August 13, 2013

Speak of the Devil

Speak of the Devil  
by Allison Leotta
publisher Touchstone
source Publisher and Netgalley

I was first introduced to Anna Curtis, federal sex-crimes prosecutor, in Law of Attraction.   Allison Leotta, the author,  is also a D.C. sex-crimes prosecutor.   She writes what she knows, and draws us into the sordid life of the criminals.

The novel opens with a quote from National Geographic Explorer, "The Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, is the world's most dangerous gang."  

Leotta did extensive research into MS-13 for her novel.  She "spoke to police officers and federal agents, and drew on my own experience prosecuting these crimes.   ....  I try to provide an authentic glimpse into the shadowy world."  

Speak of the Devil tells about the most violent member of MS-13 in metropolitian Washington, D.C.,  Diablo, or the Devil.   He is tattooed all over, has had surgery to alter his face and his teeth filed to sharp points.  People who see him, even the homeboys in MS-13,  quake in fear.   Our heroine, Anna Curtis copes with finding Diablo and other gang members while planning her engagement and wedding.  

On a personal note:  as usual, I enjoy reading Leotta's description of DC neighborhoods because I used to live and work in DC aeons ago.   She describes New York Avenue spot-on;  it was a road I used daily in commuting to work.

Some scenes of Anna's wedding planning lull the reader into relaxation and the romance, then BAM! there's violence coupled with twists.   There are secrets.   How far will people go to protect their families?  Can people be redeemed?   

Leotta's first book Law of Attraction covered domestic violence.  The second Discretion* is about high-class call girls.     Speak of the Devil has Anna battling gang violence.   I'm  eager to find out the topic of Leotta's fourth Anna Curtis book.   And more anxious to learn more about her future personal life;  I care about Anna.  

*Ten Rules for a Call Girl is an eShort Story prequel to Discretion.  It is available free for Kindle and Kindle apps.   If you haven't read Leotta yet,  try this short story.

August 5, 2013

Secret Sister

Secret Sister
by Emelle Gamble
publisher:  Soul Mate
published July 2013
source: NetGalley

Cathy and Roxanne are best friends.   They have been best friends for life.    Cathy is married to Nick Chance;  it is a marriage made in heaven -- they are perfect for each other.

Roxanne has issues and visits psychologists frequently.  One afternoon Cathy and Roxanne go for a drive in Roxanne's car.  There's a wreck.    One dies.  One lives. 

My review stops here.  I do not want to say anymore because of the danger of spoilers.   Suffice to say I was absorbed in the book.    Some characters I liked,  some I didn't, some I sympathized with.    We are treated to different POVs (points of view).   I wanted to know what would happen next.  Even though I had suspicions about what happened, there was a surprise twist at the end.

I hope the author will continue to write and publish more.  

August 2, 2013

This Girl

This Girl (The Slammed Series, book 3)
author Colleen Hoover
publisher Simon and Schuster, Atria imprint
on sale  August 13, 2013
source:  publisher

A saying I often quote:  There are three sides to every story;  his side, her side, and the truth.     

The Slammed series  is a popular one,  between 4 and 5 stars on Goodreads and Amazon.   Reviews are glowing.   The first book Slammed tells Lake's side.  The next one Point of Retreat gives Will's point of view.

Book 3, This Girl, continues the story as told by Will.   Now married, Lake wants to know everything about the past.  She frequently asks, "What was it like when you first saw me?" or "What did he say when....."

Will's Slammed poetry continues in this book.  Fans of the first two will cherish reading this third.

This is a sweet read of a young couple beginning their honeymoon.  However, I did not fall for the story because (a) YA romances do not appeal to me and (b) I have not read the first two books.