Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: Trust by Kylie Scott

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

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**** 4 Star Review ****

This book.... blew me away in the beginning. I was cringing and wanting to close my eyes before the train wreck before me happened. I was on the edge of my seat. Kylie sure started this book in a way that no one will want to put it down.

I was so happy to see how well Kylie was able to step out of her norm and write this YA story. And it truly is a YA story. Not a book labeled as such that is only for mature adults, as I usually find to be the norm for most YA. 

This book had me turning page after page. The characters and plot flowed and fit so perfectly for this sad and happy story. I don't think I could have asked for much more from Kylie in this book. It is definitely a book I would recommend for those looking for a true YA book. This is definitely a book worth picking up!

New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author - Kylie is a long time fan of love stories, rock n roll, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.
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Review: Look Behind You by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen

A serial killer is on the loose in San Diego, and he has a most unusual M.O.: With each kill, he leaves behind objects with unclear meanings. Most of the recent killings are centered near Kendra Michaels’ home and office, so it comes as no great surprise when the FBI shows up at her door. The investigators soon make a startling discovery: the left-behind objects are actually souvenirs of other unsolved serial murder cases in various U.S. cities. And the new cases feature “holdback” characteristics of the other murders unknown to the general public. Kendra realizes that the killer has come to challenge and taunt her. The investigators become his newest targets, even as Kendra slowly begins to suspect that one of them may be the killer himself. She must find the killer as the body count rises, and to do so she relies on her own ”dream team” of agent-for-hire Adam Lynch and private investigator Jessie Mercado. They must risk everything to defeat a psychopath whose terrifying plan is years in the making.

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*** 3 Star Review ***

This was my first book by either author. Honestly, I was looking forward to it. I have heard nothing but great things about both authors. So when the opportunity to read this book arose, I jumped on it. Overall, this book was an okay book. For it's genre, it fell a little flat for me.

I kind see why this pair always has such hype. The plot of the story is very intriguing. So much so, I couldn't pass this one up. The delivery of the story is where the book fell some for me. I would have assumed, this being a part of a series, the main characters would have been more developed and shown more chemistry with one another. None of the characters seems to flow with one another. Their interactions and the telling of their story was choppy and slow moving.

I will say, I didn't figure out who the killer was beforehand. I usually do. However, there were no clues either. No hints. Usually with these type of books there are some bread crumbs to pick up here and there, but there were none in this one. The story kept moving along, then, BAM! it was over. I felt a little cheated, if I am being honest.

I am not saying that this is necessarily a bad book. But for a book in crime thrillers and suspense, it is not the best example for the genre.

Review: The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

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**** 4 Stars ****

I am sitting here at my computer, searching for what to say about this book. I am not sure what I expected, but I can tell you that I got more than I bargained for. B.A. Paris is definitely moving up my must-read-authors list! Two books in and both are winners!

Taking a journey in the main character, Cass's mind was a mind fuck in itself. Her slow mental decline and paranoia are contagious. The writing of this story is superb!

Let me be honest, I had my suspicions throughout the book. They all kept going back to the same place. By the time I got to the end, I knew I had been correct. However, that didn't change my shock and fist bumps as I read those last few chapters. My pom poms were waving and shaking for Cass's victory!

This is a story that I don't even want to talk about the characters. I think everyone needs to go into this book with only the blurb. I will say there was one thing that needed changed about this book that would have made it better... Buuut, I can't tell you what that is because that would be spoiling a very important aspect of the book. Let me just say that this aspect was focused on a little too much and too long for my liking.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: The Child by Fiona Barton

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…

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**** 4.5 STAR REVIEW ****

I don't know what to say about this book. Like Fiona's previous book, this book had my mind in overdrive. Barton has a way of giving things in pieces that keep you hunting for more as you turn the page.

This story is told by four different people, all connected in one way or another; not all ways are apparent at first. You get piece by piece who the baby could possibly be. I was turning the pages furiously trying to figure out the puzzle like it was urgent I get to the end. Fiona is such a pro at having her readers jumping at the bit to know what happens at the end.

