Book Review

A book review is a summary of my thoughts, feelings, and impression of a book.

#BookReview
Broken Ground by Val McDermid
@valmcdermid @PGCBooks

#BookReview Broken Ground by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @PGCBooksTitle: Broken Ground

Author: Val McDermid

Series: Inspector Karen Pirie #5

Published by: Atlantic Monthly Press on December 5, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

Internationally bestselling author Val McDermid is one of our finest crime writers, and her gripping, masterfully plotted novels have garnered millions of readers from around the globe. In Broken Ground, cold case detective Karen Pirie faces her hardest challenge yet.

Six feet under in a Highland peat bog lies Alice Somerville’s inheritance, buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally uncovers it, she finds an unwanted surprise–a body with a bullet hole between the eyes. Meanwhile, DCI Pirie is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems. And as she gets closer to the truth, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.


Review:

Engrossing, intricate, and deft!

In this latest novel by McDermid, Broken Ground, we head back to Edinburgh where DCI Pirie and her sidekick DC Murray from the Historic Cases Unit find themselves pursuing new evidence in the case of a serial rapist from the 80s; tasked with identifying a body discovered in a peat bog in the Highlands alongside relics from WWII; and inadvertently involved in a new case of premeditated, cold-blooded murder.

The prose is gritty and descriptive. The characterization is superb with all the usual gang back including the intuitive, tenacious, Karen Pirie who’s still coping with the loss of her lover through nocturnal walks and designer gins. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine meticulously into an irresistible tale full of deception, abuse, deprivation, manipulation, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Overall, Broken Ground is a highly entertaining, gripping, atmospheric thriller that highlights McDermid’s exceptional ability to write police procedurals that have well-drawn characters and edgy storylines. It is the fifth novel in the Inspector Karen Pirie series, and definitely one of my favourites.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

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

 

About Val McDermid

Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award.

She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.

#BookReview
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
@christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooks

#BookReview My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren @christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooksTitle: My Favorite Half-Night Stand

Author: Christina Lauren

Published by: Gallery Books on December 4, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

By the New York Times bestselling author who “hilariously depicts modern dating” (Us Weekly), My Favorite Half-Night Standis a laugh-out-loud romp through online dating and its many, many fails.

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

Perfect for fans of Roxanne and She’s the Man, Christina Lauren’s latest romantic comedy is full of mistaken identities, hijinks, and a classic love story with a modern twist. Funny and fresh, you’ll want to swipe right on My Favorite Half-Night Stand.


Review:

Amusing, smart, and adorably romantic!

My Favorite Half-Night Stand is an engaging, witty, friends-to-more romance that features the spunky, intelligent Millie whose finding it harder and harder to keep her attraction for her best friend a secret, and the charming and honest Reid who may finally realize everything he’s ever wanted or needed is standing right in front of him.

The writing is whimsical and crisp and uses a delightful mix of text messages, group chats, snappy dialogue, and first-person narration from dual points of view. The characterization is spot on with an incredible cast of characters who are quirky, charismatic, and genuine. And the plot is an irresistible blend of shameless flirting, friendship, family, light drama, tricky situations, spirited shenanigans, awkward moments, steamy romance, and the hilarious ups and downs of online dating.

I’ve always been a fan of Christina Lauren novels, and My Favorite Half-Night Stand has just become my new favourite. It’s outrageously funny, deliciously swoon-worthy and without a doubt one of the best rom-coms I’ve had the pleasure to read this year.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is the combined penname of longtime writing partners/best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA TODAY, and #1 International bestselling authors of The Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Dating You/Hating You, Roomies, Love and Other Words, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, and the critically acclaimed Autoboyography.

Photograph by Alyssa Michelle.

#BookReview #BlogTour
Naked Truths by Karen Botha
@KarenBothaNovel @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour Naked Truths by Karen Botha @KarenBothaNovel @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour Naked Truths by Karen Botha @KarenBothaNovel @rararesourcesTitle: Naked Truths

Author: Karen Botha

Series: Naked #1

Published by: Karen Botha on November 12, 2018

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 353

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 7/10

 

Synopsis:

He’s a grieving widower, the perfect boyfriend, and the prime suspect…

Lucy knows the importance of boundaries. As a massage therapist, she keeps her work and her personal life completely separate. But when a handsome widower shows up on her table and sparks an instant attraction, Lucy is shameless. Breaking her rule, she crosses the line, triggering a series of thrilling mysteries.

