Tag: Donnell Ann Bell

What I Read Last Week

Posted January 30, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 7 Comments

Well it was a quiet week at my house for most of the week. Echo the kitty is doing well. She’s just as adorable and lovable as she was when we first brought her home. I’ve never been a cat person but I just love her to pieces. Of course I’m not in charge of changing her litter box so that makes me love her even more. lol
Sunday morning we did get word that my husband’s father had suffered a stroke. He’s 73 but really a strong healthy man. He apparently had a small brain bleed that caused the stroke but they got him to the hospital quickly and he’s doing really well. Yesterday when we travelled to see him he was just as much as a smart ass as he usually is which really put our minds at ease. 🙂 From what I understand he’ll be out of ICU soon and then home some time this week. He’s excited to get home as he can’t get any sleep in the hospital and it’s making him crazy, the poor guy. My hubby’s dealing with the situation really well which puts my mind at ease. He’s a pretty easy-going guy (he’d have to be to stay married to me all this time) and doesn’t get anxious about stuff so that’s good.
So what did I read this week?
First up was a really great romantic suspense book called The Past Came Hunting by Donnell Ann Bell. This was the story of Melanie who, when she was 17, got a ride from someone she thought was a good Samaritan. He ended up being a murderer and she was caught in the middle, thought a conspirator and sent to prison. Now it’s 15 years later and she moves to a different city – right next to the office who arrested her 15 years ago – Joe. Not only do we have the romance brewing in this story but the murderer who’s getting out of prison and his vendetta against the woman. You can read my review here if you’d like. 4.5 out of 5
Next up was The Devil of Jedburgh by Claire Robyns. This medieval romance was about a man who was looking for a woman to bear him children. He contracts with a father to marry his daughter because the man has 12 strapping sons and 1 daughter – he figures she’ll be as fertile as her mother. When he sees her, however, and she’s just a little bitty thing he knows that she can’t provide him with the heirs he needs. They handfast and of course don’t PLAN on falling in love, but they do. They argue horribly and are both stubborn arses but it was a good book and well worth the read. 4.25 out of 5 (I posted my review for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when that goes up.)
Blank Slate Kate by Heather Wardell was the story of a woman, aged 32, who wakes up one morning in a strange bed and can’t remember the previous 15 years. She thinks she’s 17 but soon learns the truth. The story told of her dealing with life, accepting that she may never get her memories back and finding her family. It was good book and very interesting. Told in the first person present tense the story won’t be for everyone but it worked for me. 4 out of 5 (This was for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when my review posts)
Permanently Legless by JL Merrow was the only m/m book I read this week (I know!) but it was a good one. The story was very short so we don’t get to know the characters all that well but it was very sweet and touching. The story was about a soldier who goes off to war and comes back legless. He runs into a guy that he hooked up with prior to leaving and though he believes the guy won’t have anything to do with him he’s wrong, wrong, wrong. 4 out of 5
Secrets of a Lost Summer by Carla Neggers was my next read. This was the story of Olivia who quits her job in Boston and moves to her hometown to open a destination/retreat location. She meets the owner of the house next door and they not only hit it off but they discover a mystery as well. A very good book that I really enjoyed reading. You can read my review here. 4 out of 5
Next was Matched by Ally Condie – my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read. This is a YA futuristic/dystopian novel about Cassia, a girl who gets “Matched”. This means that the person that she matches with is her almost perfect match and they will have nearly perfect children together. The boy she matches with is her best friend Xander – which is highly unusual – but she’s thrilled. Except when she puts the microcard in to view his data (which she knows most of) she sees another face flash across the screen – Ky. She starts to think about Ky and spend more time with him – and they fall in love. But Ky is what is called an Aberration and he can’t be matched with anyone – even if The Society would let them choose their own matches. The book goes on with the somewhat love triangle between Ky, Cassia and Xander but there’s a ton of stuff going on and eventually the Ky and Cassia get separated. It was a really good book from about the second half til the end but I have to say that the first half almost made me stop reading. There was SO much description of the world and the kids’ thoughts that I was almost begging for dialogue! As I said though the book got really good in the second half and kept me turning pages. 3.5 out of 5
My last book of the week was the sequel to Matched and it was called Crossed by Ally Condie. The story picks up a few months after book 1 ended and each character is trying to deal with the cards they’ve been dealt. Cassia is in a work camp and is trying desperately to find where Ky was taken. Xander is still considered her Match and visits her but she’s very intent on finding Ky. She eventually finds him but when they learn more about each other and the possible rebellion going on against The Society they find that they may not want the same things out of life. It was an good book but it had a slower pace than the first one. Ky and Cassia are already in love but their trying to deal with what their future will look like and how they can possibly be together. The triangle with Xander, we think for the most part, is pretty much decided in Ky’s favor but the author throws us for a loop right at the end of the story. No real decisions were made and we’re left hanging a bit and for me it was really frustrating…probably because I can’t decide if either of the boys are workth fighting for. lol 3.5 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

