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Political Thriller/Suspense

Review: The SEAL’s Angel by Petie McCarty #MysterySuspense #StrongHeroine

“I’ll tell you what I’m fighting for. Not for England, nor her allies, nor any patriotic cause. It’s all come down to the hope of being with you.” ― Lisa Kleypas, Love in the Afternoon

“War always reaches the depths of horror because of idiots who perpetuate terror from generation to generation under the pretext of vengeance.” ― Guy Sajer, The Forgotten Soldier

“The footprints of an Angel in your life are Love.” ― Genevieve Gerard

Cory Rigatero is one strong young woman. A young woman who has suffered loss and betrayal, pain and suffering, and still keeps right on getting up in the morning, fighting to keep her family’s legacy, Bel Tesoro, “Beautiful Treasure” the family resort on the edge of Cory has lost everything. Her parents. Her brother, a SEAL, listed MIA two years ago. Now, it is her and Vern, her manager and general handyman at Bel Tesoro, a pile of bills, and a desperate need to keep Bel Tesoro alive.

Her brother Brian’s last words before he left her all alone six years ago were, “I prayed for a guardian angel for you last night to dog your steps while I’m gone…”

She is going to need that angel – because bad things are happening at Bel Tesoro. Things that may land Bel Tesoro in the hands of Percy “Senior” Standish, local rich bully, who is determined to buy Bel Tesoro out from under Cory and raze it to the ground in order to build honeymoon cottages as part of his own huge, overblown, high class resort on the other side of the lake. And if bad – read, ‘expensive’ – things continue to happen, she may have no other choice.

Of course, the bad things didn’t start happening until “Mac” shows up, all bearded, long haired Harley riding drifter. Vern trusts him, so Cory lets him stay to work. But when two of her resort clients nearly drown due to sabotaged kayaks, and Cory herself nearly dies when the dock collapses, trapping her under the pilings, Mac becomes suspect number one for the sabotage.

There are layers of story here. The sabotage at the resort. A mysterious package from her brother, who has been listed as dead for the last two years. And a break in by two foreign speaking men, “Where’s Formula?” Cory is terrified now not only of losing Bel Tesoro – but of losing her life.

I loved this book. Really loved it. The story line is well-developed, and the characters are believable. There is mystery, suspense, thrills. Cory is a strong woman character without being over-the-top, and highly likable. The pace is fast, and Cory barely has the chance to catch her breath as things spin out of control around her. And the very ending? Well, it was, in a word, a great ending. You will have to read it to find out what happens, but it left me with a huge smile on my face. Again, I loved this book and highly recommend it to mystery and suspense lovers with a quirky sense of humor.

As an aside – a major character in the book? Lucky Luciano. If you aren’t familiar with America Mobster History, Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Siegel, and Meyer Lansky were three of the most famous American mobsters in history. History comes into play here in Lucky’s story and how it crosses and melds with Cory’s great-grandfather, Brocconi “Brock” Rigatero’s history as he built Bel Tesoro. Lucky’s history crosses my own, as my own grandfather was Lewis Archer Cooper, Chief of Police in Hot Springs, Arkansas during the period. Family stories say that Arch, besides being COP, also owned bars and, uh, hum, “bath houses,” with Lucky. Seeing as how Lucky was arrested in Hot Springs by a federal agent who was investigating “Other Matters” in Hot Springs at the time, I got a huge kick out of reading about Lucky’s part in this story! Oh, and as for one of my pet peeves? GREAT COVER!! It caught my eye right away and led me to read the blurb, which made me want to read the book. Awesome!

I received this book from Reading Alley in exchange for a realistic review. This is the third Mystery Angel Romance. Each stand-alone love story has an angel hidden in the plot, and the angel’s identity is not revealed until the finale unless the reader figures it out first.

