#BookReview In Search of Valor by Gary Corbin

In Search of Valor by Gary Corbin is an excellent thriller following a female university student who wants to one day be a detective.

This is the prequel to A Woman of Valor, and goes into the university life of Val Dawes. During her first year studying criminology, Val meets Rhonda – a potential partner for their paper in Crim 101 with the wicked Professor Hirsch. The two discuss what paper they going to write together, and then decide to go pick up Rhonda’s daughter Jada. Unfortunately, for both of them, Jada is not there and has been abducted. Drama and thrills ensue as the local police department, detectives, Rhonda and Val try to figure out who could have taken Jada and why. Val gets to put her detective skills to work when she helps out the local department in this case.

I was hooked to this story! I truly enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down. There’s enough drama and action in such a fast paced manner that I barely noticed the time and pages flying away on me. It was just the perfect length and I felt that there didn’t need to be anymore to this book. It’s a great intro to Val’s past life, and sets it up beautifully for the next book.

Gary Corbin has an excellent writing style that makes reading easy and fast. The story moves flawlessly and I never once felt the need to put it down. He’s a master at this genre, in my humble opinion. I always love a good book by Gary Corbin! They never disappoint.

I would highly recommend picking up either book in this series. You don’t need to read one to know what’s going on in the other, but they do compliment each other well.

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to Gary Corbin who sent me this book in exchange of an honest review.

 

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Indigo
Kobo

Check out the sequel, A Woman of Valor,  on:
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Goodreads

Here’s some links about the author, Gary Corbin:
Goodreads
http://www.garycorbinwriting.com/
@GaryCorbin

Check out my other reviews of Gary’s books:
#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Badge
#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Bride by Gary Corbin
#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin
#BookReview A Woman of Valor by Gary Corbin

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Blood Rain by Rajeev Singh

Blood Rain by Rajeev Singh is another dip into erotic horror that will steal the spotlight.

Erotic horror is one of those criss-cross genres. It’s creepy yet sexual (as the name implies) but hits in such a strange way. I don’t know whether to be scared, horrified or shocked.

A group of five get isolated on an island with sexually charged, exotic women, all being affected by a blood rain. Danger and horror await the crew as they try to traverse through the jungle and come out unscathed. Among the group, emotions are high and terror is higher.

There’s lots of women having sex with inanimate objects in this story. It’s very strange and is connected to horror, but the characters also find it oddly erotic. Add in blood rain, scary tales and an adventure, and you’ve got one wild ride (pun intended, thank you very much).

I will give Rajeev a virtual high five for his prose. His story telling ability and his word choice will make chocolate melt in your mouth. Seriously, he’s got a way with his words. The first chapter alone had me curious and interested in the story.

If you’re looking for something a little different, a little niche, totally R rated, and some truly insane erotic horror then you need to grab this book. Rajeev is such a talented writer and writes this niche market really well.

Four out of five stars.

Thank you to Rajeev Singh for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

If you’re looking for more by Rajeev Singh, click the links below:
Goodreads – Rajeev Singh
Briar’s Review’s #BookReview The Erotic Muse by Rajeev Singh
Goodreads – The Erotic Muse
Amazon.ca – The Erotic Muse
Amazon.com – The Erotic Muse
Books2Read : Books2Read – The Erotic Muse

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Chain Reaction by Tara Wyatt

If you’re looking for a slow burn romance with action and suspense woven throughout, Tara Wyatt’s Chain Reaction is the book for you!

Why didn’t I read this book sooner? Romance, a Canadian author, and a sexy man on the cover are three awesome traits of this book that make it a must have in my collection. This book has it all – drama, suspense, thrills, romance and some incredibly sexy scenes. Zack is mega hot, Alexa is a Hollywood star looking for something different and they are a match made in heaven! It helps that they’ve been pining after each other in secret for the past year.