So, there was a point in the book where all of the pieces finally fit, and I had it all worked out. However, how the book played out from there was very vital. Even though I had connected the dots, that did not lessen the impact the ending had! The events that followed had my eyes watering and me smiling like a Cheshire cat!

Thriller fans... You MUST read this book. All other book lovers, READ this book.  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review: The Party by Robyn Harding

In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds themselves entangled in a legal battle, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.

One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.

Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming of age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?

But things do go wrong, horrifically so. After a tragic accident occurs, Jeff and Kim’s picture perfect life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to unravel. A lawsuit is filed that irrevocably changes their relationship, reveals dark secrets in the Sanders’ marriage, and exposes the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah.

Harkening to Herman Koch’s The Dinner, Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap, and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, The Party takes us behind the fa├žade of the perfect family, exposing the lies, betrayals, and moral lapses that neighbors don’t see—and the secrets that children and parents keep from themselves and each other.

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**** 3.5/4 STAR REVIEW ****

I have flip-flopped on my thoughts on this read many times. I just wasn't sure how I felt about it and what was holding my thoughts on it hostage.

The synopsis drew me in. I was curious to see what exactly would happen in this book. I wanted to know if I had found a new author to wow me.

Needless to say, I wasn't wowed by this book. I was intrigued. The storyline and events kept me turning the page. It definitely kept my attention as things slowly unfolded about what actually happened that night, what was happening since and the secrets each character were hiding from one another.

The family dynamics in this book were so palpable and realistic. The teenage angst was spot on. Overall, this book was good. It may not be one of my top favorites, but it was definitely worth the read.

Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

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***** FIVE STAR REVIEW *****

Yet again, Taylor has completely blown me away with this juicy Hollywood story. I admittedly wasn't sure what I was getting into with this story.

I didn't want to put this book down. I found myself highlighting short passages one after another. I wanted to make a million teasers for this book. I was hooked from the very start! There wasn't a thing about this story I wasn't in love with.

I feel like I need to tell you how I felt about these characters. I mean, seriously. So well developed. I felt like I was right there living their story right with them!

And the ending? Forget about it! I will admit that I saw it coming at a certain point, but I was still blown away when it happened. I was left feeling a little happy and a little bereft at the same time.

Hands down, another winner from Taylor Jenkins Reid. She is definitely a go-to author for great, engaging, page-turning authors!

Review: Trusting You & Other Lies

Phoenix can’t imagine anything worse than being shipped off to family summer camp. Her parents have been fighting for the past two years—do they seriously think being crammed in a cabin with Phoenix and her little brother, Harry, will make things better?

On top of that, Phoenix is stuck training with Callum—the head counselor who is seriously cute but a complete know-it-all. His hot-cold attitude means he’s impossible to figure out—and even harder to rely on. But despite her better judgment, Phoenix is attracted to Callum. And he’s promising Phoenix a summer she’ll never forget. Can she trust him? Or is this just another lie?

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**** 4 STAR REVIEW ****

I am struggling with this review. I have been since I finished the book. I am a huge fan of Nicole's. When I saw she was writing a YA book, I had to get my hands on it. I am not a huge YA reader, but I have really fallen for a few in the past, so I vowed to give this one a read.

The major drawback of this book is that it moved extremely slow for me. Although I was enjoying the book, the slow movement of the story made it a little harder for me to get through.

I loved the story overall. The journey each of these characters take was an emotional roller coaster and very realistic. The characters were so real and raw. 

Overall, this was a very good read. I am glad I got my hands on it.

Review: Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother's desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities.. It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she's pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they're gone than she must have done something with them... Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.

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**** 4 STAR REVIEW ****

This is one of those books where you need to stay in the dark about it until you read it. The synopsis alone should draw you in. It drew me in!

