Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TO CATCH A VAMPIRE: A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation - Jennifer Harlow

Beatrice Alexander, telekinetic special agent, is still adjusting to life among the F.R.E.A.K.S. while wiping out zombies and other supernatural threats. When Bea learns about her “special assignment” investigating a series of human disappearances with Oliver Montrose, her gorgeous but annoying vampire co-worker, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover. Disguised as a married couple, they infiltrate the gothic vamp scene in Dallas. While sniffing out clues, Oliver’s convincing public—and not so public—displays of affection have Bea swooning in her bustier and fishnets. Between contending with her fake husband’s ex-lover Marianna and feeling guilty for hiding the mission from her werewolf crush Will, Bea discovers she’s not the only F.R.E.A.K. keeping secrets. Clubbing with the undead turns bloody when Oliver’s old enemy, the Lord of Dallas, decides to seek his revenge. Caught in the crossfire, Bea is up to her neck in blood-sucking trouble.
I wish Jennifer Harlow was one of those prolific writers or wrote faster or I'd found out about her after she had a bunch of books, especially in this series, so I could have a bunch of them on hand.
Maybe by not having so many out there, each one is that much better for it. I adore this series and there are only two, so far, in the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation series.
First one, MIND OVER MONSTERS, was superb from the very first page. I loved meeting and getting to know Beatrice Alexander and watching her come to grips with her abilities and her new life with the Squad.
Now Bea has been fighting the good fight against supernatural beings for a few months. First book was zombies, this book is vampires in Texas. And she has to go undercover with Oliver, the vampire working with F.R.E.A.K.S. He has been after Bea since meeting and she has been spurning his advances. Oliver reminds me of Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer in his dangerous humor. He does seem to truly care for Bea, but Bea has her heart set on werewolf Will.
Absolutely fun to read, fabulously written and I want Jennifer Harlow to write more and a bit faster....pretty please? More Bea, Will, Oliver and the rest of the F.R.E.A.K.S.!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

THE TAKEN: Celestial Blues Book One - Vicki Pettersson

Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was back when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Fifty years later, he's an angel, but that doesn't make him a saint. One small mistake has altered fate, and now he's been dumped back onto the mortal mudflat to collect another soul—Katherine "Kit" Craig, a journalist whose latest investigation is about to get her clipped.
Bucking heavenly orders, Grif refuses to let the sable-haired siren come to harm. Besides, protecting her offers a chance to solve the mystery of his own unsolved murder—and dole out some overdue payback for the death of his beloved wife, Evie.
Joining forces, Kit and Grif's search for answers leads beyond the blinding lights of the Strip into the dark heart of an evil conspiracy. But a ruthless killer determined to destroy them isn't Grif's biggest threat. His growing attraction to Kit could cost them both their lives, along with the answer to the haunting question of his long afterlife . . .
I have been on a streak of finding superb books to dive into. THE TAKEN was definitely one of them. A nifty premise with the angel hierarchy as the backbone.
Griffin Shaw is an angel, one of the lower of the totem pole. He collects souls to bring them to the beyond, but he's been sent to Earth to make right a wrong. Someone is taken before her time.
Katherine 'Kit' Craig is the friend of the woman taken too soon. She's a journalist and needs answers. Along comes Griffin to help, much to both their dismay.
He's been an angel since the 50s and he's a bit confused in this world, or the mudflat as he calls it.
Kit is a 'billy' or rockabilly, dressing like she's in the 50s and generally embracing the lifestyle. To her and her friends it was a much more romantic time than now. Griff knows better.
He has an agenda besides helping Kit find out who murdered her friend. He needs to know who murdered him and his wife.
Awesome book and fab entry into what I know is going to be a superb series, just like Vicki's Zodiac series.

HOWLING AT THE MOON: Tales of an Urban Werewolf - Karen MacInerney

Romance is about to get a little hairy.
Sophie Garou seems to have it all: a great job at a prestigious accounting firm, a closet that rivals a Nordstrom showroom, and a terrific boyfriend who isn’t afraid to use the “M” word. There’s just one little itty-bitty problem: Sophie is a werewolf–and her time of month has a whole new meaning.
Needless to say, life among yummy flesh-and-blood humans is no piece of steak . . . er, cake!, but regular doses of wolfsbane tea and a mother who runs a magic shop have helped Sophie keep her paranormal pedigree under wraps. Still, when a sexy, golden-eyed werewolf prowls into town, Sophie finds herself struggling to keep her animal impulses in check–not to mention trying to keep things on track with her super hot (and super human) lawyer boyfriend. What’s more, someone is threatening to expose Sophie for what she really is. And when her mother is accused of selling a poison-laced potion, Sophie must sniff out a culprit before the fur hits the fan.
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! A super cool werewolf urban fantasy series! I already dig Karen MacInerney's Grey Whale Inn series (and I've only read the first in the series) and was hyped when I learned she also wrote a UF series.
Sophie Garou is a werewolf hiding in plain sight. She has a super job and a fab boyfriend. But no one knows she furs up from time to time except her mom who helps out with her daily wolfsbane tea infusions.
But someone knows her secret and is threatening to tell.
I had a great time reading this and look forward to reading the rest of the series as I get to them.

