Audiobook Review | “One to Watch” (Book Three: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison Campbell

Posted Thursday, 12 April, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “One to Watch” via Audiobookworm Promotions who is working directly with the author Rachel Amphlett in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What held me in the throes of “Will to Live” and why I was itching for the next novel:

This soon became a rather complex arc where it truly foretold the author’s intricate way of giving us a riveting story in which to feel enthralled. She even gave Kay and Adam more heartache of concern over their personal safety as much as the boundaries between private life and public service. The further we dig into the series itself, the more alarming it is to realise what Kay is facing in her career – how sometimes there are people who working against you even when your simply trying to do right by those your entrusted to protect.

What was really cagey was someone was trying to drive Kay absolutely crazy by how they were ribbing her already vexed angst with confounding disbelief how records were consistently being re-arranged, re-written and edited. The records in question were connected to the case which had placed Larch on her trail – where nothing she did was good enough and everything she did was a new reason to give her grief from Larch. This was a nod towards how electronic records are too easily erased or altered outright without having a hard-copy to back-up the proof of what they contained originally.

As you move through the series itself, you start to observe the cascading effect of everything – how what you know from one installment feeds into the second and I am sure will continue to carry forward until the dramatic conclusion of where Kay Hunter finds herself in opposition with an unknown foe. It is this thrilling element of unknowns which keeps you hitched inside the series itself but you can’t forsake each of the individual cases to pick up on the subtle clues being added to the back-story of why Kay Hunter is being professionally attacked and challenged.

You become invested in her life and the lives of her detectives under her – especially when the new recruits to her team like Gavin and Carris prove they are not just incredibly brave and dedicated to the job but they give her a new hope to hang tight to prove one way or the other, she is not at fault for whatever is coming down in the future against her. In that regard, the last time I was caught up in a conspiracy against a lead character, it was when Beckett couldn’t sort out what was the truth about her mother’s death on Castle. I have more hope for Kay Hunter to have a better ending than Beckett had herself as Castle simply derailed after awhile.

Right now – I feel hungry for more of the series – as I have yet to truly solve one of the cases ahead of Kay and her team! Each time I think I have it sorted, Ms Amphlett happily throws me for a loop, adds another twist or gives me something to chew on whilst I wonder ‘how did I not see that coming?’ – she’s a brilliant plotter when it comes to a Contemporary Thriller – as you can’t help but listen to her stories straight through – not that I had the luxury of this as I had to break it into a few different listening sessions – but she wills you to want to do that! The absences keep the intrigue level at a high height of curiosity and by the time you listen to the ending chapters, your musefully happy for tucking into the Kay Hunter series! Literally, your mind swirls with everything you learn and you can only hope in the end, Kay and her colleagues can walk away like your favourite tv serial characters.

-quoted from my review of Will to Live

Similar to The X-Files, I have the tendency to truly hone in on the sub-plot which to me feels like the entire arc and anchour to a series – in the vein of how the conspiracy surrounding Kay Hunter and the person(s) who are attempting to dishonour her are what are motivating me forward after each installment. I am appreciating the tightly conceived mysteries threading through the series, but there is a moment of curiosity solely keen on finding out who is marking Kay Hunter as one to take-down when by all appearances, she’s a dedicated detective committed to her job and to her husband. She takes the cases seriously and she enjoys the bantering in the office with her fellow colleagues but she could do without the added stress she’s subjected to by Larch (the one character I wouldn’t trust if I were her).

As you move further into the series, you start to see new layers of interest towards this angle of theory surrounding Kay; each piece in of itself is a telling component of the building climax, wherein your unsure if your fully prepared for the ‘ending’ of how it will either come fully out into the surface or if there will be a showdown – as similar to what I voiced before, it does echo the issues Det. Beckett felt crushed under (ie. Castle) whilst it also echoes the trials and adversities of Rizzoli & Isles – these are fiercely strong women in law enforcement stories who are dealing with incredibly difficult issues from a nemesis they never quite understand until they can sort out their identity. Sadly, even then, sometimes the truth leads to more questions than a resolution.

I was contemplating where this was going to take us before I entered One to Watch – as I knew the titles had a duality of purpose – except, in this one regard, I was hoping it might leant itself to drawing us closer to the conspiracy rather than being the bridge clue into the mystery. I have a feeling when I finish my listening of Hell to Pay, I am going to be in withdrawal for Call to Arms!

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Audiobook Review | “One to Watch” (Book Three: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison CampbellOne to Watch
by Rachel Amphlett
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Alison Campbell

Sophie Whittaker shared a terrifying secret. Hours later, she was dead.

Detective Kay Hunter and her colleagues are shocked by the vicious murder of a teenage girl at a private party in the Kentish countryside.

