Book Reviews: Triumphant, Psychological, Naughty

Is This Seat Taken?
A short tome describing some people—a few famous, most not—who achieved success, mostly in business, at an advanced age. Basically a paean to perseverance—or stubbornness—it gives the history of each person’s struggles and ultimate triumphs.
I wonder if this was intended to be a textbook, for at the end of each chapter there are “takeaways,” as though addressing points that are going to be on a test. I should have thoroughly enjoyed this book, but there’s something that’s keeping me from loving it, and I can’t put my finger on it. 2.5/5

Huntress Moon/Blood Moon
For fans of Criminal Minds, here’s a story told in two parts where the criminal—your mileage may vary on that word for her—is far more interesting than the pursuer. It’s truly amazing how a story with so little action can be so thrilling, from a psychological viewpoint.
At its most basic, a former member of the BAU, still in the FBI and station in San Francisco, is on the hunt for that rarest of birds, a female serial killer. When it’s found out she’s actually the only survivor of a more common serial killer many years before, the psychological profiling really gets cooking, and is what makes these two books really fascinating. As an added bonus, that old case is what made the FBI agent, a kid at the time, pursue this career. There’s also plenty of interesting—on all sides of the moral spectrum—characters throughout; I wouldn’t mind reading more about the female member of the FBI team, for I feel she could have her own series, or at least have some stories told from her point of view, she’s so well-drawn and enchanting.
Reviewers like to say you can enjoy the second book without having to read the first, but I don’t think that’s the case here. I accidentally started on the second one first, and quickly wondered why all this description of previous events was being told rather than shown. Once I checked and saw I had the wrong order, things fell in to place, especially the relationship between the two protagonists.
My only beef—more of a pet peeve—is when the FBI agents attempt to speak Spanish; maybe the point is to show they’re not very fluent, but it’s still irritating to find the wrong tense and gender so often. But that’s hardly anything to cry about in what is really a captivating story. 4/5

Naughty Girl’s Guide to Las Vegas
Exactly as described: a list of naughty things for girls to do in Vegas. Hotels, lingerie shops, topless pools, strips clubs, dominatrixes, and classes of all kinds are covered here. Gets a little repetitive, as there are only so many ways to describe racy material. Can be useful for men wanting to but gifts for their sweeties, as in gift cards or classes. 3.5/5


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