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ADRENALINE: New 2013 edition
ADRENALINE: New 2013 edition
by John Benedict
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.20
25 used & new from $5.50

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars superb medical thriller, October 12, 2015
John Benedict
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Nov 22 2013, $10.95
ISBN: 9781484897522

The support staff prepares patient Mr. Rakovic for a routine arthroscopy of his right knee by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Sanders. However, anesthesiologist Dr. Mike Carlucci panics when his patient suddenly suffers from a potentially lethal V-tach, something he never encountered in his six years at Our Lady of Mercy Hospital. He and others in the operating room frantically try to save Mr. Rakovic’s life. With tears, Mike informs Mr. Rakovic’s sobbing wife that her husband died from a massive heart attack.

Keystone Anesthesia provides the hospital with its professional anesthesia staff; who recently begun to doubt their competency as several other egregious errors by anesthesiologists occurred. Filled with remorse and wondering whether they are the cause of these terrible mistakes, these dedicated employees also fear downsizing due to a merger with nearby General and a potential hostile takeover of their work by rival Pinnacle Anesthesia. Increasingly Carlucci and his BFF Dr. Doug Landry wonder if a cold-blooded maniac wants to destroy the reputation of the anesthesiologists regardless of the cost to innocent patients.

Using surgery that seems authentic (though my credentials are on the receiving end), this superb medical thriller showcases the criticality of anesthesiologists beyond just administering pain relief. The opening Rakovic case, another involving a woman who feels the excruciating scalpel but unable to tell anyone and several others come across very frightening. Though the final confrontation is over the top of Mount Davis, readers will feel an Adrenaline surge throughout Dr. John Benedict’s twisting and at times shocking hospital suspense; while also looking forward to the sequel (see The Edge of Death).

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (28) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 23, 2015 2:59 PM PST

Onward, Drake!
Onward, Drake!
by Larry Correia
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.39
55 used & new from $11.65

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent anthology pay homage to David Drake, October 12, 2015
This review is from: Onward, Drake! (Hardcover)
Onward Drake!
Mark L. Van Name (Editor)
Baen, Oct 6 2015, $25.00
ISBN 9781476780962

Fourteen of the sixteen short stories and four personal essays (by Mark L. Van Name, S.M. Stirling, Toni Weisskopf and Tom Doherty) that make up this anthology pay homage to David Drake; the other two entries were fictional works written by Mr. Drake. Included with all the fictional entries are short afterwards in which each author explains how their respective tale links to the renowned military science fiction author.

Fittingly the collection starts and ends with Mr. Drake’s two contributions. Near the Viminal Gate, the bronzesmith’s widow wants to hire Hesperus the wizard to melt the bones of Tychos the bully and Murmilla; while his twelve years old nephew “The Great Wizard, Cabbage” (by Mr. Drake) listens intently. Sergeant Krotcha assigns Hammer’s Slammers’ officer Raney at her temporary new post with the First while her jeep gets repaired, but the Bessies attack may make her vehicle someone else’s as she knows from combat experience to “Save What she Can” by Mr. Drake. Others also use the Hammer’s Slammers universe like Larry Correia’s “The Losing Side” that explores the enemy’s morale as they faced their seemingly invincible foe. Capricious King Bertrand of Wollend demands a special celebration to honor the birth of antiquities General Chefferax, but the bards have a different message to sing in Eric Flint’s “A Flat Affect”. Perhaps the most direct accolade comes from Eric S. Brown whose “The One That Got Away” is a sequel to an early Mr. Drake’s horror short “Something Had To Be Done” to that damn vampire. Onward Drake! achieves its lofty objective of honoring the great author; but also reminds readers that he wrote in other genres besides his acclaimed military science fiction bibliography.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2015 6:42 PM PDT

Belshangles: A Novel
Belshangles: A Novel
by Susan Altstatt
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.95
34 used & new from $5.71

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating homage to a different musical period, October 11, 2015
This review is from: Belshangles: A Novel (Paperback)
Susan Altstatt
Fithian Press/Daniel & Daniel Publishers, Oct 12 2015, $15.95
ISBN: 9781564745781

In 1983, superstar Tommi Rhymer and his band the Belshangles complete a tour at Bill-Graham-Presents Oakland Day-on-the-Green concert. After the show the twenty-nine years old rocker and his mates expect the usual sex with groupies and the affluent, and plenty of drugs at the hotel. Fifteen year old Miranda Falconer loves the Belshangles and worships Tommi as she has since she was a tweener. She and her BFF Skye Milligan attend the concert.

