Book Review: Solitude by Dean M. Cole

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Title: Solitude
Series: Dimension Space Book 1

Author: Dean M. Cole
Narrators: R.C. Bray and Julia Whelan
Publication Date: April 3, 2017

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Purchase Links:

Audible // iTunes // Amazon

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Solitude
Dimension Space Book 1
Dean M. Cole
Narrated by R.C. Bray and Julia Whelan
CANDTOR Press, April 2017
Downloaded Unabridged Audiobook

From the publisher—

Earth’s last man discovers that the last woman is stranded alone aboard the International Space Station. If you like action-packed novels, you’ll love the electrifying action in this apocalyptic thriller.

Can humanity’s last two unite?

Separated by the gulf of space, the last man and woman of the human race struggle against astronomical odds to survive and unite.

Army Aviator Vaughn Singleton is a highly intelligent, lazy man. After a last-ditch effort to reignite his failing military career ends horribly, Vaughn becomes the only human left on Earth.

Stranded alone on the International Space Station, Commander Angela Brown watches an odd wave of light sweep across the planet. Over the next weeks and then months, Angela struggles to contact someone on the surface, but as she fights to survive aboard a deteriorating space station, the commander glimpses the dark underpinnings of humanity’s demise.

After months alone, Vaughn discovers there is another. Racing against time, he must cross a land ravaged by the consequences of humankind’s sudden departure.

Can Vaughn find a path to space and back? Can Angela – the only person with clues to the mystery behind humanity’s disappearance – survive until he does?

I have to say I expected to like Solitude but I didn’t expect to be so wrapped up in it that I stayed up all night to listen to it. I literally couldn’t sleep till I knew what was going to happen in the next 30 minutes and the next and the next. I’m usually content to play an audiobook while I’m in the car running errands and then again the next time I go out but that was not going to happen with this one.

There’s not a lot I can say without running afoul of spoilers so I’ll just hit the high points. Solitude has been compared to a few movies, The MartianGravity and I Am Legend, the latter because of the last man aspect, not because of the vampires. The comparisons are not illogical but the kicker here is that we have the supposed last man on earth and the stranded astronaut in the same story and that increased the tension a hundredfold.

Another highlight is that, in most post-apocalyptic stories, the few people we care about have to cope with scavengers and killers but, this time, Vaughn knows he’s the last man so he has no worries other than where he’ll find the next bottle of beer and can of beans…and, of course, the knowledge that he’ll probably go crazy with such total aloneness. He’s especially affected by what happened to his mother and his friend, Mark. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Vaughn, Angela is slowly starving to death on the space station and running a hopeless radio loop looking for someone, anyone. Granted, there are quite a few helpful coincidences but, then, that’s true in a lot of science fiction, particularly of the apocalyptic sort.

The structure of this book alternates between Vaughn and Angela and the narrators, as you might expect, do a great job with this. Both R.C. Bray and Julia Whelan have well-deserved excellent reputations as narrators and they most certainly did not disappoint with their clear tones, perfect pacing and their evocation of emotions. They had a great deal to do with my love of this book and my high anticipation of the next one. In the meantime, Solitude is going on my list of favorite books read in 2017.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, June 2017.

About the Author

Author, world traveler, and combat pilot turned commercial helicopter pilot Dean M. Cole writes from locales as remote as Equatorial Guinea and as romantic as Paris’s Champs-Elysées with his trusty sidekick and beautiful wife, Donna. A combat veteran, he flew Apache Attack Helicopters in the US Army’s First Cavalry Division.


License to kill revoked by the government, he traded in his attack helicopter for one of the transport ilk. When not weaving tales of alien apocalypse and redemption, he spends his days flying terrestrial aliens in IFOs (Identified Flying Objects) known as helicopters. No longer authorized to dispatch aliens he settles for dropping them off at oil rigs around the globe.

On the six months of time off his paying job affords, author, biker, and fellow Sci-Fi geek Dean M. Cole travels with his wife, builds airplanes and custom choppers, and writes his next tale of the apocalypse.

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About the Narrators

R.C. Bray

From an early age Audie, Earphones, and SOVAS Voice Arts Award-winning audiobook narrator R.C. Bray despised reading. Truly hated it with a passion.

And audiobooks? Even worse. Those were for people too lazy to read (not to be confused with those like himself who didn’t want to read to begin with).

R.C. eventually got older and wiser (he was always good-looking) and eschewing his capricious convictions fell head-over-heels with reading. Not just to learn words like “eschew” and “capricious” so he could use them in a bio line, but because someone was actually going to give him money to do it.

