Stop Me

Stop MeRomain Fornier has lost everything he held dear in life and became a shell of a man. He will not be interested in looking back on his daughters murderer but he will find himself being pulled into the case by Jasmine Stratford. She claim the wrong man was killed and that his daughters murderer and her sisters kidnapper are the same person.

Jasmine Stratford has been searching for her sister for sixteen years and she will never stop until she finds a body to bring home. She will be lead to New Orleans and find that the case might not be dead and that her sisters abductor was now taunting her after all this time.

Stop Me is the second book to the series Last Stand by Brenda Novak. So from this series I have read the first, the fifth and sixth book. I will say I am captivated by this series because it is not simple. There is a lot of violence that goes through this book and a great deal of mystery and suspense where you will be wondering what will happen next.

I very much enjoyed the book with Jasmine’s character as she was a psychic you could say. Her gift will be used in this process of trying to find the man who is taunting her. I liked her feelings or her dreams she had as they were vivid but didn’t happen every time and she was even wrong some of the time. This gift was not an exact science. Romain was a man living in his own hell. He is brought back thanks to Jasmine who gives him a purpose to live again and to find the true murderer of his only daughter. Now there is that steamy connection that happens between Jasmine and Romain and it will get intense but because of their situation it is not very easy. I will say it was interesting when Jasmine was able to tap into Romain’s dream and that got very steamy.

The mystery of Kimberly and was she alive or not was the major question through the whole book. You really don’t know much but as the story goes along more clues on what happened to Kimberly were revealed little by little. I thought Novak does a good job with Kimberly and you will will find out for once and for all what happened at the end of the book.

The villains are pretty clear in the book as Novak lets us in on their parts in the book. They are some pretty horrible people and sick minded with what they were doing. You wanted justice for all those victims who could not find justice for themselves. Now what is unclear is this mystery person who is kind of like the guiding force of this group. There are several possibilities and I was shocked to find out the identity of this person because I was not expecting that person.

I am reading the third book, Watch Me, next which is with Sheridan.

Obsidian Butterfly by Laurell Hamilton

So far Hamilton has shown us the beginning of Anita and how she is progressing but in the ninth book she goes back with Anita touching base with what she does best.

Anita is asked by Edward to come with him on a job that he is not very descriptive about.  Anita is hesitant but has to go.  When she gets there the job is not the only thing that is a surprise.

The plot surprised me.  I have read the book one time before but I didn’t remember liking it this much.  I guess I am appreciating the story that is being told more now.  Hamilton throws Anita into the action and there is a lot.  Violence is everywhere with scary villains and men who are supposed to be the heroes.

There is no sex in this book.  Anita is staying away from Jean Claude and Richard.  I find it amusing reading the book as she does this.  But the thing that I didn’t remember until now was she was feeling this pull of sexual desire.  This hightens as Anita is transformed more with power that is coming to her.

This book was fantastic to read because of Edward.  You were shown a side of Edward with Donna and the kids.  You didn’t know about, don’t know if it will work but I am cheering for a semi happy ending with this group.

The toughest part of the read which Hamilton does well is with the torture.  The kids are strong but now different.  They are not the same children.  You feel for them.

One point in the book one of the cops said that she was waiting for the right guy because then love would not seem so scary.  I liked how Hamilton referenced this idea because it reminds me when Micah comes into the picture.  He makes everything easy for Anita.  Is this what she was waiting for.  But he is not here yet.

Obsidian Butterfly is one of my favorites of the series because it shows Anita back in her element but also Edward is right beside her.  He is still one of my favorite characters of the series and I liked how Hamilton focused this story on Edward and the secrets he is carrying.

You will enjoy the book with the intense action and how Anita is getting back into the field playing one of the boys but with her own twist.

