Friday, July 16, 2010

Intriguing new mystery title from Blaze favorite Samantha Hunter: Past Tense review

Past Tense by Samantha Hutner
Publisher: Kindle Editions
Publish Date: June 18, 2010

My Review:
I have read Samantha Hunter's Harlequin Blaze titles in the past and have always enjoyed them.  She brings a little suspense into her romance titles and has always done a great job with it.  Past Tense is her first foray into the mystery genre.  I think she has done a wonderful job.  Past Tense had a way of sucking me right into the story beside of Sophie as things happened.  I felt like I got to know Sophie as she came to know herself and like I took part in every scene.  I was just so absorbed in the story as a whole.

Ms. Hunter does a marvelous job with the characters.  Sophie stands out the most as the main character and she is easy to relate to.  In her late 20s or so and she's still trying to find her way in life and tragedy has struck in the past and strikes again at the beginning of this book.  Roger is Sophie's fiance and also a police officer.  He contrasts nicely with Sophie and you can see his love for her even though he can't seem to accept the supernatural world that Sophie seems inclined to become involved with.  Gabe is great, a psychologist, and a ghost hunter.  He's the best of both worlds and he's interested in helping Sophie find out about her past and put things to rest.  All three make a great relationship triangle and while it's not at all the focus of the book, it makes a great side story and all three characters help propel the plot.  I liked all three and if you are like me, for a long while you weren't sure which man was right for Sophie.

The main part of this book is the mystery and Ms. Hunter does an excellent job on moving the mystery forward without giving too much away.  I was even surprised at one point by something that happened. Ms. Hunter did such an excellent job at leading you to believe one thing even though it was never stated.  I am rarely surprised like this and found it very refreshing.  As the mystery builds I found myself unable to put the book down.  Who is behind the death of Sophie's friend?  And who is the ghost that was there?  These questions are brought to a conclusion that I did not see coming.  The ending is tidy and finishes the book off nicely, but it's also left open to further books which I hope will be forthcoming.

All-in-all this is an excellent paranormal suspense.  I loved the tarot and ghost element.  I've never been into tarot, but like the way Ms. Hunter presents it in this book, so if you don't like tarot, don't let that scare you off.  Sophie is a very likable character and I liked seeing her world, it is a world I am unfamiliar with so I find it fascinating.  This is a book that mystery lovers don't want to miss!

So please read Past Tense and then let Samantha Hunter know that you want to see more of Sophie Turner in the future!  I know I do.

My Rating: 4.75/5.0

About the Book:

Sophie Turner runs Talismans, a Boston tarot parlor, where she reads tarot and keeps her family’s psychic legacy alive. However, in spite of her tragic family history and Tarot Alley’s reputation for being a mystical hotspot, Sophie has no psychic powers of her own – or so she thinks. Engaged to straight-as-an-arrow Boston PD Detective Roger Paris, and finishing her college degree in Computer Science, she’s ready to start a brand new life that has nothing to do with her paranormal past.

When the murder of her friend and client Patrice Bledsoe leaves Sophie traumatized, she can’t trust her own memory about what happened. She remembers a ghostly encounter moments before Patrice was killed, but she can’t remember anything about the murder, making her a prime suspect. Sophie doesn’t understand why the ghost appeared or why she was compelled to read his cards, revealing a story of violence and betrayal, but she is determined to find the truth about her friend’s murder.

It’s not the last time Sophie sees the tragic ghost figure, and she begins to believe her ghost is real when she’s plagued with visions she can’t ignore. When her skeptical fiancé won’t listen, she asks ghost hunter Dr. Gabe Mason for his help, leading her down a path of no return in more ways than one.
About the Author:
Check out Samantha Hunter's guest post which is an interview with Sophie Turner, the main character in Past Tense here, there is also a giveaway for two of Sam's latest Harlequin Blaze titles.

You can check out Sam's book at the link below and be sure and check out her website and blog as well.

FTC Information: I bought this book for my Kindle for my reading enjoyment.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Book Blogger Hop: July 16-19

To check out other answers and join the hop go and check out for the Mr. Linky for the Blog Hop. 

This week's question:
I'll have to go with the same answer as Crazy-For-Books on this one:  Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins is at the top of  my list.
Second up wound be the next book in the Sophie Turner series by Samantha Hunter - do you hear me Sam - I really want another book, the first book in the series is Past Tense and you can see the review here.
Also I'm patiently (or not so patiently) waiting on my copy of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater - it should arrive any day now. 
Thanks for stopping by on the hop - I'll be hopping around all weekend.  Be sure and check out my sidebar - I have several great giveaways going right now.

Book Extravaganza Giveaway

Welcome to Book Extravaganza hosted by Bookworming in the 21st Century and The Neverending Shelf.  Check it out for more information and lots of giveaways during this weekend.

I'm participating with two ARCs I received extras of.  Do you want to know what you are playing for?  (Sorry I couldn't resist - I'm in Survivor withdrawal).

So my strange humor aside, I am giving away 1 ARC of each of the following to one lucky winner. 

Okay finally, the ARCs:

 Warlord by Ted Bell - out October 19th, 2010

Gentleman spy Alex Hawke has all but given up on life. The British-American M16 counterterrorism operative lost the woman he loved on his last mission, almost a year ago, and has sought refuge at the bottom of a rum bottle ever since. But late one night at his home on Bermuda, he receives a wake-up call…literally.

His Royal Highness Prince Charles, an old friend, desperately needs his help. Someone is threatening the lives of the British Royal Family. And the death threat Charles has received carries a signature identical to one found in a book that belonged to his uncle, Lord Mountbatten — the beloved family patriarch who was assassinated 30 years before. Someone from the past has the British crown in his sights again, and has proven once before that these threats are not to be taken lightly. This is just the call to duty Hawke needs to get back in action — if the madman doesn’t wreak total havoc first.

Warlord is adventure-thriller fiction of the highest order — told with verve and swashbuckling panache by a master of the art.
Hailey's War by Jodi Compton - Came out June 15th

Twenty-four-year-old Hailey Cain has dropped out of the US Military Academy for reasons she won't reveal. She has had to leave Los Angeles and it would be too big a risk for her to return. Now working as a bike messenger in San Francisco, Hailey keeps a low profile, until her high school best friend Serena Delgadillo makes a call that will turn her whole life upside-down. Serena is the head of an all-female gang on the rough streets of LA. She wants Hailey to escort the cousin of a recently murdered gang member across the border to Mexico. It's a mission that will nearly cost Hailey her life, causing her to choose more than once between loyalty and lawlessness, and forcing her to confront two very big secrets in her past...

I just realized both books have "war" in the title and that was not even planned.  So please enter below.  Giveaway open to US/Canada only, and runs from 7/16 12:01am - 7/18 11:59pm.  Winners announced early next week. 

Make sure you check out the other giveaways going on this weekend and stop by and thank Bookworking in the 21st Century and The Neverending Shelf for putting on this wonderful event!