Fox Hunter by Zoe Sharp (Charlie Fox #12)

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Synopsis: ‘The dead man had not gone quietly … There was a time when I would have given everything I owned to be the one responsible for that.’

Charlie Fox will never forget the men who put a brutal end to her military career, but she vowed a long time ago she would not go looking for them.

Now she doesn’t have a choice.

Her boss and former lover, Sean Meyer, is missing in Iraq where one of those men was working as a private security contractor. When the man’s butchered body is discovered, Charlie fears that Sean may be pursuing a twisted vendetta on her behalf.

Sean’s partner in their exclusive New York close-protection agency needs this dealt with—fast and quiet—before everything they’ve worked for is in ruins. He sends Charlie to the Middle East with very specific instructions:

Find Sean Meyer and stop him. By whatever means necessary.

At one time Charlie thought she knew Sean better than she knew herself, but it seems he’s turned into a violent stranger. As the trail grows more bloody, Charlie realises that unless she can get to Sean first, the hunter may soon become the hunted.

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: So after a particularly lengthy wait for most between the last Charlie Fox book and this one we finally see book 12. Having been on a recent Fox binge I was fully up to date with the series and ready to go with the latest, and thankfully it was as good as I had hoped. However, yeah, I know it’s just a fancy but, I am unsure how I feel having finished the book. I read it in two sittings and just one day and it was certainly the typical pacey and adrenaline packed type of book you would expect. The ending has left me somewhat curious, is this the end for Charlie? Or is this the opener for a totally new path for her? I still don’t know whether I can answer that but I would love to see the latter as I am a huge fan of this series.

This latest bout sees Charlie running after Sean in Iraq to try and get to the bottom of his alleged vendetta. The Iraq setting makes for a much more high-octane setting than usual and as such it feels like a much edgier book. There is also an element of the characters feeling altogether more sinister and I include Charlie in that. Charlie’s life has never been easy but this latest trip seems to be pushing her almost over the edge. I liked the addition of Luisa Dawson and thought her and Charlie made a good pairing. There was also the long-awaited back story featuring Charlie and her past assault. I won’t go in to too much detail for fear of spoilers but hence to say it was in my mind a very satisfying conclusion to this element of the story.

This has been a fantastic series and although I’m not sure whether this is the end, if we do see the return of Charlie (which I sincerely hope we will) then there are all kinds of possibilities that lie ahead. I felt like this was so much better than some of her previous books just because it had that danger element with the characters and it makes you feel as the reader you never quite know if the good guys will remain that way. An absolute corker of a read and one that was well worth waiting for.

Absence of Light by Zoe Sharp (Charlie Fox Novella 11)

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Synopsis: The way things are coming apart at home with Sean Meyer, she welcomes the chance to get away.

Tasked as security advisor to the specialist team at the centre of relief efforts, Charlie knows it won’t be easy. The team members are willing to put themselves in constant danger as a matter of course. But what kind of other risks are they prepared to take?

As Charlie soon discovers, it’s not just the ground beneath her feet that cannot be relied on. Her predecessor died conveniently while investigating rumours that the team were on the take, Charlie’s been instructed to quietly uncover whether his death was as accidental as the official verdict suggests. If it was an accident, why are they so obviously lying to her?

Charlie must move with care through a shifting landscape to find the answers before there are more than just earthquake victims buried in the rubble. And when disaster strikes she will learn not only whom she can trust, but whether she can she survive the darkness that comes with a total absence of light.

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: I’m not actually that keen on short stories or novellas, however at 218 pages I didn’t feel short changed. Book 10 in the series Die Easy was published in 2012 and this novella in 2013. Hence the reason I waited so long to read them as book 12 has just been released 4 years later (cue ridiculous excitement levels). Charlie has been sent out as part of a specialist team that are part of the relief efforts following a devastating earthquake in South America. Only it’s not as straightforward as that as she delves within the team to find out what really happened to her predecessor on this job. Was his death an accident or more involved? That’s where Charlie comes in and as usual she does it in her usual tactless but fearsome way.

