Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, I’m hosting award-winning author Amanda Uhl’s latest release Dark Waves, a novella for the Mind Hackers series, a paranormal romance.  Be sure to read my reviews for not only Dark Waves but also the first two books Mind Waves and Cross Waves.  Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.

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Title: Dark Waves
Series: Mind Hackers, novella
Author: Amanda Uhl
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 99 pages
Publication Date: May 21, 2022
Publisher: Amanda Uhl LLC

A fearless doctor
Paranormal psychiatrist Dr. Audrey Gilbert is not used to failure, especially when it comes to her career. She possesses an uncanny ability to see into her patients’ souls and mend their brokenness. When she misdiagnosis a patient and is fired, she is given a chance to regain her job. Her task? Restore the health of a deranged mind hacker. But safeguarding her heart while convincing the detached and bitter man to trust her, just might be the challenge of a lifetime.

A tormented hacker
Born into a family of powerful psychics, Kevin Jorgensen has always had a quick wit and a sunny disposition. But that was before he nearly lost his life battling a rogue mind hacker. Now he spends his days in isolation, fighting for his sanity. He swears never to use his gift, not even if he’s drawn to the woman determined to help him recover.

A battle for survival
When Audrey and Kevin discover someone has tampered with her mind, they must work together to determine why. Because if they fail, their lives and the lives of many other hackers will be destroyed.

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Audrey wrinkled her brow and considered. “Several years ago, maybe, but they seemed to get worse around the time Luke first arrived. That was about six months ago.”

“Who’s Luke?”

“The hacker who went rogue.”

“Is Luke a class ten?”

“No, of course not. I don’t work with class tens. You’re the exception. Why are you glaring at me?”

Kevin had risen from the couch and was pacing. “If you don’t normally work with class tens, don’t you find it strange that you would be given an assignment to cure an incurable former hacker who is one?”

She sat forward. “Well, of course, I found it strange I was asked to work with you. I questioned it, but my boss didn’t know the reason. He’s new to the program and not well-versed in CMU policies. And for your information, I’m pretty good at what I do. I’ve had some success working with damaged hackers. Up until Luke, I had a fantastic reputation and was on my way to a promotion.”

“Your reputation may be in shreds for a reason. Your memory loss isn’t random. The person who removed your blocks knew what they were doing.”

“Why would someone do this?”

“You must have witnessed something you shouldn’t have. That would be the only reason to erase your memory. They could have removed your blocks to make you an easy target for hackers to invade your mind. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say whoever’s behind this caused Luke to go rogue so you’d be fired.”

“But I was told I can come back if I’m able to cure you. Why would they give me the opportunity to return if they wanted me permanently gone?”

He clapped his hands together. “That’s it! It’s not counterintuitive because you can’t cure me, and whoever this is knows it. They sent you here because they know you’ll spend all your time trying. It’s only an excuse to get you away from the situation. In the end you will fail, and you won’t be able to return to the CMU. But in the meantime, you’ll be out of the way.”

She got up slowly. My God, it made a convoluted sense. A cold chill crawled down her spine, and she shivered. They had sent her here deliberately and didn’t intend to give her job back. How would she ever earn the money she needed to meet her monthly expenses? Her mother would suffer because she couldn’t get the care needed for severe stroke patients. Her sister would be a Harvard dropout.

She dropped her head in her hands. She didn’t realize she was shaking until a pair of powerful arms encircled her, pulling her into a hard male chest.

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I signed up to review this because I found the blurb interesting.  Then I wound up reviewing the first two books in the series because the blog host said it was recommended to better understand the novella.  Although reading the other books isn’t required, I highly recommend it, because what’s happening in this story is an off-shoot of a plotline from Cross Waves.

Anyhoo, as the blurb says, Audrey is good at her job.  She can see into a patient’s soul and mend their brokenness.  She is a wonderful character readers can root for.  Not only is she a smart lady, but she is also a kind woman who takes care of her family, her mother and younger sister.  Most of all, she’s always determined to help someone.  We think she’s present to help Kevin in order to get her job back after being fired, but I believe Audrey would have shown up anyway because she’s that kind of person.

Kevin is extremely gifted.  But while working for CMU (cognitive mind unit), he was “hurt” during a job.  Now, he spends his time in isolation, far away from people, haunted by a woman named Hilda who torments his thoughts.  If anyone can help him, it’s Audrey, but he doesn’t want Audrey’s help.

