Book Reviews: The Snapped Series Books 1 and 2 by Ketley Allison

 A New Adult Contemporary series
with all the romance you’d expect, but
the killer—and lovers—that you don’t.

SnappedSnapped
The Snapped Series, Part One
Ketley Allison
Ketley Allison, November 2014
Ebook

From the author—

“We have someone who saw you struggling with the deceased before using that knife. Your best friend, and our eye witness.”

In nine weeks Charlie Miller’s life goes from high-rolling perfection to a crypt of sin. All it takes is one night, one blade, and her boyfriend, best friend and new friends all either end up as suspects or dead.

Nate Westcott, a pierced, tattooed, charismatic lawyer, is a man she can’t have—but a seductive danger she can’t ignore. He’s cocky, infuriating, brilliant and wrong, yet he makes her question whether she really is the good girl she wants to be or more like the selfish killer everyone thinks she is.

And her body wants him in ways she’s not supposed to crave.

As the weeks close in, cracks start forming in her everyday world of pro football golden boys, law school domination and New York City nightlife. Everyone she cares about is at risk because one of them doesn’t love Charlie back. In fact, they want her out of the way. Disposed of. Set up.

One more step, and all Charlie has to do is fall through.

Week 1 starts now.

WHO WILL SNAP?

When I started reading this, I was more than a little apprehensive about what precisely I was going to find. My concern was that, when I first heard about this series, I thought it was a straightforward mystery with some romance thrown in, which is fine with me. Then, as time approached for the blog tour to begin, some pictures came to light which are considerably racier than I anticipated, one in particular bordering on going too far (for me, not necessarily for others). I’d promised, though, so I soldiered on.

I’m very happy to say, on behalf of those readers who lean toward the clean side, that this is perfectly fine. There are a few scenes that you won’t want your 11-year-old to read but they’re not even close to erotica, just a little bit heated. Besides, this is an adult mystery, not intended for your 11-year-old  😉

The story opens in New York City with a scene from the future, 9 weeks ahead, and our heroine, Charlie, is being grilled by a detective about what seems to be a murder. She doesn’t react well to what she considers an interrogation and plays the law student card. Her prickliness seems likely to put her in the crosshairs at some point in the investigation.

The scene shifts and we’re now in Week 0 with this particular novella covering two weeks. We’re introduced to what we think may be the major characters—law student Charlie, her football-playing boyfriend, Slade, her best friend, Lara, new friend and fellow law student Reagan, and Reagan’s brother, tattooed rock drummer Nate. While Charlie tries to cope with being in the sports world limelight, Lara is kind of footloose but a spark appears in her eye when she meets Nate.

By the nature of the beast, a novella is difficult to review because there hasn’t been enough time to get really in depth with the characters or the plot but Snapped is more than entertaining and, while I don’t have a good handle yet on who I like and who I don’t or who’s going to be involved in the crime, Ms. Allison has offered enough to entice me on to the next part of the story, Shade.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2014.

Goodreads

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ShadeShade
The Snapped Series, Part Two
Ketley Allison
Ketley Allison, November 2014
Ebook

From the author—

Famous boyfriend, penthouse on Park Avenue, full scholarship and best friend along for the ride?

Awesome.

A smartass drummer-lawyer boy, dark obsession and a hint of betrayal?

Unexpected.

Murder?

Inevitable.

Charlie Miller’s life in New York City is just getting started.

Shade opens at Week 3 and covers three weeks. Lara is now working for Nate in the family bar and clams up when Charlie asks how things are going. Why all the mystery?

I appreciate Charlie’s self-deprecation. Here’s a girl who attracted and still holds the attention of a hot-looking football player who could easily have any girl he wants but she’s full of insecurities. She can’t pull off sexy texting and gets squirmy when football groupies hang on Slade. It’s kind of nice to see a golden girl who isn’t sure she belongs where she is rather than the self-absorbed girl in love with herself that Charlie could have been. Still, Slade truly loves her. Doesn’t he?

And then the connections among the five friends begin to crumble, just a little. Cracks in the foundation, hints of betrayal, and it all touches Charlie. Suddenly, loyalties come into question and the one person who’s the most enigmatic, Nate, suddenly has much more of a presence in Charlie’s life. At the same time, there’s a side to Slade that’s new to Charlie.

The tension ratchets up in this second novella in the series and the distrust that begins to creep in is palpable. At the end of this three week period, I have no clue where this is all heading or what’s going to happen to these five people. I’m sure I’m beginning to dislike Slade and perhaps Reagan but…I could be wrong. Guess I’ll have to wait for the third novella, Sin, due out in December.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2014.

