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Review: Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis

If you like the outdoors, Colorado is a big adventure playground for adults: it’s great for skiing, cycling, climbing, and hiking. — Tyler Hamilton

Here’s one thing you must know. The mountains of Colorado are, in a word, breathtaking. We have massive vistas, death defying cliff faces, silence, and snow. Living in the Colorado Mountains means skiing, hiking, biking and running. It also means, if you are careless, sudden and violent death. Nature doesn’t care, and she has no patience for inattention. The slightest misstep can mean a thousand-foot fall to the rocks below, or dying of cold in the snows. Careless fires mean thousands of acres may burn in a single night.

Aiden Kincaid knows all these things. A Colorado Wildland Firefighter and volunteer for the Cedar Ridge Search-and-Rescue, as well as a city firefighter, Aiden and his partner, Mitch, work brutally hard to protect the mountains they love. They know these mountains as they know their own souls.

Lily Danville once knew these mountains just as well as Aiden. She climbed and skied, ran and hiked. But then, her beloved sister dies, trying to match her older sister’s daring climb of Dead Man’s Cliff. Ashley’s death was horrific enough – but her father’s heart attack and death at Ashley’s funeral completely destroys Lily’s life. Fleeing the mountains she loves so much, she moves to San Diego to start a new life, far away from painful memories and crushing guilt. It wasn’t her fault – she wasn’t even there when Ashley died – but it means nothing to the guilt. She left it all behind.

Including Aiden.

Now, Lily is back. Crushed and broken again, she comes home to heal, and to try to come to grips with her pain, grief and guilt. Of course, healing from such terrible losses isn’t easy. Not even close. But with her old friends around her, good memories as well as the bad, Lily just might be able to rebuild her life and learn to love the Colorado Mountains once more. And maybe even Aiden?

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

This title will be released on June 30, 2015

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Review: Swimming With The Dead: An Underwater Investigation Novel by Kathy Brandt

As I sit here in the freezing weather, just outside Denver, I can’t help but envy Hannah Sampson. Heck, Hannah should envy herself! Stuck knee-deep and zero degrees into a bitter winter in Denver, Hannah, a Homicide Detective for the DPD is called to the scene of what first seems to be a senseless crime. The secretary of the Police Commissioner, Greta, has been murdered in the file room of the Commissioner’s offices. While the room is torn to pieces, the contents are so innocuous, there is really no reason for the death, or the break-in.

swim
Oh, yes…. I want to BE THERE!!! Grab this book and sink into the beauty of the Caribbean!

When Hannah received a call from the Commissioner’s assistant the next day, she is pulled into a situation she never would have believed. A month before, the Commissioner’s son died while diving a shipwreck off of Great Camanoe, an island in the BVI (British Virgin Islands). The investigation, slapdash at best, was dropped with minimal investigation, and an outcome of “Death by Drowning.” Commissioner Duvall and his wife Caroline cannot, and will not, accept that their son, Michael, a professional diver and Marine Biologist, would have died so carelessly. They want the situation investigation, and answers found. And who better to do that than Hannah, who is not only Homicide Detective, but also head of Denver Homicide’s Dive & Recovery Team?
When Hannah arrives upon the breathtaking shores of the BVI, things immediately turn interesting as her investigation leads further and further into darkness. Did Michael truly drown due to his own carelessness? Or is there something much more evil occurring, something that could endanger Hannah’s life?
Swimming With The Dead was an absolute pleasure to read. It is always fun when a book is set in your own home area, and with the author, Kathy Brandt, being a “local” as well, it was great fun to follow Hannah through Denver before she left for the BVI. Then, when she arrives in the BVI, the surroundings become even more interesting, as Hannah becomes more and more involved in her investigation. I loved how Ms. Brandt described the islands and the people, the colour and vibrancy of that gorgeous world. Her descriptions of the underwater world were stunning, as well as being informative as Hannah follows through on Michael’s quest to protect the ocean and her creatures. The book is well researched, and draws you into the beauty and the warmth of her story.

At first, honestly, I didn’t really care for Hannah herself. She comes across as hard and emotionally distant, and her seeming lack of care for the environment and the fragility of the ecosystem seems quite odd for a resident of this beautiful state. However, as you come to know Hannah and what her life is, you begin to understand. And as Hannah begins to bloom, you get a true feel for a woman who is damaged, but begins to live once again, and appreciate the beauty around her.
I will be checking out Ms. Brandt’s other works in the Hannah Swenson world, and very much look forward to the pleasure.
This book was provided to me by netgalley.com in return for a realistic review. All opinions are my own.

Check out Ms. Brandt’s website for information not only on her books, but also about  the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) and her role with the organization.

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