Thursday, November 21, 2019

What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Rose Dennis wakes up in a hospital gown, her brain in a fog, only to discover that she's been committed to an Alzheimer's Unit in a nursing home. With no memory of how she ended up in this position, Rose is sure that something is very wrong. When she overhears one of the administrators saying about her that she's "not making it through the week," Rose is convinced that if she's to survive, she has to get out of the nursing home. She avoids taking her medication, putting on a show for the aides, then stages her escape.
The only problem is—how does she convince anyone that she's not actually demented? Her relatives were the ones to commit her, all the legal papers were drawn up, the authorities are on the side of the nursing home, and even she isn't sure she sounds completely sane. But any lingering doubt Rose herself might have had is erased when a would-be killer shows up in her house in the middle of the night. Now Rose knows that someone is determined to get rid of her. 
With the help of her computer hacker/recluse sister Marion, thirteen-year old granddaughter Mel, and Mel's friend Royal, Rose begins to gather her strength and fight back—to find out who is after her and take back control of her own life. But someone out there is still determined to kill Rose, and they're holding all the cards."
My Thoughts:
This is honestly one of the most fun books that I've read all year!  I feel like I haven't read a lot of books featuring older main characters - Mrs. Pollifax's character by Dorothy Gillman is the first one that comes to mind.  It's a shame because there is something to be said about a main character that has lots of life experiences behind them already.  But I'm going off on a tangent there - anyways - I really, really enjoyed Rose's character.  I don't think that it is too spoiler-ey to say that at first as the reader I wasn't sure if Rose had dementia or really what was going on.  She isn't the most reliable of main characters mainly because her memory is so spotty thanks to all of the medications that she was on while in the nursing home.  As the reader I wasn't sure if I could trust Rose's memories or even fully trust the reality of the events as they were happening which added a layer of suspense to the book.  The thing about this book though was that reading about Rose's adventures was just so much fun!  I could never tell what she was going to do next!  Plus, you know that she in danger so it made me read even faster because I wanted to make sure that everything was going to turn out okay for her.  I also really loved her granddaughter who was just as spunky as Rose is and her sister Marion.  The book was also really fast paced so I flew through the pages of it.  I actually had to slow down a couple of times and go back to reread sections of the book because I reading too fast just trying to see what was going to happen next!  When I think back on this book, it makes me smile so that should really tell you all that you need to know in my opinion!

Overall, I found this to be a delightful and suspenseful read that kept me turning the pages the entire time!  It was a fun book to read and a nice change of pace from the thrillers that I tend to read.  This book is more of a suspenseful mystery and it was just what I needed to change things up a bit.  I really enjoyed this book and it was a nice reminder that I need to get back to her Anna Pigeon series very soon!

Bottom Line:  What else to say besides that this book was just a delight to read?

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Cost of Honor by Diana Muñoz Stewart (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"He gave up everything to escape his family
The only male to be adopted into the notorious Parish family, Tony Parish always did right by his vigilante sisters. But when an attempt to protect one of them went horribly wrong, he had to fake his own death to escape his fanatical family. Tony set sail and ended up in Dominica—face to face with the woman of his dreams...
Now he must give up Honor to save her
After the death of her mother, Honor Silva moved to Dominica, where her family could help her heal and move on. But her activist mother left her more than money, she left her proof that could take down one of the richest and most powerful men in the world.
Tony gave up everything he thought he knew when he fled his family. But when a threat too dangerous for Tony and Honor to fight on their own closes in, he has no choice but to go to them for help. Problem is, they'll demand something in return—something that could cost Tony not just Honor, but also the love that changed him forever."
My Thoughts:

