One Step Too Far – Lisa Gardner

I have a few authors that are auto-buys for me and Lisa Gardner is one of them. I buy her books in hardcover for my bookshelves. I think the first book of hers I read was The Perfect Husband. Then I discovered her D.D. Warren books. I love them!!!

Then she came out with the Frankie Elkins books. I didn’t know I could love a character in a book so much! The latest, One Step Too Far, is beyond intense. I was turning the pages fast to see what happened next, but I didn’t want to turn them too fast because I was enjoying the story and the characters so much. Then I stayed up late just to finish the story because it was so twisty-turny and dark that I HAD to know how it all turned out.

If you’ve read One Step Too Far, let me know what you thought. If you haven’t yet, run to the bookstore and get it!!!

Jill James, lover of thrilling reads


Seduced by a Prince by Tanya Anne Crosby

Crosby does an excellent job of plopping you down in a historical era and submerging you in it. The lifestyles. The clothing. The world-building. Seduced by a Prince was an excellent mistaken identity story. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out how it wrapped up.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

At first, the back and forth between past and present was a little confusing, but the writing style was exquisite, almost poetic. The characters leapt off the page and the story (all too real at the moment) kept me reading until the early hours of the morning.

Jill James, voracious reader and lover of books

Book Review – The Berlin Girl

It is not often that a historical fiction so captures my attention that I feel like I’m reading a biography of a real person living through a real time in history. The Berlin Girl is just such a book. The time of the world on the edge of war was frightening enough. Add Nazis and a young woman who wants to do what is right and you have a story full of danger, intrigue, and a belief in doing the right thing. No matter the cost.

I haven’t read the other books by this author. But I will!!

I wish I could give it many, many more than 5 stars!

Jill James, author of My Mistletoe Hero

Book Review – What Vengeance Comes

Every once in a while, a great read comes along. The kind that has you glom onto an author and buy their whole series. That is what happened to me. Book 5 in this series was on sale, so I got it. It was so good, I had to go back and start the series at the beginning. A memorable main character is serendipity. You know it when you read it. It is magical for the author when they write it.

John Decker is just such a character. Much like Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger and James Rollins’ Grayson Pierce, John Decker is a character you can’t forget when you turn the last page and close the book. When I finished book 1, I rushed, ran, galloped to get book 2.

A 5 star read–and then some.

Jill James, writer and voracious reader

The Other Wife – book review

The Other Wife by Claire McGowen was an excellent read. In the vein of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, it is an ‘unreliable narrator’ story. You’re not sure if the person is to be trusted. Are they telling the truth? Or just their version of the story?

The characters were real, flawed people just doing the best they could in the situation they found themselves. There is some gaslighting, but you aren’t quite sure who is doing what to whom.

A definite page-turner. The twists and turns kept me enthralled to the last page.

A five-star read!

Jill James, voracious reader

Devolution by Max Brooks – book review

I loved World War Z. This book was different. The characters are not likable, but you are left with wondering what would you do in their situation. I’ve thought often that a generation is dying that still knows how to do things, make things. What will the next generations do if they can’t Google it?


The vision I got from this book was who are the humans and who are the beasts? When a person or an animal is pushed too far, what will they do to survive?

As I was reading Devolution I kept thinking of Jurassic Park. Dr. Sattler (played by Laura Dern) talks about nature and how it will fight back. Even plants will fight back to survive. A bear or a mountain lion is beautiful on a television show or in a zoo. Not so much when you are facing it on a mountain hike. When you go deep into the forest, you are in their world. You are the trespasser. Never forget that.

1/2  4.5 stars

Jill James, voracious reader

The Meg – movie review

Meg by Steve Alten has always been one of my favorite books. When I heard the movie was out I was beyond excited. Most of the time, movies do not do the book justice. This time I was pleasantly surprised. The Meg (movie) is not exactly like the book but it is good on its own.

Jason Statham (he will always be Handsome Rob to me – The Italian Job) brings the spirit of Jonas Taylor to the screen, along with his own quirky personality. I loved the cute moments between Jonas and the little girl.

There are some scary moments where I jumped in my seat, the shark seemed so real and BIG!!!

The cast was excellent in portraying the excitement of scientific discovery and the costs that come with messing with nature. I would see it again and will definitely get it in Blu-ray when it comes out.

Jill James, romance writer and lover of movies

Recent Read

Just finished Wave of Terror by Jon Jefferson. It had action. It had adventure. It had romance. And best of all…it had Princess Bride movie references!

