Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Single mother Abbey Fuller loves her family more than anything, and doesn’t regret for a moment having had to put her dreams of being an interior designer on hold. But with her son, Max, growing up, when a friend recommends her for a small design job she jumps at the chance. How hard can it be?

Nick Sinclair needs his house decorated in time for his family’s festive visit – and money is no object. What he doesn’t need is to be distracted from his multi-million dollar business – even if it is Christmas.

When Abbey pulls up to the huge Sinclair mansion, she has a feeling she might be out of her depth. And when she meets the gorgeous, brooding Nicholas Sinclair, she knows that she’s in real trouble…

With the snow falling all around, can Abbey take the chance to make her dreams of being a designer come true? And can she help Nick to finally enjoy the magic of Christmas?"

My Thoughts:

I requested this one earlier this month as I was just in the mood for a holiday romance and thought this one sounded like a fun read.  This book was exactly what I expected it to be:  filled with feel good moments, cute, and light-hearted are all perfect but different ways that I would describe this book.  It was a great way to spend a few enjoyable evenings leading up until the craziness of the holidays.  I also fully admit to choosing this book over the thriller that I had been planning on reading in print.  Sometimes a girl just has to go with her reading moods, you know?  It was a good choice on my part and I easily found myself wrapped up in this Christmas romance hoping for a happy ever after. 

Abbey is a nurse who has always dreamed of being an interior decorator.  She finds herself with this huge chance to live her dream when it comes to being hired to decorate Nick Sinclair's mansion.  Nick is focused entirely on growing his business and is only having his house decorated to please his family.  He has very little interest in anything that has to do with the decorating of his house but that doesn't stop the sparks from flying between Abbey and him.  I really enjoyed how Abbey was able to pull Nick outside of himself for a little bit and get him to loosen up.  I loved her character and felt like I (as the reader) really got to know her throughout this book.  It was a bit opposite for me when it came to Nick.  I never really felt like I fully connected to his character as the story is only told from Abbey's viewpoint.  Nick was so determined and focused on his business for the majority of the book....he just felt almost inaccessible and I never really understood his character fully.  I loved the parts of the book where Abbey would show him how much more there is to life than just work.  Those parts were so fun to read about and provided some of the feel good moments that I had talked about earlier.  I just would have liked to get to know Nick more outside of his work, work, work mantra that he always seemed to have going on.  

All in all, this was a fun holiday read that I couldn't help but enjoy.  It sure did make me wish for snow on the ground though!  I was a bit jealous of the snowstorms they were getting as we ended up with a rainy but definitely not white Christmas where I live.  I couldn't help but love the way the author wrapped up this book- it lived up to my expectations perfectly!  I would easily recommend this to other readers who are looking for a good holiday romance.  It wasn't a perfect read for me but I did really enjoy it and would love to read more of this author's books.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A great read for a snowy evening!  (I just pretended there was snow on the ground where I live when I read it. LOL!)

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

Monday, December 28, 2015

What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"In a heartbeat, everything changes…

Rachel Jenner is walking in a Bristol park with her eight-year-old son, Ben, when he asks if he can run ahead. It’s an ordinary request on an ordinary Sunday afternoon, and Rachel has no reason to worry—until Ben vanishes. 

Police are called, search parties go out, and Rachel, already insecure after her recent divorce, feels herself coming undone. As hours and then days pass without a sign of Ben, everyone who knew him is called into question, from Rachel’s newly married ex-husband to her mother-of-the-year sister. Inevitably, media attention focuses on Rachel too, and the public’s attitude toward her begins to shift from sympathy to suspicion.

As she desperately pieces together the threadbare clues, Rachel realizes that nothing is quite as she imagined it to be, not even her own judgment. And the greatest dangers may lie not in the anonymous strangers of every parent’s nightmares, but behind the familiar smiles of those she trusts the most."

My Thoughts:

I don't even think that I can explain coherently how good this book was or how emotionally wrenching I found it to be while reading.  The premise of this book is every mother's nightmare and I felt emotionally drained when I finished reading it.  I had to stop reading at one point because I just couldn't take it any more and was going to give in to the urge to peek at the ending because the suspense level was sky high.  I managed to resist though and have to admit that I was glad I held strong as it made the ending of the book that much better for me.  After finishing this book I had to move on to a cozy mystery because I needed something on the lighter side since this was such a dark read.  It was so good though and I managed to read this chunky book in a matter of days.  Dark, atmospheric thrillers like this are like my reading catnip (if there was such a thing) so I have to admit that helped boost my enjoyment to an even higher level.  This was just one of those books that I could not set down!

One of the most disturbing things about this book was how real it all felt.  How easy it is for a person to make a choice and have their entire life change because of it.  It scraped my emotions raw seeing everything that Rachel was going through.  I cannot even begin to explain how horrifying I found this book to be when I considered how easily this situation could happen.  This was most especially true when it came to the media coverage of the disappearance and how easily they placed the blame on Rachel herself.  It is too easy to think of other real life examples of the media skewing public opinion a certain way just by the way they present coverage of the news.  It is a scary world we live in sometimes and this book felt terrifyingly real with the way the public and media both seemed to turn on Rachel.  What else to say without giving too much away?  The author was able to create such a dark almost sinister atmosphere in this novel where Rachel didn't know who she could trust.  I loved how the author had me suspecting just about everyone's motivations as I tried to figure it all out.  The ending felt real to me which I really appreciated as I had no clue how the author was going to tie this all up.  I won't say more than that as I feel like it might spoil things but the author did a really great job in my opinion.  This is a book that will almost certainly be on my top ten reads list for this year and an author that I cannot wait to read more of!

Overall I really don't know what else to say about this book besides READ IT!  It was dark and gut-wrenching but it was so completely worth it!  I cannot get over the fact that this is Gilly Macmillan's debut novel, and I also can't wait to see what she comes up with next!   Recommended, recommended, recommended.  And when you finish with this one come back and discuss it with me, won't you?  I have so many other things that I would like to say but I don't want to spoil the book for others.

Bottom Line:  A book that will be on my top ten list for this year.  Enough said!

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



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Season for Desire by Theresa Romain (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Like her four sisters, Lady Audrina Bradleigh is expected to marry a duke, lead fashion, and behave with propriety. Consequently, Audrina pursues mischief with gusto, attending scandalous parties and indulging in illicit affairs. But when an erstwhile lover threatens to ruin her reputation, Audrina has no choice but to find a respectable husband at once.

