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Category Archives: Book Reviews

Wait Until Dark (Night Stalkers #3) by M. L. Buchman

Wait Until Dark (Night Stalkers #3) by M. L. Buchman

So this is were I thought the Night Stalkers series began to lose some of its interest for me. I’d have to say the main female character was not as developed or as interesting as I’d hoped. The male lead and supporting characters were fantastic, but the Connie, she was just kind of blah to me.

Connie joins the Night Stalkers as a mechanic & gunner. She appears in I Own the Dawn briefly but she doesn’t really say anything. When she is introduced in this book, she is a quiet introvert with an amazing mind and skill as a mechanic. She comes off as very robotic actually, something the other mechanic (and love interest) Big Jim Wallace remarks on. You find out she drove herself to SOAR in search of answers about her father’s death (he died in a secret helicopter crash when she was eight). Because she was left alone at such a young age and because she is so smart, she never fit in and now is having trouble becoming part of the crew and dealing with getting close to people. That’s pretty much the story. Big John is great. He’s interesting and unexpected throughout the book and loved being able to see a different side of him. Emily Beale is present as well which is nice, but Kee and her husband are not really in the book until the end.

Overall the book was good. I just could never connect with Connie. She just seems kind of blank to me. You have her background and her emotional struggles, but she just never felt like a solid, deep person to me like John, or Kee, or Emily did. The story line was also different. Most of it didn’t occur in the middle east like the other books did. It didn’t feel like there was as much action as there was in other books, not nearly as rough-and-ready. More a smooth jazz to a rock beat. It is a good book, just not the best in the series.

My rating:

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I Own the Dawn (Night Stalkers #2) by M. L. Buchman

I Own the Dawn (Night Stalkers #2) by M. L. Buchman

This is probably my favorite book in the Night Stalkers series. It is the second in the series, but I think it’s probably the most interesting. The story follows Kee Smith, a mixed race tough girl who survived the Street – capital S and as she describes in the book, it’s a place you survive not somewhere you live. The love interest is Lieutenant Archibald Stevenson III. A really nice all-around guy who comes from high class but is down-to-Earth and really likable.

The story picks up when Kee is assigned to the D Battalion of SOAR. Right off the bat she makes it clear she wants nothing to do with Emily Beale and helping to create a “girlie-chopper”. It’s funny to watch her go from thinking Emily Beale is just a cute little waif who has no skills to being terrified and impressed by her. Kee takes her place as gunner in Emily’s chopper and seeks only to do her job and prove she belongs there. On one of her early missions, she helps to rescue Dilya, an orphan refugee from a gun battle. The girl clings to her and Kee becomes her guardian without even realizing it. The story then begins to be told by Kee, Dilya, and Archie. The author blends seemlessly through the three, giving different points of view and interesting insights into what is going on in each person’s head. The love story between Kee and Archie is almost a battle developing as it grows between the two individuals – Kee fighting with everything in her to not get close to people and Archie just wanting to love her and Dilya.

The book is emotional, tumultuous, and wonderful. I loved the addition of Dilya. She is a fascinating character and it’s interesting to see how her culture clashes with that of her new guardian’s. The relationships in the story that Kee develops are fraught with hair-thin trust and emotional baggage all over the place, but the author makes her coming to terms with emotions and attachments believable and not awkwardly rushed. As always, the battles and military lifestyle add an interesting and realistic backdrop to the entire story and provides insight into the different characters. I also enjoy learning the small tidbits of middle eastern life that appear in the novels.

My rating:

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Christmas at Peleliu Cove by M. L. Buchman

Christmas at Peleliu Cove by M. L. Buchman

I bought this book because I loved Christmas at Steele Beach so much. I was kind of surprised I didn’t like this book as much. The book covers the love story of two characters that were present in Christmas at Steele Beach but not really involved.

The story follows Petty Officer Nika Maier, the Loadmaster for Sly’s hovercraft. Nika has a really mottled history of grief and pain and won’t let anyone close. She feels out of touch and detached from her fellow soldiers. The closest she’s gotten to anyone is her present crew. He past relations were short and physical with no emotional connection. In comes Lieutenant Clint Barstowe, an Army Ranger that shakes her world up. His past is barely less filled with pain than hers. A busted marriage has left him as leery of women as Nika is of men. The two start a rocky and emotional relationship that leaves both of them shook up.

I did enjoy the book. It was filled with ups and downs and puts you through a wide spectrum of emotions. I just didn’t seem to connect with the characters as well as I have as I did in other books. Nika is a very hard individual that is trying her best no matter what she does. You learn the most about her when she becomes emotionally vulnerable throughout different incidents in the book. I did like how the author developed the characters and how you could see them changing throughout the book. There was a depth to the Lieutenant that you don’t realize at first as you read through the sections of the book told from his point of view. I would have like to have seen this pulled in to a full length novel. There was definitely areas that could be expanded and the relationship could have developed at a more realistic pace and you could see them settled in the relationship instead of just kind of falling into and then ending. If you are someone who enjoys military romances, this is probably a great book for you to read. It doesn’t connect with the Night Stalker story line much but the characters are present, so if you love the series this could be a good read as well.

