Thursday, February 15, 2018

Blue Monday by Nicci French (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"The abduction of five-year-old Matthew Farraday provokes a national outcry and a desperate police hunt. And when a picture of his face is splashed over the newspapers, psychotherapist Frieda Klein is left troubled: one of her patients has been relating dreams in which he has a hunger for a child. A child he can describe in perfect detail, a child the spitting image of Matthew.

Detective Chief Inspector Karlsson doesn't take Frieda's concerns seriously until a link emerges with an unsolved child abduction twenty years ago and he summons Frieda to interview the victim's sister, hoping she can stir hidden memories. Before long, Frieda is at the center of the race to track the kidnapper.

But her race isn't physical. She must chase down the darkest paths of a psychopath's mind to find the answers to Matthew Farraday's whereabouts.

And sometimes the mind is the deadliest place to lose yourself."


My Thoughts:

I'm so pumped about this series after finishing this book!  Last year I read and adored Dark Saturday which is a later book in this series.  I've been meaning to go back to the first book every since then and thank goodness that I finally did.  I started and finished this book in one day.  A day in which my husband was having shoulder surgery so that should tell you how compelling that I found this book!  I was able to lose myself in it despite everything that was going on.  It was the perfect distraction and way to keep me from just sitting there worrying (like I'm prone to do).  It's funny but having read a later book in this series first, I could see how this book sets everything up for books to come.  We meet characters that are still in those later books and a bad guy like no other.  I know that I'm missing pieces but they will all fall into place as I continue to catch up on this series.  I should have listened to some of blogger friends and started reading this series years ago!  In this book, Frieda gets involved in the search of a kidnapped boy - a kidnapping that is starting to seem like it is related to another kidnapping over twenty years ago.  Frieda is such a great main character and I really enjoy reading about her.  She is a bit of a mystery in that she just seems so distanced from those around her.  She walks at all hours of the night and as the reader I could never quite get a feel of what is going on in that head of hers.  I loved it though because I am so intrigued by her!  I never know what to expect from her and that's a good thing in my opinion.  The mystery portion of this book was so completely well done and unexpected.  I don't want to give anything away but if you like a good twist (as seems to be so popular nowadays) then check this book out!  I can honestly say that I won't be waiting long to continue on with book two because I just NEED to see what happens next!

Overall, I basically loved my time with this book which is really all you need to know.  It was such a compelling thriller, and has pushed both this series and author to my must read list.  I've heard that the eighth book is going to be the last one which is a bummer only in that I enjoy these characters so much.  That being said I still have a good number of this author's books to catch up on before then and hopefully they will continue to write other books in the future.  I'm basically gushing at this point but this is a series and author to definitely to check out in my opinion.  I can highly recommend to both thriller and mystery fans alike.  Trigger warning in that this book features a kidnapped child - I'm sure that isn't something that all readers will want to read about so thought I would give you a heads up.  Highly recommended otherwise though!

Bottom Line:  An amazing beginning to what is now fast becoming a favorite series of mine (and I've only read two books in it)!

Disclosure:  I checked this book out from my local library.       

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Two girls go missing. Only one will return.  
The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die. 

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping. 

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad. 

Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour… 

Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?"


My Thoughts:

I've been meaning to read this book for months and am so glad that I finally did just that!  I have a tendency to hoard books in my favorite series but never read them as I don't want to run out of books to look forward to (yes, I'm weird like that).  But then I realized that there are seven books in this series and I've fallen way behind so I decided it was time to start catching up.  Reading this book reminded my why I love this series so much.  It was heart-poundingly good and such a thrill ride!  The premise is honestly too horrifying to think about.  Two families are torn apart when their daughters are kidnapped and to get them back they are told to make the highest bid.  I cannot even imagine and wouldn't want to!  It raised the tension level in this book to about a ten though which meant that I didn't want to stop reading.  I loved the fact that in this book we got to see a different type of investigation for Kim to be working rather than a murder investigation.  The thoughts of what these two missing girls must be going through was haunting Kim and even effecting her investigation at times.  As I've said before, she is one of my favorite main characters in a mystery series due to her personality and dark past.  She is just so interesting to read about and you never know what she is going to do next.  That was definitely apparent in this book as she was basically willing to do anything to get those girls back.  I found the last half of the book so incredibly intense that I basically couldn't stop reading.  I was cooking dinner last night with one hand and had my kindle in the other.  Seriously, I had hit the point of no return and just had to see how it was all going to end!

Overall, I enjoyed this book so much and found that it was another great addition to one of my favorite mystery series!  I can't say enough good things about this series or these books.  I've been reading them in order but I really do think that you could read them out of order without it effecting your enjoyment of each book.  If you enjoy tense, thrilling reads then this is a series for you.  Each book has been different but so compulsively readable.  The first two books made my best of lists for the years that I read them and I don't think that this one will be any different.  I'm kicking myself now for waiting so long to read this book.  Luckily, I already have book four loaded on my kindle so I won't be waiting much longer to dive into that one.  I would highly recommend this book and this series!

