The Traveling Man (The Traveler’s, #1) by Michael P. King – My Review!!

The Traveling Man – My Review!!

The Traveling Man Cover

Every now and then, I like to read a crime thriller. I ran across The Traveling Man (The Traveler’s, #1) by Michael P. King and put it on the TBR list. Here is my review!

Synopsis (from the author):

In a life-and-death contest among criminals, even the most cunning may not survive…

The Traveling Man and his wife have built a life for themselves conning criminals and getting away scot-free. But when their latest scheme to sell contaminated land goes south, they find themselves in a cat-and-mouse game with the crime boss who’s turned the tables on them and the partners who’ve betrayed them.

Are you ready to take a walk on the wild side?

What I liked:

The Traveling Man was a fun read! Lots of action, plot twists, great cons, and betrayals kept me guessing what was coming next. Add to the mix the innocents caught up in the game, the oddly ethical bent of the Traveling Man, and it’s a winning combination.

What I didn’t like:

Despite the good parts mentioned above, the book did bog down a few times as The Traveling Man and his plans fell apart. I had issues with some of the dialogue as well.

Overall impression:

The Traveling Man (The Traveler’s, #1) was an enjoyable read. The cons were flawed enough to be believable, the characters’ amoral enough to pull off their scams, yet Rob (the title character) had an ethical side. If you’re a fan of crime novels, read this one. Please note there is sex, violence, and strong language.

My rating:

4 Stars

Connect with Michael P. King

Find Michael P. King on his Amazon Author Page and his Goodreads Author Page. While you’re there, check out the rest of his books (and maybe buy a couple) and leave him a comment or a review!

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Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers #3) – My Review!

Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers #3) – My Review!!

Blood Relic Cover

I read the first two books of the Paranormal Peacekeepers series by Lucretia Stanhope and thoroughly enjoyed them. I added Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers #3) to my TBR list a while back and finally got a chance to read it. Here are my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author):

When a string of dead witches points to the illegal practice of making relics that eternally drip with magic blood, Alice is called to go deep into the vampire underground. The mission plants her as the lead on a military targeting squad, serving a branch of the PPK she despises. To reject the task means the blood of witches on her hands. To succeed means her and Amarok will never be simple ambassadors again – if they ever were.

With her and Amarok one step closer to serving the military division of the PPK, she finds comfort in her new, albeit temporary, partnership with the vampire Matthias. While balancing their own evolving relationship, Matthias prepares her for what she will see in the blood dens.

Once she steps into the seedy world where ruthless vampires pay to play with magic blood it is quickly clear that everyone underestimated the vampires’ cravings. Can the power she keeps hidden from her keepers save her life without changing it into a life of service not worth living?

What I liked:

After reading the first two books, Alice is like an old friend that you are eager to catch up with and find out what she’s been doing. Amarok and Matthias make great foes and love interests for her, and Alice’s growth into a complex woman continues. Lots of action and intrigue with this one and many twists and turns kept me interested throughout. If you like dark fantasy, Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers#3) is your kind of book!

What I didn’t like:

Despite the action, there were a few slow parts in the book. In addition, Alice’s quandary over who she loves got a bit repetitive.

Overall impression:

I enjoyed Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers #3), though not as much as the previous books. This one is quite a bit darker, with more violence and blood, and delves deeper into sexual situations that the other books. Overall, an entertaining read for dark fantasy fans!

My rating:

4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 stars)

Connect with Lucretia Stanhope:

Find Lucretia Stanhope on her Amazon Author Page or on her Facebook page. Discover more about the Paranormal Peacekeepers and her other books (and maybe buy a few). While you’re there, consider leaving a review or a comments!

Connect with me:

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Making History by Bruce Polky – My Review!!

Making History – My Review!!

Making History Cover

 

A friend recommended Making History by Bruce Polky and I added it to my TBR. Read on for my thoughts about this sci-fi novel. 

Synopsis (from the author):

One little decision can get you killed, or something worse.

Dav jumps from planet to planet in Safe Space selling computer hardware, whether people need it or not. His life starts to fall apart when his Personal Assistance Device crashes. Like every citizen of Safe Space, his PAD’s been his ID, wallet, phone, and more, from the time he was six years old. Without it he can’t travel, can’t work, can’t even buy lunch!

Under Government law, every citizen must carry their PAD at all times, and any modification is illegal. Leaving it unattended will set off alarms, even calling it bad names will get you fined, or result in a visit from the Protectors.

