Recent Reads: March 2017

Recent Reads: March 2017

1. Discretion (Anna Curtis #2) by Allison Leotta
For fans of Lisa Scottoline and Law and Order: SVU, former federal sex-crimes prosecutor Allison Leotta’s novel explores the intersection of sex and power as Anna Curtis investigates the murder of one of DC’s highest-paid escorts.

When a beautiful young woman plummets to her death from the balcony of the U.S. Capitol, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Curtis is summoned to the scene. The evidence points to a sexual assault and murder. The victim is one of the city’s highest-paid escorts. And the balcony belongs to Washington, D.C.’s sole representative to Congress, the most powerful figure in city politics.

My Rating: 3.75/5
My Thoughts: Better than the first – I’m really enjoying this series. I love a good mystery. Plus the fact that it’s about a girl who moves from Michigan to DC doesn’t hurt. Definitely a good read for fans of Law & Order SVU, the plot would fit right into an episode of the show.

2. Magic Undying (Dragon’s Gift: The Seeker #1) by Linsey Hall

Waking up in hell was not Del Bellator’s idea of a good time. She’d rather be back on earth, killing demons and hunting down magical treasure for her shop, Ancient Magic. 

Turns out that escaping hell is easy—it’s staying out that’s hard. Del’s death magic defies the laws of the supernatural world. Worse—she doesn’t know how to control it. If others learn what she is, it’s guaranteed persecution by the Order of the Magica. And Del already has a deadly and forbidden secret—she shares a soul with a dragon. 

Things get sticky when Roarke Fallon, Warden of the Underworld, shows up on her doorstep wanting to drag her back to hell. He’s a one of a kind shifter—the most powerful she’s ever met—and he’s set his sights on her. Helping him catch an escaped demon gives her an opportunity to win her freedom, but only if she teams up with Roarke. She’ll have to use her forbidden magic to get the job done. And that is a recipe for discovery… and disaster.

My Rating: 3.5/5
My Thoughts: This is a spin-off series to one I read at the end of last year. Or I guess, it’s sort of a continuation. It just switches to feature a different character. It was decent and I’ll continue reading the series, but I wasn’t in love with it.

3. Demon Magic (Dragon’s Gift: The Seeker #2) by Linsey Hall
Del Bellator’s simple life of treasure hunting and demon slaying ended the moment she learned she was a Guardian between the Underworld and Earth. The only problem? She has no idea what that means and no control over the magic that could help her. Sure, she can turn into a Phantom and walk through walls, but in a world where demons can throw fireballs or strike her down with lightning, she needs control of some bigger magical weapons.

To make matters worse, demons are now drawn to her like flies to honey. She’s a walking, talking demon magnet. To save her own life, she must master her powers. That means embarking on a treasure hunt unlike any she’s ever conducted. Fortunately, she has the help of Were-demon and Warden of the Underworld, Roarke Fallon, along with her FireSoul sisters, Cass and Nix. As the clock ticks down, she can only hope it will be enough.

My Rating: 3.25/5
My Thoughts: Same as above. I enjoyed it, but not my favorite of this series. I think it’s just that I don’t like the main character as much as the first one (Cass from Dragon’s Gift: The Huntress). Del is entertaining, but she feels a bit naive to me.

4. Magic Revealed (Dragon’s Gift: The Seeker #3) by Linsey Hall
At a glance, life is perfect for Del Bellator. She’s getting the hang of her magic, the shop she runs with her friends is thriving, and she has a hot almost-boyfriend in the form of were-demon Roarke Fallon. But nothing is ever as it seems. 

Del’s mysterious friend Draka is missing, and she’s in more danger than Del could ever realize. When Del receives a clue about Draka’s location, she sets off to save her. But a simple rescue mission soon turns into a game of cat and mouse that Del doesn’t know how to win. Her enemies are in the shadows, pulling the strings, and it’s all she can do not to fall into their grasp. It will take all of Del’s magic—and all the help she can get from her sisters and Roarke—to save not just her friend’s life, but her own. And the secrets she reveals along the way just might break her.

