Rachel the Book Harlot

Book connoisseur. Genre hopper. Music lover. Rebel.


Game of Thrones Tonight!





Le Squeeeeeeeee! After a 5 year wait, book readers will finally discover Jon Snow's fate. Is he saved by this:



Or this:





Or something else entirely? Is it a fake out? An illusion?




We'll know for sure tonight!


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Never Sweeter: A Dark Obsession Novel - Charlotte Stein

"...the metal grille hit the middle of her body hard. Then there was just air underneath her feet. Followed by jagged rocks. And finally, bloody silence."


So apparently I'm supposed to believe that the Hero and his friends commit attempted murder against the Heroine and she forgives and falls in love with him two years later? No seriously, he and his friends literally try to kill her. They run her down with their truck, slamming into her and pushing her off a cliff where she then suffers a fractured skull. The injury was so severe that she is delayed from starting college for two years because she needs to recuperate.

Because nothing says romance like a fractured skull and several months of rehabilitation.

Isn't that a lovely message to send out into the ether? Hey Boys and Girls, don't worry too much if a person emotionally and mentally abuses you, and causes you physical injury because deep down inside they are really good and capable of change.


Look, I read and like dark, gritty romances. I can separate fiction from reality much of the time. But, there are times where I simply cannot. This is one of those times.

By the way, none of this is a spoiler. The scene I refer to is in the prologue which is available in the sample on Amazon. The sample I read because I thought the blurb sounded interesting and because I've liked the author's work in the past. But this one hit all the wrong chords for me so no can do.

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I saw this and had to share because it's too amazing not to. The cast of the Broadway show The Color Purple performed a tribute to Prince and it was beyond words SPECTACULAR. Check it out if you have a chance. 





Rest In Peace 







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The Missing and the Dead (Logan McRae #9), by Stuart MacBride

The Missing and the Dead - Stuart MacBride

"One mistake can cost you everything…

When you catch a twisted killer there should be a reward, right? What Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae gets instead is a ‘development opportunity’ out in the depths of rural Aberdeenshire. Welcome to divisional policing – catching drug dealers, shop lifters, vandals and the odd escaped farm animal.

Then a little girl’s body washes up just outside the sleepy town of Banff, kicking off a massive manhunt. The Major Investigation Team is up from Aberdeen, wanting answers, and they don’t care who they trample over to get them.

Logan’s got enough on his plate keeping B Division together, but DCI Steel wants him back on her team. As his old colleagues stomp around the countryside, burning bridges, Logan gets dragged deeper and deeper into the investigation.

One thing’s clear: there are dangerous predators lurking in the wilds of Aberdeenshire, and not everyone’s going to get out of this alive…"


❖ ❖❖



     "Logan hit the send button again. 'I need you to--' His left shoe parted company with the wall. 'AAAAAAAAGH!' Cracking through dark green spears, sending little green bombs flying, and thumping into the frozen earth below. THUMP. 'Officer Down!'


     'Laz? Jesus, what the hell's...' Steel's voice faded for a second. 'You! I want an armed response unit and an ambulance round to--'


     'Gah...' He scrabbled upright, bits of squashed Brussels sprouts sticking to his dirt-smeared suit. 'Officer back up again!'"


The Missing and the Dead, Book 9 of the Logan McRae series, is a little bit different than previous books in that Logan spends the majority of his time out of CID and in divisional policing. I found this change to be both a strength and a weakness.


On the strength side, I liked all of the day-to-day "beat cop" situations.

I thought how he handled the rat situation was ingenious! 

(show spoiler)

I also liked watching Logan command his team. Even though he's been transferred out of CID, Logan is still a sergeant, in this case a duty sergeant, and much like I loved watching him be a DI in the previous book, I loved watching a take-charge Logan here as well. He's such a great leader. Also, this new environment from CID to DP brings with it a new cast of characters, which were all unique and likable in true MacBride style. 


On the weakness side, while I did like the day-to-day policing, during the 60%-70% mark I got a bit of "beat cop" fatigue. It started to become somewhat redundant, and by that point I wanted the story to move forward on all of its dangling threads. There were moments where I actually felt like skimming, which is unusual for me when it comes to this series. Also, even though I loved the new cast of characters and their interaction with Logan, I really missed Rennie. Thankfully, Steel was still out and about for much of this. 


