Thursday, July 14, 2016

Caught Bread Handed by Ellie Alexander (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the oven is heating up as high as the body count…

Jules Capshaw is still chewing over her husband Carlos’s return to Ashland, Oregon. Could there be too many cooks in the kitchen? Whatever is stirring between those two will have to wait. Despite the Oregon Shakespeare Festival being dark for the winter, the bakeshop is bustling, the dough is rolling, and there’s no rest for the weary…especially when murder is thrown into the mix.

When Mindy Nolan, the owner of a new restaurant in town, turns up dead, the batter at hand thickens. Jules knows that there was bad blood between Mindy and others in town, and tracking down the killer could prove to be an unwelcome treat. And to top it all off, there’s Carlos, who is pleading—with those delicious dark eyes and sexy Spanish accent—for Jules to take him back. Is home where the heart is or will she make a fresh start…and risk getting burned?"

My Thoughts:

This is seriously one of my very favorite cozy mystery series, and I've been waiting impatiently to read this book for a very long time.  Even when I got an early copy I forced myself to wait until closer to the release date because I knew that I would be left wishing for the next book after I finished.  Which is exactly what happened and now I'm going to have to try (try being the key word here) and patiently wait for book five.  I love many things about this series but one of my very favorite things about it is all of the characters.  This series features such a great cast of characters, and I love that we as the readers are getting to know them more and more as we get further in.  I'm not even sure if I read these books for the mystery so much as I read it for the characters.  The author has just brought these characters to life for me.  It almost makes me feel like I could go visit this perfect little town myself.

Although I fully admit that I love the characters the most about these books there are other elements that I love as well.  Namely all of the delicious food descriptions that the author shares throughout the story.  My family knows by now that my cooking skills are iffy at best but it doesn't stop me from wishing that I could cook like Jules.  These books make me seriously hungry and I'm always tempted to try some of the recipes that are included at the end.  The mystery story line in this book was done quite well also although to be honest that was the part I cared about the least.  I was more worried about what was going to happen with Jules especially with her estranged husband Carlos leaving to go back to the ship he works on.  I'm not a huge fan of his (I like Thomas her old boyfriend more) but I knew that this book might change things with their relationship which left me eager to see what was going to happen.  Slight spoiler here but nothing was fully resolved which is why I am really anxious to read the next book in this series.  I love how there aren't easy answers given in terms to her relationship with Carlos.  It just feels more like real life and I appreciate that.  The ending of this book wrapped everything up quite nicely and left me satisfied.  I'm always left wishing for more after these books but isn't that what always happens with a series that you love?

Overall, I loved this book just as I have loved every book in this series.  I really can't recommend them enough but especially to cozy mystery fans.  This is a series that should be read in order just so that you can get the full feel for all of these characters.  Each book could be read alone but I really think the overall experience would be improved if you read them in order.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  I can't say enough good things about this series or this book!

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


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Reckless Promise by Kasey Michaels (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"It's the kind of vow often made on the battlefield. Darby Travers, Viscount Nailbourne, never imagines he'll have to honor it. Yet here she is on his doorstep—his late comrade's young daughter, and Darby's new ward. Worse, she comes with the most overprotective, mistrustful, bothersome chaperone—the child's aunt, Sadie Grace Boxer. Darby is quite sure that behind her lovely facade, the woman is guarding a secret.

Sadie Grace faced many trials working in her brother's surgery, but none prepared her for the world she's thrust into with his passing. Navigating the ton, with its endless ball gowns and parade of parties, is difficult enough, but hiding the truth about her niece while the sophisticated viscount watches her every move proves nearly impossible—particularly when his searing gaze tempts her to bare all. But when her family's past catches up with her, she'll have to trust in Darby…no matter the cost to her heart."

My Thoughts:

This author is fast becoming one of my go to authors when it comes to an enjoyable and fun historical romance.  Earlier this year I read and adored A Scandalous Proposal so I couldn't turn down the opportunity to read another book in this series.  This book was just as great as the previous book and also just a plain good read!  There is just something about the way this author writes that makes me smile and enjoy my reading experience.  I found myself easily swept away by this book and I finished it in a matter of days.  Isn't it funny how there are just some authors that can do that with a book?  Where you find yourself reading as much as possible without concern for everything else that you "should" be doing?  My house definitely wasn't clean after finishing this book but it was completely worth it!  It is a shame that I just started reading this author earlier this year but at least I more books to look forward to.