Note: R.C.’s gorgeous wife and three beautiful children begged him not to make this his official bio. Clearly he misunderstood.

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Julia Whelan

Julia Whelan is an actor, writer, and audiobook narrator. She is perhaps most well known for her acting work on ABC’s Once and Again and her award-winning narration of over 200 audiobooks (including Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl). Her debut novel is forthcoming.

After a healthy career as a child actor, Whelan attended Middlebury College and Oxford University, graduating with a degree in English and Creative Writing.

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Play an excerpt here.

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Follow the tour:

Jun. 14th: Spunky-n-Sassy (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)

Jun. 15th: Avid Book Collector (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)

Jun. 16th: Brian’s Book Blog (Review)

Jun. 17th: CGB Blog Tours (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 18th: The Pursuit of Bookishness (Review)

Jun. 19thThe Bookworm Lodge (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 20th: Read Day and Night (Review)

Jun. 21st: Shh I Am Reading (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)

Jun. 22nd: The Book Addict’s Reviews (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 23rd: Book Reviews By Jasmine (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 24th: Lisa Loves Literature (Author Interview & Giveaway)

Jun. 25th: Buried Under Books (Review & Giveaway)

Jun. 26th: Lomeraniel (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)

Jun. 27th: Lilly’s Book World (Review)

Jun. 29th: Joshua Gayou (Review, Author Interview)

Jun. 30th: Book Lover’s Life (Review & Giveaway)

Jul. 3rdRonelle Antoinette (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Music Playlist)

Jul. 4thDab of Darkness (Author Interview, Giveaway)

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Book Review: Deadly Shore by Andrew Cunningham

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Title: Deadly Shore
Author: Andrew Cunningham
Narrator: Greg Hernandez
Publication Date: January 31, 2017

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Purchase Links:

Audible // iTunes // Amazon

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Deadly Shore
Andrew Cunningham
Andrew Cunningham, January 2017
Narrated by Greg Hernandez
Downloaded Unabridged Audiobook

From the author—

It’s July 5th, and the Cape Cod roadways are clogged with tourists heading home from the holiday weekend and trying to outrun an approaching potentially catastrophic hurricane. But in the blink of an eye, their lives are thrown into chaos when terrorists bring down the bridges to the Cape. Instantly, a half million terrified people have no way to escape. And when the terrorists threaten to release anthrax on the captive population if their demands aren’t met, fear turns to all-out panic.

With time running out, Marcus Baldwin, a private investigator and former CIA operative, and Sara Cross, a disgraced ex-homicide detective, are brought together by a sole clue to the identity of the terrorists. They quickly realize that they may be the only ones with even a chance at stopping the plot before it’s too late.

With Hurricane Chad barreling up the coast on a path for a direct hit on Cape Cod, it becomes frighteningly clear to everyone trapped on what has now become an island – one way or another they are probably all going to die.

A while back, probably 15  or 20 years, there seemed to be a lot of natural disaster novels  and I snatched up every one of them I could find. They’ve been pretty scarce since then so, when I read the description of Deadly Shore, I had to have it and I mean to tell you, this is a good one. Not only do we have an approaching hurricane that keeps growing in strength, we also have a nifty terrorist crime going on. The hurricane doesn’t actually play a large physical role; it’s the looming threat of the storm that matters to the people on Cape Cod.

The hallmark of a good disaster novel is that all kinds of things happen that are beyond the pale, so to speak, definitely over the top and without much basis in reality. To truly enjoy it, you have to be willing to put aside your inclination to look for what doesn’t make sense and just go with the flow. Carrying out the dastardly plot in this book is as disbelief-suspending as it gets from the initial plan itself to the acquisition of the necessary materials to finding just the right group of henchmen to controlling all the pieces parts…well, you get the idea. Oh, and don’t forget the plethora of coincidences that not only bring together a former CIA operative and a disgraced cop but allow them to come across the perfect clues just when they need to. And I loved every minute of it 😉

As for the narration, a funny thing happened on the way to the finish. Usually, I’m very aware of the narrator’s ability to differentiate characters but, this time, I got all the way to the end before I noticed that Mr. Hernandez didn’t do such a great job with voices. And you know what? It didn’t matter. Mr. Hernandez has a really pleasing tone and is easy to listen to plus he has the ability to convey the tension and sense of doom a book like this needs. I might not  be able to quickly identify a character by the voice but Mr. Cunningham’s dialogue is written in such a manner as to let me know who’s talking when.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Deadly Shore and found myself hanging out in my driveway because I wanted to hear what would happen next. That, my friends, is a sign of an exciting audiobook, don’t you think?