I am officially hooked on this series!  A few months ago I read (and really enjoyed) the second book in this series The Price of Grace.  It left me completely excited about this book and happily it was just as good as I had hoped!  What a page turner this book was!  I swear I was 100 pages into this one and then all of a sudden I hit this point and knew that I wasn't going to be able to stop reading until I finished.  It was just that good and I HAD to see how everything was going to turn out.  One of the things that I really liked about this book was that there were two separate threats that Tony and Honor are facing.  One is an unknown threat to Honor's business that Tony is attempting to help her with.  The second one is the threat that Tony's family will find him and wipe his memories. These two things added a lot of suspense and tension to this book.  It also helped for me to really understand and get behind the relationship that developed between these two.  I'm not usually one for relationships that develop super fast - I prefer the building up of a relationship the majority of the time.  Not in this case though because I was completely behind their relationship and the why's that they were diving into it so fast.  They knew that there time was limited together so they weren't going to waste one second of the time that they did have.  They had the perfect blend of chemistry and heat which had me rooting for their happy ever after the entire time.  I really, really liked this book so I'm eager to see if there are going to be more books in this series.  In the meantime, I need to go back and finally read that first book that started this series.  I do recommend reading these books in order if possible.  I didn't feel like it hurt my enjoyment in the second book at all (not having read the first) but by the time that you get to this one, I'm sure there are too many spoilers otherwise.  Also, things that happened in that second book definitely carry over into this one so that's another reason to read them in order if at all possible.  Plus, the two that I've read were so good so definitely worth your time!

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this book and this series in general so far.  I'm really, really hoping that we get more books featuring the Parish family because I'm not ready for it to be done.  This book had the perfect blend of heat and suspense - this is romantic suspense at its best in my opinion!  I would recommend this book and series to fans of romantic suspense, romance, and even suspense readers in general.  Read it in order if you can or start with The Price of Grace like I did!  An easy book to recommend!

Bottom Line:  The perfect blend of romance and suspense - what more do you need?

Disclosure:   I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Sunday Salon (Evening 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"

I'm posting a bit later than I usually do today but I was in the mood to chat with all of you.  The end of the year is rapidly approaching which is always a busy but fun time.  I'm already thinking about my reading year so far (I'm currently four books from my Goodread's goal for the year), the books that I'm anticipating in 2020, and what blogging will look like for me in the new year.  I've come to understand that I blog when I can.  This comes in waves - sometimes I'm more active and am able to get posts scheduled ahead of time.  Other times are more like today where I'm writing this post before dinner (so basically by the seat of my pants) but still want to share.  I would love to keep up with my posts more in the new year but time will tell if that actually happens or not. 

In other news, I have some new book mail to share with all of you.  I would love to get better about posting my book mail on a more consistent basis so this is also something I'm going to work towards in the new year. 

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt sounds like a SUPER creepy read!  I'm so excited to give it a try - honestly it just sounds like a book that should be read during this time of year with the long, dark nights.  I may end up giving myself nightmares with this one but still can't wait to check it out!

Life and Limb by Jennifer Roberson is a fantasy type of read (I believe).  As I just finished, The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (and LOVED it), I'm absolutely there for this one!  I just cannot wait to check it out and see what new world this author has created.  I'm really in the fantasy mood now so I don't think I'll be waiting too long to read this one!

All The Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen is one of my most anticipated reads for 2020!  I have loved BOTH of the previous two books in this series.  The author isn't afraid to take chances with her books and the main characters are ones that just love to read about.  I have very high hopes for this one - honestly, it doesn't release until February but I'm pretty sure I will be reading this one next month at the latest.

A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler isn't my typical sort of read which is why I'm so excited to read it!  I've realized lately that I need to push myself once in awhile to read more than just mysteries and thrillers all of the time.  This book also doesn't release until 2020 but I'm really looking forward to it as well.  I do plan on really working on stretching my reading boundaries in the new year however that looks!

I'm currently reading the following two books:

The Cost of Honor by Diana Munoz Stewart is a the third book in a romantic suspense series where I just recently read and enjoyed the second book not that long ago.  I'm about 100 pages in and enjoying this one as well.  It's a pretty fast read so I'm hoping to finish it this week.

Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan is my current read for #NetGalleyNovember.  I've got a ridiculous number of review copies courtesy of both NetGalley and Edelweiss.  I'm working on focusing on reading a few of them this month.  This is my second book for this "challenge" so I already feel like I've been successful with it so far.  I would love to finish this one as well this week so that's my reading goals for the week.

As we are into the evening already, I don't really have any plans of the day to share.  I have been working diligently on my laundry piles this weekend and still really haven't made that much of a dent.  I'll continue on with that this week as well.  I also went to my youngest son's basketball game today which was fun.  It's always fun to watch at this age as they are still learning so much!  I'm off to curl up with one of my books and maybe a little Harry Potter movie to end my day.

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"It's 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren't as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn't believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn't need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam. 

Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva's new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva's history―and her heart.

Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers."