One of the best things about this series in my opinion is the cast of supporting characters.  Don't get me wrong, I loved Sadie Grace and Darby but I also loved so many of the other characters as well.  Clarice and Rigby in particular are favorites of mine and I'm wondering if they were featured in the first book?  I'm not sure but I will definitely be finding out.  This wasn't your typical romance as it took awhile for the characters to figure out their full feelings towards one another.  I love romances where this happens.  There might be attraction or friendship but the actually falling in love with one another takes time.  I adored that we got to see characters from the previous book in this one as well.  I really adored the way that the author took multiple story lines in this book and we got to see each play out by the end.  I found myself most intrigued by the trouble that Clarice found herself in.  There were some tense moments where I wasn't sure how everything was going to work out or even if it would.  I also really was looking forward to Darby and Sadie's happy ever after.  They just fit together so perfectly so it was something that I couldn't help but love.

Overall, this book solidified my love for this author's books.  At this point my plan is to read anything and everything that this author has written starting with An Improper Arrangement which is the first book in this series.  I believe that I already have that one on my kindle so I won't be waiting long to read it!  Fans of historical romance should really check this book out.  I don't think that you need to read the books in order (I certainly didn't) but it might help when it comes to knowing the full stories of each of the characters.  With such a fun writing style and a story line that sweeps you away, why wouldn't you want to?

Bottom Line:  A new must read author for me in the historical romance genre!

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Late one summer night, Elizabeth Sanderson receives the devastating news that every mother fears: her fourteen-year-old son, Tommy, has vanished without a trace in the woods of a local park.

The search isn’t yielding any answers, and Elizabeth and her young daughter, Kate, struggle to comprehend his disappearance. Feeling helpless and alone, their sorrow is compounded by anger and frustration. The local and state police haven’t uncovered any leads. Josh and Luis, the friends who were with Tommy last, may not be telling the whole truth about that night in Borderland State Park, when they were supposedly hanging out a landmark the local teens have renamed Devil’s Rock— rumored to be cursed.

Living in an all-too-real nightmare, riddled with worry, pain, and guilt, Elizabeth is wholly unprepared for the strange series of events that follow. She believes a ghostly shadow of Tommy materializes in her bedroom, while Kate and other local residents claim to see a shadow peering through their own windows in the dead of night. Then, random pages torn from Tommy’s journal begin to mysteriously appear—entries that reveal an introverted teenager obsessed with the phantasmagoric; the loss of his father, killed in a drunk-driving accident a decade earlier; a folktale involving the devil and the woods of Borderland; and a horrific incident that Tommy believed connected them all and changes everything.

As the search grows more desperate, and the implications of what happened becomes more haunting and sinister, no one is prepared for the shocking truth about that night and Tommy’s disappearance at Devil’s Rock."

My Thoughts:

I don't even know how to begin sharing my thoughts on this book.  It was a reading experience that I won't be forgetting about anytime in the near future-that is one great way to describe it!  I went into this book expecting a thriller and you could definitely describe it that way.  But it was also one of the most dark and disturbing books that I have read in a very long time.  I tweeted about this book at one point while reading and I think that this describes it best: a dark and haunting read that was not always easy to read but hard to put down.  That describes this book so perfectly in my opinion.  I cannot tell you how horrifyingly real I found this book at times especially when the author talked about the way that this young boy pulled away a bit from his mother.  Here she thought that she knew everything that was going on in his life and to find out otherwise was just terrifying for her.  As a mother myself I can't even begin to tell you how hard this was for me to read.  There were quite a few times where I just wanted to stop reading and set this book down.  The author made this book so readable though and I just couldn't.  I needed to see what was going to happen next even if I didn't really want to know.  I don't know how to explain it any other way.

