8/10

#BookReview
The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride
@McBrideKristina @skyponypress

Synopsis:

You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.


Book Rating: 8/10

Mysterious, unpredictable, and sinister!

The Bakersville Dozen is a young adult novel that takes us to the small town of Bakersville, Ohio where five popular, senior girls have one-by-one gone missing after being featured in a libelous video with eight of their peers.

The characters are nervous, bold, and at times impetuous. The writing is edgy and taut. And the plot is filled with an abundance of teenage drama, secrets, danger, jealousy, murder, red herrings, tension, and romance.

Overall, The Bakersville Dozen is a well-paced, suspenseful YA whodunit that reminds me of those classic 90s teen thrillers like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer that had you thinking “why would you do that?” while you simultaneously gripped the edge of your seat. It’s captivating, entertaining and has an ending you definitely won’t see coming.

If you haven’t had a chance already to check out my review for A Million Times Goodnight by McBride you can find it here:

 

About the Author:

Kristina McBride is a former high school English teacher and yearbook advisor, as well as an adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest and Wright State University. She dreamed of being a published author since she lived across the street from a library as a kid. She is the author of two previous novels, The Tension of Opposites and One Moment. She lives in Centerville, Ohio with her husband and two young children.

 

 

Thank you to Sky Pony Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Kristina McBride, visit her website at: kristinamcbride.com

or follow her on twitter at: @McBrideKristina

#BookReview
Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry
@SarinaBowen @MayberrySarah @ninabocci

Synopsis:

The most beautiful man I’ve ever seen is the one who can ruin everything…

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful — pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full-time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works–if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can’t afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo…


Book Rating: 8/10

Witty, charming, and delightfully refreshing!

Temporary is a passionate tale that takes us into the lives of two main characters. Grace, a young temp who is hardworking, resilient and focused on creating a better life for herself and her sister; and Callan, a sexy, Aussie playboy who may just prove he’s much more loyal, honourable, and grounded than his reputation leads you to perceive.

The prose is humorous and fluid. The main characters are genuine, endearing, and supportive. And the plot sweeps you away into a modern fairytale filled with familial drama, palpable tension, sizzling chemistry, rags, riches, loss, heartbreak, romance, and of course true love.

Temporary is a light, fun, thoroughly entertaining novel with great characterization, snappy dialogue and a happy-ever-after ending that will make you swoon. I have yet to pick up a book by Sarina Bowen that I didn’t enjoy, and this new collaboration with Mayberry is nothing short of magic.

Thank you to Nina Bocci, Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Temporary is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                         

For more information on Sarina Bowen, visit her website at: sarinabowen.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @SarinaBowen

For more information on Sarah Mayberry, visit her website at: sarahmayberry.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @MayberrySarah

 

#BookReview
The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair
@RiptideBooks

Synopsis:

Matt Lancaster is the star quarterback at Bodine College, a small Southern Division II school with an ultra-conservative Dean of Athletics. Matt is also very much in the closet, and he thinks he’s kept his secret well hidden. Until his best friends take him to a happy endings massage parlor and request a male masseuse for him.

In walks Trevor Kim, a gorgeous, pierced, tattooed fellow Bodine student who does massages—without happy endings—to pay for school after his family kicked him out for being gay. Trevor takes one look at Matt and breaks all his own rules about mixing business with pleasure.

Matt needs to keep his scholarship, win the National Championship, and survive his asshole father. Instead, he falls in love. Trevor needs to accept that the football god is meant to end up with him rather than a perky cheerleader. It’s time for a happy ever after for both of them.


Book Rating: 8/10

Sexy, sassy, and heartwarming!

The Quarterback is a provocative sports romance about college life, embracing one’s sexuality, and having the strength to follow one’s heart regardless of the consequences.

The characters are handsome, charming, troubled and flawed. The writing is erotic and smooth. And the plot is an alluring tale full of sexual innuendoes, flirty banter, blazing chemistry, familial drama, friendship, support, acceptance, and love.

The Quarterback is an entertaining, provocative debut by Blair and although at times there are a few too many stereotypical references she does an excellent job of touching on the challenges, prejudices, and ignorance faced by those in the LGBTQIA community.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Riptide Publishing, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

                                

For more information on Mackenzie Blair, visit her website at: http://www.goodreads.com/mackenzieblair

#BookReview
Killer Affair by Rebecca Chance
@MsRebeccaChance @PGCBooks

Synopsis:

A shocking betrayal deserves a wicked revenge . . .

Stunning, charismatic Lexy O’Brien is the reigning queen of British reality TV. Her life in front of the camera is planned and manipulated as successfully as any military assault.

But success breeds jealousy. When you’re on top, the only way is down and there’s always someone standing by to give you a shove . . .

Dowdy Caroline Evans, a part-time blogger and writer of erotic fiction, is brought in to chronicle Lexy’s life. Being taken under Lexy’s wing is a dream come true for Caroline. But sampling the star’s lifestyle is like tasting the most addictive of drugs, and it’s not long before she is craving what she can’t possibly have – or can she?

And as Caroline and Lexy’s lives and loves become increasingly entwined, it’s only a matter of time before the hidden rivalry becomes a powder keg waiting to explode . . .


Book Rating: 8/10

Scandalous, salacious, and outrageously entertaining!

Killer Affair is an alluring novel that takes us into the lives of the rich and famous and reminds us that everything that glitters is not gold and often behind the shiny facade and quintessential social media postings is an abundance of power, obsession, envy, deception, betrayal, infidelity, and revenge.

The writing is well done. The characters are ambitious, self-indulgent, and vain. And the plot is a clever, captivating mix of humour, drama, action, and sex.

Overall, I have to say Killer Affair is truly a scintillating, enjoyable treat that’s perfect for anyone who loves all the backstabbing, glamour, gossip, and sexual hijinks of reality TV. It will make you smile, laugh, and at times even leave you at a loss for words.

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

For more information on Rebecca Chance, visit her website at: rebeccachanceauthor.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @MsRebeccaChance

 

#BookReview
Wild Ride Cowboy by Maisey Yates
@maiseyyates @HarlequinBooks

Synopsis:

He’s come back to Copper Ridge, Oregon, to keep a promise—even if it means losing his heart…

Putting down roots in Copper Ridge was never Alex Donnelly’s intention. But if there’s one thing the ex-military man knows, it’s that life rarely unfolds as expected. If it did, his best friend and brother-in-arms would still be alive. And Alex wouldn’t have inherited a ranch or responsibility for his late comrade’s sister—a woman who, despite her inexperience, can bring tough-as-iron Alex to his knees.

Clara Campbell didn’t ask for a hero to ride in and fix her ranch and her life. All she wants is the one thing stubborn, honorable Alex is reluctant to give: a chance to explore their intense chemistry. But Clara has a few lessons to teach him, too…about trusting his heart and his instincts, and letting love take him on the wildest adventure of all.


Book Rating: 8/10

Provocative, emotional, and incredibly heartwarming!

Wild Ride Cowboy is a passionate tale between a sweet, dependable, sexy cowboy with a rocky past and an innocent, diligent young woman with scars of her own who may just find everything they desire, want and need in each other.

The prose is smooth and light. The characters, including the supporting characters, are warm, sincere, and fun. And the plot is a romantic journey filled with heartbreak, loss, friendship, introspection, witty dialogue, delicious chemistry, support, and love.

Overall, Wild Ride Cowboy is definitely an entertaining, enjoyable, effortless tale and even though it’s the ninth book in the “Copper Ridge” series, it can certainly be read as a standalone novel. 

Christmastime Cowboy, Book #10, Sabrina and Liam’s story will be available later this fall.

 

Thank you to Harlequin Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Maisey Yates, visit her website at: maiseyyates.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @maiseyyates

#BookReview
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
@gabriellezevin @PenguinCanada

Synopsis:

From the author of the international bestseller The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes another novel that will have everyone talking.