When the police raid the hotel, band member Harlan Parr pushes Tommi to get his underage friends out of there. Tommi, Miranda and Skye leave the party before he passes out. Miranda bullies a scared Skye to drive them to the former’s family’s cabin in the Sierras with an unconscious Tommi. Frightened, Skye drops them off, but heads back to Stanford.

His next waking moment finds a confused Tommi wondering where he is and how he got there. As Miranda dreams of having her God to herself, Tommi begins to suffer cold turkey withdrawal and proves dangerous to his underage companion.

Capturing the essence of the pre-digital instant YouTube legend-making era, Belshangles is a fascinating drama that looks back to the near end of three decades in which sex, drugs and rock and roll converged. Character-driven by the lead couple and a strong support cast, armchair rockers (figuratively though some of us geriatrics might be literally) will enjoy Susan Altstatt’s homage to a different musical period.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 27, 2015 1:45 AM PDT

Rising Tide
Rising Tide
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.60
62 used & new from $6.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars super futuristic post-apocalyptic thriller, October 11, 2015
This review is from: Rising Tide (Paperback)
Rising Tide
Rajan Khanna
Pyr, Oct 6 2015, $17.00
ISBN: 9781633881006

In North America though he knows he did the right thing by saving the hidden city of Tamoanchan from raiders, airship captain Ben Gold hurts over the loss of his vessel Cherub that was destroyed when he did his first ever heroic deed (see Falling Sky). Instead of a hero’s welcome, Ben awakens from his myriad of injuries amazed to find his close friend Malik alive; as he thought his buddy died. Irate with his former BFF for abandonment during a crisis, Malik holds him prisoner while also incarcerating Ben’s beloved Miranda

Using Miranda as a pawn, Malik demands Ben do his bidding in the wasteland or else his scientist girlfriend dies. Miranda has been working on a cure to the pandemic plague that turned much of mankind into the Feral beasts. She wants to test her elixir; but needs Ben to rescue her team. To do that, they must escape from Malik at a time when a new deadly disease followed by invaders attack Tamoanchan occurs.

The second Ben Gold futuristic post-apocalyptic thriller continues the escapades of an anti-hero who prefers flight over fight though his love for Miranda has him continually breaking the family Golden Rule of save yourself at all times. The stark Khanna realm is filled with Feral zombies, mad friends, terrible diseases that made the planet’s desolate surface deadly and the air outside of fortresses treacherous, and horrific marauders as if The Walking Dead raced into a steampunk world.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2015 4:22 PM PDT

A Call to Arms (Manticore Ascendant)
A Call to Arms (Manticore Ascendant)
by David Weber
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.30
62 used & new from $10.30

4.0 out of 5 stars exciting military science fiction, October 10, 2015
A Call to Arms
David Weber, Timothy Zahn, and Thomas Pope
Baen, Oct 6 2015, $26.00
ISBN 9781476780856

The impoverished Star Kingdom of Manticore parliament debate continues over whether the isolated in a remote area of the galaxy nation needs a defenseless naval fleet loaded with obsolete in terrible shape ships and corrupt lazy officers. Those in favor insist on modernization though know budgeting remains an issue; those opposed insist no one out there gives a crap about this out of the way orb. Changing the pros and cons is the discovery of a strategic wormhole that the external superpowers want to control. The parliamentary members mostly ignore the impact except to consider leasing the rights to control of the wormhole to one of the coveting outside powerhouses.

However, not everyone watching Manticore remains patient with the minor Star Kingdom’s internal argument. Hostile takeover comes to Manticore, but the underfunded obsolete Royal Navy led by courageous in corrigible officers like Lieutenant Travis Long defends their nation while the Parliament deliberates over going to war or less costly (and personally profitable) surrender.