This Bodyguard series seems to be centered on, you guessed it, bodyguards protecting a woman and then falling in love with them. It’s kind of the damsel in distress narrative, but with a little more ‘umph’. The duo seem to fall in love way too quickly, but it’s a romance novel so it’s easy to suspend reality on that front. But, the falling in love fast story line makes this book feel passionate and sexy. While it won’t work for all readers, it sure worked for me!

I liked Tara’s writing style – it was fast enough to keep me hooked, it was descriptive enough to make me feel like I’d been whisked away from reality, and it was easy to read. I found myself binging the whole book because I felt for Zack and Alexa and needed to know how it ended. She also wrote Alexa, a character with obvious flaws, really well. I honestly wanted her to have the happy ending she deserves. Buuuuut… yep, a but, I would have loved to have seen her past fleshed out a bit more. She’s a really interesting character who I want to follow more of. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be getting anymore epic side stories about Alexa and Zack (at least… not yet!).

The plot itself is exciting and full of soap opera like turns. Alexa’s Dad is a bad guy, and there’s many more reveals to come. Alexa and Zack decide to ‘fake’ a relationship to not tip off any of the bad guys, but we all know how well that goes in romance novels.

On a side note: This book was easily read as a stand alone. I had no idea what happened in the past books, even though the novel hinted at them along the way, but that didn’t affect the quality of this book. As a reader, I was able to nod along and follow the plot without needing to search up the prequels. I absolutely want to read the two previous books now because this book was just so darn good!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I can easily recommend this to romance lovers who like a little action mixed in with their story.

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Looki

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Barnes & Noble

 

Check out Tara Wyatt on:
http://www.tara-wyatt.com/
Twitter – @taradwyatt

 

Looking for more romance books? Check out some others you might enjoy!
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Blood Lust by Alexandra Ivy
#BookReview The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio

Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio is a unique read that dives into the corruption of the opioid epidemic.

Through the eyes of an attorney, we see the world falling apart due to the extreme decisions about wildly corrosive medication. The opioid epidemic is a truly interesting topic to talk about in a book. Everyone knows about it yet it is somehow a very touchy topic. Almost everyone I know is aware of someone who suffers from addictions, normally due to opioids. Having a book address these issues and dive into such a sensitive topic was truly intriguing.

All Jake wants is for someone to pay for the loss of his brother, and he goes to extreme lengths to reach this goal. This book takes a unique look at the problem, through the legal side of things. The book moves fast, it has twists and turns to keep you hooked and it really makes you think. When you sue big pharma companies, life isn’t going to be easy for you. The dynamics that go on behind the scenes is wild and scary and thrilling.

I will admit that this is not my typical go to book. I like reaching out and taking chances with books that don’t fit into my normal romance, YA and children’s novel explorations. This book was a real treat! I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would if I liked this genre. I can only imagine a fan of crime thrillers getting their hands on this book because they will be totally enchanted by it. Mike has a fulfilling writing style that really makes you think.

My biggest highlight of the book was the term “Zombieland”. My city has an opioid problem and it does indeed feel like you are in Zombieland if you come across certain individuals. It’s scary, and everyone has had the same idea as Jake. If only someone would go after the big pharma companies that don’t try to help the problem. But that’s ethics and greed for you. Ethics doesn’t always win.

Overall, this book felt very real, really intense and totally brutal. It’s thrilling and addicting and deals with real problems. I truly respect Mike Papantonio for writing this book. It’s a real gem!

Four out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

Find more books by Mike Papantonio on Goodreads.

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#TopBooksList Briar’s Crime, Mystery & Thriller Reads

It’s that time again! I have created another master list of some epic reads that kept me busy throughout the past couple of years. This time around I decided to do a little crime, mystery, suspense and thrilling reads! I have a fondness for crime novels and suspense always get me hooked! This is only part one of this list since there are SO many good books out there. Let me know if you’ve read these novels, you’ve found a new book or if you have a recommendation for me! Now, time to get started!

