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A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

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A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Narrator: Graham Halstead, Julia Whelan
Series: Charlotte Holmes #1
Published by Harper Collins on March 1, 2016
Source: Library
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Length: 8 hrs 41 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. But the Holmes family has always been odd, and Charlotte is no exception. She’s inherited Sherlock’s volatility and some of his vices—and when Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte makes it clear she’s not looking for friends.

But when a student they both have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

I have a soft spot for Sherlock Holmes, so when someone (I forget who) said they enjoyed this take on the characters, I had to put it on my to-read list. Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are descendants of the famous duo and they “just happen” to meet at boarding school. In Connecticut. But don’t worry, the story will get to that. Coincidences are never really coincidences in a Holmes world.

Charlotte is pure Sherlock, complete with drug problems, brilliant deductions, and violin-playing, which comes off a little differently in a 16-year-old girl. She can be tough to like, but we’re seeing her through Watson’s eyes, and he’s either falling in love with her or is obsessed with her or both. When a student they both hates ends up dead, everything points at them, so of course they have to solve the mystery. What else could a Holmes and Watson do? The mystery was clever, with plenty of connections to the original Holmes stories.

I enjoyed the writing, the descriptions and metaphors were well-done. I especially enjoyed the Watsonian guide for the care and keeping of Holmeses that Jamie’s dad has put together.

I listened to the audio version and I think the narrator did a good job being Jamie, since the story comes from his point of view. The epilogue is told by Charlotte, who doesn’t really have much to add. I’m glad the same narrators are doing the next in the series.

This is a YA book and it does deal a lot with drugs. It also deals with a rape, which may be a reason some won’t want to read it. I’m not sure it was handled the best way either, it made sense to the plot and the characters, but is not a good example of how the crime should have been reported/prosecuted. The kids don’t really have much supervision, which makes it easier to investigate/sneak around campus, but also easier to end up over your head.

I do kind of wish Watson and Holmes could remain just friends, but I have the feeling one, if not both, is hoping for more.

This book trailer makes me almost wish it was a movie.

About Brittany Cavallaro

Brittany Cavallaro is a poet, fiction writer, and old school Sherlockian. She is the author of the Charlotte Holmes novels from HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books. She’s also the author of the poetry collection GIRL-KING (University of Akron) and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She earned her BA in literature from Middlebury College and her MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she’s a PhD candidate in English literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She lives in the Bay area with her husband, cat, and collection of deerstalker caps.

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Spotlight on Courting Danger by Kimberly Dean

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Spotlight on Courting Danger by Kimberly Dean

Spotlight on Courting Danger by Kimberly Dean Courting Danger by Kimberly Dean
Published by Harper Collins on October 29, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
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Rielle Sands ventured too close to the fire once and got burned. Now when it comes to men, she’s vowed to play it safe. But then a dashing, mysterious man shows up at Luxxor Limited after hours, the agency she manages, needing an escort.
Darien Scott isn’t what he appears to be. Beneath the sexy smile and wicked charm, he’s hiding secrets. Yet the sizzling chemistry between him and Rielle is real. He tries to stay away, but his attraction to her keeps pulling him back. When he discovers that he’s not the only one haunted by danger, he changes tactics. To protect Rielle, he may need to stay close. Super close. Exclusive Luxxor contract close.
The reward is more than worth the risk.

Excerpt:

‘Hello? Is anyone here?’

A low voice rumbled down the hallway, and her chest tightened. It was a man, but she didn’t recognise the voice. For a moment, she considered remaining quiet, but she licked her lips and made herself step forward. She was overreacting. If she wasn’t, there was an emergency call button hidden under the lip of her desktop. Security could be here in less than a minute if she needed them.

She returned to the lobby and scanned the area. Her gaze came to a screeching halt when it landed on the man who was already looking in her direction.

Oh. Wow.

Her wariness didn’t decrease, but a different kind of awareness flooded her. ‘Hello?’ she said huskily.

Somehow he’d known she was there, yet he seemed taken aback. His weight slowly rocked back from the balls of his feet, and his eyes narrowed. They were blue eyes. Startling blue. ‘Good evening.’

She wasn’t overreacting. The guy had danger written all over him, in that good-girls-beware sort of way. Tall and strapping, he had closely cropped dark hair and a rough-and-tumble aura that didn’t go with the tuxedo he was wearing. That wasn’t to say he didn’t look good. He looked damn good. The combination was powerful, and it hit her first in her belly and next in her knees.

Sex appeal oozed from him.

Which, of course, meant he was here for an escort.

