Category Archives: NetGalley ARC

Tuesday Totals (8) 2012: Week 33

Tuesday Totals – 13 to 19 August 2012

Here is my weekly round-up of my blog activities – accomplished and planned – that I use to try to keep myself on track, focused and with a sense of achievement! There are seven sections of activities; this post details their status for the weeks 13 to 19 August 2012.

Currently Reading

The books I’m reading as I post.

1. Cameron Nation by David Carraturo (AG)

This is going on the back burner for a few weeks; I have some other books that have run up the list.

2. Luke Wood presents More than a Million Words by Luke Wood and others (FR)

I think a few of these before bed will be a nice treat.  I try not to read too many in one go, so I can savour each piece.

3. The Consul at Sunset by Gerald Hanley

We’ve now met a different character – at odds with the Establishment types, but bound to play by the rules.

4. The River Witch by Kimberly Brock (NG)

Totally absorbing – I couldn’t believe I’d read nearly half of it in one sitting – over dinner!

Finished This week

1. Wolf Dawn by Susan Cartwright (AG)

The story is totally absorbing.  The writing style is a little ponderous, but the universe building is good.  I enjoyed the ethical dilemas that afflict the characters..

2. Timepiece by Myra McEntire (NG)

 I enjoyed this.  Although having read Book 1 in the series might have helped, it works as a standalone book.

Reviews in Manuscript

I like writing with a pen (or pencil) and paper. In addition, it is more convenient to write by hand, since in the time available, I don’t have access to a computer 🙂
Look out for these reviews coming soon:

1. Defying Drakon by Carole Mortimer
2. Hot Girl’s Friend by Lisa Scott
3. Scarlett’s by A. L. Collins
4. The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
5. The Wedding Story by Dee Tenorio
6. Little Girls: A Novella by Elton Lord
7. Unforgettable Embrace by Joanne Clancy
8. Dead(ish) by Naomi Kramer
9. A Vampire’s Dominon by V. M. K. Fewings
10. Bone Machine by C. N. James
11. Columbus Avenue Boys by David Carraturo
12. Catestrophically Consequential by Stephen C. Bird
13. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
14. Darker by Degree by Keri Knutson & Susan Branham
15. Sanctuary by Glyn Smith-Wild
16. Seven into the Bleak by Matthew Iden
17. Redhead by Ian Cook
18. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
19. Wolf Dawn by Susan Cartwright

Reviews Posted

 The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

TBR Shortlist

I’ve had a rethink on choosing my next book.  I have been approved for quite a number of NetGalley (NG) book, so I’ve decided it’s time to boost some of these up the list and get posting reviews!  The other books from my list generally come under the headings of author gifts (AG), which usually get priority; First Reads (FR) wins; and authors’ time limited free offers (FO).  I sprinkle in some bought books and free ebooks too, as I fancy.

My immediate reading list is:

1. For That Day by Low Kay Hwa (AG)
3. One Moment by Kristina McBride (NG)
4. Monkey with a Pin by Pete Comley (FO)
5. Hound Dog Blues by Virginia Brown (NG)
6. The Top Ten Leadership Commandments by Hans Finzel (NG)
8. Rise by Yosef Gotlieb (NG)

Blog updates completed

1. Tuesday Totals – I’m on Number 8
2. Bookish Funny Friday – 15th posted
3. Waiting on Wednesday – 2nd posted
4. Released Next Month – 2nd posted

Blog Updates Planned

1. Review Policy – mostly written, partly typed
2. Reviews: My thoughts and philosophy – written, partly typed
3. Tuesday Totals – explanation page to be written, a logo would be nice, but not sure what (and how)
4. Rose’s Ramblings – explanation page to be written, logo to be created; two posts written, need to be typed (was Monthly Musings, but I decided that keeping it random was better!)
5. Blog Improvements – section needed with to do list
6. Visitor Counters – need to add them!

I’m gradually making progress with blog updates and reviews.  I’m hoping to join Bloggiesta this year and get some of my updates done then. Having this list to come back to is useful as it keeps me on track and stops me heading off in random directions! 🙂
What do you have planned for your blog?  How do you decide which book to read next???

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The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke: review

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.

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How good is The Assassin’s Curse? It’s so good I read it in a day!