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, June 2017.

About the Author
Andrew Cunningham

I was born in England, but have spent most of my life living in the U.S.—including  25 years on Cape Cod before moving to Florida. A former interpreter for the deaf and long-time independent bookseller, I’ve been a full-time freelance writer and copy editor for many years. A 4th-degree Master Blackbelt in Tang Soo Do, I finally retired from active training when my body said, “Enough already! Why are you doing this to yourself?” I’m married, with two grown children and two awesome grandsons. My wife and I spend as much time traveling as we can, and are especially fond of cruising the Caribbean.

​I have been gratified by the response to my books. When I published Eden Rising back in the spring of 2013, I had no idea what to expect. When I sold my first few copies, I was excited beyond belief that someone was willing to take a chance on it. Numerous books and thousands of copies later, I am still humbled by the emails I get from readers telling me that my books kept them up late into the night.

In October of 2014, Wisdom Spring made me an official Amazon Bestselling author, a thrill I never thought would happen. But it still comes down to being able to bring a few hours of escape to a reader. That’s what it’s all about for me.

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About the Narrator
Greg Hernandez

For more than 20 years I worked as a radio news reporter and news writer.  I spent half of my broadcasting career at ABC News Radio in the Washington, D.C., bureau.  I covered all the federal agencies as well as Congress and the White House.  I reported on a wide range of stories during my career, including financial and entertainment industry news.

I have worked as a federal government spokesman at three separate agencies for more than 20 years.  At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, U.S. Commerce Department), I introduced podcasting in 2005 just a few weeks before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States.  The 19 podcasts I narrated and produced from August 2005 to June 2007 were downloaded more than 600,000 times during that period.  They’re still online at the following link.

http://www.noaa.gov/podcasts/podcast-archive.html

I enjoy narrating audio books because it gives me great satisfaction bringing to life books of all genres, especially mysteries and thrillers.

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Play an excerpt here.

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Follow the tour:

Jun. 21st:
Kristina Stanley (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 22nd:
Dab of Darkness (Review)
Buried Under Books (Review)

Jun. 23rd:
CGB Blog Tours (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)
The Bookworm Lodge (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 24th:
A Book and A Latte (Review)

Jun. 25th:
Lomeraniel (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)
Jorie Loves A Story (Review)

Jun. 26th:
Between the Coverz (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)
Bound 4 Escape (Review)
Audio Audits (Review)

Jun. 27th:
Hall Ways (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)
The Book Addict’s Reviews (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

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Book Review: Sweet Tea Tuesdays by Ashley Farley

Sweet Tea Tuesdays
Ashley Farley
Leisure Time Books, May 2917
Ebook
Leisure Time Books, March 2017
ISBN 978-1-946229-37-3
Trade Paperback

From the author—

Three best friends met every Tuesday for twenty-six years. And then they stopped.

When new next-door neighbors Georgia, Midge, and Lula first assembled on Georgia’s porch in Charleston for sweet tea, they couldn’t have known their gathering was the beginning of a treasured tradition. For twenty-six years they have met on Tuesdays at four o’clock, watching the seasons change and their children grow up, supporting each other in good times and in bad. With their ambitions as different as their personalities, these best friends anticipate many more years of tea time. And then, one Tuesday, Georgia shares news that brings their long-standing social hour to an abrupt halt. And that’s only the beginning as unraveling secrets threaten to alter their friendship forever.

Picture yourself and a couple of neighbors enjoying a glass of sweet tea on the front porch once a week, spending a little time catching up on each other’s doings and the latest tales about the kids and the men in your lives. Some weeks, you’ll watch the sun set; others, you’ll just savor the warm afternoon and coastal breezes. There are tears sometimes, a lot of laughs, perhaps the occasional spat, and the tea just might become a glass of wine. Most importantly, this is tradition and the essence of friendship, the very reason front porches were created.

Lula, Midge and Georgia are such normal women and so nice (for the most part) but not too much so. I would welcome them all into my life if I could do so and, after reading about the years on that porch, I feel as though I know them as well as my own best friends, alas both now departed. These are seasoned women who have seen and experienced much in their lifetimes and therefore they are compellingly interesting. When life deals Lula what she sees as a bad hand, the effect is nearly catastrophic and heartache is inevitable while continuing to care about her becomes really difficult. Many of us have been faced with problems similar to that which nearly brings the three friends to an apparent impasse; would we react the same or differently?

