Tag: Sharon Sala

Review: Family Sins by Sharon Sala

Posted November 3, 2016 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Family Sins by Sharon SalaReviewer: Casee
Family Sins by Sharon Sala
Series: Death Comes to Eden #1
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: October 25th 2016
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: three-stars


Felled by a cowardly shot to the back, Stanton Youngblood has just enough time before he dies to leave a single clue to his killer's identity: the word Wayne, scrawled in his own blood.

That word means everything to his widow. Leigh Youngblood was once Leigh Wayne, but she left her wealthy family behind thirty years ago when she fell in love with Stanton, a betrayal the Waynes have never forgiven. Now she publicly vows to discover which of her siblings thinks money and power are enough to cover up a murder.

Back in town to find his father's killer, prodigal son Brody finds his search for justice comes with an unexpected ray of light. He's loved Talia Champion forever, but when she said she couldn't marry him, he left town and never looked back. This time it's Talia who needs him, and it isn't in him to deny her anything.

But the killer still has a score to settle, and if that means spilling more blood—so much the better.

First thing is first. Brody is Bowie. I’m not sure how they got that one wrong in every synopsis that I looked at. So now that is out of the way.

Leigh Wayne married Stanton Youngblood against her family’s wishes and never looked back. It’s been thirty years and she hasn’t regretted a single moment. When she is working in her garden and hears a gunshot from where Stanton would be walking, her intuition kicks in and she go tearing after the sound. She finds Stanton face down in the dirt, shot in the back with the name “Wayne” scrawled in Stanton’s writing. Leigh is devastated to lose Stanton, but before she can grieve, she is going to bring her family to justice.

Calling her four boys home (three live on the mountain, one with her, and Bowie lives away from home), Leigh starts planning what she is going to do. When the constable of both towns don’t start investigating the Wayne’s, Leigh begins the investigation herself and makes a promise to the constable of her town…he better start investiating or she will and she will bring him down with her family.

The Wayne’s are your typical “nothing can touch me” family. They believe they’re above the law. They don’t know who killed Stanton, but they know that it was one of them. Still, they’re above the law. When Leigh storms their house, they all realize that they’re not off the hook. Leigh isn’t going to rest until she finds out who killed her husband in such a cowardly way.

Bowie in the meantime has moved to the head of the family. He’s also realized the love of his life, Talia, turned down his proposal seven years ago not because she didn’t want to marry him but because her father was sick. So that whole romance is going on during the suspense. It was kind of weird. Thrown in as an after thought.

Then there was a gigilo, a gay Wayne, a Wayne aunt that was sharing the gigilo, Bowie and Talia that were finding their love again, and another Wayne (maybe the killer, maybe not) that tried to kill Bowie and Talia. All sorts of shenanigans. Honestly. What resonated with me the most was Leigh’s grief. She had been with Stanton for thirty years. She couldn’t sleep in their bed without him. She could barely look at places on their property. Her grief literally reached through the pages. It was devastating.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


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Guest Review: Next of Kin by Sharon Sala

Posted January 30, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Judith’s review of Next of Kin by Sharon Sala

Beth Venable has seen too much. Witness to a major mob hit, she’s placed in protective custody until the trial. But after her third safe house is riddled with bullets, she goes off-grid to save herself. What the FBI can’t do, her kinfolk will.

The beautiful but forbidding Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky welcome Beth back, dirt roads and rustic shacks a world apart from L.A. But her homecoming—even her blissful reunion with strong, silent Ryal Walker—is made bittersweet by the fight she’s brought to the clan’s doorstep. Hidden in a remote cabin with the man she’s always wanted, Beth begins to dream of a new life: her old one. But after so long, with such dangers stalking her…impossible.

But love can distill life down to its essence: an elixir of pure hope, nerve—and the will to survive.

Bunking in with her best friend because of a gas leak at her apartment, she spent part of the night looking at the stars through her friend’s telescope. What she saw was far from heavenly: she witnessed a brutal murder, saw the face of the murderer clearly, and from that moment on, her life wasn’t worth a plug nickel. She couldn’t find safety in the “jungles and forests” of Los Angeles. Neither the LAPD or the FBI could keep her safe. So she retreated to her home territory of Rebel Ridge, Kentucky through the good graces of her uncle, a long-distance trucker who enlisted the help of his driving buddies.

This novel is the kind that keeps the reader on the edge of the chair from word one. The story is told from a “third person” perspective, mostly seeing the situation through Beth’s eyes, but from time to time the reader is made privy to the thoughts of mobster Ike Pappas and his son Adam, a young man who gradually figures out that his dad has murdered his mother. Of all the characters, even though he is a secondary one, Adam is the saddest and perhaps the one who loses the most.

