Dark Oracle by Alayna Williams Review

Tara Sheridan has a gift, she is able to use Tarot cards and traditional investigative techniques to solve crimes, however, Tara has sworn off using her gift since her near death at the hands of a serial killer she was tracking down. Dark Oracle by Alayna Williams begins with Tara sequestered in the mountains, ignoring her gift but when the scientist Magnusson goes missing under mysterious circumstances Tara is convinced to come out of hiding for this one case.

Tara finds herself working closely with FBI agent Harry Li to figure out what happened to Magnusson and in the process of the investigation, she finds herself protecting Magnusson’s daughter Cassie and his lab. As events escalate, Cassie and Harry are forced to start investigation the very agency they work for and Cassie finds herself facing the very things she ran away from originally, relying more and more on Harry for support.

I started reading this book with some trepidation, I have always associated the use of Tarot cards with the use of dark or evil powers. Williams’ use of the cards to assist in the investigation was well done and has changed my opinion regarding the use of tarot cards. The novel was an intriguing read as the story followed both the mystery of the missing scientist and the path of Tara as she came to terms with what happened to her. I found the main character sympathetic without being weak, always a difficult balance to be achieved by an author.

Rating:

Title: Dark Oracle

Author: Alayna Williams

Format: Paperback,  eBook

Page Nos.: 336

ISBN: 978-1439182796

Publisher: Pocket

Release Date: May 2010

Available for purchase: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com

Reviewer: Jessica

**I received a copy of this book from the author but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Twin’s Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted Review and Giveaway

Novel Reaction.com is pleased to be a part of The Twin’s Daughter blog tour and in celebration of the tour I am giving away an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of the novel. To enter just post a comment, the contest ends September 14th at midnight.

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Lucy Sexton is completely surprised when her mother’s long lost twin sister shows up on their front porch. Somehow Lucy’s mother didn’t even know anything about her sister, Helen. In The Twin’s Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Helen comes with a very detailed and sad story about twins, separated at birth. She is talking about herself and Lucy’s mother. Lucy’s family takes Helen in and begin to educate her. They introduced Helen into society only when she has been trained to speak, act, and write exactly like Aliese, Lucy’s mother. Shortly after Helen is introduced to society, a brutal murder takes place in Lucy’s house. At first she is positive that it’s her mother still alive, but then she starts to think that it might be her aunt acting like her mother. She has to find out exactly who is alive, who died, and why it all happened. Along the way she must learn to confide in one person, her best friend and neighbor Kit who helps her through the many different trials that happen to Lucy.

I was a little hesitant to read this book because while it is a very original plot, but it seemed a little far-fetched and really quite odd to me. As I read the story, I became very engrossed and never really wanted to stop reading until the story was completely over. I loved how much detail the author put into the story, and how the final twist in the plot resolved all of the questions that Lucy had. I really liked Lucy’s character, and felt myself relating with her on many levels. Overall, I thought it was a fantastic book with a very surprising, yet wonderful ending!

Rating:

Title: The Twin’s Daughter

Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Format: Paperback

Page Nos.: 400

ISBN: 978-1599905136

Publisher: Bloomsbury Teen

Release Date: August 31, 2010

Available for purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Reviewer: Jillian

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Review: The Whisper by Carla Neggers

One year ago archaeologist Sophie Malone spent what should have been a fun-filled night on a remote island off the coast of Ireland and instead she was hit over the head and left for dead. In The Whisper by Carla Neggers Sophie is trying to find the Celtic treasures she discovered in the cave before she was hit and trying and figure out why she was left for dead in the first place.

Cyrus “Scoop” Wisdom is a Boston cop who almost lost his life to a bomber at his own house, while recooperating in Ireland he meets Sophie, is instantly struck by her spirit and starts to realize that the attempts on both their lives might be more closely connected than anyone suspects and that the killer is trying to finish the job they started.  When Sophie and Coop discover a ritualstic Celtic murder in Boston they must work together to discover who is out to kill them before they are the next victims.  The attraction between the two of them could just be the situation or maybe it could lead to something more permanent, they only way to figure out is to catch the killer first.

The Whisper is the fourth book in the series and not having read the first three books it took me a little bit of time to get down the couples from the previous novels down. Once I was able to figure out who was with whom then I was swept away by the story.  While Scoop and Sophie track down clues in Boston, Josie and Mitchell are following clues in Ireland with both couples trying to figure out their relationships in the midst of the stress of tracking down the killer. As a stand alone novel The Whisper was good mystery with the unexpected killer catching me off guard, as the fourth in a series it felt like it continued on the story line that had been started in the first three books.  There  was enough back story covered in the novel that I didn’t feel like I needed to go read the first three books before I read The Whisper but, having read it, I do want to go back and read more of the history of the other couples and get more details about the serial killer and the ties to the killer in The Whisper.

Reading Order:

The Widow

The Angel

The Mist

Rating:

Title: The Whisper

Author: Carla Neggers

Format: Hardbound, ebook

Page Nos.: 336

ISBN: 978-0778328513

Publisher: Mira

Release Date: June 2010

Available for purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Reviewer: Jessica

**I received a copy of this book from Net Galley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch by B.J. Daniels

photo_6433_20090515 I thought I would post about a free ebook available right now.  Harlequin Publishing is celebrating it’s 60th Anniversary and, in honor of that, is giving away 16 books online.  There is no sign up required, no fees, they are just giving the books away.  If you have a Kindle, you can also find all the free ebooks in the Kindle store. The website to get the free ebooks is here. Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch by B.J. Daniels is an interesting mystery.  I felt bad and sympathetic for both main characters, good character development and believable plot line. I liked how there were so many possible suspects and it was hard to guess who did it but there were some clues, looking back.  I have to admit I was disappointed that Jordan didn’t do it because he was just an obnoxious brother and I wanted him to be the bad guy (sorry for the spoiler but I couldn’t help myself).   Reference to sex and some graphic kissing but not full on sex scene, so I give it a four rating.

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