A tangled web of dark secrets is exposed as twisted motives point to a history of greed and corruption within the tight-knit community.

Confronted by a growing number of suspects and her own enemies who are waging a vendetta against her, Kay makes a shocking discovery that will make her question her trust in everyone she knows.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B075ZY63PY

Also by this author: Scared to Death, Will to Live, Hell to Pay

Also in this series: Scared to Death, Will to Live, Hell to Pay


Genres: Crime Fiction, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Police Procedural, Thriller


Published by Saxon Publishing

on 3rd October, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours, 27 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Saxon Publishing

Order of the Kay Hunter Detective series:
Scared to Death | Book One (see also Review)
Will to Live | Book Two (see also Review)
One to Watch | Book Three
Hell to Pay | Book Four | Synopsis
Call to Arms | Book Five | Synopsis

About Rachel Amphlett

Rachel Amphlettt

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore's TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

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Posted Thursday, 12 April, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), British Literature, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Detective Fiction, England, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Good vs. Evil, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Mother-Son Relationships, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Psychological Suspense, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Sociological Behavior, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, True Crime

#Harlequin #SuperRomance Book Review | “Nights Under the Tennessee Stars” (part of a duology) by Joanne Rock

Posted Sunday, 8 April, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was a host for Lola’s Blog Tours back in [2015] – enjoying working with Lola to showcase the authors who were using her services with their stories until my personal life tipped the scales a bit in regards to what I could handle doing back then and what I needed to realise was a sign I needed to withdraw from a few newer commitments to seek better balance in the future. It was a two year journey – of being mindful and conscious of pulling back on requesting too many books – which at the time I hadn’t thought I was doing – opting instead for a reduced blog schedule which yielded better personal health. It was also prior to recognising my chronic migraines were not going to ‘go away’ on their own and I had to take steps to curb their re-appearances; hence why in [2016] I started to seek out audiobooks in earnest as a break from reading books in print.

Originally, I was meant to post my reviews of both novels “Promises Under The Peach Tree” and “Nights Under the Tennessee Stars” within the same week of each other. I did receive them with an open-ended deadline – meaning, they were received without an obligation to post an immediate honest review and could be read in my leisure. Thus, as [2017] took it’s final countdown to greet [2018] I found I could finally re-focus on the stories awaiting me on my backlogue.

I received a complimentary copy of “Nights Under the Tennessee Stars” direct from the author Joanne Rock in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

What I enjoyed about the first half of this duology:

I don’t believe I’ve read a more intensely emotional opening sequence of a novel than this one! At least, not for quite a long time. Nina is beyond distraught over her emotional angst stemming from a past relationship she’s never allowed herself to heal from or recover out of – as noted by how her impulsive emotional triggers are responding to things never spoken aloud. Mack on the other hand is trying to find a way to tread through his return to Heartache – a call from his brother was insisting he was needed; his brother had a marriage drifting towards divorce, their mother was having a bad spell with her mental health struggles and meeting up with his teenage love Nina was pushing him a bit over the edge. To be honest, neither of them were ready to see each other, much less try to fill the gap of the years they had been apart with idle conversation now.

Nina’s emotional health was shouldered on the surface of her being – she didn’t hold back and she didn’t wait long enough to think through what she wanted to say either. She simply spoke her mind – whatever she was feeling at that moment and ran with it. This sort of brokered trouble because she misread most of the conversation – especially in regards to the motives behind Mack’s return to their hometown. His intentions were to help his family, she only believed he wanted to goad his success over her own failures – the sad truth really is they both were emotionally shattered by how their relationship ended. Ironically or not, they each had a different point-of-view on their exit from their romance affected them long-term – of how theirs was a relationship which should have lasted but only left them with remorse, regret and uncertainty of what really went wrong.

Heartache is well named – the residents have a hard time expressing their emotions – some leave their emotions bottled inside them, others shout to release them and a few have no understanding about how to even approach expressing themselves until they find the harsh words they say in haste isn’t the right way round to fix the issue at hand. The characters, young and old are struggling to find resolution in their lives – the teens are emotionally anguished by their families choices and the adults, are either still trying to heal their own teenage lives (as a lot happened with affected the whole town when one teen died tragically premature) or they have difficulties in their relationships. Some have commitment issues, others struggle to accept they can parent children without the worrying concerns over inherited health issues whilst a few are just trying to find stability in their lives as a measure of growth past their adversities.

I admit, I was a bit more wrapped inside Ally’s struggle to find truth and understanding about her mental health issues than I was as held by Nina and Mack’s hard-fought restitution for past hurts. There were a lot of back and forth narrative choices which muddled Nina and Mack’s growth from the past but also, at one point, I was finding myself not as interested in if they resolved their issues or if they parted company. Their story-line I didn’t feel was the strongest one in the novel – it was Ally, her friends at school and the break-down of her parents marriage which I felt held far more traction of interest.