Who would guess that her search would lead her to Giles Rutherford, a blunt-spoken American on a treasure hunt of his own? When a Christmas snowstorm strands the pair at a country inn, more secrets are traded than gifts—along with kisses that require no mistletoe—and Audrina discovers even proper gentlemen have their wicked side…"

My Thoughts:

I was in the mood for a great holiday read and found this book sitting on my kindle unread.  It had sat there way too long because this was honestly a delight to read.  I haven't read a ton of historical romances this year but each one that I've read was enjoyable with this being an easy favorite.  Set near Christmas time, Lady Audrina and Giles Rutherford are thrown together unexpectedly when Giles comes to Audrina's aid at the request of her parents.  They find themselves in a situation that neither truly wants afterwards where Audrina is forced to accompany Giles and his father on their hunt for a secret box that possibly contains their inheritance from Gile's deceased mother.  If that isn't excitement enough for you, Audrina is also caught up in her own scandal thanks to previous choices she has made and now needs to find a suitable husband or risk not being able to attend her own sister's wedding.  All of this combined into such a great read where I was never sure how everything was going to work out.  I had to just sit back and enjoy the ride that the author was taking me on which was completely worth it!

One of the things I loved about this book was all of the different characters.  Lady Audrina comes across as a bit haughty and spoiled at the beginning of this book but it isn't long before the reader begins to see a different side of her.  We also begin to learn the reasons behind this facade and I liked her character all the more for it.  The chemistry between Audrina and Giles was almost instantaneous and I found myself eager to see how it would all play out.  Really I managed to read this entire book in a matter of days because I just didn't want to set my kindle down.  The snowy setting of this book had me wishing for snow (and yes I am bummed as there still is no snow on the ground) on a constant basis.  Add to all of this the adventure that the characters found themselves on and you can basically figure out why I loved this book so much.  The author took a scenario that seemed completely improbably and made it work with such ease that I just fell into the story.  And the ending was just icing on the cake for me!  I loved it!  I loved the little surprises here and there which meant a better happy ever after for the main characters.  I loved how strong Audrina was and how much more confidence she had in her self worth by the end of this book.  I just loved it all and now want to read all of this author's books.  Does that tell you enough?

Overall, I found this to be a wonderful read for this time of the year and a really great romantic read!  I'm lucky that I have more of this author's books to look forward to which I've already added to my TBR list.  I loved that this author was able to wrap me up so completely in this story and make me wish that it wouldn't end.  I'm glad that I finally took the time to read this one- shame on me for waiting so long to read it!  Easily recommended!

Bottom Line:  A delightful read that is just meant to be devoured in a day or two!

Disclosure:  I received my copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley (an embarrassingly long time ago).


Monday, December 21, 2015

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"An apparently happy marriage. A beautiful family. A dream home. So what makes lawyer Emily Coleman—a woman who appears to have everything—get up one morning and walk right out of her life to start again as someone new?

Deliberately losing herself in London, Emily quickly transforms herself into Cat. Along with her new name, she finds a new home in a shared house in North London teeming with an odd assortment of flatmates, and a new job as a receptionist.

Soon Cat has buried any trace of her old self so well, no one knows how to find her. But she can’t bury the past—or her own painful memories. As the days turn to months, thoughts of all she’s left behind begin to consume her. She cannot outrun the ghosts that haunt her, no matter how hard she tries to elude them. And soon, she’ll have to face the truth of what she’s done—a shocking revelation that may push her one step too far..."

My Thoughts:

This book is going to be so difficult to share my thoughts on without spoiling anything!  If I seem less coherent than usual because of this you now know why.  Brief summary of my thoughts:  this book was unexpected.  I went into reading this one intrigued by the premise but also with a bit of trepidation.  I instantly had the question in the back of my mind of what could cause this woman to leave her family behind in order to start a completely new life?  Why would she want to start over at all?   These questions were constantly running through my mind as I began reading this book and were present for the majority of my reading experience.  What made this book really pull me in as the reader was the way the author slowly gave pieces here and there of Emily's past life.  Because I had those questions constantly in the back of my mind, I couldn't help but try to figure out what had happened on my own.  It was a mystery but not the typical type of mystery that I am so used to reading.  Instead of figuring out the whodunnit, we were trying to discover what had really happened to Emily that caused her to just leave her life behind.  I've never read another book like this!

Another thing that really intrigued me with this book was Emily or Cat herself (for purposes of this review I am just going to call her Emily).  She was almost a bit of an unreliable narrator at times because she works so hard to suppress her memories from her previous life.  I constantly felt like her actions and thoughts gave me more questions rather than answers.  The author slowly built this atmosphere that was so intense by the end of the book...I had to force myself to keep reading and not stop to peek at the ending.  I'm so glad that I held out though because it was completely worth the wait.  I won't say more than that as I don't want to give anything at all away.  This is a book to be experienced on your own without any spoilers or preconceived notions.  Just read it!  I also couldn't help but appreciate how the author managed to keep me so connected to this book even when I didn't always particularly like Emily's character.  There were times when she annoyed me, where I couldn't understand the decisions that she was making, but yet I didn't want to stop reading.  I just knew that there had to be reasons why she was making the choices that she was.  I hate to make the comparison but it reminded me a bit of Gillian Flynn's writing where there is just that compelling factor that keeps you reading no matter what.  That feeling was definitely in this book and by the end I knew exactly why!

Overall, I really ended up enjoying my reading experience with this book and am left eager for more!  This is definitely an author to watch in my opinion!  I went into this book expecting a thriller of a different sort and was pleased to get a book that completely exceeded my expectations in an entirely different way!  Who out there has read this one?? I would love to discuss with others!  Definitely a recommended read- one that I would give out 4.5 out of 5 stars too if I still did ratings.

Bottom Line:  A book that kept me guessing and unable to stop reading.

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

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Irresistible Rogue by Valerie Bowman (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Lady Daphne Swift comes from a family with two brothers who have proudly served the Crown. She may be a female, but she's willing to do whatever it takes to prove that she's as useful to the war effort as her brothers. She even went so far as to secretly marry a spy. The fact that she just happened to have been pining for Captain Rafe Cavendish for years didn't hurt matters. But after their first mission, when she realized their marriage had been strictly business, Daphne immediately wanted an annulment. The fiery Daphne has always been a multi-tasker and now she's hell bent on two things: finding the men who killed her brother and securing her engagement to another man to forget about Rafe forever.

As a spy for the War Office, Captain Rafferty Cavendish has been on dozens of missions. But one mission haunts him, the mission that resulted in the death of Daphne Swift's eldest brother, Donald. Rafe agreed to work with Daphne once and put her life in danger. Now he must find the men who killed Donald, avenge the family, and convince Daphne to give him one more chance. But Daphne's enlisted her other older brother, Julian, to help her get a quick and quiet annulment so that she can marry a fop who only wants her for her title and money. Can Rafe convince Daphne to give him one more chance, on the mission and with her heart?"