Paula isn’t so sure about her best friend’s perfect man… or the story of his wife’s death. To uncover the truth, the former detective infiltrates his social circle. When she examines a scandalous lodger, a jealous brother, and a protective mother-in-law, everyone seems to have a hidden motive for murder…

Lucy is torn between her old friend and her dark new love. Will she follow her head or her heart? And can Paula discover the true killer before her friend makes a fateful mistake?

Naked Truths is the first book in a series of pulse-pounding romantic suspense books. If you like the odd steamy sex scene, complex characters, and twists you won’t see coming, then you’ll love the suspense ofKaren Botha’s gripping romantic suspense.

The rest of the Naked Series of gripping mystery romances can be read as stand alones or as part of the series and are free on Kindle Unlimited.


Review:

Dramatic, suspenseful, and steamy!

Naked Truths is a fervid, twisty tale that takes you on a journey into the life of Lucy, a massage therapist who inadvertently finds her life turned upside down after she falls for her secretive, intense client, Giles.

The prose is seductive and taut. The characters are focused, mysterious, and multifaceted. And the plot told from alternating POVs is an ominous, compelling mix of twists, turns, deception, friendship, family, desire, tension, murder, and romance.

Naked Truths is a menacing, entertaining, erotic tale that lags slightly at times but is overall an alluring, solid start to the Naked series with one or two nice unexpected surprises, and some delightfully, intriguing characters.

 

This book is available now. 

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

 

 

Thank you to Karen Botha and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Botha

Karen Botha was born in Lincolnshire, England where her father was in the Royal Air Force. As a young girl she always had a passion for reading and writing, studying English Language before University.
Working most of her adult life in digital marketing didn't leave her much time to pursue her passion for stories. But, at the age of 36 she retrained as a reflexologist and started working for herself. This helped her free up more than enough time to enjoy a re-found passion; writing.
Her first novel was inspired by the true life experiences of her clients. But don't believe everything you read, she has more than enough imagination to catch you out with twist and turns galore.
She enjoys romance, travelling and motor sport, which also provide her inspiration for her books.
She currently lives in London with her husband and rescue dog, Shadow.

 

#BookReview #BlogTour
Daisy by Karen Botha
@KarenBothaNovel @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour Daisy by Karen Botha @KarenBothaNovel @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour Daisy by Karen Botha @KarenBothaNovel @rararesourcesTitle: Daisy

Author: Karen Botha

Series: Love Collection #1

Published by: Karen Botha on October 15, 2018

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 198

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 6.5/10

 

Synopsis:

It may take a criminal mind to be a savvy business woman.

If so, Daisy is set and driven to succeed. But to hold on to what she’s earned, she must live between black and white. She must spend her life in the gray. 

That makes it difficult for a woman to know who she’s dealing with, in business and in bed.

Idris made it his business to know hers, leaving no skeletons undiscovered. When the two meet, sparks fly and sexual tension ignites. Passion, lust, and desire come before sensible decision making.

Has Daisy gotten involved with the wrong person this time? 

Can this gorgeous man be trusted, or is it him that needs to beware? 

Daisy is a mixed race urban romance where the road to true love is anything but easy. 


Review:

Risqué, sinister, and mysterious!

Daisy is a fervid, erotic tale that takes you on a journey into the life of Daisy, a young woman who quickly learns that if you choose to do business with criminals than danger can loom around any corner and that people aren’t always who they seem.

The prose is clear and seductive. The characters are impulsive, secretive, and vulnerable. And the plot told from different POVs is an ominous mix of twists, turns, violence, corruption, deception, sex, murder, and mixed-race romance.

Overall, even though I found Daisy to be a little slow to start and didn’t have as much character development as I would have liked it was still a fast, dark, dramatic read that some will thoroughly enjoy.

 

This book is available now. 