Bottom Line:  Another top read from one of my favorite series!

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

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Sunday Post #43 (Snow 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"

Good morning everyone!  It has been quite the hectic week here - and I'm currently savoring the quiet and my coffee this Sunday morning.  As the title suggests, we have been getting snow here like crazy.  It almost feels like we got some sort of accumulation every day this week (that's a slight exaggeration but we have gotten a lot).  My exercise time has been shoveling my driveway once or twice a day.  I may be weird in this but I actually enjoy shoveling.  The snow's falling again this morning so I'm sure I will be out there later this afternoon yet again.

I'm not really sure where my week went - it feels like it just flew by.  In reality I was busy cooking dinner, helping with homework, cleaning, working, and a million other things.  There is nothing that can show how much my husband helps around the house more than when he has only one good arm and can't assist with some of these things.  I'm spoiled to say the least!  It was a good week though so no more complaining.  I've managed to finish two books since my last reading post.  That sounds really impressive considering but really I just finished one late last night, and the other was finished last Saturday night but after my Sunday post had been written.  So kind of a slower reading week but I will take two books read any time!  I'm currently ahead on my Goodread's goal too which is a nice change of pace since last yearLast week I finished the following books:


Look For Her by Emily Winslow is for an upcoming PICT Blog tour.  I really enjoyed this one despite not realizing that it was book four in the series when I started.  It's a unique mystery and I will be working on scheduling my thoughts on this one for February 21st.

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons is book three in one of my favorite mystery series.  I enjoyed this book immensely and was reminded why I love this series so much!  I need to move on the book four sooner rather than later because these books are so good.  I will also be writing up my thoughts on this one soon.

I'm now currently reading the following:


The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston is my print read and one that I've only just begun.  Like I've literally only read the first couple of pages.  I've been meaning to try this author and series for awhile now.  I was listening to an older episode of the podcast Smart Podcast Trashy Books and they mentioned this series and how good it was.  It was enough of a push to make me want to start reading this one and check it out for myself.  Be A Good Girl by Tess Diamond will be my next read on my Kindle and is also one that I haven't yet begun.  I actually just settled on this one to read but I'm looking forward to it.  It's so hard sometimes to choose what you want to read next when there are so many great books waiting!

New Additions:




Sigh....I told you last week that I had more I needed to share about, didn't I?  On a positive note, I stayed completely away from both NetGalley and Edelweiss this week other than giving feedback on books finished.  I'm counting that as a win as my virtual bookshelves are absolutely groaning with all of these new books.  But the new Mary Torjussen and Peter Swanson!!  I'm excited for ALL of these so I'm not really complaining.  I just need to find the time to read them all!

Plans for today include laundry and shoveling and not much else.  I'll probably get things done around the house so that my week goes a bit more smoothly than last week (putting laundry away would definitely help).  I have at least two reviews that I would like to get written and scheduled.  Honestly, more than anything though I plan on watching the Olympics and curling up with a book.  It sounds heavenly!  I'm off to get that laundry started though before my piles topple over.

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Escape to You (Montana Heat) by Jennifer Ryan (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"He discovered her during a Montana blizzard, freezing cold, impossibly vulnerable, a little boy by her side. Undercover DEA Agent Beck “Trigger” Cooke is astonished to recognize Ashley Swan—award-winning actress, famous beauty—and missing for over a year. To keep her and the child hidden from a sadistic madman, he secrets the pair away to his isolated home.

No longer a prisoner, and protected at Hope Ranch, Ashley recovers and learns the tall, tempting federal agent may have a dark past, but it hasn’t destroyed his sense of honor.

As they shed past roles and find common ground, Ashley and Trigger can’t help but fall slowly, carefully, in love. But danger still lurks outside the boundaries of Hope Ranch, for until her crazed captor is brought to justice, and Trigger’s undercover past is laid to rest, none of them will ever be truly safe…"


My Thoughts:

My feelings for this book were kinda all over the place so my apologies ahead of time if my review is all over the place as well.  I wanted to love this book, I really did.  The summary sounded right up my alley, and as I love a good romantic suspense I was really looking forward to this one.  The suspense portions of this book were super good and were what made this such a fast read.  This author has created such a creepy "bad guy" and the idea of him finding Ashley again gave me chills.  I honestly feel like if this just had been a suspense/mystery read I probably would have given the book four stars.  That's how much I liked those portions of this book.  What I just couldn't get behind though was the insta-love between Ashley and Trigger.  I never connected to them as a couple even when I really wanted to.  It wasn't that I didn't like them together because I actually did.  I just didn't find their relationship believable in how instantly they came together and fell in love.  After everything that Ashley went through, you would think it would take time for her to trust another man let alone fall in love.  And from reading that above summary, I totally thought that was how it was going to happen.  Honestly, this could be a "it's not you, it's me" type of thing.  I don't usually care for insta-love romances in general.  I much prefer the slow burns where the couple have to really get to know each and build a relationship instead.  For me, Ashley and Trigger's relationship didn't add to my enjoyment of this book which is why this book is only a three star read for me.