With each book Ashley Farley writes, she just gets better and better and she has become one of my favorite contemporary Southern fiction authors. Sweet Tea Tuesdays is a summer afternoon’s paean to friendships and family and the ordinary lives of women and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Georgia, Lula and Midge.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, June 2017.

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Purchase Links:

Ebook:

Amazon

Print:

Barnes & Noble // Indiebound // Amazon

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About the Author

Ashley Farley writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives facing real-life issues. Her goal is to keep you turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning. If her story stays with you long after you’ve read the last word, then she’s done her job.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save.

Ashley is a wife and mother of two young adult children. While she’s lived in Richmond, Virginia for the past 21 years, part of her heart remains in the salty marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry where she grew up. Through the eyes of her characters, she’s able to experience the moss-draped trees, delectable cuisine, and kind-hearted folks with lazy drawls that make the area so unique.

Catch up with Ashley

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Follow the tour:

Monday, June 5th: I’d Rather Be At The Beach

Tuesday, June 6th: Kritters Ramblings

Wednesday, June 7th: A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, June 8th: Reading is My Super Power

Friday, June 9th: Bibliotica

Monday, June 12th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Monday, June 12th: Jathan & Heather

Tuesday, June 13th: Tina Says…

Thursday, June 15th: From the TBR Pile

Friday, June 16th: View from the Birdhouse

Monday, June 19th: Based on a True Story

Tuesday, June 20th: StephTheBookworm

Wednesday, June 21st: Buried Under Books

Thursday, June 22nd: A Bookish Way of Life

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Spotlight on Beyond Reason by Kat Martin

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Title: Beyond Reason
Series: The Texas Trilogy #1
Author: Kat Martin
Publisher: Zebra/Kensington
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romantic Suspense

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Synopsis

Five weeks ago Carly Drake stood at her grandfather’s grave.
Now she’s burying Drake Trucking’s top driver, and the cops
have no leads on the hijacking or murder. Faced with bankruptcy,
phone threats and the fear of failure, Carly has to team
up with the last man she wants to owe—Lincoln Cain.

Cain is magnetic, powerful, controlling—and hiding more than
one secret. He promised Carly’s granddad he’d protect her. The
old man took a chance on him when he was nothing but a kid
with a record, and now he’s the multi-millionaire owner of a rival firm.

But Linc’s money can’t protect Carly from the men who’ll do
anything to shut her down, or the secrets behind Drake Trucking.
If she won’t sell out, the only way to keep her safe is
to keep her close . . . and fight like hell.

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Purchase Links:

Barnes & Noble // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play //
Amazon // Indiebound  // Books-A-Million
Kensington Books // Hudson Booksellers

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An Excerpt from Beyond Reason

Lincoln Cain, no middle name.  Entrepreneur, developer, investor, philanthropist.  Born in Pleasant Hill, Texas.  July 4, 1980.  Which made him thirty-five years old, six years older than Carly.

Co-owner of Texas American Enterprises.  His partner’s name was Beaumont Reese.  She’d heard of Beau Reese, son of a wealthy Texas family, famous for his flashy lifestyle and his expensive hobby–driving formula one race cars, kind of a Texas Paul Newman.  Though apparently he just drove for fun these days.  When she had a little more time, she’d Google Reese, too.

Carly glanced down the page.  There was a ton of stuff about Cain.  One sentence caught her eye: net worth estimated at over five hundred million.  Oh. My. God.

Mother deceased.  No mention of his father.  She went back to the web links, spotted the word Prison and clicked up the link.  It was an article in People Magazine.

She didn’t have time to read it all so she skimmed the page, paused halfway down the article.  An entire section was devoted to Cain’s teenage years, which mentioned a stint in juvenile detention when he was a junior in high school and another stay as a senior.

At age eighteen, he’d been arrested for attempted armed robbery of a convenience store along with two other youths, all three apprehended at the scene.  Having just turned eighteen, Cain was sentenced to two years in prison while the other two kids, still seventeen, received lesser sentences and their juvenile records were sealed.  Cain had never revealed their identities.

According to the article, after prison Cain had turned his life around and set himself on a course that had made him the multi-millionaire he was today.

A knock at the door ended her reading.  Instead of bursting in as she usually did, Donna waited for permission, which meant Lincoln Cain had arrived.

She shut down the computer and answered the knock.  “Come on in.”