My Rating: 3.75 / 5
My Thoughts:
This was my favorite of Del’s stories so far. I feel like we finally got somewhere with the story and the pacing was spot on. There is one more book out in the series right now, so I’ll have to see what happens next!

5. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

My Rating: 4/5
My Thoughts: I’ve been wanting to read this one for a long time. I’ve been putting off watching the movie and I’m glad I decided to read the book first. This was a great psychological thriller – one with a great twist at the end. The book is setup with alternating narratives of three different women. I loved seeing how everything fit together and was on the edge of my seat throughout the story. Definitely recommended if you’re a fan of this genre.

6. The Medium (Emily Chambers Spirit Medium Trilogy #1) by C.J. Archer
Seventeen year-old spirit medium Emily Chambers has a problem. Actually, she has several. As if seeing dead people isn’t a big enough social disadvantage, she also has to contend with an escaped demon and a handsome ghost with a secret past. And then there’s the question of her parentage. Being born an entire year after her father’s death (yes, a year) and without the pale skin of other respectable English ladies, Emily is as much a mystery as the dead boy assigned to her.

Jacob Beaufort’s spirit has been unable to crossover since his death. It might have something to do with the fact he was murdered. Or it might not. All he knows is, he has been assigned by the Otherworld’s administrators to a girl named Emily. A girl who can see and touch him. A girl who released a shape-shifting demon into the mortal realm. Together they must send the demon back before it wreaks havoc on London. It should be a simple assignment, but they soon learn there’s nothing simple when a live girl and a dead boy fall in love.

My Rating: 3/5
My Thoughts: I’m not sure how I feel about this one. I was loving it until about halfway through. The story was intriguing, but I don’t think I can get past the mad case of insta-love. The main character, Emily, falls head over heels in love with someone after 2 short days. It made me dislike her and it made it incredibly difficult to listen to. I listened to the audiobook version of this and it took everything in me not to fast forward through all the “woe is me” love scenes. I want to see where the story goes, but I’m just not a fan of Emily anymore.

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7. Pirate Nemesis (Telepathic Space Pirates #1) by Carysa Locke
Killers. Thieves. Pirates. Family.

Mercy Kincaid is a fugitive from her own family. Her dangerous telepathic gifts make her a target. So is anyone she gets close to. When her best friend is captured and tortured, Mercy’s only hope is to reunite with the family that tried to murder her as a child. She trusts few among her blood relatives, but finds herself intrigued by an enigmatic and dangerous killer.

Reaper has spent a lifetime watching his people die. He’s vowed to kill anyone who jeopardizes their survival. Mercy’s gifts are the biggest threat they’ve faced in eleven years, since a biological weapon nearly annihilated the pirate colonies. But Reaper realizes her talents can either destroy them, or save them. He must decide if he’s fallen victim to her power, or if he can truly trust the beautiful woman and her compelling abilities. If he makes the wrong choice, everyone dies.

Pirate Nemesis is the first book in an ongoing science fiction romance series. If you like compelling world-building, fantastic characters, and sizzling romance, then you’ll love Carysa Locke’s new twist on an old genre.

My Rating: 3.75/5
My Thoughts:  I don’t know that I’ve ever read anything quite like this before. It’s got a Firefly sort of vibe going on. Whatever the case, I certainly enjoyed it. The next book is dropping at the end of May and I will definitely pick it up. It’s different from anything that I’ve ever read before, which is refreshing.

