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When to trust a stranger?

Evidence of Trust Book Cover Evidence of Trust
Colorado Trust
Stacey Joy Netzel
romantic suspense
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform;
1 edition (31 Mar. 2014)

Having grown up under the excessive expectations of her CEO father, Brittany Lucas is as resistant to authority as the mustang she’s training for her boss. It’s a fault that lands her in more danger than she bargains for while camping in the back-country of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Ranger Joel Morgan is used to having the upper hand in all his cases—until he runs into the headstrong blond while investigating disturbing incidents of poaching in the park. Brittany’s imprudent lie of omission awakens ghosts in his past, making the sizzling attraction between them unwelcome. As he searches for evidence he can trust her, the monster mutilating wildlife turns his sights on Brittany, and Joel discovers he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her—even give his own life. EXCERPT: Five minutes later, he rode back into Brittany Lucas’s camp as she threw a couple pieces of wood on the campfire that’d been nothing but banked coals when he left. She brushed off her hands before bracing them on her hips. “Now what?” He dismounted to unpack his gear. “I’ll be camping here with you tonight.” “Ranger Morgan, let me assure you, I have every intention of leaving in the morning.” “And until then, I’ll make sure you stay safe.” “I don’t need you to babysit me,” she insisted, irritation flooding her voice as she sat by the fire. Ignoring the fact she’d heard him earlier, he met her stare over the top of Nobel’s saddle. “You got a gun?” Her gaze faltered. “No.” “Well, the poacher does, so I’m staying.” That shut her up, until he tossed his sleeping bag inside her tent.

Poaching of moose and other animals in mountains of USA. Rangers trying to stop. Horse Farm for holiday riding with some horse taming by the horse whisperer.

Bit chick lit even though billed as a suspense story, the suspense was very light.

 

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The Unwelcome Gift

Marriage Pact Book Cover Marriage Pact
Michelle Richmond
psychological, mystery, suspense, contemporary
Michael Joseph
July 27, 2017
432

Alice and Jake are the perfect couple - sort of. On the day of their wedding, a stranger offers them the chance to join a mysterious group, known as The Pact. With its promise of a lifelong marriage of happiness, Jake and Alice are persuaded to accept. The goals of the society seem sound - and the couple are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, sense of community and like-minded couples. But then one of them breaks the rules. Alice and Jake are about to discover that, like marriage, The Pact is for life. The members will go to any lengths to ensure nobody leaves - until the marriage of their dreams becomes their worst nightmare. Under The Pact, 'Til death do us part' has a whole new meaning. . .

A story that gets darker as it develops.

So here is the fairly typical West Coast USA couple. Well educated, good careers with some previous experimentation, living together in a bijou house in a nice neighbourhood. Marriage seems the next and logical step.

And a friend introduces them to this ‘organisation’ that started in Ireland, which aims to help people have better marriages and fewer divorces.

Strangely, to join the organisation you have sign a contract, and then are given a very large book of rules of behaviour. The rules are very precise and specify minutiae – as an example, if your spouse rings you, you must answer within 2 rings. Now you may ask, what happens if you answer in 3 rings? And how would the organisation know? Which is where the story starts getting creepy. Apparently they do know. And you will be ‘reported’ and ‘dealt’ with.

The story is told by Jake, who is a counsellor and therapist, and it is his marriage to Alice that is examined in the book.

If you are married, or about to be married, there are definitely some elements of this story that you might want to think about. How often do you talk to your partner properly? Not just about day to day chores and work. How often do you surprise them with a gift? For no reason other than that you want to?

The statistics about divorce are horrendous and also those about how often marriage counselling fails. So the idea of (self) help and how to make a successful marriage appeals. But, I suspect, that what works for some couples, works for them alone, just because they are who they are, and not someone else. So don’t copy their behaviour!

Which is why I don’t think that the concept of the Pact was useful as an idea from the cult leaders. Who clearly had the wrong sort of psychological training…..

I really like the story and got more and more horrified as the story went on. And the final chapter was completely unexpected.

 

 

 

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Can China be Broken?

