Friday, August 11, 2017

The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal

Summary from Goodreads:

"It begins with a phone call that Nora Watts has dreaded for fifteen years—since the day she gave her newborn daughter up for adoption. Bonnie has vanished. The police consider her a chronic runaway and aren’t looking, leaving her desperate adoptive parents to reach out to her birth mother as a last hope.

A biracial product of the foster system, transient, homeless, scarred by a past filled with pain and violence, Nora knows intimately what happens to vulnerable girls on the streets. Caring despite herself, she sets out to find Bonnie with her only companion, her mutt Whisper, knowing she risks reopening wounds that have never really healed—and plunging into the darkness with little to protect her but her instincts and a freakish ability to detect truth from lies.

The search uncovers a puzzling conspiracy that leads Nora on a harrowing journey of deception and violence, from the gloomy rain-soaked streets of Vancouver, to the icy white mountains of the Canadian interior, to the beautiful and dangerous island where she will face her most terrifying demon. All to save a girl she wishes had never been born."

My Thoughts:

I've got to say that I'm a streak with reading some really great books lately.  This book was a brilliant beginning to a new mystery series - I need more books just like this!  I was intrigued by this book just from reading the above summary which meant that I couldn't resist the chance of reading it.  The idea of the birth mother being drawn into the search of the missing daughter that she's never met (or wanted to even) can you resist a premise like that?  I just knew that this was going to be a good read but what I didn't expect was how dark of a read that this was going to be.  Nora is not your typical leading female detective in a mystery novel.  She isn't even really a detective but instead works for a lawyer and businessman as an almost human lie detector.  She has all of these issues relating to her past, doesn't have any normal relationships, and is a recovering alcoholic.  She is basically kind of a mess but I loved her!  Even when she was making crappy decisions I was rooting for her.  I wanted to know more about what had happened to her even though there were enough clues that I could guess.  She just was one of those main characters that really stood out for me, and I'm looking forwarding to reading more books featuring her.  I also really enjoyed the mystery portion of this book.  I found myself reading this one for long periods of time which hasn't happened all too often lately.  It was a page turner and one of the things that kept me reading way too late into the night was just trying to see what trouble Nora was going to get herself into next.  And then I kept reading to see if she would get out of it of course.  Ha!  I loved that this book was set in Canada which is a place I've never had the chance to visit but would like to.  I felt like I was really there while reading, and reading about the colder weather made this feel like the perfect fall read (although I read it a bit too early for that).  The ending was super intense and left me wanting more.  

Overall I have to say that I'm left very excited about this author and this series.  This book really stood out for me as it is different from a lot of the mystery series that I've read.  I've come to the conclusion that mystery series featuring lone female main characters is kind of my reading catnip.  I just can't seem to get enough.  This book wasn't any different and Nora is one of those characters that I won't be forgetting about any time soon.  I feel like I'm rambling at this point but this book was just that good.  I cannot wait to see what other readers think!  I would recommend this book mystery fans as well as those readers who enjoy a good thriller.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A dark mystery that I just couldn't put down.  I need more!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Love & Death in Burgundy by Susan C. Shea

Summary from Goodreads:

"After three years of living in the small town of Reigny-sur-Canne, all Katherine Goff really wants is to be accepted by her neighbors into their little community. But as an American expat living in the proud region of Burgundy, that's no easy task.

When the elderly Frenchman who lives in the village chateau is found dead at the bottom of a staircase, the town is turned into a hot bed of gossip and suspicion, and Katherine suddenly finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into the small town's secrets. A motherless teenager, a malicious French widow, a brash music producer, and a would-be Agatha Christie are among those caught up in a storm that threatens to turn Katherine's quiet life upside down. As more and more of the villagers' secrets are brought to light, Katherine must try to figure out who, if anyone, in the town she can trust, and which one of her neighbors just might be a killer."