I am glad the author explored this subplot from the Cross Waves book.  It’s a great introduction to the most talented psychiatrist at CMU.  As always, the writing is impeccable.  I really love this author’s writing.  She really brings you into the story through narration from the characters,’ where a reader is deep in their minds and what they are experiencing.

The chemistry between Kevin and Audrey was bang on.  He was a tormented soul, and she was there to help him.  I enjoyed how he picked her out right away at the beginning of the novella.  But Audrey is more than capable of standing her ground against him.  Different mysteries are revealed that I enjoyed reading about.  The novella is full of suspense.  There is even an introduction of Kevin’s brother.  Who knows, maybe he will get a story, too?

There was a lot to cover in this bite-sized read, and the author did a great job setting up the beginning, taking us through the mystery, building the romance between Kevin and Audrey, and finally a more than satisfying ending.

Do yourself a favour and start reading the Mind Hackers series.  It’s a wonderfully written collection of novels by a very talented author who creates believable characters, strong plotlines, and a nice new twist on paranormal romance.

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Title: Cross Waves
Series: Mind Hackers, Book #2
Author: Amanda Uhl
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 344 pages
Publication Date: October 20, 2020
Publisher: Amanda Uhl LLC

She can kill with a thought.
Gifted with an explosive psychic talent, Geneva Ericksen can’t risk letting Rolf Jorgensen in her life. If she does, she might accidentally kill him. But when Rolf’s sister goes missing, Geneva and her extraordinary abilities may be his only hope to find her.

He’s hiding a deadly secret.
Rolf‘s not about to let Geneva slip away from him, even if it means protecting her from his dark gift. As Rolf and Geneva trail his sister, they soon uncover a life-threatening plot: someone is attempting to profit from stealing and trapping their power in crystals.

To outsmart the enemy, it will take all their combined strength. But can they trust each other enough to survive?

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This is the second book in the series, but the author does such a great job staying in the here and now, the first book doesn’t have to be read, but I do recommend you read it because this is a great series.

Cross Waves focuses on Geneva Erickson, introduced in the first novel as a trainer.  And she is paired with the very man she shares a past with, a past the reader has to unravel the longer the plot plays out.  This novel is full of mystery and suspense that keeps one guessing.

The main characters are brilliant.  Geneva is loyal, strong, and kind, a wonderful heroine readers can befriend.  As for Rolf, he’s dark, brooding, and mysterious, but also very loyal.  He’s everything a reader wants a hero to be.

Someone is stealing crystals, the very crystals used in the first book, and this person has also kidnapped Rolf’s sister Julia.  Geneva and Rolf are tasked by CMU to find both.

Throwing these two together creates all kinds of sparks.  I must say I admire Geneva’s determination not to give up on Rolf, as he continues to keep her at arm’s length, the more time they spend together.  Most would have given up, thinking it’s not worth it.  But Geneva knows what she wants, and it’s apparent she wants Rolf, besides succeeding at her mission.

The reader is taken all over the USA, from Ohio to Chicago and Arizona.  I enjoyed the different settings used in the novel, as each new city keeps upping the stakes.

And I must add the author’s writing is impeccable.  It’s fresh, it’s powerful, and the narrative is truly Geneva and Rolf.  Well done.

As for the plot, it does lag at times when the author allows for too much internalizing from the main characters.  Trust me, she does a good enough job relating how each other feels during tense scenes, that internalizing isn’t necessary, because it’s all there, playing out in the scenes of dialogue and action.

The secondary characters don’t overpower the main characters.  They are present to assist the plot, but strong enough to make you wonder if a certain few will get a novel of their own.

Then there are the villains.  I must admit I enjoyed the one villain.  I won’t say who it is, or I’ll spoil the novel, but this one stood out.  It was refreshing to see this person in a leading villain role.

I recommend you give the series a try.  If you thought the first book was good, this second one is stronger and action-packed.  It’s romantic suspense at its finest.

