Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC of Desperate Acts by Alexandra Ivy that I read and reviewed.
This book kept my guessing until the end and I can honestly say that I was totally shocked by the ending. I absolutely loved how Ivy kept the reader guessing who the killer was and what was really going on with the crime in this book. It was written to the point where you were really not sure who you could trust except for Lea and Kaden. I loved this book and I can’t wait to visit Pike, Wisconsin again.
Desperate Acts gets five out of five stars from me.

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Desperate Acts, is the fourth book in Alexandra Ivy’s new Pike, Wisconsin series. It is an action packed, romantic suspense story with great, well developed characters and a fantastic storyline.

The discovery of the skeletal remains brings retired stuntman Kaden Vaughn to Pike, Wisconsin where he hopes to discover if the body belongs to his late brother’s missing fiancé. There he meets Lia Porter, who remembers a women matching Vanna’s description running through the woods over 15 years ago. Circumstances bring them together. Danger and sizzling attraction keeps them searching for clues to an unsolved mystery. Can they solve the mysteries of the past and present before Kaden or Lia become the next victim? Read it and find out!

This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone. While a few events and characters from the previous books are mention, Ivy does a fantastic job providing an explanation and summary. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

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Alexandra Ivy deftly weaves mystery, suspense, action, and romance in the fourth book in the Pike, Wisconsin romantic suspense series. Desperate Acts features Lia Porter and Kaden Vaughn in this chilling tale. Fifteen years ago, Lia was sneaking home after a party when she saw a woman running in terror. Now a skeleton has been found near the same spot. The police rule it a suicide, but Lia disagrees. Hollywood stunt driver Kaden Vaughn wants to know the truth about his brother’s betrothed who disappeared fifteen years ago. Lia and Kaden join forces to find the killer they believe is still in town.

Lia and Kaden are both likeable and relatable characters who initially seem very different. Lia likes to follow the rules, cares for others, and doesn’t initially seem to be much of a risk taker. Kaden has thrived on the adrenaline-inducing stunts that have been the trademark of his career. However, he has recently retired and started his own business. While Lia bakes when stressed, Kaden tears apart and rebuilds engines. Both of them show hidden depths as they face many challenges in the story. The other characters have varying levels of depth. Some are despicable, but are they killers or just hateful, controlling, and corrupt?

This riveting mystery captivated me from the prologue to its astonishing conclusion. The deeply involved plot has plenty of twists, turns, and surprises. The world-building was excellent. The author does a great job of making readers feel like they are experiencing the cold, snowy, icy conditions of winter in Wisconsin. The descriptive writing was fluid, suspenseful, and moved at a fast face. When two people with no trained investigation skills attempt to solve what they think is a crime, things don’t go smoothly and are often dangerous.

The storyline is grabbed my attention immediately. The characters are compelling, and readers got fantastic insights into their thoughts, behaviors, and actions towards others. This action-packed novel features death, power, corruption, humor, manipulation, ambition, secrets, romance, and much more. There are also references to bullying and domestic violence.

Overall, this was an intense story with likeable characters that kept me turning the pages. I was surprised several times by events. This kept the tension level high throughout the book. There was enough background in the novel that it worked well as a standalone. Those who enjoy crime thrillers, mysteries, and romance may want to check out this novel.

Kensington Books – Zebra and Alexandra Ivy provided a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publication date is currently expected to be February 21, 2023. This review was originally posted at Mystery and Suspense Magazine.

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Desperate Acts is the fourth book in the Pike, Wisconsin series. They can be read as stand-alone books.

If you enjoy trying to figure out the twists and turns this one will keep you engaged.

Lia Porter wasn't supposed to be out on the county road in the middle of the night during the winter. She never expected to see a terrified woman in a leather jacket running and it's not something she dwelled on... until bones were found in the same area she saw the woman disappear. Now Lia is determined to figure out who the woman was and what happened that night so many years ago.