To be honest, it did start a little slow, but once it got going it was a non-stop, thrill ride of a read. Megan is a spunky heroine in the best way. She lets nothing stop her from getting to the truth and getting the truth to the right people. Chip is great as an FBI agent and a hero for Megan to have join in her adventure.

A solid 4 star read!!

Bonus: After I finished the story I discovered that Jefferson also writes books about The Body Farm. As soon as I finished Wave of Terror I went and downloaded The Body Farm series, book 1.

Jill James, romance writer and avid reader.

Unlucky 13 by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Unlucky 13 book cover book reviewI started The Woman’s Murder Club way back at the first book, First to Die. I love the characters that Patterson and Paetro have created. That said, this book, Unlucky 13, was a little hard to stomach. hahaha I didn’t so much mind the A story of Lindsay and gang trying to figure out who invented the belly bombs and planted them. I also didn’t mind the C story of Cindy and the return of Mackie Morales. Gotta love a loose-cannon spree killer. But the B story just seemed way, way out there. I don’t do spoilers so let me just say Alaska, cruise ship, unbelievable plot.

So overall, I give this one a B- but I will definitely still continue with the series. I love The Woman’s Murder Club with a passion and look forward to The 14th Sin.


Book Review – Blood Gospel by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

blood gospelBlood Gospel by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
The Order of the Sanguines Series

Book Description from

In his first-ever collaboration, New York Times bestselling author James Rollins combines his skill for cutting-edge science and historical mystery with award-winning novelist Rebecca Cantrell’s talent for haunting suspense and sensual atmosphere in a gothic tale about an ancient order and the hunt for a miraculous book known only as . . . The Blood Gospel

An earthquake in Masada, Israel, kills hundreds and reveals a tomb buried in the heart of the mountain. A trio of investigators—Sergeant Jordan Stone, a military forensic expert; Father Rhun Korza, a Vatican priest; and Dr. Erin Granger, a brilliant but disillusioned archaeologist—are sent to explore the macabre discovery, a subterranean temple holding the crucified body of a mummified girl.

But a brutal attack at the site sets the three on the run, thrusting them into a race to recover what was once preserved in the tomb’s sarcophagus: a book rumored to have been written by Christ’s own hand, a tome that is said to hold the secrets to His divinity. The enemy who hounds them is like no other, a force of ancient evil directed by a leader of impossible ambitions and incalculable cunning.

From crumbling tombs to splendorous churches, Erin and her two companions must confront a past that traces back thousands of years, to a time when ungodly beasts hunted the dark spaces of the world, to a moment in history when Christ made a miraculous offer, a pact of salvation for those who were damned for eternity.

Here is a novel that is explosive in its revelation of a secret history. Why do Catholic priests wear pectoral crosses? Why are they sworn to celibacy? Why do the monks hide their countenances under hoods? And why does Catholicism insist that the consecration of wine during Mass results in its transformation to Christ’s own blood? The answers to all go back to a secret sect within the Vatican, one whispered as rumor but whose very existence was painted for all to see by Rembrandt himself, a shadowy order known simply as the Sanguines.

In the end, be warned: some books should never be found, never opened—until now.


I got City of Screams for free and was introduced to Sgt. Jordan Stone. Then, in the back was a teaser of Blood Gospel. I could not get to the store fast enough to get the hardcover copy. I was hooked and Blood Gospel just reeled me in. Jordan Stone and Erin Granger are a great couple, the adventure is intense and death-defying, the term page-turner was invented for just such a book. I’m so thrilled this is the beginning of a series but sad that I’ll have to wait for the next installment. Mr. Rollins and Ms. Cantrell, please write faster!!!

Jill James

Which authors are your auto-buys? by Jill James

You know, those books that you get the new release from an author and it doesn’t matter what the story is about. I have a few; Allison Brennan, Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen, Mira Grant and my husband has Stephen King. I don’t add new ones very often . . . until Mary Burton.

I was browsing the Romance section at my local Barnes & Noble a few months ago and this cover just leapt off the shelve. A vivid blue with what appeared to be a drowning girl. That was Before She Dies. A few pages and I was hooked. Over the next few weeks I got the rest of her books. I just recently bought The Seventh Victim. This book is beyond awesome. I looked the spunk and heart of Lara Church. She survived the Seattle Strangler and is finally getting her life back when similar killings start happened near Austin, Texas where she now lives. But, the kicker was Texas Ranger, James Beck. O…M…G! They grow them tall, dark, and strong in Texas. I love the twists that Burton adds to her stories.

the seventh victimThe plot is tight, fast, and sizzling. Ms. Burton writes a wicked romantic suspense that doesn’t skimp on the romance and doesn’t let go of your throat with the suspense.