The Assassin’s Curse is an otherworld fantasy story that can hold its own with the best of the genre. The Assassin’s Curse has about it the feel of Robin Hobb – although this instalment is shorter than one of a Robin Hobb trilogy, however, I suspect that there will be four or five books in this series (if you read The Assassin’s Curse, let me know if you agree!). Since I really want to know what happens next and how Ananna and Naji deal with the challenges they’ve been given, I shall be keeping a watch on Strange Chemistry’s blog for the next in series, although since The Assassin’s Curse isn’t released until October 2012, I suspect I will have a bit of a wait!

The story begins with our heroine running away from her betrothing ceremony – and I can’t say I blame her. Thus begin her adventures and her meeting with the eponymous assassin. One of the things that I particularly liked was that  it has a strong female lead. It’s funny how fantasy books much more often have strong, independent female leads than a number of other genres. Perhaps that’s why I’ve read fantasy (and Sci-Fi) books since I was a girl. One of my favourite authors was Andre Norton; Ms Clarke is most definitely in Ms Norton’s league.

The adventures the pair of unwilling co-travellers share follow logically from one to another, although there were a few points when I felt there was a tad too much running around without purpose and without Ananna and Naji growing further. I think there may have been some over-exuberant editing or revising around the storm sequence, since the plot progression got a little mushy around there. For me, a veteran of many sail-era naval novels, the lack of detail in, and slightly inaccurate, telling of the actions on board ship (I am being intentionally vague to avoid giving any of the story away) was a minor irritation – a very minor one. I would have liked more details about the Isles of the Sky – my mental pictures there was rather sketchy.

The telling of the developing relationship between Ananna and Naji is mostly well done – and I enjoyed that it is not too much of a formulaic romance. All of the characters are well drawn and believable. I hope we meet the wizard again – he is a character with much potential.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Assassin’s Curse and found the standard of world building by Ms Clarke to be well executed. I would have liked a little more detail on the various peoples and their cultures & religions to be worked into the tale. Had the book been somewhat longer, this and the other additions I have mentioned could have been included. The key to adding these details is to do it as part of the story and not for the author to tell the reader directly. I suspect that the publishers, Strange Chemistry, have a standrd format in which they publish and that the books they publish are edited to this format. I hope that as time goes by, they are able to offer a range of book formats (i.e. lengths).

I really liked the cover…the script’s font and the skyline are reminiscent of ancient Arabia and get the reader in the right frame of mind for the world they are about to visit.

I think this is a debut novel for Cassandra Rose Clarke and I have great hopes for her future books.

I thank Strange Chemistry for my opportunity to read The Assassin’s Curse, as a NetGalley ARC for kindle. I also thank them for introducing me to a new (to me) author. Details of the release dates for The Assassin’s Curse can be found in my WOW post.

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View all my Goodreads reviews

I’m claiming this book as No. 121/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge; and No. 6 in the First in Series Reading challenge..
[All links in right hand sidebar]

I particularly liked was that

Tuesday Totals (7) 2012: Week 32

Tuesday Totals – 06 to 12 August 2012

Here is my weekly round-up of my blog activities – accomplished and planned – that I use to try to keep myself on track, focused and with a sense of achievement! There are seven sections of activities; this post details their status for the weeks 06 to 12 August 2012.

Currently Reading

The books I’m reading as I post.

1. Cameron Nation by David Carraturo (AG)

This is going on the back burner for a few weeks; I have some other books that have run up the list.

2. Luke Wood presents More than a Million Words by Luke Wood and others (FR)

I think a few of these before bed will be a nice treat.  I try not to read too many in one go, so I can savour each piece.

3. Wolf Dawn by Susan Cartwright (AG)

The story is totally absorbing – I had to stop right in the middle of a very exciting bit to go to work this morning. The writing style is a little ponderous, but the universe buildong is good.

4. The Consul at Sunset by Gerald Hanley

I know this is a product of its time, and looking back to see how far we’ve come is a useful exercise, but the attitude to women and “foreigners” is shocking!

Finished This week

1. Desperate Housedogs / Get Fluffy by Abbey Sparkle (NG)

I have read Desperate Housedogs before (it’s one of my early reviews) however, when I received it in a two volume NetGalley ARC with its sequel Get Fluffy, I thought I’d do a quick reread. Enjoying the second time through!!