There are many questions remaining from Die Easy regarding Charlie and her partner Sean. Although what has happened in the interim is addressed it just leaves the readers (or maybe just me) literally salivating at what will happen in the next book. The other element of the story regarding the death of her predecessor and the team working on the ground was really gripping. For what seems like the first time, we see Charlie at the mercy of something she can’t control…Mother Nature.

This book albeit shorter than her normal ones was no less satisfying and it has just left me desperate to see what happens with Sean in book 12. Although this could be read as a standalone there is absolutely no way or reason why anybody wouldn’t want to start at the beginning. A fantastic series which I am thrilled to see the return of!

Die Easy by Zoe Sharp (Charlie Fox 10)

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Synopsis: ‘Sean didn’t remember finding out that I wasn’t to blame for ruining both our careers – that I’d nearly died for him. He certainly didn’t know that I’d killed for him.’

In the sweating heat of Louisiana, former Special Forces soldier turned bodyguard, Charlie Fox, faces her toughest challenge yet.

Professionally, she’s at the top of her game, but her personal life is in ruins. Her lover, bodyguard Sean Meyer, has woken from a gunshot-induced coma with his memory in tatters. It seems that piecing back together the relationship they shared is proving harder for him than relearning the intricacies of the close-protection business.

Working with Sean again was never going to be easy for Charlie, either, but a celebrity fundraising event in aid of still-ravaged areas of New Orleans should have been the ideal opportunity for them both to take things nice and slow.

Until, that is, they find themselves thrust into the middle of a war zone.

When an ambitious robbery explodes into a deadly hostage situation, the motive may be far more complex than simple greed. Somebody has a major score to settle and Sean is part of the reason. Only trouble is, he doesn’t remember why.

And when Charlie finds herself facing a nightmare from her own past, she realises she can’t rely on Sean to watch her back. This time, she’s got to fight it out on her own.

One thing’s for sure—no matter how overwhelming the odds stacked against her, Charlie Fox is never going to die easy …

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

***I have to assume that you have no plans to read the series in order from the beginning as this will inevitably contain spoilers*** 

Kat’s Review: So having finished book 9, I dove straight into this one and knew things would not have been easy for Charlie in the interim. Sean (her colleague and partner) has now returned to work with Charlie as a Close Protection Agent (aka Bodyguard) and Charlie just isn’t sure he is ready. Not only is he still recovering from a serious head injury that put him in a coma, but he still has a loss of memory for a few years in his past and that has a severe impact on Charlie. Their latest job is supposedly an easy one, however as with most things involving Charlie Fox nothing is ‘easy’.

Blake Dyer is their client and Charlie and Sean are employed to ensure his safety during a benefit in New Orleans to raise funds for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. The first quarter of the book does nothing but highlight the problems that Charlie is up against as Sean seems to have reverted back to his time in the Military and all of his finesse and business savvy seems to have gone out the window along with his memory. Once the real action gets underway it almost has an action movie feel to it as many people are taken hostage in the worst possible place!

This book was a lot more fast paced than the last one and I found myself feeling like it was a much pacier and more exciting read than the last one. The reader gets to see Charlie at her absolute best and all I can say is that I wouldn’t want to annoy this woman as she is a force to be reckoned with. There’s also an ongoing story thread that gets continued in this book relating to an assault on Charlie many years before. It seemed like the action, trouble and death defying things continued chapter by chapter right up to the very end. This book was one that you didn’t want to put down and as the story continued I felt myself disliking Sean more and more as time went on. By the end of the book, the epilogue just seemed to put the icing on the cake with lots of possibilities for the next book. The follow on to this is the Novella Absence of Light. Keep your eyes peeled as this I am already reading with a view to picking up book 12 VERY soon!!!!

Fifth Victim by Zoe Sharp (Charlie Fox #9)

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**PLEASE NOTE: Do NOT continue to read the review if you plan on reading the series in order as it will inevitably contain spoilers**

Synopsis: The only thing more terrifying than fighting for your life is fighting for someone else’s… Bodyguard and ex-Special Forces soldier Charlie Fox would do anything to take her mind off her partner; shot, left for dead and now lying in a coma. So concentrating on a new assignment seemed like the perfect way to escape the pain, and her own empty apartment. The job looked simple: to protect the naive daughter of an investment banker from a ruthless gang of kidnappers. But when her instincts lead Charlie to suspect an inside job, she finds out that not everyone who mingles with the jet-set is what they seem – and the idle rich can be as ruthless as any criminal… An electrifying tale of cross and double-cross, Fifth Victim will keep you firmly on the edge of your seat.