My Thoughts:

I really need more historical romances in my life!  I always forget how much I enjoy this genre until I read a book like this and am reminded of how great they really are.  This book was a such a fun read for me and left me wanting more books just like this one!  It was easy to immerse myself in and very soon after I began reading I found myself swept away into the pages.  I really had a hard time setting this one down mainly because I just didn't want to stop reading!  Was it a perfect read for me?  No, I found it to be a bit far-fetched at times but I loved it all the more because of that.  The author took her liberties and I found the book to such a fun read because of it.  There is one particular scene where Daphne finds herself to be slightly intoxicated and the ensuing scene is just priceless!  I won't say more as you'll have to read it for yourself to see what I'm talking about but I loved it!  This was just a fun read and I cannot emphasize that enough!

The relationship between Daphne and Rafe is one of my favorite types of relationships.  I absolutely love a hate/love relationship where the characters start off despising each other.  Rafe wasn't actually like this in regards to Daphne but it didn't matter as they both started at opposing ends.  It was all of the events that brought them together (and no that isn't a spoiler- this is a romance people) that was so fun for me to read about.  I have said this before and I will say it again:  I love when a romance takes time  to develop over a book.  In the case of this book, even though both main characters had feelings for each from the very beginning they still fought those feelings for a very long time.  It took time for them to start to build up trust between one another.  And when the time finally came- whew!  Those were some steamy scenes that were also very fun to read about.  I found the ending of this book to be quite surprising.  It definitely has me very excited to read the next book in this series.  While I wait though, I think I will go back to the beginning books and read about some of the other characters happy ever afters.  I can't wait!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read more by this author!  It was such a fun read for me and a great way to break up all of the mysteries/thrillers that I have been reading as of late.  I love a good historical romance and this book reminded me just why I feel that way.  Luckily I have more books by this author to enjoy so I won't be waiting long to read more by her.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A fun read that I found myself swept away with!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher from a Goodread's giveaway!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

False Security by Morgan Blaze (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"There are two things Wynn Holcolm can't stand -- liars, and her father. Sexy bodyguard Foster Drake is a liar who works for her father. Unfortunately, he may also be the only man who can keep her alive.

When a wealthy Vegas gambler hires the elite VIP Vegas Securities firm to secretly protect his daughter -- who's perfectly safe and living in a small tourist town just south of Sin City -- Foster is less than thrilled to land the assignment. She picks his fake dating profile from the bait they're using to get close to her, and things go from bad to worse when she discovers the deception and refuses to see him again.

But it turns out Wynn's life actually is in danger. Now Foster must win her trust and keep her close by, because the man who killed her mother has unfinished business with her -- and her father is keeping a deadly secret that could destroy them all."

My Thoughts:

Books like this are why I love the blogging world so much!  This is a completely new to me author that caught my attention through email- I read the included excerpt and just knew that I wanted to keep reading this book.  I'm happy to say that the rest of the book was just as good as the excerpt which meant a really great reading experience and yet another new author to follow.  Love it!  As this is a genre that I really just don't read enough of, I'm so glad that I decided to give this book a try.  I will definitely be seeking out more books by this author and am really excited that this looks to be the beginning of a new series!

One of the things that really made this book stand out for me were the two main characters Wynn and Foster.  I enjoyed both of their characters a lot for different reasons.  It was the chemistry between them though that really made me want to keep reading.  They fit together perfectly from the very beginning even though neither of them really was willing to admit to it.  Instead there were missteps and misunderstandings along the way....all the things that I love in a romance.  For some reason I am just a sucker for books where the romance doesn't go smoothly instantly.  It just makes it all feel a bit more realistic to me when the romance takes time to develop.  There is one heads up that I would like to give to romance readers:  this is a book that focuses less on the romance scenes and more on the relationship that is developing.  It didn't effect my enjoyment of the book in the slightest but I just thought other readers might like to know.  The suspense portion of this book was very well done and the ending sure had me on my toes!  I loved how the author managed to take my expectations and completely turn them on their head by the end of the book.  I will say no more so I don't spoil anything but suffice it to say that I really loved the way this book ended!

Overall I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end.  I managed to read it in just a few short days because I really didn't want to put it down.  It was a quick read but so completely worth it!  I've now found a new author to follow and a series that I really can't wait to read more of.  I sure do hope that she plans on writing many more books focused on this series!  Easily recommended!

Bottom Line:  A really great romantic suspense and an author I can't wait to read more of!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this books thanks to the author.

Friday, December 4, 2015

#COYER Challenge (Back to Basics)

This challenge couldn't have come at a better time if I do say so myself!!  My kindle is overflowing as of late and I love the idea of getting some of those unread books finally read.  I have participated in COYER a couple of different times now and it is always fun!  The entire point of the challenge is to work on cleaning out your e-reads which is something that I really need to do thanks to my book buying addiction and NetGalley.  So. Many. Books.  I NEED this challenge and am hoping to really make a dent on my kindle shelves with it.

One of the best parts of this challenge (or my favorite part anyways) is coming up with a list of books that I might want to read for the challenge.  A pool of possibilities if you will.  Obviously we all know by now that my reading moods tend to change on a whim but here are just some of the books that I would like to read for this challenge (I'm grouping them in pairs because it seems like fun):

Two cozy series that I cannot wait to continue.

Two thrillers that I desperately want to read.

Historical romances that are calling my name.

Authors that I have loved previously and need more of!

And finally, two books that I had planned to read in previous COYER challenges but are still unread.

I have many, many more books that I might read or would like to read but this gives me a good starting point.  I'm sure it will change a bit as well but my overall goal is to NOT add any other books to my kindle from NetGalley during this challenge.  Yep, I'm going on a NetGalley/Edelweiss ban during COYER this time around.  The only exceptions being those few books that are part of a series I am already reading that feel like must haves.  The key to success here for me will be trying not to browse these two sites at all.  If I can stay away, I know that I will be able to make a dent in my unread piles.

Tell me, are you participating in COYER this time around?  Do you have a list of possibilities like I do or is anything on your e-reader fair game?  Make sure to let me know in the comments if you are also participating so we can cheer each other on!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Charlotte's Story by Laura Benedict (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"The fall of 1957 in southern Virginia was a seemingly idyllic, even prosperous time. A young housewife, Charlotte Bliss, lives with her husband, Hasbrouck Preston “Press” Bliss, and their two young children, Eva Grace and Michael, in the gorgeous Bliss family home. On the surface, theirs seems a calm, picturesque life, but soon tragedy befalls them: four tragic deaths, with apparently simple explanations.
But nothing is simple if Bliss House is involved. How far will Charlotte go to discover the truth? And how far will she get without knowing who her real enemy is? Though Bliss House may promise to give its inhabitants what they want, it never gives them exactly what they expect."

