Marie Reviews A Splendid Little Murder: Death on La Tempestad by Henry Simpson

A Splendid Little MurderA Splendid Little Murder by Henry Simpson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Description

July 8, 2012
Teddy Roosevelt's "splendid little war" led to his eventual presidency. A century later, his hunting lodge on La Tempestad island is the scene of a "splendid little murder" that threatens the political career of Representative Alonso B. Duncan--the victim is his lovely executive assistant.

Federal police assign a seasoned veteran, Inspector Ed Lane, to investigate. On a whim, he picks novice detective Miranda Bell from the Fish and Game service to assist. After a rough flight by air taxi, Lane and Bell arrive on the island. They examine the crime scene, question possible witnesses, and try to identify a motive and suspects. They find the island a wild west balkanized among cattle ranchers, throwback vaqueros, hunters, a pot farmer, and Grateful Deadhead custodians of a nature sanctuary. Like the island in Shakespeare's Tempest, it is a
domain misruled by a remote and overbearing Duke.

Lane and Bell's investigation is complicated by Bell's unbridled curiosity, Lane's chronic motion sickness, a charismatic Mexican Mafia leader, a deceitful congressman, a DEA agent with a J. Edgar Hoover complex, and a meddling reporter chasing a Pulitzer. Threats are issued and attempts and are made on their lives. Will they survive long enough to accomplish their mission?

MY REVIEW : I was pleased with this book.I enjoyed it very much. The story was interesting. The plot development was sound. I thought I had it figured out, waiting to see how Bell and Lane would prove my theory, only to be surprised with new twists. I found myself trying to get back to it as often as I could to find out how it ended. The author gave good enough descriptions so I could envision the island and the people on it, but didn't go overboard so that it became boring paragraph after paragraph I wanted to skip through to get to the good part. The only sections I found reading awkward were the scenes when the main characters were alone, Bell jogging, and Lane in the water. The style of writing in those sections was new to me, and I hadn't made up my mind if I liked it or not.
Over all, I would definitely recommend it.
I received this book for free in exchange for a review.

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Marie Reviews Despair and Decision by Kyra Gregory

Despair & DecisionDespair & Decision by Kyra Gregory

Amara has always been conflicted; with other people's ideals never matching up to her own reality. With her only confidence being her love she learns to overcome the tragedies life throws her way. After all, to Amara, there is little of more importance than love.  A novella of 18,000 words.


A romance, between same sex partners, or opposite sex partners is still a romance. Some elements in the way the book was written made it difficult to feel like I was reading a romance, it felt distant, not intimate. I think a little more details, a little more depth leading into the story, so you get a better feel for who the characters are, would help. Other things shone brightly, like the commitment the women felt to eachother. Some very strong issues were adressed in the violence based on sexual preference. I was glad to see justice served at the end of the story. But, I did question that the men and women engaging in the same sport changed and showered in the same place, at the same time.
I was given this book for free in exchange for a review.

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Marie Reviews Fall Of The Citizens by Eric Thomas

Fall of the CitizensFall of the Citizens by Eric Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story revolves around an outbreak of the ebola virus that is exploited by a drug company, and much of the US population believes there is or will be an apidemic. This drug company has a vaccine that will cure the infected and inoculate the healthy, but it is so expensive that only the wealthy can afford it, at $60,000 per dose. Max, and the Citizens use the people's fear that they will be unable to afford the vaccine, and so will die just for the unfortunate reason of being poor, to recruit people from all walks of life to join their group and steal the drug and give it away for free. I don't want to give away too much of the story. But, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is squeamish. It gets pretty gruesome as the book advances.
I enjoyed the book. It kept me turning pages from the beginning and it was very difficult to put down. The story was interesting, and it felt like something that could actually happen. It had plot twists that made me say outloud "Oh My God", and my physical reactions while reading the book intrigued my husband enough to ask about what was going on. As I described it to him he also thought he would enjoy the book. I think he would enjoy it even more than I did, because the gruesome parts wouldn't bother him. I did have to skip over a little bit of the detailed violence. Just to tell me it happened would have been enough knowledge for me, the descriptive bloody detail was too much. But that will suit others very well, I am sure.
In my opinion, this could be a 5 star book with a more thorough editing.
I was given this book for free in exchange for a review.