Marsy, a black-market tech, can fix his machine, but her work has attracted the worst possible attention. Marsy is dragged off by the Protectors, kicking and screaming till the last. Dav gets out, but the Protectors know who he is and that is not a good thing. His new PAD is much more than he expected. Through it, he gets a glimpse of what lies behind Safe Space and the rigid control of the Government. Everything he has always known about life is challenged. If the Protectors find him, they will remove him for what he has discovered. He must learn to work with the new capabilities of his upgraded PAD to survive, but this device plays by its own rules, and it could kill him even faster!

His only option is to hunt for Marsy. She can tell him what this damn thing is, and maybe together they can uncover what the Government is hiding.

Or maybe humanity’s whole future has already been decided.

What I liked:

First, I liked the story! A nice mix of science fiction and dystopia with a few little twists along the way kept my attention. Samuel (our resident computer inhabiting Dav’s PAD) was an entertaining character. Dav himself was a good character, too, though I liked Samuel better. Marsy and Garth added nice background, but the story revolved around Dav and Samuel. The discoveries Dav and Samuel made and government control of everything showed the dystopian side of the book. All told, a fun and entertaining novel!

What I didn’t like:

For me, the science fiction wasn’t futuristic enough. Yes, the PADs were cool, but from a technology perspective, not much different that tablets and phones available today. The space travel was cool, but the habitats, again were not so futuristic.

Overall impression:

Making History by Bruce Polky entertained me! Dav and Samuel’s adventures and the secrets they uncovered made for an interesting and thought provoking book. While it could have been heavier on the science fiction, the story kept me interested. If you enjoy sci-fi with a nice mix of dystopia, read this one!

My rating:

4 Stars

Connect with Bruce Polky:

Find Bruce and his book on his Amazon Author Page. While visiting, consider leaving a comment or a review and maybe pick up your own copy of Making History!

Connect with me:

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Lethal Cargo (Nikolai Volkov Book 3) by Julia Gousseva – My Review!!

Lethal Cargo – My Review!!

Lethal Cargo Cover

I’m not sure how Lethal Cargo: Russian Historical Thriller (Nikolai Volkov Book 3) by Julia Gousseva showed up in my Amazon recommendations. I love thrillers, but haven’t been reading many lately. Regardless, I checked it out and added it to the TBR List. Read on for my review!

Synopsis (from the author):

Nikolai Volkov is a combat veteran of the Chechen war with a passion for finding truth and doing the right thing.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Nikolai embarked on a career of a bodyguard and soon became the best in the prestigious Centurion Personal Protection Agency in Moscow. He excels at protecting his clients and preventing crimes. But this time, his case is personal. His brother calls Nikolai with an urgent plea for help, and Nikolai heads to a small town in Crimea.

The town is quiet and picturesque, but dark forces are at work behind the scenes. Murders, illegal smuggling, and suspicious arrests challenge Nikolai’s detective skills and put his life in danger.

What I liked:

Lethal Cargo had all the elements I like in a thriller. Sinister figures, shadowy conspiracy, action, intrigue, and really cool characters. Nikolai played the good guy perfectly, and the story, driven by his actions, moved along nicely. Entertaining plot twists and a satisfying end made it a fun read.

What I didn’t like:

To be honest, there wasn’t much to dislike about Lethal Cargo.

Overall impression:

Lethal Cargo: Russian Historical Thriller (Nikolai Volkov Book 3) by Julia Gousseva was a great read. The story moved at a nice pace. With realistic and believable characters and gritty action, the book was a quick read and an entertaining novel. If you like thrillers, try this one!

My rating:

5 Stars

Connect with Julia Gousseva:

Find out more about Julia Gousseva on her Amazon Author page or her website. While you’re visiting, consider leaving a comment or a review!

Connect with me:

Find me on social media and let’s connect. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Say hello and let’s start a conversation!

History’s Prisoners by James Garmisch – My Review!!

History’s Prisoners (Invasion #1) – My Review!


History's Prisoners Cover

Dystopia and science fiction often go well together and History’s Prisoners (Invasion #1) by James Garmisch is no exception. This one came to me from an Amazon recommendation and I’m glad it did!

Synopsis (from the author):

Moments before his execution, Huan is given a clear choice: infiltrate the Global Resistance—or die, and never see his children again.

The Alliance is collapsing, and Huan, a former economist for the worldwide government, knows how it was engineered. History has been reset, the children of dissidents re-educated, and the family unit abolished. The facade of utopia is evaporating.