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

 

 

 

Thank you to Karen Botha and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

 

About Karen Botha

Karen Botha was born in Lincolnshire, England where her father was in the Royal Air Force. As a young girl she always had a passion for reading and writing, studying English Language before University.
Working most of her adult life in digital marketing didn't leave her much time to pursue her passion for stories. But, at the age of 36 she retrained as a reflexologist and started working for herself. This helped her free up more than enough time to enjoy a re-found passion; writing.
Her first novel was inspired by the true life experiences of her clients. But don't believe everything you read, she has more than enough imagination to catch you out with twist and turns galore.
She enjoys romance, travelling and motor sport, which also provide her inspiration for her books.
She currently lives in London with her husband and rescue dog, Shadow.

 

#BookReview
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
@lizzienugent @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent @lizzienugent @SimonSchusterCATitle: Lying in Wait

Author: Liz Nugent

Published by: Simon & Schuster on November 27, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 310

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The second heartstopping suspense novel by international bestselling author Liz Nugent—filled with dark secrets, twisted relationships, and unexpected surprises.

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

In 1980s Dublin, Lydia Fitzsimons seems to have the perfect life—wife of Andrew, a respected judge, and mistress of Avalon, the beautiful house where she grew up. Her pride and joy, however, is her only child, her son Laurence, to whom she is utterly, obsessively devoted.

But her husband’s murder of Annie Doyle, accidental or not, sets into motion a dark downward spiral. No one knows what Lydia and Andrew were doing with a drug-addled prostitute late at night on a deserted stretch of the strand near Dublin, but they stuffed her body into the trunk of their car and buried it in their tidy suburban garden, hoping that will put the matter to rest. Annie was a junkie from the wrong side of the tracks; surely no one will miss her or care to find out what happened to her.

Except that Annie has a sister. Her twin, Karen, who has fared much better in life, is desperate to find her. And when Karen crosses paths with Laurence, isolated and lonely, things begin to unravel. Laurence may be overweight and ungainly and bullied at school, but he’s more clever than he’s given credit for. He knows that something is very, very wrong in the Fitzsimons household—and he is determined to discover the truth…


Review:

Gothic, twisty, and downright creepy!

Lying in Wait is a compulsive, macabre, psychological thriller that isn’t so much a whodunit as a whydunit that delves into the complex dynamics between family members and reminds us just how controlling and possessive some of these relationships can truly be.

The prose is insightful, intense, and dark. The characters are obsessed, secretive, and perfectly unlikable. And the plot told from multiple perspectives and alternating timelines builds and unravels exquisitely into a story filled with unexpected twists, well-timed surprises, manipulation, fixation, ruthless deception, and pure wickedness.

Lying in Wait is an intelligent, murky, tragic tale that highlights the scheming, selfish, desperate side of human nature and the ability of even the most ordinary of people to commit the most heinous of crimes. It’s a tight, propulsive, shocking, must-read novel by Nugent that will grip you from the very first line, make your skin crawl throughout, and undoubtedly leave you wholly unnerved.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Liz Nugent

Liz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theater, and television for most of her adult life. She is an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written critically acclaimed short stories both for children and adults, as well as the novels Unraveling Oliver and Lying in Wait. She lives in Dublin.

Photograph by Beta Bajgartova.

#BlogTour #BookReview
Too Far Gone by Allison Brennan
@Allison_Brennan @StMartinsPress @MinotaurBooks

#BlogTour #BookReview Too Far Gone by Allison Brennan @Allison_Brennan @StMartinsPress @MinotaurBooksTitle: Too Far Gone

Author: Allison Brennan

Series: Lucy Kincaid #14

Published by: Minotaur Books on October 30, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 496

Format: Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

The next intense installment in Allison Brennan’s New York Times bestselling Lucy Kincaid series.

When a man who appears mentally unstable holds a group of people hostage and dies in a shootout with the FBI, Special Agent Lucy Kincaid is assigned to investigate what happened. Up until two months ago, McMahon was a respected scientist—then his wife left him, he lost his job, and was arrested for assaulting a former colleague. The one person who might have answers — his research assistant — has disappeared. 

While Lucy is investigating this bizarre case, her husband Sean is on top of the world: his son Jesse is visiting for the summer. They are having a blast until someone follows them. Sean is positive that the surveillance is connected to Jesse’s step-father—a man who had once laundered money for a violent drug cartel. But when Lucy and Jesse are run off the road, they begin to wonder if the attack is connected to Jesse … or Lucy’s current case. 

