Review of Haunted Tales by Terri Reid

In Mary O’Reilly’s newest story, Haunted Tales,Mary investigates the forty year old death of her client’s former school teacher. A pregnant Mary doesn’t think they’ll be any risk to her or her baby, but when it becomes obvious that the killer is still out there, things could get very dangerous for Mary very quickly.

There are a few different sub-plots going on during this story. It’s Halloween, her family is coming to visit to tell ghost stories, Mary and Bradley’s daughter Clarissa wants to meet a real ghost so she can have a good story to tell, and Mary’s friends and family are planning a surprise baby shower for her. Mary is also dealing with serious baby hormones, which makes her quick to jump to certain conclusions. While this was a serious story, it was also a fun one. I liked the ghost that Clarissa and her friend Maggie meet. It was quite the surprise. Overall, I was happy with how it all turned out.

Review of Were Me Out by Robyn Peterman

Sandy Moongie is a geeky, knife wielding, hacker werewolf who’s been avoiding the man who wants to make her his in the fourth Shift Happens story, Were Me Out.Junior Wilson has only recently taken over Alpha duty from his brother Hank and his man-whore reputation is ruining his chance to claim Sandy as his Mate. She doesn’t want to be just another notch in his belt and she doesn’t know he’s been following her around since they were in high school together. But now that Junior is being challenged for his place as Alpha, Sandy knows the best way to help him it to be his Mate. Too bad Junior doesn’t feel quite the same way.

Sandy’s got herself some serious hacker skills and Junior is practically a genius. So together, they’re an unstoppable force. They should make a great Alpha pair. The rest of the family is along for the ride in this story, meaning Essie, Hank, Dwayne, Granny and Dima, along with Junior and Sandy’s parents. The only ones missing were the were-cows! I did feel like the relationship moved a little quickly given how Sandy has felt about Junior in the past. But even with the sudden threat to Junior’s life, I felt like it went from zero to sixty. I prefer a more natural progression usually, but I get it. Looking forward to more in the future.

Review of Land of the Free by Donna Ball

In the eleventh Raine Stockton Dog Mystery, Land of the Free,Raine is feeling out of her element as her boyfriend Miles Young prepared for the big open house at his new place. She has nothing in common with the celebrities and politicians that will be there. So it’s no surprise that instead of getting ready for the party, she’s more than willing to take on a search and rescue case looking for an elderly man with her dog Cisco. While the man is found safe and sound by another team, Raine observes two men meeting by an old spring house and is surprised because one of them is supposed to be in jail. When she reports it to the police, she’d told the man died two days ago, so it’s impossible it was him. When that same man is later found dead in her vehicle after Miles party, even more question arise. What’s really going on? Is Raine suffering from PTSD from her past trauma with the man or is there a conspiracy going on? Will Raine survive the newest threat to her life?

It’s no surprise that Raine is unsure about her relationship with Miles. He lives in a much different world than she does. But she adores Miles and his daughter Melanie and the current custody battle with Mile’s ex-wife is affecting all of them. You’ll be a little mad at Raine’s ex-husband Buck, who happens to be the Sherriff, but he pays for it in the end and not in a good way. This may not have been the best story in the series, but it was a good story none-the-less. I enjoyed the outcome, which is what you really want in the end. I’m hoping there will be more stories in the future.

Review of The Turn by Kim Harrison

Back in the early sixties, two trained elf geneticists, a girl named Trisk and a boy named Kal, competed for the same jobs at their college fair in Hollows prequel, The Turn. Kal ended up losing his dream job at NASA thanks to his feud with Trisk, which Trisk was offered a job working for a human lab where she could keep her eye on their genetic progress and report back to the Enclave. While Kal’s work flounders, Trisk goes on to create the T4 Angel Tomato, a hearty hairy tomato that can flourish under any conditions and feed people all over the world. When Kal is asked to go check Trisk’s work and that of her fellow scientist Daniel, he finds the work flawless. But in an effort to discredit Trisk and steal her work, he creates a bridge between the two and lets loose the worst plague mankind has known. While human dies in droves, the Inderlander population tries to keep the world together. All Trisk wants to do is get the word out that people should stop eating tomatoes, but Kal wants to pin the whole thing on her and Daniel and will do anything to keep the truth from getting out.

How fun, and disconcerting, to meet some of the characters who were around when the Turn happened. Some were expected and some were a big surprise. Like demon Al and a very young Takata. Not to mention that Kal surprisingly has a pixie companion looking for a young buck to have children with since pixies seemed to be going extinct. There are times the animosity between Trisk and Kal is palpable. Kal despises Daniel, but Trisk would do anything to protect him. In fact, people keep threatening to kill him during the whole story since human’s aren’t supposed to know about the Inderlanders. I really enjoyed this story and really hope we get more in the future. I’d really like to see a young Trent and Rachel.

Review of A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

The town of Rockton is about to face a new threat in the second Casey Duncan novel, A Darkness Absolute.When homicide detective Casey and Deputy Will Anders go into the forest looking for a man who is suffering from cabin fever, they get caught in a sudden snow storm and take cover in some caves. The last thing they expect to find is a women who went missing from Rockton fourteen months ago being held captive. There’s evidence that she wasn’t the only one, but the time frame indicates it’s not anyone from Rockton who committed the crimes. While Casey and her lover, Sheriff Eric Dalton, struggle to make sense of the evidence, the killer stalks the town, threatening what little control the residents currently have.

This is such a great new series. There’s a part of me that can appreciate Rockton’s disconnected lifestyle, even if the people living there are running away from something. That’s part of Casey and Eric’s problem. There are a lot of criminals in Rockton, but most of them aren’t violent ones. There are also a lot of secrets and that can be just as much of a problem. Who can you trust? I was happy with how Casey and Eric’s relationship progresses. I also liked how Eric’s brother Jacob has a bigger part in this story. I’d love to see more of him in the future. I can’t wait for the next story!