Lara’s Journal – A Gavazzoni

Welcome back all, as promised I have the next instalment of Behind the Door for you! Now something that I often find when reading book series is that they get repetitive and a bit boring so sometimes I go into these with a grain of salt when the first book has really grabbed my attention.

But I didn’t need to with this one. I was really unsure how we could continue on from the previous book when the killer has fled the country and we’ve solved the murder. Other than literally just reading Lara’s side to her relationship with Carl (which I wanted to read anyway) I wasn’t sure what else could be done. Like really, what would you have done if you were the author? Because I am a big fan of, if you’ve gotten it right don’t ruin it by trying to make more money out of sequels when you had never planned on writing them.

Now the set up for this book is no where near as good as the set up for the third novel so I get the feeling that Adriana finished the first book intending to wrap it up there. Then really wanted to share more. Whereas the ending of this book is a total, blatant set up for a third book. Which I don’t mind because it show’s there’s a plan. And she’s ended it on a cliff hanger. And I am a TOTAL sucker for a good cliff hanger!

Anyway I feel like I’ve jumped ahead because I’m SOOOO eager to read the next book! Like normally I’d space it out a bit to give you guys, my readers, a bit of variety but I don’t think I can with this one 😐

ANYWAY! I must move on to give you reason’s why I liked this one so much! So we start off with a girl hooking up with a guy at a nightclub and having sex in the bathroom. Since I thought this was Lara, whatevs! Only, it turns out it’s Simone, and she’s slept with her friends cousin! How completely unlike Simone! But then again she had been kidnapped and drunk A LOT of wine and it’s not like she’s in a relationship. So she can totally live her life the way she want’s to!

Next thing we know one of her reliable crazy patients has attacked his mistress, wife and the club his mistress works in so Simone has to rush home. Just in time to find out that the cousin is a crazy stalker. Just what she needs when she’s still recovering from being kidnapped!

Within a couple of weeks of returning like 3 or 4 of her patients have turned up dead, the FBI don’t know whether to suspect her or Peter Hay (the guy that kidnapped her). And I was tossing up between the stalker boyfriend, the new receptionist, Peter, Peter’s sister, Carl and Edward as to who the guilty party could be! Now to give you a bit of an idea where’s why I suspect each of them:

  • Stalker boyfriend rocked up then everything turned to shit for Simone in a way that’s different to before which suggests someone new
  • The new receptionist doesn’t seem to smile, is happy to take the job of someone who was just killed. And no one died until after she started…
  • Peter Hay because you know, he did kidnap her and kill all those other people!
  • His sister, for revenge against Simone for Peter having to flee the country, and poison is typically known to be a female choice
  • Carl because both times he entered Simone’s life shit hits the fan
  • And finally Edward, with him I don’t really have a tangible reason why, it’s just a gut feeling

Since this book ends on a cliff hanger I never get to find out who the one responsible for this round of deaths is. But my main suspects are the new receptionist and Peter’s sister but with her I feel that Peter would have to be involved somehow. Ideally my gut is telling me the receptionist and Peter’s sister are either one and the same or somehow linked.

So now that I feel like I’ve turned into a bit of a conspiracy theorist I’ll let you go! And I look forward to sharing my next review on “Master the Marchioness” by Em Brown next week.


Secrets of Agent 13 – C S Duru

Welcome back all, because of the type of person I am, I feel that I have to mention that most likely at the time you’re reading this I will be sitting by an adults only pool with a cocktail in one hand and my Kindle in the other somewhere in Fiji. Ahhhhh…. the serenity!

Anyway, moving on to the book! I have some really conflicting feelings about this one. I felt really uncomfortable reading like the first half of this book on my way to and from work on the train. And I’m pretty sure I spent just as much time looking around for people reading over my shoulder as I did actually reading. On the other hand, I can’t wait for book 2 to tell me more!

I feel like the first half of this book was pretty much copied from a bad porno. You know those one’s where say a plumber turns up to a house wive’s home to fix the “plumbing” only to end up having sex with her? It was like that but with real estate. Like yes, I can admit as a woman when we’ve had tradies over sometimes you do admire how they look. But do we act on it? No. And that’s because it’s inappropriate! So how is it that the first 4 house valuations our main character does, he ends up sleeping with the client?

I persisted because I feel like I owe it to the author to read the whole book (don’t judge a book by it’s cover and all) and I’ve always said that you need to finish a book to be truly able to form an opinion about it. So I did. But I gota say it took me longer than it really should have. And that came from the fact that I wasn’t emotionally invested in it. And my lack of investment came from the fact that the first half of the book is all superficial. We don’t get anything emotionally real happening until after the halfway mark, when our main character gets suspended for sleeping with his clients (no surprises there right?). But why did it take 4 encounters rather than just one? Given the reasons cited for causing the issue to be raised there was no need for the senseless porn feel happening.

