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Profile for Amy J. Alessio > Reviews


Amy J. Alessio's Profile

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Reviews Written by
Amy J. Alessio RSS Feed (Roselle, IL United States)

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Exposing Justice (The Justice Team Book 3)
Exposing Justice (The Justice Team Book 3)
Price: $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Hawkeye's Delightful Story, July 14, 2015
Former agent turned conspiracy blogger Brice "Hawkeye" gets his own action filled love story in another win by the Evans/Giordano writing team. As a librarian and professional reviewer, I read a few hundred books a year and some series and characters stand out. Hawk was a favorite, memorable character from the previous book and he is perfectly paired here with the young but smart Hope Denby.

When a Supreme Court justice is killed supposedly in a road rage incident, Hope's job in the public information office leads her to a phone conversation with Hawkeye, who got a tip that there is more to the story. She strikes a deal with him to keep his suspicions to himself while she asks a few questions. A talkative clerk and conflicting stories from the department of transportation about why a lane was closed on that bridge have her wanting to learn more.

The Justice Team wants Brice, but he has been through a lot with the government. He does agree to do some freelance work in exchange for information and soon finds himself working with Mitch and Caroline again. Hope joins him, as does Anthony, the security agent for the deceased judge. They investigate a billion dollar heart medicine and how an upcoming case involving the patent for it may have been involved.

The story is realistic and modern, and frightening in how easily this could really have happened. But the love story is exceptional. These writers inject intelligent yet emotional romance in a story with plenty of spice without being too explicit. It's a fine line and its done here in a very appealing, reader friendly way.

This series continues to gain momentum.

Burnt Siena (A Flora Garibaldi Art History Mystery)
Burnt Siena (A Flora Garibaldi Art History Mystery)
by Sarah Wisseman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.76
44 used & new from $15.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful mystery trip to Italy, July 9, 2015
As a professional librarian and reviewer it was my pleasure to read this delightful, rich mystery by Sarah Wisseman. Flora Garibaldi can't believe it when she sees her beloved roommate Ernst, dead on the sidewalk under their apartment balcony. He had recently spoken to her about sensing something wrong at the art restoration house where they both worked in Siena, Italy. Flora works with the police to learn what secrets exist behind the famous Lorenzetti family business.

The mystery is clever and Flora is a wonderfully appealing, surprising character. The best aspect of this book is the way it pulls you in to Italy with the vibrant, artistic descriptions. I look forward to the next title in this series.

Major Renovations (Ritter University Book 1)
Major Renovations (Ritter University Book 1)
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smart Characters in Fun Novella, May 5, 2015
Ski enjoys antagonizing the pretty contractor in charge of his university frat house over the summer. He is trying to figure out if he wants to stay in the pre-med field his family expects. Samantha tries to avoid admiring Ski while handling her father's construction business. Her father may be recovering from a collapse, but he still expects a perfect job from her. She'd rather finish her apprenticeship as an electrician. They both have to get the house in order.

Their attraction grows stronger among the failed inspections and house issues. Romance and conflicts happen and are resolved fast in novellas, and this one is no exception. Ski handles an emergency with skill and finds the answers to his career dilemma - and about his relationship with Samantha. She does not think the relationship can continue while she cares for her father. While the resolution is a little fast it is still satisfying to read!

I had the pleasure of reviewing an advance copy of this delightful story and plan on reading everything from Vanessa Knight. Her two smart characters have plenty of snappy dialogue and chemistry.

Every Heart Sings (Serenity Island Series)
Every Heart Sings (Serenity Island Series)
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Warm, Sexy Read with Well Drawn Characters, March 4, 2015
Josh Nicodemus is burned out from his rock star life. Jordan Sparks is a former child star who ran into drugs and money scandals who is now hiding out on Serenity Island. Her nephew Tony went to hear Nicodemus as his deceased musician father once had a song written for him by the star. When Josh meets Tony, he knows he wants to go to this island to write his next album.

The storyline is familiar, but readers will still love the island and its quirky inhabitants. Jordan is tough, scared, and loyal to her sister and her nephew. Josh is trying to figure out how to help Tony, write an album that will be true to himself while still be marketable, and act on the growing attraction he and Jordan share.

There is plenty of chemistry in these pages without overpowering the warm storyline. The characters are vividly drawn and readers will relate to them, even with the fantasy fame aspects. This is a reader with a lot of talent, and I will look forward to the next titles in the series. I was delighted to read a copy of the novel for this honest review.

Good Girl Overboard (Change of Heart Book 1)
Good Girl Overboard (Change of Heart Book 1)
Price: $2.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sexy, Scenic Start to New Series, March 1, 2015
This fun start to a new romance series for Swanson brings all the pleasure of a luxury cruise right to readers.

