Review of ‘Shadow hand’ by Sacchi Green.

This is book four of ‘The superheroine collection’ featuring different Ylva Publishing authors under the common theme of lesbian superheroines. There has been a couple of very good books in this series such as ‘Shattered’ by Lee Winter and ‘Chasing Stars’ by Alex K. Thorne.

Lieutenant Ashton receives the power to move objects with her hand by a goddess while deployed by the US Army somewhere on the Middle East desert. When her abilities are discovered, she is sent to a special division in Germany to research her powers as a potential weapon of war. Separated from her longtime lover Sargent Cleo Brown, she looks for ways to get together again and use her powers for a greater good.

Sacchi Green is a seasoned author of short stories but this is her debut novel which, in my opinion, wasn’t successful. I feel that her writing style is a bit distant and impersonal. For me, the book reads as a chronicle or a bird’s-eye view of series of events. As the main characters’ intimacy is described in a detached way, their scenes together feel devoid of emotion, too clinical. That really affected my connection with the characters and the story as a whole.

The plot seems a bit contrived and unrealistic even for the sci-fi world the author built. For example, Shadow Hand’s lack of secrecy about her powers and real identity doesn’t follow usual superhero behaviour. I also feel that the book ended rather abruptly, it would have been good to see how the relationship between both main characters evolve.

Overall, a good idea that fails on the execution. 2.5 stars.

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Outside the law’ by Carsen Taite.

This is the fourth and last book of the ‘Lone Star Law’ series. According to the author, she’s been inspired by watching the tv series Dallas and decided to write something similar but with lesbian main characters. There are loads of plots, subplots and several different characters in the series so it’s easy to get lost. Despite that the author presents here a good catch up with the previous books stories, now that the full series is available I suggest that you read them one after the other.

This is by far the best book of the series and Ms. Taite has saved the best for last. Each book features a romance and the main characters, Tanner Cohen and Sydney Braswell are well rounded, lovable and their chemistry is sizzling. The author follows her usual romance formula between a hot, stoic butch (FBI Special Agent Tanner) and a beautiful but strong-minded femme (Prosecutor Braswell). The twist is that they’ve been a couple during college which didn’t end well so trying to work together and trust each other is a main issue. The author takes the reader between their past and present relationship fluidly. The book found the perfect balance between romance and thriller with a surprising twist at the end. Very entertaining read.

Overall, a very good end of this series. Recommended for both romance and thriller fans. 4.5 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘A quiet death’ by Cari Hunter

I didn’t want to read this book. Despite the fact that I’ve previously read a couple of Ms. Hunter’s books and loved them, I tend to avoid gruesome stories and I normally go for romances or light mystery / action books. However, after seeing so many good reviews about this series I decided to take the plunge and read it. I read the series chronologically starting with ‘No good reason’ and I suggest that you do the same. Not because these are not standalone novels but because you will lose the chance to enjoy the background stories that the author so skillfully builds throughout the series. There are also some spoilers in the second and third novels about the previous stories that you might want to avoid.
I’m afraid I cannot add much more to what other reviewers have said and I’m not going to be very original here. Ms. Hunter is very skillful at building a fast paced thriller with unexpected twists and turns. In this book the author adds a third point of view (in addition to that of the main characters) based on DI Stanmore, the detective in charge of the investigation which gives an interesting insight to this secondary character.
A bonus for me is the British feel that permeates this book, starting from the beautiful description of the landscape, the depiction of the awful winter weather and the clever use of British English that describes characters perfectly. Additionally, you can “hear” the author’s voice in her social and political criticism that touches issues ranging from racial inequality to budget shortages on the health system. This criticism is delivered in a subtle manner and never losing the main plot.
Despite its level of violence, nothing seems gratituous or unnecessary to the plot. As a matter of fact, I prefer that the author didn’t decide to water down the cruelty of human trafficking for the sake of a lighter read.
In conclusion, I’m glad that I’ve decided to bite the bullet and read this book. 5+ stars.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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