© 2016 by Catherine Bilson

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October 10, 2019

While The Fourth Victim has a genuinely intriguing premise and the author has obviously done their research into both the realities of police work in present-day London and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), it’s very hard to read because the grammar is just glaringly awful. 

There are fundamental errors in the writing such as the failure to capitalize proper nouns (Asian, Muslim and Christian) and, having finished the book, I still don’t know who the protagonist of it was. I wanted it to be Julie Lukula, a smart young detective sergeant (and a black lesbian) but we kept slipping into the point of view of Inspector Matthew Merry, a middle-a...

September 6, 2019

When Alex, the Marquis of Exeter, comes home from his Grand Tour after his father’s unexpected death, he’s woefully unprepared to manage his estates and has no real idea what to do with his teenaged sisters. The obvious solution is to find a wife, and Lady Dorie Huntingdon seems to fit the bill nicely - except Dorie wants a love match and Alex doesn’t even know what that is.

The first thing that bothered me about this is that marquis is a Scottish title. Exeter is a real town in southern England - so it should be marquess. This might seem like a small thing, but after a while it really started to get to me, and frankly Alex not having been pre...

August 28, 2019

I’ll start this review off by saying that if you’re a big fan of Carla Neggers’ Sharpe/Donovan series, you’re probably going to love this. All but a very few characters have previously appeared and played significant roles in earlier books, so it’ll be like catching up with a group of old friends and seeing what’s going on with their lives.

If, like me, you haven’t read any of the previous books, you’ll be wondering ‘who are all these people and why do I care about the mundane details of their lives being thrown in this supposedly suspenseful read?’

There are far, far too many point of view characters in this story and the points of view of sev...

August 18, 2019

When she inherits a pet shop and a house from her aunt at right about the same time a TV series she had a long-running role in is cancelled, Shell McMillan decides to throw in her acting career and settle into a quiet life following in her aunt’s footsteps. No sooner does she arrive in Fox Hollow, Connecticut, though, than she’s getting into a confrontation over a museum turning down the opportunity to display some memorabilia her aunt owned, and then the woman she argued with turns up dead.

There’s a potential love interest in the form of a hunky detective and some fluffy sidekicks, two cats, one of whom is rather helpful when it comes to fin...

August 6, 2019

I was genuinely shocked, when I looked up this book in order to write the review, to discover it’s being published by a Harlequin imprint, because in my experience of late, Harlequin books are really well edited, and this is frankly a hot mess of head-hopping, confusing time skips and way too many side characters. And that's if you can get past the almost-fatal domestic assault perpetrated on the heroine right at the start of the book.

Was it really necessary, for example, for us to find out the first name of the doctor who treats the hero's brother-in-law for a serious head injury, who only appears in one scene? And was it REALLY necessary to...

August 3, 2019

Davina McCullum has an excellent claim to a Scottish barony, and she even has powerful friends who have agreed to take up her cause with the king. All would seem to be clear for her to regain the property her family once lost.

Except that the current owner of the property is a certain duke who sees absolutely no reason why he should give it up. Despite the fact that he never goes there and in fact, considers it a site of traumatic and painful memories, he’d rather defy a king and leave a well-born and deserving young woman forced to work for a living rather than live in the home and comfort she is due.

Frankly, I thought Brentworth was a greedy...

August 2, 2019

I checked and this book is actually written by someone from Texas, so maybe this is accurate, but would the sheriff's department of a small town outside Amarillo really need to go to the local Mexican restaurant to find someone who could speak a few words of Spanish to two young human trafficking victims? I mean… I did two years of Spanish in high school almost 30 years ago, and I reckon I could have dredged up a few words to reassure them. Not having at least one Spanish-speaking officer or an on-call translator in a border state like Texas seems absolutely unbelievable. And going to the Mexican restaurant to find a translator - seriously? C...

July 29, 2019

While An American Duchess purports to be a standalone novel, or possibly the first in a new series, it’s actually the second book about the same couple, Emma and Beranger, who apparently met in a previous book by the author about five sisters from Colorado, before Beranger unexpectedly inherited a duchy and has to return to England to claim it.

The frustrating thing about this book is that the author doesn’t seem to be able to decide what it’s about; is it the story of the original couple, trying to fit into English life despite opposition from enemies seen and unseen, or is it a completely different romance about Charlotte, a young woman who...

July 24, 2019

This is one of those books which can’t seem to decide what it wants to be. It starts out reading like a harrowing survival story, detailing Mallory’s life choices which lead her to the point of a plane crash in the remote Alaskan wilderness, and then derails into a mountain-man romance of the type which have been very popular on Amazon of late - except without the sex and with a lot more angst, pining and religious overtones.

Michael’s decision to live out in the wilderness without any means to contact help if anything should go wrong seems just as stupid and contrived as Mallory’s failure to carry a radio or a distress beacon. Seriously? She...

July 14, 2019

The premise for Dark Storm is really interesting, with a couple of unique plot elements focusing on suspended animation, and yet somehow this romantic suspense fails completely at being either romantic or suspenseful. Instead, it’s bloated with characters - about 12 were introduced in the first 5 or so pages, leaving me utterly boggled - and has clunky PoV switches around characters who aren’t actually the focus of the story. Neither Darcy, the woman kidnapped at the beginning of the story, nor any of the ‘bad guys’ ever get to tell any part of the story in their own words. Instead, most of the story is told from the point of view of Claire,...

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