My mother’s family is from Western Kentucy with roots in Tennessee and the Carolinas. There is no doubt in my mind that while the mobster successfully penetrated the safety efforts of law enforcement at both local and federal levels, he was coming up against a circle of protection made up of Beth’s family and friends that were unlike any he had ever encountered. There’s a good reason moonshiners and illegal drug operations successfully evade law enforcement when they are buried in the hills of Appalachia. Those are the same kinds of surroundings that formed the haven for Beth. But this is also a love story–one that brings lovers together after a ten year estrangement and one that was caused by others rather than their own doing. So there is that sense that in the midst of trouble and the fears of dying comes the possibility of a second chance at living. There is also the underlying truth that while Beth has spent the past ten years living in the fast-paced Southern California culture, a large part of her is still “hankering” for home in those Kentucky hills and in the embrace of her kin.

This book is beautifully written and the story never lags. The characters are crafted to be sharp and edgy, unique and colorful, and the reader really doesn’t know who are the good guys or the bad guys other than those made obvious in the text. I got the feeling throughout that no matter how often Beth seemed able to evade those seeking her death, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, wondering if this cagey and creative lady would ever be able to move on with her life. Only the best written books manage to keep up that kind of tension for the full length of the book.

I always enjoy a romance that is spiced up with suspense or the tension of the kind found here. It makes for a read that will not ever disappoint. No slow start, no dead spots, no lagging narrative, and lots of twists and turns. What could be better?

I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Mira. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Publisher Spotlight Review: Blown Away by Sharon Sala

Posted May 20, 2010 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Casee‘s review of Blown Away by Sharon Sala.

Cari North has stumbled across her ex-fiance, Lance Morgan… digging a shallow grave in the Louisiana woods. After one horrifying moment, Cari knew her life hinged upon whether she could outrun Lance and the tornado that was barrelling down on their heels. Just when she thinks she’s lost Lance, the storm throws in yet another unexpected twist.

Cari’s house, her family – her entire life – have been wiped out by the storm. Badly injured herself, and knowing Lance will come after her, she trades clothing and ID with her near-identical cousin and hides out in Baton Rouge as her cousin Susan…until Susan’s boss calls her bluff and finds himself drawn into Cari’s incredible tale. With his help, Cari can now stop running and face her tormenter.

Sharon Sala is one of those authors that I can’t give up. I have no idea why. Some of her characters say the most lame, corny things I’ve ever read. Yet I keep reading with a smile on my face. I think it’s just what I’ve come to expect from her. If there wasn’t that corny factor, she wouldn’t be an author that I love.

While out on a walk on her family’s property, Cari stumbled upon her ex-fiancée digging a grave. Lance Morgan has always been a selfish bastard, but she never would have pegged him for a killer. Cari can’t keep from voicing her horror and the chase is on. All Cari can think about is getting back home to tell her parents what she saw. All Lance can think about is stopping Cari before she ruins his life and everything he’s worked so hard for.

The storm that hits Cari’s home as she arrives is something that changes her life forever. Both her parents are dead. The cousin that she grew up with is gone as well. In minutes, her family and her home are gone and she is alone. Cari doesn’t have time to think of her loss. All she can think about is that Lance is still chasing her. When she sees that her cousin is all but unrecognizable, Cari comes up with a crazy plan to take her cousin’s identity and let everyone think that Cari North is dead.

Susan’s boss, Mike Boudreaux, is called when his employee turns up at the hospital unconscious. He knows immediately that Cari isn’t Susan. He’s about to call her on her lie when she tells him the horrifying story that brought her to the hospital. He feels like he has no choice but to offer her the protection she so desperately needs to heal.

Cari takes a few days to heal and then decides it’s time to take action against Lance. She knows that she needs to find the body that he was burying, but wonders what the likelihood of that happening is. She has Mike who believes in her.

Mike does believe in Cari and he’ll do anything in his considerable power to make sure that Lance Morgan is brought to justice and that Cari isn’t hurt. From the time that she first woke up in the hospital, he is drawn to her in a way that he was never drawn to Susan. All he has to do is convince her that they have a chance (after everything is resolved of course).

I liked this book, but it was exactly what I thought it would be. Which is okay with me.

3.75 out of 5.

This book is available from Mira. You can buy it here.

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Review: The Warrior by Sharon Sala

Posted April 16, 2009 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

John Nightwalker is a strong, rugged Native American soldier who has seen many battles. While hunting down an old enemy, he crosses paths with Alicia Ponte. On the run from her father—a powerful arms manufacturer—Alicia seeks to expose her father’s traitorous crimes of selling weapons to our enemies in Iraq. But Richard Ponte will do anything to stay below the radar…even if it means killing his own daughter.

Drawn to the mystery that surrounds Alicia, John feels compelled to protect her. Together they travel through the beautiful yet brutal Arizona desert to uncover deadly truths and bring her father to justice. But their journey is about to take an unexpected turn…one that goes deep into the past.