Retired Hollywood stunt driver Kaden Vaughn had to grow up fast. But he's dwelling on the past more than usual. When he sees a photo of a skeleton in a leather jacket he's convinced the dead woman is Vanna, his brother's fiance. Trying to uncover the truth behind her death he heads home to Wisconsin. Kaden slowly connects the dots and finds himself with a conundrum in Lia Porter. She is far more than the small-town store owner. And together they embark on revealing the past.

This is where is gonna be weird, this town is even more "small town strange" cause how in the world would the mayor be put as acting Sheriff instead of a sworn officer? But for the sake of the blundering that ensues we shall continue. As the events unfold multiple strange accidents occur and unexplained deaths.. could this mean that the killer is a member of this small town? And could Lia and Kaden be the next targets?

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Engaging romantic suspense. Quite the page turner. It kept me guessing to the end. The happily ever after part was cool too. Many surprises and twists and turns. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary.

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QOTD: Do you like murder shows or podcasts?

I definitely have always been fascinated but in the last six months really gone down some rabbit holes. But I do love a wild story and this was fun! It definitely reads more as a mystery with a romantic sub plot which felt like a bait and switch - but honestly it was still fun. Kaden “too cool for school but not feelings” Vaughan and Lia “I have family trauma and don’t have feelings” Porter are very sweet and very opposites and I liked the way they bonded and really were a unit throughout the book (amen for no third act break ups in romance!). There are some wild small town politics, blackmail, and cheating not to mention some cold blooded murders to round out the story. I did really love that them being amateurs was brought up and they were never TSTL. The ending is a bit rushed though and the over use of the work psychopath as a pejorative really didn’t sit well.

Available 2/21/23

ID: Desperate Acts by Alexandra Ivy on a kindle on a gray background and a mint tea in the lower left corner

TL/DR Review
Stars: three
Series: Pike, Wisconsin book 4 - can totally be read as a standalone
POV: multiple third POV
Steam: honestly basically FTB - some kisses and references but no scenes
Tropes: opposites attract, solve the mystery, small town, us against the world
For Fans Of: Dateline but with an HEA
Theme Song: Young Blood by The Naked and the Famous
Subgenre: suspense
CW/ TW: problematic language use, references to parental abuse and substance abuse, bloodshed and gunplay on the page

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Desperate Acts😳

Desperate Acts is the next book in the Pike series by this author and was definitely a suspenseful and exciting “whodunit” read❣️

Lia is a Pike local and runs the grocery store which has been in her family for generations. She also has a side gig but is very hush hush about it. When a skeleton is discovered under a bridge, she recollects having seen a woman jumping from a bridge and wonders if this could be her🤷‍♀️

Kaden is a famous stuntman who had his own show and is now just a regular mechanic. When he hears about a skeleton being discovered in Pike, he knows he has to investigate to bring closure to his deceased brother and hopes to put to rest a decade and a half mystery surrounding his brother’s missing fiancée😢 And if using his celebrity and name will help him achieve this…why not…but he never expected to happen upon Lia and her generosity in helping him in his quest😊

A very well written and intriguing story….I had my suspicions as I got closer to the end of the book but there was a definite twist I didn’t expect that knocked me for a six🥊 I received an advanced copy via Netgalley and willingly leave my honest review❤️

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Back to Pike, Wi we go for some more small-town murders! For a small town Pike is certainly dealing with more than its fair share of the states murders!

Kaden is a former stunt driver/current motorcycle customiser. When he hears of a skeleton being found in Pike he has a gut feeling that it's his late brothers fiancée, who went missing 15 years prior. On arrival in Pike he's not exactly welcomed with open arms. With the exception of Lia, there is a notable frosty atmosphere at him churning things up.

Lia loves her small town and doesn't really want to be anywhere else but she does hate that small town gossipmongery! When she hears about a skeleton being found she flashbacks to 15 years before when she saw a woman jump from the bridge. When she makes an ally of Kaden, they are determined to find out what happened. With the Sheriff out of town the Mayor has taken over and he is...less than stellar!

Kaden made his escape from his past and became successful, kind of by accident. He might have money and fame but he's still a nice guy. Lia may have had a rocky start due to her young father not taking responsibility but she never lacked for love and she is much more than just a small town shop owner. She helps her community in a multitude of small ways.