I kept asking myself, "What am I reading? Do I want to keep reading?". And I asked myself these not because the book wasn't good, but because I wasn't sure if I wanted certain things to happen that seemed to be moving in that direction. 

Let me tell you, the heroine in this book is a bad ass! With everything that she has gone through to get her children safe, then them being taken and disappeared, she does what any mother would do...

For a thriller, this was definitely a page-turner. Everyone knows that I love some big plot twists. There weren't necessarily any of those, but I definitely didn't see some things coming that did.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Review and Giveaway: The Story of Us by Tara Sivec

From USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec comes an emotional, breathtakingly romantic new book about the power of first love and the promise of second chances.

How much can a man take before he breaks?

1,843 days. That's how long I survived in that hellhole. They tried to break me, but I resisted. And I owe it all to the memory of warm summer nights, the scent of peaches, and the one woman who loved me more than I ever deserved to be loved. Now, I'll do anything to get back to her.

Only Shelby Eubanks isn't the girl I left behind all those years ago. She's someone else, a stranger. My Shelby-my little green-eyed firecracker-would never give up her dreams, would never disappear into her mother's ambitions. But I won't give up on her. On us. I may be broken, and scarred, and not the man I used to be, but I will do whatever it takes to remind her of the story of us.

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***** 5 Stars *****

Let me start off by saying... Fuck Tara Sivec and her fucking feelings! If you follow my reviews, you know I am not an emotional reader. I RARELY cry. I RARELY feel all emotional reading books. Of coarse Tara just had to break me with this book!

I really think that the above should be enough said, but I think I should just talk a little more about something. Shouldn't I? Maybe I shouldn't...

I VOW that Eli and Shelby's story is going to rip you apart and sooth you over and over again. The real story of their shared past comes out little by little. And each time, your heart will break a little more for these characters. My emotions were all over this place throughout this story.

I feel like I should just write paragraph after paragraph about this story, but you know I won't. You know I will not give you anything other than the important things you need to know. (If you want more than that, I am sure you can find a million reviews telling you the whole story or a rewrite of the synopsis masked as a review elsewhere.) Really, in case you haven't caught on. THIS STORY WILL BREAK ALL OF YOUR EMOTIONS and you will love and loath every single second of it!

Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when they all three of them become adults and move out.

After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader's Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book and she was voted as Best Author in the Indie Romance Convention Reader's Choice Awards for 2014.

In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she'll do and naps she'll take when she ever gets spare time.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Review: Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts.

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*** 3 Stars ***

I was overly excited to get my hands on this book. The synopsis drew me right in. I was expecting a thrilling story full of twists and turns. I thought for sure that this would be one of my favorites of the year...

The blurb does a wonderful job giving you an idea of what the story is about... but that is about it. I honestly had to force myself to finish this book. The delivery and development of this story were lacking.

The characters all seemed like twelve year olds. Nothing they did or said felt true to who they were supposed to be. They were all weak and unlikable.

The format of how this story is told is unique and should have worked for it. I won't lie, I was very disappointed in this story by the time I finished it. I had expected to have my draw dropped at least once, my heart to race at some point... Sadly that just never happened.

Review: Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

All’s fair in love and work. The first standalone romance by New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) is a sexy, compulsively readable romantic comedy that dives headlong into the thrill and doubt of modern love.

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest.

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**** 3.5 Stars ****

I have read a few of Christina Lauren's books in the past. Some I liked, some where eh for me. This one is somewhere in the middle of like and eh. 

This is one of those books that showed great potential, but then the actual telling of the story hit its mark. There was too much unnecessary, uninteresting things thrown in the story that did nothing for the story other than slow it down. All of the filler about the ins and outs of the industry were totally unnecessary.

The characters in this book were not as well developed as they should have been. They were very immature for their ages. Thus making many of their interactions with one another very juvenile. I just couldn't connect with them at all.

The overall plot kept the story going for me. It may have drug in many parts, but I kept on trucking to the end. I did laugh a few times. I think those times that evoked a true laugh out loud moment are what helped me finish this book.