 

1. The Darby Shaw Chronicles by Liberty Speidel
The Darby Shaw Chronicles are an excellent start to this suspenseful collection. Murder, mystery, thrills and suspense are all splashed across the pages of this NCIS/Bones inspired book. I highly recommend picking this book up if you want a bit of crime and mystery in your life, especially fictional! This series was a real joy and there’s even more books out that I haven’t picked up yet!
Goodreads – Darby Shaw
Amazon.ca – Darby Shaw #1-3
Amazon.com – Darby Shaw #1-3

 

2. Crime Seen by Kate Lines
This real life Patrol Offier and Profiler paints one epic picture of her life in this non-fiction book. If you loved Bones and Temperance Brennan, you’ll find this book so intriguing! I could barely put this book down – the realism, the insanity of real life crime and the beautiful prose all make for one great book. Kate Lines’s story is one to read! I’d definitely recommend it if you like non-fiction novels about crime.
Goodreads – Crime Seen
Amazon.ca – Crime Seen
Amazon.com – Crime Seen

 

3. The Trap by Melanie Raabe
This book was translated into English, so on top of being truly epic in English – it’s truly epic in other languages too! This book was a pinnacle read for me. This crazy, crime thriller reminded me of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s so compelling reading about a writer who had someone close to her murdered, and now she’s out for revenge. Yet, she’s a recluse… It’s a real gem and it sits on top of my FAVOURITE book pile. Seriously, it’s that good. Will Linda solve the murder of her little sister?! Read to find out!
Goodreads – The Trap
Amazon.ca – The Trap
Amazon.com – The Trap

 

4. The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin
I’m somewhat cheating with this book, because it’s honestly the whole series that had me hooked. Gary Corbin’s Mountain Man series is pure excellence! It’s thrilling and suspenseful but also lots of fun too! It’s not crazy seriously, but is epic all the same. Lehigh Carter has a dog, as the title suggests, but he gets himself into a thrilling situation full of crime, suspense and mystery. Add in a splash of romance, multiple pinches of humour and an epic trilogy and you’ve got yourself a real winner! Make sure you read all three books, because it’s absolutely worth it! The Mountain Man’s Badge and the Mountain Man’s Bride are also excellent!
Goodreads – The Mountain Man’s Dog
Amazon.ca – The Mountain Man’s Dog
Amazon.com – The Mountain Man’s Dog

 

5. Twisted Reasons by Geza Tetrallyay
This book is twisted, in a good way (of course!). This R rated series is full of insane crime, blood and gore, and intense scenes. It’s not for the light hearted! That being said, it’s a real treat if you love the more brutal side of crime and suspense in your books. Human Trafficking, Russians, crazy gangs and lots of action are all packed in this book. Be sure to pick up the sequels to finish this series off! It’s well worth the read!
Goodreads – Twisted Reasons
Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.com
Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.ca

 

6. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
No thrilling list is complete without a classic, so why not list THE classic? Murder on the Orient Express is a truly marvelous novel, and if you haven’t picked it up – are you crazy?! I read it because I watched the Johnny Depp movie, and I absolutely loved both! It’s a real crazy mystery where everything is connected and Agatha Christie drops lots of hints along the way. If you love piecing a story together as you go, pick this book up! It’s literary genius!
Goodreads – Murder on the Orient Express
Amazon.ca – Murder on the Orient Express
Amazon.com – Murder on the Orient Express

 

7. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is a dark spin on the typical crime novel. Dexter Morgan is a blood scene analyst, oh, and he’s a serial killer too! He kills only those who are bad, but he’s still a murderer. This book is really interesting to read, mostly because you’re seeing the other side of the story. You question Dexter’s morals yet you also agree with him as a reader, it’s a really mind boggling read. There’s also a television show (Dexter) but it’s not perfectly matched. Either way, I recommend both! It’s an R rated, wild ride! This book is also apart of a series, so if you want a new series to binge – read this!
Goodreads – Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Amazon.ca – Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Amazon.com – Darkly Dreaming Dexter

 

8. Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
Kathy Reichs is one of my all time favourite authors. She crafts magnificent crime stories from an anthropologist’s point of view (it helps that she was/is one!). Temperance Brennan ended up getting her own television show (Bones), but they are not totally alike. The plot line and back stories are different, but the television show is loosely based on the books. It’s a great, giant series to hop into that is more PG-13 rated (due to the deaths, but not much else). It’s knowledgeable, well written and really cool! I am still working my way through this series, but eventually I will finish! It’s a real gem that I’d highly recommend.
Goodreads – Deja Dead
Amazon.ca – Deja Dead
Amazon.com – Deja Dead

 

9. If We Had Known by Elise Juska
This book isn’t necessarily a crime book, but a suspenseful thriller. A mass shooting occurs and everyone’s lives change. This book follows the characters through survival and aftermath, and it honestly gave me chills. It’s the type of book I needed to read despite the harsh content. It’s a PG-13 rated novel, but it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The tough material is taken on so well, but it might be a bit of a trigger for some individuals. If you want a unique book that takes on serious content, this book is for you.
Goodreads – If We Had Known
Amazon.ca – If We Had Known
Amazon.com – If We Had Known

 

10. And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee
International spies, out of retirement, political thriller, and great suspense – all of these can be used to describe the final book on my life! Joni Dee crafts an epic story that reminds me of James Bond, The Man from UNCLE and Mission Impossible. It’s a truly epic read that’s fast paced, full of spies and insanity, and totally thrilling. It’s a great standalone to add to your TBR if you want lots of thrills in a PG-13 setting.
Goodreads – And The Wolf Shall Dwell
Amazon.ca – And The Wolf Shall Dwell
Amazon.com – And The Wolf Shall Dwell
Amazon.co.uk – And The Wolf Shall Dwell

 

So, how’d you make out with that list? Some new books to add to the TBR? Some old favourites? Give me a shout out and let me know what you think! Did I miss any books? There will be a part 2 coming in the future, because MAN do I love a good thrill ride!

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview The Last Straw by Ed Duncan

The Last Straw by Ed Duncan is absolutely ridiculous! In a good way, of course.

Fear not fellow reader, you don’t need to read the first book in this series to understand what’s going on in this novel. But if you want to, I totally understand why!

I started this book with low expectations (I started it around exam time and life had been already a ball of stress) and man, did I have no idea what I was in for. This book was far better than I could have expected and was worth every second. I’m almost annoyed with myself for not expecting it to be good, because it was far better than just “good”.

This thriller novel is fast paced, easy to read and never has a dull moment. It’s not too long, it has a good selection of quality characters to follow and it ends on a good note. The ending makes you feel satisfied if you don’t want to continue the series, but it also lets you know another book could be on the way (and my goodness, there better be another book and it better get in my hands ASAP, you feel me?).

Rico, a sweet guy with a “Dexter” like complex, doesn’t want to murder a teenager. When another man tries to make the hit and misses (hitting another person instead), the plot gets moving into many twists and turns. Paul and Rico’s intertwining story keeps the reader engaged and anxiously waiting to see if the killer will get justice. Along the way, a few side plots keep it interesting too!

Rico and Jean were my favourite duo in the story, but Paul, Beverly, Evelyn and the rest of the crew also have really good material to work with. I really want to read more about the mischievous pair of Rico and Jean in whatever way Ed Duncan can give us, because they are just way more interesting than the regular thriller characters I read about.

If I had to give some negatives about this book, it would be that there is some R rated content. Murders, violence and potential rape are all apart of the pages of this book but they aren’t graphic. This might limit the audience though, if the reader has triggers or isn’t into the adult book scene.

This book gets two thumbs up from me. I honestly loved this book and I didn’t want to put it down. The book helped me get out of a reading slump and actually had me annoyed that it was over so soon! Ed Duncan has a real talent and I hope he continues this series. If anything, I hope more readers find this book because it’s excellent quality. I would absolutely read more books like this in the future if I could get my hands on it.