His gaze was running over her just as alertly as she’d evaluated him, so Rielle quickly put herself behind her desk. She tucked her barrette behind her phone and fought the urge to run her fingers through her hair. ‘I’m sorry, but we’re closed.’

He cocked his head. ‘The door was open.’

And that had been a mistake.

‘Did you have an appointment?’ She knew very well he didn’t.

‘No.’ Her question had been sharp, but his blue gaze didn’t flinch. Instead, the lines of his face softened, and she had to lock her knees to keep them from melting. ‘But I’m in a bind. I was hoping you could help me out.’

She lifted an eyebrow. The man might be putting out pheromones by the bucketful, but her brain was still functioning – admittedly better on some levels than others – and she’d begun to sense danger of another sort. The entrapment sort. Luxxor was not a company that took walk-ins. ‘For whom are you looking?’

He walked closer to the desk, and she instinctively gripped its edge. The way he moved, all silent and stealthy. The expensive carpeting absorbed the noise most people made, but the air didn’t even stir at his approach. Her fingers edged closer to the silent alarm, but she didn’t push it.

Not yet.

‘I’m looking for Luxxor Limited. I know I’m late, but I need an escort for the evening.’

Her guard stayed up. She knew they were alone in the office – she was acutely aware of the fact – but her company’s clients knew better than to go spouting off so casually about Luxxor’s line of work. They signed nondisclosure agreements to ensure it. If he was wearing a wire, she wanted to make everything perfectly clear. ‘You need someone to attend an event with you tonight?’

‘Actually, I need someone right now.’

She shook her head. Luxxor went to extremes to satisfy its clients. She’d blush if she thought about how far some escorts went, but there was no way she could accommodate his request. The employees they had working tonight already had their assignments. Even if she did contact someone, the timing was impossible.

And for some reason, that relieved her. ‘I’m sorry, but we don’t have anyone available on such short notice, Mr . . . I don’t believe I caught your name.’

‘Because I didn’t give it.’ He slid his hands into his pockets. The tuxedo looked good on him, but it was failing badly at taming him. Especially when he winked. ‘Tell me yours, and I’ll tell you mine.’

About the Author

When taking the Myers-Briggs personality test in high school, Kimberly was rated as an INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). This result sent her into a panic, because there were no career paths recommended for the type. Fortunately, it turned out to be well-suited to a writing career. Since receiving that dismal outlook, Kimberly has become an award-winning author of romance and erotica.  She has written for seven publishing houses, both domestic and international, and has recently focused her efforts on the exciting world of self-publishing. When not writing, she enjoys movies, sports, traveling, music, and sunshine. In her mind, a beach, some rock ‘n’ roll, and a good book make for a perfect day.

Her latest book is the contemporary erotic romance, Courting Danger.

For More Information

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Foul Play by Janet Evanovich

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Foul Play by Janet Evanovich Foul Play by Janet Evanovich
Narrator: C. J. Critt
Published by Harper Collins on November 18, 2008
Source: Library
Genres: Romance
Length: 4 hrs 59 mins
Format: Audiobook
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When Amy Klasse loses her TV job to a dancing chicken, handsome veterinarian Jake Elliott rescues her with an offer to be his receptionist. Jake just can't resist a damsel in distress, and Amy certainly doesn't mind Jake's charming sincerity.

Then, the job-stealing chicken suddenly disappears and Amy is suspected of foul play. Amy and Jake search for clues to prove her innocence. But will Jake be able to show Amy that love, too, is a mystery worth solving?

“A chicken was murdered yesterday. The investigator thinks there was some fowl play involved.” I wish I was good at puns, this review could be full of them. But, alas, no such luck. Here’s the basic story:  Amy lost her job to a rooster and is then accused of killing it. Jake rescues her from joblessness and falls in love with her at first sight. Oh, and she’s a gorgeous, funny, caring, twenty-six year old virgin, just waiting to be deflowered.

This was not a good book, but any stretch. It’s goofy, absurd – and fun. We’ve got instant love, silly situations, and an adventure that includes falling into a dumpster, but it’s entertaining and amusing.  The characters are bigger than life, but C. J. Critt does a good job as narrator. She gives the folks, even the secondary characters, great voices, full of personality, and kept me smiling. Yes, some of the conversations and phrasing are bordering on ridiculous, but she lets us enjoy them, rather than rolling our eyes.

Foul Play is romantic but is a bit awkward in places and the end is just tied up too quickly. It’s one of Evanovich’s early books re-released and has her humor but isn’t quite up to par yet.

About Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.

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