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: At the end of the last book, I think most readers and fans were in shock (me included) as Charlie’s partner was shot and left for dead and who knew what would happen. What actually happened is worse than I expected as Sean now lays critically ill in a coma, unresponsive and looking like no change will happen anytime soon. With Sean critically ill Charlie finds solace in her work as she takes her latest assignment to protect Dina the daughter of a wealth investment banker named Caroline Willner.

Charlie immerses herself in the job as she struggles to accept the fact that Sean’s condition is out of her hands. Although Charlie can adept to many situations she hadn’t banked on being drawn into a world where twenty something Dina runs with the wealth party crowd. Thankfully Dina has a softer side and we see Charlie work her magic and start to understand Dina a little more whilst making her safety her number on priority. It becomes clear early on that the kidnapping threat is a real one to the wealthy crowd and before long Charlie starts to uncover that some other of Dina’s friends had recently been kidnapped and lived to tell the tale. As she gets to know more of Dina’s friends it becomes apparent that all is not as it seems on the surface.

The storyline was a good one but seeing Charlie interact with her boss Parker and her personal struggle with her emotions over Sean was the real hook for me in this book. Parker is a great character and frankly I wondered whether the outcome of this book may be slightly different with regards to him (damn you Zoe Sharp)!  Zoe Sharp doing what she does best meant the ending of this book leaves an “OH NO… what now” kind of moment. Of course, that equates in the real world to me just moving straight on to book 10 in the series (there are SOME benefits to being slightly behind with a series after all) and not having to wait for the next release.

I literally turned the last page and am now nearly done with book 10 and about to go on to book 11 which is a Novella. I can’t quite explain why I love this series so much but I truly do. I think this along with the Ryan Lock Series by Sean Black are my two favorite long standing series. Zoe Sharp also doesn’t like to do what readers expect which I love. Forget assumption with this author, she won’t necessarily go for the happy ending that’s for sure. What I can tell you is that this series is gripping, with characters I love and I would hugely recommend it to anyone.

Fourth Day by Zoe Sharp (Charlie Fox #8)

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My Rating: 5/5
Synopsis: The cult calling itself Fourth Day is well-funded and fiercely guards its privacy. Five years ago Thomas Witney went in to try and get evidence that the cult’s charismatic leader, Randall Bane, was responsible for the death of Witney’s son. Witney never came out.

Now, ex-Special Forces soldier turned bodyguard, Charlie Fox, agrees to go undercover into Fourth Day’s California stronghold. This is a fast covert op, no real danger for someone with her mindset and training. But Charlie is not prepared for the lure of Randall Bane, or how easily he will pinpoint her weaknesses…

My Review: Please note, this is the 8th in a series of books featuring Charlie Fox. For those wishing to read the series in order, maybe don’t read this review. It’s incredibly difficult to review this without inevitable plot spoilers due to the length of time the series has been going.

I am having a somewhat marathon session with this series and am now onto the 8th book in the Charlie Fox series with this latest one. When I started reading I was a little bit confused. The ending of the last book left me with so many questions, however I soon realised that the new operation was a good way for Charlie not to think about what happened at the end of the last book! The story was pretty intense early on and we soon see that Charlie and Sean are trying to extract their ‘principal’ from a so called cult. As usual with any Fox and Meyer story, things are never cut and dried, and they end up with a bigger problem once the first part of their operation is done.

What results is an opportunity for Charlie to get up close and personal with Randall Bane, the guy running the cult named Fourth Day. Not much time had passed since I had started reading and I was surprised to realise I was once again over halfway through the book. With lots of opportunity to delve, we see Charlie take major risks (as per usual) only this time we see her vulnerabilities in a huge way. I would go as far as to say that although Charlie Fox is one of my favourite female lead characters, she is also one of the craziest. Maybe that’s why I like her so much? Not only does she take huge chances, she is also ridiculously screwed up. Her personality leads you to think she actually verges on the edge of becoming as lethal and dangerous as the people she is normally chasing.