Whilst neither of them have investigatory experience they're miles better than the Mayor and even Anthony, the deputy, keeps them in the loop!

Kaden and Lia both illustrate that you should always see past the labels others give you. Lia is far more than the dependable friend and neighbour. She has an adventurous side which she nurtures in her own way but that Kaden completely unleashes. Kaden may think that he gave up on his brother but he's right in the thick of it trying to get justice for someone his brother loved.

Plenty of twists and turns and just when you start to think you've got a handle on things, a new strand of the story develops. The romance is secondary to the murder/mystery plotline but it's still evident and Kaden and Lia make a great couple!

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Pike, Wisconsin just can’t escape the crazies. Fifteen years ago Lia saw a woman running from something and disappear. A skeleton was found and the mystery of her death causes Lia to wonder what she saw all those years ago. Kaden comes to Pike, on behalf of his brother, to ID the body. Lia and Kaden, too curious for their own good, act as investigators attempting to solve a thousand questions. In typical small town fashion, gossip is king and a few well kept secrets may not stay hidden for long. I actually became engrossed in the book, absorbing details and adopting Lia’s inquisitive mind. Kaden and Lia are magnetic, the town seems generally quaint and the mystery was captivating. Even though this is the fourth book for Pike the books aren’t connected. I enjoyed an advanced copy from NetGalley and left this review voluntarily.

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This is the latest book set in the town of Pike were there are secrets aplenty. It has a very small town feel with nosey residents who are very wary of newcomers and understandably reporters due to the recent discovery of murders. Now yet another body has been discovered but this time there's a witness to what happened fifteen years ago but with the sheriff away it looks like no one really wants to get to the truth of why a young woman would apparently commit suicide . Step forward a couple of amateur detectives who both have reasons to finally discover the truth !
Although connected to previous books this definitely works as a standalone. Lia is our heroine and also the witness to the woman jumping all those years ago but for various reasons never told anyone . Kaden is the stranger in town trying to discover if the body is that of his late brothers missing fiancee. I enjoyed that the story concentrated primarily on all the secrets and lies told although there is a smidgen of romance but it didn't set the pages on fire. It gets quite dark as answers come to light and almost is unbelievable but yet again the author managed to tell a suspense driven story with truly crazy villains and of course a happy ending.
This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair

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For some reason, this book took me a long time to get into. Id read a few pages, get distracted, read a few more, move on to a different book. Something kept pulling me back and I'm glad it did. When I finally committed to reading it, I really enjoyed it. Lots of action, lots of plot twists, and a good love story thrown woven in. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery.

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Desperate Acts by Alexandra Ivy is the fourth book in the series called Pike, Wisconsin. Each book in the series can be read as a stand alone.  This particular book includes Lia Porter and Kaden Vaughn, two people who never expected to find each other.  

Lia Porter grew up in Pike and is really tuned into the town.  She took over her mother’s small grocery store and runs it for her mother (who is married and moved away).  However, Lia has other hidden depths.  The story starts with her when she was a teenager. She saw a woman run through the fields and then jump off the train bridge into the ravine.  Lia never was able to find her, but never let the memory go.  Years later, some kids found a body and when she saw a picture of it, she knew it was from that memory.

Kaden Vaughn has always worked through life in effort to not be the person his father always thought he was going to be.  Kaden found a path through being a stunt driver and working on motorcycles.  He was still mourning over his brother’s death. Kaden always thought he should have done more to help.  When he saw the picture of the body on the internet, he knew his brother’s fiance was finally found.  Now, he needed to find out what happened.

Kaden and Lia were unprepared to meet each other and for how they were going to spark off each other.  I love how they worked together and slowly uncovered so much history, what really happened all those years ago.  I liked how they asked questions, but were always a step behind figuring out the truth.

Alexandra Ivy knows how to write suspense and romances!  Putting together the plot line and all the various facts with two people who are falling for each other is so well done!  Desperate Acts by Alexandra Ivy is a great read.

