Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the moment I read the description of this novel, I knew it was my kind of book. It sounded intense and thrilling and absolutely realistic. I’m really glad that I got approved for this book and now … here is my review:

Joan and her 4-year-old son, Lincoln, love going to the zoo near closing time to just relax and play. It’s the perfect way to end the day. But then Joan sees something as she and her son are moving toward the exit gate, something that makes her sprint back into the zoo with her son in her arms. And for the next 3 hours, she keeps running. Joan’s intimate knowledge of her son and the zoo itself comes in handy in her time of need … but will it be enough to keep her safe from danger?

Just as I had expected, this novel was gripping from the start. Joan and her son are very believable characters and the situation they find themselves in is also, unfortunately, something I can realistically imagine happening. I had my heart in my throat the entire time I was reading because I couldĀ feelĀ how dangerous the situation was and how desperate Joan was to keep her son safe. The danger is present for the entire span of the novel, which means that Joan was running for safety for that entire time…. and yet, there really wasn’t a boring moment in the story. It was one of the more enjoyable features of this story. The novel is also told from the perspectives of other people in the zoo: fellow victims and even a perpetrator. I found that interesting but I wished the author had done it more often instead of just randomly including snippets from other perspectives; it would have helped me visualize and connect to the other characters in the same way that I did with Joan. I will admit that there were certain discrepancies in the plot that bothered me. Some I was willing to ignore because I understood that it was necessary for plot development, but there were others that seemed a tad bit ridiculous. The explanations for certain behaviors exhibited in the story also weren’t the best at times. These were really the only flaws for me, and overall, I was quite satisfied with my experience with the novel. The author promised a book that would make your heart pound and she definitely delivered on that account! I would give this novel a 3.5/5 and would recommend it to anyone looking for a unique thriller.

Happy reading ~

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Friction by Sandra Brown

Among my literary friends, Sandra Brown was a popular author. I would always hear of some book by her in passing and would be urged to read it. This time, instead of promising to read it in the future, I decided to actually pick up one of her novels and read it. So here is my review:

When a Texas Ranger shows up to court to regain custody of his 5-year old daughter, he doesn’t expect anything strange to happen. When a masked gunman barges in during the hearing with his sights on the attractive judge presiding over the case, the Ranger reacts instinctually, protecting the judge and then proceeding to stop the gunman. However, authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman manages to escape with his identity remaining a mystery. Now, everyone is under suspicion – including the Ranger himself. Will this lawman jeopardize his custody for the chance to catch this gunman?

I felt like this novel was just okay. There wasn’t anything that was so amazing about it. The character of the ranger was decent; he was a stereotypical rough-around-the-edges kind of guy and, other than his soft spot for his daughter, that was all there seemed to be in terms of his personality. I had not known previously that the author writes romance thrillers so I was quite surprised by the romantic aspects and descriptions in the novel. They weren’t good or bad…. they just … were there. They really served no purpose other than to provide some steamy content. The whole plot just seemed to have no purpose and the ulterior motive that was presented did not equate to the crime being committed.At least it all ended in a positive way – that was probably my favorite thing about the novel! Overall, this was a decent story but with nothing remarkable to show. If you like reading thrillers with a little bit of erotic content, then you should read this novel and check out more by this author. If you prefer hardcore action and thriller, then you should probably look elsewhere.

Happy reading ~