Book Promo · Books · Reviews

SHOOT TO THRILL by TL Schaefer (CASI Book 2)

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Amazon.com – Shoot to Thrill (CASI Book 2)

Amazon.com – Behind Blue Eyes (CASI Book 1)

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, T.L. Schaefer, for an honest review.

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller/Romance/Adult/Fiction

Plot: The Colorado Academy for Superior Intellect (CASI) …only the best and the brightest may attend…and only if they possess a Talent the Meece Foundation deems of value. Founded in the late sixties, the Academy is the brainchild of Hugh Meece, pharmaceutical groundbreaker…and CASI is its shining jewel. Their motto: Exploring the last frontier…the human mind.

Special Agent Arin Thomas always gets her man, but when she embarks on a personal mission to uncover the details behind her best friend’s death, she discovers a world she’s never even imagined. A world where extrasensory powers are exploited, and where her badge makes her a big, shiny target.
Dr. Jonah Summers would be more than happy to run the Colorado Academy for Superior Intellect (CASI) if only people would stop shooting at him. But that’s a pointless wish when someone with a bottomless bank account and a direct line to Russian special forces has CASI and everyone connected to it in the crosshairs.
Arin and Jonah find themselves dodging a merciless killer with a hidden agenda while trying to fight their own attraction. It’s only a matter of time before one of them has to Shoot to Thrill in order to kill—or be killed.

Opinion: So a few months back (probably a lot of months back) I did a review for Behind Blue Eyes which was book 1 in the CASI installment. Today I am back with the review for book 2, Shoot to Thrill, and OF COURSE TL Schaefer has NOT disappointed me in the slightest. From the writing and the well-thought plot, to the new characters and the romance, this author has once again gotten me hooked. In comparison to book 1, this story sticks with the CASI theme but follows a new female lead of the FBI named Special Agent Arin Thomas. In this story we dig deeper into the past of Wes Burke, and the children and employees at CASI from years prior. Do not fret however, we still get a little bit of the beloved characters Sara Covington and Brian Roney from book 1!

After working through a tragic and complicated past, Special Agent Arin Thomas has worked her way to being the best in her field. But the death of her former partner, Wes Burke, has left a yearning to find the truth about his death and to set things right. But when Arin starts snooping around, what she finds out about her former partner, and the school that he had been in as a child, puts her in immediate danger. As Arin becomes acquainted with Dr. Jonah Summers, the man who runs CASI, she starts to constantly fight off an overwhelming attraction to him. Not one to lose focus, Arin tries her best to keep her mind on not letting her or Jonah get killed; especially when she learns that it is Russian Special Forces that are after them. With the help of Sara Covington and Brian Roney, Arin must find out how Russia has become involved and who the person calling the shots is before it’s too late.

FIRSTLY, I must start with the romance. As I have rambled on to you all before, we all know I am NOT a big fan of the erotica and overly graphic mushy-mushy. I am somehow always finding an exception when it comes to TL Schaefer’s stories, partly because her writing is so awesome. If you are not a fan of erotica like me, not to worry. There are only two prominent “scenes” in this story that would make you uncomfortable, and you can easily skip over them without missing anything important. The reason I have started out saying this, is because the books are way too good to pass up because of the erotica. Trust me on this one.

Anyways! I am LOVING book 2 of CASI, and I cannot stress it enough. The writing makes me SO happy; it’s descriptive and creative, thoughtful and straightforward, witty and comical but also stressful all at once. The author really knows how to write a thriller and keep the reader interested, which lead me to not being able to walk away from this story. I love that this stays with the same general idea of book 1, but introduces new characters and conflicts. Arin Thomas is another great example of a fierce and strong female character. She doesn’t take any crap and has that same hilarious snarky attitude that Sara Covington possessed in book 1. There is honestly nothing better than a badass female who plays just as hard as the men do, and who doesn’t ever want to let them win.

“I could be pissy about him becoming overtly, pig male, but decided on the coldly-competent route I’d psyched myself into this morning. I could be professional in a swimsuit, damn it. I tucked my piece into the holster stashed in my carryall, pushed up from the lounge chair and lulled on the bikini’s matching skirt.”

-Agent Arin Thomas

This story digs deeper into the background of CASI and also touches on a lot of the aftermath effects of the institution. There is a lot of detail and thinking that has gone into these characters trying to find out “who-done-it”, and I think all of the evidence and clues were compiled fantastically. Granted, I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me. I am glad that the author reintroduced us to Sarah and Brian from book 1, I thought these were fantastic characters before so I am glad to have been reunited with them. I am not quite sure if there will be a book 3, but one can only hope that there will be! I HIGHLY recommend these books to any reader who is looking for a great thriller or mystery with an amazing story-line.