My Thoughts:

Wow!  I don't say this lightly at all but this is an author to watch!  I'm a sucker for a good gothic them, love them, love them.  This book had everything that I love about these type of books and I couldn't help but love this book because of it.  One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the uncertainty I felt while reading it.  At the beginning of this book tragedy unexpectedly strikes and it was the aftermath/causes of this tragedy that the book focused on.  For me, I always seem to enjoy a book where I don't quite know what is going on.  I find that with books like this I am able to put my trust in the author's capable hands and just enjoy the ride.  Early on in the book I started to question things and before I knew it I was completely lost in the story.  I loved the atmosphere that the author created in this book which was filled with more questions than answers and loads of suspense.  There was some foreshadowing but the author was able to use this to create even more questions for me as the reader.  All of these different things made for such an intense reading experience.

I also really enjoyed the way that Bliss House is portrayed in this book.  It comes across as a living, breathing entity that managed to give this book such a creepy feel because of it.  I never quite knew if what was happening was because of the house or due to the people living in it.  It had a presence in this book that I can only liken to the house in the book The Haunting of Hill House.  Both books have these houses that almost seem to come alive and both books were able to thoroughly creep me out.  The ending of this book is wonderfully done with the story wrapped up but in a way that questions were still left open.  I can't say more without spoiling other than I loved the way that this book ended!  And now I absolutely cannot wait to read more by this author!

Overall this book left me so completely excited about this author!  A dark, forbidding house, ghostly presences, even a seance....I couldn't have asked more more from this book!  I truly mean it when I say that it took everything that I love from gothic novels and wrapped it altogether in this one book.  I found myself completely engrossed while reading this book and also very creeped out.  I will definitely be reading more by this author!!!  Easily recommended!

Bottom Line:  A book that isn't to be missed if you are a fan of gothic novels!

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

Monday, November 30, 2015

Angels Sing to Rest by Chrinda Jones (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Detective Sergeant Olivia Gates returns from a two month suspension, to find her team has gained a new member, her ex-husband has been released from prison, and a 10 year old street kid has been murdered on her patch of South Dallas.

Her ex she thinks she can deal with, even when he drags their young son into the mix. The murdered boy with the crushed chest, isn't so easily handled and weighs heavily on her as more street kids are killed with an unimaginable sadistic flare and no discernible motive.

If the continuing body count wasn't stressful enough, Olivia's falling out with long time friend and colleague, Doctor Will Green, threatens any hope Olivia had for more than a friendship with the good doctor.

Drugs, gaming, prostitution and sadistic murders lead Gates and her team on a trek through the seamy underbelly of living rough on the streets of downtown Dallas."

My Thoughts:

This has been a really great year for me in regards to finding new mystery authors to follow and after finishing this book I have another author to add to this list.  One of the things that I loved most about this book was how dark and gritty it really was.  From the very beginning of the book, Olivia gets thrown into an investigation where she discovers more questions than answers and the trail of bodies keep on coming.  This book became intense in a short amount of time as Olivia struggles to balance her investigation with her newly developing relationship with Dr. Will Green while also dealing with her disturbed ex-husband.  I found that all of this combined into one of those fast paced reads that I didn't want to set down.  The violence and killings in this book really gave it a darker feel which wasn't at all what I had been expecting.  I liked it though and felt like it fit in perfectly with the setting which focused on street life in Dallas.

Although this is the second book in this series, I had no problems jumping right into the story.  There were pieces of what happened before to Olivia that I know I was missing (for example the reason behind her suspension-see above summary) but overall it didn't detract from my reading experience at all.  And I really appreciated that the relationship between Olivia and Will was something that the author seemed to be taking her time exploring.  Will's character was very fascinating to me as there seem to be multiple issues that he is dealing with that I as the reader don't know about.  Were some of those things included in the first book?  Maybe, but for me it gave his character a slightly mysterious air that left me wanting to know more.  I really liked the relationship that is starting to develop between Olivia and him so I hope that this continues with the next book in the series.  The ending itself was very intense although I will admit that there was a certain part of it that felt unfinished.  We didn't quite get the closure that I was expecting (and I won't say more than that) so I do hope that we learn more in the next book.  Still what a great read and a series that I can't wait to read more of!

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and am eager to read more in this series.  I will definitely be going back to the first book sooner rather than later just so I can see how everything started.  It will have to tide me over until I can get my hands on the next book!  Those readers who enjoyed dark mysteries and police procedurals should give this series a try!  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A great read that kept me turning pages late into the night!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book as part of a PICT book tour.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

On My Wishlist (Radar Books) #17

On My Wishlist is my way of sharing all of the books that I cannot wait to get my hands upon and read. These are a mixture of books that are about to be released along with some older titles that I really want to read as well. (All summaries are from Goodreads).

I feel like I basically want to read ALL of the books ALL of the time.  We are getting close to the end of the year and there are still just so many books that I want to read that I haven't read yet.  Why then am I still off searching for even more great books that I want to try?  It is an addiction.....a bookish addiction.  I suppose it could be worse so really I'm not going to complain but instead share all of the recent books that I've added to my TBR list recently.  And just be warned that this isn't all of them but instead the ones I want to read the most right now.  Ha!

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

"For maverick LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal...because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him."

This is a long standing series that has been on my radar for awhile now but all of a sudden is just calling my name.  There was another blogger that read the entire series within a year which makes me want to read this first book even more.  I might just have to make this happen ASAP!

Hidden by Emma Kavanagh


A gunman is stalking the wards of a local hospital. He's unidentified and dangerous, and has to be located. Urgently.

Police Firearms Officer Aden McCarthy is tasked with tracking him down. Still troubled by the shooting of a schoolboy, Aden is determined to make amends by finding the gunman—before it's too late.


To psychologist Imogen, hospital should be a place of healing and safety—both for her, and her young niece who's been recently admitted. She's heard about the gunman, but he has little to do with her. Or has he?

As time ticks down, no one knows who the gunman's next target will be. But he's there. Hiding in plain sight. Far closer than anyone thinks...

As time ticks down, no one knows who the gunman's next target will be. But he's there. Hiding in plain sight. Far closer than anyone thinks..."

I basically added this one as soon as I read the summary because I love a good thriller.  This sounds SO. GOOD.  So, so good and I want to read it so badly.  I'm not even sure if this one is available in the U.S. so I might be waiting a bit.  But I can tell you that I will be ordering a copy at some point because like I said before...must read!

