Thursday, October 19, 2017

Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben


Summary:

     Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn't been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother's death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he's been looking for. 

     When Maura's fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.



 

My Thoughts:

     If you know me at all you are probably wondering “why is she even reviewing this? She loves Harlan Coben so this will be at the lowest 4 stars.”   Because I want to, that’s why!  J  It has been awhile since I went straight on back to my wheelhouse of reading mysteries and thrillers that I can just get lost in and I needed the comfort of one of my favorites.  Mr. Coben has never disappointed me, ever. 
     This is a standalone novel which I personally wouldn’t mind seeing as the start of a series.  Napoleon Dumas is a great character and will go down, second only to Myron Bolitar, as one of my favorite Coben characters.  He is smart, funny, flawed, and as always, a totally relatable character that you love.  Nap is darker and more troubled than Myron and if you’ve read the Myron series, Nap is his own Win. 
     What I love about this story is that I had no idea what was going to happen and every chapter had a new theory popping into my mind.  I was along for the ride with Nap and the realization hit me at the same time it did him…I felt his shock.  I also enjoyed the fact that this story was based around true events that happened in Harlan Coben’s hometown. This gave the story even more depth and excitement. 
     If you are looking for a page-turning mystery with just enough laughs to lighten the tension occasionally, look no further than this…or any HC novel for that matter.  5/5


Author’s site: http://www.harlancoben.com/

Monday, October 16, 2017

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak



Summary:


     It’s Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter—who is usually off saving the world—will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she’s been told she must stay in quarantine for a week…and so too should her family.

     For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity—and even decent Wi-Fi—and forced into each other’s orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.

     As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.

     In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who’s about to arrive…

 

My Thoughts:


     Well guys, I’ve done it again. I have gotten sucked in by a beautiful, eye-catching cover and foregone the whole reading-the-synopsis-and-knowing-what-the-story-is-actually-about thing.  I don’t like family drama stories where there is nothing but family members fighting and hating each other and guess what Seven Days of Us is? Family Drama and nothing else.
     The problem with family dramas, for me anyway, is that the characters are never likeable and this held true with the Birches.  Andrew, the dad, is in the midst of a big old pity party and is sulky and rude. Emma, the mother, whom I feel I should like is clingy and hopelessly lost in the past. Then there are the daughters.  Olivia isn’t too terrible but she is very preachy and looks down on everyone who doesn’t sacrifice their lives for third world countries. And Phoebe? Oy, Phoebe is the worst! This is supposed to be a 29-year-old woman? She acts like an immature, selfish and irresponsible 15-year-old. Ugh.

     The only character that I had any good feelings towards is a surprise plot twist characters that I cannot even mention here as I never want to post spoilers.  I REALLY wanted to give up on this book about sixty percent into it but battled through just for this one character’s storyline…that’s it, that is all that kept even a tiny bit of my attention. I feel that only one or two of the characters really grew or changed but even they didn’t change into likeable people.  Usually the reading for the beautiful cover thing works out okay for me but not this time.  1/5 stars

Thursday, October 12, 2017

House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick




 

Summary:


London, 1662:
There was something the Winter Queen needed to tell him. She fought for the strength to speak.
‘The crystal mirror is a danger. It must be destroyed – ‘
He replied instantly. ‘It will’.

Ashdown, Oxfordshire, present day: Ben Ansell is researching his family tree when he disappears. As his sister Holly begins a desperate search, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to an ornate antique mirror and to the diary of Lavinia, a 19th century courtesan who was living at Ashdown House when it burned to the ground over 200 years ago.

Intrigued, and determined to find out more about the tragedy at Ashdown, Holly’s only hope is that uncovering the truth about the past will lead her to Ben.


My Thoughts:


     House of Shadows is a hard book to pin down to just a single genre. There is history, suspense, murder, romance and so much more.  I have only started reading historical fiction the last few years so I am no expert, but this is a really good multilayer story involving three strong women from three different time periods.
     Of the three women I think that I liked Holly the best but Lavinia is a close second.  Elizabeth is a good character but she seemed very selfish and shallow to me.  Holly and Lavinia were characters that I could root for and I was very intrigued by their stories and very curious as to where the story would take them. All three women are embroiled in controversy involving a secret society, a bejeweled mirror, a giant pearl with rumored magical powers, and love that seems destined to fail.
     There were times in all the periods that some inconsistencies popped up but never really over anything major.  Mostly it was small things that didn't really make sense or seemed out of place but I am not too nit-picky about small things so I was fine with it.  I think if you are looking for a good historical fiction book to curl up with this winter in front of the fire, House of Shadows would be an excellent choice.  3.5/5 stars


Author's site: https://www.nicolacornick.co.uk/





 

Friday, October 6, 2017

SURPRISE Cover Reveal from Carly Phillips!


Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

From Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips comes a powerful new story of love, hope and redemption, of finding light in the darkest places.

fearless_full.jpg

Fearless, an all- new emotional standalone by Carly Phillips is coming March 20, 2018!

My life is a facade
The color and beauty I cast on the canvas, a shield to protect what is hurt and broken inside.
And then I meet him.
He makes me want to put the hurt and the past behind me and trust in him.
He makes me burn in a way no man has ever done.
He makes me want to try.
If only I can be . . . fearless.
PREORDER-2_preview.jpg

Preorder Today!

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2yrtIaL



Meet Carly Phillips:

6 - 1P0A8410_1Connect with Carly:

Sign up for Carly’s Newsletter at: http://www.carlyphillips.com/newsletter-sign-up/ Sign up for Blog and Website updates at: http://www.carlyphillips.com/blog Sign up for Text Updates of New Releases: http://tinyurl.com/p3upm5s Friend Carly on Facebook: www.facebook.com/carlyphillipsfanpage Hang out at Carly’s Corner! (Hot guys & giveaways!) http://smarturl.it/CarlysCornerFB Instagram: https://instagram.com/carlyphillips Twitter: www.twitter.com/carlyphillips Website: www.carlyphillips.com

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Bourbon Series by Meghan Quinn has a new look-check it out!


The Bourbon Series by Meghan Quinn has a new look! The books have hot new covers and have been re-edited to keep your pages burning...I mean turning! If you like heat, don't miss this series!

***$.99 FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY***
Purchase here:
BOURBON SINS http://amzn.to/2ykrZnD
BOURBON DECEIT http://amzn.to/2fNJCod
BOURBON KINGDOM http://amzn.to/2yTUaGY
BOURBON TRUTHS http://amzn.to/2xTSYFr


On the streets of New Orleans, sins are committed every night.

My name is Jett Colby and I save tarnished souls.

In the downtown, under the glittery lights of Bourbon Street, I found her in cheap lingerie, flaunting her body for callous men and money.

From the lace of her cheap lingerie, to her garter belt, I knew she had to be saved.
She had to be mine.

Broke and destitute with no way of out, she had no choice but to come to me and into my club.

She had no other choice but to become a Jett Girl.

But see, that’s the thing about this city; you might think that under the dazzling lights and illusion of salvation, she’s the one that needed saving.

When the glitter fades and the dirt is washed away, the one worth saving just might be me.

*Formerly known as Becoming a Jett Girl. Add it to your TBR--> http://bit.ly/2foiqfA

My Thoughts:

     I had yet to read MQ's first series so I was excited when WordSmith Publicity offered me the opportunity to help them spread the word about the revamp and to review book one! Meghan does not disappoint.
     Goldie had her life torn apart when Hurricane Katrina destroyed NOLA and now she is wearing skimpy clothes and serving drinks to skeezy men in an even skeezier strip club.  I cannot say that Goldie is very relate-able character for me but she is funny and you will root for her throughout the entire story.  
     There are funny and touching moments throughout the entire book and while it is not perfect there is a good story in the midst of all of the sexiness.  As per her usual, Meghan Quinn gives you giggles, sexiness and makes you tear-up a bit which always makes for a great romance! 3.5/5
     



The walls of my club hold many secrets. Depravity. Sin. Justice.

Come in; debauchery can be yours for the cost of a lap dance and a night of pleasure. 

And I own every last part of it.

But she’s my weakness, and thankfully she followed me through the insolvent streets of New Orleans, giving me her loyalty and her heart. 

My desire for her dominates my every thought, but my broken past could destroy us. 

There are people trying to bring me down. 

Two malicious men stand in the way of what I want: to own it all. 

It’s either Lot 17 or Goldie, my Jett Girl. 

I have to make a choice and for once, it won’t be easy.

*Formerly known as Being a Jett Girl. Add it to your TBR--> http://bit.ly/2xhO31t


Under the neon lights of Bourbon, money is everything. 

Justice, faith, and power. They’re the key to my empire and she holds them all in the palm of her hand. Falling for her was a mistake; she stole my heart and consumed me. I was addicted, and she left me weak and vulnerable to my enemies.

They’re everywhere. 

