Jessica Jesinghaus

Random Thoughts of an Author & Book Junkie

Book Review: The Tenth Nail by Kwen Griffeth

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 4.5 out of 5 stars

There’s a lot to like in this gritty detective drama and, just like in real life, some things I didn’t like. That’s not a knock on the story or the writing, quite the opposite. Kwen Griffeth has created some wonderful characters: strong, determined, fallible & flawed. 

The story opens with veteran homicide detective Nate Burns picking up his rookie partner Manny, fresh off a stint in narcotics, as they’re called to their first case together. As his training officer, Nate takes Manny’s tutelage seriously and puts the new detective, as well as any other cops they encounter at the scene, through their procedural paces. This introduction to the main characters speaks volumes! It sets Nate up as the black & white, good vs evil man we are meant to see him as… but in the early hours of the case we are treated to a glimpse of the real Nate, as he kneels beside the body of an unnamed murdered prostitute and promises her corpse that he will not give up on her, that he will find her killer. 

Seems like a boiler-plate detective story setup right? Think again! About a third of the way through the book readers realize they’ve entered a maze filled with politics, corruption, and challenges of fidelity and moral fortitude. Wending around the blind corners, pitfalls continue to crop up, each seemingly detracting from the main story of the murdered prostitute until WHAM! Kwen Griffeth masterfully ties up all the strings in a way that feels organic and, well, just meant to be. 

The family lives of Nate and Manny play a rather pivotal role and I loved that we got to see that side of their existence, to appreciate the balancing act that is being a police detective and a family man. If the author didn’t spend time in law enforcement, I would be shocked. Either that or some very diligent research was performed. The police procedural aspects, dispatch calls, and evidence handling were all represented quite accurately. I really appreciated this attention to detail. 

Wanna join the manhunt? You can pick up The Tenth Nail HERE via Kindle Unlimited. 


Book Review: A Perfect Pose (Inspector Stone Mysteries Book 3) by Alex Carver

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 4.5 out of 5 stars
After a hiatus from work and some much needed time to grieve and heal, DI Nathan Stone returns to work with a bang. His latest case will test his ability to move on with his life after the loss of his family. When a young model is found murdered, the clues are slim, leads non-existent, and to top it all off he’s been paired with a new partner.

Alex Carver continues to weave an enticing tale with his third installment in the Inspector Stone series. The balancing act Nathan manages after his personal tragedy is well developed and relatable, while the intricate nuances of his case are laid out for the reader like a delectable buffet. I’m really looking forward to his next adventure. 

**I received an electronic copy of this book from the author which I then chose to voluntarily review**

Snag your copy HERE and enjoy! Paperbacks are out now with ebooks hitting the virtual shelves on Tuesday 10/3/17.

Book Review: Curiosity and Arawn’s Penance (Gabrielle Book 4) by Zachary Paul Chopchinski

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars

What a thrilling conclusion to the Gabrielle series! This time around, Gabrielle and a trio of fighters are on a mission to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Their reasons would seem obvious, but the reality is that Hitler and his Thule Society have been tapped by Arawn to gather objects of power as well as harvest souls. 

The first two thirds of the tale focus on this aspect of Gabrielle’s journey, culminating in an epic fight against Arawn himself. I loved Gabrielle’s verbal sparring matches with the malevolent god. After this battle, though, there is still so much story to tell! Old friends make incredibly welcome returns to Gabrielle’s story and I loved how Zach Chopchinski wove characters from all four books into the final chapters. It was like a family reunion!

All together, the entire Gabrielle series is a story about family, love, and doing what is right no matter the cost… lessons we could all learn a little more about. So slip on the magic bracelet and take a journey! I highly recommend it. Thank you so much Zach for the opportunity to be an ARC reader!

**I received an electronic copy of this book from the author which I then chose to voluntarily review**

Please be sure to read this wonderful series! Now that all four books are out, I’ll be revisiting the entire series soon as I read it aloud to my family. My 10 year old daughter will love it, and there’s so much action I know my teenage son will be enraptured as well. You can get your hands on the series HERE via Amazon (currently available in Kindle Unlimited). 

It’s Sale Time! E-books for only 99¢

Everybody loves a bargain! Plus, with the kids back in school that means more reading time, right? Or is that just wishful thinking? 

All three of my current books are on offer for just 99 teensy tiny pennies starting Friday 9/22/17. Sale ends at midnight 9/28. Don’t miss your chance to download an adventure. 