My Thoughts:

The Widow of Rose House was everything that I love in a gothic romance!  Why are authors not writing more books like this?  I've always enjoyed books like this but they are from older authors like Barbara Michaels or Mary Stewart.  I'm sure you can imagine my delight when I read this description and saw the words Victorian Gothic included....I've never hit the request button on NetGalley so fast!  This book was everything that I hoped it would be and so much more!  One of the things that made this book stand out for me was Samuel's character.  I didn't even realize that I would love his character so much until I did.  The way that his mind worked just was so fascinating to read about, and I couldn't help but adore him.  The romance between Sam and Alva was also just so very delightful to read about.  Alva has had a hard time in her life - her marriage was horrible and her parents aren't much better.  On the other hand, Samuel's family was absolutely the best (please, please tell me that we are going to get more books featuring some of his siblings) so they had very different experiences.  The struggles that Alva faced with trust and love all came from her past and previous experiences.  It made the romance that was developing between her and Samuel all the sweeter though because of it.  I was fully behind these two working through everything so that they could find their happy ever after together.  I also really, really enjoyed the haunted house that Alva was trying to renovate.  I'm a sucker for a haunted house especially when there are ghosts in the mix.  I was so intrigued by those portions of the book and what exactly was going on.  Fair warning though, this book was unexpectedly darker than I thought it would be at times.  There are a few trigger warnings in here that readers may want to be made aware of (just leave me a comment or email if you want more details).  The ending of this book was absolute perfection - I cannot get over the fact that this book is this author's debut!  

Overall, I enjoyed my time with this book so much and cannot recommend this book highly enough!  I NEED more authors to dip their toes in the gothic romance waters for sure. I also need Diana Biller to keep writing books just like this because it was both amazing and delightful.  This is honestly one of the top romances that I've read so far this year and I've already read some really great ones.  Fans of Barbara Michaels and Mary Stewart - take note of this author and book!  I would recommend this one to fans of romance, historical romance, and anyone who loves a great gothic read like I do.  I will be just sitting over here impatiently waiting for whatever this author writes next now!  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  This book is everything that I wanted in a gothic romance without me even knowing it!  Such a delight!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamourous family’s mansion. The next items?

Enjoy a drunken night out.
Ride a motorcycle.
Go camping.
Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
And... do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…"

My Thoughts:

This may be one of the most adorable books that I've read in a really long time!  I enjoyed it so much that I found myself grinning at my e-reader at times.  Because I'm that person apparently and this book was also that good.  Let's start off by talking about Chloe and how much of an enjoyable character she was.  Because you just don't see (in my experience at least) main characters that are not only diverse but also that have a chronic illness which isn't glossed over.  Let me be the first person to say that I cannot speak to any of the above as I'm neither of these two things.  I cannot speak to the accuracy but I can speak to how this book made me feel - and it made me feel so good!  It was a nice change of pace to read a book where the chronic illness wasn't the point of the story but it was an important factor and was acknowledged throughout the entire book.  Chloe has good days and she has bad days with her illness and this felt real to me.  I'm sure that her experiences and symptoms are not the same as everyone that has fibromyalgia and that's okay.  I just feel like this book helped to shine a light (however big or small) on what life is like for individuals living with chronic illnesses.  And then we had a character like Red who was just perfection as well.  Red's got some major relationship issues thanks to a past relationship but that doesn't stop him from being just about the most adorable love interest that I've ever had the pleasure of reading about.  And the chemistry between these two was just complete perfection!  Okay, I'm going to get slightly spoiler-ey here so if you aren't here for that move on to next paragraph.  I do have to also say here how much I enjoyed the fact that the relationship between Chloe and Red developed naturally without any huge misunderstandings or angst.  Yes, there is a few blips here and there but they were minor looking back which just really fit my reading mood perfectly.  I enjoy an angsty romance when I'm in the right mood but I didn't feel like this book was that which I really appreciated (because apparently that is NOT what I wanted without even knowing it).

Overall, I read this one with a smile on my face which should tell you everything that you need to know.  I even found myself highlighting passages on my e-reader (which I hardly ever do) because the writing was just perfection.  It was the perfect blend of humor and adorableness all rolled into one really great book!  I'm really excited that this is my first book by Talia Hibbert because it won't be my last!  I actually already have one of her other books on my e-reader but then when I finished this one I realized that it was beginning a series.  AND I AM HERE FOR ALL OF THE BOOKS in this series!  Like seriously!  I cannot wait to see what else she comes up with next!  I would recommend this book to fans of romance, contemporary romance, rom com readers, and just those that enjoy a really adorable book with a nice steam factor.  An easy book for me to recommend!

