Friday, 31 July 2015

Review: The Blind by Shelley Coriell


The Blind by Shelley Coriell
(The Apostles #3)

Publication date: July 28th, 2015
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Romantic Suspense
Stars: 4 ****

The Blurb

As part of the FBI's elite Apostles team, bomb and weapons specialist Evie Jimenez knows playing it safe is not an option. Especially when tracking a serial killer like the Angel Bomber. He calls himself an artist—using women as his canvas and state-of-the-art explosives as his brush. His art lives and breathes . . . and with the flick of a switch . . . dies. 

As the clock ticks down to his next strike, Evie faces an altogether different challenge: billionaire philanthropist and art expert Jack Elliott, who's made it clear he doesn't care for Evie's wild-card tactics.

Jack never imagined the instant heat for the Apostles' defiant weapons expert would explode his cool and cautious world—and make him long to protect this woman. But as Evie and Jack get closer to the killer's endgame, they will learn that safety and control are all illusions. For their quarry has set his sight on Evie for his final masterpiece...

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My Thoughts

I fell in love with the Apostles series late last year when I read the first two books in the series The Broken and The Buried back to back so I am really excited to be part of the blog tour for book number three, The Blind.

The Apostles are an elite FBI team put together by Parker Lord because they are the best of the best. Each book in the series centres around one member of the team with other members of the team making appearances when required. This book features Agent Evie Jimenez who is the Apostles bomb and weapons specialist. She is on the hunt for a serial bomber known as the Angel Bomber who is running wild in LA, the City of Angels. The Angel Bomber appears to be killing for the sake of art and it becomes apparent that his inspiration is a collection of portraits owned by billionaire CEO, Jack Elliott. Just how deep is Jack's connection to the Angel Bomber?

The Blind got off to a flying start as we are immediately thrown into one of the Angel Bomber's crime scenes and the pace never really slowed down. Evie Jimenez is a total firecracker, she's beautiful, headstrong and can disarm bombs as quick as anything. I really loved Evie as a character such a strong, independent woman who is willing to risk her life to stop the bomber. She's also a woman who has never had much time for relationships and has difficulty not seeing herself as one of the boys, until Jack Elliott enters the scene and she feels it's time for a change.

There is a wonderful chemistry between Evie & Jack from the outset. Jack immerses himself in the investigation because of his art collection but little by little it becomes apparent that maybe the bombers connection to Jack runs a little deeper. Jack is a self made man who has worked his way up from living on the streets of New York having run from a family tragedy as a teenager but despite his wealth and fortune he is a man who only wants to do good with his money. Initially the pair butt heads with Jack being a total control freak & Evie in no way wanting to be controlled or have a man look after her but as the hunt for the bomber intensifies so does the relationship between Evie & Jack. It's a case of opposites attract with Evie being bolshy, fiesty and totally not in need of a man and Jack is a little overbearing but with it kind and caring and just wants to look out for people including Evie.

The Apostles series is one of my new favourite series. I love how Shelley Coriell blends such wonderful characters who disappear and reappear throughout the series. It was wonderful to see the return of Smokey Joe who we met in book one in The Blind, he's such a cantankerous and loveable character. A new character for this book is Freddie Ortiz, a photographer of the 'starz' and a total pain in the backside but I loved how a bond developed between him and Evie - he really helped bring out Evie's softer side.

This series is a real must for any romantic suspense fan who loves a story packed with action and great characters. The Blind is book three in the series but in my opinion (and I always read books in order) it can be read as a standalone. I will now be eagerly awaiting book four in the series.

About The Author

A former newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and restaurant reviewer. These days Shelley writes smart, funny novels for teens and big, edgy romantic suspense. A six-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist, she lives and loves in Arizona with her family and the world's neediest rescue Weimaraner. When she's not behind the keyboard, you'll find her baking high-calorie, high-fat desserts and haunting local farmers markets for the perfect plum.

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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Review: Fearless by Annie Jocoby inc giveaway

Fearless by Annie Jocoby 
(Fearless #1) 

Publication date: July 15th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Stars: 4 ****

The Blurb


*Warning* Strong language and sexual situations. Ends in MAJOR cliffhanger. Not for the faint of heart. :)

Beautiful heiress Dalilah Gallagher, a former child art prodigy, has lost her way. Harsh criticism in her formative years has left her floundering and without the artistic voice that once centered her life. Now, at the age of 20, she has spent the last nine years trying to reclaim what she lost.

