Black Fridays – Michael Sears

Received this as an ARC copy, and will most definitely be spreading the word of this book. I gave it a full 5 star rating.

Michael Sears definitely has a remarkable way of creating such likeable, relatable characters. And most surprisingly, this is his debut novel!
It’s a thrilling, intellectual tale of a Wall Street trader by the name of Jason Stafford, who thrives to change his lifestyle after a stint of fraud that ended him up in prison for two years.
He struggles to maintain normalcy and see life for what it is after being released. Not knowing where to go from there, he returns to his ex-wife, and begins to reconnect learn to be a better father for his child son who suffers from autism and fights for custody when he learns she hasn’t exactly been the perfect parent while he was away.
Later, Jason was approached by a couple old friends…a hard decision had to be made, he was offered a high paying job by a company to look plot embezzlement, but here’s the catch… the other was the FBI, and asks him to work as a double agent against the opposing company.
He struggles between the two, will his old habits die hard, or will he do what is best and put these criminals behind bars, and be the hero of the Kid’s eyes, setting a fatherly example.
In my opinion, the Kid is the hero in this book. Jason is enlightened by the joys of being this child’s father, and prospers to be the best example for him, to make his son proud.
Having worked with autism children closely, myself, this book brought tears to me with sadness and happiness, made me laugh, made me gasp, and had me on the edge of my seat not knowing what Jason would do next. The passionate complexity of this story, felt like it was written with all of Michael Sears heart, was just simply moving.
If you enjoy an intelligent crime thriller, with a touch of emotional depth, you’ll easily get lost in this puzzle solving, heart wrenching tale.

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Bound by Blood – P.A. Lupton

bound by bloodPhew, where do I begin? Let me start off by saying, I give this a full 5 star rating. This book had literally everything I love in a book. A thrilling mystery with suspense, vampires, other paranormal characteristics, witty dialogue, and hot, hot, HOT romance. 

The story is narrated in first person by a super awesome chick named Brianna Reece. She’s definitely up there with my favorite fearless heroines.

I was immediately hooked as we are thrown into a scene with Brianna undercover at a club, gathering intel on a missing girl case which she feels is strongly connected to another murder case they have been working on, every victim has been drained of their blood.
Brianna has a supernatural ability she was never really able to explain, but other than being a empath. She can detect other people’s emotions, making her a fantastic lie-detector. Right away, I knew we were in for a fun mystery. Little did I know, just how many surprises we would encounter.
I refuse to spoil one major thing about one of her suspects, Nathan, who has his own private security company and also working on the case.

As the story goes on with the murder case, she feels an emotional pull to one of her lead suspects, Nathan. Who just  so happens to know why the cases are oddly connected to her and knows more about her family tree than she does. Nathan informs her that she is connected with a long line of powerful witches and has a strong tie to Nathans family, which explains the pull she felt toward him. He trains her to use her abilities to better protect herself, as they find out the killer is indeed on a trail of her bloodline. And she may be the next target.  

The whole time I was asking myself, “Do I realllllly want them to be together, because I am not sure I can trust him!” But the plot thickens and curves are thrown and I was mind-blown. I really want to read the following books! P.A. Lupton has completely captivated me, and I want to thank her for writing such a bewitching tale with everything I have always wanted in a book! Keep up the amazing work and I really hope to read more in this series!

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The Girl She Used To Be – David Cristofano

https://www.facebook.com/Thebooknatics This book was given to me by the publisher.

3525895This was the first book that was published before The Exceptions, of which I recieved from the publisher. After falling in love with “The  “Exceptions” I just had to see it from Melody’s point of view. While it is okay to read Johnny’s side first (The Exceptions), which I am actually glad I did, the ending of Melody’s version, was breathlessly beautiful…So very realistic and very emotional. The ending of this book (The Girl She Used to Be) actually makes me wish I had read this one first, seeing how it left off, (SPOILER)SPOILER)SPOILER) where Melody buys a wedding band, because she forever holds her heart for Johnny, even though they may never see eachother again. (SPOILER ENDED)

 
The author did an outstanding job keeping this story very realistic, and the giving the characters so much lifely depths. This is a story of a girl at the age of six, who witnessed a murder while out with her family at their favorite Italian restaurant, ran by Mafia boss Tony Bovaro. Johnny, who was 10 and totally enchanted by the little girl, watched as she fled the scene with her family. When approached by the police at the time of the incident, he was tricked into spilling everything he saw, even  right down to the plates on the car.

 The family  was forced to testify against the Bovaro’s in court but wouldn’t admit to a thing as to not draw attention from the dangerous family and then were immediately put into the Witness Protection Program. The Bovaro’s left them alone afterwards, seeing them as not a threat. Many years later, when the Bovaro’s were ordered to a huge court hearing where many families would be called upon to testify once again for another members failure, they wanted no loose ends, and planned to terminate the families. All of them. By then, Johnny was an adult, and always dreamt of the girl since the day he first saw her. He refused to let the family be killed, and would go behind his family and instead of “putting them down” he would watch over her, and lie to the family that they could not be found. But, having corrupted FBI men on their sides, they knew were to find the family every time they were relocated. Father became suspicious of Johnny’s defiance, and ordered a cousin to do the deed. Johnny still stands tall and protects the girl at all costs. Melody has no idea who this man is that keeps rescuing her, but his presence makes her feel safe. I felt so sad for her and Johnny through out the entire book. I wanted them to be together, I wanted him to run out and hug her everytime he saw her. This book totally had my mind involved.

This story is full of so much raw emotion, plot turns, and unexpected heart wrenching moments. Melody is a fierce woman who has been through so much tragedy. she refuses to go down without a fight. She remains strong and vigilant and thinks for herself even through the backstabbing and deceiving people continuously try to fool her. She turns the pages, and before any one realizes, they have been played by her.  I did not put this book down once, I ate it up in one sitting! I sat there totally thrilled with every turning page, wishing for the best and survival of Melody and melting at Johnny’s loving covertly hero ways. Johnny is a gallant, warm-hearted, undercover hero, and fights to be better and different from his own family. I tried to write this as best as I can without spoiling. But take it from me, if you love a little romance with your crime thrills. It was the perfect dose of love to go with this crime thrilling-page-turner. I could recommend this to both, male and female and I am sure they would enjoy this.