Nothing is what it seemsnot the McMahon investigation or the car accident. As Sean and Lucy dig deep into the lives of everyone involved, one thing becomes clear: If they don’t find the truth fast, everyone they care about is in danger.


Review:

Ominous, engrossing, and suspenseful!

In this compelling fourteenth installment in the Lucy Kincaid series, Too Far Gone, Brennan has written an intricate, action-packed, police procedural that has FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid and her fellow law enforcement colleagues delving into a case that on the surface seems to be a simple hostage situation but which quickly unfolds into a complex case involving a suspicious death, a missing assistant, and a pharmaceutical company with something to hide.

The writing is taut and precise. The characters are rugged, intelligent, and relentless. And the two main plots intertwine and unravel into a seamless, entertaining tale full of deception, secrets, corruption, scandal, cover-ups, manipulation, family drama, jealousy, violence, and murder.

Overall, Too Far Gone is a multi-layered, captivating mystery that highlights that money and greed are often the root of all evil. And even though it’s another wonderful addition to the series that fans are sure to appreciate it can also be read and enjoyed as a standalone novel.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                         

 

 

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

 

About Allison Brennan

Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty novels and many short stories. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, she lives in Northern California with her husband Dan and their five children.

 

#BookReview
Loving a Warrior by Melanie Hansen
@MelJoyAZ @CarinaPress

#BookReview Loving a Warrior by Melanie Hansen @MelJoyAZ @CarinaPressTitle: Loving a Warrior

Author: Melanie Hansen

Series: Loving a Warrior #1

Published by: Carina Press on November 26, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 276

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Carina Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

BUD/S: six months of the most intense training there is. It’s survival of the toughest, and Matt Knytych is determined to come out the other side a Navy SEAL.

Distraction is life or death. And just the sight of former marine Shane Hovland is enough to shake Matt’s concentration.

Shane came to BUD/S training ready to prove himself—again. Semper Fi is forever, but he needs a new start. Not this dangerous heat with a man he barely knows.

Everything they’ve ever wanted is riding on a thin, punishing line. And they’ll have to fight for more than just each other if they want to make it through intact.

After all, the only easy day was yesterday.


Review:

Sexy, sweet, and evocative!

Loving a Warrior is a passionate, military romance that delves into the rigorous physical, emotional, and psychological demands involved in becoming a Navy Seal, and touches on the patience, understanding, support, and trust required to maintain a relationship under those conditions.

The writing is informative and authentic. The characters are rugged, single-minded, and encouraging. And the plot is a slow-burning tale full of explosive chemistry, undeniable attraction, grit, determination, perseverance, sacrifice, competition, and love.

Overall, even though I didn’t find Loving a Warrior as raw and emotional as Hansen’s previous novel, Point of Contact, it is still an intense, enjoyable, enlightening read that showcases her exceptional knowledge into the expectations, pressures, and challenges of Navy life.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                       

 

 

 

Thank you to Carina Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Melanie Hansen

Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.

She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Merest Loss by Steven Neil
@stevenneil12 @rararesources

#BlogTour #BookReview The Merest Loss by Steven Neil @stevenneil12 @rararesources

#BlogTour #BookReview The Merest Loss by Steven Neil @stevenneil12 @rararesourcesTitle: The Merest Loss

Author: Steven Neil

Published by: Matador on November 28, 2017

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?

Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?

The central character is Harriet Howard and the action takes place between 1836 and 1873. The plot centres on Harriet’s relationships with Louis Napoleon and famous Grand National winning jockey, Jem Mason. The backdrop to the action includes significant characters from the age, including Lord Palmerston, Queen Victoria and the Duke of Grafton, as well as Emperor Napoleon III. The worlds of horse racing, hunting and government provide the scope for rural settings to contrast with the city scenes of London and Paris and for racing skulduggery to vie with political chicanery.

The Merest Loss is historical fiction with a twist. It’s pacy and exciting with captivating characters and a distinctive narrative voice.


Review:

Fascinating, engaging, and insightful!