Now she’s gone, turning to my enemy’s business partner; the man I’ve hated my entire life. She said she’s protecting me. She said it won’t be forever.

But how can I believe her? 

Lies, deceit and deception. They’re the sins driving us apart. 

In a city that never sleeps—in a place where scandal hides behind every dark corner, my Jett girl might never be mine again.

*Formerly known as Forever a Jett Girl. Add it to your TBR--> http://bit.ly/2wLsFgL


Every choice you make in life comes with a consequence.

I was once on top, I was the professional boxer to be afraid of. I had everything I could possibly hope for. I was happy, satisfied, content . . . until one night.

One off day.

One wrong reaction.

I killed a man. The sound, the blood, the stagnant air, it’s forever imprinted in my mind and now dictates the way I live my life.

Desolate with nothing but my penance to pay, I didn’t expect to have my world flipped upside down when Lyla seductively strutted into my life.

I want her. I need her. I crave her.

But I don’t deserve her.

People like to celebrate the day they were born, I like to celebrate the day my soul died.

This is my story of repentance.

*Formerly known as Repentance. Add it to your TBR--> http://bit.ly/2xtvpTx


About the Author:

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if "It's Raining Men" starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing... enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!


Find me on Goodreads:

Visit my website: http://authormeghanquinn.com/

Monday, October 2, 2017

September Reads



     Ah, September, I am so glad you are over! Ugh, what a month.  I was too busy so now I am exhausted, grumpy, overstimulated and under read. BOO! 

 

Here's the pathetically short list:




Brewing Up Murder by Neila Young:  A good start to a new cozy mystery series.  All the info here.
 


Outlander by Diana Galbaldon: This is the second read of this one for me. My plan was to read the first three before season three of the show started...didn't happen.  Oh well, I still want to reread all of them before I delve into #8 which I have been saving until we got closer to the release of #9...I'll maybe get that done by 2019.







White Bars by David Dagley:  A little too metaphorical for me.  See all my thoughts here.













 

The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall: Interesting family drama but unlikable characters.  Full review here.
















At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider:  The family addition of Eat, Pray, Love. All the details here.













 

The Woods by Christopher Viceconte:  A coming of age story that was good but the way it ending bugged me.  Full review is over here.











Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson:  My reading challenge book for September that was good but not as amazing as The Almost Sisters.  All my thoughts here.












 
 
 

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner:  This was my book club pick for the month and I started it...it was good but a little depressing so I set it down and haven't picked it back up yet.  I will finish it, I just don't know when. 











Sneak peek at October:


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson


Summary:

     For 10 years Arlene has kept her promises, and God has kept His end of the bargain. Until now. When an old schoolmate from Possett turns up at Arlene's door in Chicago asking questions about Jim Beverly, former quarterback and god of Possett High, Arlene's break with her former hometown is forced to an end. At the same time, Burr, her long-time boyfriend, has raised an ultimatum: introduce him to her family or consider him gone. Arlene loves him dearly but knows her lily white (not to mention deeply racist) Southern Baptist family will not understand her relationship with an African American boyfriend. Reluctantly, Arlene bows to the pressure, and she and Burr embark on the long-avoided road trip back home. As Arlene digs through guilt and deception, her patched-together alibi begins to unravel, and she discovers how far she will go for love and a chance at redemption. 
 

My Thoughts:


  Gods in Alabama was the book I picked for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge for this month.  The challenge was to read a book from the backlist of new favorite author and having recently discovered Joshilyn Jackson I decided to go with another one of her books.  I read The Almost Sisters in August and loved it so I felt in the mood for more southern fiction.
     GIA gave me feels that were very Fried Green Tomatoes.  Very Southern, at times relatable and definitely quirky-funny, but it is also dark and full of sinister secrets.  I liked Arlene and most of the characters for that matter, but everyone is messed up.  I don’t just mean your everyday messed up but semi-normal, I mean girl has got some issues!  You know she’s hiding a secret from everyone and you will take guesses throughout most of the book but you will more than likely be wrong. 
  This book is full of twists, which I don’t mind, but I was occasionally confused and had to re-read a paragraph or two just to resituate myself.  There were times I felt like there were too many issues being bandied about to deal with all at once but overall this was still a really good fictional novel.  If you enjoy a bit of southern quirkiness with a side of dark secrets, Gods in Alabama is for you. 4/5 stars
 

Favorite quotes:


“You’re plenty pretty enough to be my trophy bitch.”-Burr

“Hail to thee, Alabama, thou Verdant Trollop!”-Burr

What can I say? Burr amused me!