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Review: The Past Came Hunting by Donnell Ann Bell

Posted January 27, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Fifteen years ago a young Colorado Springs police officer arrested a teen runaway accused of aiding a convenience store robbery and attempted murder. She was innocent, but still served prison time briefly. Her testimony sent the real thief to jail for much longer. Now she’s a young widow raising a son, and the man she put in prison is free and seeking revenge. 

She moves to a home in a new neighborhood—then learns that her next-door neighbor is the by-the-book officer who arrested her. Now he’s a Colorado Springs P.D. Lieutenant. Like it or not, he may be the only one who can protect her and her son from the past he helped create
When Melanie was 17 years old she ran away from home. After a harrowing experience with an old trucker she accepted a ride from what she thought was a just a good looking guy. He’s nice enough until the next morning when they stop at a convenience store and while she’s in the bathroom the guy, Drake Maxwell, tries to rob and murder the store clerk. Melanie tries to save the clerk but in doing so makes it impossible for her to get away from the scene of the crime in time to save herself. Since she was on dope at the time the cops believe that she was complicit in the robbery and attempted murder. She receives 5 years with a plea bargain but only serves 9 months. Part of her plea is to testify again Drake Maxwell. He gets 15 years in prison and makes no secret about the fact that he will come for Melanie when he gets out.
Now it’s 15 years later and Melanie is a hard-working mom who just wants a normal life. Her husband has died and she’s moved to another city to try and hide herself from Maxwell when he gets out of prison. Little does she know that when she finally meets her next door neighbor and father of the boy that her son Luke has become so attached, she finds that he is none other than the man who arrested her 15 years ago. Neither of them want their children around the other but soon find that ending the boys’ friendship is impossible.
Joe looks further into Melanie’s background from when she was released from prison and Melanie is pissed. Joe states that he did it strictly to find out if he should be worried about his son spending so much time at her house but he’s really quite intrigued by Melanie. She is absolutely nothing like what he’s thought her to be all these years and he finds himself not only wanting to get to know her better but being incredibly attracted to the beautiful woman.
Melanie wants nothing to do with Joe except to keep their kids friends. Her son lost his father and he had been so happy since they’d moved and he’d formed the friendship with Matt. She wants nothing to ruin his happiness. She starts to view Joe in a completely different light and after getting to know the man realizes that he’s not who she thought all these years. Once the barriers between the two come down they can’t seem to keep away from each other but there are more obstacles in their way – especially Joe’s job and how the higher ups feel about Joe the Lieutenant being with Melanie the ex-con.
Throughout the story we also get to see things from Drake Maxwell’s pov and follow him as he gets out of prison. The choices that he makes and the personality that comes from the man truly shows the psychotic human that Drake truly is. He’s making plans for Melanie, among many others, and he won’t stop until she’s pays.
I have to say that I really like romantic suspense stories when I read them – but I’m not normally drawn to them all that much so read them rarely. I’m so happy that I picked this one up and decided to read it. The book had such a feel of reality to it that I really felt like the characters were living the events as they happened.
As I had said before Melanie was a hard-working mom and had been for quite a while. She’d not had an easy life either before or after she met Drake Maxwell but she’d really made a good life for herself. She had some crazy events happen to her even before Drake came back but she managed to get through them – mostly with Joe’s help.
Joe was just a great guy. He was a good cop and though his family had been torn apart by divorce he really tried to make the most of the time he had with his son. Yes, he could have spent more time with his boy but with his job calling him away as often as it did it was difficult. Luckily his son knew that he loved him and dealt with the separations as they came.
Joe and Melanie had some really tough times trying to deal with their lives and how those lives intertwined. I thought that the couple really tried to do what was best for everyone and in the end it worked out – with a little help from an unlikely source.
If you like a good romance with a lot of suspense built in then this book is not to be missed. Just a really great book that’s definitely worth reading.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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