What really got me after this point what that he really started to evaluate what he was doing with his life, what he wanted to achieve and was it worthwhile. And in the second half of the book you can see his character really developing. And that’s when I started to get hooked. He starts entertaining the idea of starting up his own real estate firm to help him earn a million by the time he’s 30. And he acts on it. I can feel for him at this point because the job security in my country isn’t the greatest at the moment, and so I’m trying to find other ways to make sure my income will always be secure. Because, you know, you wana keep your quality of life!

So I admire him for going after what he wants, and I’m also jealous of him for forming contacts that allow him to achieve these dreams without too much risk. If I was to quit my job today and start my own business I’m pretty sure I’d be broke within a month! So that fact that he’s able to run with it and succeed with the support of one of his side pieces is pretty cool. And btw when I say side piece, every woman he slept with in this book offered it to him rather than him chasing them. Which pisses me off and pleases my feminist side all at the same time. Like what kind of god is he that women throw themselves at him? But at the same time, he never once forced himself on a woman even though they were in highly emotional states.

So I’m really hoping when (if?) a book 2 comes out that we will continue to explore the character development and their relationship rather than the sex. I honestly feel that sex should be well placed in a book and add meaning to the story rather than random sex scenes just coz. And a lot of them in this book felt “just coz” which really disappointed me.

Anyway, to finish off, I think you’d enjoy this one so long as you can get past all the porno level sex scenes and get to the character development parts. Coz those are really well written!

And time for me to head back to my sun, water and booze for my last week of holidays for 6 months! I hope you liked it and next week I will be reviewing “Reinventing Mona” by Jennifer Coburn. See you then!

Behind the Door – A. Gavazzoni

A Gavazzoni contacted me to read this book and I’m really glad she did. I’m not sure if she’s read my blog, but if she has I can see why she thought I’d enjoy it. Yes it had some graphic sex scenes in it (be prepared for way more than Fifty Shades of Grey). However the focus of this book was the psychology behind the characters which is something I really enjoy. Even in my job I love to be challenged. I even commented that I was getting bored at work recently because it was all making sense and I had to quickly get some easy stuff done due to a really tough deadline.

With the boring work having to be done I found myself constantly thinking about what could possibly be driving these characters, why were they reacting in certain ways? How were they all linked? Why did my gut tell me that such and such a character had more to them than it sounded like? So this definitely kept my mind active when I really needed it.

We start off this book with Simone who is a psychiatrist lecturing in New York and was interrupted by a lawyer; Carl; which I thought was odd. Lawyers don’t tend to hang around those types of conferences, and if they do want to speak to a psychiatrist then they’d make an appointment or call them to their office. Then when he didn’t pressure her to drop everything and focus on what he needed to meet his court deadline, it made me wonder what was going on. Not that you’ll find out until right near the very end!

Due to Carl approaching Simone to help him with his court case the book takes two different approaches. One is Mark’s story about Lara which he has written as a manuscript while the other is the murders happening in Simone’s home town that start to impact her in her day to day life and her psychiatry practice. At this point I started to wonder if the two stories were intertwined or if this was just the beginning of a series to really explore both avenues.

I won’t go into what happens in this story too much because I think it’d ruin the intensity for you. But basically someone starts murdering women in Simone’s home town while she’s working on the manuscript Carl gave her. The murderer even leaves a dead body on Simone’s doorstep which freaks everyone out. And eventually Simone is kidnapped and tortured by the murderer. While held by them she figures out who they are and is able to report them to the police when she is rescued days after her kidnapping took place.

Meanwhile we get to read Mark’s manuscript alongside Simone (this is where all the graphic details are) to find out what actually happened between Mark and Lara. Mark sounds like a decidedly normal and kinda boring guy, while Lara sounds like she has a LOT of mental issues that have been left unresolved that she doesn’t seem to want to work on. Simone diagnoses her as sadomasochistic with ADHD tendencies that resulted in an addiction to adrenaline. That addiction is what seems to control her life as we know it and ends up being what killed her.

The thing that I really liked about this book that a few other books I’ve read recently hasn’t really done when talking about these kinds of topics is that it showed the bad as well as how to combat it. Yes, Lara’s mum was awful and sold her off and didn’t act like a mother should. However her friends and the rest of her family supported her in any way that they could, including supporting her to leave those situations. Unfortunately for her it seems it was all too late to “fix” what happened, but it was good to hear about others that are willing to do the right thing. Including getting restraining orders, which I feel many people in those situations are too scared to do. I also liked the fact A. Gavazzoni explored how these events impacted those around Lara which is something most people tend to shy away from.

So although the sex scenes were a bit too graphic for my liking, I really liked the fact that Simone then explored the psychology behind these behaviours. In these situations it’s the psychology, the thought process and the analysis that really gets me involved and hooked. And A. Gavazzoni nails this aspect of her writing and I love it. I got so hooked on the what and why the events occurred that I almost ditched my boyfriend on a Friday night to finish the book! Which is unheard of for me, especially since it was game night for my footy team which I always watch.

If you like brain teasers and can get through the sex scenes I think you’d really enjoy this book just like I did.

Thank you for reading, next week I will be participating in another Book Tour, this time with a brand new release called “One Summer Weekend” by Juliet Archer. I look forward to seeing you then.