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Loved reading the awesome and amazing story. When Kaden comes to town to try to figure out who killed his brother's fiancee, he works with Lia to try to solve the case. Read the highly recommended, wonderfully written, full of mystery and suspense, and another must read by the phenomenal author, Alexandra Ivy.

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Good addition to the series . The mystery and the romance both were really well written. Both characters we interesting and with unconventional background . All the drama with the young people added to the story. I would have loved to revisit the people we met in the previous books.

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A twist or two I did not see coming! That is always a win. Was nice being back in Pike, Wisconsin as a reader. Not so sure I would want to live there :) Lia Porter has more to her than witnessing a woman jump of a bridge when she was a teenager and running the only small grocery store in Pike. Kaden is our hunk who is more than brawn and good looks. Desperate Acts provides suspense, dead bodies, and corruption at every turn and mystery upon mystery. I was not 100% on board with Lia, I wanted to like her more than I did. She had intelligence, strength and compassion, so she should have been a hard win, but she did not shine or stand out to me. I will admit this book was on the money with two people who are not trained doing their own investigations. This could have gone oh so bad. If you have not read 1-3 you will not be lost at all. Thank you for the arc! I freely volunteer my thoughts and opinions. #desperateacts #alexandraivy #pike #kensington-zebra #netgalley

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Up front- I'm never going to Pike Wisconsin, a very cold town with an incredibly high body count! Is the skeleton that's just been found Vanna, who disappeared 15 years go? That's why Kaden has come to town to investigate. He's a stunt driver (here's a new twist) and he thinks the skeleton might be that of his deceased brother's fiance. He joins forces with Lia, who saw something but didn't say something and together they probe the secrets and lies of Pike. Oh and there's a romance too. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC. It's the fourth in. series but perfectly fine as a standalone.

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If you haven't started the Pike Wisconsin series go now and start with book 1 before you start the latest in the series. Once again the author creates a story that will have readers up late at night wondering what will happen to the characters if I close the book?

Readers might think the story will be easy to figure out after having read so many of her other mystery\romance series. While other might figure out the killers and realize as the story comes to an end it wasn't about the knowing they were right but falling in love with the Kaden and Lia and the way they connect and change as the story progresses.

Alexandra Ivy has created a town where readers will connect with the different characters that comes to life.

Thank you to Netgalley for advance copy of Desperate Acts by Alexandra Ivy

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I'm pretty sure I never want to go to Pike, WI. The descriptions of the cold is enough for me. Plus there are so many killers there. I enjoyed Lia and Kaden's story. The ending was a surprise for me

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Desperate Acts (Pike, Wisconsin, #4) by Alexandra Ivy
I love this series - Alexandra is a master of suspense. Lia Porter shouldn’t have been sneaking home after a party - where she saw a running woman jump off the railroad bridge. Fifteen years later the body is found, and a stranger shows up thinking it might by his late brother's fiancé. Hollywood stunt driver Kaden Vaughn is a force to be reckoned with. They both have baggage and there is angst, murder, mystery, evil, terror, interesting towns folk and some laughter, tears, love and steam. When you think you have it figured out there is a new twist. Lia and Kaden get to their HEA. I hope there will be another Pike, Wisconsin book.
Reasons I enjoyed this book:
Steamy Romantic Haunting Page-turner Action-packed Easy-to-read Tragic Witty Happily Ever After Scary Wonderful characters Entertaining twisted Unpredictable. Loved this ARC.

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Desperate Acts is a romantic suspense novel by Alexandra Ivy. While this book is #4 in a series, this one can be read as standalone as the main connection between books is the setting of Pike, Wisconsin. This was my first book by this author, and I hadnt read the other books first.

Stunt Driver Kayden arrives in Pike to find the truth about what happened to his brother's finance who disappeared 15 years earlier, where he teams up with local woman, Lia. Amateurs detectives Kayden and Lia make an excellent team each with their own complex history, vulnerabilities and goals. I liked the mixture of romance and suspense and I think this book would appeal to people who enjoy either of these genres. The authors writing style is very easy to get lost in and find yourself wanting to read just one more chapter. I plan to add the rest of this series to my TBR list.

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book.

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