About the Author

Petie McCartyPetie McCarty spent a large part of her career working as a biologist at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job in order to write her stories full-time. Petie is a member of Romance Writers of America, and she shares homes in Tennessee and Florida with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer Spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday Conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

Review: Guardians of the Night (A Gideon and Sirius Novel) – Alan Russell

So near is falsehood to truth that a wise man would do well 23117777not to trust himself on the narrow edge. – Cicero

You think you’re the only one who can quote an ancient philosopher? Plato said: ‘He was a wise man who invented beer.’
“Does that mean you’re ready for another?”
“Far be it from me to contradict Plato.” –Seth and Gideon – Guardians of the Night

 There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare. – Sun Tzu

From secrecy and deception in high places, come home, America. From military spending so wasteful that it weakens our nation, come home, America. – George McGovern
_________________________

Military contractors. Self-serving, obsessive, narcissistic. And often? Well, let’s just say “above the law” often comes with governmental protection – no matter what the contractor does. And sometimes, what the contractors do is beyond horrifying.

Guardians of the Night is an unusual novel – a cutting edge look at cutting edge military technology, to be sure. But it grows well beyond a simple military suspense thriller. That is an amazing story line in itself. But there is a strong literary bent as well. There are literary and movie references galore, music and history and things that go bump in the night. Add in a well-developed, believable character list, convoluted storytelling, and of course, Sirius, a police dog beloved by all who meet him – and you have a police/military thriller that is much more than the genre it nestles within.

Gideon and Sirius are heroes. They ran into a burning building to capture a serial killer, and the public, of course, went wild. There is an undercurrent, a second storyline around the serial killer, Haines, which weaves through the story in a horrifying manner – much like watching the dead eyes of a Black Mamba… you wait for the strike – the strike which will steal your life.

And then there is “The Reluctant Hero” – the man who saved a playground full of children, yet will not identify himself. After a run-in with the Chief, (well, and the Mayor too) (Sirius really shouldn’t write snarky emails, ya know? Well, it was funny . . .) Gideon and Sirius are on the hunt for a man who doesn’t wish to be found and dragged out in front of the public. No one can protect their privacy in today’s world of political one-upmanship.

Can Gideon and Sirius stop a megalomaniac, find a “Reluctant Hero” without destroying his life, solve the murder of a homeless man with an incredible story to tell –and possibly solve the murder of a Angel?

I received this book from Amazon “First To Read” Program. All thoughts are my own – and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a great story with a modern, terrifying message.

Publication date: January 1, 2015

Review: O’Henry by t.g. Brown

20451886The psychotic mind sees the world through its own prism and bends that world to its choosing . . . tell me, was the head close to the body? – Oliver Wilson, Psychiatrist – O’Henry

That’s when he hit her, when he saw how scared she was. He couldn’t bear it that she was frightened and asking for help. Asking for help is wrong. Because there isn’t any such thing as help in this world. ― Ryū Murakami, Piercing

 

The call comes at the most inopportune time. Well, not really a call so much as the rooster tail of dust that precedes a country Sheriff bringing bad news. And for Josh Ingram, long past his life as an FBI’s Profiling Division, catfish noodling, pulling drafts at his marina bar, and writing his next best selling novel now has to go on hold, as he and FBI Agent Rachael Tanner struggle to find the serial killer known as O’Henry, who has come roaring back after a seven-year absence in a wave of blood and publicity. When Josh’s best friend, a mild mannered bookseller is killed by a retired mafia mechanic, Josh is drawn deep into a story of murder, madness and political intrigue that could cost him more than he ever expected.

This first entry in the Josh Ingram series by Terry Brown shows great potential for this new author. Tight characterizations, deep emotional world building and beautifully developed storylines woven together into a tale of murder, madness and political intrigue makes Terry Brown a new author to watch.

I received the book from Mr. Brown in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Review: Cheating Justice by Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordano

cheating justicePolitics have no relation to morals. -Niccolo Machiavelli
There is a point at which the law becomes immoral and unethical. That point is reached when it becomes a cloak for the cowardice that dares not stand up against blatant violations of justice. -Kurt Huber

Title: Cheating Justice
Series: The Justice Team (#2)
Authors: Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordan0
Release Date: July 21, 2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Summary:

~ The second novel in the exciting and bestselling Justice Team romantic suspense series!! ~While investigating a government cover-up, former FBI agent Mitch Monroe is framed for murder. A wanted man, Mitch has no choice but to stay off the grid, and he needs Special Agent Caroline Foster—the FBI’s top sniper and a woman who wants nothing to do with him—to clear his name.After sharing a single night of simmering passion with Mitch a year ago, Caroline hasn’t been able to get him out of her head. Or her heart. He’s jeopardized her job once…helping him now could end her career. But a friend has been murdered, and no matter how Caroline feels about Mitch, he’s not the killer. She needs answers, and she needs Mitch Monroe out of her life once and for all.On the run and with no one to turn to, Mitch and Caroline can’t fight the reigniting passion between them. She’ll lose her career if she proves Mitch is innocent…he’ll lose his life if she doesn’t.