The storyline starts leisurely as the plot builds a solid foundation that leads to an exciting military science fiction. Once again loyal Long thinks outside the crypt while preparing for war at a time when the Manticore Parliament seems to mirror our Congress (take credit for success and blame others for failure; but mostly do nothing except claim exceptionalism and patriotism). In spite of a sameness to the overarching premise to the previous Manticore Ascendant thriller (see A Call To Duty), this is an interesting space opera that Harrington fans will enjoy; especially how ancient history differs from what future generations and historians, and the “books” believe happened.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2015 8:55 AM PDT

Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror
Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror
by Christopher Golden
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.65
55 used & new from $5.11

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous biting collection, October 10, 2015
Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror
Christopher Golden (editor)
Gallery, Oct 6 2015, $18.00
ISBN 9781476783093

This fabulous collection contains 20 biting short stories that focus on the throwback terror in the night (and in some cases 24/7) vampire. Each tale is unique thus keeping the compilation fresh with no bad entries; as the majority of contributions are excellent. “Something Lost, Something Gained” by Seanan McGuire stars teenager Louise coming home drenched carrying a jar of fireflies while knowing what her wicked stepfather will try do to her. Laird Barron’s “In a Cavern, in a Canyon” in Alaska, a woman facing hell looks back to her past for her lost courage. Believing her teacher is an energy sucking vampire, Susan rationalizes “Miss Fondevant” (by Charlaine Harris) must die before this evil drains the students of their respective essences. The Normans conquer England, but some of William’s more violent soldiers rape the losers, but eat them too; while helpless Winfred the monk prays for guidance. In Brian Keene’s angst “The Last Supper”, the lonely vampire mentally struggles with to be or not to be following a pandemic eliminated his food source. Following a deadly typhoon that hammered the Philippines, the Canadian developer evicts an elderly woman from her tree house to the abject terror of the locals. She is the willing sacrifice to the Gods, but when the child fails to complete her mission she learns what the deities in this “Blue Hell” (by David Wellington) truly are. These “…New (more apropos descriptor: return to ye old) Tales of Vampiric Terror” will be on the short lists of best anthology of the year.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2015 9:02 AM PDT

Second Chance Colton (The Coltons of Oklahoma)
Second Chance Colton (The Coltons of Oklahoma)
by Marie Ferrarella
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.50
45 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars gripping second chance at love police procedural, October 8, 2015
Second Chance Colton
Marie Ferrarella
Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Oct 1 2015, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373279371

After a stint with the Marines, Ryan Colton returned home to become a homicide detective with the Tulsa Police Department. He becomes very concerned when a vandal commits several acts at his family’s Lucky C Ranch that recently escalated to dangerous levels with a fire and a house invasion that led to the beating of his still in a coma mom.

TPD Forensic Lab Chief Susie Howard informs Ryan that a stable break-in contained DNA evidence that points to his sister Greta as the culprit. Angry and disbelieving of Susie’s assertion, Ryan challenges her contention, but retesting affirms her initial finding. Recalling a decade ago to when he and Susie were in love, but Ryan abandoned her when he deployed. Still believing he did the honorable thing by the woman he will always love, Ryan and Susie were stunned when she joined TPD four years ago. Forensics at the bunkhouse murder scene of ranch hand Kurt Rodgers also names Greta as the only suspect. As the former lovers investigate the homicide and vandalism that increasingly means arresting Greta; each realizes they remain in love with the other.