From the very beginning of this book, the author created this feeling where you know something bad is going to happen but you don't know what or how (well you kind of know if you read above summary but you are left wondering what else might happen).  That feeling intensified throughout the entire book.  It was so creepy and I was honestly worried at one point that I might end up with nightmares from this book.  That is how spooky I found it to be.  There were just all of these questions that the author was creating in regards to Tommy and what had happened that dark set such a dark tone and feeling to this book.  I can't describe it any other way.  The ending of this book had me reading at such a frantic pace because by that point I was so invested.  I don't even know if I can share my thoughts on the ending in a way that makes sense without spoiling anything for anyone?  It was good- very good and I felt that it fit with the story that the author had been telling perfectly.  I was left with a few questions which really made me wish that I could discuss this with other readers.  If you've read this book, please let me know what you think about the ending of this book!  I want to know!  It has been close to a week now since I've finished this book and I'm still thinking about it.  That should tell you something!

Overall, I feel like this is a book that made me want to read more by this author.  It wasn't an easy read especially for me as a mother of a pre-teen boy.  It is one of those books that won't be for everyone and that is okay.  I think that you should probably go into reading this one in the right frame of mind.  Think Gillian Flynn and how dark her books can be.  That's a decent comparison in my opinion although two very different kind of writers.  The darkness of subject matter though is why I say that.  I myself will be reading more by this author in the future for sure.  I will also be waiting a decent amount of time and will mentally prepare myself.  Ha!  Funny but so very true.  I would recommend this one but with a word of caution.  Be ready for a dark and haunting read!

Bottom Line:  A book that left me thinking about it for days.

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



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How Secrets Die by Marta Perry (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"As Laurel Ridge embraces a stranger hungry for answers, a sinister truth is awakened.

A hard-hitting reporter, Kate Beaumont unearths the deepest lies and brings harsh truths to light, but the story that lures her to the gentle town of Laurel Ridge, Pennsylvania, is closer to her heart than anyone knows. The details of her half brother's sudden death have never made sense. She owes him justice, yet the one man who can help her is the stubborn sheriff she can't stand.

Protecting his town is Mac Whiting's top priority. Everything else, including pacifying a beautiful crusader on a mission best left resting in peace, is secondary. But as Kate's search embeds her in his world and attracts a skilled criminal, she needs Mac's protection. Drawn together by deadly secrets, they must find a way to trust each other before a killer silences them both."

My Thoughts:

This is an author that I've always added to my TBR list but had never tried until now.  I am so glad that has changed because I really found this book to be a pleasurable read.  I'm always looking for good romantic suspense reads and I believe that this book would fit that genre.  The focus was more on the mystery in comparison to the romance but that actually worked really well for me.  I liked that the main characters realized that they had something more important to worry about but were still trying to work through their feelings for one another.  In fact, their relationship just came to life in the pages of this book and I loved every moment of it.  They went from not particularly liking each other at all (there is some strong resentment on Kate's part but you will have to read the book to see why) to working together to figure out what really happened to Kate's brother.  The mystery of Kate's brother's death was definitely a good one.  I found myself intrigued by it from the very beginning but especially because of the circumstances surrounding his death.  The question of what Kate was actually looking for/if she was going to get any answers was a constant presence throughout this book, and I feel like it added to the suspense.  It sure did make me want to turn the pages of this book that much faster!

What I enjoyed most about this book though was how easily I was able to immerse myself within it.  I found myself reading it between innings at my kid's baseball games.  I found myself reading this book basically every free second that I had.  And with how slow my reading has been going lately, that is really saying something!  I didn't want to set this book down so I didn't.  I just read to my heart's content and enjoyed every minute of it.  I found the ending of this book to be pretty intense although I did manage to figure out part of it.  It didn't matter though because by that point I was just trying to read as fast as possible to see how it would all end.  This was the perfect book to read during this reading slump or whatever I seem to be going through.  It left me excited to read more by this author and to find other books just like this!  I've got more of this author's books on my TBR list so I at least have more to look forward to.  Fans of romantic suspense should definitely give this book a try- I can easily recommend it!  

Bottom Line:  A perfect summer read with both romance and mystery!  

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher as part of a TLC Book Tour.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

#COYER Summer Vacation - Let the Fun Begin!