Review:

What do you do when everything you thought you knew about truth, about justice, about the very people tasked with protecting what is good and just in the world . . . is wrong. Deeply and irreparably wrong. When everything is falling apart, and good people are dying – all for the sake of hiding a horrendous political cluster fuck.

This is the second in the Justice Team series. In the first, Stealing Justice Justice “Grey” Greystone was fired from the FBI for insubordination. We learn a bit more about Grey in this second volume, but this one actually revolves around two different characters from that book, Mitch Monroe, former FBI golden boy now turned fugitive from the law, and Caroline Foster, FBI agent and FBI SWAT team sharpshooter

Monroe is trying desperately to find out who set up his best friend and fellow FBI agent, Tommy Nusco. Nusco, seconded to the ATF in New Mexico has ended up dead in the street, and upper management seems determined to brand Tommy as a traitor to his country, a rouge agent selling automatic weapons to drug dealers and Mexican gunrunners. When Monroe’s other best friend, Kemp Rodgers, winds up dead after a secret meeting with Monroe in Rock Creek Park, the situation becomes even more dire.

Along with Grey and Monroe’s former partner, Caroline, Monroe and his scruffy yet loyal band of misfits find themselves embroiled in political intrigue and a vast coverup which reaches to the very top levels of the government. Who to turn to, who to trust, is entirely unknown as the depth and breadth of the coverup leads to more murders and deeper levels of governmental malfeasance.

Evans and Giordano have crafted an exceptional political thriller. Yes, yes, I know they call it “Romantic Suspense” and there is some romance in there, as what appears to be a long time attraction between Mitch and Caroline comes to a head. but I was much more impressed by the political story that Monroe, Grey, Caroline and ex-ATF agent Brice Brennan are faced with. Suspenseful, thrilling, and with an exceptional degree of political knowledge <em>Cheating Justice </em>is very much a novel for our times, pointing out the corruption inherent in the modern political system.Highly recommended. i will be downloading the first in the series, and will be watching for a possible third.

Excerpt:

“I always said you had the best ass in the FBI.”

Her body froze. Eleven months, five days and—she did the math—twelve hours had passed since she’d heard that voice. The one she’d thought about time and again after his last brief visit to her apartment, and she still managed to be equal parts pissed off, concerned and flat-out heartbroken. That voice could only belong to one person. Thus the remark about her ass and—wow—she always knew he had a set of stones, but this was too much even for Mitch Monroe. The man she’d spent all these months trying to forget. Months of burying herself in cases, months of begging her boss for every available opportunity to keep her mind occupied, months of a busy life that didn’t allow for downtime.

Or thoughts of Mitch.

Without turning, she picked up her weapon. “Well, look what the cat dragged in. A girl puts her career on the line for you and you don’t call, you don’t write, nothing. To say the least, your technique needs work.”

And then he laughed. She’d waited months to hit him with that line and he laughed. Classic Mitch. She closed her eyes and—forget that he was a federal fugitive now wanted for murder—she’d kill him herself and be done with the whole affair.

Mitch, a murderer? She couldn’t believe it. No matter what the White House was spinning about Kemp Rodgers’ death, Mitch wouldn’t kill his friend.

Then, again, she’d been Mitch’s friend once…

Finally, she turned, bracing herself for whatever disguise might greet her, but found none. Brave.

As usual.

She took in his long brown hair pulled back in a low ponytail, his dark eyes and ripped jeans, and shook her head. “You’re insane for coming here.”

He shrugged. “It’s a private range. Not like I walked into Quantico.”

It wasn’t enough that he’d almost destroyed her career when he’d first started working The Lion case, now he wanted to have a second go at it. He was a fugitive wanted for murder and she was an FBI agent. She should arrest him.

Yet, she stood waiting for him to say something that would make a damned difference. I’m sorry? I didn’t do it? Anything that would erase the idea that he could have murdered his friend.

