Genre: Mystery

Review: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Posted December 10, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini SinghReviewer: Rowena
A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: December 3, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »

Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh welcomes you to a remote town on the edge of the world where even the blinding brightness of the sun can’t mask the darkness that lies deep within a killer…

On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; the children, more than schoolmates.   That is until one fateful summer—and several vanished bodies—shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that’s left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement not to look back. But they can’t run from the past forever.   Eight years later, a beautiful young woman disappears without a trace, and the residents of Golden Cove wonder if their home shelters something far more dangerous than an unforgiving landscape.   It’s not long before the dark past collides with the haunting present and deadly secrets come to light.

Nalini Singh has written a thriller novel and I didn’t think I’d be interested in that kind of thing since I read almost strictly romance but Nalini Singh is such a good writer that I couldn’t help myself. I had to check this one out and though there were parts that were a little slow for me, I still had a good time reading this one. Nalini Singh tells a story so well, that I could almost feel the coastal breeze on my face and see everything so clearly even though I’ve never been to New Zealand before.

Golden Cove, a coastal village on the west side of New Zealand was home to Anahera before she fled for London, swearing to never return. Eight years later, Anahera is back in Golden Cove to try to heal from the death of her husband and the ghosts that haunted her before, return when a girl she knew as a child, who is now a young woman disappears and the old hurts and scares of the past return with a vengeance. The residents of Golden Cove have always been more than neighbors. They’re a family in the small village and this time Anahera is older and she won’t just sit aside while bad things happen to her family. With the help of Will, the town’s only police presence, Anahera starts to investigate the disappearance of Miriama. The more the two of them dig into their investigation, the more shit starts popping up. You’d think that because this is a Nalini Singh book that there would be a romance between the out of town cop and the newly returned Anahera but this book wasn’t a romance. It wasn’t romantic suspense. It was a straight-up suspense novel and while I missed a central romantic plot, overall, I still enjoyed this one.

The beginning was really slow because we’re getting the set up of the story and it’s not a happy go lucky kind of story. There’s a history that is dark and it’s hard but the more that I kept reading, the more that I started to understand, the more I appreciated the slow start. Nalini Singh does a great job of making the small town of Golden Cove a character that was just as important as the good guys and the bad guys. When all was said and done, I appreciated her efforts but if I’m honest, I much prefer her paranormal romances. That’s more of a preference than anything else. Nalini Singh is good at whatever she decides to write. She can write her ass off and this book proves that. She does romance extremely well and with this book, she really does her thing. I think with a couple of more books under her belt in this genre, she’s going to be another force in the suspense, mystery and thriller worlds. She’s legit.

Final Grade

3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Posted December 4, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini SinghReviewer: Tracy
A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: December 3, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third

Genres: Mystery
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh welcomes you to a remote town on the edge of the world where even the blinding brightness of the sun can’t mask the darkness that lies deep within a killer…

On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; the children, more than schoolmates.

That is until one fateful summer—and several vanished bodies—shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that’s left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement not to look back. But they can’t run from the past forever.

Eight years later, a beautiful young woman disappears without a trace, and the residents of Golden Cove wonder if their home shelters something far more dangerous than an unforgiving landscape.   It’s not long before the dark past collides with the haunting present and deadly secrets come to light.

Anahera returns to Golden Cove in her home country of New Zealand to hide away. Her husband died seven months earlier and she was devastated. That is, until she returned home and found his pregnant mistress in her house. Trying to deal with his death, as well as his betrayal, was too much for her and she needed to get out of London and go home.

There are a lot of people in her hometown that she knows and grew up with as well as some newbies. There are also a lot of painful memories in this town for Anahera, but also some wonderful ones of her mother.

Unfortunately Anahera’s quest for solitude is disrupted when a young woman goes missing. Anahera ends up helping the new constable, Will, in trying to locate the girl – along with the rest of the town. As Anahera and Will work together they become find an affinity between them. Their true focus, however, is on what happened to Miriama, and how her disappearance might have something to do with 3 female hikers that went missing 15 years earlier.

I absolutely love Nalini Singh’s romances so I was pretty excited when I realized that she had written this mystery. The main focus of this book is the disappearance of the girl and finding out exactly what happened to her, but Singh does manage to throw in a smidgen of romance, which I appreciated.

