Tag: Headlines Book Publishing

Review and Giveaway: Hello Again by Brenda Novak

Posted November 13, 2017 by Casee in Giveaways, Reviews | 2 Comments

Review and Giveaway: Hello Again by Brenda NovakReviewer: Casee
Hello Again by Brenda Novak
Series: The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles #2
Also in this series: Her Darkest Nightmare
Published by Headline
Publication Date: November 2nd 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

From NYT bestseller Brenda Novak comes the next installment of Dr. Evelyn Talbot and her murderous home for psychopaths in Hello Again.

SHE CAN MAKE SENSE OF A COMPLEX CRIMINAL MIND.Evelyn Talbot, a psychiatrist at a maximum-security prison in Alaska, studies some of the world's worst serial killers. But she’s about to meet her most elusive patient at Hanover House yet: Dr. Lyman Bishop, AKA the Zombie Maker given his fondness for performing ice-pick lobotomies on his victims. A brilliant cancer researcher, Bishop is either the most cunning psychopath Evelyn has ever encountered—or he is wrongly convicted.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CRIMINAL CAN SEE INTO HER OWN?When a new ice-pick fatality occurs, it seems Bishop really was wrongly convicted. Except...Evelyn has a personal connection to the victim and that suggests the killer may be someone from her own past: Jasper Moore, her high school boyfriend who tortured her and left her for dead when she was only sixteen. Jasper also murdered three of her friends—and was never caught. Is he trying to send a message with this copycat crime? The only thing Evelyn knows for sure is that if Jasper is on her trail, she might not be able to escape again . .

It took me a bit to get into the book, but not because it wasn’t good. Once I was into it, I was glad I was on a road trip and it wasn’t my turn to drive because I couldn’t stop reading. Novack really has a way of drawing you in and keeping you on the edge of your seat. The suspense is thrilling in this book, breathtaking even, when you consider the danger that Evelyn finds herself in when the book comes to an end. Evelyn studies psychopaths so she can put away the one that got away. Jasper. The one who tortured and almost killed Evelyn and murdered two of Evelyn’s friends when she was sixteen. Evelyn finds the minds of these criminals fascinating and just wants to find Jaspar so she can stop living in fear; so her parents can stop worrying about her.

It doesn’t help that she doesn’t feel like she can start a life with Amarok who she loves desperately but can’t let herself go completely with. When he leaves to go investigate what he thinks are murders committed by Jaspar, Evelyn gets a taste of what life might be like without him and it’s something that she isn’t happy with. As for Amarok, he’s all in with Evelyn and if it means hunting Jaspar down himself, he is willing to do that. He will even go to the parents who helped him escape.

Meanwhile back home, Evelyn is dealing with the killer dubbed the “Zombie Maker”. Dr. Lyman Bishop was the last person anyone ever expected to be the Zombie Maker but they found the panties of the victims in his house. Evelyn isn’t sure of his guilt. At first. Then she sees the killer behind that facade he presents to the world and she knows he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be. Too bad it comes to light that the police planted evidence in the case and Lyman Bishop is about to be released. Evelyn is in a race against the clock to get Bishop’s sister out of his care, something that he has sworn he will retaliate against her for if she’s successful at. Evelyn isn’t someone that will give up and leaving someone to be victimized is unheard of for her.

I really enjoyed this book. Even enjoyed it more than Her Darkest Nightmare. It was more than just a criminal getting even with Evelyn because she was his doctor. It was matching wits against wits. Evelyn doesn’t apologize to anyone for who she is. When Amarok’s old flame comes into town and they come face to face, Evelyn holds her ground and it is divine. I didn’t care for the woman and how she came onto Amarok at all. I actually lost a bit of respect for Amarok during the exchange. Evelyn is a kick ass heroine, a survivor. And she will have plenty to survive during the next book because Jaspar is back.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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four-stars


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Review: Two’s Company by Jill Mansell.

Posted September 7, 2010 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments


Main Characters: Jack and Cass Mandeville and their kids (Cleo, Sean and Sophie)
Series: None

Celebrity couple Jack and Cass Mandeville seem to have it all—good looks, successful careers, a great marriage. Their children are also incredibly talented: stunning Cleo is a top model, devilishly handsome Sean a hot young comedian, and although sixteen-year-old Sophie hides her looks under big glasses and baggy clothes, everyone can see there’s a beautiful swan dying to emerge. In the eyes of the nation’s press, the Mandevilles can do no wrong. Until a gorgeous redhead called Imogen turns up to interview Jack and Cass on the morning that Jack hits the big Four-O. And the fabulous Mandevilles find they’re not so perfect after all…

I wanted to like this book, I really did but sometimes a book comes across my hands that I want to throw across the room and this was one of them. I don’t think there was another book besides Eclipse that moved me to want to slap a monkey the way that this book did.