Pick up copies of Mirror Mirror, Desolation Gulch and From the Shadow for just 99¢ each over on Amazon. Treat yourself. 😎 

Book Review: This Second Chance by D.L. Finn

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ 3.5 out of 5 stars  

Abuse, in all its forms, takes a heavy toll. In This Second Chance, by D.L. Finn, we meet Rachael on her wedding day. This is her second chance at happiness, a marriage to a wonderful, loving man; unfortunately her special day is shadowed by memories of her first marriage to an emotionally and physically abusive man. Even before the wedding, strange events and foreboding feelings plague Rachael, and those things only intensify when Rachael and Tony head off on their Hawaiian honeymoon. It seems someone is stalking the newlyweds, but is it a flesh and blood person or could it be the ghost of Rachael’s ex Ed seeking revenge? And who are the mysterious beings watching over Rachael and her family? Will her supernatural guardians be strong enough to protect her from evil?

This Second Chance is not your typical paranormal romance. It’s a clean romance, light on the heat, however there is no question that Rachael and Tony are soulmates. Filled with themes of redemption and penance, the characters all face significant challenges both on the earthly plane and in the afterlife. I applaud author D.L. Finn for tackling such a difficult subject as domestic abuse and the impact it can have on families, even long after the abuse ends. The concept of evildwels was an interesting take on the nature of evil, and made for a disturbing obstacle Rachael’s angelic guardians must overcome. So many lives intersect and collide in dramatic ways which might feel contrived, until you remember there’s an angelic influence impacting them all. The story flows at a steady pace and, although the dialogue can sometimes feel a tad repetitive, it was a highly enjoyable read filled with hope and promise. 

You can check it out for yourself HERE. Enjoy!
**ARC Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite**

Book Review: The Price of Paradise (Divine Space Pirates 3) by C.S. Johnson

🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀 5 out of 5 stars

C.S. Johnson has done it again! Her third and final installment of The Divine Space Pirates series “The Price of Paradise” had me on pins and needles, holding my breath in anticipation. After books one and two, The Price of Paradise finds our main characters and their allies engaged in all-out war against the URS and her dictatorial ruler Director Osgood. What is the price of paradise? What personal costs would you be willing to pay for the benefit and freedom of your fellow man?

After their unexpected reunion in book two, Exton convinces Aerie to marry him. But their marriage is off to a rocky start, what with Exton’s commitment to the war effort and overthrowing the URS and Aerie’s limited knowledge of how an actual marriage is supposed to work, but when St. Cloud reveals to Exton the real reasons behind his father’s assassination things get even harder. Exton begins to question everything. What is the truth? And, if what the General has said is true, what impact does that have on Exton and his life’s mission over the last decade? Aerie knows something is bothering Exton and when he refuses to confide in her she is left questioning their bond. If he cannot trust her, where does that leave them? Things get even more strained when a routine rescue mission, led by Aerie’s mother Merra, leads to disaster. Characters we know and love are lost, leading Exton, Aerie and others to take drastic measures. 

The allegories laid out by C.S. Johnson throughout this series, but especially here in The Price of Paradise, are thought provoking. Lessons of the past… the idea of children repeating the mistakes of their parents… friends lost or sacrificed… blind love, faith and trust… betrayal and redemption… personal sacrifice for the greater good… These are all lessons we can relate to and learn from, regardless of the fantastical war-torn reality our beloved space pirates inhabit. To say The Price of Paradise is a satisfying conclusion to the series is and understatement. It is, ultimately, a treatise on the importance of love, honesty, and faith in a higher power coupled with hard work and determination to question the status quo. 

Join the crew of the Perdition HERE and get ready for one helluva ride!

**Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite**

Book Review: The Breadth of Creation (Divine Space Pirates book 2) by C.S. Johnson

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ 4.5 out of 5 stars

After the thrilling and tumultuous events of book 1 of this series (The Heights of Perdition) I found myself wondering if C.S. Johnson could recapture the spark, desperation, and hope I felt oozing from her two main characters, Exton and Aerie. Well, I am happy to report The Breadth of Creation does not disappoint!

After unwillingly, but for the greater good, relinquishing Aerie to the clutches of the URS and her father, General St. Cloud, Exton returns to his family and crew aboard the Perdition. He can’t even take solace in plotting and planning Aerie’s rescue… What would be the point? With the URS’s memory serum in her system he would be a stranger to her. Their love no longer exists in Aerie’s mind and she knows nothing of the broken space pirate whose heart she healed. Although the genral promised no harm would come to their rebel settlement of Petra, Exton knows he must take measures to protect the innocent defectors at their secret base. So when a ghost from Aerie’s past surfaces and tells Exton the best way to move on with his life and protect those he loves is to stop picking at the URS and confront them head-on with an outright war, he’s inclined to believe it. 

