Apr 30, 2015

Blog Tour of The Bird of Prey Saga by Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba -- REVIEW

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ARA’S NOTE:
I'm not really huge on mystery books, TV series yes, but books not so much. That's why when I was presented with a chance to review the Semya Slotin Saga also known as The Bird of Prey Saga, I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity for me to give this genre a shot. A kickass female lead with a quirky best friend and a hot as hell boy toy, would that not interest you? So join me as I review the 4 books that compose The Bird of Prey Saga. 

(Note: Instead of my regular "To Love" and "To Bleh" section, I'll just combine them and label it "Review".)
CHARACTER BACKGROUND:
Semya Slotin is a smart, independent, and hard-headed woman with a major in criminology and a minor in crossing boundaries. She's good in reading people and uncovering secrets. But there's one mystery that she can't figure out on her own.

Josh Heinz is a mystery. He's keeping his real identity a secret. But one thing that's true about him, is his love for Semya. 


Polliannah Koch has an obsession...luxury fashion. She dreams of finding her prince charming, and when she thought she'd found him...


John Allen is a killer. He was sent to London to do one thing, kill Polli's siblings. But he fell in love with her, and in return put both their lives in danger. 
(NOTE: Contains a few spoilers.)

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Title: Bird of Prey (Sémya Slotin Mystery #1)
Author: Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Thriller
Publication Date: May 10, 2014
Source: Copy Given by Author

SYNOPSIS:
This was supposed to be an easy case…

Sémya Slotin had spent the last three years living in London with her best friend Polliannah Koch staying away from solving cases. After Hawaii, she was taking a break from puzzles, cases and mysteries that could potentially get her killed. Instead, she had been doing her second and third favorite things, drinking and selling expensive vintage wines and having earth-shattering sex with the mysterious, sexy, beautiful but ever so secretive Josh Heinz. Life in London was good….until her funds ran out. Too much wine drinking, not enough wine selling!

When fashion designer and adoptive mother, Annika Slotin, summoned her back to Paris to hire her for what Sémya considered being the easiest case of her amateur sleuth career, all she could think of and see was money signs and a well-deserved Cuban holiday once it was solved.


What Sémya didn’t see was her stumbling on the fresh corpse of supermodel Johanna Cartier. She didn’t think that male model turned fashion designer Julian Marais-Caldwin, who also happened to be Sémya’s ex, would be suspected of brutally murdering her. Johanna was his girlfriend, his muse and he loved her. Sémya didn’t see the dead bodies piling up or the conspiracy theories.


Sémya was a little rusty. But then again, it was supposed to be an easy case and she was going to solve it. One vintage wine at a time… Sémya Slotin was off.


REVIEW:
The diversity of the characters and the depth of their histories were really interesting. A woman who took her friend's life and identity for fame and fortune, a woman who found out the truth about her family and is out to get the person who killed her mother, a man who got involved with both women on an intimate level and is an ex of our detective extraordinaire. These are just some of the supporting characters and their webs are already that twisted. 
The passion between Josh and Semya is really intense. Their physical attraction is unstoppable, but their emotional entanglement is also undeniable. The bond between Semya and Polli is very strong. They have the kind of friendship that is honest even if it hurts, supportive even if it ends up on a bad note, and fun to the point of being almost illegal. Fun, right?


I noted a lot of grammatical and typographical errors in the book. It's kind of hard to miss, and that sort of put me off a bit, but I got over it. It just got me thinking about the proofreader. Maybe he/she was half-asleep? I don't know. Anyway, there were also times I was confused with the scene description. It's kind of hard to explain, but imagine watching a DVD then the scene jumps a bit and you missed something. That's the same feeling I got. 

SUMMARY:
Overall though I really liked this book. I kind of had an idea what the conclusion of the case would be, but still the story that lead to it was unpredictable. And I most definitely did not expect the last part. I give Bird of Prey 4 stars

BUY LINKS:
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Title: The Plot Thickens (Sémya Slotin Mystery #2)
Author: Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Genre: Mystery, Suspense,Thriller, Romance
Publication Date: May 10, 2014
Source: Copy Given by Author

SYNOPSIS:
What happened while Semya Slotin and Josh Heinz were busy solving Johanna Cartier's murder in Bird Of Prey?
Polliannah's story... When Polliannah Koch Guryev meets John Allen, she thinks that she's finally found her Prince Charming a tall, blond and handsome banker. What could go wrong?

John Allen has a job to do and getting closer to the beautiful Miss Koch Guryev is supposed to be a means to an end. But then they fall in love. He's a hit man on a mission, she's the sister of his targets. What possible future could they have? Now he and his Russian Princess have to leave London for their safety.But it may already be too late for them...
REVIEW:
This was shorter than the first book and the first few chapters co-incide with Bird of Prey. It was amusing, disturbing, and saddening. Given the fact that they were very much in love with each other and John is the Prince charming Polli has been waiting for. It kind of makes you think about the imperfections of life. Not every love story has a happy ending, no matter how much you try.


I honestly don't know how to write a proper review without giving much away, so I'll just stick with vague and general points. 


It was cute how John found Polli and Semya's antics amusing. It was pretty obvious from the get-go that he was bound to fall in love with her. But still, they can't run away from the inevitable. Their relationship, though short, was full of color, life, and love. For me, that made what happened more sad. 