This book pissed me off and when I say pissed off, it affected my mood for the entire day. If I wake up early in the morning (something that hasn’t happened all that often), I usually pick up the book that I’m reading or going to start and start reading for about a half hour and one morning, I picked this book up and started it.

It started off splendidly.

Right off the bat, I adored both Jack and Cass. I was interested in getting to know their kids and I was interested in getting to know more about the both of them. The book starts off on the morning of Jack’s 40th birthday. Jack and Cass are childhood sweethearts (well they got together in their teens) who are happily married with three kids. They’re madly in love with each other and instead of their relationship making me want to roll my eyes down the street, I thought it was sweet.

Jack wants breakfast but Cass has an interview set up for one of those Hi! Magazines and she wants Jack to participate in it…only Jack is like, HELL NO! So Cass goes off to do the interview herself down in the kitchen with Imogen, leaving Jack upstairs to wait for his breakfast. When Jack comes downstairs, Cass is still with the young reporter and when she tries to get Jack to engage in the interview, Jack isn’t about it so he grumpily heads out to play some British sport. Squash? I don’t remember. Anyway, Cass was a little embarrassed and swore to Imogen that Jack wasn’t a horrible beast and to prove it to her, Cass invites Imogen (whom she has hit it off with) to Jack’s birthday party that same night and Imogen accepts.

And then the story just falls afreakingpart for me.

I’m a romance reader at heart so a happy ending is what I’m all about. I’m also a reader who has certain things that I hate reading about. Infidelity is one of them and in this story, Jack, who was mad for his wife has a freaking affair. If it was one of those drunken affairs that he instantly regretted then I could probably have forgiven him that but it wasn’t. He knowingly walks into this affair and in that moment, I hated him. He may not have been the one to instigate the affair but he was tempted and he went behind his wife’s back and had the affair anyway.

The thing that made me hate him more than anything was this part:

They would have to be ultra-careful, he decided, that was all. Fate was already lending a hand, having supplied a door which led from the back of Imogen’s (the reporter) drive-in garage up to the flat above. This meant he would be able to enter and leave the flat without being spied on by nosy neighbors. They might not be able to go out and about much but at lest they had a safe house. Other people in his situation managed it anyway; look how often you heard about some respectable married media personality or politician suddenly announcing that he had been involved with another woman for the past six or seven years.

If they can do it, Jack decided, comforted by the thought, so could he.

This part was what stayed with me after I had to put the book down and get ready for work. So as I was getting ready to take a shower, my thoughts stayed on this book. I felt like Jack cheated on me because my heart was broken. I thought about the book while I was getting ready and on my way to work, the book was sitting on my passenger seat, staring at me and as each mile passed, I started getting good and pissed. By the time I got to work, I was steaming mad. I had to read more so I did and it became like a sickness, an addiction thats bad for me because the more I read, the more pissed off I became and yet…I couldn’t stay away from the book.

I emailed both Ames and Izzy while I was reading the book, telling them how pissed off I was and how I wanted to smack a monkey (poor monkey) because the book that I was reading has made me so mad. I was in a bad mood and I couldn’t believe how mad I was over fictional characters. I couldn’t concentrate on work because as I finished it, I could not freaking believe that they got back together. A lot of crap went down before they did but what made me mad was how Jack went back and forth between both women. Ugh, he just pissed me off.

Then there was Sean’s story and then Cleo and while I didn’t hate them as much as I hated their Dad, I didn’t really care for them either. Sean’s just as bad as his Dad but he’s got youth’s stupidity in his corner but I wanted to bean him in the head more than a couple of times. Cleo’s a cynical young woman who was just pretty blah to me.

Overall, Jill Mansell did a FANTASTIC job of keeping me turning the pages, I could not stay away from this book even though I tried many times. I had to know what happened and when I found everything out, all I did was get pissed off. The whole thing with Sophie and what brought Jack and Cass back together again felt rushed and forced to me so it just made me stew in my annoyance.

Did I enjoy this book? Yeah, at the very beginning but then it just went downhill for me. There was a couple of times that I had to check the cover to make sure I was reading a Jill Mansell because man, I LOVE THIS WOMAN but this book just did not work for me at all. It happens sometimes, it happened with me and Julie Garwood with Gentle Warrior. LOVE the author, hated that book. So, these things happen.

Ugh.

Buy the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon|The Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com


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Review: Falling for You by Jill Mansell.