Aviva Grossman, an ambitious congressional intern in Florida, makes the mistake of having an affair with her boss–and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the beloved congressman doesn’t take the fall. But Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins: slut-shamed, she becomes a late-night talk show punch line, anathema to politics.

She sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. This time, she tries to be smarter about her life and strives to raise her daughter, Ruby, to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, Aviva decides to run for public office herself, that long-ago mistake trails her via the Internet and catches up–an inescapable scarlet A. In the digital age, the past is never, ever, truly past. And it’s only a matter of time until Ruby finds out who her mother was and is forced to reconcile that person with the one she knows.

Young Jane Young is a smart, funny, and moving novel about what it means to be a woman of any age, and captures not just the mood of our recent highly charged political season, but also the double standards alive and well in every aspect of life for women.


Book Rating: 8/10

Clever, humorous, and highly entertaining!

Young Jane Young is an engaging, satisfying tale that reminds us that the internet although an invaluable source of information and a blessing is also often a curse where mistakes are never forgotten.

The story is divided into multiple sections and told from various perspectives; Rachel, Aviva’s mother whose attempts at online dating is dismal at best; Jane/Aviva, a young events planner who has successfully carved out a new life and identity after falling in love with the wrong man; Ruby, Jane’s inquisitive and direct teenage daughter; and Embeth, the congressman’s forgiving and supportive wife.

The characters are strong, female, and resilient. The prose is smooth, fresh, and exceptionally witty. And the plot interweaves and unfolds effortlessly using unconventional, unique writing styles, such as emails and “choose your own adventure” to keep you intrigued and absorbed from start to finish.

Young Jane Young is ultimately a lighthearted, warm, enjoyable story about empowerment, survival, feminism, shame, acceptance, adultery, politics, scandals, and the unfair sexist stigma that still surrounds women and their sexual behaviour today.

If you haven’t already checked out my review for The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, one of my favourite books from last year,  be sure to check it out here:

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Gabrielle Zevin, follow her on Facebook at: gabriellezevin.com

or on Twitter at: @gabriellezevin

#BookReview
Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan
@SVaughanAuthor @AtriaBooks

Synopsis:

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?


Book Rating: 8/10

Intricate, dark, and compelling!

Anatomy of a Scandal is a gripping tale that reminds us that justice may not always be blind in the face of privilege, politics, charisma, and power and that rape has devastating and enduring emotional and psychological effects on its victims.

The story is told from differing perspectives; James, a handsome, entitled politician accused of a heinous crime; Sophie, a dependable, intelligent wife who believes in her husband’s innocence; and Kate the tough, tenacious barrister who wholeheartedly knows he’s guilty.

The characters are multilayered and well developed with some wounded and resilient and others ostentatious, arrogant, and callous. And the plot uses a past/present, back-and-forth style to create tension and suspense as it subtly unravels the personalities, motivations, and histories of all those within it.

Anatomy of a Scandal is ultimately a novel about marriage, over indulgence, consent, scandal, revenge, deception, adultery, social status, rape, and the British legal system and is certainly an excellent, highly entertaining debut for Vaughan.

Thank you to Atria Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is due to be published January 2, 2018.

Preorder a copy now from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Sarah Vaughan, visit her website at: sarahvaughanauthor.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @SVaughanAuthor


#BookReview
Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh
@tarynleighbook @olympiapub

Synopsis:

Sarah Lewis desires nothing more than to begin again after a failed marriage and a tragedy so terrifying, it forces her to leave her life in London to stay with her best friend a world apart in South Africa.

Despite immediate success in her business, she struggles to understand who she really is and where she belongs in the world. So begins a journey of discovery as Sarah re-unites with Katy in the land where she was born, where the air is lavender scented, and weekends are spent cycling on the beach.

Until the day when she has to return to London to face the ghosts of her past and confront a situation that has grown more complicated in her absence.

Perfect Imperfections is an intriguing tale which hints at wrongdoings and deceit without giving too much away. The author cleverly weaves a tale around fragile yet strong Sarah as she tries to reconcile her past with her future, engaging the reader to the point where we simply want the best for her and for happiness finally to come her way.