Bottom Line:  A really great book that I couldn't help but enjoy from the very first page!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Nothing to Fear by Juno Rushdan (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Fearsome Gray Box operative Gideon Stone is devoted to his work and his team. He's never given reason to doubt his loyalty...until he's tasked with investigating Willow Harper, a beguiling cryptologist suspected of selling deadly bio-agents on the black market.

He knows she's innocent. He knows she's being framed. And he knows that without him, Willow will be dead before sunrise.

Thrust into the crossfire of an insidious international conspiracy, Gideon will do anything to keep Willow safe...even if that means waging war against his own. With time running out, an unlikely bond pushes limits―and forges loyalties. Every move they make counts. And the real traitor is always watching..."

My Thoughts:

Let me tell you how much I enjoy romantic suspense when it is done like this!  Books like this are why I enjoy this genre so much.  This book was the perfect blend of suspense and romance.  I was turning the pages as fast as I could the majority of this book while reading, but also just loving the developing relationship between Willow and Gideon.  And can we just shout out the fact that Willow is on the spectrum and the amazing way that the author writes her character.  She is who she is and we got to the struggles that she faces from being "different" (for lack of better word here) as well as the strengths that she has from it.  It isn't something that is glossed over at all in this book but is instead such an integral part of her character.  I cannot honestly say that I've ever read a romantic suspense book featuring a character like this until now which is a shame. How lucky am I though that I have another book in this series to catch up on after enjoying this one so much?  The chemistry between Gideon and Willow was HOT!  I enjoyed that they each had their own issues that they needed to work through before they were ready to even think about being in a relationship.  And I also have to say how much I appreciated that their romance came together during reasonable times - and not when they were literally in the middle of being chased by the bad guys like it does sometime in other books of this genre.  The feelings that grew between the two of them felt natural and I was completely here for it all.  I have a copy of the first book but didn't get the chance to read it before this one and it didn't affect my enjoyment in the slightest.  I'm super excited though to go back to that first book after enjoying this one so much!

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this book immensely!  It was the perfect mix of suspense and romance with characters that I just couldn't get enough of.  I'm so glad that I have now found this author and series because this book was that good!  I don't want to say too much more as I don't want to spoil anything.  If you enjoy action-packed, suspenseful books with romance mixed in, check this one out.  I would highly recommend it and am really looking forward to seeing what other readers think of it!

Bottom Line:  A book that has me just itching for more books just like it!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. Once loved and cherished, the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

The case calls Matthew back into the community he thought he had left behind, as deadly secrets hidden at its heart are revealed, and his past and present collide.

An astonishing new novel told with compassion and searing insight, The Long Call will captivate fans of Vera and Shetland, as well as new readers."

My Thoughts:

Don't you just love when you find the perfect book at just the right time that fits your reading mood?  This book was exactly the type of read that I needed without even knowing it.  This isn't a book to be rushed through in my opinion.  Instead, I took my time with this one and just enjoyed the ride that the author was taking me on.  And what a ride this was!  One of the things that I enjoyed most about this book was that the author really took the time to give the reader a sense of place with this book.  I felt like I was really there in North Devon investigating right alongside Matthew.  I also have to say how much I appreciated Matthew's character.  He's a quiet character but the strength in his character really shines through the pages even as he struggles with self doubt at times.  I really, really enjoyed him as a main character which makes me so happy that this is just the beginning to this new series.  I liked the conflicts that he had at times because of his upbringing and the experiences he had after leaving the community he grew up in.  The mystery portion of this book was also really enjoyable for me as it kept me guessing until the end.  I really liked that there were ties not only to Matthew's past with the case he was investigating but also ties to his husband's work.  It made the case more personal for Matthew which made the stakes for him figuring everything out that much more important.  The other characters in this book were also really enjoyable which has me so excited about this series.  I couldn't help but appreciate how everything came together at the end of this book.  I didn't see it coming and honestly I kind of thought that I had it figured out at one point while I was reading.  How wrong I was though!  That was probably the only part of this book that I rushed through and that was because I just had to see how it would all end.