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Marie Reviews The Matador Murders by Jerold Last

The Matador MurdersThe Matador Murders by Jerold Last
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


The Matador Murders, is set in Montevideo, Uruguay and Santiago, Chile. With apologies to reality, the Montevideo of this novel is much like the lawless Chicago of the prohibition years with the body count surpassing The Surreal Killer. That’s part of the fun of writing fiction----an author can turn one of the most law-abiding and civilized big cities in the world into the wild, wild west of the 19th century American frontier with the stroke of a pen (that’s a metaphor; it's more the click of a keyboard these days). The book features characters from Books #2 and #3 for a significant role (Martin Gonzalez, an Uruguayan policeman) and a major role (Eduardo Gomez, a Paraguayan policeman), respectively. Pat Bertram interviewed Eduardo on her blog last February, where he shared his impressions of life as a minor character in a series. He wanted a bigger part in a subsequent book. Well, his wish was my command and it happens here. I suspect he won't really be happy until he has his own book to star in. We'll see.

I have not read the previous books in this series, so I found it difficult to "picture" Robert and Suzanne, and many characters in the book. In the technical sense, it was written well. I found very few typos or grammatical errors. The over all idea for the story of the book, the murders, and the way the main characters flushed out the bad guys was good.
However, in my opinion, this book seemed a little mechanical. I felt everything was over explained, I wasn't lead to any of my own conclusions by the plot. I didn't get a lot of page turning excitement. I was distracted by all the descriptions of tourist attractions, wine, food, and even cheese to the point I felt at times I was reading a tourist brochure rather than a murder mystery. The last twenty five percent or so of the book was the best part in my opinion, where the story came together and there was a lot of action.
It's style didn't really work for me, but again, it was technically well written, and the over all idea of the story was good.
I was given this book for free in exchange for a review.

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Marie Reviews Love Me Now by Gail Hewitt

Love Me Now: The Second Novel of Love Romance andLove Me Now: The Second Novel of Love Romance and by Gail Hewitt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Maggie McLaurin thinks her big romance has arrived when, during a tryst at Lake View Lodge, she agrees to marry adorably sexy Miles Brewster. Once Miles thinks he has her safely in his pocket, however, he shows a side of his personality (not to mention his sexual preferences) that makes her wonder; and, as for his wealthy, powerful mother, let's admit up front that she's no future daughter-in-law's dream.

When Maggie returns to New York City, she is further distanced from the determined-to-have-her-at-any-cost Miles by the reappearance of handsome hunk Tom Scott, the old boyfriend who made good, who vows not only to protect her from the reappearance of the sexually obsessed young man who stalked and threatened her in Loved Me Once, but also to convince her that she should marry him.

The complications that ensue are enough to keep Maggie – and her best friend, herself fleeing a broken romance – up at night.

In this, “The Second Novel of Love, Romance and Business" in the LOVED ME series by Gail Hewitt, will Maggie find true love at last, or is she fooling herself yet again? This is an adult title containing graphic language and scenes of an explicitly sexual nature.

Gail Hewitt, business consultant to both entrepreneurs and officers in Fortune 100 companies, is a member of the Authors Guild and Romance Writers of America.

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I did not read the first book in the series, so I was a little confused about the relationship with Miles in the beginning and why the main character, Maggie, would tolerate some of these behaviors he was exhibiting. I also was put off by the strange Q&A session. Perhaps it was to demonstarte the depth of the troubles Miles has. I kept wanting to skip it though, and move on with the story. Maggie is intelligent and had depth, and the plot was interesting. I liked the whole SA training concept, very intriguing. It was full of enough twists and surprises to keep me reading in order to find out how she would handle her problems, especially those that develop right away with Miles. The sexual relationships are intense and written well. Overall, I would recommend it, but I would recommend reading it after reading the first book.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for a review.

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Marie Reviews Caribbean Romance by Leigh Morano

For those of us who have gone through the self doubt and lack of confidence that results from bad relationships, Caribbean Romance will be a familiar journey. At the beginning of the story, Vanessa vows to her best friend that she will proceed more cautiously with her next relationship. Unfortunately, she has fallen for someone she met online, which would seem to be the opposite of caution! Vanessa takes off on a Caribbean vacation with Marcelo, and the challenges they face together teach Vanessa about herself and how to recognize when someone is worthy of her trust.

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 This is a good short story about two hearts who have been burned before, struggling with the heat of desire and new found love. Can Vanessa and Marcelo trust each other enough to make a commitment after building their romance over the internet and telephone? Marcelo forces a meeting to find out if it is real. The story is interesting, and I would have liked to have read it as a full length novel. It still has some room for editing, grammatical errors and typos, but the romance and emotions of the story were strongly conveyed. The love scenes were very well done, and discovering the real Marcelo at the conclusion was a nice surprise.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for a review.
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