The action is fast-paced and unpredictable, providing a really effective contrast between those moments of waiting and wondering that heighten the tension and intrigue even further.
Gauthier’s characters are for the well-written and believable, and the reader continues to build empathy with Lexi throughout the story. I felt involved in the story and shared in Lexi’s frustration and anger with various situations and other characters at various points of the plot. Gauthier very cleverly positions the reader to understand the central character so that her responses feel both reasonable and justified, even though the reader might not personally respond in the same ways. In all honesty, I know Lexi is much more brave than I am, even if her stubbornness is something I can totally relate to.
‘Bound’ gets a lovely shiny Golden Acorn!
I’m really keen for the release of the third book in the series.
‘The Undernet’ by J. S. Frankel brings new definition to the age-old contest between good and evil, and between truth and deceit as a young man seeks answers that seem determined to remain hidden.
Frankel has crafted realistic, likeable and engaging central characters in Milt and his girlfriend, Robbie. They’re not perfect, and their mistakes have consequences, which makes them easier to empathise with and understand. Insights into Milt’s thoughts and gut reactions, and his feelings about Robbie, draw the reader into the often very confronting story of his quest for justice and truth.
Part of Frankel’s genius in casting this story is designing characters who live and work in the shadows, so that the reader has to keep questioning whether they are the good guys or the bad guys. There are so many layers of intrigue and concealment in this story that the reader is kept curious and wanting to know, much like Milt throughout this story, seeing the truth despite layers of concealment and misinformation. In this sense, the Undernet and the Dark Net take on the roles of additional impersonal characters that deliberately obscure reality in this story, just as they seem to in actual fact.
Some parts of The Undernet are definitely uncomfortable to read. In graphic contrast to the sincere and honest friendship Milt has with Robbie and with his best friend, Simon, Frankel gives his readers a solidly-written exposè of the dark side of human nature as one is likely to find it on the dark side of the internet – or anywhere. This is delivered with confronting realism and honesty. Through all of this, It was the strong identification I felt with with Milt’s “ordinary person” response to the ugly side of life that enabled me to keep reading and hoping for him to find the resolution he was so desperate to find.
Not until I started reading did I realise how ironic the title is – many more questions than discoveries were arising in the most fascinating and heart-stopping ways. Absolutely, 110% intrigued, I had to keep on reading to find the answers to my own questions and theories, as well as Jessica’s.
This book is a fast-paced roller coaster of emotions, complete with loop-the-loops and tilt-a-whirls of mystery, secrets, horror, and intense personal conflicts for a number of key characters.
It’s a mark of a great writer that a story can take you on the journey not just of the main characters and the key plot, but also of the other characters through sub-plots that weave seamlessly with the main story. Characters I disliked intensely in the first book became more likeable not only through the development of their personality and actions, but also through gaining a greater understanding of their motivations and histories. Other characters that I quite liked in the first book underwent an almost opposite kind of transition. Once again, DalRae reminds us through this fabulous book that no matter how confident we might be that we’re right about people or situations, or even that we know something for sure, things aren’t always what they seem.
If you’re looking for delicious paranormal mystery adventure laced with more than a dash of hot sauce and romance, look no further. DalRae’s Jessica Sweet mysteries are the books for you.
Now, I’m waiting with bated breath for the next in the series. I’m definitely hungry for the next course.
Aliya DalRae’s Jessica Sweet mysteries are all available on Amazon.
Narrated in the first person by the character of Gemma Harding, ‘The Gift’ keeps the reader guessing right to the end. This story draws the reader into a complicated web of deceit and carefully constructed appearances that leave Gemma able to trust only herself and her gift in her search for the answers she needs.
‘Sweet Vengeance’ and ‘Sweet Discovery’ are the first two novels of a trilogy.
The third book of the trilogy is already highly anticipated by fans of ‘Sweet Vengeance’ and ‘Sweet Discovery’. You can be sure the Book Squirrel is busting his chops waiting to sink his teeth into that one, too!
‘Bittersweet’ tells the back story of Malcolm, frequently identified as one of the most popular characters in the novels.
These books deliver a fabulous blend of magic, vampires, shifters, fantasy, and mystery. In them, you will find a great story written with humour and flair that are fabulous reading for 18+ readers.
Click through to our reviews for Sweet Vengeance, Sweet Discovery, and Bittersweet.