In regards to Logan, I love his growth as a character, particularly as it relates to the situation with Samantha. I love who Logan has become over the course of the series and I can't wait to see where he goes from here. Of course, there were one or two moments where I wanted to knock him upside the head, but that's par for the course when it comes to Logan. 


So, even though The Missing and the Dead has some weak points and I would probably consider it the weakest of the series so far simply because some portions could have been pared down, I still liked it and think it's a great addition to the series, especially as it applies to Logan's growth as a character. 


Final rating: 3.5 stars


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Because Only You Guys Would Understand

Logan McRae (10) - In the Cold Dark Ground - Stuart MacBride

When you finish all published books in a series and then have to wait for a new release:


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The Roundup



Sadly, real life elbowed its way into my reading time, and much of my leisure time, during the month of March so I didn't get much done. Only 2 books and 1 novella managed to get read. Here's the round up:


Shatter the Bones - Stuart MacBride Close to the Bone - Stuart MacBride  The 45% Hangover [A Logan and Steel novella] (Kindle Single) - Stuart MacBride 


 Look at them. They look so sad and lonely. 


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Well, the good news is that despite not having much time, and the sad look of this post with those 3 wee guys up there, at least I was able to feed my Logan McRae obsession. Shatter the Bones (Book 7), Close to the Bone (Book 8), and the novella, The 45% Hangover (8.5) were great. I'm loving the character development that Logan has undergone in the series so far. Eight books in and the series still manages to surprise. All three garnered 4 stars





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The 45% Hangover (Logan McRae #8.5), by Stuart MacBride

The 45% Hangover [A Logan and Steel novella] (Kindle Single) - Stuart MacBride

"It’s the night of the big Referendum, and all Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae has to do is find a missing ‘No’ campaigner. Should be easy enough…

But, as usual, DCI Steel has plans of her own. As the votes are counted there’s trouble brewing in the pubs and on the streets of Aberdeen.

Logan’s picked up a promising lead, but all is not quite what it seems, and things are about to go very, very wrong…"


❖ ❖❖


The 45% Hangover is a fun novella featuring the dynamic duo, Logan and Steel. The story showcases everything I love about their relationship: their banter, the way they snipe at each other, and the great unspoken affection they feel for one another. On top of that, the story itself is pretty good, too. It fits in nicely with the overall series.


Highly recommended for hardcore fans of the Logan McRae series.


Final Rating: 4 stars

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Blind Eye (Logan McRae #5), by Stuart MacBride

Blind Eye - Stuart MacBride

"It's summer in the Granite City, but even the sunshine can't improve the mood at Grampian Police Headquarters. Aberdeen's growing Polish community is under attack from a serial offender who leaves mutilated victims to be discovered on building sites -- eyes gouged out and the sockets burned.


Detective Sergeant Logan McRae is assigned to the investigation, codenamed Operation Oedipus, but with the victims too scared to talk, it's going nowhere fast. When the next victim turns out to be not a newly arrived eastern european, but Simon McLeod, owner of the Turf n' Track bookies, Logan suddenly finds himself caught up in a world of drug wars, prostitution rings and gun-running courtesy of Aberdeen's oldest and most vicious crime lord."


❖ ❖❖



"Logan walked over to the window, rubbing a clear patch in the dusty glass.  Looked like another beautiful day to be a police officer, with outbreaks of  infighting, sulking, and recriminations."



In Blind Eye, Book 5 of the Logan McRae series, Logan and Co. are back with bacon butties, hangovers, and all-around police investigation shenanigans. But it's not all fun and games--Logan has a bit of a tough time in this, and has to deal some serious demons. It was a new side to Logan's character that was interesting to watch. 


DI Steel is more brilliant than usual. MacBride adds another dimension to her here, including allowing us to see her life outside of HQ, making her even more human and likable. It was a pleasure to see these other facets of her character, all of which made me adore her that much more.


In terms of the case they worked on, it was great and what I've come to expect from this series. My only issue is that Logan sometimes tends to miss obvious clues. This has been an issue in previous books, with the exception of Book 4, but here this trait was at an all-time high. It drove me nuts because it almost verged into stupid territory. But, ultimately it didn't matter since I still loved the story. I stayed up later than I should have on numerous nights because I couldn't put it down.


So, would I recommend this to fans of the series? Yes, definitely. Blind Eye is another great installment of the Logan McRae series. 