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Find this book on: Amazon.ca & Amazon.com

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

 
More information about The Last Straw from Book Publicity Services:

The Last Straw is a thrilling crime novel by Ed Duncan. It is the second book in his Pigeon Blood Red series.

 

Synopsis:

 

It started with a run-of-the-mill carjacking.  An inner-city kid with no priors and no experience with a gun fumbled the ball, and the driver ended up dead.

 

A teenage girl witnessed the whole thing, and now a target has been placed on her back. The carjacker’s father, a notorious crime boss, is willing to move heaven and earth to prevent her from testifying, even if that means hiring a hitman to kill her.

 

Richard “Rico” Sanders, the best in the business, was his first choice for the job.  But there was a problem. He was a “killer with a conscience” and a killer with a conscience doesn’t murder teenagers.  The crime boss reluctantly turns to someone who has no such qualms, John D’Angelo. There was bad blood between him and Rico, so knowing that Rico had passed on the job, he eagerly accepted it.

 

Rico and the girls lawyer, Paul Elliott, form an uneasy alliance to try and protect her from the hitman. As the long-simmering feud between Rico and John D’Angelo reaches boiling point, bodies start to pile up in rapid succession… and old scores will be settled.

 

Praise:

“This Chicago set thriller is a pacy read, written with an edge and style… For me, this is even better than the first in the Pigeon-Blood Red series and it does work well as a stand-alone… Ed Duncan’s series will sweep up fans as it goes along.” – Crime Thriller Hound

“The Last Straw is a Hugely Satisfying Crime Novel by Ed Duncan.” – Best Thrillers

“With danger looming in every chapter, The Last Straw is an action-packed and nerve-racking read. Duncan skillfully draws the reader into a complex web of characters… A few key twists within the storyline keep the reader intrigued in this fast-paced thriller…The Last Straw is an outstanding crime thriller…” – 5 Stars, Red City Review

ED DUNCAN The Last Straw

About the Author:

Ed Duncan is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years. He currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH and is at work on the third installment in the Pigeon-Blood Red series. To learn more, go to http://eduncan.net/

 

Readers can connect with Ed on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Photos from Kelsey at Book Publicity Services.

#BookReview Gun Kiss by Khaled Talib

Gun Kiss 2

Gun Kiss is a riveting read full of action, crime and suspense!

I’m not gonna lie, this book impressed me! I hadn’t picked up a really good crime novel in a while, so reading this book was a nice change in flow. Following Blake and Goldie was a unique thrill that was well worth the time.

Goldie is an actress and Blake is a writer/crime fighter/Ethan Hunt-esque man. When a drug lord tries to steal Goldie, Blake comes to the rescue! Of course, along the way there is some romance and suspense (because you can’t get two good looking people in a room and NOT expect them to hook up).

Along the way this ex-military hunk deals with lots of high energy level action. There are hit men after him, his girl is almost always getting abducted and he just can’t seem to catch a break. Even with their bodyguards around, there are constantly bullets flying their way. Throw in trafficking, insane Russians and a famous gun and you’ve got one wild ride!

This book walked a fine line between thriller and suspenseful crime novel. I think it mixed in just a perfect amount of romance and mystery to fulfill all of my wishes for the book. There is even some history thrown into the mix just to spice it up. If anything, I feel like this book would do better in a series than as a stand alone. There were moments that I wished the book would have been split up into numerous novels because there was so many great plot lines and opportunities to take. For me, that would be my only downfall of the novel – there was so much good content it could have been a couple of books.

I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a fast-paced and fun thrill ride. It’s not a book for younger readers due to the blood shed, death, and R rated sequences sprinkled throughout the novel. I think an older teen would easily be able to pick this up (because, let’s be honest, most television now can be pretty gore-y).

Overall, this book is a smash hit in my opinion! It was fast enough to keep me hooked, it had just enough romance to make me sigh and the action felt like Mission Impossible styled fun!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author Khaled Talib.

 

You can locate this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Kobo

Barnes and Nobles

Gun Kiss

Gun Kiss 3

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads