Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Great...whodunit book!

I want to thank Net Galley, Bookouture, and Robert Bryndza for an ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. Bookoture has released some of my absolute favorite books over the past year. They really hit the mark when they picked the authors to publish lately!

The Girl in the Ice
by Robert Bryndza

What a great cover too!

I loved this book! A fantastic debut police procedural by author Robert Bryndza and it looks to be a series on the make!! I find it hard to believe that Bryndza usually writes romantic comedies and this is his first crime novel. I can't vouch for the other genre but this book was an excellent read and I couldn't read it quick enough in an attempt to find out what was going to happen next. It pulled me and didn’t let me go until there wasn’t a word left!

I’m giving this book 5 Stars because I just couldn’t read it quickly enough. However, there were two small things that went unanswered which will probably be addressed in other books, which is why it doesn’t affect my rating. The biggest was there was never really any clear cut reason for Ericka’s “incident” after she left the “high-jacked” press conference. Was it a headache? Was it something more? To be vague, I’m just missing what that was about or how it fit in. I’m also dying (no pun intended) to know what the outcome will be after her “meeting” with Ivy’s grandson. I’m guessing this will be addressed in the next book. Bryndza get on book 2! I gobbled this on up within a day!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Brittainy C. Cherry is on fire!

 Title: The Fire Between High & Lo
Series: Romance Elements #2

Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Genre: Romance
 Release Date: March 25, 2016

There once was a boy, and I loved him. 

Logan Francis Silverstone and I were complete opposites. I danced, and he stood still. He was quiet, while I ran my mouth. He struggled to find a smile, and I refused to frown. 

The night I saw the darkness that truly lived inside of him, I couldn't look away. 

We were broken together, yet somehow whole. We were wrong together, but always right. We were the stars that burned across the night sky, searching for a wish, praying for better tomorrows. 

Until the day I lost him. He threw us away with one hasty decision--a decision that changed us forever. 

There once was a boy, and I loved him. 

And for a few breaths, a few whispers, a few moments, I think he loved me, too.



 #1 The Air He Breathes (also an AWESOME book….it will make you ugly cry)
 Brittainy Cherry has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing. She loves to take part in writing screenplays, acting, and dancing--poorly of course. Coffee, chai tea, and wine are three things that she thinks every person should partake in! Brittainy lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her family. When she's not running a million errands and crafting stories, she's probably playing with her adorable pets.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve pretty much stopped reading romance novels, they are so much alike that I just couldn’t waste my time and I always left feeling bored. This is the second book I have read of Cherry’s. The first being “The Air He Breathed,” this book is very similar. I think what makes Cherry different than all the other romance writers out there is that she has this way with words and you can’t help but be moved by them. 

"Because if you judge him sole on his few moments of lows, then you miss out on his beautiful highs.”

“Be here now”

"She believed in God while I danced with demons."

“These two individuals are superheroes of love. They showcase how when things get hard, there can always be smiles to be found. They sacrifice for one another, because they know that their love is real.” 

These quotes could go on and on. When you get down to it, this love story isn’t anything special…that’s because it could be anyone’s love story and that makes it relatable. The problems they face are every day normal problems. Nothing about this story is far-fetched. Any of it could happen to me or you.

Talk about a writer that can so effortlessly evoke so many emotions and craft such a wonderfully layered, heart-wrenching and heart-warming stories. This book takes you on a heartfelt journey of addiction, friendship, love, redemption, a second chance romance.

This is such a beautifully written book. The story is told in a dual POV so we get to see and feel everything from both sides. Alyssa in particular shows an amazing amount of strength even after everything falls apart around her! Of course Logan is sensational as the broken bad boy trying desperately to move on from his past and find happiness. Together, they are something truly special, soul-mates that are meant to be, and they showed a true friendship even through trying times. The story finishes off beautifully, for me, showing me everything I wanted to see for that “happily even after” feeling.


There is a giveaway for a signed paperback of The Fire Between High & Lo

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

This is why you don't mess with momma bear!

by TR Ragan


“Faith McMann comes home to a nightmare: her husband is killed and her son and daughter are taken. Although the intruders leave her for dead, she survives. Crippling grief and fear for her children make life unbearable. Until her anguish turns to anger…and she trades victimhood for vengeance.
Frustrated with the law’s efforts, she takes action to rescue her children—and wreaks havoc on the brutal criminals who tore them from her. With her family and newfound allies at her side, Faith descends into the hellish underworld of human trafficking, determined to make those who prey on the innocent pray for mercy.
The forces she's up against have already proven that their ruthlessness knows no bounds. And there's nothing they won't do to turn Faith's crusade into a suicide mission. But they're about to learn that nothing is more dangerous than a mother fighting for her children—especially one who's earned the nickname Furious.”

I was given an ARC of Furious from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book…I just don’t even know if I’ll be able to get into words how perfectly written this book was. Ragan has an amazing talent; her readers can FEEL her words. I could sense and feel Faith’s loss, maybe it’s the connection of motherhood. Ragan made this combination of…well misfits, for the lack of a better word, and they were such a great group to read about. There’s humor, which could be rare when reading about a serious topic like this. 

There are friendships that shouldn’t work, but do; there are criminals, gun fights, car chases, but it’s all balanced by these memories that can give you a real connection with Faith and a glimpse into her life before it all went to hell. You get small glimpses into human trafficking by what the kids are going through. I should say, there was a small scene that was difficult to read, any type of abuse is difficult but abuse on children is hard for me to read so if you are sensitive to that be aware. But it’s all done so well that I think most could get through it just fine.