Overall, I just really enjoyed my time with this book!  I'm so glad that I have finally given this author a try as I've had her books on my TBR list for years.  This new series was the perfect push to finally read her - now I have lots of other books to look forward to which will make the wait for the second book in this series not seem so long!  This isn't a book to rush through in my opinion.  Instead, I would recommend doing exactly like I did and just immersing yourself in this book.  Reading this book slowly allowed for me to appreciate everything that the author did with not only setting up the mystery but also the sense of place that she created.  I honestly am really looking forward to reading more of these characters because they were all so great!  I would recommend this book to fans of both mystery and suspense.  I also have to say that those readers who enjoy Deborah Crombie or Louise Penny should give this book a shot.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A lovely beginning to this new series that has me so excited to have found this author and all of her books!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"If you find one, he’s already found you.

A psychopath is terrorizing Copenhagen.

His calling card is a “chestnut man”—a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts—which he leaves at each bloody crime scene.

Examining the dolls, forensics makes a shocking discovery—a fingerprint belonging to a young girl, a government minister’s daughter who had been kidnapped and murdered a year ago.

A tragic coincidence—or something more twisted?

To save innocent lives, a pair of detectives must put aside their differences to piece together the Chestnut Man’s gruesome clues.

Because it’s clear that the madman is on a mission that is far from over.

And no one is safe."

My Thoughts:

This book is JUST as creepy as that summary makes it seem!  Let me tell you, I cannot remember the last time that a book creeped me out enough that I was freaked out walking into my dark garage one evening after the overhead light had burned out.  Oh but this book did exactly that!  I picked this one up but honestly was a bit intimidated by the size at first.  I needn't have worried because the pages just flew on by with this book.  It WAS SO good and I just couldn't seem to stop reading.  I do need to say that this book is considerably dark so it won't be for all readers.  And there are definite trigger warnings in here that readers will want to be aware of as well.  All of that being said, books like this are exactly why I read (and I kinda have to wonder about myself after saying all of that - ha!)  But seriously, this book felt like the perfect read to start fall off with.  It was dark and creepy with a terrifying killer.  It's a police procedural which is something that I always enjoy.  And it has these characters that maybe I didn't understand at first but by the end I wasn't ready to let them go or even see this book end.  Somebody please tell me that this is going to be the first book in a series because I will be there for it!!!  I love a book like this that just wraps you up in the atmosphere of the story that the author is telling.  I could feel the chill in the air as these two detectives tried to figure out what was going on and who the killer was.  I really appreciated the fact that I was kept guessing with this book until the very end.  I didn't see the ending coming whatsoever which boosted my enjoyment of this book that much more.  I'm at the point off gushing but this book completely deserves it in my opinion.  I need more books like this in my reading life because wow....just wow!  Also, can we please discuss that ending and what you think that it means?

Overall, this book is a five star read for me which should tell you everything that you need to know.  It was dark, suspenseful, eerie, and just one of the most twisted but best books that I've read so far this year.  I can't give it any higher praise than that!  I don't think that this book will be for everyone but I do think that this book is the perfect kind of thriller to read for this type of year.  It's exactly the type of book that I look for with my fall reading which is why I want more books just like it!  I think that fans of thrillers, horror (although this book isn't exactly horror it does have those kind of vibes), and suspense.  I highly recommend this one and am so excited to see that so many other readers have been enjoying it as well!

Bottom Line:  An easy five star read for me! I need more books like this in my reading life!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Sunday Post #58 (Fall Reading 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!  Fall weather has hit here and I'm enjoying every minute of it.  I'm actually typing this up on Saturday afternoon with the windows open, a blanket covering me to keep the chill off, and the sound of rain which is the absolute icing on the cake.  This is my absolute favorite time of the year for a reason.  I am one of those rare birds that enjoys all four seasons (yes, even the snow and cold) but fall has always been my favorite.

I haven't finished a single book this week.  I'm in the middle of four books currently which is absolutely unheard of for me.  In reality that looks like me with bookmarks in three books and actually reading the fourth one on a continual basis.  I always want to read all of the books, but lately I REALLY WANT TO READ ALL OF THE BOOKS!  It's kind of affecting my focus because it just feels like I want to read everything and right this second.  So basically that seems to have led to me starting multiple things and finishing none of them this week.  I need to do better next week!  When I get like this, I usually try to slow down reading which seems like the opposite of what one would want to do.  But I don't want to race through I'm really working on just enjoying that one book that I'm focusing on and then I can do the same thing with one of the other books I have currently going.  That's the plan anyways!