Break Me Book Cover Break Me
Corrupted Hearts #2
Tiffany Snow
suspense, romance, contemporary, military
Montlake Romance
14 March 2017

Just a few weeks ago, computer prodigy China Mack’s typical night in involved Endor Star Wars pajamas and a sensible bedtime. Now she’s dating gorgeous tech guru Jackson Cooper—one of Forbes’s Top Ten Eligible Billionaires—much to the Twitterverse’s delight.

Turns out, going from socially inept hermit to poster girl for geek chic has its challenges. China’s relationship gets even more complicated because her role heading the top-secret Vigilance program—where she’s partnered with Superman clone Clark Slattery—makes her a target. And when ruthless businessman Simon Lu plans to co-opt Vigilance software to blackmail government and military employees, he’ll need China’s cooperation—willing or otherwise.

But not every enemy is so easily identified. Some hide in plain sight, in very high places, and mistaking foe for friend could be the last mistake China ever makes…

China Mack re-appears in this next book in the series as the manager and leader of a group, rather than a follower and finds it trickier. Especially, as her habits interfere with her work and she is often forced to forego her precious rituals. For someone with OCD this is very upsetting…

She is involved with 2 men and finds herself meeting the President of the United States in a somewhat unusual situation. Spies, treachery and conspiracies are essential in this story but it is told with a deft touch of humour and we really bond with China as she struggles to make sense of her new situation.

I live Geeky girls and China is no exception. Can’t wait for the next inst

 

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Which question did you ask?

Wrong Question: Right Answer Book Cover Wrong Question: Right Answer
#3 Bourbon Street Boys
Elle Casey
romance, contemporary, women's fiction, military, mystery, suspense
Montlake Romance
(23 Aug. 2016)

As a member of the Bourbon Street Boys private security firm, Antoinette “Toni” Delacourte is one strong woman, but despite her reputation for being tough as nails, she is haunted by her past mistakes. Now they’re catching up to her, and throwing her for a loop.

Ten years ago, Toni kissed Lucky, her brother’s best friend. Worried it would break apart the group she’d come to see as family, she walked away—straight into the arms of Charlie, and an abusive relationship.

For the past decade she’s tried to keep her feelings for Lucky platonic—he’s her friend, her colleague, and he’s got his own past to deal with. Free of Charlie but unable to shake his memory, Toni finds herself feeling vulnerable and unable to deny her attraction to Lucky any longer.

She’s always thought that kiss was her first mistake, but now she’s wondering whether the real mistake was running away.

Now when I started reading this I wasn’t sure if a: I liked Toni; and b: this was as good a book as the previous ones. It certainly wasn’t as amusing.

But as I read on, some humour started to appear and Toni became a much more sympathetic character when her back story emerged. I became interested  in her and her relationship with Lucky.

This was a more serious storyline with abusive relationships to be thought about and how you might react, and the impact of prison on your personality and  behaviour.

The ending is really good too.

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Who to Follow?

Follow Me Book Cover Follow Me
Corrupted Hearts
Tiffany Snow
romance, contemporary, women's fiction, suspense
Montlake Romance
October 4, 2016
291

Brilliant, quirky twenty-three-year-old computer prodigy China Mack is totally satisfied with her carefully ordered, data-driven life. But then things start to get a little unpredictable. Jackson Cooper--her company CEO--assigns China to a dangerous and highly classified government defense contractor project. And, her sixteen-year-old runaway niece suddenly arrives in town. And then there's her sexy but oddly unsettling new neighbor, Clark....

A rather different heroine here – small, with glasses that keep slipping down her nose and an IQ over 170. Yes a bona fide genius – in computing and who finished 2 UG degrees and 1 Masters at MIT by the time she was 19 and was snapped up by a very prestigious software firm.

So we start to learn about China. China also has some OCD issues and loves routine – each day and night is programmed into its activities and food. Now China and I would so get on, as I totally agree that Firefly should never have been cancelled. I really liked that TV programme. And she likes so many other TV and Sci Fi that I like too.

So when I started reading this book I was immediately inclined to like the story as I liked the main character and how she was drawn up. I also liked her mathematically brilliant niece and know one or two people myself very like these characters from my interaction with MENSA members.

I did like the story line too and thought it moved fast and was complex enough to hold my attention and sufficiently detailed and in depth that I bought the next book in the series.

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