Meanwhile, beyond the city walls, the separated lands are shifting from despair to chaos. Smoldering discontent is about to explode. Huan is neither a soldier nor a spy, but he will have to become both—and quickly—if he is to survive and to save the family that does not know him.

What I liked:

History’s Prisoners grabbed my attention from the start. The encounter between Doon and Reanna, followed by the battle, sets the stage for this sci-fi dystopian book. Well-written, plenty of action, behind the scenes political maneuvering, and a hint of romance, makes this a good read. And I can’t forget to mention Sasha and his memorable character! 

What I didn’t like:

For me, the details of the world, though entertaining, slowed the story. In addition, many parts were too predictable.

Overall impression:

History’s Prisoners (Invasion #1) was a good dystopian sci-fi novel. Well-written, memorable characters, and an eerie parallel to current events (on both sides of the political aisle and society in general), the book entertained me, but kept me wondering at the same time.

My rating:

4 Stars

Connect with the Author: 

Find out more about James Garmisch and his books on his Amazon Author Page or his website. While you are at it, please consider leaving a review to let him know your thoughts on his book!

Connect with me: 

I appreciate you taking time to read this review! Please leave me a comment or connect with me on social media. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. I enjoy meeting new friends, so say hi on the socials or drop me an email at bill@williamlstuart.com!

Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) – My Review!!

Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) – My Review!!

Nefarious

 

 

As my blog readers know, I’m reading at least one book per month from a Georgia author. This time, it’s Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) by Steven F. Freeman. This one’s a thriller, so read on for my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author): When Army Communications Captain Alton Blackwell takes a hit to the leg while on active duty in Afghanistan, his self-confidence and his leg are equally shattered in the explosion. Assigned to a desk job while recovering, Blackwell manages to prove his resourcefulness as he matches wits with Al-Qaeda operatives in the dangerous regions of Kabul. Unable to fully heal, he resigns himself to the abrupt end of his military career as well as any hope to win the affections of the beautiful and intelligent Lieutenant Mallory Wilson.

Upon returning state-side, the quiet civilian life is quickly left far behind when Blackwell’s colleague Zach Lambert calls him from a weekend camping trip in the throes of a devastating illness with forbidding implications. In a story out of today’s headlines, Blackwell and now-FBI Agent Wilson explore the possible diversion of a biotech’s project to develop an improved vaccine, scouring leads at the CDC and biotec company, putting their Army and professional skills to the test, and narrowly escaping agents with a murderous agenda at every turn. The closer they come to the truth, the quicker the bodies pile up, along with the suspects. To get to the bottom of the sinister scheme, can Blackwell still use wits when his body has failed him? And will he survive long enough to tell his colleague of the feelings for her he has long kept secret?

What I liked: Nefarious is a good story! The trials Alton Blackwell goes through set the stage for his later career, his interactions with the locals in Afghanistan, and his guilt over the death of a high school friend all helped me identify with the character. As a real-life supply chain professional, I liked Mallory’s Army occupation, and her character added the love interest. The bond one finds among service members rang true, and the plot, as it evolved over the course of the story, made for a good read.

What I didn’t like: Captain Blackwell’s antagonist in the Intelligence group and their “rivalry” was too clichéd for me. Similarly, some of the intelligence gathering seemed contrived to me.

Overall impression: Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) by Steven F. Freeman was a solid and entertaining read. Good characters, a believable plot, a conspiracy, and a good writing kept me engaged throughout. If you need a new thriller series to read, try this one!

My rating: 4 stars

When do you plan to read Nefarious? Soon, I hope! When you do, please consider leaving a review. It only takes a few minutes and lets authors know they’ve reached their audience. While you are reviewing, why not stop by Steven F. Freeman’s Amazon Author page or his website, say hello, and check out Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) and his other books!

Since you’re already surfing around the web, why not visit me on the socials and connect? I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You can email me at bill@williamlstuart.com, and subscribe to the blog so you never miss a post!

Chain of Evidence by D. B. Corey – My Review!!

Chain of Evidence – My Review!!

Chain of Evidence Cover

I wanted to read a gritty crime novel just to give myself a break from fantasy books and I chose Chain of Evidence by D. B. Corey. Here are my thoughts on the book!