I've also been very blessed this week with book mail thanks to publishers.  I've gotten out of the habit of sharing about the books I receive for review on here but I would like to change that.  I'm hoping that by sharing it will also keep me accountable to share my thoughts on these books after finishing.  I can always use the gentle push especially when it comes to writing up my thoughts.  With that being said, I'm planning on sharing my thoughts on at least two books this week (not in this pile) that I received for review but haven't yet shared my thoughts on.  Maybe three if I'm feeling extra motivated (I'm woefully behind on reviews in general).  Anyways, these books all hit my mailbox this week so hence one of the reasons why I'm feeling the need to read ALL of the books.  Let's move on though to what I'm currently reading.

I currently have bookmarks in the following books:

The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller is the book I'm really actually reading.  It is absolutely delightful!  I'm just a little over halfway through this one (I'm reading it on my e-reader) and you guys I swear I'm reading it with a smile on my face half of the time.  If you enjoyed A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn, then I really think that you will enjoy this one as well.  I haven't seen this one much on bookstagram yet which is just a shame because it really is a delight so far!

Trace of Evil by Alice Blanchard is a print copy of a book that is due to release in December if I'm correct.  The ONLY reason that I'm not reading this one right this second is because of the above book and it will be what I'm diving into exclusively next if I'm honest.  I'm such a sucker for women detective fiction so this is kind of already my jam.

Death Masks by Jim Butcher should really need no explanation.  I NEEDED some Harry Dresden in my life and purposefully read the first few pages so that it wouldn't end up going back to the library unread.  It has been at least a year since I read the fourth book in this series so it is definitely time to dive back into Harry's world!

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag has been all over the bookstagram world lately so of course I requested it from the library.  I probably wouldn't have started this one but another bookstagrammer was reading it and I decided to just add one more to the pile and read it with her.  It's actually due back to the library soon though so if I can't renew I will just let it go back and get to it another time.

Whew!  That's a lot.  Plans for Sunday include laundry and reading.  The Walking Dead returns this weekend which I'm pretty pumped about.  We will be watching football and just basically being as lazy as possible while also preparing for the upcoming week.  That's my plan anyways - we will see what actually happens!

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Price of Grace by Diana Muñoz Stewart (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Gracie Parish knows the true cost of trust. Rescued as a child by the infamous Parish family, she became a member of their covert sisterhood of vigilantes. Gracie saw her most precious relationships destroyed by secrecy. She learned long ago to protect her heart as well as her family's secrets.

Special Agent Leif "Dusty" McAllister will do anything to uncover the truth about the Parish family's covert operations. Dusty knows Gracie is his ticket in. He'll use everything he's got—fair, unfair, and just plain wrong—to break through her defenses. But the more he gets to know Gracie and her family's mission, the harder he starts to fall. Neither one is sure they'll get out of this with their lives—or their hearts—intact."

My Thoughts:

This is the kind of romantic suspense read that I could not help but enjoy!  It was fast paced and unexpected throughout the entire book which I couldn't help but love!  This is actually the second book in the series but I decided to start with it first (and now will soon be going back to the first book to catch up on what I've missed).  One of the main things that made this book stand out for me was Gracie's family and the things that she has given up to protect her family.  I don't want to spoil anything for readers so I'll just leave it at that.  As the book goes along, we get to see that she is struggling with the things she has given up and is wanting to make changes to her life.  At the same time, she is dealing with Dusty's arrival back into her life after other certain events.  Grace knows that Dusty is investigating her family for the FBI but she just can't seem to keep away from him herself.  The chemistry between these two is definitely hot!  Before I go any further, I have to tell you my one small gripe with this book.  It starts off when these two first meet and there was such a huge case of insta-lust that I was immediately thrown off especially with the dangerous situation that they were in.  I'm only telling you this because I think that there are other readers like myself that aren't quite as huge fans of insta-love or lust and might feel similarly.  I'm super glad that those opening scenes didn't stop me from continuing because the rest of the book wasn't like that at all.  Yes, they are still attracted to each other from the beginning but they both understand why a relationship between the two of them is a bad idea and probably wouldn't work.  Gracie fights her attraction to Dusty which just made the moments when they finally came together (not a spoiler - this IS a romance) that much sweeter.  I actually really adored both of their characters so I was rooting for them to find their happy ever after. The suspense portion was very well done and was why I just couldn't seem to set this book down!  The way this book ended left me very curious to see what will happen next in book three.  To make the wait seem shorter though, I definitely plan on going back to the first book I Am Justice!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and flew through the pages of it!  One of the things that I'm most excited about with reading more books in this series is learning more about Gracie's family.  They have me so intrigued so I can't wait to read more about them all.  This book was also another really great reminder of why I enjoy romantic suspense so much!  There is just something about a book with a romance and a mystery mixed together that I can't get enough of!  It's like the best of both worlds when it is done right and this book definitely was!  I would recommend this book to readers of romance and romantic suspense easily!  You definitely don't have to read this series in order (I didn't).  I didn't feel like I was missing out whatsoever.  That being said, this book and series has me wanting to go back to that first book which should tell you all that you need to know!

