Review

#BookReview
Shattered by Allison Brennan
@Allison_Brennan @StMartinsPress

Synopsis:

Over a span of twenty years, four boys have been kidnapped from their bedrooms, suffocated, and buried nearby in a shallow grave. Serial killer or coincidence?

That’s the question investigative reporter Maxine Revere sets out to answer when an old friend begs her to help exonerate his wife, who has been charged with their son’s recent murder. But Max can do little to help because the police and D.A. won’t talk to her―they think they have the right woman. Instead, Max turns her attention to three similar cold cases. If she can solve them, she might be able to help her friend.

Justin Stanton was killed twenty years ago, and his father wants closure―so he is willing to help Max with her investigation on one condition: that she work with his former sister-in-law― Justin’s aunt, FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid. Trouble is, Max works alone, and she’s livid that her only access to the case files, lead detective and witnesses depends on her partnering with a federal agent on vacation. She wants the career-making story almost as much as the truth―but if she gets this wrong, she could lose everything.

Haunted by Justin’s death for years, Lucy yearns to give her family―and herself―the closure they need. More important, she wants to catch a killer. Lucy finds Max’s theory on all three cases compelling―with Max’s research added to Lucy’s training and experience, Lucy believes they can find the killer so justice can finally be served. But the very private Lucy doesn’t trust the reporter any more than Max trusts her.

Max and Lucy must find a way to work together to untangle lies, misinformation, and evidence to develop a profile of the killer. But the biggest question is: why were these boys targeted? As they team up to find out what really happened the night Justin was killed, they make a shocking discovery: Justin’s killer is still out there … stalking another victim … and they already may be too late.


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Fast-paced, spine-chilling, and extremely disturbing!

In this latest novel by Brennan she gives us an exciting crossover thriller featuring Max, the tough and tenacious investigative journalist of this series, and Lucy the troubled, extremely clever FBI agent from her other series as they take on a 20-year-old cold case that highlights just how psychologically and emotionally devastating the loss of a loved one, especially a child, can be on the entire family and may not be quite as cold as first believed.

The writing is clear and tight. The characterization is well done. And the plot is a skillfully executed police procedural with twists, turns, emotion, family drama, heartbreak, lies, murder and an ending that will not only satisfy but leave you wanting more.

Shattered is a highly entertaining, harrowing whodunit that doesn’t disappoint and even though it’s the fourth book in the series it can definitely be read as a standalone novel.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press 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 Allison Brennan, visit her website at: allisonbrennan.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @Allison_Brennan

#BookReview
The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley
@lucindariley @PGCBooks

 

Synopsis:

It has been 24 years since a young Helena spent a magical holiday in Cyprus, where she fell in love for the first time. When the now-crumbling house, “Pandora,” is left to her by her godfather, she returns to spend the summer there with her family. Yet, as soon as Helena arrives at Pandora, she knows that its idyllic beauty masks a web of secrets that she has kept from William, her husband, and Alex, her son. At the difficult age of 13, Alex is torn between protecting his beloved mother, and growing up. And equally, desperate to learn the truth about his real father. When, by chance, Helena meets her childhood sweetheart, a chain of events is set in motion that threatens to make her past and present collide. Both Helena and Alex know that life will never be the same, once Pandora’s secrets have been revealed . . .


Book Rating: 10/10

Lighthearted, mesmerizing, and genuinely heartfelt!

The Olive Tree is an engrossing tale that reminds us that life is often a messy journey complete with smiles, tears, happiness, and heartbreak.

It is set on the idyllic island of Cyprus and takes us into the lives of two main families who on the surface seem to have it all, great relationships, beautiful houses, and good kids, but over the course of one hot summer marriages will be tested, secrets will be revealed, love will be found, love will be lost, and lives will be changed forever.

The prose is expressive, sincere, and smooth. The characters are charming, multi-layered, and alluring. And the plot is a wonderful, contemporary mix of life, love, coming-of-age, humour, family dynamics, deception, and mystery that starts in the present, takes you back 10-years in the past, and finishes when the past and present collides.

There are only a few authors that no matter the theme or size of the book their stories are always filled with magical characters I can’t get enough of and stories that are so atmospheric and vivid I’m entertained, enthralled and swept away and Lucinda Riley is one of them. She has the incredible ability to take her innate knowledge of all the psychological and emotional entanglements found in nuclear families and weave them into a story you can’t put down. I absolutely loved this book and will now try my hardest to patiently await her next release, The Pearl Sister, book #4 in The Seven Sisters series due out late 2017/early 2018.

If you haven’t checked out my reviews for some of Lucinda Riley’s other novels be sure to check them out here:

 

Thank you to PGC Books 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 Lucinda Riley, visit her website at: lucindariley.co.uk

or follow her on Twitter at: @lucindariley

 

#BookReview
A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride
@McBrideKristina @skyponypress

The Official Synopsis:

One night. Two paths. Infinite danger.

On the night of the big spring break party, seventeen-year-old Hadley “borrows” her boyfriend Ben’s car without telling him. As payback, he posts a naked picture of her online for the entire senior class to see.

Now Hadley has a choice. She can go back to the party and force Ben to delete the picture. Or she can raise the stakes and take his beloved car on a road trip as far away from their hometown of Oak Grove, Ohio, as she can get.

Each storyline plays out in alternating chapters. In one strand, Hadley embarks on a reckless adventure with her best friends, spinning the perfect plan for revenge. In the other, stuck in a car with her ex-boyfriend, Josh, she’s forced to revisit the mistakes they each made, including whether they should ever have broken up at all. As events of a wild night race toward an explosive conclusion, old feelings are rekindled, friendships are tested, and secrets uncovered that are so much worse than a scandalous photo.

A Million Times Goodnight is a fast-paced romantic contemporary thriller ripped right from the headlines.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Mysterious, thought-provoking, and romantic!

A Million Times Goodnight is a young adult novel that reminds us that every choice has a consequence and sometimes those consequences have far-reaching ramifications.

The characters are young, fearless, and at times irresponsible. The writing style is unique and delves into the idea of parallel universes by utilizing alternating chapters to present the different “what if” scenarios. And the plot is a fast-paced, twisty thrill ride full of adventure, heartbreak, and surprises.

It is, ultimately, a story about life, love, secrets, deception, betrayal, teenage drama, and friendship.

A Million Times Goodnight is a very intriguing novel that at times is quite moving. And although I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have liked to I think teens, the target demographic, would definitely be able to identify and relate to their behaviour, mindset, and choices more readily.

 

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
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


#BookReview
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber
@katelizabee @SimonSchusterCA

Synopsis:

Serial meets Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood in this inventive and twisty psychological thriller about a mega-hit podcast that reopens a murder case—and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim’s daughter.

The only thing more dangerous than a lie…is the truth.

Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay. The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name.

When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a mega-hit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past—and the lies on which she has staked her future.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Complex, creative, and satisfying!

Are You Sleeping is a character-driven thriller that takes us on a journey to solve a 10-year-old murder while delving into the intricacies and psychological effects homicide, deception, and abandonment have on surviving family members.

The writing is well done. The characters are scarred, leery, and emotionally distant. The plot has a good mix of mystery, intrigue, conflict, and drama. And the unconventional narration using true-crime podcasts and social media postings adds a unique touch.

Are You Sleeping is ultimately a novel about familial dynamics, twinship, friendship, secrets, lies, murder and the power of media and although it isn’t exceptionally fast-paced or unputdownable, it is certainly a strong debut for Barber.

 

About the Author:

 

Kathleen Barber was raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law, and previously practiced bankruptcy law at large firms in Chicago and New York. When she’s not writing, Kathleen enjoys traveling the world with her husband.

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada 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 Kathleen Barber, visit her website at: kathleenbarber.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @katelizabee

#BookReview
Dirty Deeds by HelenKay Dimon
@helenkaydimon @readloveswept

Synopsis:

No dirty deed goes unnoticed in a seductive game of cat and mouse. But for Alec and Gaige, the wrong move could get them killed.