Kill Without Mercy by Alexandra Ivy

"Rafe Vargas is only in Newton, Iowa, to clear out his late grandfather’s small house. As the covert ops specialist for ARES Security, he's eager to get back to his new life in Texas. But when he crosses paths with Annie White, a haunted beauty with skeletons in her closet, he can't just walk away—not when she’s clearly in danger…

There’s a mysterious serial killer on the loose with a link to Annie’s dark past. And the closer he gets, the deeper Rafe’s instinct to protect kicks in. But even with his considerable skill, Annie’s courage, and his ARES buddies behind him, the slaying won’t stop. Now it’s only a matter of time before Annie’s next—unless they can unravel a history of deadly lies that won’t be buried."

New romantic suspense series?  Sign me up!  I actually have a copy of this one for my kindle thanks to NetGalley and it is all that I can do to not start this one right now!  I have very high hopes for this one which means that I will be reading it as soon as possible!

 Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield

"Awakening in a bleak landscape as scarred as her body, Cass Dollar vaguely recalls surviving something terrible. Having no idea how many weeks have passed, she slowly realizes the horrifying truth: Ruthie has vanished.
And with her, nearly all of civilization.
Where once-lush hills carried cars and commerce, the roads today see only cannibalistic Beaters -- people turned hungry for human flesh by a government experiment gone wrong.
In a broken, barren California, Cass will undergo a harrowing quest to get Ruthie back. Few people trust an outsider, let alone a woman who became a zombie and somehow turned back, but she finds help from an enigmatic outlaw, Smoke. Smoke is her savior, and her safety.
For the Beaters are out there.
And the humans grip at survival with their trigger fingers. Especially when they learn that she and Ruthie have become the most feared, and desired, of weapons in a brave new world…."

I actually have had a copy of this one on my shelves for awhile now but lately it has really been calling my name.  Apparently I am in the mood for a good zombie book and this one sounds like it will fit the bill.  (This is also me trying to ward off yet another reread of Mira Grant's Newsflesh' trilogy which is oh so good but will suck me in/make me useless for about a week).  I'm planning on reading this one sooner rather than later.

I have quite the mix of books this week but that is actually pretty typical for me.  I can never seem to settle on just one genre for too long and mixing it up keeps me from too many of those nasty reading slumps.  I just can't decide which of these I want to read the most.  What books are you chomping at the bit to read?  Let me know- I might want to add it to the TBR list as well :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Flipped For Murder by Maddie Day (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"In this freshly baked series, author Maddie Day lifts the lid on a small town in southern Indiana, where a newcomer is cooking up a new start--until a murderer muddles the recipe...

Nursing a broken heart, Robbie Jordan is trading in her life on the West Coast for the rolling hills of southern Indiana. After paying a visit to her Aunt Adele, she fell in love with the tiny town of South Lick. And when she spots a For Sale sign on a rundown country store, she decides to snap it up and put her skills as a cook and a carpenter to use. Everyone in town shows up for the grand re-opening of Pans ‘n Pancakes, but when the mayor's disagreeable assistant is found dead, Robbie realizes that not all press is good press. With all eyes on her, she'll have to summon her puzzle-solving skills to clear her name, unscramble the town's darkest secrets, and track down a cold-blooded killer--before she's the next to die..."

My Thoughts:

I've read more cozy mysteries this year compared to years past and books like this are the reason why.  I enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons but one of the best things about this book for me was the setting.  I love small town books like this where they are described in such a way that it makes me want to go visit for myself.  The author brought this town and her characters to life for me and I loved the book all the more because of it.  I wanted to have the chance to eat at Robbie's restaurant and try some of those delicious breakfasts that she makes.  What is it with me reading all of these mysteries with cooking themes?  It sure does make me want to brush up on my own cooking skills as they are pretty lackluster in comparison.  I was constantly hungry while reading this one which makes me laugh while saying that but really it is the truth!  I have a sweet spot when it comes to breakfast foods so this was my kind of cooking.

I also really enjoyed the characters and especially enjoyed Robbie's Aunt Adele.  She just had that bit of spunk to her that I couldn't help but appreciate.  I wasn't quite behind Robbie's love interest but that was only due to there seemed to be something missing with their chemistry.  I just couldn't quite root for them like I expected to which leaves me curious as to how I will feel after reading the second book.  The mystery itself was done nicely with some good twists and turns.  There weren't that many suspects in my opinion but I still found myself guessing until close to the end of the book.  It was just overall a fun read that I couldn't help but enjoy.

All in all, I find myself very eager to continue on with this series and see what kind of trouble Robbie finds herself in next.  There was a sneak peek of the first chapter in book two at the end of this one and it left me itching to get my hands on it.  The setting and characters really brought this book to life for me and made my reading experience that much more enjoyable.  Easily recommended!

Bottom Line:  A great beginning to this new cozy mystery series!

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

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thankfully Reading 2015

I have a long weekend coming up and I'm planning on spending a portion of it reading to my heart's content.  I currently have eight books left to meet my goal of eighty books read for the year.  I'm pretty sure that it is doable but to ensure that I'm hoping to spend all of this upcoming week reading whenever possible.  Will all I be doing is reading?  Heck no!  For me Thanksgiving is family time so I will be spending a good portion just relaxing and enjoying my family.  But since I have a five days off in a row, I can't help but hope that I am able to fit in lots of reading as well.  Therefore I am joining in on Thankfully Reading Weekend hosted by Jenn at Jenn's Bookshelves.  Here in her own words is what this reading event is all about:

"There are no rules to the weekend, we’re simply hoping to devote a good amount of time to reading, and perhaps meeting some of our reading challenges and goals for the year. We thought it’d be fun if we cheered each other on a bit. If you think you can join in, grab the button  and add your sign up post to the link-up below. If you don’t have a blog, you can sign up the comments or sign up using a link to your Twitter account or Faceboook page!"

I love it!  I'm hoping to finish at least two books this coming week (and yes I am starting early and reading ALL week long - or as much as I can manage anyways).   Anything more than that will just be an added bonus.  Here are the two books that I am currently reading and hoping to finish during this time:

I haven't started either of these yet but will be starting Angels Sing to Rest later today.  They both sound really great so I'm eager to get started.  If I manage to finish both of these then there is no shortage of books that I can choose from either off of my own shelves or on my kindle.  I'm so excited I might just have to get started now. 

Are you participating this weekend in Thankfully Reading?  If you are let me know so I can cheer you on while we read together! 

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Dr. Kay Scarpetta is working a suspicious death scene in Cambridge, Massachusetts when an emergency alert sounds on her phone. A video link lands in her text messages and seems to be from her computer genius niece Lucy. But how can it be? It’s clearly a surveillance film of Lucy taken almost twenty years ago.

