Cover Image: Desperate Acts

Desperate Acts

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Wow, what a great book! It was so engaging and kept me turning pages until the very end! I highly recommend it to fellow readers!

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This is book 4 in the Pike, Wisconsin series but it can absolutely be read as a stand alone. Ok so for the most part I liked this book. There is a lot of whodunit and the like, although I felt like it was light on the suspense. It felt more like a thriller but not a heavy one. I don't really know how to put it. It was a decent story, I liked the characters and felt like they were well fleshed out. I just didn't feel like they were romantically involved or compatible. It almost felt like that portion was just kinda thrown in to make it be a romantic suspense. Which is odd for me with this author because normally I love all of her stories. This one just didn't hit for me.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book for a review. All thoughts are my own.
The book starts off with Lia Porter who is 15 at the time, sneaking home from a party and witnessing a women jump off a railroad bridge. The book then fast forwards 15 years later where Lia runs her mothers small grocery store and bones are found where the woman jumped and the woman's boyfriends brother comes to town asking questions....then people start getting hurt, some killed, threats are made and Lia and Kaden are in danger. What is going on here? This book kept me interest and I loved, loved the characters. Loved this book, will look for more by this author.

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I really enjoyed this book just as I have the other books in this series. When two people from hundreds of miles apart find each other due to the discovery of a dead body. An instant attraction and corrupt local politicians and a decade old murder. Fantastic characters, an easy read, and a good but slightly predictable mystery.

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I have now read #3 and #4 of the Pike Wisconsin series and am so glad I purchased #1 and #2 to complete the series to date, and looking forward to more!! Reading book 4 can definitely be read as a stand alone, but I love how it still incorporates the series by the town being a focus. I haven't found much romantic suspense that really gives a good mix of both but this series does it for me!

Small town Pike, Wisconsin has been seeing its share of secrets and death. The book starts mysteriously with Lia Porter seeing an unknown woman running down the road and jumps off the bridge. Lia only gets a glimpse of her in her leather jacket and then she is gone, and looking around the bridge she finds no trace of the mysterious woman who had jumped off of it. Lia says nothing to no one and returns home from sneaking out and puts it behind her, that is until 15 years later remains are found of someone wearing that same jacket under the bridge. Cue Hollywood stunt driver Kaden Vaughn who arrives into town wanting to look into if it was his brother's fiance that had been found. Vanna disappeared around that same time and she was somehow tied to Pike but it will take some investigating to find out what secrets are being hidden to solve the mystery about Vanna.

As the investigation heats up, Kaden and Lia team up to find answers as more secrets and murder are being uncovered to hide the truth!! With the killer still out there trying to silence anyone who knows what happened 15 years ago that night will the truth be found?! This book is layered with intrigue, suspense, and just the right amount of danger and romance! I was surprised by the part of the ending I hadn't expected, I had guessed correctly at some of it but I always judge on how well I was entertained throughout the whole book. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the digital copy to read and review!! I give this 4.5 stars!

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When Lia Porter was a teenager, she sneaked out to attend a party. Upon going home, outside the fields of Pike, Wisconsin, she glimpsed a woman who looked like she was running away from someone.

Fifteen years later, a body was found wearing the same jacket that Lia saw on the woman. The police ruled it a suicide, but a popular and hot Hollywood stunt driver named Kaden Vaughn came to their quiet town. He was asking what happened to his brother's fiancée, and it was possible that the woman was the one she was looking for.

Now, Lia and Kaden were teaming up to find out the truth about Vanna, especially that the killer was out there, silencing everyone who knew the truth.

Wow!  I was surprised at who was the main murderer and how well-planned every killing was. It was crazy how one can influence someone to do bad things. Vanna didn't deserve her ending, but wrongdoing has always had consequences.

A great read, and hopefully there will be a fifth book soon. I am truly grateful to Zebra and Netgalley for the ARC!

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The prologue and first chapter of this book surprised me. I was instantly captivated by the prologue and hooked by the end of chapter 1. The book keeps up this slow build-up of intrigue that makes you question things right alongside the characters, making you crave answers by taking you along on this quest both Kaden and Lia have to find out the truth. I really liked this aspect of finding out what had happened, the complexity of the deceit and analyzing every aspect of it. It kept me hooked and ultimately made me finish the book. I even felt a little surprised at that plot twist at the end of the book, not at all expecting half of the resolution (because the other half had been given away in Kaden and Lia's musings, unfortunately).

So why only 3 stars? *sigh*

Well... A few reasons, really.