Fourth Day held my interest from very early on with all the weird goings-on at the so called cult. However, when you add in the fact that this appears to be the closest we get to layering back Charlie’s personality it made for a pretty explosive read. It had everything I wanted and some! What I wasn’t prepared for was the ending. I almost shouted out loud because I just couldn’t believe it. Zoe Sharp has certainly whetted the fans appetite to want to plough straight onto the next one. I think after reading so many ZS books I will take a break at just the right time. I will anticipate the next book even more, waiting to find out the outcome of the latest Sharp/Meyer disaster.

Third Strike by Zoe Sharp (Charlie Fox #7)

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My Review: 5/5

Synopsis: Bodyguard and ex-Special Forces soldier Charlie Fox is slowly recovering from gunshot wounds but is desperate to prove herself to her new boss. Little does she know there’s a personal matter on the horizon that’s going to take up all of her attention – her father is in trouble and needs her help. It seems he has upset the wrong crowd and they’re using increasingly violent methods to systematically destroy the man’s immaculate reputation. It’s up to Charlie to find out why and stop the situation from getting seriously out of hand…

My Review: WOW! My heart really can’t take much more when it comes to Charlie Fox. For those of you that haven’t read a Zoe Sharp book you may want to not continue to read this review as it will inevitably contain spoilers (especially if you are reading the series from the beginning). With that to one side, I am now on to my third Fox book in succession and I’m about to start the next one!

In this book, Charlie is still recovering from her injuries from her last job. Whilst progress is slow, she is now ready to be back in the field. With her and Sean now working in the US, Charlie has no idea that her next assignment will be a lot closer to home. Throughout the series we have seen Charlie struggle with her parents and their relationship has always been difficult. Charlie is ex-Special Forces and she has more battle wounds, both physical and emotional, than most. Charlie’s parents have a very bizarre relationship with Charlie and it was actually wonderful to realise that it was finally time that her father had to accept help from Charlie.

The whole situation is completely out of character for Charlie’s Dad Richard, and Charlie along with Sean are determined to find out the truth about why Richard’s reputation is being sullied. From the very beginning of this book I was absolutely gripped. The story had taken a personal turn of events which drew me in even more. In addition to the precarious situations presented to them, we get to see the more personal relationships flounder. This, like the last book, was read in under a day and to be honest by the time I got to the end, I just sat there gaping for a few minutes.

Not only did this book have everything a Sharp book normally has (action, danger, and loads of shooting), it also had the best ending. Zoe Sharp, you naughty lady, you knew full well that the majority of people who finish this book will HAVE to get the next one…great move. This is by far the BEST in the series so far and I have decided I may as well make this a marathon and go for the fourth book in as many days. I can honestly say that if you haven’t read Zoe Sharp’s Charlie Fox series you are seriously missing out!!! AN absolute AMAZING read which I highly recommend!

Second Shot by Zoe Sharp (Charlie Fox #6)

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My Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: The latest assignment for ex-Special Forces soldier turned bodyguard Charlie Fox has her protecting Simone and her daughter Ella from the unwanted attentions of an ex-boyfriend. But from the outset Simone refused to comply with Charlie’s security measures, putting both mother and child in grave danger.

After a bloody shoot-out in a frozen forest, Charlie is left fighting for her life. As she battles to recover from her injuries, she’s still fiercely protective of Ella, even though her actions will catapult them both back into the firing line. And this time, Charlie’s in no fit state to protect anyone, least of all herself…

My Review: It’s been a while since I read a book in the Charlie Fox series and then once I get back into them I seem to want to stay there. I started with book 5, and then went straight onto this one. I must say this book for me stood out from the first few pages. Charlie and Sean meet up with their new client Simone and her daughter Ella. It seems that the attention her ex-boyfriend is paying her is verging on dangerous. From the first few chapters we get to see a new side to Charlie. In previous books she hasn’t really had much interaction with children, yet in this one we get to see a different side to her.