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Title: Mind Waves
Series: Mind Hackers, Book #1
Author: Amanda Uhl
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 334 pages
Publication Date: October 7, 2016
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

If he can control her mind…
Government operative David Jenkins is skilled at controlling his emotions. Feelings are lethal when your job is to infiltrate minds, erase and implant thoughts, and guard the nation’s intellectual capital. But even he can’t fight his strange attraction to Grace Woznisky. He’ll do whatever it takes to protect her from a madman intent on possessing both their minds. Neither suspect their dangerous enemy has a larger motive, and David may be Grace’s only chance for survival.

Can he control her heart?
All freelance artist Grace wants is steady-paying work and to see her flighty sister to the altar. But after David offers her a job, she finds herself in the middle of a mental tug of war—one that has her reeling from nightmares and fighting for her life. She must decide: Are her growing feelings for her new boss authentic, or is she a victim of his mind-altering abilities?

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I really enjoyed the blurb.  It was something new to me so I was all for reading and reviewing this book.  First off, the writing is top notch, and the characters are well developed.

Grace Woznisky needs money fast.  Divorce has not only left her heart broken, but also her bank account.  While interviewing for a potential job, she meets the mysterious David Jenkins.  From the get-go, she senses a pull towards him that will lead her not only to romance but danger.

As for David, he’s extremely attracted to Grace.  In seclusion after losing someone precious to him while on the job years earlier, he comes out of retirement to catch a dangerous mind hacker who is out to kill him.

I must say I liked how both characters are wounded and have suffered great losses:  Grace through divorce that has left her unable to trust, and the determination to stand on her own two feet; and David, who blames himself for the failed mission years earlier.

Grace is more than ready to enter the dating scene, though, as she’s been in touch with someone simply known as Brains, whom she’s been chatting up on the Internet.  And yes, good ol’ Brains is up to something as well.

Both main characters are extremely likeable, especially Grace.  I really enjoyed watching her grow as she was dragged into the danger surrounding her.  David is a great guy, but he does come across as a bit controlling, especially when he takes advantage of his “power” to embarrass and deter a poor guy who was interested in Grace.  I was like, um, just no.  You got no right to do that to her and him, David.

As for the suspense part, this is more than suspense.  I’d class this book as a paranormal, romantic thriller, because the stakes get very high, and even scary with all the mind battles going on.

I really liked how the author plotted out this novel. There was so much going on, yet the romance didn’t get buried by the external plot, and the same for the external plot not getting buried by the romance.  The author achieved great balance here to pull both off.

Now, the book is narrative-heavy at times, very heavy.  Don’t be looking for white spaces in this book because you will run into long paragraphs, but what is in the narrative is interesting and required for the novel to make sense to you.

This is the first book in the series, and I’m much looking forward to reading the next book.  I recommend you give Mind Waves a purchase.  It’s much different than most paranormal romances and not only deals with the mind but also the right and wrongs of having such power and how it can easily be abused.

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Award-winning author Amanda Uhl has always had a fascination with the mystical. Having drawn her first breath in a century home rumored to be haunted, you might say she was “born” into it. After a brief stint in college as a paid psychic, Amanda graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in theatre and a master’s degree in marketing.

Over the past twenty years, she has worked as an admissions representative and graphic designer, owned her own freelance writing company, and managed communications for several Fortune 500 companies, most recently specializing in cyber security.

Amanda is an avid reader and writes fast-paced, paranormal romantic suspense and humorous contemporary romance from her home in Cleveland, Ohio. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find Amanda with her husband and three children, gathering beach glass on the Lake Erie shoreline or biking in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Visit her online at http://www.amandauhl.com.

Follow Amanda:  Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

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13 thoughts on “Amanda Uhl – Dark Waves

  1. Thank you, I really enjoyed your review

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Audrey Stewart says:

    I love Amanda Uhl’s book series ‘Mind Hackers’.

    Like

  3. Beatrice LaRocca says:

    Thank you, Maggie for sharing your awesome reviews of all of the books from this series, I am looking forward to reading all of these stories as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sherry1969 says:

    I think this book sounds like a good read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sherry! I hope you check it out! 💕

      Like

  5. Eva Millien says:

    Dark Waves sounds like a my kind of book as does the entire Mind Hackers Series, I can’t wait to read them! Thanks for sharing them with me!

    Thanks, Maggie, for sharing all of your great reviews!

    Have a smashing day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Eva! I hope you check them out:)

      Like

  6. Thanks for reading all three books! I loved your reviews and so happy you enjoyed the reads!

    Liked by 1 person

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