Book Review, Books, Fiction, HEA, Romance, series, Suspense

(Book Review) Last Stop in Brooklyn ~ Lawrence H. Levy


Last Stop in Brooklyn
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Title: Last Stop in Brooklyn: A Mary Handley Mystery (Book 3)
Author: Lawrence H. Levy
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Literary Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Publisher: Random House, LLC
Date of Release: January 9, 2018
Pages: 322
Format: Kindle (First to Read)

It was such a pleasure to read this book! Mary Handley is one hell of a private detective… and in the 19th century, no less! The book starts with an explosion, but ends with fireworks! In a time when Andrew Carnegie, Russell Sage, Jay Gould, and John Rockefeller, people were angry and frustrated and anarchy was on the rise. So was corruption in the New York Police force. Inspector Thomas Byrne joins the force and proclaims he will have Jack the Ripper apprehended in 36 hours. Well, Inspector Byrnes did apprehend someone… but was it indeed Jack the Ripper?

Mary’s first case came from a family friend who suspects his wife of cheating. Little did she know it would lead to a much bigger case that speaks to what’s going on in the country. Did I mention Jack the Ripper?! This leads to Mary’s next case. Yes, she’s working two cases. While the characters are intertwined in the two cases, the cases aren’t related, but they are intriguing. Brian Murphy thinks his wife is having an affair. He hires Mary to find out if that is true. What she stumbles upon is much bigger! A key witness to the assassination attempt of Russell Sage. The witness, Brian’s wife. This leads her to meet Harper Lloyd, who becomes extremely helpful in her second case, Ameer Ben Ali.

She’s hired by his brother, Basem Ben Ali to prove he is innocent of killing prostitute, Carrie Brown. Ameer is Algerian and occasionally live across the hall from Carrie. When she is murdered, Ameer is arrested, tried, and found guilty by a “jury of his peers”. Mary’s investigation takes her to Coney Island, a huge tourist attraction in a country of immigrants. While there you will meet characters who are not that intricate to the case but help you understand the time period. The opinions of immigrants were not very high, but not just for African-Americans, but for the Irish, Eastern Europeans… anyone who was different. Mary holds a different world view and was not afraid to voice those opinions. Her retorts to some of the comments will having you in stitches. Can she save Ameer from certain death or will he fall victim to a severely corrupt judicial system?

The pacing was a bit slow at times, but it was full of information that helped you understand what it was like to live in Brooklyn during the 1890’s. It also gave you, as the reader, an idea of what you would have experienced during this time period. Mary’s reasoning and deduction skills are modern and amazing. So is the constant banter she has with Harper. They have really great scenes together. What really fascinated me about this book is the research that went into telling this story, as most of the characters are actual people. Some of the chapters do fly by. The writing keeps you engaged. You find yourself wanting to know what will happen to the characters in this chapter and what will happen next. This was a great book and I’m so glad I was picked to read it. 

Book Review, Books, Fiction, HEA, Romance, Suspense

Saved ~ H.L. Anderson


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Title: Saved
Author: H.L. Anderson
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Mystery, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: October 16, 2017
Pages: 286
Format: Kindle (Curiosity Quills Press)

I won’t lie to you… Thrillers aren’t usually my thing because it’s too close to the Horror genre for me. With that being said, I couldn’t put this book down. This was great storytelling, even when Theresa frustrated you! Let me back up… Theresa is a nurse who is married to a man who is down on his luck and snaps. He brutally attacks her and she’s saved by Ryan, a successful movie star who is barely existing.

Over some time, they do get to know each other, and they are attracted to each other. Ryan finally starts to live again, and Theresa is moving on with her life. The only problem, Theresa’s husband is still out there. Can the two of them finally get a chance to live their best lives? Ryan was a put in a few unfortunate situations that were beyond his control, and Theresa made decisions based on those situations (without having the full information). Her decisions did make sense but as the reader, you are frustrated because you know the full situation. One of the things I loved about this story was usually the female lead would make horrendous decisions and try to justify them. With Saved, Theresa’s decision made sense.

This was a great story from start to finish. I’m happy I was approved for this story, so thank you Curiosity Quills Press!


Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, Romance, Sci-fi, series

Abounding Might ~ Melissa McShane

Abounding Might.jpg
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Title: Abounding Might (Extraordinaires Series, Book 3)
Author: Melissa McShane
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: October 3, 2017
Pages: 328
Format: Kindle (Curiosity Quills Press)

If the year ended tomorrow, I can confidently say this is a good book to end 2017! Abounding Might is the third book of the Extraordinaires series and I thought it was amazing! There was intrigue, espionage, humor, and romance. Lady Daphne and Captain Fletcher are great characters, with amazing abilities. Lady Daphne is an Extraordinaire Bounder. She can teleport to places without restriction and learns more and more about what she is capable of in this story. Captain Fletcher is a Discerner. He is can detect your true emotions, even when your face says something different. This is what attracted Fletcher to Lady Daphne. Her emotions and her thoughts always match.

This story takes place in India and I love it. The story is amazing, but the culture itself is another great character. I don’t know if there will be another book in this series, but I think this one is my favorite. Lady Daphne doesn’t allow anyone to dictate what she should be and I love that about her, especially given the time period. I loved Captain Fletcher because he let her be who she wanted to be. He didn’t try to change her and he trusted her opinions; which was more than any of her other counterparts could say. If there is another book in the series, I greatly look forward to it. If not, I take great comfort in being able to re-read the entire series all over again!

18+, Books, Fiction, Free, series

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Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Sci-fi, series, YA

Dysfunctional: Origins ~ McKenzie Rae


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Title: Dysfunctional: Origins (Dysfunctional Series, Book 1)
Author: McKenzie Rae
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Inkitt
Date of Release: November 27, 2017
Pages: 260 (approximately. The series is 790 pages)
Format: Kindle (Inkitt)

This is a story for everyone who wishes or imagines they have a superpower! If you could have any superpower, what would it be? That’s a tough question… and it’s one Theo, Sally, and Rueben won’t have to answer! Each one of these characters has a flaw and received a superpower to “fix” their flaws. Let’s meet them!

Theo has been adopted by a wonderful family and a very tragic event he wishes he could forget. Sally is fighting a losing battle against a rare disease that prevents her from sleeping. Rueben, well, he has an emotional disconnect. Together, the three of them, with their newfound abilities, must band together and save the school and possibly the world.

The synopsis is what drew me in, but what kept me was how relatable and realistic the three main characters are. Theo suffers from depression and severe guilt even though he did nothing wrong. Sally is tired of being under the watchful eye of her parents, who just want to make sure she’s alright. She’s slowly dying and there’s nothing anyone can do to save her. Rueben has a terrible home life. He uses humor to avoid and deflect any sort of emotional communication. Their abilities are very reflective of who they are. This book put me in the mind of one of my favorite shows, “Misfits”. It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it does leave some questions unanswered. As this is book one of what looks to be a trilogy, I’m excited to see where this goes!