Monday, July 31, 2017

The Address by Fiona Davis


    After a failed apprenticeship, working her way up to head housekeeper of a posh London hotel is more than Sara Smythe ever thought she'd make of herself. But when a chance encounter with Theodore Camden, one of the architects of the grand New York apartment house The Dakota, leads to a job offer, her world is suddenly awash in possibility--no mean feat for a servant in 1884. The opportunity to move to America, where a person can rise above one's station. The opportunity to be the female manager of The Dakota, which promises to be the greatest apartment house in the world. And the opportunity to see more of Theo, who understands Sara like no one else . . . and is living in The Dakota with his wife and three young children.

     In 1985, Bailey Camden is desperate for new opportunities. Fresh out of rehab, the former party girl and interior designer is homeless, jobless, and penniless. Two generations ago, Bailey's grandfather was the ward of famed architect Theodore Camden. But the absence of a genetic connection means Bailey won't see a dime of the Camden family's substantial estate. Instead, her -cousin- Melinda--Camden's biological great-granddaughter--will inherit almost everything. So when Melinda offers to let Bailey oversee the renovation of her lavish Dakota apartment, Bailey jumps at the chance, despite her dislike of Melinda's vision. The renovation will take away all the character and history of the apartment Theodore Camden himself lived in . . . and died in, after suffering multiple stab wounds by a madwoman named Sara Smythe, a former Dakota employee who had previously spent seven months in an insane asylum on Blackwell's Island.

    One hundred years apart, Sara and Bailey are both tempted by and struggle against the golden excess of their respective ages--for Sara, the opulence of a world ruled by the Astors and Vanderbilts; for Bailey, the free-flowing drinks and cocaine in the nightclubs of New York City--and take refuge and solace in the Upper West Side's gilded fortress. But a building with a history as rich--and often tragic--as The Dakota's can't hold its secrets forever, and what Bailey discovers in its basement could turn everything she thought she knew about Theodore Camden--and the woman who killed him--on its head.

My Thoughts:

     The Dakota is one of NYC's most well known buildings but mostly because of its tragedies and celebrity tenants, not necessarily for its beauty.  I love old buildings and their unique characters which is what first drew me to this story.  Buildings and homes just are not made with the craftsmanship and beauty they once were in our overly efficient and cookie cutter world.  Reading a historical fiction novel (a new personal favorite) about such a building intrigued me.
     While the story of its inception was merely a small backdrop, the Dakota was definitely a major character in this story of love, loss and betrayal.  The two main characters, Sara and Bailey, are both drawn to the building for different reasons but both find love and betrayal there.  Both women were also victims of money and all of its trappings.
     This book made me very grateful to NOT be a woman in the 1800's! I enjoyed this story quite a lot and found reading of this era and the beginnings of New York City to be very interesting.  There was a middle area where things slowed down for me but then came a plot twist that I was very surprised by...things flew by after that.
     While I wish a few more of the smaller plotlines would have been fleshed out a bit more and the ending seemed a tad rushed, I found the lives of Sara and Bailey to be intriguing.  They may have been separated by one hundred years but they were both searching for the same things; love and acceptance.  4/5 stars

Author's site:

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond: 

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice's prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . . Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples. And then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

My Thoughts:

     Somewhere around 50% of all marriages in end divorce, depressing no?  If there was a group designed around the idea of supporting marriage and helping to make the institution thrive instead of fail, would you be interested?  In theory, it sounds like a great idea but in practice...
     Psychological thriller? Definitely! This premise is something that I can actually see happening...for the most part.  I was so intrigued by this concept that I kept talking to my husband about it. I think you will be sucked in as well. Is The Marriage Pact perfect? No, but if you don't mind one or two bits of straying from the main focus a bit, you will keep reading and be as enthralled as I was from page one.  
     I struggled to like Alice.  I felt she was rather immature at times especially when she kept changing her personality to fit with whomever she was with at the time.  I identify much more with Jake in this story and felt for him at times when Alice was ridiculous.  
          This was a very intriguing psychological thriller and even though the last few chapters were a bit clunky for me it is still 4/5 stars read!


Favorite Quotes:

"The dimple on your chin makes up for the forehead." I touch my forehead.  What the f*ck is wrong with my forehead?

 "Marriage is a living, changing thing that you must tend to both alone and together."

"Balance. The Pact is about bringing balance and fairness to a marriage."

Author's site:


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Teaser Tuesday with Meghan Quinn!

Check out the amazing teaser for TWISTED TWOSOME by Meghan Quinn!

NA Romantic Comedy

Add to Goodreads:

Racer McKay is a broody bastard.

From the moment I met him, he’s been rude, irritable, and unbearable. 

A contractor working to remodel my parents pool house for extra cash, he stomps around in those clunky construction boots with his tool belt wrapped around his narrow waist, and a chip on his shoulder.

Racer McKay is also infuriatingly . . . sexy as hell. I want to take that pencil tucked behind his ear, and draw lazy lines slowly up and down his body all the while wanting to strangle him at the same time.

We try to stay out of each other’s way . . . that is until I have no other option but to ask for his help.

But what I don’t realize is he needs me just as much as I need him. I have money he’s desperate for, and he holds the key to making my dreams come true.

Our pranks turn from sarcastic banter, to sexual tension and lust-filled glances. Bickering matches quickly morph into slow burn moments. We’re hot, we’re cold. We push and pull. I need him, I don’t want him. We’re on the verge of combusting with an agreement dangling dangerously between us. Neither one of us can afford to lose one another and yet, we’re finding it quite hard to decipher the line that rests between love and hate.