2. Poltergeeks by Simon Cummings (NG)

I I really enjoyed this

3. The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke (NG)

Amazing, brilliant book.

Reviews in Manuscript

I like writing with a pen (or pencil) and paper. In addition, it is more convenient to write by hand, since in the time available, I don’t have access to a computer 🙂
Look out for these reviews coming soon:

1. Defying Drakon by Carole Mortimer
2. Hot Girl’s Friend by Lisa Scott
3. The First Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsey (40% typed)
4. Scarlett’s by A. L. Collins
5. The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
6. The Wedding Story by Dee Tenorio
7. Little Girls: A Novella by Elton Lord
8. Unforgettable Embrace by Joanne Clancy
9. Dead(ish) by Naomi Kramer
10. A Vampire’s Dominon by V. M. K. Fewings
11. Bone Machine by C. N. James
12. Columbus Avenue Boys by David Carraturo
13. Catestrophically Consequential by Stephen C. Bird
14. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
15. Darker by Degree by Keri Knutson & Susan Branham
16. Sanctuary by Glyn Smith-Wild
17. Seven into the Bleak by Matthew Iden
18. Redhead by Ian Cook
19. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
20. The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Reviews Posted

 Poltergeeks by Simon Cummings

TBR Shortlist

I’ve had a rethink on choosing my next book.  I have been approved for quite a number of NetGalley (NG) book, so I’ve decided it’s time to boost some of these up the list and get posting reviews!  The other books from my list generally come under the headings of author gifts (AG), which usually get priority; First Reads (FR) wins; and authors’ time limited free offers (FO).  I sprinkle in some bought books and free ebooks too, as I fancy.

My immediate reading list is:

1. Timepiece by Myra McEntire (NG)
2. For That Day by Low Kay Hwa (AG)
3. One Moment by Kristina McBride (NG)
4. Monkey with a Pin by Pete Comley (FO)
5. Hound Dog Blues by Virginia Brown (NG)
6. The River Witch by Kimberly Brock (NG)
7. The Top Ten Leadership Commandments by Hans Finzel (NG)
8. Rise by Yosef Gotlieb (NG)

Blog updates completed

1. Tuesday Totals – I’m on Number 7
2. Bookish Funny Friday – 14th posted
3. Waiting on Wednesday – 1st posted
4. Released Next Month – 1st posted

Blog Updates Planned

1. Review Policy – mostly written, partly typed
2. Reviews: My thoughts and philosophy – written, partly typed
3. Tuesday Totals – explanation page to be written, a logo would be nice, but not sure what (and how)
4. Rose’s Ramblings – explanation page to be written, logo to be created; two posts written, need to be typed (was Monthly Musings, but I decided that keeping it random was better!)
5. Blog Improvements – section needed with to do list
6. Visitor Counters – need to add them!

I’m gradually making progress with blog updates and reviews.  I’m hoping to join Bloggiesta this year and get some of my updates done then. Having this list to come back to is useful as it keeps me on track and stops me heading off in random directions! 🙂
What do you have planned for your blog?  How do you decide which book to read next???

Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings: review

PoltergeeksPoltergeeks by Sean Cummings

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it’s pretty obvious to Julie there’s a supernatural connection.

In fact, there’s a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie’s high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it’s a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won’t just lose her mother’s soul, she’ll lose her mother’s life.

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Poltergeeks is a YA witch-themed fantasy novel that will appeal to fantasy fans of all ages. It is a fast-paced and absorbing. book I really didn’t want to put Poltergeeks down, but I had to do that in order to sleep.

Sean Cummings spins a fabulous yarn, with vivid descriptions of the phenomena and battles. The various relationships are described in realistic terms; I felt that all of them rang true and were consistent throughout the book. I’m very impressed at how well this middle-aged Blackburn Rovers fan got inside a 15-year-old girl’s head. Or should I be worried…LOL…seriously, whilst reading Poltergeeks I imagined a female author, the “voice” was that good.