I love book series and was happy to see this was the beginning of one buuuuutttttt OMG, how am I going to wait that long? It isn’t like this is a small cliffhanger until the next book, this is HUGE! For me this whole book is the entire meaning behind why you don’t mess with momma bear’s cubs! I will be watching very closely for the next installment!

This book is beyond 5 Star!!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Find out what should be next on your TBR List!

The struggle is real:

Do you have an endless pile of books that need TBR (to be read)? Well find out what you should be really reading with this quiz. I got "Where I Lost Her" by T. Greenwood. I've never heard of this book or this author. Interestingly though this book is set in Vermont which is my home state. I may have to read it just because of that!

What were your results? Anything good?

What should you read this spring?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Charlie Donlea rocked this Thriller!!

Over the last year, I have just fallen in love with reading new (to me) authors. I noticed this book on NetGalley and thought it sounded interesting. I had never heard of Charlie Donlea and I'm betting most readers haven't since this was his debut novel but the description sounded good so I gave it a shot! And man am I glad I did, Donlea, you are a gem! I loved Summit Lake!!


Set in a small, picturesque North Carolina town, Charlie Donlea’s suspenseful debut novel tells the haunting story of a murdered law school student, the reporter assigned to her story—and the intimate connection that comes when the living walk in the footsteps of the dead.
“No suspects.  No persons of interest.  Just a girl who was alive one day and dead the next.”

Some places seem too beautiful to be touched by horror. Summit Lake, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is that kind of place, with charming stilt houses dotted along the pristine water. But two weeks ago, Becca Eckersley, a first-year law student, was brutally murdered in one of those houses. The daughter of a powerful attorney, Becca was hard-working, accomplished, and ambitious. Now, while the town reels with grief and shocked residents gather to share their theories, the police are baffled.

At first, investigative reporter Kelsey Castle thinks of the assignment as a fluff piece. But the savagery of the crime, and the determined efforts to keep the case quiet, all hint at something far more than a random attack by a stranger. As Kelsey digs deeper, pushing on despite danger and warnings, she feels a growing connection to the dead girl. And the more she learns about Becca’s friendships, her love life—and the secrets she was keeping—the more convinced she becomes that learning the truth about Becca could be the key to overcoming her own dark past…

I don't give 5 stars easily, you have to work for them but Donlea totally deserves it with this breakout book that was released in January.

First I would like to thank NetGalley and the publishers, Kensington Books, for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review. If I could give this book more than 5 stars I definitely would, it has been a while since I have enjoyed an unknown author like I did this one. If you’re reading this Charlie…your debut novel was amazing, seriously amazing!  I devoured this book in a handful of sittings. The only reason I put it down was the fact that I had to work. If you could picture me putting my make up on with one hand and holding my Kindle with the other hand….that seriously happened! This book was nearly impossible to put down. I hope I can reiterate how wonderful this book was.

If I had to critique this hard, the only thing I want more info on is did Becca save who she wanted to save. I’m trying to be vague there to not give too much away. I think it’s implied that she succeeded but you never directly get affirmation. The other thing I would love more info on is why the cover up? Who wanted to keep these things a secret and why? That is all I was lacking in closure. This book though, it has everything….love, loss, fear, jealousy, anger, crazy exes, friends, fun, and plenty of secrets. I applaud you, Donlea!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Have you ever had this problem?

I tell ya, if I get stuck in a book I will read it while doing every day things like putting make up on, brushing my teeth, or even making dinner. It might take me three times as long to do these things but at least I didn't have to put my book down!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Not what I was expecting...

“The Widow” by Fiona Barton arrives from England recommended as “twisty psychological suspense” and “an electrifying debut thriller.” I didn't see it as either of these. It's more like a jigsaw puzzle. From the get-go you know how the final picture looks: in this case, you soon realize that Glen Taylor is the villain who abducted two-year old Bella Elliott. As a reader, your job is to put the pieces together: to figure out how he did it and why, and how much his wife Jean knew or guessed during the months of police investigation and the years in which suspicion swirled around him. The titular character is Jean Taylor and the novel maps her journey as the loving and devoted wife of accused murderer, Glen.

Each chapter is told from a different perspective of those involved in the case, including the skeptical detective, the savvy reporter and the worn-down widow (which she is perfectly portrayed). Barton expertly jumps back and forth between time frames from the original date that 'Baby Bella' vanished from her front garden, to the present day where Jean Taylor is dealing with the repercussions of her husband's sudden death. As the story unfolds, Barton sheds light on the turmoil that Jean faces, desperate to protect the man she loves, but each day growing more concerned for the truth about Bella's disappearance.

The reader soon discovers that Jean and Glen's relationship was riddled with its own problems; Glen's secrecy, Jean's obsession with children and the fact the couple were never able to reproduce. The character of Kate, the hard-nosed reporter is also fascinating as she manages to gain the trust of many of the key players within the case. As the story develops, it is extraordinary to watch the changes in each character, as new pieces of information are revealed from past and present. This progression is beautifully crafted and we soon start to question the honesty of Jean's perspective and she transforms into the ultimate unreliable narrator.

It's an odd book…you can't put it down but it can come off as a bit boring which could just be Jean. What you read in the first couple chapters *is* the story.....the rest of the novel just takes you through how the characters deal with the fall-out. If you're looking for a psychological thriller (which is what I favor, so it did disappoint me some), you'll be disappointed. But if you just want an interesting story that is really just a look at people's lives while they deal with this tragedy, then you might enjoy it. I've been surprised to see so many high marks…don't get me wrong, the writing is wonderful but saying this is a “thriller” when there is no suspense at all is very misleading.

The only way I would recommend this to a friend is if you changed its genre.
I give this book 3 Stars

Thank you to Fiona Barton and Berkley Publishing Group for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.