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed my time reading this book!  It is always delightful when a book just transports you to another place.  Reading this book made me feel like I was there in the French countryside with Katherine and her husband.  I've never had the chance to visit France but I could certainly picture what it must be like with this book.  The descriptions of the food, the countryside....I just couldn't get enough of all of it!  This was a quiet read that I just took my time with.  I loved Katherine's character so much.  The descriptions of the different items she would find at the market and the little thrift shop finds she had come across just fit in so perfectly with the atmosphere of the book.  I really can't say enough good things about just the feel of this book.  Although there was a murder mystery happening, what I enjoyed most about this book was everything else.  Don't get me wrong, I found the mystery portion interesting but it was the other parts that made this cozy mystery stand out for me!

Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book was all of the other characters.  There were a variety of characters in this book each different from the other.  It made the book fun to read as you never knew what some of the characters were getting up to.  I liked the chances that we had to get to know some of these characters as it also helped to make me feel like I was really there within the story.  As to the mystery itself, I guessed parts of it but was incorrect as to the reasons why.  In fact, I really missed a good portion of the whodunnit completely which made the ending more intense than I had expected.  I seriously felt like I was questioning what was going on right until the author decided to share the truth with the reader.  It was a solid read and I'm eager to visit this quiet French village again!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am hoping that this is the beginning to a cozy mystery series.  It would be really great  to have the chance to visit with these characters (and especially Katherine) again!  I loved my time in this world that the author created - I almost wasn't ready to leave by the time the story ended.  I really think that those readers who like a quieter mystery should give this one a shot as I'm sure that they will enjoy it as much as I did!  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A book whose atmosphere just pulled me into the world that the author created.  I loved every minute of it!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.  

Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 31st)

"It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!"

Monday, Monday!  It has been a really long time since I did a post like this.  I'm going to sound like a broken record here but it has been a poor year for me in terms of both blogging and reading.  I'm not stressing- it happens.  But I am hoping to make both of these more of a priority in 2018.  School starts this week for my oldest- he is a freshman.  Wow, where in the world has the time gone there?  It's hard to believe but I'm excited for him and this new adventure that he is beginning.  The start of school also means the beginning of football which is something I am VERY excited about.  He's been practicing at the high school all summer long but I'm so ready to go to the games.  My youngest will also be starting flag football for his 2nd year.  My daughter's next travel softball season is getting ready to begin.....I think you can already tell where the majority of my time goes!  Work is crazy as all get out - lots and lots of overtime going on and this coming month is no different.  What else?  I wrote out another book review that will be posting later this week.  I'm pretty proud of myself as this will be two weeks in a row of blogging!  I haven't posted that regularly in months.

Since my last reading update I finished the following book:

 The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal was a really great read!  I enjoyed this one immensely and will be sharing my thoughts on August 11th as part of a TLC book tour.  I've got lots of good things to say if you are curious.

I'm now reading the following:

The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen by Victoria Alexander - STILL but I'm finally making some good progress with this one.  It has gotten better and I'm hoping to curl up with it this week to see how it will all end.

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen - This is my current print read and FINALLY a book off of my own shelves.  I don't know that I'm really "currently reading" it as I've only read the first couple of pages but I'm definitely reading it next.  I've just been really focusing on the above book as I feel like I've been reading that one for ages.

New Additions:

With how slowly I've been reading I should be saying none here.  Sadly that never seems to be the case with me.  I've been to the library twice and have a towering stack of books checked out. Here is the latest print book to enter my house thanks to the publisher:

This is for a TLC book tour in August- it sounds great and I'm looking forward to reading it soon!  I've got NetGalley books I could share about as well but.....that is for another day. 

Happy Monday and Happy Reading!


Friday, July 28, 2017

Dark Saturday by Nicci French (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Thirteen years ago eighteen year old Hannah Docherty was arrested for the brutal murder of her family. It was an open and shut case and Hannah's been incarcerated in a secure hospital ever since.

When psychotherapist Frieda Klein is asked to meet Hannah and give her assessment of her she reluctantly agrees. What she finds horrifies her. Hannah has become a tragic figure, old before her time. And Frieda is haunted by the thought that Hannah might be as much of a victim as her family; that something wasn't right all those years ago.

And as Hannah's case takes hold of her, Frieda soon begins to realise that she's up against someone who'll go to any lengths to protect themselves ..."