Alec Drummond didn’t make his billions by playing nice—or by playing much at all. When it comes to pleasure, Alec only has time for whatever’s quick and easy, which is exactly what he gets from his company’s hot new computer genius. But Gaige Owens isn’t some pushover. He pushes back, and it’s giving Alec a rush. The question is, could Gaige be the one who’s leaking trade secrets? Just to be safe, Alec keeps him close at hand . . . night and day.

Gaige never thought he’d roll over for a man like Alec again, but who could resist sex this mind-blowing? Then there’s the draw of Alec’s mysterious side: his cutthroat ambition, his covert CIA connections, and the murder in his past. For Gaige, a deeper look proves an irresistible temptation. But when Gaige and Alec are stripped of their defenses by an unseen danger, everything they don’t know could bring them closer together—or tear them apart. Only one thing is certain: Before it’s all over, someone’s going down.


Book Rating: 8/10

Deliciously steamy, highly entertaining and action packed!

Dirty Deeds is the first book in the new “Dirty series,” and once again Dimon has written a novel full of deception, mystery, danger, clandestine operations, seduction, hotter-than-sin sex scenes, dirty banter, and romance.

The writing is fluid and smooth. The plot is fascinating, suspenseful, and sultry. And the characters are powerful, sexy, strong, and confident.

I have to say Dirty Deeds is a fun, enjoyable read with lots of energy, excitement, intrigue, heat, heartthrobs, great supporting characters and of course the happy-ever-after ending we all love. And it has certainly left me eagerly awaiting the next novel in the series, Dirty Games, Finn and Justin’s story which is due out in Spring 2018.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House – Loveswept 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 HelenKay Dimon, visit her website at: helenkaydimon.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @helenkaydimon

#BookReview
The Late Show by Michael Connelly
@Connellybooks @littlebrown

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly, a new thriller introducing a driven young detective trying to prove herself in the LAPD

Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she’s been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

But one night she catches two cases she doesn’t want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her own partner’s wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the cases entwine they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won’t give up her job no matter what the department throws at her.


Book Rating: 9/10

Extremely tense, highly suspenseful and masterfully paced!

The Late Show is a skillfully crafted, well-executed police procedural that introduces us to the feisty Detective Renée Ballard as she heads out on a shift that will have her hunting a burglar, a sadist, and a ruthless killer.

The writing is tight and seamless. The characterization is spot on with a gang of multi-layered, gritty characters including the gutsy, tenacious Ballard. And the plot is a thrill ride of twists, turns, surprises, corruption, violence, forensics, police politics and murder that will have you hooked from the very first page.

Connelly is a best-selling author, and with this new release it’s easy to see why. The Late Show is a raw, action-packed page turner that is compelling, entertaining and will leave you wanting more.

Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company 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 Michael Connelly, visit his website at: michaelconnelly.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @Connellybooks

#BookReview
One Summer Day in Rome by Mark Lamprell
@marklamprell @Flatironbooks

Synopsis:

Mark Lamprell’s The Lovers’ Guide to Rome is an enchanting novel about three couples drawn irresistibly to Rome, narrated by the city itself.

Alice, an art student in New York City, has come to Rome in search of adventure and inspiration before settling down with her steady, safe fiancé. Meg and Alec, busy parents and successful business people from LA, are on a mission to find the holy grail, a certain blue tile that will make their home renovation complete—but soon it becomes clear that their marriage needs a makeover as well. Connie and Lizzie are women of a certain age—“Sometimes I look at my laughter lines and wonder what on earth could have been that funny”—who come from London to scatter the ashes of their beloved husband and brother. Both women are seemingly done with romance, but Rome has other ideas.


Book Rating: 8/10

Absorbing, romantic and incredibly moving!

One Summer Day in Rome is a story about love, new love, struggling love, eternal love, and lost love.

The story takes place in the time span of one day and takes us into the lives of three couples; Alice and August, university students from different continents who test the idea of love at first sight; Alec and Meg, a middle-aged married couple who’ve lost that loving feeling; and Constance a heartbroken widow who recently lost her soul mate.