Her struggles lead her to the nude-modeling world in New York City, where she hopes she will find her passion for art again. What she finds is surprising: Her artistic voice isn’t gone, merely misplaced.

Luke Roberts has a different problem. Raised by a solid, working-class fisherman in Maine, Luke is a gifted artist struggling to get a foothold in the busy New York City art scene. His gifts attract the attention of a wealthy benefactor, Blake Nottingham, who finds himself fascinated with Dalilah. Nottingham commissions Luke to provide him with a piece of art: A painting of Dalilah.

As the two young artists fall in love, Dalilah finds her artistic voice once more, so she’ll do anything to help Luke find the prominence he deserves. This leads to a dangerous game of deceit that puts Dalilah in Nottingham’s clutches when she tries to manipulate him into helping Luke.

Nottingham isn’t easily manipulated, though, and things go seriously awry for Dalilah. What happens when the manipulated becomes the manipulator?

This is a New Adult Contemporary Romance. Age groups are 18+. It has some sexually explicit scenes.

My Thoughts

When I first started reading Fearless I began to wonder what I was letting myself in for. As soon as Dalilah, the female protagonist was introduced I took an immediate dislike to her, there was just something about her at the beginning that really made me want to throttle her. However as the story unfolded she did begin to grow on me and by the end of the book I was hoping she wasn't going to make the decision she did. But hey if she didn't make that call then there would be no book 2.

So we have Dalilah Gallagher, an heiress and former child prodigy who has turned her back on her fame as an artist to pose as nude model for other artists. One negative review when she was younger totally knocked her and led to her losing her way as an artist. She has now moved away from her parents and is living in New York and is desperate to find her mojo and hopes that New York surrounded by other artists is the way to do it. As I said at the beginning of the story I just didn't like her, she wasn't committed to anything, she slept around, would wake up places not remembering the night before - perhaps being a mum to two teenage daughters led me to almost judge her through her actions. As the book moves on though I began to see Dalilah for what she really is a poor little rich girl who has truly lost her way and is desperate to find her place in the world.

Then we have Blake Nottingham, who for want of a better word is basically Dalilah's stalker. He is forever turning up where she is and then hires young artist Luke Roberts to paint a picture of Dalilah. Dalilah eager for the cash is more than happy to pose for Luke but this leads to her both falling for Luke and falling into deeper into Blake's manipulative ways. Luke is a struggling artist and Dalilah can see his talent so convinces Blake to arrange for Luke to have a showing in one of New York's high profile galleries. Unfortunately Luke's showing comes at a price and Dalilah has big decisions to make.

I loved Luke as a character and he really helped me to warm to Dalilah, he seemed to bring out the best in her even if they did seem to fall in love ever so fast but hey this is fiction so who cares. On the other hand I loathed Blake. I can see him being compared to Christian Grey but at no point did I warm to him at all, he just didn't seem to have any redeeming qualities at all. It just appeared that he was very used to getting his own way whatever the cost and it didn't matter whose lives were ruined in the process.

Fearless is a simple story with a not so simple love triangle which is filled with both love and deceit and lies. It has some very steamy scenes which are definitely not for the faint hearted and has one of the most horrible characters (Blake) that I have come across in a long time. It does end on a major cliffhanger and despite thinking I was not going to be able to finish it when I first started it I immediately went and bought book two on Amazon as soon as I had finished as I was desperate to know where Dalilah and Luke's story was going to go. Fearless is definitely worth a read and I am eager to get started on Secrets and Lies

Check out the rest of the Fearless blog tour over on Xpresso Book Tours

About The Author

Annie Jocoby is the author of 8 contemporary romance novels and 3 New Adult contemporary romance novels. Her motivation to begin writing these novels is that she was interested in writing about rich men who actually love and respect their women. Her heroes are alpha and damaged, yet also genuinely good guys.

Ryan, Nick, Luke and Asher are all complicated characters who have experienced plenty of darkness, yet always seek the light. They would all go to the ends of the earth to protect the women they love. And they’re all sexy, enigmatic, magnetic and great in bed.

All of Annie’s books have things in common: they all combine a touch of mystery and intrigue with drama, love, and lots of hot sex. Some of the books have action and even some criminal elements in them. Her current book, in fact, is her first book that would be classified as straight romantic suspense, although it also combines definite elements of the thriller genre! If you’re in the market for a book that is fast-paced, where the heroes are beautiful and wealthy, and the heroines are strong, vulnerable and flawed, then try these books out!

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