5 Stars

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Books · Reviews

BEHIND BLUE EYES (C.A.S.I. Book 1) by T.L. Schaefer

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, T.L. Schaefer, for an honest review.

Genre: Adult/Fiction/Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Plot: When all eyes are on you, there’s nowhere to run…except TOWARD the truth.

Crime-scene photographer Sara Covington hides behind her camera from the otherworldly ability that’s caused her nothing but grief her whole life. Yet denial doesn’t protect her when she runs across a serial killer with an aural signature she’s never encountered.

Suddenly she’s without a job and with nowhere to turn…except to an enigmatic, sexy-as-hell detective with a disquieting talent for seeing right through her defenses.

Brian Roney’s fascination with Sara compels him to bring her in on the case that ultimately gets her fired. Even though he senses her mutual attraction, something holds her back from stepping into his arms. He’s as determined to find out why she’s pushing him away as he is to keep her safe.

When the killer strikes again, Sara realizes the only way to stop the madman is come clean about her painful past—and embrace the gift she has so long denied. Before the grisly trail of bodies leads right to her doorstep.

Warning: A sexy alpha cop, a heroine with a past (and super spidey sense) and a maniac on the loose…what’s not to love?

Opinion: I really enjoyed this read to the point that I found myself not being able to put my kindle down while I was cooking or getting ready for work. Though some books that fall into this genre can move along at a slow pace, I didn’t get bored and I found that I had a SERIOUS NEED to find out what happened.

Sara Covington has been working as a crime scene photographer for over ten years, which has subjected her to aftermath of gruesome and terrible murders. Not only does Sara do a remarkable job at capturing the feelings of each victim through her photographs, but she can also see the auras of the deceased and of the murderers (which she has kept hidden from others). When Sara is called to a new crime scene for the victim that died at the hands of a new serial killer, she senses an aura she has never felt before, something she describes as being evil and monstrous. Soon Sara is contacted and brought into the case by detective Brian Roney, who is the first to learn of her talent. As detective Roney and Sara start to investigate the murders in more detail, they find that the killings might not be as random as they had first anticipated. The hunt for the killer proves to be risky and complicated, but nothing compares to the secrets that Sara has been hiding about her past.

I know that my summary is a bit vague, but it is VERY difficult to condense this book into a paragraph and not spoil everything for you. This book is packed, and I mean PACKED, with thrills and suspense. From my experience in reading this genre (suspense, thrillers, or anything where a crime is being solved) it seems that authors usually follow a general idea for how the story unfolds itself. It more or less goes like this: the main characters and “issue” or “crime” are introduced, the characters get a “lead” or an idea of who is behind it, something goes wrong, a new plan is formulated, and then it is solved…or in the rare case, everyone dies. Let’s also not forget the romance that is always not so slyly put in between the pages. 😉 Behind Blue Eyes, digs a bit deeper than that. Not only does the reader get invested into the main character, Sara Covington, but her past turns about to be an entirely new story that gets to be discovered. The author uses flashbacks as a way to tell the current story and Sara’s past, which eventually start to intermingle. The author did a fantastic job of making this story feel real by twisting a fiction story idea into something highly believable.

The character of Sara had the right amount of maturity for her age and what she had been through in her life, but also the right amount of issues. This woman is spunky, feisty, and very independent. If you read my reviews regularly, you know that I LOVE a strong female character who can kick some ass if she needs to. Not only can this character take care of herself, and has been doing so for years, but she is a very logical thinker and looks at every angle before entering a situation. I loved that at the beginning of the book Sara was working hard to ignore and push away her ability to see auras, but near the end she has fully embraced it and learned to use it to her advantage. There is a romance that goes on in this story, but it does not draw away from the actual events. As a warning, there are a few “adult” scenes that take place but they do not get OVERLY raunchy and don’t make the book fall into the erotic genre (thankfully 😉 ). I do wish that the Brian and Sara didn’t take their romance so seriously in the sense that they made little things feel very dramatic. I mean come on, there is a serial killer on the loose you two! That is a more pressing issue than your sexual frustrations and your lack of trust…priorities people.

Without giving anything away, I wanted to mention what a creative idea it was for the past that Sara tries so hard to forget. Not only had the events that she experienced molded her into the woman she became, but it was the main platform for what happens later in the book. I can honestly say that if I had been in Sara’s shoes, I don’t know if I would have made it out alive like she did. If you think this could be something you want to read, definitely go for it. It has a great pace and develops beautifully into a fantastic read. There is also a second book called Shoot To Thrill, which I hope to start soon.

4 Stars612B40E9C1CD2F68AD9B9A8097CED4FF