Bottom Line:  A romantic suspense that reminded me exactly why I love this genre so much!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Monday, September 30, 2019

One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"It was the perfect place to disappear...

One sultry summer, Maureen Haddaway arrives in the wealthy town of Opal Beach to start her life anew—to achieve her destiny. There, she finds herself lured by the promise of friendship, love, starry skies, and wild parties. But Maureen’s new life just might be too good to be true, and before the summer is up, she vanishes.

Decades later, when Allison Simpson is offered the opportunity to house-sit in Opal Beach during the off-season, it seems like the perfect chance to begin fresh after a messy divorce. But when she becomes drawn into the mysterious disappearance of a girl thirty years before, Allison realizes the gorgeous homes of Opal Beach hide dark secrets. And the truth of that long-ago summer is not even the most shocking part of all..."

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed my time with this book!  I was in the mood for an atmospheric read and this one really fit what I was looking for.  The story begins with Allison getting the opportunity to house sit in this gorgeous house for a few months while she works on figuring her life out.  As the reader, we know that something major has happened to Allison in regards to her work and marriage that she is now dealing with the aftereffects of.  She moves into this house which is situated in this almost deserted beach town due to it being offseason.  Before too long, Allison is pulled into the mystery of a missing young girl and what happened to her so many years before.  This book just totally sucked me in from the very beginning.  Who knew that a deserted beach town with hints of mystery would be so intriguing?  Add in the fact that the weather (and especially the winter storms) added another element of almost darkness to the book and I was completely hooked!  I tried to take my time with this one but the pages just flew on by.  And if all of that wasn't enough for you, there were these hints of paranormal where just maybe Maureen's spirit was trying to get Allison's help as well.  It all added up to one very solid read that I wasn't ready to see end.  I especially enjoyed the fact that I thought that I had all of the answers at one point only to realize that I didn't.  I also really liked seeing Allison coming in to her own and getting stronger.  Allison's past also plays an important role in this book so it was good to see her come into her own and find both her confidence and strength.  I'm really eager to see what other readers think about this book as it was one that I enjoyed immensely!

Overall, I'm so excited to see what this author comes up with next because I thought that this was an really great read!  It was just so atmospheric and perfect for this time of year!  I loved the way that the author used the weather to build up the suspense in this book.  And I also really just loved the story that she was telling.  The book is told from both Allison's viewpoint and also from Maureen's viewpoint and it switches between the two so perfectly.  I came to care about Maureen just as much as Allison even though we the reader know that something bad has happened to Maureen.  I just wanted Allison to find the answers and to finally get some closure on the entire situation.  I obviously can't say enough good things about this one.  An easy book for me to recommend!

Bottom Line:  An atmospheric read perfect for the colder temps that are coming around the corner!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a PICT Book Tour.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery,Suspense
Published by: Graydon House Books (Harlequin)
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 1525832190 (ISBN13: 9781525832192)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

Author Bio:

TARA LASKOWSKI is the award-winning author of two short story collections, Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons and Bystanders, which was named a best book of 2017 by Jennifer Egan in The Guardian. She has had stories published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review, and the Norton anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, among others. Her Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine story, “States of Matter,” was selected by Amy Hempel for the 2017 Best Small Fictions anthology, and her short story “The Case of the Vanishing Professor” is a finalist for the 2019 Agatha Award. Tara was the winner of the 2010 Santa Fe Writers Project’s Literary Awards Prize, has been the editor of the popular online flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly since 2010, and is a member of Sisters in Crime. She earned a BA in English with a minor in writing from Susquehanna University and an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. Tara grew up in Pennsylvania and lives in Virginia. One Night Gone is her first novel. 