Similar to the first book in the series, The Plot Thickens also has quite a few technical errors. (E.g. grammar, spelling, punctuations) But the "jumping scenes" as I like to call them, have substantially decreased.

SUMMARY:
I liked it of course, and I give this installment of the saga 4 stars as well. And should definitely be read by readers who enjoy mystery snd suspense.

BUY LINKS:

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Title: Polliannah Got Married! (Sémya Slotin Mystery #3)
Author: Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Romance
Publication Date: July 2014
Source: Copy Given by Author

SYNOPSIS:
Polliannah Koch Guryev is in trouble and her boyfriend is dead.
It's not the first time amateur sleuth Sémya Slotin finds herself on the first plane to rescue her best friend, but nothing's prepared her for what she finds in Toronto. Polliannah is a widow and her late husband John Allen was a hit man for the powerful Dovos family. What did they want from her? Why is this happening? One thing they do know: their carefree life back in London is officially over.


Sémya’s long-time boyfriend Josh Heinz knows more than he lets on, but as usual he’s not telling her anything. In fact, everyone knows more, but nobody’s talking. But that never stops Sémya Slotin, Detective Extraordinaire, from finding out the truth beneath the lies…


But at what cost? Old conspiracies and secrets resurface that put them all in peril. Sémya’s worst fears about her relationship with Josh and his past are confirmed, and the rift between them may never heal.


Sémya and Polliannah’s world is falling apart. Will they be able to come out of this stronger?

Oh, and did I mention that Polliannah got married?

REVIEW:
I don't even know where to begin. The heartache is just too much. The last few chapters took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I got nervous, excited, happy, and sad. I'm not going to give anything away, but I will say this: I hated how this book ended. Not because it was bad, but because it was painful.

In Polliannah Got Married, the past is finally catching up to them. Deeper secrets are coming out, and complications threaten to ruin life as they know it. You want mystery? Read this. I swear, even I was trying to connect the dots. It was that engaging! Semya finally admits that she loves Josh, or Vincent depending on your mood, and it's awesome. Although, in Semya's world, there is no such thing as happily-ever-after. *frustrated sigh*

SUMMARY:
The story was stellar, more characters are introduced, the mystery engaging, and the heartbreak painful. I give it 4 stars, and the reason I didn't give this 5 is because there was an abundance of "jumping scenes" in the third installment of the series.

BUY LINKS:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FW9tKz
BN: http://bit.ly/1Q312Fq
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1DlLRNH
iBookstore: http://apple.co/1DUAnFy
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1DwYkl8


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Title: Vincent Mallory Edgerton (Sémya Slotin Mystery #4)
Author: Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Romance
Publication Date: July 2014
Source: Copy Given by Author

SYNOPSIS:
The pursuit of peace is not always pacific. 
Vincent Mallory Edgerton had always been an efficient FREGG operative. It was his family legacy and his pride. He had always loved his job, even when he had to leave everything behind for his safety and become Josh Heinz.
Every love story has a beginning.
Sémya Slotin had been coasting through life solving one mystery after another. While in Hawaii, her young protégée disappeared. When Sémya met Josh Heinz, her mind kept telling her to stay away from the handsome stranger with the hypnotic light brown eyes but she found herself inexplicably drawn to him. He awakened something in her and she was unable to resist him. It never happened to her before. Who was that man?


In Hawaii, Vincent had to work covertly with the sexy bold sleuth. Sémya’s beauty and intellect completely enthralled him, but his passion and growing love for her also changed him. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to finally win her trust and keep her safe, causing him to unleash events that would shape the rest of their lives. From the moment their gazes locked, Sémya and Vincent sealed their fate. 

REVIEW:
The book starts off with the last three scenes of Polliannah Got Married. Meaning, it began on a very nerve-racking note. It was just...*screams* Then it flashes back to a few years back, when Josh and Semya met in Hawaii. It was sweet, hot, and mysterious. They were trying to figure each other out, and it was cute seeing them get frustrated with one another.

Great story, as usual. The crime-solving was very entertaining and engaging, but the last couple of chapters were pure agony. I was crying, and my heart goes out to Polli and Semya. The damn secrets are starting to get into my nerves, and I'm one conspiracy away from screaming my head off. So I would say, awesome last installment for the series. By the way, I am seriously hoping that our detective/soon-to-be-mom is right about her "feeling".

4.5 stars for Vincent Mallory Edgerton. It was a great cliffhanger conclusion to The Bird of Prey Saga, and is a definite must-read to fans of this genre. Pick this up guys, you will not be disappointed.

BUY LINKS:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I’m over 30.
I was born in Quebec City, Canada.
I grew up in France and in Gabon.
I speak English & French fluently.
Pizza is my favorite dish.
Black Forest Cake is my favorite dessert.
I met Michael Jackson when I was eleven.
I loathe vodka but love gin, wine and tequila.
I'm obsessed with Robbie Williams and Michael Fassbender.
I call Toronto my home.
I love reading.
I love dancing.
I love watching exciting TV shows.
I love my life... most days.
I'm a major goof.
I can't stand intolerance.
I'm curious, cheeky and oh so opinionated!


AUTHOR LINKS:
Website: http://iamdanielle-claude.bookblog.io/
Blog: http://danielle-claude.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/weissdaughter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DannyAuthorPage
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6920424.Danielle_Claude_Ngontang_Mba

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