Happy Reading

Toni's bookshelf: read

The Godfather of Kathmandu (Sonchai Jitpleecheep, #4)
Ape House
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Operation Napoleon
Walking Dead
The Sentimentalists
The Heretic Queen
The Midnight House
Cross Fire
Peony in Love
Absurdistan
Nefertiti
Finding Nouf: A Novel
City of Veils: A Novel
First Daughter
A Place of Hiding
Amagansett
Peter Pan


Toni Osborne's favorite books »
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Friday, September 15, 2017

"The Weshampton Hurricane", by Gerald J. Kubicki & Kristopher Kubicki

Book # 27, in the Colton Banyon Adventure/Mystery series

When Mr. Kubicki sent his book for review he told me “You will like this one”, he was perfectly right. This one turned out to be one of my preferred Colton Banyon books to date.

This book follows the same pattern as most of them starting with a prologue taking us back in time and giving us a bit of history and a tad of speculation. It is followed with multiple short and captivating chapters and finally ends with the usual author’s notes telling us that most of his story is a fruit of his imagination and as always the events and facts are true but have been enhanced to fit the story.

But what a story, Mr Kubicki brings us back to when Colton Banyon was in his late teens living in Westhampton, the year is 1966. It opens after a hurricane struck and smashed part of the Island and destroyed some houses. Colton with his friend Dale decided to explore the surrounding but what they found was the military standing guard. They are young and fearless and a little pocking around couldn’t hurt….and the weekend long adventure commences….

This book is a fun read, not taxing at all with clear and concise wordings. Of course we should be entertained with this mystery and not take it too seriously. In reality, the German U boat mentioned was never found and archaeological societies have discredited anything to do with the Phoenicians. What I enjoyed particularly is the turn down tone the mystery has: no ridiculous fantasies, no nit-wit oversexed women, no big bang and jump over the moon action the previous installments gave us. It is a plain very subdued story writing in a very captivating manner. It doesn’t leave out intrigue, plenty of it throughout. For fans of this series, you will finally know how (Wolf) and Colton met.

Although this book is part of a series starting with this one would be a good move, it works well as a stand-alone novel. I think young people could enjoy this one also.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

"Pacific Reaper", by Carmen Amato

Book# 5, in the Emilia Cruz Mysteries

In “Pacific Reaper”, Emilia confronts a death worshiping cult and takes us once again inside Mexico’s drug war. The setting is Acapulco, a breathtaking and deadly city where Mexican cartels battles for control and more politicians that you can imagine are in the drug lord’s pockets.

Murder victims are sacrificed to Santo Muerte. Looking into gruesome and ritualistic murders Emilia takes us to another level of suspense. This character-driven mystery is hard to put down. The author has raised the stakes for her protagonist by forcing her to face vicious members of the cartel while appeasing her superiors and politician and making peace with her colleagues (Emilia’s continual battle). As the investigation progresses and more clues fall into place, more blood is shed and more is revealed. The novel pulls no punches.

This crackling multi-faceted story is well-written, is most captivating, one that keeps a steady pace and holds the attention from the get-go. We also have new revelations about the main character, her family and the people she associates with, adding a nice personal touch. I can well imagine this scenario happening in the real world this is both scary and fascinating at the same time…..You have done it again Ms. Amato providing your readers with hours of entertainment.

The author is an ace storyteller and one of my favourite authors. I wish to thank you Ms. Amato for the gift of your book for my enjoyment. These are my thoughts I have not be asked to give a positive review.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

"Operation Hail Storm" by Brett Arquette

Book #1, in the Hail series

If you are a die-hard fan of thrillers that uses detailed technology of drones and military equipment to intricately detail a plot you will find all you wish for with “Operation Hail Storm” and much more. This captivating story has multi-billionaire Marshall Hail, the main character, using his vast resources to fight a personal vendetta after losing his family in a terrorist attack.

Although well done, this thriller has a level of technology details all through that is quite overwhelming, maybe it is a bit too technically challenging and rather overly done at least in my books. Once passed all those terms we are into a cleverly laid and executed plot with characters we come to know in minutia details. Alongside Hail is Kara a deadly CIA operative who plays the female lead. The drones in Hail fleet are piloted by elite video gamers and MIT graduates we meet some of them in their unique roles. This interesting high-tech story includes super tankers with cinemas, high class restaurants and all the goodies found in upper class hotels, not forgetting all the fire power found on naval ships and plus. The experience may be over the top but is quite exciting to read.

This thought-provoking thriller that uses drones as a way of assassination may have a slow start but the originality and the constant alternate action between Hail’s ship, what happens between US Security Council and Hail (the USA Executive’s problem- solver) and what happens in North Korea make for a very captivating read hard to put down. Yes, the pacing does pick up and becomes fast and furious…or was I so much into this story that I couldn’t help swiping pages at a rapid pace to see what would happen next. Excellent story.

I wish to thank the author for providing a review copy of his book.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

"Noble Intentions:Season One", by L.T. Ryan

Book # 4 in the Jack Noble series

This thriller is a collection of five episodes sort of standalone stories that are smoothly meshed into one volume. This series follows the story of Jack Noble, an assassin for hire who practices his art with a clean conscience and he does it for the money.

The main characters:

Jack is an awesome cold blooded killer: rather smart, somewhat funny and definitely you want him on your side but deep down he has a heart of gold. Bear is his best friend, this guy has a soft spot also although don’t step on his toes. Clarissa is the only one that can keep Jack and Bear straight and can keep up with them. Mandy plays a good part in this story also, she the little girl that the group took under their wings.

The setting:

As in many thrillers the story brings you to different countries, where you hear different languages and meet good people and a lot of bad ones.

The story in a few words:

Jack stop to help a lost child moments before he's supposed to complete a deal with one of the east coast's top crime bosses? This is a decision that places Jack in unfamiliar territory. He's become the hunted and finds himself in a race against time to save those closest to him.

My thoughts:

This is a fast-pace suspense full of nonstop action, a bit far-fetched but captivating if you not squeamish with all the killings you will surely have a hoot reading this book. The style is rough and saccadic but this didn’t bother me after all it is mainly a story of killers, don’t forget these guys don’t pussyfoot around. I love all characters even brutal ones can be likable. The author knows how to develop an exciting plot with well-drawn characters to pull us in from start to finish. I would say it is a gripping page-turner

Friday, September 1, 2017

"All She Left Behind", by Jane Kirkpatrick

This historical fiction is a carefully researched blend of historical events using real people. The story is about Jennie Pickett and her struggle to become a doctor in the 1870’s Oregon.

This tale is an amazing journey in a time where women physicians were shun by society. For Jennie to become a doctor she had to surmount imaginable obstacles: her dyslexia and a difficult husband and son. She first learned homeopathic treatments with herbs and oil and practiced her art at every occasion with passion. After her divorce from her husband, she met her second husband, a wonderful man who gave her all the encouragement and the push needed to become a doctor. We follow her life through a bad marriage and a good marriage.

This story is told in a smooth narrative one that easily pulled me in from the first chapter. I wanted Jennie to succeed and have a wonderful life. She is portrayed as a strong and determined person regardless of her disabilities and the tragedies in her life. We have a lot of surprises along the way to keep us flipping the pages.

This is a captivating story of over-coming tragedy and poor choices, personal and family challenges and never losing hope. It is also a story of love. Beautifully written this novel is hard not to like.

“All She Left Behind” is based on a true story

I received this ARC from the publisher Revell via the Early Reviewer Program for an honest and unbiased review.