212: Ellie Hatcher Mystery - Alafair Burke

A celebrity mogul's bodyguard is slain in his boss's luxurious penthouse at an exclusive Manhattan address. At NYU, a sophomore is menaced on the Internet, stalked . . . and murdered.
The two cases, equally sordid and shocking, end up falling to NYPD homicide detective Ellie Hatcher and her partner—who soon find out that this is just the tip of a terrifying iceberg.
Because in the city that never sleeps, death doesn't either.
Whoosh! A rollercoaster ride as all good suspense mysteries should be. Ellie Hatcher is a driven detective with NYPD. She is making a go of being a female detective as well as a dweller of NYC after growing up in Kansas.
She catches the murder of a bodyguard of one of the wealthiest men in New York. Then more murders begin to follow and it looks like the work of a serial killer, but to what pattern?
Highly excellent, glad B&N had a fab Nook deal for this 3rd entry in the series. Off to get more.

GOING ORGANIC CAN KILL YOU: Blossom Valley Mystery - Staci McLaughlin

Welcome to Blossom Valley, CA, home of the O’Connell Organic Farm and Spa, complete with its new marketing maven, Dana Lewis, former Blossom Valley resident and unapologetic junk food connoisseur—and soon to be sleuth…
As Dana readjusts to life back home with her recently widowed mother, her latest career move isn’t exactly a piece of cake. In fact, it’s all tofu fish sticks, stuffed squash blossoms, and enough wheat grass shots to scream bloody murder—especially when Dana discovers the body of Maxwell Mendelsohn, Hollywood producer and opening weekend guest, deader than a yoga corpse pose. While Dana pens the Spa’s blog and balances the attentions of the local police and reporter Jason Forrester, her escalating job duties now include finding clues, motives and suspects. One thing’s for certain, she better act fast before all this healthy living kills her.
I do love cozies with a new premise. GOING ORGANIC CAN KILL YOU is about a woman, Dana Lewis, coming back to her hometown to help a woman start up a spa from what used to be a working farm.
One of the clients is found dead and Dana feels compelled to help find clues since the spa might close if clients run in fear of a killer.
I look forward to reading more of this series. It's fun and I like the characters quite a lot. There's Dana and her family, the owner of the spa/farm who is sweet and a bit fragile, the manager who is wee bit pompous, and the hippie chef, and the hottie newspaper reporter. FUN!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

DRIVEN TO INK: A Tattoo Shop Mystery - Karen E. Olson

Brett Cavanaugh cannot catch a break away from dead bodies. This time there's one in the trunk of her beloved Mustang. The Mustang that her friend Sylvia Coleman borrowed to get hitched at the drive-thru wedding chapel known as That's Amore.
Brett's admonished to not get involved, but she can't help but to help her friends.

A fun cozy series. I love Las Vegas anyway so the setting is perfect and makes it fun to revisit the city through the author's eyes. I would love to visit Brett's shop, The Painted Lady, and get a custom designed tattoo and chat with Brett, Bitsy, Joel, and Ace.

SPELL BOUND: Women of the Otherworld - Kelley Armstrong

Oh, how I love this series! Empowered women with powers working together as much as they can. Yes, there are men in the mix and they help too, but the series is Women of the Otherworld....

I've 'watched' Savannah grow up in this series and she's an adult now and growing more powerful in her abilities. Except now, something has happened to her powers and she has to rely on her mortal abilities as well as gettng a little help from her friends.

THE PROXY ASSASSIN: Book Three of the American Spy Trilogy - John Knoerle

Whew! Exhausting book to read and made me glad I am not ever considering a career in espionage. It seems to take a certain mindset and ability to play chess AND have a sense of humor to keep going.

THE PROXY ASSASSIN is set in the US and other environs just after WWII. Hal Schroeder is hailed as both a hero, but isn't loved by all. He's trying to come to grips with his life thus far. I know I have to read the first two in the trilogy so I can catch up to some of the mentions and occurences that happen in this entry.
Hal is sent to Europe to battle the Red threat by garnering trust with the Romanian anti-Communist guerillas. Not everything is as it seems and Hal doesn't know who to trust other than himself...and sometimes not even him.
I loved the dry humor throughout. I think I could be friends with Hal, though the friend attrition rate is pretty high with him.
I look forward to reading the first two in the trilogy and anything else John Knoerle writes.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Books Read in October

96. IN A WITCH'S WARDROBE: A Witchcraft Mystery #4 - Juliet Blackwell, paranormal cozy, MPB
97. KILL THE COMPETITION - Stephanie Bond, humorous suspense, BOCD
98. BRIMSTONE: Agent Pendergast Novel - Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, thriller, MPB
99. HOWLING AT THE MOON: Tales of an Urban Werewolf - Karen MacInerney, UF, MPB
100. RED HOT DEADLY PEPPERS: A Farmer's Market Mystery #4 - Paige Shelton, cozy, Nook
101. THE TAKEN: Celestial Blues Book One - Vicki Pettersson, UF, TPB
102. STORIES I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS - Rob Lowe, autobiography, BOCD
103. SHOT AT AND MISSED: A Cody Bryan Mystery #2 - Larry Hillhouse, funny mystery, Nook
104. DRIVEN TO INK: A Tattoo Parlor Mystery #3 - Karen E. Olson, cozy, MPB,
105. BLOOD HOLLOW: Cork O'Connor Mystery - William Kent Krueger, suspense, BOCD