Singh does an great job with her character development, her descriptions of New Zealand and of course her writing. It definitely kept me reading and anxious to find out what was going to happen, but unfortunately I had figured out whodunnit pretty early in the book. I was surprised by some of the details but not by the culprit.

While I enjoyed the writing, the story didn’t blow me away. I liked that Anahera and Will were flawed people, and I was happy that they found each other – unfortunately they still kind of fell flat for me. I didn’t really connect with either one of them and that was disappointing.

Overall a decent read that’s well written.

Rating 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan

Posted August 14, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Scent of Murder by Kylie LoganReviewer: Tracy
The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan
Series: Jazz Ramsey #1
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third

Genres: Mystery
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs.

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.

This is the first book in a new series.  This was also a new-to-me author, so I was excited to see if I found a new go-to.  Unfortunately, I didn’t.

The Scent of Murder starts out with cadaver dog and its handler, Jazz, finding a dead body.  Jazz recognizes the girl as she attended the catholic school where Jazz runs the school office.  Because of this connection, Jazz is determined to find out how the girl died.

Jazz decides to go off on her own to investigate and frankly this never really works for me.  Reading the blurb it says she’s sucked into the investigation. I assumed it was because of her old lover and the fact she found the body – not so.  She becomes Sherlock Holmes but not as smart or interesting.

The story didn’t have much to do with cadaver dogs on the whole, but I found the dogs more interesting than the characters. Jazz was mainly the focus in the books – her trying to find out who killed the girl and what the dead girl had been up to since graduating from the catholic school (nothing good).

Th whole thing with her ex-boyfriend, Nick, was…confusing and a bit ridiculous.  We were told they were ex’s and that scheduling and communication were their downfall.  That’s nice, but it wasn’t explained further.  Jazz seems to dislike Nick intensely for whatever part he played in them fizzling out.  Of course then he shows up on her doorstep asking to meet her for coffee and she agrees.  What?  Then they agree to meet once a week but then keep cancelling and actually never meet again.  Then Nick shows up on her door, randomly once again, and gives her a new puppy to train as a cadaver dog.  It was just so bizarre!  I can only assume that Nick was included because that relationship will go somewhere in subsequent books.  I won’t be reading those to find out.

The characters in this story were flat and uninteresting.  The mystery around the dead girl was interesting and I wanted to find out what was up with her, so I kept reading.  I can’t say I’d recommend the book even with a very generous 3 stars.  I can think of a lot of different books that are much more captivating than this one.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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What Are You Reading? (+ Julia Chapman Giveaway)

Posted July 12, 2019 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 6 Comments

Casee: I’ve done quite a bit of Kristen Ashley reading/listening this month. KA just does it for me. I wasn’t too excited to listen to one of her audiobooks because they are so long, but I am so glad I did. Complicated was amazing on audio. I loved it. I also read Fire Inside and Walk Through Fire from KA’s Chaos series. I’m currently reading Wild Like the Wind by Kristen Ashley. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I’m not a fan of the heroine so far.

I’m listening to Hard Sell by Lauren Layne. I didn’t think I would really care for this book because I didn’t like the characters in the first book of the series. It has been surprisingly good.

Holly: I did a lot of re-reading this week. I read Wildest Dreams, Fantastical and Midnight Soul by Kristen Ashley. I listened to How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper. The ebook was on sale with the audio addition, so I bought it. Then I had to listen to it again. Jonathan Davis isn’t my favorite male narrator, but I love Amanda Ronconi.

For new-to-me books, I listened to Mister O by Lauren Blakely. It was a cute Best Friend’s Sister romance. I’m taking a break from Blakely now so I don’t burn out. I read Untamed Delights by Suzanne Wright, the final book in the Phoenix Pack series. I’m sad to see it come to an end. I read Wait No More by Stephanie Nicole Norris, an Amazon rec. I liked the base romance, but the plot frustrated me some. Still, I’ll look for more of her books in the future. I also read The Whole 30: The Official 30-day Guide To Total Health And Food Freedom by Melissa Hartwig. It was an interesting read.

Rowena: I only read a couple of books this week but both books were quality reads and I’m very happy with both of them. I read Wolf Rain (Psy-Changeling Trinity #3) by Nalini Singh and I read Lauren Layne’s new release The Prenup. I really enjoyed Wolf Rain but I FLIPPIN’ LOVED THE PRENUP! I didn’t know what to expect because I kept hearing that Lauren Layne was going away from her steamy romances and because I LOVE her steamy romances, I was a little hesitant to start this one but I shouldn’t have worried because Lauren Layne delivered another emotional roller coaster of a romance that didn’t suffer any without the sex scenes, IMO. I enjoyed it so much that I cried. It was so stinkin’ good.

