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Author: Starr Ambrose

Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: Thieves Like Us by Starr Ambrose

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Thieves Like Us by Starr AmbroseThieves Like Us by Starr Ambrose
Series: Lie to Me, Book 2
Also in this series: Lie to Me
Published by Pocket Books on 30 November 2010
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Mystery & Detective
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Up in Flames, Lie to Me

 

Place(s) Traveled to: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

First Line(s): Dumping the world’s worst husband called for more than a celebration. It required a symbolic act.

Lie to Me Series Order
Book 1: Lie to Me
Book 2: Thieves Like Us

Thieves Like Us by Starr Ambrose takes place about a year or so after the events of Lie to Me end. The main characters of this story, Janet and Rocky, were first introduced in Lie to Me and the drama begun with Banner Westfield is that book is not yet done. For when Janet tries to sell some jewelry that her ex-husband gave to her she soon learns that its part of a priceless collection and there are some people out there that will stop at nothing to get the rest of the pieces. Enter in Rocky Hernandex, ex-con, ex-jewel thief, and current security expert to help save the day.

I really liked the fast pace of this book and the tension between Rocky and Janet. Their relationship build up was realistic and I enjoyed reading their story. What was missing from this book though was Ellie and Jack who were conveniently unreachable as they went on an extended European honeymoon. I missed the camaraderie between Ellie and Janet and I think that Ellie’s absence took away from my enjoyment of the book. I was glad that Jack’s mother still had a role as I did enjoy her scenes but became annoyed with the overuse of Jack’s daughter.

I also felt that the title of this book was a little misleading as never once did Janet or Rocky try to steal anything. They did work to try to find the missing jewelry but the one time there was any sort of break in was when people broke into Janet’s house. Well, then there was that side plot with an old rival of Rocky’s but that only really distracted from the overall story than anything else. As it just didn’t seem to have much of a point to it at all.

Overall, Thieves Like Us is a light, romantic comedy that didn’t take me long to read at all. Its a great brain candy read and was a good break from some more serious things that I was reading at the time. While there were times when Janet’s trust issues were a bit over the top I did enjoy the chemistry between her and Rocky. They both shared some funny scenes and even with the loss of Ellie and Jack I still enjoyed the story. The mystery is nothing overly complex but as I said this made for a good distraction. If you like romantic comedies then you might want to consider this one.

three-stars
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Review: Lie to Me by Starr Ambrose

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review2 Comments

Review: Lie to Me by Starr AmbroseLie to Me by Starr Ambrose
Series: Lie to Me,
Also in this series: Thieves Like Us
Published by Pocket Books on 25 November 2008
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Mystery & Detective
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Up in Flames, Thieves Like Us

Place(s) Traveled to: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

First Line(s): Eleanor Coggins paused before the three-foot-high hedge surrounding the dark patio.

Lie to Me Series Order
Book 1: Lie to Me
Book 2: Thieves Like Us

I wasn’t sure what to expect from  Lie to Me by Starr Ambrose I just knew that I had read and enjoyed her newest release, Up in Flames (my review).  The opening was cute and I really enjoyed the chemistry between Ellie and Jack. Things start off with a bang as Ellie breaks into the Westfield mansion trying to find clues that will link the owner, Banner, to the death of her BFF. She’s caught pretty quickly by Jack, Banner’s recently paroled half brother, who comes up with a crazy back story for her presence. And that leads to them working together to solve two mysteries all the while falling head of heels for the other.

I enjoyed the banter between Ellie and Jack and found their whirlwind relationship to be believable. Though Jack’s over the top brother, Banner, strained credulity. He was like so many villains in B-rated movies. Complete with barely logical motives and of course pontificating all the reasons why he had to do what he did. You’d think someone born into such privileged as he was wouldn’t need to resort to such shenanigans. But of course, if he hadn’t then there wouldn’t have been a story.

Overall, this was a quick read and while the reasonings behind all the bad things where a bit over the top and cliched the events progressed nicely. Ellie and Jack really make this story and I even enjoyed Jack’s mother Elizabeth. Jack’s daughter Libby seemed a bit too forced at times and was a bit two-dimensional but it could have been worse. The mysteries were pretty easy to figure out sometimes its nice to just sit and let oneself be entertained. There were also times when I found it hard to believe that this book was set in 2008, which was the time it was written. The adult MCs had a lot of trouble with basic internet skills and it just seemed like the book was set several years earlier.

As I said this was a quick read and an enjoyable story. I liked the characters and will most likely be reading more by Starr Ambrose.

three-stars
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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Review: Up in Flames by Starr Ambrose

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Up in Flames by Starr AmbroseUp in Flames by Starr Ambrose
Series: Barringer's Pass,
Published by Pocket Books on 08 July 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Mystery & Detective
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Lie to Me, Thieves Like Us

Place(s) Traveled to:  Barringer’s Pass, Colorado

First Line(s): A spider crossed the white tablecloth, nimbly scooting over Sophie’s left hand.

Barringer’s Pass Series Order
Book 1: Silver Sparks
Book 2: Gold Fire
Book 2.5: Wild for the Girl
Book 3: Up in Flames

Up in Flames is my first book by author Starr Ambrose and it hit me at just the right time as I devoured it in a single sitting. I really liked the two main characters, Sophie and Zane and my heart broke of their past miscommunications which kept them apart for ten years. Both characters are dealing with issues, Sophie has been sheltered most of her life and Zane has been at the receiving end of a towns prejudices because of his last name. People in the small town of Barringer’s Pass just don’t want to look past the name at the man that Zane has become and just how different he is from his dad and brother.

In some ways, Up in Flames, can be classified as a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as both main characters and even many of the secondary ones are filled with both. Sophie is very proud of her bookish accomplishments and places more value in a degrees of higher education than in actual life accomplishments so it stings when she has trouble finding work. Zane, through necessity, has developed a very thick wall around him and is more apt to judge someone by what he thinks they might do than waiting to see what they will do. As you can imagine these conflicting personalities lead to some sparks between the two main characters.

Mixed in with the romance storyline is this murder mystery when a body is found buried at Zane’s business and the town is quick to place the blame on him. Sophie, for all her flaws and apparent dislike of Zane, is the only one who can see past the obvious and champions his innocence. Which then makes her a target as she keeps sticking her nose in where it doesn’t belong. Her investigation also helps to bring her out of her shell a bit and reveal this fiesty charter that is filled with spunk and determination. It was fun watching Sophie grow and to learn to appreciate people for what they’ve accomplished and not just because of a piece of paper they might hold.

Up in Flames was a fast paced story with believable twists and turns and a plot that will keep most readers guessing who the killer is until near the reveal. The journey that Sophie and Zane must travel before they reach there HEA is also realistically done and its one that will give a reader that wonderful heart-achy feeling. This was my first Starr Ambrose book but if her others are half as interesting then I think I might enjoy them as well. If you like a good romantic suspense storyline then I think that you might want to check this one out.

four-stars
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