As the story progresses we get to around that halfway point and re-join the book from the opening few pages (if you see what I mean). Charlie wakes in a hospital bed recovering from some serious injuries following a shoot out. This was also an element of the story I liked, seeing Charlie not at her best and in particular very vulnerable. As usual Sean Meyer her boss is around to watch her back, and their ongoing relationship is one that keeps my interest too. There are plenty of ‘heart stopping’ moments in this book and I loved the extra layers of mystery surrounding the main crux of the story. This particular book in the Fox series kept me so captivated I finished it in a day.

The ending seemed like a new beginning too for Charlie and as I finished the Epilogue, I found myself checking what book I needed next!!! I think with Charlie and Sean relocated and now living over the water, there are endless possibilities as to where things could go. This is by far my favourite Zoe Sharp book of the series to date and it had everything you want to see in a series that is in my opinion, getting stronger with each book that’s written. I think Zoe Sharp fans will love this addition, I know I did.

Road Kill by Zoe Sharp (Charlie Fox #5)

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My Rating: 4/5

Availability: Hardback, Paperback, Kindle, Audio

Synopsis: “If you stay involved with Sean Meyer you will end up killing again,” my father said. “And next time, Charlotte, you might not get away with it.”

Still bearing the emotional scars from her traumatic first bodyguarding job in the States, Charlie Fox returns to her former home to try and work out both her personal and professional future.

Instead of the peace for which she’s been hoping, Charlie is immediately caught up in the aftermath of a fatal bike crash involving one of her closest friends. The more she probes, the more she suspects that the accident was far from accidental − and the more she finds herself relying on the support of her troubled boss, Sean Meyer, despite her misgivings over the wisdom of resuming their relationship.

And Charlie’s got enough on her plate trying to work out who suddenly wants her dead. The only way to find out is to infiltrate a group of illegal road racers who appear hell-bent on living fast and dying young.

Taking risks is something that ex-Special Forces soldier Charlie knows all about, but doing it just for kicks seems like asking for trouble. By the time she finds out what’s really at stake, she might be too late to stop them all becoming road kill. 

My Review: Well, it has been far too long since I spent time with Charlie Fox in book 4, and it appears that I even forgot to review it (I know…duh duh duh…shock horror). Anyway, I decided to delve back into Charlie’s world and get back in touch with the all too fierce Charlie and Mr Sean Meyer. For those that haven’t read any of the books in the series, I warn you now DON’T CARRY ON READING! Ultimately there will be spoilers because you have no knowledge of what has gone on beforehand. Also, I might like to point out, if you are one of the few that haven’t read them…why not? You are missing out!

Anyway, the first thing I felt when I opened the book and started was like I was visiting friends that I hadn’t seen for ages. The book starts out ratcheted up to full drama with Charlie’s friend Claire ending up in hospital following a fatal bike accident. With one person dead and her friend being operated on Charlie realises that the ‘accident’ appears to be far more sinister. Of course Charlie decides that she needs to not only help her friend, but get to the bottom of why. Enter Sean Meyer, Charlie’s boss and you have yourself a rather hairy situation that rapidly gets more mysterious.

Before long Charlie is in the thick of a group of illegal road racers and her friends seem to be involved somewhere along the line, she just has to figure out how. The one thing that is glaringly obvious from this book, a lot more than previous ones is Zoe Sharp’s love of bikes. This journey sees Charlie heavily involved in an illegal bike racing gang and by the time I was halfway through, I reckon I could have told you more about riding a motorbike from half this book, than I have known in my entire 30 plus something years on this planet. This certainly wasn’t a negative in my opinion, if anything it just makes you realise how passionate these riders are (as I’m guessing Zoe herself is too).

As with any Sharp/Fox book, Charlie inevitably gets herself into some very dangerous situations, which makes for a pretty tense read. The actual storyline itself maybe wasn’t my favourite in the series so far but was a brilliantly good read as usual. I know that I have over 150 books left in my ‘to read’ pile, but for some reason I think I need to go straight to book 6 in this series (it’s definitely been too long). Zoe Sharp has created a great lead character, and has produced consistently solid reads to date. I’m already looking forward to the next one

Hard Knocks by Zoe Sharp (Charlie Fox #3)

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My Rating: 4/5

I recently finished book 2 of the Charlie Fox series by Zoe Sharp and couldn’t help myself by going straight on to book 3. For those that aren’t familiar with Zoe Sharp she is a female author that has now written 10 books in a series featuring Charlie Fox. Charlie is ex-special forces who moved onto self-defense training and then on to working at a gym. For those of you that want to read the series in order maybe don’t read my review as inevitably the series has moved on and it may spoil the plots for the first and second books.

At the end of book 2 Charlie had run into her ex-comrade and lover Sean Meyer. In this book Sean returns and asks Charlie if she will help him find out what happened to Kirk Salter following an accident at an elite bodyguard training school in Germany. Charlie feels obliged to help even though she didn’t care for Salter, but feels she owes it to Sean to find out how Salter got killed. With that in mind Charlie sets off to pose as a Student at the training school and from the outset the reader soon realises things are not going to be easy for Charlie.

I really like Charlie as a character and in this book I feel like I am more attached to her as the author has drip fed readers small details about her past as the books continue. As Charlie arrives at the Bodyguard Training centre I felt almost out of breath as I read about the challenges presented to the students. Zoe Sharp has a way with words, literally! You feel like you are along for the ride with Charlie and can’t help but wince as she takes some risky chances in her quest to find out about Salter.

I don’t want to include spoilers, but I can’t fail to mention the Sean Meyer side to this story. Of course with he and Charlie having history there is some what of an underlying romance feel to this book which I like because we get to see the other side to Charlie. Having said that before all you blokes (and some women) turn your nose up; trust me when I say it’s done brilliantly. There is still plenty of action, torture, mystery and intrigue to keep the pages turning without the `romantic’ element over-riding it. As usual I found myself racing through the last quarter just having to find out what was going on. I also found myself hastily ordering books 4, 5 and 6 in preparation for the next Charlie Fox leg of my reading.

I am trying desperately not to launch straight into book 4 as I have a stupidly long to read list. However, I find myself thinking I don’t really care, I just want to see what happens next. Who knows, maybe the next review will be along sooner than I think. A brilliant series that seems to get better with each book and I can’t wait for the next one. A book and series that I would highly recommended.

Riot Act by Zoe Sharp (Charlie Fox #2)

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My Rating: 4/5

Okay, so in July 2012 I gave in to the nagging feeling that I was missing out. Every time I looked on Facebook I kept seeing people take about Zoe Sharp and the character Charlie Fox. Not one to miss out I immediately read the first book in the series and LOVED it. I have finally got around to book 2 and finished it in less time than the first.

Charlie Fox is ex-special forces, however that may sound like a `bog standard’ character template for a female lead, but she is far from standard. Charlie Fox is an ordinary woman with a very interesting past. Yep, she was in the special-forces but eventually kicked out due to a harrowing event that has gone on to make her a little bit cynical. Currently working at a gym and house-sitting for her friend she has no idea that things are about to go a little crazy in her life. I really like Charlie Fox as a character and although she certainly has some skills, she isn’t what you would call the most settled of people.

The thing about a good series is that you begin to learn about the characters as each book is released. Sharp does a cracking job of feeding enough to keep the reader interested, but too little for you to feel you really have the whole picture. It’s what makes people continue to read series like these. With Charlie’s house stay coinciding with a rush of violence on the estate, she finds herself trapped between toeing the line with the law, and getting involved to help get to the truth of what’s going on. In typical Charlie style, the trouble comes looking for her.

With the London riots reasonably recent, it made the events in this book that little bit more real for me. What I didn’t account for was a character from Charlie’s past, Sean Meyer’ turning up and rocking the boat. There are a number of threads to this story and as you keep reading it’s like peeling back the layers of an onion! I changed my mind a number of times as to who was behind the violence and riots, but as the story went on I realised I should give up trying to work it out and just enjoy. Enjoy it was what I did in the bucket load! I love Charlie, her close friends and work colleagues and now Sean. However, the number one spot has to go to Friday, the dog of her friend for whom she was house-sitting. He absolutely made his mark and I thought he and Charlie made a great match (ridiculous I know, but true).

Having promised other people I would read other books next, I decided to completely ignore my promises and have already started book 3. I can see this series taking all preference for a while yet! I would absolutely recommend this book and the series. Start at book 1 and you have at least 9 to catch up on…I can’t wait!