Review: Mogul by Joanna Shupe


Knickerbockers Series #3

Publisher: Zebra (January 31, 2017) Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services

ASIN: B01FBZXPG4               Rating: 5*

As owner of three  well-respected national newspapers, Calvin Cabot has the means to indulge his capricious taste for excess — and enough power of secrets and lies to bring the upper crust of society to its knees. Lillian Davis, a woman from his past desperately needs him and sets Pinkerton men out to find him so that she could beg for his help.  After finally chasing Calvin down Lillian beards him in his den and he finally agrees – on condition he will help IF she stay out of his way. Except, Lillian Davis is more stubborn and maddening now than she ever was in the past and this willful beauty always gets what she wants… one way or another.

Lillian Davies lives the high life – she can easily afford it as the heiress to her fathers silver mining interests. But when her brother disappears, Lily will spare nothing to bring him back alive.  Unfortunately, for Lillian the only man who can help her is the one she vowed never to see again the one man who ignites her soul and fires her passionate nature. The one man she cannot resist no matter how he broke her heart five years ago.

Oh my, this third book in Shape’s Knickerbocker Series gives truth to amazing writing abilities of Ms. Shupe.   Filled with fast action and numerous lively scenarios it was difficult to set down, which meant for me losing sleep because I couldn’t sleep without getting back up to see what happened next!  Calvin and Lillian had amazing chemistry and passion between them and Ms. Shupe’s writing reflected all of that and more.   Weaving in the Chinese connection and historical significance of how the Chinese were treated during that period added that wonderful bit of danger and suspense that increased the thrill level of the story.     Bottom Line:   An amazing story and sensual romance that was just what the doctor ordered to relieve boredom of being snowed-in!!!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry


Net Galley – Jan 24, 2017

Publisher: Crown (January 24, 2017)    ISBN-13: 978-1101905609

Being from Massachusetts, I realized that THE FIFTH PETAL was set in the sea town of Salem, and knew I would have to read it.    What really surprised me was not only did the majority of the tome take place in Salem, but there were some scenes that took place in Northampton and Amherst which was where I grew up.   Naturally them for me, it was easy to find myself traveling right along with the characters walking and driving the roads and highways right along with them.

The focus of the story was on unsolved and mysterious murders.  The story begins with a teenage boy on Halloween harassing an older homeless woman, Rose Whelan, who had been accused of being a witch.  After Rose warned him to leave her alone it and the boy persisted he ends up dead,  suspiciously killed where witnesses couldn’t tell how it happened.   Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney (see THE LACE READER), wonders if there is a connection to the young boys death and the unsolved cold case from 1989 where three beautiful young women were mysteriously killed and dubbed “The Goddess Murders”.  The interesting part was all three of the victims were descended from accused Salem witches and once again it happened on Halloween night.  Fortunately for Rafferty, he finds unexpected help from Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims who was there as a child when the murders of the Goddesses occurred.  Most want to lay the blame on Rose Whelan a respected historian who has never been the same since the murders occurred.   Callie and Rafferty both believe Rose is innocent of those crimes.

Trying to find the real killer means going back and possibly crossing paths with a real evil as they try to discover whether this was human vengeance or dangerous and vile black arts.

Bottom line:   THE FIFTH PETAL was really good with fleshed out characters who were trying to live life after some very traumatic events from their pasts.  There were many people who all played active roles in the suspense and uncovered many secrets that governed so many lives in Salem.   Pace was steady and the ending was both satisfying and somewhat surprising.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Power Game by Christine Feehan


Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 464 pages

Publication: January 24th 2017 by Berkley

ASIN: B01KGZVSZO           Rating 5*

Once more I was completely mesmerized by this latest book in Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalker series.  POWER GAME is the 13th book in this series and every bit as memorable as the very first book I read.  For those not familiar with the series the Ghostwalkers are members of an elite classified government experiment. The Ghostwalker experiment is run by a medical genetic genius, Dr. Peter Whitney whose methods leave much to be desired as he enhances the psychic abilities of an elite squadron, transforming their natural telekinetic powers into unique military weapons.

In this tome,  Ms Feehan focused on Captain Ezekiel Fortunes who is called on to save some hostages that have been taken prisoner by radical terrorists. Not a difficult rescue like the many they had participated in before.  The difference is that this rescue is a trap – a  set-up for capture or to be killed.

Another of Dr. Peter Whitney’s super soldiers was Bellisia, who had been out on assignment and learned that one of the Ghostwalker teams (later discovering it was Ezekiel’s team) was being set up she managed to escape her handlers and made her way to New Orleans and the Louisiana Bayou to first find out if they were loyal to Whitney; and if not, she would warn them of the plot against them.  What surprised both Ezekiel and Bellisia was the physical attraction that was undeniable and something they would have to deal with as many of the other Ghostwalkers had been genetically matched to one another.