As Scarpetta watches she begins to learn frightening secrets about her niece, whom she has loved and raised like a daughter. That film clip and then others sent soon after raise dangerous legal implications that increasingly isolate Scarpetta and leave her confused, worried, and not knowing where to turn. She doesn’t know whom she can tell – not her FBI husband Benton Wesley or her investigative partner Pete Marino. Not even Lucy.

In this new novel, Cornwell launches these unforgettable characters on an intensely psychological odyssey that includes the mysterious death of a Hollywood mogul’s daughter, aircraft wreckage on the bottom of the sea in the Bermuda Triangle, a grisly gift left in the back of a crime scene truck, and videos from the past that threaten to destroy Scarpetta’s entire world and everyone she loves. The diabolical presence behind what unfolds seems obvious - but strangely, not to the FBI. Certainly that’s the message they send when they raid Lucy’s estate and begin building a case that could send her to prison for the rest of her life."

My Thoughts:

Wow!  I have no words for this book other than just wow!  This book took my high expectations (after reading and loving Flesh and Blood earlier this year) and shattered them!  It was seriously that good and I basically had a bookish hangover for two days after finishing this one.  Depraved Heart will easily make my top reads list for this year just based off of the reading experience alone!  It was one wild ride and I found that I flew through the pages of this chunky novel with ease.  I don't even feel like I am doing justice to sharing just how good this book is yet.  

One of the things that made this book stand out for me so much was the paranoid feeling that it gave me.  I cannot even begin to explain how unsettled this book made me feel while reading it.  The author does an amazing job of giving hints of different things but not really giving anything away so that the entire time I was reading this one I felt uncertain.  Uncertain as to what was happening, uncertain as to who was telling the truth and definitely uncertain of who Kay Scarpetta could actually trust.  It gave me the same feeling as when I read a novel with an unreliable narrator, except that this time it wasn't that I couldn't trust the narrator but instead I couldn't trust everything/anything that was happening.  There always seemed to be a secret or reason behind the things that were happening that Scarpetta had to figure out on her own.  Key main characters that I've come to trust from reading previous books even had me questioning their motivations and actions.  It was a heart pounding reading experience and I couldn't get enough!  Without giving too much away I thought that the ending was well done although I sure do wish that I had my hands on the next book right now!  I'm hoping to ease the wait by catching up with the rest of this series since I seem to be reading them all completely out of order now.  

Overall I cannot even seem to coherently put into words how good this book really was!  I couldn't put this one down and flew through the pages.  Even when I would stop reading it, I found myself still thinking about it and trying to figure out what was really happening.  I need more books just like this in my life because this was a reading experience that I won't be forgetting about anytime soon!  I am completely hooked on this series and cannot wait to read more.  Highly recommended with the warning that you won't be able to get anything done while reading this one.  Don't say I didn't warn you!

Bottom Line:  A five star read for me.  Enough said!

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


Friday, October 30, 2015

On My Wishlist (Radar Books) #16- Revived!

On My Wishlist is my way of sharing all of the books that I cannot wait to get my hands upon and read. These are a mixture of books that are about to be released along with some older titles that I really want to read as well. (All summaries are from Goodreads).

A long time ago I used to do these type of posts all of the time and then for whatever reason they fell by the wayside.  Considering how many books that I add to my TBR list in a current week...well I'm not sure why I ever stopped.  I wanted to start participating with the Waiting on Wednesday meme but then realized that a lot of the books that I want to read are actually older books.  So back to sharing books that are on my wishlist/radar that I hope to read in the very near future.  Here are just a few of those books that I have added to my TBR list lately:

Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson

"When Krissy Hancock and her best friend Vicki decide to open a bookstore cafĂ© in their new town of Pine Hills, they decide to call it "Death by Coffee," after Krissy’s father’s most famous mystery novel. Little do they know how well the name fits…

On their very first day of business, Brendon Lawyer huffily takes his coffee…to the grave. It seems he had a severe allergy to peanuts…but how could there have been nuts in his coffee? And who stole his emergency allergy medication?

Fortunately, Krissy’s love of puzzles and mysteries leads her not only to Officer Paul Dalton, but also to many of her new neighbors, who aren’t terribly upset that the book is closed on Brendon. But one of them is a killer, and Krissy needs to read between the lies if she wants to save her new store—and live to see how this story ends…"

I've been on a cozy mystery kick this year so I couldn't help but add this one to my TBR list.  I actually have a copy of this one thanks to NetGalley so I will be reading it very soon.  I can't wait to give this one a try!

In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward

"In 1978, a small town in Derbyshire, England is traumatised by the kidnapping of two young schoolgirls. One girl, Rachel, is later found unharmed but unable to remember anything except that her abductor was a woman.

Over thirty years later the mother of the still missing Sophie commits suicide. Superintendent Llewellyn, who was a young constable on the 1978 case, asks DI Francis Sadler and DC Connie Childs to look again at the kidnapping to see if modern police methods can discover something that the original team missed. However, Sadler is convinced that a more recent event triggered Yvonne Jenkins’s suicide.

Rachel, with the help of her formidable mother and grandmother, recovered from the kidnapping and has become a family genealogist. She remembers nothing of the abduction and is concerned that, after Yvonne Jenkins’s suicide, the national media will be pursuing her for a story once more. Days later, the discovery of one of her former teachers’ strangled body suggested a chain of events is being unleashed.

Rachel and the police must unpick the clues to discover what really happened all those years ago. But in doing so, they discover that the darkest secrets can be the ones closest to you."

I want to read this one so badly!  That description has me completely intrigued and I cannot wait to get my hands on this book.  It just sounds SO GOOD and like something that I will definitely enjoy!

Autumn Thorns by Yasmine Galenorn

"Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I’m Kerris Fellwater, and when I returned, I inherited my grandmother’s house—and her gift. As a spirit shaman, it’s my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people—and secrets—don’t always stay buried.

When I was little, I was told my mother ran off. But now it looks like she was murdered. With the help of my mysterious neighbor Bryan, we begin to unravel the mystery of her disappearance, and in doing so, unearth a dark force seeking to bury Whisper Hollow. Now I must work with the dead, rather than against them, because our enemy will do whatever she can to destroy the town, and she means to start with me."

This book just recently released and I just love the sound of it!  I'm hoping to get the chance to read it really, really soon because it just sounds like a book that I will love.

Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman

"A gutsy, gory, startlingly original serial killer thriller with a heroine who'll blow a hole in the American crime landscape.

In her hey-day, ex FBI agent Brigid Quinn not only worked serial killer cases but became their prize. Small and blond, from a distance she looked vulnerable and slight. . . the perfect bait to catch a killer. But as Quinn got older, she realised she needed to find a protegee, a younger field agent to take her place. So Quinn trains a twenty-two year old and lets her loose in the field. The plan works. Until the Route 66 killer not only takes the bait, but kills the bait too.