She set her rifle on the table behind her, slid the bolt open. Not loaded. She knew it wasn’t, but she checked anyway. Always.

Mitch shuffled behind her.

Too bad. He could wait like she’d waited for him all these months.

Her canvas carry case sat on the bench seat. Like many people, she preferred canvas over hard plastic because the softer material didn’t make the rifle sweat. She dug through the case for her lens covers, popped them on, set the rifle into the case—bolt upward—and zipped it.

She’d clean the rifle later. For her, keeping a weapon in top working order meant cleaning it after every use. Even if only one shot had been fired, her weapons got cleaned. Every time.

She sensed Mitch moving closer, stirring the air around her, upsetting the energy, letting her know he was near. He had that way about him. Sometimes good, sometimes not.

“I need your help.”

Of course he did. Should have known. Radio silence for eleven months and now he wanted her help. “I should shoot you and dump your body in the Reflecting Pool.”

“Yeah, you should.”

She spun and—crack!—smacked him, sending his head sideways and making her hand sting. She’d never physically attacked anyone before and she couldn’t say it felt right or just, but unleashing it felt good. To let him know he’d hurt her. “We were friends. I helped you and you disregarded me.”

Disregarded you?” Mitch slid a hand over his cheek. “I’ve stayed away and I’m sorry. But what, Caroline? You want to do lunch or hit the shooting range with me? A guy wanted for assaulting your boss and now a federal fugitive?” Gently, he knocked on her head. “Think about it. I was protecting you.”

She didn’t need his protection. “I’m mad at you.”

“Atta girl.”

God, he was annoying. “You had a good reason to take a swing at Donaldson when he threatened you during The Lion case, but honest to God, Mitch, I think he should have swung back and ended it right there instead of trying to throw you in jail. But you should have manned up and never run from the charges, so whatever this is, I can’t help you.”

“Tommy Nusco.”

“You murdered him, too?”

Surprisingly, he blanched. “I didn’t kill anyone. I need to know what went down with Tommy.”

Oh, please. He really had lost his mind if he thought she’d touch that subject. That involved ATF and the State of New Mexico and she wasn’t about to step into that snake pit. “You better worry about what went down with Kemp Rodgers and why the White House is after you. Turn yourself in, Mitch.”

“Kemp told me the White House is buzzing about Executive Privilege being invoked on Tommy’s case. A few hours later, he’s dead. Put two and two together, Caroline. There’s a cover-up in the works and what happened to Tommy is at the heart of it.”

She faced him, still hating that he stood a good six inches taller and managed to make her feel small. She folded her arms and stepped forward, got right into his space. “No.”

“Whatever they’re concocting about Tommy is bullshit.”

“I don’t know that.”

“Yeah, you do. When we all worked together, we hung out. You knew him.”

“Not that well.”

He rolled his eyes in that typical I’m-Mitch-Monroe-and-I’m-bored way of his. “He was not dirty. Whatever he was doing, the government is letting a dead agent take the heat. Why not? He’s dead anyway. Doesn’t matter that he was a decorated officer. The government obviouslyneeds to clean up a mess and—” he inched closer, tilted his head and stared right into her eyes “—I know all about how the government cleans up a mess.”

Back away. She should, but that would play into what he wanted. He wanted to control this conversation. His looming presence used to be enough that she’d give him that control.

Not this time.

She tilted her head the opposite direction, eased out a half-smile. “Mitch?”

“Yes?”

“Screw you.”

She turned her back to him and scooped up her rifle case. Right now, she needed to walk away and not let him talk her into something that would wreck her career.

Buy Links: 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Facebook Party

Misty and Adrienne will be hosting a week-long Facebook Party on the Justice Team Series page which will include several giveaways each day! Details will be announced on page as they are available.

Link to Justice Team Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeTeamSeries?ref_type=bookmark.

About the Authors:

Misty Evans:Misty Evans Photo

USA Today bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011.

Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies.

Connect with Misty: Website / NewsletterFacebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest

***

Adrienne Giordano:Adrienne Giordano Headshot

USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction.

Connect with Adrienne:  Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Street Team

Giveaway:

There will be a tour-wide giveaway of a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card and a Justice Team Series Swag Bag

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