.
From the very first paragraph of this novella you know you are in for a hot ride. Grae is obviously a very strong witch with strong desires and a bit over bearing. You should hate him for these traits but you just can’t help being attracted to him. Rena is a bit mousy at times and at other times she is strong as steal, she is intelligent and, oh by the way, a strong empath. You can’t help but feel sorry for her having to feel all of Grae’s emotions and want to tell her to just run away. There are a few secondary characters introduced, Grae’s brother Cash and eventually Rena’s mysterious client. We don’t get much background on anyone in the story but do find out Cash has anger issues and he’s not very likeable.
This is a short novella, easily read in a couple of hours and with enough of a story line to keep you interested through the whole thing. I have to admit I would have liked a little more background on the family curse and a little more depth of the characters, but it is a short novella and I understand that there just wasn’t enough time to give the reader more. This is semi-erotica but there is a story here, not just one sex scene after another one. The sex scenes are slightly explicit but not so much so that they overshadow the story. If you enjoy a good steamy story with a little bit of a mystery, you will enjoy this novella.
It’s the year 2187, Lila Howell works for the Security Ministry as an archival historian where she records the autobiographies of those who had lived through the passing. On her next assignment she is sent to interview Susanne Newton who is living in hospice with her best friend Larissa. Rumor has it that Susanne can name the Southern Dragon who supposedly defeated the last war lord, Heavenly Wind. The powers that be at the Security Ministry would like Lila to get that name. During the course of her interviews with Susanne, Lila begins to feel an attachment to Susanne and Larissa and they convince her not all is as the New Dawn government would have the citizens to believe.
This is a complicated book and not all that easy to read and understand. The book begins with a prologue that puts the events leading up to 2187 in order, which helps but the author has built a world that has all sorts of complicated laws mixed with a touch of the paranormal. Futuristic novels can be a bear to write, after all what will the future bring. Some are able to pull it off, some not. Ms. Hunt just couldn’t quite hit the mark. Like a lot of author’s she has chosen the path that there will be some high tech gadgets in the future, citizens will have very few freedoms and, of course, there will be rebellion. I couldn’t seem to get involved with the characters, Lila is a mousy sort of thing that takes everything she has been told and doesn’t dispute it. Susanne and Larissa have some mystery surrounding them and I did like them better than Lila. There were a number of supporting characters in the book, Lila’s best friend Ervin, Susanne’s nephew Kris, bad guys Aron Kirby and Brad Colon and a few assorted others that just seem to be along for the ride.
There were a number of editing errors in the book, even to point that Lila’s last name gets confused with someone else. The concept was not bad and there were moments that I thought, ahhh we are getting somewhere now, but they were few and far between. I didn’t hate the book, I was just glad when I finished it. I think with some good editing and little re-write there is promise here; it’s just not quite there yet.
4 1/2 stars
Right in the middle of a kick ass rock and roll dream in which he is the star, Matt Johnston awakens to someone trying to smother him with a pillow. Knocking his assailant away from him, he discovers it’s a small framed girl who has a huge grudge against him. Years ago a person with his name wrote a nasty letter to the producers of a series that had just begun which was going to give her father his big break as an actor. The series was cancelled and her father eventually committed suicide, now the girl is out to seek revenge against the man she thinks is responsible. Thus begins a series of events, each more bizarre than the previous, that will take Matt from his small town life as a guitar teacher/band member to the world of mobsters and cults.
Full of great one liners, ex-hippies and behind the scenes glimpses into the world of music, this book was just downright fun to read. Poor Matt just tries to do the right thing and manages to get himself into one scrape after another. He lives at home with his onetime ex-Woodstock hippy grandmother who grows “medicinal” pot in a greenhouse in the back, teaches guitar to make money to partially support himself all the while try to stem off advances of horny cougars, plays in a Rush tribute band on the side and really, isn’t that a good enough life for anyone? This book is full of quirky, off kilter characters, Matt himself goes by the name Lerxst who is the guitarist for Rush, and he is possibly the most normal person around. Lerxst manages to get himself into the kind of trouble that puts him on the run from the police, while trying to figure out how to get himself out his mess he finds out there is more to his little, peaceful family than he ever could have imagined.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up this book to read it, while a child of the 70s Rush wasn’t the kind of music I listened to and a book about a tribute band to them didn’t sound like my cup of tea. How wrong can a person be? I loved this book, Lerxst manages to take everything that happens in stride and still maintain a sense of humor, which you just gotta love. The characters he is surrounded by are just weird enough to keep you interested and there is a decent little plot twist going on that you will not see coming. The only off thing for me was there were a lot of references to Rush, their music, band members that, not being a fan, I just didn’t get. There is a tiny little bit of violence in the book and some sex, although neither are explicit or offensive and are integral to the story. The plot is a little complicated but works itself out and you don’t mind since you tend to get caught up in the fun of it all. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys quirky characters, fun off beat adventures, snappy dialogue and just a little bit of a mystery thrown in.