Years on, Quinn is trying to move past the fact that she has a young woman's death on her conscience. She's now the perfect Stepford Wife - until she gets a knock on her door. The girl's body has finally been discovered. Quinn is pulled back into the case and the more she learns about the killer the more she comes to believe, despite the overwhelming forensic evidence to hand, that they have the wrong man."

I actually read the second book in this series first earlier this year and loved every minute of it!  I knew then and I still know now that it will be on my top reads list for 2015.  So how could I possibly not want to read this one?  Want, want, want!

Okay, these are just a few of the books that I've added to my TBR list lately.  I really, really need to stay away from NetGalley and Edelweiss so I quit adding books to my TBR list because SO MANY books.  I can't even begin to tell you but these are the books that are calling my name right now!  

Now tell me:  what books are on your radars or wishlists?  Do share- I would love to hear!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dead Lies by Cybele Loening (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Former NYPD cop Anna Valentine just landed her first homicide case.  The grisly double murder of a wealthy young couple. But it couldn't have come at a worse time. Recovering from recent personal tragedies, the young police officer just moved with her traumatized child to the suburbs where she hoped to pursue a quiet life and heal. To complicate matters, although she's sworn off men until she and her son are happy and whole again, Anna feels the pull of attraction to the handsome twin brother of one of the victims, a man who has yet to be crossed off the suspect list. Teaming up with lead detective Jerry Kreeger, a 57 year-old veteran cop who's lonely, broke, and close to burn out, Anna chases a crafty killer and ultimately exposes a family's shocking secrets that will rock a town."

My Thoughts:

 I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to continue on with this series!  One of the things that I enjoyed most about this book was that it was written like a police procedural.  I love reading about the step by step process in a police investigation.  Those little details really made this book come to life for me!  Told from multiple viewpoints, this book really allowed for me to connect to the characters which enhanced my enjoyment of the book even more.  Anna has just moved out of the city to lead a quiet life as a police officer in the suburbs while raising her son.  She finds herself thrown into this murder investigation and it isn't long before she realizes that this is something she wants to do with her life.  I thought that Anna and Kreeger made a really great team so I found it interesting that there was also some unresolved feelings that seemed to be developing between the two of them.  Actually, Anna's backstory really added to the storyline because further along in the book we were able to see why Anna moved from the city and learned about the tragedy that caused this move.  This caused me as the reader to connect to her all the more as I wanted to see something good happen to her.

This mystery portion of this book was done well and although I had my own suspects as to who the killer turned out that I was completely and totally wrong. I loved it!  There were parts that I had figured out but overall the ending took me by surprise and left me wanting more.  This was a book that I took my time with and didn't try to rush through.  I enjoyed it all the more because of it.  The ending of this book tied up everything nicely but left me more than excited to read more about these characters again.  

Overall I really enjoyed this one and am excited to have found a new author/series to follow.  I am especially excited as this is the author's first book (I believe) so if it was already this good, I can't wait to see what she comes up next.   Mystery fans and those who enjoy police procedurals should definitely give this one a try.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A great beginning to this new mystery series that left me excited to read more!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the author as part of a CBB Blog Tour.   


Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Sunday Post #20 (Fall 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"

Wow!  It has been awhile since I did one of these.  Lately all I seem to be able to manage are reviews which would make you think that I'm catching up on my review backlog.  Unfortunately you would be wrong because what really seems to be happening is that for every review I write, I finish another book.  Or two.  The struggle is real.  All other posts though have fallen to the wayside lately thanks to real life.  No excuses for you all today.  I think that I've just come to accept that this might be the way it is for awhile now.  I have three beautiful children that are all in school now.  That means helping with homework, school activities, and every other detail that comes along while working full time.  I love blogging and always will but right now it just has to take a backseat to everything else.  Maybe now that the kiddos sports seasons have ended I will have more time.  Maybe not....I can tell you that I'm okay with however it turns out.  I will still talk books with you all and participate in too many book tours.  I will still sign up for all of the fun reading challenges and read-a-thons.  I just might not be as present as I once was all of the time.  And that's okay!

Reading wise I have been reading although at a slower pace lately than I was previously.  That has a lot to do with the fact that I took on a new position at work and have been busy, busy, busy.  It means I don't always read on all of my breaks like I usually do.  I've started season one of Criminal Minds on Netflix which also takes away from my normal reading time.  In between all of this though I have been reading.  Here is what I finished this week:

Dead Lies by Cybele Loening- I read this one for an upcoming blog tour.  I will be posting my thoughts on this one later this week but sneak peek:  I enjoyed it and will be reading more by this author!

I only finished the one book this week which means I am running a bit behind on where I need to be with scheduled reads.  I've got two books currently on the go and am hoping to finish them both this week.  Here are the books that I'm currently reading:

Depraved Heart is my current print read and one that I am super excited to read!  I've read at least 4 books from this author this year and I just can't seem to get enough.  Considering that Flesh and Blood completely left me pining for this book, I can't wait to start reading this one later this afternoon.  Mercury Retrograde is the sequel to Dark Alchemy which is another book that I loved earlier this year.  As soon as I saw that there was going to be a second book in this series I couldn't help but jump all over this one.  This leaves me reading two really great books which is never a bad thing!

Plans for the rest of the day include some reading, many, many loads of laundry, and The Walking Dead tonight of course.  (This season....oh my!)  I also need to write up at least one review for the blog tour I have this week.  After that most likely it will be homework help for the kiddos and hopefully a little bit of commenting/blog visiting all of you.  Thanks to all of you that have kept visiting even when the blog goes silent for a week or two. 

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Her Perfect Mate by Paige Tyler (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"When Special Forces Captain Landon Donovan is picked for an assignment with the Department of Covert Affairs, he’s stunned to find his new partner is a beautiful woman who looks like she couldn’t hurt a fly, much less take down a terrorist.

Ivy Halliwell isn’t your average covert op. Her feline DNA means she can literally bring out the claws when things get dicey. She isn’t thrilled to be paired with yet another military grunt, but Landon is different. He doesn’t think she’s a freak and he’s smokin’ hot.

Soon they find themselves facing a threat even greater than anyone imagines...and an animal magnetism impossible to ignore."

My Thoughts:

I can honestly say that I waited way too long to start this series because I really enjoyed this one!  Fast-paced and filled with suspense, I couldn't and didn't set my kindle down hardly at all while reading it.  I say this a lot with romantic suspense but I really don't read enough from this genre.  What I liked about this book was that it was romantic suspense combined with paranormal romance.  And what a combination it was!  From the very beginning I found myself caught up within the pages of this book and that didn't end until the very last page.  I found myself reading as fast as I could because the suspense at times just wouldn't let up.  And then add in that chemistry between Ivy and Landon and you will know why I had such a hard time putting this book down.