Posted August 26, 2010 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments


Main Characters: Maddie Harvey, Kerr McKinnon,
Series: None

It’s a disastrous thing to do… falling for you|Maddy Harvey was a bit of an ugly duckling as a teenager, what with her NHS specs, unfortunate hair and wonky teeth. Thankfully she’s blossomed since then. But when she meets Kerr McKinnon one starry summer’s night and discovers, days later, who he actually is…well, that’s when the problems really start. Because everyone in Ashcombe knows what happened eleven years ago, and as far as her mother’s concerned, Marcella would rather tear that family to pieces with her bare hands than see Maddy associate with a McKinnon. It’s Romeo and Juliet all over again. Quick, hide those sharp knives and that little bottle of poison…|Jill Mansell worked for many years at the Burden Neurological Hospital, Bristol, and now writes full time. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol. Jill is the author of many bestselling novels with Headline and appears regularly in the Guardian Top One Hundred list.

This is the third book by Jill Mansell that I’ve read and to say that I’m kind of on a roll here is probably putting it mildly. My friend Theresa gave me TWO Jill Mansell books and I was so dang happy that I did a quick happy jig right inside her room and then I couldn’t wait to get home to tell my other friend, Haven all about my new books because both Haven and I love the heck out of Jill Mansell.

Every time I read a Mansell book, I laugh because when someone says, “BLIMEY” or “BLOODY HELL” I can hear in my head, my friend Haven saying it. We’ve sort of adopted the British sayings into our vocabularies and for some reason, it cracks me up every time.

But anyway, on with the review. This is a modern day Romeo and Juliet tale where we have our fair heroine, Maddy Harvey and our swoon worthy hero Kerr, meeting and falling in love without really knowing what’s what. You see, they meet while Maddy only has one contact in her eye and also at night time. Kerr doesn’t recognized because our fair Maddy was quite the ugly duckling when they were younger but she’s grown into a beautiful swan over the years and when they meet again in the day light hours, they realize who they are and that a match between them could never happen because Maddy’s mother HATES Kerr’s family with everything inside her and Kerr knows exactly why.

Over time, Maddy and Kerr try unsuccessfully to stay away from each other but they’re in love and before Maddy knows whats what, they’re trying their hand at a relationship, hoping that it will fizzle out but when that doesn’t happen, they decide to keep their love a secret from everyone in their world.

Only we all know what happens with secrets? They always have a way of coming out and when it does, Maddy does what every daughter does when faced with a loved ones hurt feelings.

She lets Kerr go for good, even though it hurts her.

*sigh*

The thing that bothered me about this book was how fiercely Marcella hated the McKinnon and while she had ample reasons to hate them, I thought it was pretty unfair to both Kerr and to Maddy. Kerr wasn’t responsible for what happened that night so long ago and Maddy was in love. It wasn’t just a passing fancy for her, it was real and it was true and Marcella made her give it up and because Maddy loved her mother and didn’t want any complications at her doorstep, she walked away from the best thing that ever happened to her.

For her love for her family.

That Marcella would let Maddy make that kind of sacrifice and make Maddy feel like she betrayed her family pissed me to high heaven because I would NEVER do that to Brenna. NEVER. You can’t help who you fall in love with Maddy tried to stay away from Kerr but the heart wants what it wants and I cannot believe the sainted Marcella would put the sins of one person onto another person’s back.

Pissed me right off.

I understand completely hating the brother for what he did and for hating the mother for what you thought she said but I don’t understand hating a young boy who had nothing to do with the accident and just had the misfortune of being related to the people at blame. When I was about 11 years old, my brother Seko was shot and I went to school with people who knew the guy who shot my brother. I knew of the shooters family members but never once did I think to hate them for what their brother did to my brother. My brother may not have died but he’ll never walk again because of what the shooter did but I never blamed his family because he was of age where he knew what he was doing and he did it anyway.

The other thing that bothered me was how little page time Maddy and Kerr actually got. There’s a huge chunk in the middle where we get nothing from Maddy and Kerr, well actually from Kerr because all we got from Maddy was how sad she was and how she wasn’t eating anything and we got that much because the secondary stories were from the people in her life.

I hated that Marcella could go on and be happy with her man and Jake could go on and be happy with the woman that he loved but Maddy had to give up her love because she fell in love with a boy from that family.

Even though I had major issues with all of that, I still ended up liking the book. I enjoyed getting to know the other characters in the story from Jake, Sophie and Juliette and her son (I forget his name), I also enjoyed watching Kate thaw into a good person but the whole who’s Juliette’s baby daddy thing was a bit much for me but still, overall this was a good read. The way that Marcella finally comes to accept Kerr in Maddy’s life happened so quickly that it came off feeling a bit forced and rush but alls well that ends well. It’s not my favorite Jill Mansell but it was still enjoyable.

I could have done with more Maddy and Kerr in this book but overall, not bad.

Buy the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com


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