Brazen Virture by Nora Roberts

Grace McCabe was shocked to find her sister Kathleen living in a grungy D.C. suburb, supplementing her income as a phone sex operator after a bitter divorce. But with the company Fantasy, Inc. guaranteeing its employees complete anonymity, how dangerous could it really be? Grace was soon to learn the answer when she returned home one night to a horrifying scene that might have come from one of her own novels. Ignoring the warnings of cool-headed detective Ed Jackson, Grace sets her own daring trap to rouse a killer out of hiding. But what can protect her from a brilliant madman whose lust for murder stops at nothing…and no one?

Roberts delivered this sequel perfectly.  I loved that Ed Jackson was now the main character but you still got to have Ben and Tess in the picture.

The story had suspense, some thrill and of course romance all together.  Roberts gave hints about the killer but you weren’t sure until they named the person who had an alibi and then you knew.

Another great book to read of Nora Roberts.

Late for the Wedding by Amanda Quick

The last book of the series of Lavinia Lake and Tobias March is fantastic to read and a great finish to the series.

The Plot of Late for the Wedding:

“An invitation to a country house party at Beaumont Castle provides a perfect solution to Tobias and Lavinia’s most exasperating challenge: how to escape the chaos of London for a remote, relaxing-and above all romantic-retreat from prying eyes and wagging tongues. But the lovers plans are foiled when their cozy interlude of the weekend is disrupted by the appearence of a stunning woman from Tobias’s past.

Aspasia Gray’s beauty is as haunting as her connection to Tobias. Her long-deceased fiance was a friend of his in addition to being an eccentric assassin. The mysterious nature of the bond between Tobias and Aspasia makes Lavinia more than a little uncomfortable. Especially as her first encounter with Aspasia occurs when she finds her in Tobias’s bedchamber…

It seems Aspasia is seeking protection-and solace-after receiving an ominous message that eerily recalls the past. Suddenly the obstacles standing between Tobias and Lavinia appear greater than just a little London gossip-and far more deadly.

When events at the castle suggest someone is imitating the dead killer’s methods, the team of Lake and March fervently pursue the investigation-and each other-as their leads take them from Society’s most elegant haunts-and most discreet hideaways-to London’s shadiest backstreets. As their relationship heats up, so does the intrigue. Soon Lavinia will have to employ all her talents to flummox the scoundrel who so rudely interrupted her rendezvous. And then she and Tobias can get back to more pleasurable affairs…”

Fantastic series, fantastic finish where everyone who is good has a good ending, a happy ending. Amanda Quick is a true storyteller for romance novels.

I loved the scheme of the murders which floated around the book and it was the Memento-Mori Man but not the original but his prodigy is taking over. Of course there is another murderer out there that is unexpected.

The characters again were fantastic to read about. I really ended up hating Aspasia Gray only because she was trying to come between Tobias and Lavinia. I also liked reading about the original Memento-Mori Man. Seemed like an ordinary elderly man but he still had his ways. Finally Anthony and Emmeline are in love and want to be together and are clever to find that they have a way, a way that will also unit Lavinia and Tobias in marriage as well.

Late for the Wedding is the final book in this trilogy and hold great intrigue, adventure, humor, a little mystery and suspense. A very enjoyable book and series.

Don’t Look Back by Amanda Quick

Amanda Quick is back with her series of Lavinia Lake and Tobias March.  A Victorian romance that holds some mystery, suspense, danger and finally love.

The Plot of Don’t Look Back:

“As if a head for business and a nose for trouble aren’t enough to distinguish fiercely independent Lavinia Lake  from the other women of London’s fashionable Claremont Lane, there is one more feature to set her apart.  Lavinia is also well versed in the practice of mesmerism, an extraordinary gift that far surpasses mere charm and physical appeal.  Nobody knows this better than the usually coolheaded Tobias March, who seem to have fallen hopelessly under the spell.  Fortunately for all, however, Lavinia uses her powers for good.  And ever since tragedy involving one of her subjects, she has even retired them in favor of her work with Lake and March, a joint venture providing “discreet private inquiries for individuals of quality.”  Celeste Hudson, the stunningly beautiful young wife of a family friend and fellow mesmerist, would surely count herself among such individuals-were she still alive, that is.