All of that being said, I really do want to read more by this author.  I've heard from other readers that this wasn't their favorite book as well so maybe I just picked the wrong one to begin with.  I could definitely get behind the suspense and tense atmosphere that the author created with this book though!  It had me thoroughly creeped out at times - especially at the beginning before Ashley makes her escape.  I also really loved the snowstorm setting in this book!  I felt like this was the perfect time of year to pick this book up even if I didn't love it as much as I had hoped to.  I'm going to recommend this one but with hesitations.  If you don't mind relationships between characters that develop almost instantly, this is a book that you will probably enjoy more than I did.  For me, I will check out some of this author's other books instead.

Bottom Line:  A romantic suspense read that was better for me on the suspense portion, less so on the actual romance.

Disclosure:  I checked this book out from my local library.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Look For Me by Lisa Gardner (thoughts)

Summary From Goodreads:

"In #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner's latest twisty thrill ride, Detective D. D. Warren and Find Her's Flora Dane return in a race against the clock to either save a young girl's life . . . or bring her to justice.

The home of a family of five is now a crime scene: four of them savagely murdered, one—a sixteen-year-old girl—missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D. D. Warren is on the case—but so is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, whether as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, Look for me."


My Thoughts:

Two years ago I read and absolutely loved Find Her by this author which was also the first book that I had ever read in this series.  I've intended to get back to this series every since then but it was only with this book that I finally did.  It actually worked out perfectly as this book also features Flora Dane from Find Her.  I had very high hopes for this book and it definitely didn't disappoint!  I started reading this book and just couldn't stop - it was that good!  Both of Gardner's books that I've read are definitely on the darker side so probably not for everyone....but they are SO readable and compelling.  I spent the entire time while reading this book trying to figure out what was going on and also trying to guess on how it would all end.  If you are wondering, I wasn't successful in figuring it all out.  I really liked that this book was told from both D.D.'s point of view and also Flora's.  I enjoyed the fact that with this book we got to see more of how Flora is doing and coping after everything that happened to her in a previous book.  You definitely need to read Find Her first or this book will give a lot of what happened away in that previous book but you could certainly read this series out of order.  I did and I've loved both of the books that I've read so far!  I'm trying not to say too much as I don't want to spoil anything but this is a book and series to check out!

Overall, I couldn't get enough of this book and am guessing that there is a good chance that it will end up on my top reads list for 2018!  It was just that good and a book that I couldn't get enough of!  I really, really need to go back now and start at the beginning of this series so I can catch up with D.D.'s earlier mysteries.  After enjoying both of the books that I've read by this author so much, I definitely plan on reading everything and anything that she has written.  Luckily for me, I believe that I already have book one on my shelves just waiting to be read!  I cannot say enough good things about this book and this series so far.  I would recommend this book to mystery and thriller fans alike!  It is a dark and thrilling read but so completely worth the ride!  I loved every minute of it!  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  This is an author that I need to read more of and a series I can't get enough of!

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

This book releases today, February 6th if you want to check it out!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Sunday Post #42 (Germs 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"

It's Saturday afternoon here and I'm trying to soak up the quiet after a very hectic two weeks.  I missed last week's post as it was a very busy weekend and I just didn't get the chance to blog at all.  We had a softball fundraiser last Saturday night which was such a fun time but also a very busy one.  Monday morning my husband had shoulder surgery for the third time (and we are hoping the last).  The doctor had to do a lot more work  than we had hoped he would have to which means a longer recovery time.  By Tuesday evening, my daughter wasn't feeling well which meant a two hour trip to the doctor the next day.  Everything came back okay (she had been complaining about a sore throat) so I wasn't too worried.  Then yesterday she woke up with a fever on top of all of her other symptoms so back to the doctor we went.  Not only did she test positive for strep the 2nd go around but she also tested positive for influenza B.  Sigh....you can imagine my reaction to hearing all of that.  I've spent the morning cleaning and disinfecting the house in the hopes that my other two don't get sick as well.  My daughter is being quite the trooper though so hopefully she starts feeling better fast.

