Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Book Review: Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich #mystery #bookreview

Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum, #20)Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because—just Stephanie’s luck—the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.

It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor.

With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.

My Review:

Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books are always entertaining. If I'm looking for something light to read with some humor to make me laugh, then I always go to her books. Takedown Twenty was no exception. The characters are as looney as ever! Stephanie has to bring in Uncle Sunny, who everyone in the neighborhood adores which makes her the most unpopular person of the moment. Everywhere she turns, Sunny is in hiding and no one is giving her any hints as to where. It doesn't help that Joe's Grandma Bella puts the 'eye' on Stephanie. Again. This happened before, so I think Stephanie is starting to get used to it. She's not Bella's favorite person by any means, which just adds to the complexity of her relationship with Joe. She thinks she wants to take the next step between them but she has her doubts when confronted with the large Italian family get-togethers. Then there's Ranger. Babe. Along with capturing Uncle Sunny, Stephanie is also enlisted to help solve the Dumpster murders. Someone is killing old ladies and dropping their bodies into dumpsters. And it gets a little scary when it seems that Grandma Mazur is next on the killer's list! Add all that to the typical antics of Lula and Kevin, the giraffe, and this book is enough to please any fan.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Book Review: The Heartbeat Thief by @AJKrafton #NewAdult #DarkFantasy

Haunted by a crushing fear of death, a young Victorian woman discovers the secret of eternal youth—she must surrender her life to attain it, and steal heartbeats to keep it.

In 1860 Surrey, a young woman has only one occupation: to marry. Senza Fyne is beautiful, intelligent, and lacks neither wealth nor connections. Finding a husband shouldn’t be difficult, not when she has her entire life before her. 
But it’s not life that preoccupies her thoughts. It’s death—and that shadowy spectre haunts her every step.

So does Mr. Knell. Heart-thumpingly attractive, obviously eligible—he’d be her perfect match if only he wasn’t so macabre. All his talk about death, all that teasing about knowing how to avoid it…

When her mother arranges a courtship with another man, Senza is desperate for escape from a dull prescripted destiny. Impulsively, she takes Knell up on his offer. He casts a spell that frees her from the cruelty of time and the threat of death—but at a steep price. In order to maintain eternal youth, she must feed on the heartbeats of others.

It’s a little bit Jane Austen, a little bit Edgar Allen Poe, and a whole lot of stealing heartbeats in order to stay young and beautiful forever. From the posh London season to the back alleys of Whitechapel, across the Channel, across the Pond, across the seas of Time…

How far will Senza Fyne go to avoid Death?

Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy
150887915X (ISBN13: 9781508879152)

329 pages
Expected publication: September 18th 2015 by Ash Krafton 
Kindle: published June 12th 2015 
For more info & to Purchase:

My Review:

A darkly beautiful tale!

Writing dark, poetic masterpieces is AJ Krafton's specialty. I was captivated by Senza's tale right from page one! But, beware, this story is not for the faint of heart. In fact, I had to put the book down for a brief time because it was so bleak! My absence didn't last long, however, since I couldn't get the characters out of my mind and I just had to know what happened next. It's a compelling, mournful story. Ms. Krafton's writing is filled with luscious detail and vivid descriptions combining to portray an emotionally haunting story. Her writing is emotionally haunting. Senza is filled with curiosity, melancholy and a driven determination to not live the life her mother has chosen for her. With the assistance of the mysterious Mr. Knell, Senza becomes what I like to call, a vampire-like creature, who feeds off the heartbeats of others to survive. It's a unique concept, which I truly enjoyed reading. And personally, I connected with Senza on her obsession with death. It may be one of the reasons I needed to step away from this book. I don't admit to many, but death lingers often in my thoughts because I lost my mother at a young age. I understand that mortality is fragile and brief and those who are left behind are the ones to suffer. If only there was a way to cheat Death, to live forever… Although, Senza's particular thoughts and actions might have been different than my own, I could definitely sympathize which made my reading this story so much more raw and heartfelt. This one is, by far, one of my most favorite and memorable books written by Ms. Krafton!

P.S. I just LOVE the artwork on this cover! It's gorgeous!