Now, I’m reading Beginner’s Luck (Chance of a Lifetime #1) by Kate Clayborne and I’ll probably listen to Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson for some buddy reads before I jump into my review pile for the month. Wish me luck!

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Julia Chapman Giveaway)Date with Malice by Julia Chapman
Series: The Dales Detective #2
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: October 19, 2017
Format: Print
Source: Publisher

Genres: Mystery
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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"It’s dark in the Dales this winter . . .

When Mrs Shepherd arrives at the Dales Detective Agency on a December morning, quite convinced that someone is trying to kill her, Samson O’Brien dismisses her fears as the ramblings of a confused elderly lady. But after a series of disturbing incidents at Fellside Court retirement home, he begins to wonder if there is something to her claims after all . . .

With Christmas around the corner, Samson is thrown into a complex investigation. One that will require him to regain the trust of the Dales community he turned his back on so long ago. Faced with no choice, he enlists the help of a local – the tempestuous Delilah Metcalfe.

Against the backdrop of a Yorkshire winter, Samson and Delilah must work together once again if they are to uncover the malevolence threatening the elderly residents of Bruncliffe. Could the danger be perilously close to home?"

What Are You Reading: Date with Malice by Julia Chapman

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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What Are You Reading? (+ Iris Johansen Giveaway)

Posted July 13, 2018 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 5 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I’m deep into the Summer Reading Challenge. Okay, I’m about halfway through the first book in my challenge. I’m reading The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen. Surprisingly enough, the first person writing isn’t bothering me at all. Maybe I’m over my aversion to FP? So what do I think of the book? It’s about two college kids and that is not my cuppa. It’s hitting a little too close to home with my own kid going away to college in 32 days. Plus there are some things in the book that are bothering me. I make sure to let Holly know every single thing. She did enough bitching sharing while she was reading Raphael by D.B. Reynolds, it’s only right that I return the favor.

I just received an early review of Cross Breed by Lora Leigh and I really want to quit this book to read it. But I’m in it until the bitter end. I’m on vacation next week and I plan on getting a lot of reading done. I can’t wait.

Holly: I finished my reread of Cry No More by Linda Howard. That book, man. So many feels. I also read Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews. I loved parts of it, but I wasn’t as satisfied at the end as I’d hoped I’d be since it’s the end of the series.

I’m officially on vacation now, so I hope to have more reading time. Wish me luck.

Rowena: I read a couple of books this week despite getting really bad news about one of my good friends. I seem to be losing myself in books even though I am deeply saddened by my real life right now. I finished The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely and thought it was a cute read even though their fake romance never felt fake. After that, I read Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison and didn’t get the story that I thought I would get and even though there were slow parts to that book, I’m glad that I finished it.

Now, I’m reading A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole but I’m not that far into it so I can’t tell if I’m loving it or not. I like what I’ve read so far so I’m hopeful that I will love it. After this, I plan on reading Untamed by Pamela Clare to continue my Summer Reading Challenge. I also plan on reading Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs for my buddy review with Holly.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Iris Johansen Giveaway)Look Behind You (Kendra Michaels, #5) by Iris Johansen, Roy Johansen
Series: Kendra Michaels #5
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Point-of-View: Third

Genres: Mystery
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

A serial killer is on the loose in San Diego, and he has a most unusual M.O.: With each kill, he leaves behind objects with unclear meanings. Most of the recent killings are centered near Kendra Michaels’ home and office, so it comes as no great surprise when the FBI shows up at her door. The investigators soon make a startling discovery: the left-behind objects are actually souvenirs of other unsolved serial murder cases in various U.S. cities. And the new cases feature “holdback” characteristics of the other murders unknown to the general public. Kendra realizes that the killer has come to challenge and taunt her. The investigators become his newest targets, even as Kendra slowly begins to suspect that one of them may be the killer himself. She must find the killer as the body count rises, and to do so she relies on her own ”dream team” of agent-for-hire Adam Lynch and private investigator Jessie Mercado. They must risk everything to defeat a psychopath whose terrifying plan is years in the making.

 
 
 
 
 

What Are You Reading: Look Behind You

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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