For one, the romance aspect only half worked for me. I liked both MC's, but their relationship development felt off. They go from complete strangers being attracted to one another to Kaden all of a sudden stroking Lia's cheek lovingly and then tumbling into "if something had happened to you, I don't know what i would've done". I can't put my finger on what made it not work: it felt rushed but the pace was okay, it felt like something was missing although there was attention to how they both were feeling... I can't tell what rubbed me wrong.

The other thing that led to this book being only "okay" (aka 3 star rating) is the suspense part of this romantic suspense. While I already established that I liked the intrigue and mystery, there was no suspense, no sense of urgency or heaviness about what was happening and what they were discovering. It gave this slow feeling to the pace of the book, even though there was a continuously action - either by people dropping dead or other events that went down. But quite frankly, this lack of urgency made reading it boring at times.

So, this book was okay but could've been a lot better, unfortunately. I liked the writing in this one though!

**I received an advanced reading copy from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

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Deception, power, murder and love, The fourth book in Pike Wisconsin. Desperate Act is a thrilling, engaging read, the characters are intriguing and the story is an edge of your seat compelling.
Pike, Wisconsin is a thrilling read and I highly recommend reading it.

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Despite this being book number four in the series, it can be read as a complete stand-alone without any issues. I had only read the one prior, and I had no problems following along with this one. However, getting through this novel was a struggle for me as I had issues with it holding my interest.

For one thing, this story has a very slow pace to it. And while there is no shortage of action (and murder), I never felt any sense of urgency to it. It felt more like okay... another person is dead, what does this person have to do with what happened to Vanna? Or what connection does this person have to that person? For all that action, I felt very bored through most of it.

Another big issue I had with this is the way that store owner (and entrepreneur) Lia, along with stuntman turned motorcycle builder, were given carte blanche to run around throughout the entire novel investigating the crimes and collecting evidence (even if that was more often than not done unintentionally). It seemed as though people with something to say had no qualms whatsoever talking to these two without question, and I mean, I get it. The acting sheriff of the town wanted to keep things quiet; years had gone by with no answers, but it still blows my mind that not once was it even hinted at that things they learned (or were given) couldn't be introduced as evidence anyway because there was no chain of custody.

Although there was a twist at the end that I didn't see coming, by the time it arrived, I just wanted the story to be over. That being said, I'm sure there will be lots of people who enjoy it far more than I did.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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This is a book about a small town with its fair share of secrets. It has murder, sex and twists. However, it missed its mark with me. It wasn't a bad book it just wasn't, knock your socks off, great. I normally enjoy Alexandra Ivy's books, however, I had a hard time getting in to this one. Don't get me wrong, like I said before, it's not a terrible book. Maybe you should give it a chance and choose for yourself. It is a thriller and, I will admit, I didn't see the twist at the end. Alexandra Ivy is a wonderful author and I will be reading her next book.

Thank you to NetGalley, Kensington Books, and Alexandra Ivy for the opportunity to read this ARC.

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An edge of your seat, emotionally thrilling and highly entertaining journey. This is a highly entertaining and action packed emotional roller coaster filled with witty and engaging charters, heart-racing twists and dangerous turns.

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"Desperate Acts" is the 4th installment in the "Pike, Wisconsin" series. I am a big fan of romantic suspense. I was introduced to this author last year, and I have made it my mission to read all 4 current books in this series. If you love good romantic suspense, this series is for you.

Each book in this series has focused on a couple. In this book, it's Lia and Kaden. Lia is the owner of a small grocery store - with a side business as an investor - in Pike. Kaden is a stunt man from Las Vegas, originally from Wisconsin. You may be asking yourself, what would bring these two strangers together? The answer would be murder.

When Lia was 15, she was leaving a party and saw a woman running away from something. She appeared scared, and Lia didn't know what happened to her. In the present day, a skeleton is found under a bridge where Lia saw the woman running all of those years ago. Kaden returns to Pike because he thinks the skeleton may belong to his brother's missing fiancée. This starts off a chain of events that results in a mystery with a lot of questions and few answers. Just when the reader thinks they know where the story is going, something else sends them in another direction.

This story can be read as a stand alone, but I highly recommend reading the whole series. There is a little bit of overlap, and there are references that call back to previous stories. Plus, as I have mentioned before, this is a great series!

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the advanced reader copy of this incredible book! When I received it, I went back and started the entire series. I am so happy that I did! Romantic suspense is a great genre, and this series is fantastic. I highly recommend this book!

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Fifteen years ago, Lia saw a woman running in terror while sneaking home after a party. Recently, a skeleton was found near the same spot, which the police ruled as suicide. Lia disagrees and teams up with Hollywood stunt driver Kaden Vaughn to find the killer they believe is still in town. Lia and Kaden have different but likeable personalities, with Lia following the rules and caring for others, while Kaden thrives on adrenaline-inducing stunts.

