Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review: Head Start by Freya Barker

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Book: Head Start
Series: Cedar Tree #7
Author: Freya Barker
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Margreet Asselbergs


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Kendra Schmitt puts most of her time into the new clinic in Cedar Tree, which is now almost running full time. With her schedule a bit more predictable, she finally considers a personal life and concedes to a disastrous blind date. Always the responsible one in her family, she has avoided any kind of entanglement. In particular with a certain young investigator.

Junior member of the GFI team, Neil James, has seen and experienced more than most at his age. When his team becomes part of a task force investigating a series of murders in the area, his protective instincts kick in. The victims' profiles closely match that of a certain physical therapist.

Neil has been trying unsuccessfully for over a year to get closer to Kendra. Now that she might be in danger, he’s determined to break through her resistance and goes all out to win her trust.

Especially now that the killer’s focus appears to zero in on Kendra.

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Purchase Links

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Early Feedback

Freya Barker is a master at her craft. She weaves stories that are gripping, intense, deal with serious issues and yet are heartwarming and real. They give you hope and make you feel like you are one of the characters. ~ Kez’s Korner

Another superb book by one of my favourite writers. You certainly get plenty for your money with this one . ~ Goodreads Review

Head Start is one of the best new stories. We get mystery, drama, and love.
Freya Barker is a brilliant, insightful and awesome author. ~ Goodreads Review

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

“No Karly, I'm not going on a singles' cruise with you... Because those things are like a floating sausage fests.”

“I accept, because really – when a young guy built like a tank offers to help you move, especially after your family ditched you for an aquatic meat market, you don't pass it up.”

“That twatwaffle has a potty-mouth and a temper. Think I'll pass on a second date, and change my phone number.”

“Dare to be happy Kenny. There's no payoff without a little risk, and regrets are so much harder to carry to your grave than mistakes are.”

“Mr. Henderson is no more than five foot six, if he even makes that, and so thin, a stiff wind would blow him off. To hear her talk about him you'd think she was married to a big strapping lumberjack type, but I guess it really is all in the eye of the beholder and Mrs. Henderson adores her husband. I'm sure to her he is all that and more.”

“You know, those scars, just like this whole experience, will become part of who you are. Claim them. Make them yours. He may have put you through hell, put those marks on you, but it's in your control how much more of you you'll let him have.”

My Review:

I am totally enamored with Freya Barker, Cedar Tree, and all it's residents. I have three more books in this series to read so I can look forward to three more adventuresome trips. I have relished reading each and every Freya Barker book I've picked up and find her writing style to consistently be of high quality while also intriguing, engrossing, well paced, self-contained, and simply delicious. Her love stories are always sweet, sexy, supportive, and sensual, with frequent hits of humor to go along with the intrigue and suspense. Head Start involves a twisted and cruel serial killer who commits insidious and heinous crimes. The crimes were gruesome and had me cringing, yet I could not put my kindle down and appreciated how the aftermath was handled. I was also quite pleased to see a humorous cougar character incorporated in the story, as I always like seeing my own species being well represented. I hope this is really not the end of the Cedar Tree series, as I would never tire of following their adventures and want to remind Ms. Barker that there is still a town full of residents, and I am sure a cougar to two, yet to explore.

Empress DJ

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“Why not? It’s half-price, one of those short notice deals.” My sister resorts to the pre-adolescent whine that gets our mom to cave every single time. Unfortunately, Karly hasn’t yet figured out that it does the opposite for me.
“Because those things are like floating sausage fests.”
“You’re such a stick-in-the-mud. Mom said she’d come too.”
Oh my God. Like that is any sort of enticement. I have to swallow hard to shove the contents of my stomach back down where they belong. I automatically turn my back to the waiting room when I hear the tell-tale ding of the door opening. “Not helping your case, Karly. Just sayin’… I’m not into quick, convenient fucks. Especially when most of the guys on those trips are looking to score as much and with as many as they can manage in the shortest possible time frame. Not keen on being the dessert buffet for a bunch of young idiots, hopped up on Viagra. Besides, as I told you a month ago, I’ll be moving house in two weeks, so I can’t come. End of story. You and Mom have fun, but count me out.”
By the time I get my nympho sister off the phone, my eyes have rolled heavenward a few more times. I should have spared one eye-roll to confirm it actually was my next patient coming in. It wasn’t. A familiar face with a toothy grin is leaning on the damn counter, right behind me. Instantly, my German ancestry betrays me with the robust blush I feel burning on my cheeks. Fabulous.
“What can I do for you, Neil?” I say none too kindly. One of his heavy eyebrows lifts all the way up, and the grin slips into a smirk.
“That, is a loaded question,” he teases, “especially given the tantalizing conversation I just overheard.” The heat on my face has now reached my hairline while I curse myself six ways to Sunday. “By the way, I like that color on you,” he mumbles, tapping me on the cheek.

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About The Author

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Freya Barker craved reading about 'real' people, those who are perhaps less than perfect, but just as deserving of romance, hot monkey sex and some thrills and chills in their lives – So she decided to write about them.

Always creative, from an early age on she danced and sang, doodled, created, cooked, baked, quilted and crafted. Her latest creative outlets were influenced by an ever-present love for reading. First through blogging, then cover art and design, and finally writing.

Born and raised in the Netherlands, she packed her two toddlers, and eight suitcases filled with toys to move to Canada. No stranger to new beginnings, she thrives on them.

With the kids grown and out in the world, Freya is at the ‘prime’ of her life. The body might be a bit ramshackle, but the spirit is high and as adventurous as ever. Something you may see reflected here and there in some of her heroines.... none of who will likely be wilting flowers.

Stalker Links 

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Other Books In The Series


Slim To None

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Hundred To One 

Against Me 

Clean Lines

Upper Hand 

Like Arrows

Other Books By Freya Barker

From Dust

Cruel Water

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for that fabulous review!! I love it so hard!! xox Freya B.