The prose is light, humorous and incredibly descriptive. The narration is unconventional. The characters are multi-layered, real and endearing. And the plot is an entertaining mix of emotion, dialogue, humour, hijinks, mishaps, and passion.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started One Summer Day in Rome but it wasn’t long before Lamprell not only swept me away to a city he obviously knows and loves and gave me a truly romantic guidebook to all the history, must-see landmarks, culture, lifestyle, and food but also immersed me in a heartfelt, touching story that made me laugh, smile and even cry.

Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books 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 Mark Lamprell follow him on Twitter at: @marklamprell

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Wright Mistake by K.A. Linde
@AuthorKALinde @InkSlingerPR

 

A new stand alone enemies-to-lovers romance by USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…

I spent six weeks screwing Austin Wright’s brains out and all I got was this broken heart.

He can’t be trusted. Not with my body or my heart. Yet, two years have passed and I still crave him like an addict needing a fix.

The last time we tried this, it nearly ruined me. I know I should run and never look back. But his dark haunted eyes and razor blade smile speak to my soul. His touch sets my body on fire. And we all know what happens when you light gasoline. Someone is bound to get burned.

A second chance might destroy us both.

Because everyone knows two wrongs don’t make a Wright.

Amazon USAmazon UKiBooksB&NKoboGoogle Play

 

 

Rating: 8/10

Passionate, angsty, and emotive!

The Wright Mistake is a heartwarming tale about the quirky, fun-loving Julia who has a weakness for bad boys and a past riddled with heartbreak, and Austin the sexy, charismatic playboy who masks his deep-rooted sadness and prefers the numbness and oblivion he finds in a bottle.

The writing is fluid and sultry. The characters are amusing, supportive, and entertaining. And the plot takes us on a whirlwind through the highs and lows of alcohol addiction and the explosive and spicy chemistry of falling in love.

Once again, Linde has proven that when it comes to writing contemporary romance stories that are emotionally compelling, bursting with sexual tension, and full of characters we can’t help but root for, she’s certainly one of the best.

The Wright Mistake is the third novel in the Wright series. If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews for the first two books in the series The Wright Brother and The Wright Boss be sure to check them out here:

 

Thank you to InkSlingerPR and K.A. Linde for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:

KylaK.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM

#BookReview
The Ice-Cream Makers by Ernest van der Kwast
@ernestvdkwast @SimonSchusterCA

Synopsis:

In this international bestseller, a poet struggles to decide if he should put his family’s or his own needs first when he returns to Italy to help run the ice cream dynasty he left behind years ago in this charming tale perfect for fans of A Man Called Ove.

As the heir to a proud Northern Italian ice-cream dynasty, Giovanni Calamine’s family is none too happy when he decides to break with tradition and travel the world as a notable poet. So when Giovanni receives an unexpected call from his brother, he is faced with a difficult decision: return home to serve in his family’s interests or continue on his own path in life once and for all?

In a heartwarming tale that weaves history with lore and poetry with delicious culinary curiosities, The Ice-Cream Makers paints a century-long, multi-generational portrait of a family wrestling with the conflicting pulls of legacy and desire.


Book Rating: 8/10

Poignant, intriguing, and delightfully entertaining!

The Ice-Cream Makers is set in both Rotterdam and Northern Italy and is the multi-generational story of the Talamini family and their ice-creaming making dynasty.

It centres around two brothers; Giovanni, the oldest who decides to branch out from tradition and lead a life filled with words, festivals, travel, and independence; And Luca the youngest who does what is expected and continues the family business of making ice cream like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather did before him.

The prose is rich and sophisticated. The characters are unique, diligent, and authentic. And the story is ultimately about family, sacrifice, responsibility, guilt, tradition, love, poetry, and ice cream.

Overall the Ice-Cream Makers is a well written, fascinating story that reminds us that family legacies can often be a blessing and a curse, that the choices we make often have far-reaching consequences, and that ice cream is the result of mouth-watering ingredients, a complex process, and a lot of hard work. 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada 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 Ernest van der Kwast, visit his website at: ernestvanderkwast.nl

or follow him on Twitter at: @ernestvdkwast

 

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