I was completely engrossed in this mystery novel from start to finish. The intricate plot had numerous unexpected twists and turns, keeping me on the edge of my seat. The author's world-building was exceptional, transporting me to the wintry setting of Wisconsin.

TRIGGER WARNING this novel features themes of death, corruption, manipulation it also touched on issues such as bullying and domestic violence.

I would like to express my gratitude to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book. I must say that this is my honest review and all the thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely my own. The book was well-written and the plot was well-crafted. The characters were well-developed and the pacing was just right. Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this genre. Thank you again, NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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This is the 4th book (the 2nd one I’ve read) in a series based in Pike. Each book has a different set of main characters so they can all be read as a stand alone. I loved both Lia and Kaden’s characters and their romance although extremely fast was adorable. As for the crime element, it’s packed full of twists and turns to keep you guessing. I had no idea who the bad guy was and the reveal was so good. You can’t beat a corrupt small town crime. They always make me suspicious of absolutely everyone and I was still wrong.

I received a copy of the ebook via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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I love Alexandra Ivy and Desperate Acts is a wonderful example of why!!!! From the first page I couldn’t put it down, it literally sucked me in from the first paragraph. A page turner for sure, you will love this book!

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Kaden and Lia joined forces to figure out what happened to the body found by some of the local boys in Pike. The more they investigated, the more possible suspects they uncovered and the more danger found them. Kaden and Lia also had to decide what to do about their growing attraction. A page turner from beginning to end.

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The plot -
Teenager Lia Porter shouldn’t have been anywhere near the railroad bridge that night. Sneaking home after a party in the fields outside Pike, Wisconsin, she glimpsed a woman in a leather jacket, running in terror. Lia puts the incident from her mind—until a body is found near the same spot fifteen years later, wearing the same jacket. The police rule it a suicide. Lia knows different. The woman she saw was trying to save her own life, not end it. But whatever she was fleeing from found her first.

The stranger who arrives at Lia’s store shares her suspicions. Hollywood stunt driver Kaden Vaughn has come home to Wisconsin to learn the truth about what happened to his brother’s fiancée years ago. The leather jacket, the timing—he believes the dead woman is Vanna, and that Lia may be the only person who can help. Together they retrace Vanna’s steps, but the more they dig, the darker the secrets become.

My thoughts -
How much are people willing to keep their secrets?
Lia and Kaden do on a hunting spree to discover what are the secrets this town are hiding, and soon they discover that they life might be in danger. This was so good and my heart was literally pounding as I read it. The character were amazing especially Lia but there was something missing.

Thanks to netgalley and the author for a eARC in exchange of a honest review.

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DESPERATE ACTS heralds another successful romantic suspense for this genre fanatic. This is a whodunit that unravels over decades and opens with teenage Lia Porter sneaking off to a party she shouldn’t have been at. On the one hand, it’s what all teenagers are prone to do. On the other, to cover the lie of being somewhere she wasn’t supposed to be, she had to keep her mouth shut about a terrified woman running through the woods and jumping off a bridge. At the time it didn’t seem like such a big deal… but sixteen years later, when a skeleton is unearthed and Lia recognizes the jacket and badge from a photo of the victim, it’s clear she should’ve spoken up.
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Ivy is a great storyteller, and this is a great story. There’s a lot going on in the book, with a scattershot of details that pack every sentence with vital information – yet it’s still easy to follow the action. I so appreciate the fact that recurring characters in this series are peppered in for reference rather than swooping in to save the day. So if you’re a fan of police procedurals, suspenseful romances, and a little vindication, grab a copy of DESPERATE ACTS.

*Originally published at All About Romance: https://allaboutromance.com/book-review/desperate-acts-by-alexandra-ivy/

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Typical for this author and this series, this is far more suspense than romance. The characters share many scenes together, gaze longingly and then are in love forever. As a longtime reader of this, I know that going in and an no longer surprised, but will always be a bit disappointed.

The story is good. It has alot of twists and turns. For a while we lose focus on the original murder for the sake of the current events of the book, but it eventually all comes together. Its very complicated and not easy to guess. Definitely far fetched.

A couple of mentions of Zac, the sheriff from the last book, but otherwise no connections to other books in the series.

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The intrigue, secrets, and varied characters come to life from the first page to the last.

Reviewed by Annetta Sweetko for Fresh Fiction

Complete review at: https://freshfiction.com/review.php?id=81430

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