In between all of this, I've also been reading although at a slightly slower pace.  I've finished three books since my last reading update which I'm considering to be a success.  I actually finished nine books in January which is pretty amazing when I compare it to last year's reading pace.  I'm hoping that I can continue with this reading pace throughout the rest of the year.  It might not happen but I can sure try.  I've finished the following books in the past two weeks:



Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley - I enjoyed this book so much and have already written up and shared my thoughts on it.  It was just as good as I had hoped it would be.  I'm really looking forward to reading the second book later on this year.  You can read my thoughts here if you are interested.

Look For Me by Lisa Gardner - This was my 2nd book by Gardner but certainly won't be my last!  I am becoming such a HUGE fan of this series.  I'm posting my thoughts on this one later this week but expect a lot of gushing.  I need to go back soon and read the beginning books to this series because I just couldn't put either of the books that I've read down.  So good!

Blue Monday by Nicci French - I finished this one in one day....that should tell you everything that you need to know.  I chose this one carefully as I started reading it the day of my husband's surgery.  It was the perfect book to keep me completely immersed and relaxed while I waited (it also kept my mind off of everything going on).  I am so very glad that I went back to the beginning of this series.  I'm eager to get my hands on the 2nd book soon.

I'm now currently reading the following books:


Look For Her by Emily Winslow is my current print read that I'm reading for an upcoming PICT Book Tour.  I'm over halfway through and really enjoying it although I didn't realize until I began that it is part of a series.  I'm hoping to finish it this weekend but if I do I will include it in next week's update.  On my Kindle, I next plan on reading Lost Girls by Angela Marsons.  This one has been on my e-reader for entirely too long.  I'm really looking forward to reading this one and continuing on with this series.  After these two books I think I will pick something from a different genre to give myself a change of pace.

New Additions:


   

I'm not going to lie - these aren't all of the books that I've gotten in the past two weeks but I will share the rest next week.  I have PLENTY of great books that I need to get on and start reading.  Emma Kavanagh has been an author that I've been wanting to try so I'm really looking forward to that one.  All four of these books though sound amazing so I'm pretty excited to read them all.  Seriously...this week I'm going to stay away from NetGalley.  I need to read some of the books I keep adding to my e-reader first.  So many good books....and just not enough time!

Plans for this weekend are pretty low-key.  I'm hoping to get some serious laundry done.  Lots of cleaning and disinfecting will continue in the hopes of keeping everyone else germ free.  I don't really have much else planned.  Ideally I would like to get some blog posts scheduled but we will see how it goes.  I'm planning on taking it easy and just focusing on taking care of my daughter and husband.  I do hope to get lots of reading time in here and there.  I also plan on watching the big game tomorrow although I don't really care who wins.  Other than all of that, not much else!  I'm off to get working on those laundry piles.

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading! 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Highly sought-after young cook Kat Holloway takes a position in a Mayfair mansion and soon finds herself immersed in the odd household of Lord Rankin. Kat is unbothered by the family’s eccentricities as long as they stay away from her kitchen, but trouble finds its way below stairs when her young Irish assistant is murdered.

Intent on discovering who killed the helpless kitchen maid, Kat turns to the ever-capable Daniel McAdam, who is certainly much more than the charming delivery man he pretends to be. Along with the assistance of Lord Rankin’s unconventional sister-in-law and a mathematical genius, Kat and Daniel discover that the household murder was the barest tip of a plot rife with danger and treason—one that’s a threat to Queen Victoria herself."


 My Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading this book so much and am now so excited about this new series!  I basically read the above description and just knew that I had to get my hands on this book.  It was one of those reads that sounded totally up my alley and after finishing I can tell you that it really was.  One of my absolute favorite things about this book was reading about Kat's cooking and everything that she put into it.  I love a good mystery that features food as you probably already know by now.  But this book stood out for me because it was set in a day and age where everything is prepared differently along with different types of foods than what we eat nowadays.  I adored reading about Kat making these different meals and honestly I loved those parts of the books most.  What I also enjoyed though was the relationship that Daniel and Kat had.  It was unique to say the least and the banter between the two of them was something that I just couldn't get enough of.  I'm really excited to read future books in this series and see where their relationship goes from here!  The mystery portion of this book was also well done and left me guessing.  I really don't have a single negative thing to say about this book as I enjoyed it so much!  

Overall after finishing this book, I was absolutely thrilled to find that book two in this series will be releasing later this year!  I just cannot wait to see what kind of trouble Kat finds herself in next!  There is nothing better than not having to wait ages for the next book in a favorite series.  And if the next book is as good as this one was, this series will definitely be added to my must read favorites list!  I think that fans of mysteries and cozies alike will enjoy this book.  If you've read and enjoyed Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen (which now saying that makes me want to get back to that series - or maybe reread book 1) then I really think that you will enjoy this book as well.  They aren't the same by any means but have enough similarities that I think if you enjoyed one, you would definitely enjoy the other.  I can easily recommend this book and now begins the wait for book two!

Bottom Line:  A great beginning to this new mystery series!  I can't get enough of these characters!

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