Visit Tara at:
TaraLaskowski.comGoodreadsBookBub@TaraLWritesInstagram, & Facebook!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Bookstagram Made Me Do It (Edition #1)

I feel like I've been a lot more active on "bookstagram" these days compared to my blog.  And to be fair, I'm just as spotty at posting there as I am on here when it comes to keeping up with reviews of books I've read.  But I've been neglecting my blog a bit which I'm hoping to change.  Book blogging in general has really changed from my early blogging days - and that's okay.  Things evolve with time so it is to be expected I suppose.  Time also gets away from me as there is only so much of it that I'm willing to dedicate to the book-related world.  All of this rambling is to say that I've been wanting to change things up here and share more than just reviews or my occasional reading updates.  Will I ever post on here regularly and consistently again?  I don't know but I'm okay with that.  I do feel like my blog is in a posting rut though so that part needs to change (hence this post).  I used to get ALL of my book recommendations from other book blogs.  I still get book recommendations from blogs but I also get many, many more recommendations now from bookstagram.  Here are just a few of the books that are now on my radar thanks to the bookstagram world:

After The Flood by Kassandra Montag

Summary from Goodreads:

"A little more than a century from now, our world has been utterly transformed. After years of slowly overtaking the continent, rising floodwaters have obliterated America’s great coastal cities and then its heartland, leaving nothing but an archipelago of mountaintop colonies surrounded by a deep expanse of open water.

Stubbornly independent Myra and her precocious seven-year-old daughter, Pearl, fish from their small boat, the Bird, visiting dry land only to trade for supplies and information in the few remaining outposts of civilization. For seven years, Myra has grieved the loss of her oldest daughter, Row, who was stolen by her father after a monstrous deluge overtook their home in Nebraska. Then, in a violent confrontation with a stranger, Myra suddenly discovers that Row was last seen in a far-off encampment near the Artic Circle. Throwing aside her usual caution, Myra and Pearl embark on a perilous voyage into the icy northern seas, hoping against hope that Row will still be there.

On their journey, Myra and Pearl join forces with a larger ship and Myra finds herself bonding with her fellow seekers who hope to build a safe haven together in this dangerous new world. But secrets, lust, and betrayals threaten their dream, and after their fortunes take a shocking—and bloody—turn, Myra can no longer ignore the question of whether saving Row is worth endangering Pearl and her fellow travelers."

This book just released this week and the reviews for this one have been rolling in like mad.  I've seen nothing but positive things so far, but I'll admit that I try to skim reviews as much as possible when the hype for a book is this big so nothing gets ruined for me.  Some of the big name bookstagrammers are really raving about it so I'm intrigued.  Add in the fact that post-apocalyptic books are something I'm almost always drawn to and I just knew that I have to read this one soon.  If I didn't have The Passage by Justin Cronin already checked out from the library this one would be on my holds list right now.  I do want to get my hands on this one though before the end of the year!

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell 

Summary from Goodreads:

"Be careful who you let in. 

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am. 

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them. 

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone."

This book has yet to be released (looks like it releases in November) but early bookstagram reviews have me itching to read this one.  I may have EVERY SINGLE one of this authors books on my TBR list now but I've yet to read a single one of them.  I'm thinking this may be the one I begin with honestly.  The premise just sounds so delightfully creepy - it also sounds like the perfect type of read for this time of year.  I do have a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley so I'm hoping to read this one before publication date.  It just sounds SO good, doesn't it?

The Whisper Man by Alex North

Summary from Goodreads:

"In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed "The Whisper Man," for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter's crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window..."

Now this book has been ALL OVER bookstagram.  So much so that even though I currently have it checked out from the library I'm a bit hesitant to read it (which is what happens to me when the hype for a book is this big).  But I also just can't resist giving this one a try to see if it is as creepy as it sounds.  And this is the perfect time of year for creepy reads just like this!  I just want to read them all....give me all of the creepy thrillers to read until the end of October!

I'm going to stick with three books this time around.  Tell me though, what books have you added to your TBR list lately?