YES!  One of my favorite challenges to participate in is back and I am just thrilled.  Both my blogging and reading has really slowed down thanks to ball and other summer fun activities.  I need this challenge in my life to get my reading (and blogging mojo) kicked into high gear.  Because what is summer if you aren't reading a good book, right??  The best thing about participating this time around is that all of the rules are basically thrown out the window.  I can read print or e-books this time around and they all count for the challenge.  As I'm basically drowning in books right now, this pleases me to no end.  I'm going to focus entirely on this challenge for the rest of the summer and hopefully just read, read, read!

It isn't a COYER post if I don't share with all of you some of the many books that I would like to read for this challenge.  Goals wise I am shooting for reading a minimum of 10 books.  I honestly can't tell if this seems like too small of a goal or not.  My reading time has really gone down lately so it seems reasonable right now.  I have very high hopes that I will be able to blow this number out of the water but let's start with a goal that isn't overwhelming.  I'm including only e-books in my COYER pool just because I have so many that I need/would like to get read and off of my kindle.  Here are the books that I would like to read for this challenge:

I swear I could add fifty more books to this list of possibilities and it wouldn't feel like enough.  SO MANY BOOKS!  I want to read them all!  This challenge will at least allow for me to read some of them and that is really all that matters.  I have plans to try and visit all of the other participants so that I can cheer you all on.  There are always Twitter parties to participate in which are super fun.  I am just super excited and cannot wait to get started.

Happy Reading!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Death At Breakfast by Beth Gutcheon (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Retired New York City private school head Maggie Detweiler and her old friend, society matron Hope Babbin, are off on a weeklong vacation to Maine, to visit Hope’s son and attend a master cooking class at the picturesque Oquossoc Mountain Inn. The worst tragedy they anticipate is a boring fellow guest or a fallen soufflĂ©.

But their quiet idyll is disrupted by the arrival at the inn of a boorish couple, Alexander and Lisa Antippas, and Lisa’s sister, Glory. Imperious Hollywood one-percenters, Alex and Lisa are also the parents of the latest pop sensation, teen icon Artemis. Discord enters with the family, closely followed by disaster. When a suspicious late-night fire at the inn is brought under control, Alex’s charred body is found in the ashes.

Enter the local deputy sheriff, Buster Babbin, who is Hope’s long-estranged son and a former student of Maggie’s. Buster needs a success, and Hope and Maggie, informed by a lifetime of observing human nature, coupled with a certain cynicism about small town justice and a healthy dose of curiosity, decide there is role for them to play here."

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed my reading experience with this book so much! It was such a fun mystery and I found myself just caught within the pages the entire time. From the very beginning, the author brought this story to life and I couldn't help but just settle in to the pages. What I loved about this book so much is that there was just this feeling of humor present throughout the entire book- it felt a bit playful at times which isn't something that you always see in a mystery. It was just a fun book to read plain and simple! The characters were great as well which made the book even better. The two main characters were Hope and Maggie who are both retired and traveling together for the first time to see if they make good traveling companions. I absolutely adored the fact that the main characters in this book were older- too often it seems that all of the characters in every book I read are in their early twenties or younger. With older characters you get a different perspective then you would with someone that is younger. I really thought that these two ladies just made the book that much better. I am really looking forward to reading more books in this series based off of their characters alone.

The mystery portion of this book was done quite well. I guessed at one point early on who it might be but was never sure until the very end because the author did such a good job of keeping me guessing. I loved the fact that at certain points in the book I suspected almost every single character. When an author can do that, it is a sign of a great book in my opinion. I also really appreciated how easily this author was able to just pull me in. This was a book that I took my time with as I just didn't want to see it end. I enjoyed getting to know all of the different characters and I really enjoyed trying to figure the mystery out. But my absolute favorite thing about this book was the descriptions of the inn where they were all staying. I wanted to stay there myself! It just seemed so cozy and inviting- the author was able to bring it all to life for me. I found myself wishing that I could go and visit myself! The ending of this book was perfect. I honestly don't think that the author could have ended it any better. I was also left excited because it seemed pretty clear that there is going to be a second book. I can't wait!

