Spring Breakdown

So first of all, Happy First Day of Spring!

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Now on to the review:

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Spring Breakdown (Carter House Girls #7) by Melody Carlson

Thoughts Before Reading:

So this is a part of the series The Carter House Girls. Part Gossip Girl, part America’s Next Top Model, and all blended together with Christianity.

Each book is written like television episodes as every one gives more events of the group along with ending on just the right amount of cliffhanger so that you have a desire to read more and find out what happens next.

After D.J.’s mom died, she was sent to live with her grandmother, a famous ’60s fashion model Katherine Carter. Miss Carter decided to take this further and open her house up to five other girls and teach them about fashion, modeling, and more.

There is Taylor, daughter of singer Eva, beautiful, troubled, and very catty; Eliza, southern gal from Kentucky who wants to be the queen bee; Kriti, Indian, petite, and from New York; Cassie, D.J.’s old best friend from California who has been through a lot of changes and trouble; and Rhiannon, the only local, a nice girl, who’s mother is in rehab and the only Christian.

These girls have to work together, survive high school, model training, car accidents, disappearances, high school politics, boyfriend stealing, car accidents, parties, Las Vegas, New York City, an internet smear campaign, and more! Will the girls grow closer together? Or farther apart? Will they come to understand God’s love? Will they make good decisions?

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Plot Synopsis:

In this book the Carter House Girls have been in for some power plays between the now Christian Taylor and the ever in need of the limelight, Eliza. On Taylor’s side she has D.J.  and Rhiannon; Eliza on the other hand has Cassie while Kriti has returned to New York.

The trip started out as a nice fun time in Palm Beach, but became a fashion shoot, and even escalates when Harry (Eliza’s ex-boyfriend who is now interested in Taylor) decides to rent a condo nearby with his best guy friends.

Eliza keeps trying to win a competition only she sees, from pitting herself and Cassie against the others, trying to out glam them with tans that go horribly awry and more.

But things get really crazy when Eliza takes off on a date. When she doesn’t come back, they begin to grow worried.

They question Casey but she doesn’t know anything about this guy. That begins to worry the girls even more.

The talk to security, but they aren’t much help. They then call the FBI. All the girls can do is pray in the hopes that they find Eliza before it is too late.

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As the girls talk about who could have done this, they remember a lothario on the plane who seemed very interested in them and their plans.

But before they can tell the FBI about the mystery man, they get a ransom demand. Give him the money or the heiress dies.

Will their prayers be answered or will Eliza be lost forever?

Thoughts After Reading:

So this is the second to last book in the series and it takes a drastic turn from being about these girls to be a mystery and kidnapping, full of drama.

I thought that it was pretty good. One has to read the rest of the series to understand what is happening with the characters, but otherwise this was a fun story that had a twist I wasn’t originally expecting.

For more Young Adult novels, go to Fangs But No Fangs

For more Christian books, go to Paper Roses

For more book reviews, go to Death Threads

The Shadow Hunter

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The Shadow Hunter (Abby Sinclair and Tess McCallum Series) by Michael Prescott

So I was first introduced to this series when I picked up a copy of Next Victim at a library book sale.

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It’s been a while since I read and before I look at it again I decided it was time that I started the series from the beginning.

Read it today!

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So the first thing that surprised me about this book is that it is all about freelance security consultant, Abby Sinclair.

What?

There is no FBI Agent Tess McCallum, the protagonist from Next Victim.

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Looking at Goodreads, it looks as if the two meet up in later books so maybe the first two are introductory novels to the characters? Or two books that were combined to create a series. I guess I’ll have to do some research.

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So the book starts out with a flashback. Abby’s firm has a different way of going about protecting their client from stalkers and other potential threats. Instead of being around the client, she instead places herself in the perpetrator’s world: befriending the stalker/threat, living next to them, discovering their secrets, and judging whether they are actually going to act on their fantasy or whether it is just bluster.

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Abby has been assisting a case on a case of a famous rock singer. To her chagrin, he won’t listen and remain in seclusion, but insists on going to a club.

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Of course his stalker followed and were she goes Abby does too.

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After many drinks, Abby leaves to conduct standard protocol and notify her team that they should come in, the stalker is nearing red light warning status. But as she is making the call, the stalker kills the client.

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It’s been a year later and that incident has caused trouble for many. Abby left the firm, and the firm has suffered from bad press. The once flourishing company has been culled back to the barest of bones.

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But Paul Travis, head of the company, is a forgiving guy and calls Abby back in to help with a new case. Abby is eager to help as she feels horrible and guilty for not only being unable to save the rock star, but for damaging her boss/”boyfriend”‘s business.

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The new client is the beautiful news anchor, Kris Barwood. Kris was the only one to not blame the company for the death of the rock star, so Travis and Abby are in some real pressure to do right on this. If they succeed in stopping her stalker, it could set everything right. But if they fail, completely demolish them both.

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Kris’ husband doesn’t believe in Travis’ company and thinks they should finds someone else to assist them. Kris, however, chooses to ignore him as she no longer trusts her husband, knowing that he is out cheating on her with younger women.

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Kris has been stalked by Raymond Hickle. Everyday he grows more and more intent on reaching Kris and killing her. While he starts planning, a new neighbor moves in: Abby Sinclair.

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Abby begins working on Raymond and his apartment, getting closer and closer to him. Just as she has made incredible progress, Raymond receives a note from his partner. Yes, it seems that someone anonymous wants Kris dead and is using Hickle to get rid of her.

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This partner has just let Raymond know the truth about Abby, and put her life in danger.

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Who is this mysterious person? Which of the people in Kris’ life are trying to kill her? And will Abby make it out?

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this book was pretty good.

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It was a tough crime novel that gave an interesting perspective into stalkers’ minds.

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I liked the character of Abby, although at times she was a little dense at judging people. Choosing to trust the untrusty over the worthy, but then again that’s is pretty realistic.

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I thought the the twist ending of who Hickle’s partner was, was done excellently.

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It is obvious who it is, but Prescott did a wonderful job at smoke screening it so that you thought it was another or doubted you judgement.

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I give it three out of five stars

***Spoiler Warning***

 

The only thing I really didn’t like was how Abby could not see that Paul was the bad guy. The way he acted so closed off, his emotions/personality; how could she not tell that he hated her and wanted him gone.

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I knew it was him.

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I didn’t put the pieces together why he wanted Kris dead and thought that was a great twist. And the way he set the husband up? Excellently planned for his character.

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For more stalkers, go to The Postman Always Purls Twice

For more undercover tales, go to A Change of Fortune

For more mysteries, go to Bake Until Golden