Meanwhile, back in New Hope, Aerie settles back in to life with her unit, a job in the Comms Sector, and the continued growth of a possible relationship with her long-time friend Brock. Although everything appears perfectly normal on the outside, inside Aerie is plagued by doubt. Thoughts sometimes pop into her head, bringing with them crippling headaches, as her heart tries desperately to fight the effects of the memory-wiping drugs she was given. Can she overcome her memory loss and regain what was taken from her? And even if she can remember, how could she possibly escape the clutches of the URS and her controlling father for a second time?

The Breadth of Creation continues the themes set forth in the first book about authority and conviction, duty and honor, and, most importantly, faith and love. C.S. Johnson tells an incredibly compelling story. Her secondary characters are so well thought out, each with their own purpose, conflicts, and story arcs to explore… but they’re interwoven so seamlessly into the story as not to detract from Aerie and Exton’s journeys. I particularly loved getting to know more about the rest of Aerie’s Unit (family). Her older twin brothers and domineering sister made only a tiny impact on me in book one, but they play a much more central role this time around. Watching them adjust and adapt to Aerie’s new way of thinking was wonderful! And the ending?!? What a surprise twist. Jeepers if C.S. Johnson doesn’t know how to sucker punch her readers and leave them hungry for more. Needless to say, book 3 isn’t far off on my event horizon!

Check out the series HERE, and note (as of the time of this post) it’s free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. 

**Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite**

Book Review: An Eye For An Eye by Alex R. Carver

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars

DI Nathan Stone has his hands full. After a hold-up robbery of a local convenience store turns into a double homicide with racial undertones, it’s all he can do to stay ahead of the case. But when other, seemingly unrelated, crimes appear to be linked to the same perpetrator, events spiral into an inferno no one could’ve expected. 

I really enjoyed the first book in the Inspector Stone series (Where There’s a Will), but this book took things to a whole new level. We get to experience so much more of DI Stone outside his police work. Eye For an Eye allows readers to get to know Nathan as a family man, introducing us to both his wife and two lovely children. The balancing act of police inspector and family life was well portrayed. 

To say this book sucker punched me in the gut is an understatement. My investment in the characters is a testament to Alex Carver’s writing: detailed and true to life, his characters really live for me. I can’t wait to see how Nathan adapts and changes based on how this book played out. 

Wanna get your hands on the Inspector Stone series? A little birdie told me book 3 should be released this Fall, so check the series out on Amazon HERE

**I received an electronic copy of this book from the author which I then chose to voluntarily review**

Book Review: 51 Sleepless Nights by Tobias Wade 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 out of 5 stars

51 Sleepless Nights is a veritable buffet of horror / thriller short stories. Packed with fifty-two (I thought for sure there would be 51, but I counted three times… it’s fifty two) bite sized stories, it is a quick & entertaining read. Highly entertaining, each story holds a unique theme, primal fears, and interesting twists to keep readers on their toes. Some of my favorites…

Vicarious: When a father, driven to see is young son succeed and ‘be the best,’ faces the prospect of a tragic loss, can he accept reality or will he allow fantasy to offer a replacement for his dead child? And what, really, is the thing masquerading as his boy?

The Angel Doll: Dolls are creepy. Especially when passed down from generation to generation and portending death. 

My Mother the Spider Queen: Spiders. ‘Nuff said. 

Dreaming Without Sleep: As an insomniac myself, the creepiness of this story lingered long after it was over. 

124 Terabyte Virus: A sinister artificial intelligence hitches a ride home with an unsuspecting IT support guy. 

Like Father Like Son: The idea that abuse, alcoholism, and other “issues” can be passed from one member of a family to the next in an endless loop is frightening indeed!

I Loved Her in Winter: When you lose someone close to you, is it so wrong to keep a piece of them alive with you always?

Painting the Roses Red: To what lengths will an old man go to pay tribute to his dead wife, and entice her spirit to return?

My Face Will be the Last Thing You See: When a sexy fortune teller in a bar tells you her face will be the last thing you see before you die, what lengths will you go to to ensure a long life?

I read this while immersed in a longer, heavier book and found the punchy stories to be a welcome diversion. Suitably creepy!

Wanna get your scare on? 51 Sleepless Nights is available to be read via Kindle Unlimited HERE.

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