An A+++ read

Jill James, reader of romantic suspense

Which authors are your auto-buys?

Self’s Blossom by David Russell — Book Review

Disclaimer: Received book for review by author. Jill

self's blossomSelf’s Blossom is literary erotica. That is the only way I can catagorize it. It is literary, lyrical, and poetic. The main character, Selene is on a journey of sexual self-discovery. Mr. Russell’s descriptions of exotic places, pristine beaches, and deep blue seas are hypnotic. You are drawn into the story with descriptive passages and deep characterization.

We are allowed to be Selene’s eyes and senses as she discovers herself through encounters with a young man and an older gentleman. I found myself rooting with Selene to throw off her conservative shackles and embrace the new her she would become.

star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_empty A great read. Literary, but lyrical.


Jill James, author of contemporary and paranormal romance
New Releases – Defend My Love and The Lake Willowbee Series, Books 1 – 3

Book Review – Relentless Pursuit – Adrienne Giordano

Book Description from

You call this a mission?

Yeah, ex-Army Ranger and Taylor Securities operative Billy Tripp screwed up. So instead of being assigned to a dangerous international mission, he’s sent to babysit a pricey necklace at a trendy South Beach hotel. The only bright side to the assignment is working with the manager, smoking-hot hotel heiress Kristen Dante.

Kristen’s worked hard to build her father’s Miami hotel into a jet-set destination. She’s confident in business but not so much with men. What could a sexy guy like Billy want with her when he could have someone like her beautiful, party-girl sister?

There’s a reason Billy’s known as Mr. Relentless. He doesn’t give up. Not on a job, or on the woman he wants. So when three luxury cars go missing from the hotel’s lot, Billy sets out to find the thief. Suddenly, he has a case with the risks he thrives on. But when his investigation leads to Kristen being threatened, the real danger is losing his heart.

I really, really enjoyed this book from the very first page. Billy is a security expert with ADD. I loved that about him. He has no filter on his mouth and just spouts off with whatever he is thinking. He is so cool!!

Kristen is kinda sad at the beginning of not realizing how amazing she is, until Billy shows her. They are so right for each other.

The car thefts add an element of danger and excitement to the story.  I love seeing the rich world of hotel ownership, but the daily work that does into running it as well. But most of all I loved getting to know Billy and Kristen. A 5 star read.

Jill James, author of The Lake Willowbee Series,
Tempting Adam, and Dangerous Shift – coming soon in print.

*Disclaimer — I receive an ecopy of this book from the author.

Book Review – Obsession by Carol Ericson

I’ve read all of Carol’s Harlequin Intrigue books but, by far, Obsession is the best. I think it was the characters. I adored Michelle Girard and her crush that developed into a full-blown love affair with Colin Roarke. We’ve all been geeky girl in love with the football star in high school, we can relate.

Colin has just enough baggage in his life to be tortured but not unsalvageable. He had a nice conflict in his life with his issues with his brother to be believable.

The intrigue part of the story was awesome with killings, and stalkings, and danger at every turn. This was a well-plotted, well-told story. AA++

Jill James

Book Review – The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I loved this book. It was hard to read at times with the truth of the times it was set and the place; Jackson, Mississippi. This was a time in US History that I really didn’t know a lot about, being born in 1963. It was hard to read of what the maids put up with to have a job. The idea that these women were trusted to raise their bosses children but not trusted with the silverware was a world I had never seen.

Everyone should read this book.

Jill James

The White Queen – Philippa Gregory

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory is historical writing at its best.  This is the story of Edward of England and Elizabeth Woodville, his queen. They are the future grandparents of Henry XIII. This is the tale of a young widow with two small boys who snagged a king and a kingdom and a future dynasty of royalty.

Gregory’s story tells the loss of Elizabeth’s two young sons — the princes in the Tower.  Many stories have been told to suppose what befell these two young princes, one the rightful king of England. Gregory has her own belief in what happened but the best writing in the book is of a mother’s loss of her sons.

Elizabeth’s trials in running the country and in her personal life make for fascinating reading. Her mother-in-law hated her so much she was willing to besmirch her name and call her son a bastard to try to get rid of Elizabeth. Her brothers-in-law were willing to switch sides in battle at the drop of a hat to try to win England for their own.

Much is made of Elizabeth’s supposed witchcraft in this book and even lays the groundwork for Henry VIII’s trouble with getting a male heir.

I loved every page of this story. That is was about a real person only made it more fascinating to read.

Jill James