Overall, I really enjoyed my entire reading experience with this book. I found it to be such a pleasant read and I was truly sad to see it end. With a great cast of characters that I couldn't help but love, I was left very excited about this series! I will definitely be reading the second book as soon as I can get my hands on it. I can easily recommend this book to other mystery lovers. I think fans of Louise Penny should check this author out as this book had a similar vibe with a strong focus on characters. Easily recommended!

Bottom Line: Such a great beginning to this new series- I can't wait for more!

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

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Body in the Wardrobe by Katherine Hall Page (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Minster’s wife, caterer, and part-time sleuth Faith Fairchild pairs up with Sophie Maxwell, last seen in Body in the Birches and now a newlywed living in historic Savannah, Georgia, where Sophie crosses paths with murder. Another delightful entry in the beloved mystery series, complete with delectable recipes.

Attorney Sophie Maxwell has come to Savannah to be with her new husband, Will. But nothing throws cold water on a hot relationship faster than a dead body. Worse for Sophie, no one believes the body she knows she saw is real. Will is spending an awful lot of time in Atlanta on a case he claims is urgent, and she’s been tasked with house hunting for them with his former sweetheart, who Sophie can’t help but suspect wishes Sophie would return to her Yankee roots!

Fortunately, Sophie has a good friend in Faith Fairchild. With teenage Amy being bullied by mean girls and husband Tom contemplating a major life change that will affect all the Fairchilds, Faith is eager for distraction in the form of some sleuthing. In between discussions of newlywed agita, surprising Savannah customs and, of course, fabulous low country food, Faith and Sophie will pair up to unmask a killer!"

My Thoughts:

I am currently two books into this series and I've enjoyed both of them.  I read (and adored) the first book in this series titled The Body In the Belfry last year.  I've been meaning to continue on with this series since then but we all know by now how awful I can be when it comes to doing just that.  This is the twenty-third book in this long standing mystery series- you can probably already imagine how thrilled I was to realize how many more books I now have to look forward to!  I love when I find long standing mystery series with huge backlists to explore!  Even though I read this book completely out of order, I found that it didn't affect my enjoyment of this book in the slightest.  Partly this was because the main story line was about Sophie and her new life with her new husband. I'm sure that this really helped but the secondary story line was focused on Faith's family and I enjoyed that as well despite having missed so much of the back story.  It just made me more excited to continue on with this series and to get my hands on the second book!

One of the things that I liked about this book so much (and really the series in general) is the main characters.  In this book really the mystery felt secondary to the characters and what they were going through in life.  I loved every minute of it!  This was a quiet mystery but it still had just enough suspense to make me unable to stop reading.  I just loved the author's attention to detail and the way that she brings the characters to life on the pages.  The descriptions of Savannah which is Sophie's new home and all of the delicious food- it is no wonder that I was hungry half of the time while I was reading this book!  I just found myself completely immersed within the pages of this story and was almost sad to see it end.  These characters just felt like old friends and I enjoyed my time with them.  The mystery portion was tied up nicely and I loved that the author was able to bring Sophie and Faith's story lines both to a satisfying close.  I really don't plan on waiting as long to get back to this series and I've already checked my library system for the second book.  

Overall, this book was another great read in this mystery series.  I've come to really adore the characters and as I've only read two books in this series I feel like that is a really great accomplishment.  Don't feel like you can't read this book out or order- I did and it didn't bother me in the slightest.  I think what I loved about this book the most was that I just let the author take me on the ride that she intended.  I didn't rush, I just enjoyed my time reading this book.  Fans of cozy mysteries should really check this series out as it does have a cozy feel to it.  Plus, the way that the author describes and brings the story to life are very reminiscent of other cozy series that I love.  I can easily recommend both this book and this series in general.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A perfect way to spend a few days just immersed in this book!