One of the things that I liked best about this book was the fact that Ivy had paranormal abilities while Landon didn't.  This gave Ivy an edge over Landon when it came to her abilities and that isn't something you always see in romance books but especially in romantic suspense. That isn't to say that Landon couldn't hold his own but it was in a different way and I just really appreciated that Ivy was the one with the special skills.  This book was one of those books that was just so completely readable and I flew thru the pages.  While it was the action scenes that caused me to read as fast as I could, it was the developing relationship between Ivy and Landon that I loved the most.  I liked that it wasn't instantaneous but the chemistry between the two was hot!  I couldn't help but get behind hoping for their happy ever after.  The ending left me intrigued as although this ended nicely there was enough left open to leave me very excited to get started on the next book!  Which I couldn't help but go ahead and load on to my kindle.

Overall, this was a great beginning to this new romantic suspense/paranormal romance series (I really don't know how to classify it) and left me eager for more!  I love books that pull me in so easily that I just don't want to stop reading and that is exactly what this book did to me.  The tension and chemistry were both well done.  I really can't complain at all other than to say I want more!  I want more books just like this that cause me to lose track of time and just read.  Easily recommended!

Bottom Line:  A nicely done romantic paranormal suspense that left this reader unable to set it down!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley.  Thoughts are my own!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Blood Red by Wendy Corsi Staub (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"From New York Times bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub comes the first in a terrifying new series set in a small town with a sinister secret

The razor's gleaming blade slices effortlessly through skin and tendon, and he relishes the final anguished moments of his prey. There's only one thing he prizes more: their long, silken strands of red hair. But these women are merely stand-ins . . . a prelude to his ultimate victim.

Nestled in New York's Hudson Valley, Mundy's Landing is famous for its picturesque setting—and for a century-old string of gruesome unsolved murders. Rowan returned to her hometown years ago, fleeing a momentary mistake that could have destroyed her family. Life is good here. Peaceful. Until an anonymous gift brings Rowan's fears to life again.

The town's violent history was just the beginning. Soon everyone in Mundy's Landing will know that the past cannot be forgotten or forgiven—not until every sin has been paid for, in blood."

My Thoughts:

This book!  Oh my goodness but this book had me on the edge of my seat for the entire time that I was reading it.  I've read a lot of mysteries and thrillers this year but it has been awhile since I read one that focused on a serial killer (which always tends to creep me out more than other types of books).  Let me tell you that I was creeped out by this book from almost the very first page.  What made this book unique though is that there were actually parts of the book told through the eyes of the killer.  We knew who he was to a certain extent although we didn't know why he was so focused on Rowan or why he was doing what he was doing.  Those questions and the fact that Rowan didn't know what kind of danger she was really in ratcheted up the suspense level for me and made this book yet another one that I just didn't want to put down.

This book was both fast paced and intense which really helped to bump up my enjoyment level of this book.  Told from multiple viewpoints, all of the different storylines helped even more to make this book a page turner for me.  I cannot emphasize enough how hard it was for me to stop reading this one!   And the way that the author tied them all up to make for a completely intense,!  Just wow!  I feel like I had figured out a few pieces to the ending but there were enough surprises left for me so I couldn't complain.  I'm left completely excited to get my hands on the next book in this series?  Oh my goodness- it is going to be a series!  I cannot wait to see what happens next!

Overall, this was a book that I couldn't help but read as fast as I possibly could just because it was so intense.  It was dark, creepy, and gave me the shivers multiple times but yet I didn't want to stop reading.  This was the perfect time of year to read this book....I always crave thrillers when fall comes around.  And this fit the bill perfectly!  Easily recommended but with the might want to sleep with the lights on afterwards.  

Bottom Line:  A great read for this time of year!  

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this thanks to the publisher as part of a Pump Up Your Book tour.   

Monday, October 12, 2015

Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"They’re calling it the worst pile-up in London history. Driving home, Margaret Holloway has her mind elsewhere—on a troubled student, her daughter’s acting class, the next day’s meeting—when she’s rear-ended and trapped in the wreckage. Just as she begins to panic, a disfigured stranger pulls her from the car just seconds before it’s engulfed in flames. Then he simply disappears.

Though she escapes with minor injuries, Margaret feels that something’s wrong. She’s having trouble concentrating. Her emotions are running wild. More than that, flashbacks to the crash are also dredging up lost associations from her childhood, fragments of events that were wiped from her memory. Whatever happened, she didn’t merely forget—she chose to forget. And somehow, Margaret knows deep down that it’s got something to do with the man who saved her life.

As Margaret uncovers a mystery with chilling implications for her family and her very identity, Everything She Forgot winds through a riveting dual narrative and asks the question: How far would you go to hide the truth—from yourself…?"

My Thoughts:

This was an unexpected read for me but in a good way.  I went into reading this book expecting a thriller but instead it was more of a story about family, the choices we make, and the consequences of those decisions.  This wasn't an easy read for me...there were times that I wanted to set it down just because I wasn't sure that I wanted to know what was going to happen next.  That is a mark of a good book for me.  When an author is able to create a level of tension that makes the reader uncomfortable without overdoing it.  I knew that things weren't going to end well just based off of the decisions that the main characters were making.  It made the tone of the book seem even darker and more ominous which added to that level of discomfort that I was feeling.  It was intense but it was also so compulsively readable that even when I wasn't sure that I wanted to be reading I couldn't set it down.  I just needed to see what would happen next and how it would all end.

One of the things that really helped this book to not become too dark for me at least was the fact that there were multiple storylines going on.  One focused on the present and Margaret as she dealt with the after effects from almost dying in a car crash.  A different storyline focused on the past..but whose past and what it meant was a mystery until the very end.  The author effortlessly tied these two storylines together so easily that I never was able to decide which one I preferred more as sometimes happens in books like this.  The ending of this book held a few surprises while there were other parts that I had figured out.  Really it tied everything together nicely and made the last one hundred pages so intense that I didn't even try to stop reading.  I couldn't get this book of my mind for a few day afterwards because I had become so attached to the characters.  I cannot wait to read more by this author!

Overall I really enjoyed this one even though it ended up being way darker than I expected.  I loved that the author was able to pull me into this book so completely and in such a way that I had to remind myself that this was fiction.  That these weren't real characters and these events actually hadn't happened.  I just cannot emphasize enough how intense this reading experience was for me!  I will definitely be reading more by this author.  Recommended but with the warning that this wasn't always an easy read to stomach.  Definitely dark but good!

Bottom Line:  One of those books that I won't be forgetting about any time soon!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this thanks to the publisher as part of a PICT Book Blog Tour.  My thanks!