There are a few really clichéd phrases uttered by the characters, along with some pretty cringeworthy phrases, but somehow they fit. Marcus is a stereotypical geek, and is bullied by a stereotypical jock, but I found I was able to ignore those formulaic bits. The witchy parts of the book are well worked out, and consistent. The story itself is internally consistent: it is set in the Calgary of the here and now – how wonderful to have a book set outside the US! There’s nothing wrong with the US, it’s just nice to be treated to a different locale – and takes the view that magic is all around us but most people don’t notice it. Witches are charged with keeping the rest of humanity safe from the “bad guys”. These two aspects – normal everyday and magical – are expertly woven together. Since Julie, our heroine, has been kept in the dark about many magical society details for most of her life, we learn about the rich details of the society with her. This kept the book interesting; I wanted to know more, I made guesses based on the clues received so far and was not bored when we got to the explanations because they happened as part of the story, either as direct speech or as part of the action rather than large passages of exposition directly from the author to the reader.

Poltergeeks absolutely races along, sometimes leaving the reader almost out of breath; there are few points where the reader thinks “Ah! I can put the book down knowing all are safe for a bit”. I admit that partway through, I worked out who – but I didn’t see the why. This looping interweaving sleight-of-hand part of the book was wonderfully woven.

In addition to discovering a new (to me) author, I’ve also discovered a new imprint: Strange Chemistry, who have some fantastic books coming out over the next six months – keep your eyes open for them: check out my WoW posts for details. Details of the release dates of Poltergeeks are also given on the website.

Thank you Sean for an excellent read. Thank you Strange Chemistry for approving me to receive a NetGalley ARC of Poltergeeks. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to subsequent books.

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View all my Goodreads reviews

I’m claiming this book as No. 120/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge; and No. 5 in the First in Series Reading challenge..
[All links in right hand sidebar]

Tuesday Totals (6) 2012: Week 31

Tuesday Totals – 30 July to 05 August 2012

Here is my weekly round-up of my blog activities – accomplished and planned – that I use to try to keep myself on track, focused and with a sense of achievement! There are seven sections of activities; this post details their status for the weeks 30 July to 05 August 2012.
This post is rather long because, as I explained in the last TT, real life rather got the better of me for a bit and I’m playing catch-up!

Currently Reading

The books I’m reading as I post.

1. Cameron Nation by David Carraturo (AG)

This is going on the back burner for a few weeks; I have some other books that have run up the list.

2. Luke Wood presents More than a Million Words by Luke Wood and others (FR)

I think a few of these before bed will be a nice treat.  I try not to read too many in one go, so I can savour each piece.

3. Desperate Housedogs / Get Fluffy by Abbey Sparkle (NG)

I have read Desperate Housedogs before (it’s one of my early reviews) however, when I received it in a two volume NetGalley ARC with its sequel Get Fluffy, I thought I’d do a quick reread. Enjoying the second time through!!

Finished This week

1. The Great Firewall by Michael C. Boxall (AG)

The book started and ended strongly, but I felt it was a little repetative in the middle.

2. Confusous Cat Says by P. R. Mason

I enjoyed this homage to great quotes!

3. Short Fuses by Stephen Leather

I’ve read one of Mr Leather’s other short Stories about Inspector Zhang, so was pleased to find one here too. All four stories are well crafted. There are lots of “first two” chapters for his novels. I read a few – they look good – but got fed up reading so many starts.

3. White Cougar Christmas by Elixa Gayle

Not particularly impressed. There wasn’t enough world building and I’m not inspired to read the novels in the series from which this short story comes.

Reviews in Manuscript

I like writing with a pen (or pencil) and paper. In addition, it is more convenient to write by hand, since in the time available, I don’t have access to a computer 🙂
Look out for these reviews coming soon:

1. Defying Drakon by Carole Mortimer
2. Hot Girl’s Friend by Lisa Scott
3. The First Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsey (40% typed)
4. Scarlett’s by A. L. Collins
5. The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
6. The Wedding Story by Dee Tenorio
7. Little Girls: A Novella by Elton Lord
8. Unforgettable Embrace by Joanne Clancy
9. Dead(ish) by Naomi Kramer
10. A Vampire’s Dominon by V. M. K. Fewings
11. Bone Machine by C. N. James
12. Columbus Avenue Boys by David Carraturo
13. Catestrophically Consequential by Stephen C. Bird
14. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
15. Darker by Degree by Keri Knutson & Susan Branham
16. Sanctuary by Glyn Smith-Wild
17. Seven into the Bleak by Matthew Iden
18. Redhead by Ian Cook
18. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Reviews Posted

1. Salsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops

TBR Shortlist

I’ve had a rethink on choosing my next book.  I have been approved for quite a number of NetGalley (NG) book, so I’ve decided it’s time to boost some of these up the list and get posting reviews!  The other books from my list generally come under the headings of author gifts (AG), which usually get priority; First Reads (FR) wins; and authors’ time limited free offers (FO).  I sprinkle in some bought books and free ebooks too, as I fancy.