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Murder That Never Was by Andrea Kane (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Given the opportunity, would you assume someone else's identity and leave your old life behind? A serendipitous crossing of paths between Lisa Barnes, a down-on-her-luck job seeker, and Julie Forman, a personal trainer to an Olympic hopeful, forever changes the course of both women's lives. One winds up dead and the other finds herself a fugitive, hiding behind one lie after another as a cold-blooded killer methodically hunts her. Desperately trying to stay alive, the terrified woman enlists the help of Forensic Instincts, a rogue investigative team that clandestinely operates in the gray area between legal and illegal. Safeguarding their client's deception, Forensic Instincts digs into dangerous territory as they try to find out who's after their client and why. Meanwhile, bodies are piling up in Chicago, New Jersey, and Vermont as a megalomaniacal genius will stop at nothing to eradicate anyone who threatens the success of his medical breakthrough. With an unhinged client and a monstrous criminal enterprise as its adversary, Forensic Instincts is forced into uncharted territory to protect their client and save one of their own from becoming the next corpse. Forensic Instincts is an unorthodox, criminal investigative team that carefully navigates the fine line between legal and illegal. The team consists of a behaviorist, a former Navy SEAL, a techo-wiz, an intuitive, a pickpocket, a retired FBI agent, and a human scent evidence dog."

My Thoughts:

This book reminded me once again what I love about this series!  Even though I've read this series completely out of order (I think I started with book three and then went back to book one before reading this one) I have enjoyed each book.  What I love about this series is the great cast of characters and of course the mysteries that suck me in each and every time.  I found the story line of this book to be so interesting because Forensic Instinct's client has basically taken over the life of a woman that she barely knew and then finds herself in deep danger because of it.  At first I wasn't sure how this was all going to work but the author did a really great job with making it feel believable and especially with the motivations of why Lisa does what she does.  It made the book that much more intense while reading it for me because I didn't want anything to happen to Lisa.  Her character wasn't even the focus of the book for the entire time but I really liked her and wanted everything to work out.  

Each of the books in this series has pulled me in while reading and this book was no different.  I love how each of the members of Forensic Instincts has an important role that they play in each investigation.  I don't think that it is easy for an author to include so many character's lives in one story but Kane does a really great job of it.  I feel like with each book I get to know more about the characters and I enjoy the series that much more because of it.  I especially like reading about Ryan's different gadgets and gizmos that he comes up with to use during their investigations.  The ending of this book was especially intense and I found myself reading as quickly as possible by that point.  I liked the way that this book ended and felt that it fit in realistically with everything that had happened.  I've got to say that this is really becoming a favorite series of mine and one that I will happily continue to read as it goes on (and yes, probably out of order still).

All in all, this book was just as good as I had hoped that it would be.  Obviously I don't have a problem reading the series out of order but I do recommend reading the earlier books as well.  The series has such a great cast of characters and the author does an amazing job of bringing each one of them to life.  I love how they aren't afraid to do things that are outside of the law in order to make sure that their clients lives are safe.  It makes the books just a bit more intense and suspenseful as we wait to make sure that everything works out.  The premise of this book is really what made this book stand out for me and I'm eager for more.  Looks like I need to get my hands on a copy of book two soon!  Easily recommended to mystery and suspense fans!

Bottom Line:  Another great addition to a series that I've come to love.

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

Here is a link to the author's website if you are interested:

Friday, May 13, 2016

Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynn Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong. He’s more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s her only hope. As the one woman who could cure the disease, Lynn is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury…

Danger has never looked quite so delicious…

My Thoughts:

Post-apocalyptic romance.  That is all I needed to hear before I was adding this book on to my TBR wishlist.  It is so easy sometimes, isn't it?  This is a genre that I cannot resist and always want to read more of although really I've read very few books like this.  This book was just as good as I had hoped it would be, and I am delighted that it is the beginning to a series.  A post-apocalyptic romantic still my heart!  After finishing this book I am already eagerly anticipating book two because this book was just that good.  It was unique, kick-ass, and intense which are all things that made this book a winner for me.  It would be most accurate to say that I devoured this book- I started reading it and just couldn't stop.  