My Thoughts:

Wow. Wow. Wow.  I have to say that this was the perfect book to read to help break this nasty reading slump I've been in lately!  I couldn't (and didn't want to) put this book down.  It is so funny how you can be struggling just to find the time or will to settle down with a book....and then you pick up the right one and it is like you never stopped reading at all.  I found myself absolutely immersed in this book and just so excited about reading in general after I finished.  I love when that happens!  I also really appreciated that it happened with this book as this is a well established series that I started right in the middle of.  Did I miss certain things from not reading the previous books?  I'm sure as there were references to other cases that Frieda was involved in.  But for me if just has me super pumped to go back to the beginning to see how it all started.  I love the fact that I have all of these other books to look forward to now.  It's a great feeling!

One of the things that I enjoyed most about this book was the premise of the story.  It was both horrifying and compelling to think about the idea of a young girl convicted of the murder of her entire family with the possibility that it was a wrongful conviction.  Add to that the setting of a psychiatric hospital and a mystery and I was basically hooked from the very beginning.  I mean how could I resist??  I really enjoyed Frieda's character.....there was just something about her that pulled me in as the reader.  I found myself intrigued by everything that has happened to her - yet another reason why I'm so excited to go back to those earlier books.  I just really enjoyed by entire reading experience with this book.  The bonus was a completely surprising ending and this book turned into a five star read for me.  I haven't had many of those this year which is why I can't say enough good things about this book!

Overall, I really loved this one and am so excited to see what other readers think about it as well.  I should have listened to my book blogging friends and started this series sooner!  I've already got the first book on my library holds list so I won't be waiting too long before I go back to the beginning.  I thought that this book was both fast paced and intense which are two of my favorite things to have in a mystery.  I would recommend this book to both mystery and thriller fans.  You can definitely do what I did and start with this book (it obviously didn't affect my reading enjoyment at all).  I do think that there are things you miss not reading in order but that just gives me an excuse to reread this one once I catch up on the rest.  Ha!  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  Very likely to become one of my favorites of 2017!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Sunday Post #30 (Summer Fun Edition)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

Happy Sunday everyone!  It has been awhile yet again but let's ignore that fact and catch up.  I'm working on this post later than usual as we just picked up the kiddos from their five day stay with my parents.  It was a quiet week with them gone and it is nice to have everyone home again.  They had tons of fun though swimming and boating the entire time.  My husband and I managed to watch the entire first season of American Horror Story while they were gone.  It is a very weird, dark, but strangely addictive show.  I'm sure that we will start watching the next season soon.

I don't know what my deal is this year but my reading sure is suffering.  I feel like I say this every post but I just haven't been reading (or blogging obviously) like I used to.  It doesn't stop me from going to the library and checking out huge stacks of books though.  LOL!  Some things never change on that front.  I decided though that I just need to get back into the habit of blogging and hopefully that will get my blogging mojo started up again.  I'm not sure if it will work but it is worth the shot!  I don't have much of a reading update but here is what I've recently been reading/finished:

 Dark Saturday by Nicci French - I loved this one!  Absolutely couldn't put this one down which is saying a lot as I just haven't been reading lately.  I found myself completely hooked by it all even though I started right in the middle of this series.  The best part about that is now I can go back and catch up with all of those other books.  I'm going to be writing up my thoughts on this one later today but expect lots of gushing to be involved.

I'm currently reading the following books:

The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen by Victoria Alexander - This is my current kindle read and it is okay so far.  I'm not hating it by any means but I'm just not sure it is what I'm in the mood for.  I'm supposed to have been reading it for a blog tour but I'm way late at this point.  I'm definitely going to work on getting some quality reading time in with it this week.

The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal is my current print read that I just started earlier this morning.  I can already tell that I'm going to enjoy this one as I sat reading in bed for way longer than I intended.  It was exactly what I needed if I'm being honest and I'm looking forward to continuing on reading this afternoon. 

Other books that I need to share my thoughts on in the near future include:

Looks like my spotty blogging has helped to create a little backlog in the review department.  I'll slowly work on catching up and getting back into the blogging groove.  Now I'm off to work on my laundry piles and also get some quality reading time in.  I'll be by reading all of your blogs later this evening! 