Goodreads

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About the Author

 

Ketley AllisonKetley Allison began her career by writing books as birthday presents for her friends (with her friend as the main character and opposite a super sexy lead, of course) before ending it in order to walk down a path she thought she was supposed to follow.

The writing bug never left her—and, in fact, would often bleed into the official papers she was supposed to write—so now Ketley’s putting down her suit and finally following her dream. While her friends are no longer the stars of her books, she still throws in bits and pieces of them into each and every one of her characters.

As a result, her books tend to focus a lot on friendships as well as love, because let’s be honest, friends are what really get you through—especially when your epic love turns into epic heartbreak.

Ketley’s debut indie ebook, DARK SOULS, the first in the Dark Souls Series, is available on Amazon right here and Barnes & Noble.

ENTWINED, Book II in the Dark Souls Series, is also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

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Book Reviews: The Twenty-Year Death by Ariel S. Winter and Redemption by Kate Flora

The Twenty-Year DeathThe Twenty-Year Death
Ariel S. Winter
Hard Case Crime, August 2012
ISBN 978-0-85768-581-0
Hardcover

It’s a three in one deal and when I see something like that I can’t pass it up. Yep, three books in one giant-sized novel. Three murder mysteries that bring back the genre of early hard-boiled detectives, of desperate people taking desperate measures to save themselves or their loved ones. Winter has written a novel worthy enough to be included as part of the Hard Case Crime series.

The Twenty-Year Death is actually three separate murder mysteries tied together by two characters. The first story, “Malvineau Prison”, is set in 1931. Chief Inspector Pelleter is only visiting the small French town of Verargent to speak to a prisoner concerning violence against other inmates. However, when a corpse is found within the town limits, Pelleter is drawn into a complex murder mystery involving not only the prison, but Shem Rosenkrantz, a famous American writer and his wife Clothilde.

Jump ahead ten years to Hollywood and “The Falling Star”. Clothilde-now Chloe Rose-is an actress who is paranoid thinking someone is following her. Her husband, Shem, who is writing not only for the movies, but for a smut producer, has become an alcoholic. The movie studio’s head of security hires private detective Dennis Foster to discover if Chloe’s fears are justified. What he discovers is the dead body of Chloe’s costar and very important people willing to go to great lengths to keep secrets buried.

Move to 1951 and “Police At The Funeral”. Shem Rozencrantz, has-been writer, is struggling to recover from his alcoholism and hoping for an inheritance from his first wife to keep Clothilde safe in her asylum. When he gets into an argument with his son, the young man ends up dead. Shem is hounded by the police after he and his girlfriend try to cover up the accidental death.

At first I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with this massive tome. Three stories that could just as well have been three separate novels instead of grouped together under one cover. Winter writes each with a different tone and voice. The first ends up being a straight mystery while the second is in the vein of the first person hard-boiled private eye looking at a world gone dirty. The third reminds me of the fifties and sixties short novelettes of one man with his back against the wall, trying to save himself from a circumstance gone out of his control. I ended up enjoying each story even though it took me awhile to finish the entire novel. This is something different but definitely worth reading.

Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, August 2012.
Author of Night Shadows, Beta and Alpha.

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RedemptionRedemption
Kate Flora
Five Star, February 2012
ISBN 9781594153792
Hardcover

A homicide detective’s life is never pretty or easy. There are always pressures from home and family and bean counters at work. There are even pressures within the ranks from other colleagues’ lives. Thus is the story of Joe Burgess of the Portland, Maine PD. A solid murder mystery with plenty of character driven action to keep you turning the pages.

Burgess just wants to spend time with his girlfriend and two kids they are thinking of fostering. However, his job keeps getting in the way. A weekend with the kids is interrupted by the murder of Burgess’ long time friend and war buddy Reggie Libby. Libby, never quite the same after the war, turned to alcohol and the street. So who would kill him? Suspects abound. His son, a shyster realtor, his ex-wife. Burgess’s struggles to find evidence in the case are another obstacle. A superior is urging him to cut out the extra manpower for what looks like an accidental drowning of a wino. Nobody seems to know Reggie’s mysterious new employment. Burgess’s friends on the street are too addled-minded to be of but scant assistance. Reggie’s son, Joey is nowhere to be found and the ex wife is a witch. The situation grows more tense as the days pass and the clues start to add up.

One of the things about homicide mysteries that keep them interesting are the subplots. Redemption has a couple of good ones, even though the latter is brought in late in the story. The story isn’t just focused on Burgess and the murder or his friend. His colleague has an ongoing problem with a woman and just doesn’t quite know how to handle the situation. Flora does a nice job of keeping me interested in the main plot, but also allowed me a breather by bringing in other action to enjoy.

Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, September 2012.
Author of Night Shadows, Beta and Alpha.