I have a certain weakness for books and shows (evidenced by my obsession to The Walking Dead) that feature "the end of society as we know it".  It is a scary thing to read about at times because it can feel all too real.  The world that this author created was perfect because it felt so real.  The constant hunt and search for supplies.  The attempt at creating a life and some new version of normal.   And of course the need to fight to survive.  If society really was to end, I am sure that all three of these things would be necessary which is a terrifying thought.  I loved how easily this author pulled me into this dark world that she had created.  It was so different from other books that I have read like this and I couldn't help but appreciate that fact alone.  Add to that two really great main characters and you have a winning read!  Oh, but I just loved the characters in this book and especially Jax and Lynn.  The chemistry between these two was just as hot as I had hoped for.  There are some secondary characters that really had me intrigued as well and I'm hoping to see more of them in the next book.  The ending of this book was completely intense!  I was on the edge of my seat reading as fast as I possibly could.  The author had some super creepy moments in there that made it even more intense!  I finished this book all too soon and was left wishing for more.  At least I have another book to look forward to although I sure do wish that I had it in my hands now!

Overall, this book was an amazing read that left me wanting more.  If anyone has recommendations for other post-apocalyptic romance reads, do share!  I love books like this but just don't know of enough of them.  I sure would like to add more to my TBR wishlist!  The romance in this book fit in perfectly with the story line (and didn't feel like it was shoved in as a side note) and left me feeling completely satisfied.  The intensity of this book and the world that the author created made this a thrilling read that I just couldn't get enough of.  I would highly recommend this book to romance fans and especially those of romantic suspense.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A great beginning to this series- it was just as good as I wanted it to be!

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

If you are interested, here is a link to another series that I have really loved similar to this one.  Nightfall by Ellen Conner was just as intense as this book was and also one that I loved to pieces!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

It Takes One by Kate Kessler (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Criminal psychologist Audrey Harte is returning home after seven years. She'll have to face the whispers and the rumors that have haunted her family since she left. Because when Audrey was thirteen, she and her best friend Maggie killed Maggie's abusive father.

Her first night back in town ends in a fight with a drunken Maggie, with her old crush Jake to witness it all. Audrey can't believe it can get worse.

Then Maggie turns up dead.

Now, Audrey has to find out who the murderer is - before everyone decides that she is to blame. And before the murderer can set their sights on her."

My Thoughts:

 Wow, wow, wow!  Don't you love when you read a book by a new to you author and end up being just blown away by it?  Books like this are why I read, it is as simple as that.  I wanted to read this book instantly based off of the above summary alone.  I was sold as soon as I read the words criminal psychologist and realized that was the main character's profession.  Yes please!  Plus, it was the beginning to a new series and you all know by now how much I love starting a new series.  And it doesn't hurt if I am being honest that it has such a gorgeous cover.  Anyways, what made this book such a winner for me was how dark and twisted this book ended up being.  I'm basically a sucker for a mystery like this where no one and nothing is as it seems.  These are my absolute favorite types of thrillers to read which makes it very easy to see why I loved this one so much!  

One of the things that made this book stand out for me was the characters.  When Audrey was younger, she helped kill her best friend's father who was abusive.  This event has shaped Audrey's life and the author used Audrey's past and tied it into the present.  This added such a great layer of tension and suspense because it made me question everything that was happening.  Was it related to what happened between Maggie and Audrey as kids?  I'm trying not to spoil anything here but as you read further on into the book you come to realize that possibly the entire truth from that awful night has not come out.  This adds just one more layer of intensity so that I found myself reading frantically by the end.  From the way the author told this story, it felt like all of the characters in this book might have secrets or darker motivations behind the things that they did.  I didn't trust any of the characters fully which gave the book a bit of an unreliable feel to it.  This is something that I love so much in thrillers- it is my reader catnip.  I cannot resist a book where I am questioning everything and everyone!  The mystery portion of this book was both dark and intense which is just the way I like it.  I loved that the author was able to leave me guessing until the very end.  Oh that ending was a doozy!  I found myself utterly useless by the end of this book as I wasn't going to do anything else until I finished.  It was worth the lack of sleep completely and I won't tell you more than that!

All in all, this book has a very good chance of making my top reads list of 2016.  I loved how suspenseful it was and found myself unable to set my kindle down because of it.  If this is the author's first book, then I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!  She has jumped on to my must read list and I am seriously pining for the second book already.  I can't seem to say enough good things about this book so read it already!  Fans of twisty dark thrillers definitely need to give this book a go.  I will just sit here wishing that I had book two in my hands and recommend this one to you all in the meantime.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  One of the best thrillers I have read so far this year!  Wow!

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