My immediate reading list is:

1. Poltergeeks by Sean cummings (NG)
2. The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke (NG)
3. Timepiece by Myra McEntire (NG)
4. Wolf Dawn by Susan Cartwright (AG)
5. For That Day by Low Kay Hwa (AG)
6. One Moment by Kristina McBride (NG)
7. Monkey with a Pin by Pete Comley (FO)
8. Hound Dog Blues by Virginia Brown (NG)
9. The River Witch by Kimberly Brock (NG)
10. The Top Ten Leadership Commandments by Hans Finzel (NG)
11. Rise by Yosef Gotlieb (NG)

Blog updates completed

1. Tuesday Totals – I’m on Number 6!
2. Bookish Funny Friday – 13th posted, 14th scheduled

Blog Updates Planned

1. Review Policy – mostly written, partly typed
2. Reviews: My thoughts and philosophy – written, partly typed
3. Tuesday Totals – explanation page to be written, a logo would be nice, but not sure what (and how)
4. Rose’s Ramblings – explanation page to be written, logo to be created; two posts written, need to be typed (was Monthly Musings, but I decided that keeping it random was better!)
5. Blog Improvements – section needed with to do list
6. Visitor Counters – need to add them!

I’m gradually making progress with blog updates and reviews.  I’m hoping to join Bloggiesta this year and get some of my updates done then. Having this list to come back to is useful as it keeps me on track and stops me heading off in random directions! 🙂
What do you have planned for your blog?  How do you decide which book to read next???

In My Mailbox (13): Sunday 29 July 2012

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Welcome to
In My Mailbox!!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and Letterbox Love is a British take on the idea. If you want to know more, there is information under the Fun Things heading above, or you can click on the pictures at the top of this post to take you to the hosts’ blogs.

These posts are to tell you about the books I have acquired recently. I know most bloggers call all such posts “In My Mailbox”, however, as I’m English, my physical post comes through my letterbox and my electronic mail arrives in my mailbox (or my inbox…). So I have decided to use the following terms:

In My Letterbox (IML) for the physical books I aquire;
In My Mailbox (IMM) for the NetGalley books or ebooks sent to me for review by authors;
In My Inbox (IMI) for the free Kindle ebooks I compulsively download!

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I have got very behind on reading and reviewing NetGalley books, so I thought it about time I at least listed some of them on my blog.  Currently I’m reading some author-gifted books, then I’m going to get stuck in to some of these.  I now have a list of all downloaded books in a spreadsheet, so I can list any I’ve missed in a future IMM.

NETGALLEY Books RECEIVED in June:

1. A Kiss Goodbye by Audrey Penn

Publisher: Tanglewood 15 April 2007

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2. Resonance by A.J. Scudiere

Publisher: Griffyn Ink 10 January 2010

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3. Rise by Yosef Gotlieb

Publisher: Atida Press. The Olive Group 01 October 2011

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4. The White Oak by Kim White

Publisher: Story Machine Studio 09 April 2012

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5. Shades of Murder by Lauren Carr

Publisher: Acorn Book Services, CreateSpace 15 May 2012

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6. Till We Eat Again by Judy Gruen

Publisher: CreateSpace 21 May 2012

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7. Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster

Publisher: Minotaur Books, St. Martin’s Press 05 June 2012

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8. Dog Is My Copilot by Patrick Regan

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing 19 June 2012

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9. The World Without You by Joshua Henkin

Publisher: Pantheon Books, Knopf Doubleday 19 June 2012

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10. One Moment by Kristina McBride

Publisher: Egmont USA 26 June 2012

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11. Elza’s Kitchen by Marc Fitten

Publisher: Bloomsbury 03 July 2012

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How has your collection grown recently? Leave me a comment with a link and I’ll pop over!  Happy reading and hope to see you next week.