Final rating: 4 stars 



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Jeff Bezos' Space Company Sets Date for Passenger Flights


If you have a few hundred thousand dollars to spare, then perhaps you might consider taking a space flight with Jeff Bezos' space company, Blue Origin. Interested?


The founder of Amazon told reporters on Tuesday that his company plans on offering space flights by 2018. Paying clients can expect to fly "more than 62 miles above Earth, high enough to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the planet set against the black sky of space." 


Here's an animated journey of what adventurers can expect to experience: https://www.blueorigin.com/astronaut-experience#youtube-YJhymiZjqc



To read more, go here.





Image source: BlueOrigin.com

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Game of Thrones Season 6 trailer. Squeeeeee! 


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The Roundup



It looks like my reading mojo has followed me into February. It was another stellar reading month for me. All the books I read fell within the 3.75 to 5 star range. Here's the roundup:


One Night with Her Bachelor - Kat Latham  Moonshifted[MOONSHIFTED][Mass Market Paperback] - CassieAlexander  Shapeshifted - Cassie Alexander  

Deadshifted - Cassie Alexander  Bloodshifted - Cassie Alexander  A Better World - Marcus Sakey  Written in Fire (The Brilliance Trilogy) - Marcus Sakey  



 1. Kat Latham's One Night With Her Bachelor: A sweet, light contemporary romance. Loved everything about this story. Rating: 4 stars


2. Cassie Alexander's Eddie Spence series, Books 2-5: This is a darkish, noirish, quirky urban fantasy series. I was devastated to learn that the publisher decided not to continue this series after Book 5. The last book does offer a conclusion, but there are enough dangling threads that the series could have easily used another 2 books in order to feel like it was fully completed. I'll miss this series so very much. Ratings: Moonshifted (Book 2): 3.75 stars, Shapeshifted (Book 3): 4 stars, Deadshifted (Book 4): 4 stars, Bloodshifted (Book 5): 5 stars. 


3. Marcus Sakey's Brilliance Saga, Books 2 and 3: A nail-biting, fun, thrilling, action-packed story. This is essentially an action film on paper, which sounds like something that couldn't work, but worked great in this instance. Ratings: A Better World (Book 2): 4 stars, Written in Fire (Book 3): 4 stars.





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Written in Fire (Brilliance Saga, #3), by Marcus Sakey

Written in Fire (The Brilliance Trilogy) - Marcus Sakey



"For thirty years humanity struggled to cope with the brilliants, the 1 percent of people born with remarkable gifts. For thirty years we tried to avoid a devastating civil war.

We failed.


Nick Cooper has spent his life fighting for his children and his country. Now, as the world staggers on the edge of ruin, he must risk everything he loves to face his oldest enemy—a brilliant terrorist so driven by his ideals that he will sacrifice humanity’s future to achieve them."


 ❖ ❖❖




"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

                                             - Lord Acton



In Written in Fire, the conclusion to the Brilliance Saga trilogy, author Marcus Sakey once again ratchets up the tension and suspense. As was the case with Book 2, there were moments that the tension and suspense were so high that I had to stop myself from skipping ahead.  


The entire trilogy was such a great ride. I loved the characters, the world-building, the action goodness, and how all the pieces of the story finally came together in the end. The conclusion was done well, though I do think 

some readers who like a nice, tight ending may not be happy. There are enough dangling threads that the trilogy could be stretched into a fourth book.

(show spoiler)


All in all, Written in Fire is a satisfying and thrilling ending to a great story.


Final rating: 4 stars



Image source: splitshire.com

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One Night With Her Bachelor (Montana Born Bachelor Auction, #6), by Kat Latham

One Night with Her Bachelor - Kat Latham

"Bid on a date with this wounded warrior for an unforgettable night of adventure. Aim high—and bid higher!—because no one comes close to local hero Gabriel Morales.

Molly Dekker hates being the town charity case, but when her son Josh is seriously injured she has no choice. She lets her best friend organize a bachelor auction to help pay her massive bills and make Josh’s life more comfortable. She can’t bid on any of the men, but a surprise bidder gives her a gift she never expected: a date with the man who saved her son’s life—the only one she’s in danger of losing her heart to.

Former Air Force pararescueman Gabriel Morales made a career of flying to the rescue, until a tragic helicopter crash stole more than his livelihood. Being auctioned off like a slab of beef isn’t in his recovery plan. But one look, one touch and one night unlocking Molly’s pent-up passion makes him realize how badly he needs to be rescued…and how badly he wants to rescue Molly right back.

