Friday, July 19, 2013

Once Wicked Always Dead by T. Marie Benchley

Synopsis from
Molly Madison’s life is shattered with the sudden death of her beloved parents and the revelation of her husband Phillip’s affair—with another man. Molly heads west to Montana, resolved to run the family ranch, the Ghost Bear, and to move on with her life. Her attraction to Clayton Leatherbe, the ranch foreman, is instant, but before a romance can blossom, the ranch falls prey to sabotage by wealthy land developers determined to drive Molly out, and Clayton learns of a family secret that could put the ranch—and Molly’s life—in jeopardy. A sharp mystery that deals with the themes of family secrets, betrayal, love, and loss, Once Wicked Always Dead is a strong debut from an author with literary blood in her veins.

My Review:
I haven't read a murder-mystery thriller in ages so thought I would try this one seeing as I've had it from Netgalley for absolutely ages. It was ok, but not great. I actually got bored of reading it about halfway through and was constantly looking at the percentage marker on my Kindle to see how much more I had to go. I hate to feel like this about books, but I managed to get through it and actually it didn't end too badly and definitely not the way I expected.

Molly's parents die in a tragic accident leaving her as the only heir to their cattle ranch in Montana, a place her husband wants her to instantly sell to aid his political career, but somewhere she feels at home and really doesn't want to lose. Then to make matters even worse, her husband's secret lover reveals their affair to Molly, and all her worries about her marriage are completely explained when Philip's lover is revealed to be his male assistant. Of course the news gets out and Philip's career and marriage is basically over. Molly runs off to the ranch, determined to make a new start.

However, this new start does not turn out at all well for Molly. There are several offers on her ranch but she doesn't want to sell - she wants to carry on her father's legacy and is determined to prove that a woman can do the job just as well as her father did. But...someone is determined to undermine her and tries several attempts to ruin her plans and the ranch. To help her cope with all the underhand tactics is Clayton Leatherbe, the ranch foreman, who catches Molly's eye, but he has a few secrets of his own and tries to help Molly with her problems, without actually telling her about them! This romance was a little aside and not really the main plot, but the last sexual scene was quite sweet even though it ended badly!

Alongside all of this is a serial killer who only kills paedophiles and abusers, but takes an interest in Molly's husband's lover as well and causes him a great deal of pain and embarrassment. Eventually it was revealed who this killer was and it wasn't who I expected at all.

The plot was actually quite good, but I felt this story lacked action. It felt quite slow and even though it was pretty obvious who was sabotaging the ranch, none of the characters really suspected him until it was a bit too late! Sloan, Philip's original lover, I thought was completely crazy and really disliked his last scene in the field. I really didn't feel it leant anything to the story at all, other than leading to his demise, which would have happened anyway! And I'm not convinced by Molly's turnaround towards her husband and his new lover. I don't believe I would have been this laid back about meeting him after finding out about his first affair and inviting him to stay with me.

Anyway I would like to thank the author and publishers for sending me this book free through Netgalley.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Seducing the Demon Huntress by Victoria Davies

Synopsis from
Trick or treat, survive until the night's complete.

For most people Halloween is a night of candy, costumes and revelry but for Kerilyn, it’s the most dangerous night of the year. Hailing from a line of demon hunters, Kerilyn’s family has long been hated by the ruling lords of the Netherworld. On All Hallow’s Eve, the deadly brothers are released from their realm, along with their subjects, the spirits and the demons. Like every good hunter, Kerilyn fortifies her home with spells and tricks to keep her safe. But there is one man no spell can protect her heart from.

Arawn, Lord of the Spirits, has appeared at her fence every Halloween for years. While the handsome lord may turn her head with his heated looks and seductive words, Kerilyn knows without a doubt that should she ever invite him in, her life would be forfeit. But when his brother, the Lord of the Demons, kidnaps her niece, Kerilyn must leave her sanctuary. Now she has a choice. Can the man she’s dreamed of for years be trusted, or will the spirit lord help his brother destroy her?

My review
I really enjoyed this short story, but my only gripe with it was that it was just a little too short, so I am hoping there will be a follow up detailing how Kerilyn and Arawn get on in the Spirit world.

Kerilyn is the last of her hunter family. She knows that Hallowe'en is not just a fun night, going out trick or treating and that instead she must stay indoors with all the jack o'lanterns lit to stop the spirits from getting to her.

Arawn is the Lord of Spirits and has visited Kerilyn for the last nine Hallowe'en nights. He is determined to get her to open her gate and invite him in, but she finds him harder and harder to ignore each year.

This year is different though. Her niece has been kidnapped by Arawn's brother, the demon king and there is no-one else who can save her. This means Kerilyn has to leave the safety of her house for the very first time on Hallowen'en night. Will Kerilyn be able to get to Sarah in time? Will Arawn help her or lead her straight to the demon king's trap? Kerilyn doesn't know whether to trust what Arawn says or not, but she knows that she is going to go down fighting either way.

This was a lovely romantic story, with a great action plot alongside it. Although Arawn showed Kerilyn exactly what he felt about her, I can completely understand her reservations about him. Will definitely be on the hunt for the next book if there is one!

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and would like to thank the author and publisher for the opportunity to read it!