My rating:

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Christmas at Steel Beach (Night Stalkers #9) by M. L. Buchman

Christmas at Steel Beach (Night Stalkers #9) by M. L. Buchman

This is actually the second or third time I’ve read this book. It’s more of a novella and an add-on to the Night Stalkers series. I love the Night Stalker series and this book is about people connected to the Night Stalkers and not actually members.

The story follows Chief Steward Gail Miller as she assumes her new post as head chef on the Navy vessel currently housing the SOAR 5D division (though she doesn’t actually know that).The love interest is Chief Petty Officer Sly Stowell who is craftmaster of the ship’s hovercraft. Gail arrives to a kitchen in shambles and ends up in an accidental volunteer position on an active mission. While she is trying re-sort the kitchen, she is forming relationships with Sly and the women of SOAR. Her settling in is upended when she is faced with a man from her past waving an interesting transfer in front of her that may open up new ways to reach a dream she has. In the end, it is up to her whether to take the transfer or stay in her new home.

I love this book. It is short but full of life. The interactions between the characters are so believable and interesting. It is always fun to read how M. L. Buchman develops his characters emotionally. The book isn’t packed full of battle sequences but it definitely feels like everything moves along very well and in a regular speed. Your interest is kept throughout and there isn’t anywhere that it drags along. I highly recommend it for a short military romance read, a must read for anyone who likes the Night Stalkers series, or a fun Christmas read for anyone looking.

My rating:

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Rachel’s Guard (The O-Line, #2) by Jillian Jacobs

Rachel’s Guard (The O-Line, #2) by Jillian Jacobs

This is the second book in the O-Line series by Jillian Jacobs. The series followers the members of the offensive line of the Manchester Marauders football team. I didn’t actually read the first book because I picked this book up through a Kindle sale. The story follows Warren “Bronco” Murray’s search for answers after his grandmother lets slip she killed a man named Thomas whom Bronco thinks is his real father. The love interest is Rachel Harris, a private investigator and mystery writer, that I picked up was introduced to Bronco in book  one. The two team up to discover the truth of Bronco’s heritage. They uncover some nasty family secrets and it’s just one crazy turn after another. The secondary story line through the whole book is Rachel’s obsessive mission to find her brother who was kidnapped by the Russian mafia when she was about eight.

The story lines intertwine and work off of each other throughout the book. You have Bronco putting everything he can into a relationship with Rachel and Rachel holding everything back because she doesn’t want to get hurt. I can say honestly this book kept my attention. There was always a lot going on and twists and turns everywhere. That was also the problem. There was no downtime in the book, no time for the characters to process and deal with things emotionally. I felt that the emotional growth of the characters was basically non-existent because it was one thing after another and then they would just have this emotional epiphany. There didn’t seem to be any real processing of emotional issues or discussions on how to deal with anything. It was just “oh I shouldn’t do that anymore” and then that was it.

I think if the book had been lengthened and the two story lines worked a little more separately it would have helped. There needed to be a break in the book. Reading it felt like a race in constant sprint instead of either a slow meandering through the story line in order to savor it or a hike that had a few twists and turns but could take your time. Overall it wasn’t bad, I just think it needed a little work and finessing. I actually thought the story lines were quite interesting and would like to go back and read the first and next few books in the series but I need a little bit of a break. It was a little tiring to read from all the stuff going on in the book.

My rating:

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Allegiance of Honor (Psy-Changeling #15) by Nalini Singh

Allegiance of Honor (Psy-Changeling #15) by Nalini Singh

This is one of my favorite series. I was actually surprised to see I hadn’t reviewed any books in this series on my blog. I know I’ve re-read the series multiple times, but somehow I just never reviewed them. This is the fifteenth installment in the series and it’s more of a check-in with the people you’ve met throughout the series. There are a few new developments, but it’s mostly just a way to set up for the next few books.

The majority of the books in this series are stand-alones. However, I recommend that you have to read at least the three books before this one in order to really understand what is going on and who the people are. As the book is a way to catch up with everything, it covers and talks about a lot of information, events, and people that you have to be familiar with or you’ll most likely be lost and not able to completely enjoy the book.

I loved being able to catch up with the characters I haven’t seen in a while, but the series does a fairly good job of interacting with most of the characters in each book. The book also does a good job of giving a comprehensive picture of what is going on in the series at the time. However, I felt the book kind of drug along because there were so many people she was trying to cover. There was also a lot of repetition with different couples talking about the same event from different points of view. There also wasn’t really a story line. There was a short one about a kidnapping attempt, a longer one about finding a missing person, and an overview of two developing ones that will start to happen in the next book. I’d say it’s a must read for the series lovers, a good idea to read it if you are reading the series, but can be skipped if you don’t mind missing a couple pieces of information that will contribute to the story lines in other books.

My rating:

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Hit the Restart Button

So I fell a little behind on my reading, blogging, and reading challenges last year. For my followers I apologize. I have been getting back into things over the holiday season and uploaded my 2017 reading challenge. I will be using the PopSugar Challenge. My last year results were poor for me and I hope to do better this year. I read a lot last year that I didn’t log, most I didn’t review unfortunately, and some I didn’t even finish. Hopefully this year I find the time to put into my blog and am able to help you guys find a few books to try. This year’s reading challenge looks interesting and I’m looking forward to stretching my book horizons some. See you in the shelves!