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.