As a matter of course, there are plenty of adventuresome scenes of fighting and eluding people who were out to harm the Ghostwalkers and the women and babies that were hidden in the bayou.   Naturally, the triplets of Wyatt and Pepper were described beautifully leaving the reader wanting to scoop them up in your arms and hug them tight – absolutely adorable.  The sensualness of Ezekiel and Bellisima was hot and steamy. And most of all the pace was quite swift in that I couldn’t put this book down and read it in one sitting!   AWESOME – AWESOME – AWESOME!!!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Hanover House by Brenda Novak


Series:  The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles 0.5    Kindle Edition, 244 pages

Published September 1st 2015 by Brenda Novak, Inc. ASIN:   B013F9NVY4

Rating:  5*

In her teenaged years, Evelyn loved and trusted her boyfriend.  A boyfriend  who ended up killing her two best friends, then tortured her for 3 days, slit her throat and left her for dead.  After that Evelyn’s future had been determined.  Evelyn needed to know what made psychopaths do what they did?  How could they appear to be like any other human being and then turn into monsters with no conscience, and/or feel no remorse for the terror they delivered unto their victims?

Now 25 years later as an adult and renowned psychiatrist Evelyn has worked tirelessly to establish a center strictly for the study of solving the mysteries of the antisocial psychopath mind.   Naturally, it took years but finally a site had been selected to build this facility where she could gather some of the worst criminal minds together to be studied.  The place, a remote Alaskan town called Hilltop, Alaska and the facility would be called Hanover House.  As expected  – most all the inhabitants of Hilltop were not happy including State Trooper, Sergeant Amarok who was one of the few police officers who was in charge of keeping the people of Hilltop safe.

While Amarok could empathize with Evelyn’s childhood history and  even though attracted to her, he does not see having all these psychopaths settled nearby his town as a good thing.  While the facility is being built and Evelyn is still putting it all together, her ex-boyfriend who had never been caught from 25 years ago and was still obsessed with her was making plans to finish what he started.

*** Actually this was just the introduction to the Hanover House series and it gives all the background and insights as to just what is going on as well as re-introduces the sick mind of Evelyn’s nemesis and tormentor. It is definitely an edge-of-your-seat suspense and highly addictive tome to those who like myself are fascinated by the genius minds of some of the worst criminals humanity has to offer.    Bottom line:  This is a series you don’t want to miss!!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Baron by Joanna Shupe –


Published October 25th 2016 by Zebra      ISBN13: 9781420139860

Series: The Knickerbocker Club #2   Rating:  5*

I read the first book in Joanna Shupe’s Knickerbocker Club series and it was so good, I simply had to continue on.  In Book #2 BARON William Sloan is the workaholic railroad baron of the Northeast Railway system.  A railway system he inherited from his father who had no faith in William and thought of him strictly as a loser.   Well this spurred William to prove to himself that he was no loser, if fact having built his railroad to extreme heights he was even ready to enter politics.  Unfortunately, the man he’d chosen as his running mate seemed to be walking a fine edge where his association with a supposedly gifted psychic just might ruin all chances should the public discover the reliance his running mate had placed upon her advice.

Ava Jones has managed to survive and support her three younger siblings in the only way she could by posing as the Russian Madame Zolikoff.  Naturally, she knew she was a con artist but thought of herself mainly as an entertainer and this is exactly what she did – entertained.   She didn’t feel that she was hurting the people who came to her and she was providing that small bit off entertainment. Unfortunately, Bill Sloan, wanted her out of his running mates life, but the more he sparred and threatened her, he realized he wanted her in his life… and his bed!        And that was just the beginning!

Ms.Shupe’s writing kept me glued to this tome and one of my highest praises is that her writing  made it very difficult to lay down.   Her character development involved letting the reader see and feel motivations that kept both William and Ava so real and fluid.  As the author played this story out she brings even more and more characters into play making BARON a truly exceptional and interesting read as she enlightens the reader with some of the fascinating historical events of the Gilded Age period   of New York and the people who influenced and helped shape our nation.

Bottom line:   I am loving this series and BARON featuring William and Ava is one one more reason I fully intend to continue reading all the books in The Knickerbocker Club.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman


The Library has always been a steadfast entity in Irene Winters’ world.  Doors to alternate worlds always function properly as long as the Librarians use them appropriately. Unfortunately, something has changed as Irene and her assistant, Kai, face danger when trying to open a Library door. The Library itself is at risk and Irene is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of the world she knows. Meanwhile, Irene’s good friend, Peregrine Vale, has been tainted by Chaos Can Irene and Kai save both the Library and Vale?

THE BURNING PAGE is the third book in Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library series. I would highly suggest reading the series in order as the foundations of the character development and world building are already established. There is also an ongoing thread that truly hits its stride in THE BURNING PAGE and you don’t want to miss the full impact of this fascinating storyline!

Irene is quickly becoming one of my favorite heroines! I love her quick thinking and her loyalty to her friends. Besides, she hates spiders as much as I do as Genevieve Cogman crafts one of the few spider scenes that I enjoyed despite the nasty eight legged arachnids!

Sherlock Holmes happens to be one of my all-time favorite detectives so of course I adore Vale! The comparisons to Sherlock Holmes (aka “the Great Detective”) are brilliantly executed. THE BURNING PAGE puts an interesting twist on his story and I hope we get to dig deeper into things with him in future books.

THE BURNING PAGE is my favorite book in The Invisible Library series and solidifies me as a fan. Genevieve Cogman has crafted an intriguing steampunk series that is both clever and action packed. Highly recommended!