The Merest Loss is an intriguing interpretation about the life of Harriet Howard, a young, impulsive, British girl who aspired early in life to become a distinguished actress but who ultimately became most infamous as the benefactor and mistress to Louis Napoleon.

The prose is descriptive and smooth. The characters are vulnerable, independent, and well drawn. And the story sweeps you back and forth between London and Paris during the mid-1800s and into a world filled with love, loss, deception, manipulation, riches, power, politics, and 19th-century horse racing.

I have to admit that I knew very little about Harriet Howard when I started The Merest Loss but Neil did such a lovely job of blending historical facts with captivating, alluring fiction that you’ll not only be left entertained but questioning whether the Comtesse de Beauregard was really a strong-minded, forthright woman ahead of the times or merely a lonely, heartbroken, naive young girl who was used and exploited by a government looking to secure beneficial alliances.

 

This novel is available now.

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

          

 

 

Thank you to Steven Neil & Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Steven Neil

Steven Neil has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. In his working life he has been a bookmaker’s clerk, management tutor, management consultant, bloodstock agent and racehorse breeder. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire.

 

#BookReview
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
@john_boyne @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne @john_boyne @PenguinRandomCATitle: A Ladder to the Sky

Author: John Boyne

Published by: Doubleday Canada on November 13, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The new novel from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Heart’s Invisible Furies, a seductive Highsmithian psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man who will stop at nothing in his pursuit of fame

Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for success. The one thing he doesn’t have is talent – but he’s not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don’t need to be his own.
Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful – but desperately lonely – older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice’s first novel.
Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall…


Review:

Dark, seductive, and skillfully menacing!

A Ladder to the Sky is a character-driven, psychological thrill ride involving the ruthlessly ambitious Maurice Swift who has no qualms about using his handsomeness, charm, lack of conscience, and sociopathic tendencies in his ceaseless pursuit to become the world-class, successful writer he knows he can be.

The prose is unsettling and controlled. The characters, including the sinister, impulsive protagonist are consumed, complex, and vulnerable. And the brilliantly crafted plot builds nicely to create the perfect amount of tension and suspense as it unravels all the duplicitous motivations, manipulative actions, questionable personalities, and parasitic relationships within it.

A Ladder to the Sky is an eerily compelling, darkly humorous, tragic novel that transports you to some of the biggest cities in the world and immerses you in a tale full of creative, eccentric, often self-absorbed characters that will keep you enthralled from start to finish. It’s a truly memorable novel by Boyne that highlights his extraordinary talent as a storyteller and his uncanny ability to lay bare humanities weaknesses and emotional vulnerabilities while still poking fun at an industry very close to his heart.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About John Boyne

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of eleven novels for adults, five for younger readers and a collection of short stories. His 2006 novel The Boy In the Striped Pajamas sold 9 million copies worldwide and has been adapted for cinema, theatre, ballet and opera. John has won three Irish Book Awards and many other international literary awards and his novels are published in over 50 languages. He lives in Dublin.

Photo by Rich Gilligan.

#BookReview
Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert
@AnnabethAlbert @CarinaPress #NetGalley

#BookReview Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert @AnnabethAlbert @CarinaPress #NetGalleyTitle: Better Not Pout

Author: Annabeth Albert

Published by: Carina Press on November 12, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 288

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Carina Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

One hard-nosed military police officer.

One overly enthusiastic elf.

One poorly timed snowstorm.

Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?

Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.

The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind.


Review:

Warm, romantic, and festive!

Better Not Pout is a sweet, tender, captivating novel that features the kindhearted, fun-loving Teddy, and the grouchy, mature Nick as they discover that the heart wants whom the heart wants, and sometimes opposites really do attract.

The writing is heartfelt and comforting. The characters are winsome, dependable, and genuine. And the lighthearted plot is a charming mix of undeniable attraction, sizzling chemistry, Christmas celebrations, charity, patience, understanding, new journeys, and taking chances.

Overall, Better Not Pout is a delightfully merry, passionate, humorous tale that reminds us that the holiday season is truly a time for family, magic, love, and giving.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                

 

 

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

 

About Annabeth Albert

Frequent tweeter, professional grammar nerd, and obsessive reader, Annabeth Albert is also a Pacific Northwest romance writer in a variety of subgenres.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

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