Wild Men of Alaska by Tiffinie Helmer

Publisher The Story Vault ISBN 0615736114

IMPACT…Intense
He arrested her five years ago and has been waiting for her ever since. She’s vowed never to lay eyes on him again. Wrecked in a small plane, with an arctic storm bearing down, they won’t survive if they don’t survive each other…

MOOSED-UP…Rugged
He’s big and hot and hungry for a mate, but has a secret that seems destined to ruin his chances at love. She can’t trust herself when it comes to men and knows next to knowing about surviving Alaska. The moose are loose and the men are hungry…

DREAMWEAVER…Sexy
He led a charmed life until he was murdered. Now he’s a desperate man who can only touch her in her dreams. She’s a tempted woman who thinks she’s going crazy when she starts having out-of-this-world sex with a dream lover. Is their love real? Or is it just a dream…

BEARING ALL…Untamed
He’s lured her to the edge of Alaska, hoping enough time has passed that her heart has softened and her knives have dulled. She’s been sent to assassinate him. Again. This time she intends to succeed without ending up in his bed. They’ll be stripped bare before the night is over…

4 great stories all in one book.  I really enjoyed reading about these stories, and most of them were all damsel in distress / hero rides in to rescue type of stories… except perhaps for Dreamweaver and Bearing All.

The men in these series of stories are all ruggedly handsome out doors type of men, all of them working one way or another with nature.  The heroines are all lovely girls who have left behind lives to restart their lives in Alaska, perhaps not expecting to be finding themselves loving men.

I enjoyed all of the stories, but I think my favourite would be Bearing All, about a spy who was trying to kill a man that she should have killed years before, but just couldn’t do it, then he betrayed her.  Turns out that he was sent to kill her too, and had done his best to try and defuse the situation.  What she fails to realise now is that he is protecting her, and loving her all over again.

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Deathwatch by Colin Falconer

Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 1992

ISBN 0-340-56239-0

DeathwatchFirst came the rumours of war.

But on the South Sea island of Santa Maria life was unchanged.  A life, according to the stern faced Father Goode, of sin-drenched, barely clothed sexuality and Godlessness.

Meanwhile his niece Rachel tended the sick and flinched from the disturbing presence of Patrick Corrigan, drunk, gambler and brawler, as District Officer Ian Manning shouldered the white man’s burden of administration.

Then the war became real.

Singapore, symbol of the British Empire, fell and soon the Japanese arrive.

And Santa Maria became an exploding volcano of violence, betrayal and unexpected heroism.

I love Colin Falconer books, and this one is by far my favourite.

The attraction between Rachel and Patrick is evident from the first pages, and I loved the subtle humour in the story.

Written in omnipresent point of view it was well crafted and the flow from one person to another was seamless and well done.  Not once did I get confused about who was talking or thinking.

Rachel is a naïve girl, raised by her Uncle, Father Goode.  He is a fire and brimstone preacher on the island of Santa Maria and he can’t stand Patrick Corrigan, a man he sees of having little morals.

Patrick however has higher morals than anyone was prepared to accept, however he is selfish and thinks only of himself, until Miss Goode throws herself into his life and he seems unable to disentangle himself from her charms.

The story is rich with details and I could easily imagine the high humidity o

Corrigan's Run

f the Pacific Island that the story was set.

If you like war stories, espionage and mystery, you would enjoy this story.

This book has been re-released by Colin Falconer as Corrigan’s Run

Sloane Monroe Boxed Set by Cheryl Bradshaw

Publisher: Pixie Publishing ASIN: B0080I5GTY

BLACK DIAMOND DEATH:

On the slopes of Park City, Utah’s newest ski resort a woman is found dead. At first glance, it has all the makings of an accident. But what if she was murdered? Although skeptical, PI Sloane Monroe takes the case and learns not everyone is who they seem, and some will go to any lengths to protect their identity.
SINNERMAN:
PI Sloane Monroe has solved every case that’s come across her desk with the exception of one—the brutal murder of her sister Gabrielle. Three years have passed without a trace of the serial killer until today, when a young woman’s body is discovered on a patch of dirt in front of the local supermarket. Will Sloane exact her revenge before Sinnerman slays his next victim, or will she be too late?

