There is three books in this series so I’m going to break this review down to each book.
Book #1 His Frozen Heart
Genre: Suspenseful Romance
For best friends, Candy and Libby, money is tight with hardly enough to cover their living expenses. When they are desperate for grocery money, the girls bet on their pool playing skills to add to their income.
A simple wager on a quiet winter evening has devastating results; a stalker is determined to kill them both. With Libby in the hospital after a vicious attack, and Candy being pursued by the same stalker, she vows to find Libby’s attacker.
What she finds is Dave, an old friend with a secret past filled with misfortune. Will Dave’s past provide the answer to all of Candy’s problems or will it become Candy’s worst nightmare realized?
At first glance the cover of this book did not scream at me ‘Romance’, yet the title did so I was left a little unsure about diving into this book because I’m not a romance fan. That being said, I love suspense and this cover was wrapped in suspense with the bullet hole glass, the late night gas station, the pool balls at the bottom, and of course the mysterious handsome figure looking off in the distance – so in I went. I was not disappointed. I couldn’t put it down and read it in one day.
So what was so great?
Like I said I’m not a romance reader, the mushy crap makes me gag. I swear I’m a dude at heart, but this book wasn’t over done with it and it wasn’t, dare I say it, trashy. It was filled with attraction more than romance really, but honestly I would say the love story took a backseat to the suspenseful story line. This was in my opinion, first and formost a suspense book.
The book is written in first person POV from Candy Kane’s perspective. She and her roommate Libby get themselves in way over their heads after a plan to pool shark someone goes terribly wrong. I love how the scene at the gas station is so well written. Nancy Straight is amazing at writing these intense scenes. I was literally on the edge of my seat during this part.
I wasn’t crazy about Libby, she just came across to me as abrasive and annoying and not the best person to have as a friend. Maybe it was the way she treated Candy that I didn’t like, I’m not sure.
Candy however, I loved. She was well developed and relatedable. When Dave finally entered the scene I liked him as well. I did think the romance escalated really fast, like they went from just knowing each other in passing at High School to kissing in one day after seeing each other again after a couple of years. I don’t know maybe that’s normal for romance though. Still the rapid falling in love wasn’t enough to detract me from the book. The action was too good for that.
Dave is the youngest of the Brewer brothers, and I loved him. He was cool and sexy, and he was a car guy with his own body shop. He also carried with him a sad and heartbreaking past. Living from foster home to foster home until he was separated from his older brother. My heart broke for him. I wanted to reach into the book and hug him and tell him his brother is right here sitting next to me in book #2.
The book did leave me with some questions that felt unanswered but that’s okay, because book #2 revealed so much more than I expected and the two books worked together like a puzzle piece. After reading Fractured Karma I was thrilled with how well they were woven together.
So for His Frozen Heart, I would definitely recommend.
My Grade – PG
Very minimal curse words, Maybe five mild curse words in the entire book. The romance was very low grade and nothing to graphic or suggestive. It has some mild violence.
Genre: Suspenseful Romance
Mark believes he is alone in the world. Rejected by his parents as a child, he spent his childhood bouncing from one foster home to another. The loss of his beloved little brother, Davey, makes him believe he has nothing left to live for. Mark finds himself on a destructive path after agreeing to help a person from his childhood.
A wager made by two strangers sets a chain of events in motion: Mark finds the one person he believed he had lost forever, while he desperately tries to get out of the life he has made for himself. Never having allowed himself to get close to anyone, he can’t understand the connection he has to Libby. Can Mark escape the life he set in motion seven years ago and allow Libby into his life, or is his karma fractured permanently?
First Person POV – Mark Brewer. Okay so after reading the second book it’s safe to say, I’m team Mark. I loved his tough guy persona and his “I’ve got nothing to lose” attitude. It somehow gave him this mysterious edge that just drew me to him. He was a bad guy with a good motive. It was delicious.
This book was so intriguing because in the beginning you’re actually reading the other side of the same story. You get the chance to relive part of the first book, but from the opposite side of the story. I found it exciting. Also all the questions the first book left me with were answered in this book.
I have never read a series like this where the two books are so closely tangled together. I honestly thought reading a book like that would get boring, but by no means was I ever board. Okay maybe I got bored during the one romance scene, but hey, that’s just me.