Will Molly and Gabriel’s never-quit attitude have them rushing head-first into love? Or will Gabriel’s secret pain stall their relationship before it can get off the ground?"


❖ ❖❖


f0105c_d390a82563c36b71e176e ... "You see, Aunt Lily's organizing an auction, and we're looking for the best of the best. Aunt Lily wants you--" He pointed at Gabriel as if he were posing for an Uncle Sam poster. "--to enlist in our bachelor auction."


The words took a few seconds to sink in. His panicked gaze shot to Lily, who gave him a no-one-says-no-to-me grin of satisfaction. "Oh, hell no."


One Night With Her Bachelor by Kat Latham is a sweet and light contemporary romance. I thought initially this was going to be an insta-love/lust type of story, which I am not a big fan of, but thankfully I was wrong. This actually turned out to be a nicely done slow-burn romance. Even though the story is short, only 155 pages, the author does a great job of developing the relationship between the two leads.


All of the characters, from the leads to the secondaries, are well drawn. Molly is a no-nonsense and strong Heroine, and Gabriel is a sweet guy working through some personal issues. Although this is a light story, it does touch upon some deeper, realistic topics. Gabriel is dealing with some PTSD, and Molly is dealing with her son surviving a serious injury. 


The only tiny issue I had was with the ending, which felt rushed. I would have liked it drawn out a bit more. However, my understanding is that this is a prequel, or really the foundation for the entire Bachelor Auction series, so maybe we get a little more of these two in previous books. 


While this is tagged as Book 6 of the series, it's more like Book 1 so it's not necessary to read the others in the series before this one. 


I loved everything about this story. If you're looking for a sweet, sexy, light contemporary romance, then I recommend checking out One Night With Her Bachelor. 


Final Rating: 4 stars



Image source: cliparts.co

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A Better World (Brilliance Saga, #2), by Marcus Sakey

A Better World - Marcus Sakey

WARNING: Blurb contains spoilers for Book 1. 



"The brilliants changed everything.

Since 1980, 1% of the world has been born with gifts we’d only dreamed of. The ability to sense a person’s most intimate secrets, or predict the stock market, or move virtually unseen. For thirty years the world has struggled with a growing divide between the exceptional...and the rest of us.

Now a terrorist network led by brilliants has crippled three cities. Supermarket shelves stand empty. 911 calls go unanswered. Fanatics are burning people alive.

Nick Cooper has always fought to make the world better for his children. As both a brilliant and an advisor to the president of the United States, he’s against everything the terrorists represent. But as America slides toward a devastating civil war, Cooper is forced to play a game he dares not lose—because his opponents have their own vision of a better world.

And to reach it, they’re willing to burn this one down."


❖ ❖❖


 "We are never more clever than in the creation of ways to destroy ourselves."


Marcus Sakey sure knows how to ramp up the suspense. It was all I could do not to skip to the end to find out what happens. 


A Better World, Book 2 of the Brilliance Saga trilogy, isn't as action packed as Book 1, but it's still high on tension and suspense. Of course, there is action, but here the attention and focus is on maneuvering chess pieces on the board. 


One main difference to Book 1 is that this one consists of multiple points of view. I wasn't a big fan of this initially, and it took me a second to get accustomed to the change. However, as the story unfolded I understood the reasoning behind this change and adapted quickly. In the end, it all worked very well.


A Better World is filled with nail-biting, heart-pounding moments. A great continuation to the story. Recommended to fans of Book 1, Brilliance.


Final Rating: 4 stars

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A big giant thank you to Paper Soul, my lovely Secret Valentine, for the wonderful Valentine's Day gifts. I received Dark Blood by Stuart MacBride (you all know I girl-crush that series), as well as one of her personal favorites which she wanted to share with me, Air Awakens by Elise Kova. 


Air Awakens (Air Awakens Series Book 1) - Elise Kova  Dark Blood - Stuart MacBride  



How thoughtful and awesome is that?!


Thank you so much, Paper Soul! Happy Valentine's Day!





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Sale Alert!

Birthdays for the Dead - Stuart MacBride

Birthdays for the Dead, Book 1 of the Ash Henderson series, is on sale today for $.99 on Amazon. Down from $14.99! I almost fainted when I found this sale as I am a big fan of Stuart MacBride's Logan McRae series and have been meaning to pick this one up.


If you like crime fiction, snap that sucker up. 

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