*Twisted Twosome is a stand alone romantic comedy.

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:

@AuthorMegQuinn @wordsmithpublic

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn


     1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth matter where it leads.

My Thoughts:

     Oh this book! I want to just sit here and write “Read this!” and have that be my whole review.  There is really nothing else for me to say other than I loved it and I am so glad that I read it.  I love a good World War historical fiction and this book dealt with both wars but mostly WWI.  I also adore a good strong female character and Ms. Quinn has written a beautiful story lousy with Girl Power! 
     Charlie St. Clair is young and smart but living in a time where girls aren’t supposed to do anything beyond find a good husband and have babies.  She is not only pregnant and unwed but she is also mourning and searching for her lost cousin, Rose.  In the midst of her search for her cousin, Charlie comes across Eve Gardiner and begs her to help with the quest.  Eve is, on her good days, disagreeable and a drunk.  What happens when these two are forced together is an amazing story full of laughter and tears that takes you all across France. 
     I love that Kate Quinn went back and forth between Charlie’s search post-WWII and Eve’s work during WWI and how seamlessly she did all of it.  Loosely based on fact (there really was an Alice Network) this is one of the best historical fiction stories I have ever read.  If you enjoyed Kristen Hannah’s The Nightingale, you will love The Alice Network.   5/5 stars

Author’s site:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Watch Me Disapper by Janelle Brown


It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan—a beautiful, charismatic Berkeley mom with an enviable life—went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. No body—only a hiking boot—has ever been found. Billie’s husband and teenage daughter cope with her death the best they can: Jonathan drinks, Olive grows remote.

But then Olive starts having waking dreams—or are they hallucinations?—that her mother is still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he knew about his wife. Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth—about Billie, their family, and the stories we tell ourselves about the people we love.


My Thoughts:

     Billie Flanagan, oh what a messed up selfish person you are! Even is death she is monopolizing peoples lives and driving them crazy.  I cannot decide if I feel sorry for her or for her husband and daughter. 
     This was definitely a page turner for me but the only character in the whole story that I truly liked was Olive, the daughter.  Both her parents were a bit messed up; Mom for her selfishness and Dad for his obsession/love for her mom.  I felt that Olive was overlooked and as a teenager struggling with her identity and mourning her mother she should have been a lot more lost than she was! 
   There's not much I can say without spoilers but I will say even though I did guess the "big twist" this was still a compelling thriller with interesting characters. I just wish Billie had been a bit more likable and that through her backstory we could have seen her grow a bit more.  3.5/5 stars

Author's site:

Monday, July 10, 2017

Bring Her Home by David Bell


     Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price's fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

     As Bill holds vigil over Summer's bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

     When troubling new questions about Summer's life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He'll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family...


My Thoughts:

     I am torn on my feelings for this book.  On one hand I kept reading until the very last line curious to see where it went but on the other hand? I either knew what was going to happen long before it did or I couldn’t believe what was happening.  One key twist in the story just seemed very unbelievable to me and I pretty much figured out the “who dunit” part a quarter of the way through the story. 

     Bring Her Home is told mostly through the eyes of Bill, Summer’s father.  Bill is, to me, a manic and completely unreliable narrator.  As for the rest of the cast of characters, they are fairly normal but some of the dynamics in the relationships between them are odd, forced or just plain unrealistic.

        So basically you are thinking; why did she keep reading? Well, I don’t know.  I guess even though I knew who the bad guy was I was just curious enough to want to know the details of how Mr. Bell would pull it all together.  I cannot say that I loved this one or even really liked it but I did finish it so that is saying something, right? 3/5 stars


Author’s site:

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner


     Manon has settled back into life in Cambridgeshire with her adopted son Fly. She’s perfectly happy working on cold cases until a man is stabbed to death just yards from the police station, and both the victim and the prime suspect turn out to be much closer to home than she would like. How well does Manon know her loved ones, and are they capable of murder? 

My Thoughts:

     I greatly enjoyed the character of Manon from Steiner's first book, Missing Presumed.  I relate to her probably because we are both anti-social and have trouble letting people into our innermost lives.  She is still introverted in this second installment but is opening herself up more.  I also enjoyed that we got more of Davy's perspective but wish there was more from Fly in this one.  
     Susie Steiner's writing style is great and the dialogue between the colleagues is very believable to me. A lot of books with so many characters tend to get confusing but I have never had this problem with either of her stories that I have read.
     I am hoping that Manon may be making a family for herself but like her, I'm worried.  Will she screw it up since she doesn’t know what to do with it?  To me the mystery is almost secondary because I am so interested in the growth and changes in Manon as she navigates life and learns to "adult".  

     My only complaint is that in a way it feels like there was no resolution.  You think you know “who dunit” but it is never exactly said…unless I missed something.  I feel the ending was a bit ambiguous and I don’t like that but maybe it will continue on into the next book???????   I enjoyed this one a little less than the first but will definitely continue reading this series! 3.5/5 stars 

Favorite quotes:

"No one told her that becoming someone's mother would lead her to imagine the catastrophic end to her motherhood."-Chapter Eleven

"Marching out of Arlidge House, he feels so macho there even seems to be a stirring in his trousers. Then he realizes it's his mobile phone vibrating."-Chapter Seventeen

Author's site: