Review by: Stacy Palm
Let me start by saying that these are stand alone books. The stories, the characters, everything about these books are separate (except that that happen in space.) With that being said, I loved the first book, this book not so much. I'm not sure what about this story did not connect with me, but I had a very hard time associating with these characters and making connections to them and the story.
The writing is superb, the setting unique, and the mystery was intriguing; I really should have enjoyed this much better than I did. So my recommendation is to pick it up and give it a try for yourself. Certainly pick up the first book as well, but don't feel you have to read it before this one. As I said, I really wanted to enjoy this, but for some reason it just didn't connect with me personally and that should not stop you from reading it for yourself.
Review by: Stacy Palm
Time to jump on the bandwagon! So you and your girlfriends went to see Fifty Shades this past weekend and now your looking to read another hot, steamy, BDSM (but not really BDSM) story about some hot, steamy, DOM (but not really a DOM but a playboy millionaire) who falls madly in love with his submissive (but not really a submissive just the girl next door.) This book, The Gilded Cuff, has it all. Seriously, everything you read in Fifty Shades can pretty much be found in this book.
Let's talk sex. It's swoon worthy, but nothing too exciting. Yes, there are cuffs and individuals tied to beds, but ironically for being what it is, this book is pretty tame on the actual encounters. Actually, there are times where I felt the author rushed through the intimate scenes to get on with the story.
Let's talk about the story, aside from the Fifty Shades wantabe parts. There is a mystery, and an actual plot line that was interesting. It is for this reason alone that I gave this book an extra star. The author does her best work with the mystery, and I really wish I could have advised her at the start of this book that if she had focused on just being a mystery with some hot steamy scenes.
All in all, yes I finished the book, will I read the next, possibly, but it will be because I want to know the end of the mystery, not because I'm looking for "mom porn."
Review by: Mark Palm
Amidst the un-ending spate of PR series and serial-killer thrillers it’s easy to miss a book like That Night by Chevy Stevens, though I am sure that someone will be tempted to call it the next Gone Girl. I don’t mean anything negative by any of this either, but I am making a point. That Night is a smart tense thriller, mainly quiet and kind of low-key, but effective. No gimmicks, and very little fireworks, and it works.
Toni Murphy is a working class teen girl who seems to have a typical angst-filled life; a boyfriend Ryan that she loves, a family to whom she can’t relate, and a pack of school-girl bullies who make her life hell. Then his sister is murdered, and Toni and Ryan end up taking the fall.
Years later Toni and Ryan are released on parole, and return home. Toni is determined to get on with her life. Ryan, whom she is supposed to avoid, is convinced that with Toni’s help they can find who really killed her sister, and continue their life together.
None of this is easy, and Ms. Stevens makes it just as unpleasant as it sounds. There are no spies and no serial killers, but all of the normal everyday annoyances, together with all of the tensions of Toni’s life, are made almost unbearable.
There are plenty of twists and turns, all believable if not always the most tense, and Ms. Stevens wrings them for what they are worth. The school-girl bullies are particularly vivid, unpleasant and all-too realistic. Also spot-on is the background and the small town feel of the book. There are times when you can start to see where the plot is going, but Ms. Stevens manages to push it just a bit, so that there is always a small element of surprise.
Even in a book that is set in a world so plain and normal. The normalcy is what makes the murder and the eventual revelations about how and why it occurred so shocking. I wasn’t too crazy about the title, but by the end you can see how well it fits. That Night is a really good thriller about the underside of a normal life, and it’s definitely worth your time.