I HAVE A SECRET:
It’s been twenty years since PI Sloane Monroe has returned to her hometown of Tehachapi, California, but when a former classmate is stabbed and tossed overboard during the high school reunion cruise, Sloane isn’t about to allow a murderer to run free in her own backyard. But in a town where everyone is harboring secrets, how many more men will die before she discovers the truth?

This was a freebie on Amazon and I thought I would give it a try, and I enjoyed it very much.

Sloane is a likeable character, a private investigator who gets herself into some interesting cases, but manages to alienate some in the police force along the way.

Add into the mix, a policeman boyfriend who is extremely jealous of her abilities, a mobster, who she is strangely attracted to, a whole range of different scenarios and you have a rich tapestry of well told, good old fashioned whodunnit’s.

I enjoyed the character of Sloane a woman who is troubled yet strong and confident, a woman I could relate to.  I liked the subtle humour in the books and the flow, they didn’t drag and you wondered where the story would go next, the storyline kept on coming.

The Visitor – Lee Child

Transworld Publishers 2000 ISBN – 0593 045599

Sergeant Amy Callan and Lieutenant Caroline Cook have a lot in common.  They’re both high-flying army career women, they’re both victims of sexual harassment by their superiors, they’re both forced to resign from the service.

And now they’re both dead.

They’re discovered in their own homes, naked, in baths filled with army-issue camouflage paint, their bodies completely unmarked.  Expert FBI psychological profilers start the hunt for a serial murderer, a smart guy with a score to settle, a loner, an army man, a ruthless vigilante known to both of them.

Jack Reacher, former US military cop, is a smart guy, a loner and a drifter, as tough as they come.  He knew both victims.  For Agent-in-Charge Nelson Blake and his team he’s the perfect match.  They’re sure only Reacher has the answers to their burning questions: How did these women die? And why?

Everyone raves about Lee Child, and I guess it was only time until I finally read one of his stories.  And while I liked it, it isn’t exactly a story I will be in a hurry to read again.

 

Jack Reacher is forced to work with the FBI, the enemy of the armed forces.  While he plots to get out of the situation, the murder count continues, which worries him because he knows some of the women, he had dealt with their military cases.  One woman in particular is very close to Jack and he is worried that she is next.

The story slowly untangles over the course of the book, allowing Jack to reach the conclusion that happens in the end, although some of the book felt more like padding to make it a little thicker.  Jack wants to spend a lot of time alone to think, yet he always has Lisa Harper, a “plain vanilla” FBI agent tag along.

The character of Jack Reacher strikes me as a bit of a rogue.  He has a lovely intelligent girlfriend, yet he lets Harper get under his skin, and it undermined my liking of him as a character.  While Jack and Jodie have their issues, surely kissing another girl is considered cheating, or am I just old fashioned in that respect.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the story, but I felt there was some repetition that wasn’t really needed and took away from the story for me.  I do have another Jack Reacher story to read, so I might give that one a go in the near future, see if the story improves with time.

 

Mission: Survival – Sands of the Scorpion by Bear Grylls

Published by Random House Childrens Books, ISBN 978 1 862 30482

 Having stumbled upon a smuggling operation, Beck Granger is forced to bail out of a plane over the merciless Sahara Desert.  Now he faces a slow and agonising death if he can’t cross the miles of sand between him and civilisation. 

Finding water…

Eating scorpions…

Enduring the blistering desert heat…

With nothing but a makeshift survival kit to help him, Beck will have to rely on all his survival knowledge and experience.  But the desert is not his only enemy.  Beck knows too much.  If the endless desert doesn’t kill him, there’s a very real danger that the smugglers will.  In the face of so much adversity, can Beck keep himself alive?

I got this story out because it was written by Bear Grylls and was in the Intermediate Fiction section – quick and easy read.

The entire time I was reading it, it was like Bear Grylls was narrating it in my head!  The story felt more like a young person version of Man vs Wild (Child vs Wild?) but was very entertaining.  I now know that if I am ever in the desert, to make a double walled tent, as this will keep more shade on you; make sure that you cover all of your body or else you will severely dehydrate.

I enjoyed the storyline with Beck and his mate Peter making their way across the desert after jumping out of a perfectly good plane (even though they were being shot at) and landing safely in the middle of the Sahara desert.  Not only does Beck have to keep himself alive, but he has to keep his friend alive too.

Food is scarce, water is rarer, and they have to make it to civilisation, wherever that might be.

A very enjoyable read.