Disabled vet, Greg, lives a quiet life with “Uncle Dave” in the swamps of the Florida Everglades, until the night Uncle Dave is shot in the head while in the bath and Greg’s peaceful, quiet world is turned not only upside down, but inside out and front to back. Almost as soon as Uncle Dave is shot, the mysterious Mr. Dulles appears on the back porch, ordering Greg to gather his things and leads him away just as the cabin blows up. Now Greg and Mr. Dulles are running for their lives, trying to figure out why someone killed Uncle Dave, and picking up clues (and more strange people) along the way.
Greg soon discovers that Mr. Dulles has talents far beyond what can be imagined, no one can be trusted, and the world governments have hidden secrets that even were they to get out, no one would believe them. Can one slightly off center vet, one extremely dangerous man, and their merry band of misfits discover the bigger picture that lies beyond Dave’s death, and do it in time to save not only themselves but the world in the process? Hold on to your seats and prepare yourselves for a ride into the dangerous world of government secrets, smoke and mirrors and conspiracy beyond belief.
Told in Greg’s point of view, Mindbenders is well written, full of slightly off/snarky bits of dialogue, more than a little disturbing sights into the power of the mind and a grand suspense thriller all rolled into one. During the course of the book, Greg grows from a damaged man who literally can’t string two words together into the strong, self-confident reporter he once was. Slowly, mysterious Mr. Dulles’ past is revealed and with each step he reveals what he can do with his mind, and frankly it’s a tad bit scary. Along the way, fellow mindbenders are revealed, some good, some bad. To understand the plot of this book think Conspiracy Theory meets Men Who Stare at Goats, sprinkle in a little James Bond spy tactics, add in some Matrix sci-fi and mix with a little Bruce Willis/Angelina Jolie kick butt scenes. This is political thriller at its best, there are twists and turns, traitors, and always something else hidden behind door number two. There is a great cast of characters, good guys and bad guys, and some who you just aren’t sure what they are.
I enjoyed the heck out of this book, from the moment I picked it up I could not put it down. It’s not your typical spy thriller; it will make you think good and hard. While I did enjoy it, I have to admit that I was a little over-whelmed with the science bits. I’ve never been good with physics and neutrons and protons and such, there are a bunch of those here. The science aside, this was a book that met all my criteria for a good read – good character building, some action so you don’t get bored, a plot to make you think, a few laughs, a good villain and even an ending that will make you say “hmmmm”. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a political thriller that while it takes itself seriously, doesn’t take itself too serious.
4 1/2 stars
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild
George Mason is a successful suspense writer with three published novels about true crimes, for which he has received a good deal of money. He lives a quiet life, he spends his time alone, walking and writing and that is how he likes it. Unfortunately, his life as a writer is a lie; he actually received the manuscripts for his books anonymously and was told to publish them, so he did. He’s never felt comfortable with this arrangement and vows to actually write his next novel himself, this is not going well. Then he receives yet another manuscript, after some research he finds this is also a true case and against his better judgment contacts the FBI. His life takes a bizarre and dangerous turn from there and he runs for his life from both the bad and good guys.
I would like to say this was a well written book, but I just can’t. The editing was so bad that it made it painful to read. There were places in the book where first person was used and the next sentence, third person. Throughout the book homonyms were used, sentences repeated over and over, the same thought repeated chapters later, etc. The writing style seemed to be either that of a person who did not speak English as a first language or that of a very young person. While we did learn a bit about George, the other characters he interacted with were just along for the ride.
The concept behind the book was a good one; it just wasn’t carried out well. I think if this book were sent back to the drawing board, reworked and sent to a good editor it might have a chance, but as it stands now I just can’t recommend it.