Dancing with the Boss by Clare Gutierrez: review

Dancing with the BossDancing with the Boss by Clare Gutierrez

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In the American Southwest, criminal organizations from all over the world conspire to control everything from human trafficking to drug running and gun smuggling. Caught in the midst of all of this is the smart and sassy Annie, the owner of a rare-art dealership in Arizona. In a chance encounter, Annie meets Tony, a veritable gangster and mafioso who finds himself at odds with the brutal nature of his work and his growing feelings for Annie.

When Annie learns that her brother Allen, a former special ops agent for the FBI, has gotten himself into some deep trouble, she finds an unexpected ally in Tony. The two of them—along with Annie’s other two siblings—set out to help Allen, maneuvering through mysterious data files and dead bodies as they travel from coast to coast—and abroad—in their search. As the tension builds, so does the number of casualties.

Explored through rich descriptions and populated with complex, likable characters, Dancing with the Boss—part thriller, part romance, part action novel—will keep even the most jaded readers hooked.

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Spoiler alert: there are a few plot reveals in this review; I have tried to keep them to a minimum and they are only there to explain my points.

This was an excellent story with lots of tension and plot twists. The story moves along at a good pace; sometime a small pause in the headlong rush to make an important aspect clearer to the reader would be useful, I think. A little polishing to the writing style would turn Dancing with the Boss from a good book into a great book.

There were a couple of problems with the kindle formatting, but I put these down to this being a NetGalley ARC – time to iron out such issues before publication. For the record, I found that the chapters ran into one another and that the word was printed “chaPTer” each time. The first letter of the first paragraph of each chapter was lower case and printed on its own line.

Whilst talking about style and formatting, there were a couple of other points I wanted to mention: I found the direct speech internal monologue inserts clumsy and distracting; finding another way to include these elements would improve the book for me. There was a classic spelling mistake: at one point Mr Hernandez became Mr Fernandez, but quickly reverted. Was this a typo or a previous incarnation, I wondered!

For me the book was somewhat spoiled by a couple of, to me, daft plot happenings. These made the main character, Annie, appear, in my eyes at least, rather stupid, something which most of the rest of the book made clear she wasn’t.

In the first place, having done some quite clever sleuthing and discovered not one but two vital pieces of information into the crime, she heads off, for an indeterminate time, and leaves both pieces of evidence behind! I’m not sure how she planned to investigate (her intention) without at least copies.

Secondly, towards the end of the book, when Annie and her sister are ensconced as investigators, she suddenly produces a huge amount of information from her friend, Rhino, who died some months earlier. No previous mention of this data was made…and given the desperate nature of their need to solve the crime and find those responsible, why would Annie sit on this information?? Non sequiturs like these really annoy me in books.

Rhino’s demise I found unnecessary. The baddies hadn’t found his lair and had his precautions and preparations been as previously described, he could have used his house instead to defeat the intruders.

Throughout the book, the passage of time, particularly when there is significant time between the end of one chapter and the start of the next, is badly described or indicated.

I got a little tired of Tony’s overbearing, nineteenth century attitude, possibly because its description and manifestation varied so little.

Despite all these areas which I believe can be improved, I enjoyed reading Dancing with the Boss. I found the characters for the most part reasonably well drawn; the polishing I mentioned earlier would include refining their description and behaviours a little, removing a touch of the stereotype that tends to creep in. I mostly cared about what happens to the characters; in some cases, the minor characters were in better focus that the major ones!

I recommend this book to ladies who love thrillers and mysteries. I suspect most of the men who read this genre would not enjoy the romance aspect. Personally, I feel this adds to the book, but thought it could be a little less front and centre, but rather a little more subtle. In some ways, I thought Dancing with the Boss couldn’t make its mind up if it were a thriller or a romance: I guess I was looking for it to be a thriller first and foremost! Dancing with the Boss is an enjoyable, entertaining read and I would pick up other books by Clare Gutierrez without hesitation.

I thank Clare Gutierrez and her publishers for making this ebook available for me to review through NetGalley.  Parts of this review also appear there.

View all my Goodreads reviews
Find on Amazon

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I’m claiming this book as No. TBC/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge. [Link in right hand sidebar]