While mythology’s Medusa could turn men to stone, lovely Celeste was more accustomed to turning them to jelly.  In fact, unbeknownst to her husband.  Howard, the ambitious Celeste was planning to use her talents to forge a new future in Society-one that would not include him.  Sadly, her plans were cut short when she was murdered.  Only a gentleman’s cravat evidence-small compensation for the strange and priceless bracelet that may have been snatched from her wrist as she drew her last breath.

As a result, Lake and March are soon in Howard Hudson’s employ on the trail of the killer.  But Tobias is convinced the dashing widower is more interested in tracking down the missing relic.  If so, Howard is not alone.  Any number of ruthless types are after the very same antiquity, whose centerpiece is an unusual blue cameo of inestimable value and supposed legendary powers-power of immeasurable worth to anyone in Howard’s line of work.

Together, Lake and March undertake a tantalizing investigation that leads them from the glittering ballrooms of the ton to London’s seediest taverns to a mesmerist whose therapies include treating ladies suffering from “hysteria” via a most unconventional method-and, not least of all, to the darkest reaches of men’s psyches.”

I loved reading this book again.  It was a while ago when I found the book but after re-reading the first one I knew I had to continue to read.  I can’t seem to get enough of this series.  I liked that the first introduced us to the characters and definetly pulled you in but the second book goes into Lavinia’s past people of the past show up.  Tobias is not happy, which I love to read.

They are developing feelings for each other even though they were doing this in the first book, but now they are closure.  Of course they are not the only ones close, Emmeline and Anthony have gotten even more close.  Emmeline finally kisses Anthony.

I love the plot with the use of mesmerist.  This is the part that Lavinia is the expert in and Tobias doesn’t believe but in this case both of them will have to pull together to solve this case.

Don’t Look Back is another thriller, mystery and enjoyable to read.

Slightly Shady by Amanda Quick

Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz is one of my favorite romance authors.  The modern day to Victorian is all perfectly written with wit and exciting scenes.  Slightly Shady is the first book of the series Lavina Lake and Tobias March which I have enjoyed many times before.

The Plot of Slightly Shady:

“From the moment he burst into her antiquities shop in Rome, Lavina Lake knew the stranger was nothing but trouble.  He said he was in pursuit of a killer.  He swore he was only trying to save her.  Yet no matter what he claimed, Lavina was convinced that Mr. Tobias March was bent instead on destroying her.  And when  the self-destructed spy hustled her and her niece out of the shop and back to England, Lavinia could only hope that one day she would find a way to repay Mr. March in full.

But Lavina never imagined the shocking circumstances under which they would meet again…or that soon he would become her partner in a quest that would grown more deadly-and more compelling-with each passing day.

In the business of making private inquiries, Tobias March had been hired to track down a powerful villain who even now was intent on assuming control of a vast criminal organization.  Yet in his search he found nothing but one dead end-and one dead body-after another.

And then just as his investigation was heating up once more, he found his mission and his life complicated by the most ungovernable, unpredictable, exasperating woman he had ever met.

Faced with a tangled web of deceit and danger, Tobias had no choice but to form a partnership with Lavinia, a lady whose past could only be described as slightly shady.  Yet when he persuaded her to become his associate, neither Tobias nor Lavinia realized that their heated disputes would spark a sizzling desire-or that the deeper they kept digging for the truth, the deeper they were digging their own graves…”

I loved this book and the series since this is not the first time I have read the books.  Amanda Quick really does know how to write a romance book.

The characters of this book are dynamic and absolutely perfect together.  When I found the book, read it and then found out there were two more to the series I was jumping for joy.  One book of these two characters would not be enough.  But Lavinia and Tobias are not the only ones I love.  Emmeline and Anthony are also another great pair of characters who are following in Lavinia and Tobias footsteps.

Slightly Shady holds suspense, mystery and intrigue with some detective work thrown into the mix.  A perfect beginning for two unlikely people.