I loved getting the opportunity to see events through Marks eyes that I had already seen through Candy’s eyes. But this story moves on past the events that happened in the first book and builds on it, unraveling secrets and shocking revelations.
Okay so one thing I havn’t covered yet is the Brothers and their relationship. After all that’s the main reason I decided to give this book a shot. They don’t interact with each other much in the first book until the end. But for that brief meet up, it’s magical. Emotions are high and Dave is so thrilled to see Mark you can just feel the tears running down his face, oh wait, that was my face and my tears.
In the second book they do have more page time together but still not as much as I would like to see. Mark is a protective older brother and it’s obvious how much he cares for Davey. Dave is thrilled to be back with his brother after so many years and they are close. I love books about brothers and as far as that goes I would like to have seen a little more interaction with the brothers. But all in all, Fractured Karma is my favorite of the series.
My Grade – PG-13
Very few curse words, the single romance scene is a tad more racy than the first book but still mild. It does deal with theft, drugs, Mafia. More violence than the first book.
Genre: Suspenseful Romance
Mark believes he has finally shed his destructive past. Reunited with the brother he had believed to be dead for most of his life, Mark’s life detours again when he learns of a younger sister also abandoned by their parents. Desperate to find her, Mark and Davey travel thousands of miles turning over the rocks of their past. Discovering the truth veiled behind layers of lies is daunting, but the Brewer brothers vow to leave no stone unturned. As Mark begins to peel back the layers of his past to locate his sister, he is jerked back into his criminal life and risks losing Libby and everyone he loves forever.
Old friends and enemies insert themselves in Mark’s new life; he must choose between the life luring him back and the future he desperately wants. Mark attempts to keep those he loves from being caught in the cross fire of old enemies vying for position.
I really wanted to love this book as much as I did the other two, but I just didn’t. Or rather I didn’t like the first half, and I loved the second half. As soon as I started the book I was disappointed because it begins from the POV of Felix. Now I hardly knew Felix from Fractured Karma, he was more just mentioned in passing a few times and only a handful of appearances, so the book starting from his POV just made me feel lost and wondering where Mark was. Felix is the villain and while he makes a pretty good scum bag, who wants to follow the bad guy in the book? Honestly the story could have progressed just fine without following his part. Mark still had to learn about what Felix was up to through someone else so I just really didn’t care what was happening on his end. I would have preferred it start with a character I was familiar with and to be honest the character I was reading the book for.
The book also changes to the POV of Chad the Police officer. This wasn’t too bad because I kind of liked Chad, but I still felt it was unnecessary. It went on about Chad discovering things about his past and family and then it ended. I felt like Chads story was untold and forgotten about. I felt confused again and a bit bored at this point.
Finally Mark makes his appearance and yet again I feel disappointed. He seemed like he had been castrated or something. He wasn’t the Mark from Fractured Karma. He felt like he had lost his edge and this is the point I seriously thought about putting the book down and moving on to my next read. But I rarely give up on a book so I pushed on, and I’m glad I did. Finally the Mark I loved showed up again. It took him the entire first half of the book to work out his identity crisis. I loved the part when he was looking at his old clothes, the white button down shirt and the sports jacket, and realized it wasn’t the clothes he missed, it was who he was when he wore them. Head’s would turn when he entered the room. That’s when Mark returned.
What I did like about Shroud of Lies, is Dave and Mark have a lot of page time together. Once they left in search of their father I was hooked. The brothers relationship really shined in this book. It only took 30,000 words to get to that point.
Again there is one romance scene that I’m not a fan of so I have to admit, I skipped it. Not my thing.
I was surprised at the revelation they have about their past and when they discover who they really are. That was great. I is that and the brothers relationship that makes this book worth the read for me.
Overall I would say if you have read the first two books you should read this one, because it reveals so much at the end. Just getting to that point is a bit like pulling teeth. Who knows you might love it. I still say it is worth the read. I would only give it a 2 star rating but because the last half performs so beautifully I give it two additional stars. The second half has saved this book.
My Grade: PG
Can’t really say that I remember reading any curse words. It has one romance scene that again I would say is more detailed and graphic than the first book, but I skipped most of it. It has very mild violence, Fractured Karma had more violence than this one.