Donna opened the door, her cheeks flushed and her eyes bright, the same affect the man had had on Brittany.  “I’m sorry to bother you, Ms. Drake, but Mr. Cain is here to see you.”

Cain walked past Donna, wearing a charcoal suit today, Armani or Gucci, or some equally posh designer.  At Delta, she had worked the first class section.  She knew high-dollar clothes.  The briefcase he carried was expensive belted leather.

Carly stood up behind the desk in her jeans and T-shirt.  Suddenly remembering what was printed on the front, she froze.  Cain’s gold-flecked green eyes ran over the words Bad Mother Trucker, and his mouth edged up.

Carly hadn’t expected the jolt of heat that faint smile created.  She hadn’t expected to notice his lips at all, the slight tilt, the sexy way they curved.  She wished to God she hadn’t.

She looked down at the bold white letters.  “I…umm… spilled coffee on my blouse and one of the guys loaned me this.  I thought I’d have time to change, but…”  She shrugged.  She was babbling.  It was ridiculous.  She didn’t owe Cain an explanation.

“No need to apologize,” he said.  “I don’t always wear a suit and tie.”

One of her eyebrows went up.  “Just most of the time?”

“Only when I have to.”

“Which is most of the time?”

His faint smile broadened.  Those faint groves appeared and her stomach lifted.  Forgodsake, he was only a man, good looking, but so what?  He was also rich and powerful, undoubtedly controlling.  She’d dated men like Cain.  She had no interest in doing it again.

He said, “Too damned much of the time–that’s for sure.”

She relaxed a little.  Maybe he actually had a sense of humor.  “Why don’t we sit down?”  Carly walked over to the round Formica table and metal folding chairs in the corner, and both of them sat down.

“So what can I do for you, Mr. Cain?”

“Linc would suit me better.  If I can call you Carly.  I feel as if I’ve known you for a while.  Your grandfather talked a lot about you.”

She wished Joe had talked about Lincoln Cain.  Why hadn’t he?  But then they never seemed to have enough time to really talk at all.

“All right, Linc, what can I do for you?”

“As I said before, your grandfather and I were friends.  He helped me when I needed it.  In return, I’m here to help you.”

She studied the strong, masculine lines of his face, noticed the beginnings of a beard shadow along his jaw.  She wondered if she could trust him.  “Help me how?”

Cain opened his briefcase and pulled out a sheaf of papers, set the thick stack of pages down on the table.  “This is an offer to buy Drake Trucking.  I expect you to take it to your financial advisor as well as your attorney, but you’ll find the offer is extremely generous and the transaction will hold you harmless from any problems from the day we close the deal.”

She couldn’t believe it.  Lincoln Cain was there to buy the company.  Damn, she wished she’d had time to read more about him.

“What makes you think I’m interested in selling?”

One of his dark eyebrows went up.  “I assumed that would be your first priority now that Joe’s gone.  You’re telling me you don’t want to sell?”

She didn’t have to think about it.  She had known almost from the day Joe died.  “That’s exactly what I’m saying.  My grandfather’s health issues left Drake in less than perfect financial condition, but with a little hard work–“

“Why go to all the trouble?  If you take my offer, you can do whatever you want.  You moved back here from San Francisco, I understand.  As a flight attendant, you traveled all over the world.  I can’t imagine you’d want to stay here in Iron Springs.”

He was beginning to annoy her.  “Then you’re a man of little imagination, Mr. Cain.  Because that is exactly my plan.  I’ve traveled.  I’ve done the things I wanted to do.  Now I’m ready for a change.  I need a new challenge and I’ve found it right here.  I’m going to rebuild Drake Trucking, make it the successful company it was before.”

“It’s just Linc, and that’s a fine ambition, but how much experience have you had running a trucking firm?”

Not enough, but that was beside the point.  “I learned a lot from Joe.  I’ve forgotten some of it, but it’s beginning to come back to me.  I’m a fast learner and a hard worker.  I’ll figure things out.”

Cain shoved the paperwork across the table.  “At least take a look, see what I’m offering.”

Her irritation mounted.  Carly stood up from her chair.  “I’ll be blunt, Mr.  Cain.  Drake Trucking is edging toward bankruptcy.  It isn’t worth whatever you’re offering–which you would find out as soon as you looked at the books.  So I’m saving you a lot of grief by simply saying no.”

Cain stood up, too, his towering height putting her at a disadvantage.  “Buying companies in trouble and turning them around is what I do.  I’ll cut you a deal that will cover your debts and let you walk away with a cool million dollars.”

A million dollars!  And all her worries over.  For one crazy instant, she actually considered it.  Carly shook her head.  “Thank you, but no.”  She had a debt to repay.  And she needed a purpose in life.  She had found it here in Iron Springs.

His deep voice softened, rolled over her like a caress.  “This deal isn’t just about money, Carly.  It’s about friendship.  Mine and Joe’s.  Look at the paperwork, give yourself some time to think it over, then call me.  My card is in the envelope.”

Carly slid the paperwork back to him.  “I’m not interested.  I appreciate whatever it is you think you’re doing, but I’m not selling.  Drake Trucking is not for sale.”

He studied her for several long moments.  “You’re not what I expected,” he said softly, making a little curl of heat slip into her stomach.  Picking up the papers, he put them back in his briefcase and closed the lid.

He pulled a card out of his inside coat pocket and set it down on the table.  “If you need anything, call me.  It’s what your grandfather would want.”  Grabbing the handle of the briefcase, he turned and walked out of the room.

As soon as the door closed behind him, Carly sagged down in the chair.  Her hands were trembling.  A shaky breath whispered out.  Just being in the same room with Cain made her nervous.

She hoped he wouldn’t come back again.

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About the Author

Credit Juan Carlos

Kat Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of sixty-five books across multiple genres.  Sixteen million copies are in print and she has been published in twenty-one foreign countries, including Japan, France, Argentina, Greece, China, and Spain. Her books have been nominated for the prestigious RITA award and won both the Lifetime Achievement and Reviewer’s Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews.

A resident of Missoula, Montana, Kat is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. She and her author husband, L.J. Martin, spend their winters in Ventura, California. She is currently writing her next Romantic Suspense.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * BookBub * Amazon

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Book Review: Dark Deception by Nancy Mehl—and a Giveaway!

Dark Deception
Defenders of Justice #2
Nancy Mehl
Bethany House Publishers, June 2017
ISBN 978-0-7642-1778-4
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

Kate O’Brien has been leading a quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas, for the past four years when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Only Kate survived, and it was her drawing of the attacker–along with some last-minute evidence–that convicted the suspect.

She’s been in witness protection ever since, but new evidence suggests the convicted man isn’t the murderer and she’s been subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Nervous about the risk, she’ll only agree if the same marshal who protected her during the original trial escorts her to St. Louis.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Tony DeLuca accepts the assignment to bring Kate to the trial, remembering how her strength impressed him. While in Shelter Cove, however, he gets a call from his chief, advising them to stay in Shelter Cove until a new development in the case can be straightened out. But when Kate’s safety is threatened, Tony must race against the clock to keep her alive and put this ugly case to rest before anyone else gets killed.

There’s nothing quite like a good serial killer story, you know? Well, yes, I know not everyone will agree with that assessment but I happen to like such things, whatever that night say about me or my reading taste 😉 Moving right along, Dark Deception has an extra added attraction, the white-knuckle effect of knowing said serial killer is out to get you, unlike being the usual random target.

Kate is a really likeable woman with the intent to do good but she also is intelligent enough to recognize danger and want to avoid it plus she’s willing to accept help when she needs it, especially from the marshal who looked after her the first time. For his part, Tony remembers Kate and her strengths and accepts his assignment most willingly. The two have a connection from the past and there’s more of that this time around but not so much as to overwhelm the core story.

In a way, the premise here is a little lacking, at least for me. The excitement of a serial killer kind of fizzles when the guy who’s after the heroine may not actually be a serial killer, just a run-of-the-mill wrongfully convicted guy out for revenge. On the other hand, that does mean Tony’s going to have to figure out the truth and I did appreciate that this element makes Dark Deception more intense than many romantic suspense novels.

Lots of twists and turns keep things moving at a good clip and I really enjoyed spending time with Kate and Tony. It’s been a while since I read anything by Nancy Mehl but that’s my mistake, one I plan to rectify ASAP 🙂

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, June 2017.

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Purchase Links:

Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Indiebound
Google Play // Amazon

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About the Author

Nancy Mehl is the author of twenty-three books, including the Road to Kingdom, Finding Sanctuary, and Defenders of Justice series. She is a Carol Award finalist and writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson.

Connect with Nancy

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Follow the tour here.

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To enter the drawing for a print copy
of Dark Deception, leave a comment
below. The winning name will

be drawn Thursday evening, June 15th.
Open to residents of the US and Canada.

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