Darcy needs money desperately after paying off the bills from a wedding that didn't happen. She called it off after catching her fiance in bed with a young pregnant woman, and he left her with all the expenses. She returns to her old job, reviewing cruise ships, but her boss is determined that she write a highly critical one of the luxury cruise that boasts about its perfection.

Getting on the ship, she bumps into a handsome man, spilling his papers right into the water. It's a funny beginning to a sparking romance on the high seas.

Captain Mitch James can't believe the way the high heeled woman captured his attention, and not just the way she caused him to drop his papers in the water. He can't stop thinking about her, and lets her enjoy his view form the bridge when she comes to apologize to him. He is secretly part of the family that owns the cruise line, and he knows that Darcy is there to write a critical review. Determined to charm her, he is surprised to find himself falling for the feisty lady instead.

Darcy may not find much to criticize on the ship, but her experience is certainly not dull. The passionate kisses she shares with the Captain after dining at his table the first night make her determined to enjoy a light sexy fling, something she's never done before. Instead, she and Mitch handle several situations on board and grow closer emotionally as well as physically.

Swanson's trademark smart, take charge heroine is epitomized in Darcy. The details of cruise life are so vividly delightful that readers will want to go on one of their own. The romance starts fast and continues quickly, which is necessary for any plot set on a ship. Plenty of humor and funny situations keep the plot sailing even when Darcy's ex-fiance comes across as a heavy villain. He meets a satisfying end which readers will appreciate.

Readers will be hoping for the stories of Darcy's three college friends, who advised her to go for it in her romance with Mitch. Swanson's sexy scenes heat up the pages, but there is plenty of story and scenery to savor here too.

The Capture (Justifiable Cause Book 3)
The Capture (Justifiable Cause Book 3)
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Energy Romantic Fun In LA, February 24, 2015
This is another fun and high energy installment of Giordano's Justifiable Cause romantic suspense series. Attorney Jo is in LA helping run a copy of her successful NY task force that chases down knockoff distributors. Her hot Sgt. Gabe boyfriend is flying in for a visit. She can't resist shopping for knockoffs from a suspicious store, though she is not supposed to do that by herself. She sees a scary looking guy and hears an argument and quickly leaves the store. Later, after she and Gabe have a happy reunion, she learns that she saw the killer of a double murder in that store. Gabe and her LA police department contact do not want her to have to testify, knowing that the gang involved will never leave her alone. They have to find the guy and get him to confess.

Jo and Gabe are realizing they are in love amidst the action in what is possibly the best of an already strong series. Their chemistry is tangible. The illegal knockoff business may seem harmless to shoppers, but the industry and its potential dangers are made vividly clear in this tautly written series. Giordano continues to hone her craft and gains momentum in the romantic suspense genre. These books have the same appeal as Julie Garwood's FBI Buchanan series.

I am a librarian and a professional reviewer. I was happy to give an honest review in exchange for an advance copy.

The Marshal (Harlequin Intrigue Series)
The Marshal (Harlequin Intrigue Series)
Offered by Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
Price: $3.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Giordano continues to surprise and delight with this romantic suspense featuring smart, January 1, 2015
Giordano continues to surprise and delight with this romantic suspense featuring smart, savvy investigator Jenna and US Marshal Brent. This story is a continuation of the series with The Defender and The Prosecutor, but the cold case mystery makes this one unique, though equally good reading.

Jenna has been relying on her looks to help her with her job and is intrigued by Brent, who encourages her to use her brains. She is assigned to work on the case of Brent's mother's murder. When he was a young child, he heard a noise and came downstairs to find his mother dying. He has held on to the childhood home , in the small town where he grew up, to try and save any clues about the murder.

Next door to the deteriorating house is his Aunt and Uncle's house. They took him and his sister in, and Jenna is reluctant to interview Brent's family, but she has to discover any secrets. When she discovers the location of Brent's long absent father, her growing romance with Brent becomes rocky as all the family suspicions come to the surface.

The Marshal has Giordano's usual smart, capable heroine, layered romance and well written, twisting suspense. Snappy dialogue and fun cameos from previous characters in the series make this an engrossing, entertaining read.

Cheating Justice (The Justice Team Book 2)
Cheating Justice (The Justice Team Book 2)
Price: $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars ... taut romantic suspense in the second book of the excellent Justice Team series, July 26, 2014
Giordano and Evans deliver another taut romantic suspense in the second book of the excellent Justice Team series. Fans of STEALING JUSTICE will not be disappointed with this volume, which is as strong as if not stronger than the first adventure. CHEATING JUSTICE will bring these two rising authors lots of new fans as well.