Synopsis (from the author): They say the evidence never lies, but don’t tell that to Moby Truax. He’ll tell you the evidence could be allowing a killer of women to roam the streets of Baltimore. The evidence is consistent-random female victims, each killed the same way with an identical concentration of cyanide. But Detective-Sergeant Moby Truax, a financially strapped cop nearing the end of his career, sees that the profile of the recent victims doesn’t match that of earlier targets. He suspects a copycat killer, but his rejection of the lone murderer theory puts him on the wrong side of his superiors. As beautiful young women continue to die, Truax is saddled with a partner: FBI Special Agent Frances Vecchio. To Truax she is little more than an attractive distraction, but his bosses see her as a possible savior, turning a blind eye when Vecchio launches her own investigation to catch the monster the newspapers have dubbed the Cyanide Killer. With his pride and his pension on the line, Truax follows the facts no one else sees, but will this chain of evidence lead him to multiple killers, or a murderous deception even deadlier?

What I liked: D. B. Corey created a story that drew me in from the start. Moby Truax and his upcoming retirement set a great backdrop and the interaction with his new boss added good conflict to the story. Truax’s insistence a copycat killer was responsible, the FBI agent who shows up to help in the investigation and the twisted actions of Harvey all combine for a gritty, action-packed novel. In addition, the twisty ending added a lot to the story.

What I didn’t like: A couple of things bothered me about this book. First, the relationship between Harvey and his mom was a bit cliché. Secondly, the ease with which Agent Vecchio inserted herself into the investigation seemed unreal. Minor points, I know, but they distracted me from the story.

Overall impression: As advertised, Chain of Evidence by D. B. Corey was gritty, disturbing, and an entertaining read! Good pace, likable  characters (as well as some I didn’t like), and Truax’s frustration with his boss and his FBI partner made this book work. All in all, if you enjoy crime thrillers, this is a book for you!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 stars)

Connect with the author:

What are your thoughts about Chain of Evidence? Leave me a comment and let me know. While you’re at it, why not consider leaving a review for the book? It only takes a few minutes and I’m sure D. B. Corey would appreciate it. Since you’re leaving a review, visit D. B. Corey’s Amazon Author page and his website and find out more about the author and his books!

Connect with me:

Did you like my review? Leave me a comment and let me know. And don’t be shy! Find me on social media and let’s connect. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Or just email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. I look forward to meeting each of you!

The Guardian’s Angel by Lorrie Farrelly – My Review!!

The Guardian’s Angel – My Review!

Angel

 

Recently, a friend challenged me to read outside my normal favorite genres. Having read a couple of Lorrie Farrelly’s books, I accepted the challenge and picked up The Guardian’s Angel. Read on for my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author): When nobody knows what to do with a troubled, damaged kid, it’s time to call Elizabeth Driscoll. A wary, vulnerable, unusually intuitive young woman, Libby has a knack for helping children that others have given up on.

Certainly nobody knows what to do with Tommy Madden, least of all his fiercely devoted guardian, Seattle Police Detective J.D. McCammon. McCammon believes the autistic little boy witnessed a double murder: his mother and his father, the city’s District Attorney. J.D. is determined to help and protect Tommy at all costs, and somehow, find a way to communicate with him.

When Tommy’s life is threatened by the corrupt organization that killed his parents, J.D. and Libby take him on a desperate and dangerous flight to safety. They must place their trust in one another to escape a relentless evil that threatens not only their lives, but that of the child they’ve both come to love.

On the run, Libby and J.D. are tested to the limits of their courage and resolve. They discover an intimate and mystifying bond that will either drive them apart, or become their greatest source of strength and passion.

What I liked: The Guardian’s Angel drew me in from the start. Libby’s trauma from an attack and the unexpected mental interaction between her and JD sets the tone for the story. With Tommy’s safety at risk, Libby and JD embark on a dangerous mission to save him. But enough, no spoilers from me. The ending is satisfying and the sacrifices made by all tie the tale together nicely. This book has romance, intrigue, suspense, and enough action to keep the pages turning.

What I didn’t like: About my only criticism of the book is the constant indecision of both Libby and JD to accept their feelings about each other. It frustrated me a reader for the characters to vacillate as long as they did.

Overall Impression: The Guardian’s Angel is well written, full of compelling characters with plenty of angst to go around, suspense, intrigue, and sacrifice. I recommend this book to romance and chick-lit aficionados. I would also recommend it to anyone who simply likes a good read!