The fifth Coltons of Oklahoma (see The Temptation of Dr. Colton by Karen Whiddon and Protecting the Colton Bride by Elle James) is a gripping second chance at love police procedural. Although Ryan’s failure to recuse himself from a case involving his sibling seems unlikely especially in a big city police department and readers will suspect early on what truly happened; Marie Ferrarella provides a tense romantic suspense.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2015 9:36 PM PDT

Falling for Her Fake Fiancé (The Beaumont Heirs)
Falling for Her Fake Fiancé (The Beaumont Heirs)
by Sarah M. Anderson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.25
49 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable boardroom contemporary, October 8, 2015
Falling For Her Fake Fiancé
Sarah M. Anderson
Harlequin Desire, Oct 1 2015, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373734184

In Denver, Ethan Logan takes over modernizing the over century and a half old Beaumont Brewery starting with bringing interoffice communications out of the 1970s. However, Ethan never expected the pushback from the frightened staff who overtly opposes the needed reengineering changes to save the business and their jobs.

Ethan realizes he needs a family member to help him win over the employees. Thus he turns to the fifth heir Frances Beaumont for assistance with a whacky concept of a marriage of convenience between them. Frances agrees to marry him if he meets her stipulations. Neither the businessman nor the first daughter debutant expected to fall in love; but who will risk their heart first to renegotiate a permanent deal.

The fifth Beaumont Heirs romance (see His Son, Her Secret) is an enjoyable boardroom contemporary that ironically nicely uses the overused, typically historical marriage of convenience premise to modernize a Colorado brewery. The protagonists are a nice pairing of a married couple preparing for their divorce even before they exchange I do; until each wants to modify the contract, but fears confessing how they feel.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2015 9:37 PM PDT

The Immortal's Redemption (Mills & Boon Nocturne)
The Immortal's Redemption (Mills & Boon Nocturne)
18 used & new from $0.78

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining romantic urban fantasy, October 8, 2015
The Immortal’s Redemption
Kelli Ireland
Harlequin Nocturne, Oct 1 2015, $5.75
ISBN: 9780263917994

In 1718 Scotland, as he waits in ambush for the fat genocidal Laird of Clan McKay, Dylan knows he lacks a key trait that successful assassins require: patience. Still he somewhat controls his anxiety to kill the abomination for mass murdering of Druids. However, before he can complete his task, Danu the Mother of All visits him with a vision of a beautiful woman who along with mankind will need his help three centuries in the future when a Shadow Realm god escapes bondage.

Three hundred years later Danu returns; she informs Dylan the time is now for him to find the woman who will lead him to the truth or his death as he must kill this Kennedy Jefferson to prevent the end of the world. When she awakens in a hospital, Kennedy has amnesia and fears she suffers from mental illness apparently common in her family. Only her best friend Ethan keeps her stable. When Dylan and Kennedy meet, they are attracted to each other, but his mission must come before his heart.

The Immortal’s Redemption is an entertaining romantic urban fantasy with an intriguing dilemma faced by the lead male. The support cast and Dylan are fully developed, but Kennedy acts irresponsibly foolish and feels for the most part incomplete as perhaps more insight on her memory loss and sudden moments of recall would have helped readers to understand her better.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2015 9:40 PM PDT

An American Duchess
An American Duchess
by Sharon Page
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
55 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars pleasant post World War I romance, October 6, 2015
An American Duchess
Sharon Page
Harlequin HQN, Sep 29 2015, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373789382

In 1922, accompanied by her Mother, twentyish Zoe Gifford drives her car on the Brideswell Abbey Estate in Hertforshire to visit the aristocrat she plans to marry in haste Lord Sebastian Hazelton. The marriage will enable Zoe to use her trust fund to pay off Mother’s disastrous debts and also her husband for cooperating before they divorce. A blown tire forces the two women to start walking.

When Zoe and Sebastian's older brother Nigel, Duke of Langford, meet, both are attracted to one another. However, Nigel suffers from war-related PTSD and hates the monstrous changes wrought by the Roaring Twenties as epitomized by the upstart American female who does not know her proper place. She, in turn, rejects his antiquated beliefs. Love has blossomed in Hertforshire, but seems unable to overcome the vastly different philosophies.

An American Duchess is a pleasant post World War I romance starring a Thoroughly Modern Millie and a Brontosaurus in love. Though the angst loses its edge in the last quarter of the historical, Sharon Page captures the essence of a radically changing world (see the early episodes of the People’s Century) as epitomized by this lead couple, Mother and other family members and servants.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2015 9:41 PM PDT

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