-quoted from my review of Promises Under the Peach Tree

As I had mentioned previously, it was my intention to read both stories in this duology back-to-back, however, I had a difficult month for health and wellness in March, 2018 which threw off most of my reading life. I enjoyed the stories I was able to tuck inside but overall, I yearned to read more of the stories I felt were calling to me to be read as Spring started to come into sight. We had a small shift in our weather patterns this year – where Spring came quite unexpectedly ‘later’ than usual! For my family and I, this was quite the blessing – as the idyllic glimpse Ms Rock gives in her Author’s Note about why she *loves!* slipping back into Heartache, Tennessee in Nights Under the Tennessee Stars is reminiscent of what I long to find myself – a slower pace of living hugged close to the natural world, where you not only can see the stars but you can feel the joys of the Seasons as they enter and exit your life.

Spring is generally a difficult season for me (pollen allergies) however, I had a small reprieve from fighting them whilst finding my heart uplifted due to the cooler weather patterns, the overcast skies and the joyfulness of watching the seasonal birds hearken from above as they found new places to nest in the boughs of the trees they call home this time of the year. When you hear the songbirds singing and feel the last bits of cold nipping in the air, you know Spring is coming soon. I thrive in colder weather, make no mistake and although, I shudder to think about how abominable Summer’s wrath will be – it’s nice to read about settings and locales like Heartache where you feel the climate doesn’t suffocate you nearly as much and where you can relax into the community.

As I feel a renewal in focus in my readings this April, it is nice to have my ‘send-off’ to Heartache to be at the start of the month, just as Spring is starting to bloom in front of me. And, let’s pray the pollen levels are not as increased as they have been in years past,… honestly that is not something I wish to repeat!

In regards to the hopeful message about love and the inspiring joy of reading Romances where you know despite the adversity or anguish – a happier ending is coming round for the characters – I had to smile as I read the author’s words in this vein of thought! This is what first attracted me to reading Romances all those years ago as a young girl – I loved being caught up in the moments, between the first meeting and the joyfulness of finding love take root in the heart’s of the characters I was growing attached to watching come together as each chapter ended. Romances are the heart-blood of our living realities – as it is the celebration of part of the goodness in our lives, the moments where we seek out of love and find it warmly reciprocated. It is wonderful to find other authors who feel the same way as we do (the readers) as it makes it a happy celebration of the stories we all love most to find!

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#Harlequin #SuperRomance Book Review | “Nights Under the Tennessee Stars” (part of a duology) by Joanne RockNights under the Tennessee Stars
by Joanne Rock
Source: Author via Lola's Blog Tours

Heartache—the best place to heal

Erin Finley heads home to Heartache, Tennessee, after the perfect guy turns out to be anything but. She throws herself into running a vintage store with her sister and surrounding herself with the comforts of her small town. Then one rainy night, TV producer Remy Weldon shows up and almost sweeps her off her feet!

Remy sees more in Erin than she sees in herself. Quirky, beautiful and capable, he needs her for his antiques show—and for himself. Because Erin is the first star Remy’s found in the very dark night that has become his life. And she might just be able to lead him into the dawn…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9780373609079

Also by this author: Promises Under the Peach Tree

Also in this series: Promises Under the Peach Tree


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Published by Harlequin Super Romance

on 7th April, 2015

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Published By: Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)
via their imprint Harlequin Super Romance

A Harlequin Super Romance duology:

Promises Under the Peach Tree by Joanne RockNights Under the Tennessee Stars by Joanne Rock

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #HarlequinBooks + #HarlequinSuperRomance; #Contemporary #Romance

four-flames

I’ve started adding ‘flames’ when I’m reading Romances where the descriptions inside were a bit more than I was thinking they would be – in other words, I am definitely a reader who finds ‘less is more’ and where a lot of what makes a Romance work for me doesn’t necessary have to be spent on the page. This Romance is a bit tamer than a few I’ve read recently but it still merits the flames as it doesn’t leave that much to your imagination.

About Joanne Rock

Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock never met a romance subgenre she didn't enjoy. The author of over sixty romances from contemporary to medieval historical, Joanne dreams of one day penning a book for every Harlequin series. A former Golden Heart recipient, she has won numerous awards for her stories. Learn more about Joanne's imaginative Muse by visiting her at the sites below.

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Posted Sunday, 8 April, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Child out of Wedlock, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Cutting, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Lola's Blog Tours, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, Psychological Abuse, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Self-Harm Practices, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne USA, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Transfer Student at School, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Health