8. Pirate Bound (Telepathic Space Pirates 0.5) by Carysa Locke
A desperate gamble…
Sanah would do anything to protect her little sister, even if it means taking refuge with ruthless pirates. But the psychically Talented pirates terrorizing Commonwealth space are not quite the monsters she has been led to believe. When Sanah’s empathic gift shows her the truth behind the stories, she is no longer certain who the villains are in her world.
A race on the verge of extinction…
Dem’s only goal is to protect his people, especially since a deadly bio-weapon decimated their population. Only a handful of women survived, and every day is a fight to rebuild. With Sanah’s empathy and her sister’s rare ability to heal, they could be the salvation Dem and his people have been looking for.
A dangerous secret that could destroy everything…
But how can Sanah trust Dem with her life? Especially when he’d kill her if he knew the truth.
Pirate Bound is a short prequel novel to the Telepathic Space Pirates series. It is a standalone story within the series. 

My Rating: 3.75/5
My Thoughts:  This was a quickie – I read it after reading Pirate Nemesis. It’s a short novella in the same world and it was great too! It centers around a few characters you meet in Pirate Bound and it was interesting to learn a bit more of their backstory.

Life According to Steph

  • I really couldn’t get into The Girl On The Train, it was just alright for me. I just didn’t like the characters and (for a change) I managed to guess the mystery before hand, which pleases me and kind of ruins the book at the same time.

  • SVU is one of my favorite shows, so I need to check out the Anna Curtis series! It just sounds so good, and it’s also good to know that it gets better with time as well. I’m glad that you ended up liking The Girl On The Train and read it before you saw the movie. The movie was good, but the book is definitely better!

    • I’m not sure that I want to watch the movie now. I looked at some reviews and nobody really seemed to like it very much :( And yes! Check out the Anna Curtis books!

  • I enjoyed The Girl on the Train, but haven’t seen the movie yet.

  • These are super interesting choices! I really have been meaning to read The Girl on the Train forever as well. Maybe in May… haha I want to check out the first series that you mentioned. I’m always looking for more mysteries/thrillers/crime type books. I tend not to gravitate toward them. XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    • I just randomly stumbled on the Anna Curtis books and have been loving them! I don’t ever remember hearing about them before, so I don’t know how popular they are… but they are really good!

  • I started the Allison Leotta series then stopped a few pages into book two and never went back to it. This is a good reminder!

  • I really enjoyed Girl on the Train. I didn’t really like a single character but I could not put the book down!

    • that’s how I felt! I didn’t really like them either, but I just HAD to know how it ended.

  • I was thinking that Pirate Nemesis sounded a lot like Firefly when I was reading the bio.
    I never had any interest in The Girl on the Train and after reading The Woman in Cabin 10 I REALLY don’t think I’ll be venturing down the path of thrillers, ha. I’m glad you enjoyed it, though!

  • The Allison Leotta series sounds good!! I liked Girl on the Train and enjoyed the movie as well (as much as you can enjoy a book/movie where you hate all the characters. lol) ;)

  • The movie adaptation of TGOTT was quite good. Emily Blunt is awesome. I liked the book, despite the horrible characters, which says a lot for her writing.

  • I really enjoyed The Girl on the Train. The movie, not so much. The Allison Leotta series sounds like one that I’d enjoy.

  • Discretion sounds like an interesting plot. I think I would like that series!

  • i read the girl on the train a year or so ago and still haven’t seen the movie. Pirate Nemesis sounds interesting, you had me at Firefly.

  • I don’t know most of these; thanks so much for sharing. I’m glad you liked The Girl on the Train. I love a good mystery, but I found that one too predictable for me. I’m curious about her upcoming one though.


  • I really like the cover of Discretion, it’s definitely not something I’d usually pick up, but it sounds like it could be really interesting. I really enjoyed Girl on the Train too, but was sooo underwhelmed by the movie.

    • yeah, I’m not sure that I’ll watch the movie. Everyone that I’ve talked to about it said that it wasn’t very good. Too bad, I really like Emily Blunt.

    • Haha it’s funny you say that about the cover of Discretion.. I totally thought the same thing when I first saw it!

  • Oooh SVU is one of my absolute favorite shows, I’ll have to read Discretion! Is the whole series similar? I also wasn’t in love with Girl on the Train. I liked it, but it was just okay. It didn’t live up to the hype in my opinion. Maybe because the characters were all horrible?

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