Mitch is still wanted by the FBI after hitting his former boss at the agency. He is willing to risk arrest to find out what happened to his two best friends from high school, Tommy and Kemp. Tommy was killed while working on an FBI-ATF case in New Mexico, but everyone says he was dirty. Mitch knows that can't be true, but all information about the case is sealed. Kemp agrees to meet Mitch in the park to warn him off the case. On the way home from that meeting, Kemp is killed.

FBI Agent and sharpshooter Caroline Foster wants to forget about Mitch and the amazing night they shared months ago. When he asks for her help finding out what happened to Tommy, she tries to just look at the file. She is immediately in trouble with her boss and told to do grunt work on other cases.

Caroline and Mitch work with Justice Greystone (from STEALING JUSTICE) and his covert agency but it is clear that the cover up goes really high in the political chain of command. They enlist the help of former ATF agent turned powerful blogger Brice, and head to New Mexico. They soon realize everyone is afraid to talk, including a possible witness and girlfriend of Tommy.

The more they uncover, the more danger they encounter. Caroline and Mitch also explore their feelings in sizzling scenes and in realistic, fun dialogue.

Evans and Giordano are skilled at pacing. Action, romance and intrigue are all well balanced to keep the story interesting and moving quickly. I did enjoy an advance copy in exchange for this honest review, and it was one of the best romantic suspense titles I have read in a while. Alpha heroines and equally strong males are rare in the genre, and Caroline is refreshing and believable. Details about weapons and agencies are fascinating but do not slow down the plot. Fans of Catherine Mann and Julie Ann Walker may enjoy this series as well.

The Defender (Harlequin Intrigue)
The Defender (Harlequin Intrigue)
by Adrienne Giordano
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.50
71 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great story in a terrific series!, May 28, 2014
Giordano brings readers the story of Penny, sister of Zac, whose story was featured in The Prosecutor. In that story the Assistant attorney and his feisty private lawyer sister Penny butted heads over a case. Now Penny's life is being threatened over a client and her son. Elizabeth, the client, is going to make a deal to turn over evidence. Elizabeth's deceased husband was murdered by his partner, Colin Heath, after he wanted to end a fraudulent stock deal they engineered.

FBI agent Russ is tired of the "Killer Cupcake" undoing his work putting bad guys away. But even as he dives over her to protect her from a bullet at a press conference on the courthouse steps, he can't help but think how attracted he is to her. Soon he finds himself getting involved in her life, and even defending her in family arguments.

But he is conflicted as he wants to carry out his job well too. He'd love to put Colin Heath away. He's willing to work with Elizabeth through Penny, but keeping them all safe becomes harder, Penny doesn't at first believe she is the one in danger, thinking perhaps it is her lawyer father, She is not as careful as she could be with herself, though she makes sure Elizabeth and her son are in a safe house. The danger escalates, and Russ soon stays with her for protection.

The two are drawn together among the action. Giordano does a good job of adding tension and chemistry without a lot of unnecessary salacious detail, continuing her strong romantic suspense writing streak. Her banter among Russ and Penny adds humor and fun to break up the real danger and taut situations. Someone close to Penny is kidnapped by Heath and it is refreshing that it is not a damsel in distress story. Penny is a strong, smart character who is able to help save the day. Readers will keep turning pages as this adventure has plenty of surprises.

I did receive a copy in exchange for an honest review, as I am a librarian and a reviewer. I've also become a fan of Giordano and can honestly say this is one of her best yet. This story is enjoyable without knowledge of the events in The Prosecutor, but readers may want to read that one first just to get Zac's story as he is a pivotal part of the action here too. I read this in one sitting, and look forward to more romantic suspense from her soon.

Once Tasted (Silver Creek)
Once Tasted (Silver Creek)
by Laura Moore
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
93 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Winery Romance with Great Characters, May 27, 2014
Mia is a talented winemaker who is thrust into the position of working with the rancher neighbor she has always secretly admired. Reid does not understand why Mia has always been hostile towards him, but he is willing to work with her to grow the business.

Mia has resented Reid ever since high school, when she thought he rejected her. Now that her beloved uncle has left the family wine making business and left her in charge, she has to honor the agreement that she work with the neighboring ranching family, and that means Reid. She is not about to let her complicated feelings toward him get in the way of her plans for a tasting room and the best harvest she's worked on, but their attraction quickly brings them together in a passionate relationship.

Mia's cousin Jay can't believe he did not get more money from his father before the man left to follow his heart to Europe. He has been a bully towards Mia since high school, and had a hand in the problems Mia and Reid had then. Now he takes bullying to a new level as he tries to sabotage the business.

As Jay and his threats grow more out of control, Mia can't handle the pressure along with her new relationship and running the business. She and Reid struggle through in a realistic, positive way, which is the biggest strength of this well written love story. Mia does not need saving, but rather finds a partner in the best style of contemporary romance.

Readers new to the series will enjoy this but may want to taste the rest of the series as well.

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