My Rating: 5 Stars

Connect with the author:

Have you read The Guardian’s Angel? What about any of Lorrie Farrelly’s books? If so, please consider leaving a review. Reviews mean the world to authors as it lets them know what readers like or dislike about their work! Want to know more about Lorrie and her work, find them on her Amazon Author Page or her website.

Speaking of like (or dislike), please consider leaving a comment about this review. It’s always nice to know whether I helped someone find something new to read.

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Connect with me on the socials, too. I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, and Tumblr. You can also email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. Don’t miss a post either. Subscribe to the blog! I’m happy to meet new friends!

The Eyes of the Accused by Mark Tilbury – My Review!!

The Eyes of the Accused – My Review!!

The Eyes of the Accused Cover

I read Mark Tilbury’s debut novel, The Revelation Room. Because the book was so entertaining, I gave it 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars). When he released the second book of the Ben Whittle series, The Eyes of the Accused, it immediately went on my TBR list. Read on for my review!

Synopsis (from the author): Fresh from the horrors of the Revelation Room, private investigators Ben and Maddie are plunged into a disturbing world of terror as they search for missing pregnant girl, Hannah Heath. Drawn to Frank Crowley, an original suspect in Hannah’s disappearance, Maddie is about to learn the true meaning of evil. But all is not what it seems. Crowley is just a small part of something unimaginable. Something so terrible and deranged it defies reason. After Maddie disappears, Ben is left in a desperate race against time to find her and uncover the truth.

What I liked: Mark Tilbury creates another evil and twisted antagonist for Ben Whittle. Hannah’s character is believable as the kidnap victim. Geoff (Ben’s father), still recovering from his encounter with Edward Ebb (from Book 1) is he irascible self, and Maddie is as courageous and cute as ever. With flashes of Mr. Tilbury’s dark humor, interesting plot twists, and the blossoming romance between Ben and Maddie, The Eyes of the Accused is a worthy successor to The Revelation Room!

What I didn’t like: In spite of how well written the book is, it drags in places, especially during Ben’s disagreements with Maddie and his father on Maddie’s involvement as an undercover operative.

Overall impression: The Eyes of the Accused, like its predecessor, is a dark mystery thriller. Ben Whittle grows into his role, and Maddie is cute, spunky, and a delightful character. Hannah definitely engenders sympathy, and the villain is perfectly dark and twisted. If dark humor, and everyday evil is your thing, The Eyes of the Accused is a book for you!

My rating: 5 Stars   

Connect with the author:

Want to know more about Mark Tilbury and his books? Visit his site at marktilbury.com!

Connect with me:

If you liked (or disliked) my review, leave me a comment and let me know! We can also connect on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, and Tumblr. You can also just email me at bill@williamlstuart.com.

Tacenda by Christine Vann – My Review!!

Tacenda by Christine Vann – My Review!!

Tacenda Cover

When I’m looking for books to read, the cover, the blurb, or the title can attract me. Tacenda got me with the cover and the blurb. Read on for my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author):  Can a unique partnership discover who is stealing the minds of children? Life isn’t easy when you don’t own yourself, not all humans are aware that other species exist, and your ship is semi-sentient. Kerris and Arucken are an interspecies messenger team, tasked with aiding communication across the galaxy. Haunted by the grief of her sister’s murder and stranded, Kerris must discover who is stealing the minds of children.

What I liked: The concept of the book amazed me! The idea of the alien/human partnership and the mental connection between Kerris and Arucken was cool! I liked their ship, a hybrid in itself. Add in the sibling rivalry with Arucken’s sister, hinting at familial conflict, the deception about Kerris’ sister’s death, and the elements are there for a great story. I enjoyed Lily, and the interaction with the other species that stole the children’s minds was interesting. All told, Tacenda is an excellent story.

What I didn’t like: As much as I enjoyed the story, the book has some technical issues. The grammatical errors pulled me out of the story, and I found a few formatting errors, too, that interrupted the flow of the book.

Overall impression: For me, this could be a 4.5 star read, but the issues mentioned above knock it back. I did enjoy the story, and I connected easily with the characters. Tacenda is a good sci-fi novel that is worth a look!

My rating: 3.5 Stars (rounded to 4 Stars)

Connect with the author:

If you would like to connect with Christine Vann, you can find her on her Amazon Author Page or on her site! Give her books a look and, if you read one or more, please consider leaving a review!

Connect with me:

If you have comments on my review or what to connect with me, I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, and Tumblr. you can email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. If you don’t want to miss a post (including my reviews), subscribe to the blog!