I loveses Sharon Sala. It doesn’t matter how corny her books are, I’ll read them. I’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly why I read everything she puts out. The Warrior is one of those books that reminds me why I like her so much.

You don’t know by reading the blurb, but this has a paranormal element. John Nightwalker swore vengeance when his tribe was murdered five hundred years ago. Swearing to “The Old Ones” (his gods, I suppose) that he wanted to live to kill the man who destroyed his life, took away not only his family, but the woman he loved. He would live until he could find the reincarnated soul of the man responsible and kill him. Five hundred years later, John has only gotten close a handful of times, only to lose him to fate.

Alicia Ponte has never been very close to her father. When she overhears him talking about selling arms to al-Queda, she is horrified. Richard Ponte is a powerful man and Alicia doesn’t know who she can bring the information to. All she knows is that she has to get out. She has no idea what her father will do to keep her quiet.

When John comes across Alicia in his hometown in Georgia, he instantly knows that she’s related to the man that killed his family. At first, he only offers to help her to get close to her father. Soon, he’s helping Alicia b/c she has no one else. Sheltered and spoiled, Alicia has no idea how to get herself in the mess that she’s in. She only knows that she trusts John Nightwalker on a fundamental level.

I’m not a big fan of reincarnation stories. A Knight in Shining Armor, anyone? I loved that book up until the end. So the only real problem I had with this book was when John realized that Alicia was his wife, White Feather, reincarnated. He vowed never to tell her, which just struck me as wrong. I guess I just have a hard time understanding how he could separate the two in his mind; because there are two very different women.

Sharon Sala has this knack for telling a story. She comes at the plot from so many sides that I can’t help but read and read and read. The Warrior is the best book I’ve read of hers in years.

4 out of 5.

This book is available from Mira. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Cut Throat by Sharon Sala

Posted November 9, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 6 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Book description:

He killed her once…

Throat slashed and left for dead next to her murdered father, a thirteen-year-old girl vows to hunt down the man who did this to them—Solomon Tutuola. Now grown, bounty hunter Cat Dupree lets nothing— or no one—stand in the way of that deadly promise.

Not even her lover, Wilson McKay.

Their sexually charged encounters leave McKay wanting more, but Cat is determined to keep her distance. She doesn’t need a man making emotional demands, not now, when revenge is near. Suspecting that Tutuola is still alive, despite witnessing the horrific explosion that should have killed him, Cat follows a dangerous money trail to Mexico, swearing not to return until she’s certain Tutuola is dead—even if it means destroying her very soul….

This has been a week of 4.0 books for me. It’s actually kind of scary.

Cut Throat is the second book (first is Nine Lives) in the series which follows the life of Bounty Hunter Cat Dupree. To say that she’s scarred inside and out is an understatement. A big one. Cat is on seriously effed up woman…with good reason. When she was a little girl, a man broke into her house and killed her father in front of her. He then slit Cat’s throat, leaving her for dead. Miraculously she survived. Since then, her mission in life has been to hunt her father’s killer down and kill him. She thought she did that in Nine Lives. She soon realizes that she was wrong.

Deciding to go after Solomon Tutuloa was a no-brainer for Cat. The revenge she has waited her whole life for is within her reach and there is nothing that will stop her from taking it. If it means pushing away her lover, Wilson MacKay, so be it.

Sharon Sala is one of those authors whose books I love for a reason I can’t name. Sala has never written a heroine like Cat Dupree. She’s an extreme hardass that has gone through life forming few attachments. She doesn’t want a happily ever after. She doesn’t want friends, she doesn’t want to want a lover. She pushes people away and is just generally unlikeable. So I was really curious how Sala was going to pull off a book with a heroine that I didn’t even like. Somehow she did it, though when I finished Nine Lives, I had no idea where she would go with Cat.

In Cut Throat, there were a series of things that happened to Cat that made her question her decisions in regard to Wilson. When she finally takes her revenge, it’s like she’s seeing the world through a different set of eyes. Suddenly she’s trying to be a person that she’s never wanted to be. That’s a rough adjustment, not only for her, but for Wilson as well. I was as incredulous as Wilson when Cat apologized for unnecessary comments. Seriously, I was like “huh?”. It would have ruined it for me if Wilson would have taken it in stride and just accepted Cat for the new and improved person she was.

So even though her values made a 180, the core of Cat was still the same. It was just the intensity in which she tried to avoid an attachment with Wilson now when the other way. She was determined to make an attachment. I think it would have made me like the book a lot less if Cat didn’t remain as fierce of a person as she was in the prior book and for the 1st half of this book.

All in all, I really recommend this series. I’m curious to see where Sala takes it next.

4 out of 5.

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