Book Rating: 8/10

Uplifting, vivid, and poignant!

Perfect Imperfections is a heartwarming tale about letting go of the past, embracing the future and discovering one’s true self after suffering heartbreak and tragedy.

The writing is vivid and descriptive. The characters are strong, kind, and supportive. And the plot is an engaging, emotional tale with a side of mystery that’s full of heartache, loss, grief, betrayal, relationship dynamics, family, romance, and love.

Overall, I would have to say that Perfect Imperfections is a charming, sweet, beautiful debut for Leigh that does a wonderful job of highlighting just how important and powerful friendship can truly be.

 

About the Author:

Taryn Leigh is a South African born citizen, who spent her childhood with her nose buried in books. Her love for reading transpired into her ambition to become a writer. She first tried her hand at blogging, which eventually led to her writing her first novel. She lives in Pretoria, with her husband, son and two cocker spaniels.

 

Thank you to Taryn Leigh and Olympia Publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                    

For more information on Taryn Leigh, visit her website at: perfect-imperfections

or follow her on Twitter at: @tarynleighbook

#BookReview #TheSister
by Louise Jensen @Fab_fiction
@bookouture @TheCrimeVault @littlebookcafe

cover87753-medium

Synopsis:

Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s words, the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend. 

When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home. 

But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger? 

There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie …or was there?


Book Rating: 8/10

Suspenseful, creepy and entertaining!

The Sister is a psychological thriller that reminds us of the mental and physical anguish that can be caused by abandonment, isolation, trauma, grief and revenge.

The main character, Grace, is a young woman struggling in her everyday life due to extreme levels of guilt, grief, and paranoia. And as the story unfolds, through a past/present style, we are introduced to all sorts of colourful characters that interact and intertwine to captivate and intrigue us until the last piece of the puzzle fits.

The story is well written. And the plot is fascinating and mysterious, with lots of twists and turns you won’t see coming.

Overall, this is a really sophisticated debut novel, and I look forward to reading more from Louise Jensen in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Bookouture, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is now available in paperback.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                                 

For more information on Louise Jensen, visit her website at: louisejensen.co.uk

or follow her on Twitter at: @Fab_fiction

#BookReview
Best Intentions by Erika Raskin
@erikaraskin @StMartinsPress

Synopsis:

Marti Trailor—social worker on hold, mother of three, wife of a successful obstetrician, daughter of a Congressman—is ready to go back to work. She’s thrilled when the perfect opportunity falls in her lap. The catch? The job is at her husband’s hospital and he seems not to share her enthusiasm. Undeterred, she takes the position counseling vulnerable young women as they prepare to give birth.

Marti quickly begins to feel like she is making a difference in the lives of her clients. Soon, though, she finds herself caught up in the dark side of the medical center—with its long hours, overworked doctors and entrenched practices. When she witnesses something she can’t unsee, Marti, who has always done her best to keep a low-profile, finds herself thrust under a dangerous spotlight with all of Richmond, Virginia watching.

In her captivating domestic suspense novel Best Intentions, Erika Raskin weaves together high stakes hospital politics, the pressures of family life, and the consequences of trying to do the right thing.


Book Rating: 8/10

Intense, ominous, and engrossing!

Best Intentions is a character-driven thriller that highlights how easily someone’s behaviour can be misconstrued, manipulated, and used against them.

It is, ultimately, a story about marriage, motherhood, friendship, social work, greed, deception, adultery, medical politics, and the legal process.

The writing is well done. The characters are complex and multilayered with some being loving, supportive, and kind and others being pompous and self-centered. And the plot, although sometimes a little hard to follow as it flips from the past to the present, has a nice balance of suspense, tension, character development, and surprises.

Overall I would have to say that Best Intentions is a compelling, well-written read that once started will keep you entertained and invested to the very end.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Erika Raskin, visit her website at: erikaraskin.net

or follow her on Twitter at: @erikaraskin


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