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Monday, June 5, 2017

#COYER Summer Reading List!! (My Reading List)

I was just saying how much I needed the next #COYER challenge and here it is!  Serendipity!  This time around they are changing it up with two different options.  The first one is to just read and everything counts.  I love the sound of that because really that is exactly what I need the most.  To just read, read, read!  The second option is to create a summer reading list of 30 books to read from.  This completely appeals to the list making side of me who just can't resist coming up with a pile of books (despite the fact that I rarely ever follow through on these types of things).  Oh heck, I'm going to create that list- you guys should know that by now.  LOL!  I'll count it a success no matter what as long as I really do get some reading done. 

My summer reading list is going to include the following books (which I will create a page for as well):


Wow - that's a lot of books to get through!  I love a good challenge though.  The best part is if I read five books off this list - I can add five more.  So if I need a little more romance added to the pile, there is that possibility to help with my reading moods.  I picked only e-books which is obviously not the only way I read.  I will count the print books towards the first part of the challenge but I would really like to focus on the summer reading list as much as possible.  I can't wait to begin!

Are you participating in the #COYER summer reading challenge?  Let me know if you are so we can support each other in having a bookish summer!  Happy Reading!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Sunday Post #26 (Blogging Break Edition)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

Happy Sunday everyone!  It has been awhile since I last posted.  It has been pretty darn busy as of late and it isn't going to end any time soon.  Reality is starting to set in as my oldest gets ready to graduate from eighth grade in a little over a weekI say this all the time it feels like, but I cannot believe that he is going into high school already.  He is lifting for high school football after school four days a week.  My daughter's softball is going strong as well.  We have tournaments about every other weekend.  She has improved so much this season - it has been a joy to watch!  The youngest is also very busy with his baseball season.  Soccer ended  for him which was a bit of a many practices and games with all of this going on!  I'm not complaining though as my husband and I love every minute of watching them play.  But this is why I am largely absent from the blogging world.  My weekends are filled and if they aren't I'm just playing catch up with everything.  I've toyed with shutting the blog down but I just can't do it.  Who else would I talk books with?  Maybe I will be a very spotty blogger for awhile but I will still be here.  I read all of your blogs even if I don't comment that often.  I am taking the rest of this month off.  I have a quiet Sunday planned for today and I'm going to work on scheduling some posts out for next month.  That seems to work best for me so I'm going to try working on June's posts and count this month as a loss.  It happens!

My reading has slowed down to a trickle.  I don't know what my deal is lately but I sure haven't been reading like I usually do.  I think I'm at least ten books behind on my Goodread's challenge.  I'm not stressing though- it is what it is at this point.  At least it means that I'm not as far behind on writing up reviews as I usually am.  So there is a positive!  I'm currently in the middle of three separate books:

Love & Death in Burgundy by Susan C. Shea is one that I've just barely begun.  I'm reading it mainly on my phone but it is my current kindle read.  The publicist emailed me about this one and I liked the sound of it so I couldn't resist downloading it.  It's too early to tell you much more than that other than I'm loving the French setting.

Midnight Rescue by Elle Kennedy is my current print read and a library book.  In the hopes of jump starting my reading, I decided that I would read whatever I wanted to in May.  No "must reads" or anything like that.  I've gotten this book from the library multiple times but finally decided to give it a try.  I'm about 3/4th's of the way through and just haven't sat down and finished it.  Which I really need to do already!  I'm enjoying it for the most part although the subject matter isn't always to read about.  Honestly, that is part of the reason why I still haven't finished as I'm a bit nervous for what is to come.

Locked In by Kerry Wilkinson is also a print read and one that I bought awhile back but am just now finally reading.  I'm about halfway through this one but kind of stalled out on it.  I plan to go back to it as it is good....I'm just being a really moody reader right now.  It happens and I didn't want to force myself to read as this just turns into a reading slump.

New Additions:

Apparently even when I'm not reading I'm quite capable of downloading books from NetGalley.  Sigh....I sure hope the next #COYER challenge is going to be starting up soon.  I'm definitely going to need it.  I'm really hoping that I can turn my reading troubles around pretty soon.  I find that I stress a lot more when I don't read as much.  I'm off to go work on my laundry piles to get this week started off right.  I hope that you are all having a wonderful weekend.  I'll see you in June!

Happy Reading!