7.5/10

#BookReview
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs

#BookReview Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom RiggsTitle: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

Series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1

Published by Quirk Books on June 4, 2013

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 382

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.


Review:

I have seen this book many times but it wasn’t until I recently saw it on a “Books Becoming Movies in 2016” list that I decided to give it a try.

I actually thought from the picture on the front cover of this book that it might be a horror story, but boy was I surprised.

This is actually a highly imaginative tale about those with extraordinary abilities. It takes place in the present, and the past during the height of WWII.

I have to say, there are elements of this story that remind me a little of such classics as The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and Harry Potter. Similar to those stories, the children, themselves, are the protectors and heroes against the monsters that hunt them, and they use portals for time travel between the present and the past to survive.

The writing is simple but effective. The plot is creative, suspenseful, and magical. It truly is a very unique story.

Keep in mind, there are two other novels in the series, Hollow City and Library of Souls, where the battles and adventures of these “peculiar children” continue.

Also, the movie for this first book is set to be released in theatres in September 2016.

 

#BookReview
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

#BookReview The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix SweeneyTitle: The Nest

Author: Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Published by Ecco on March 22, 2016

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems. 

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.


Review:

I enjoyed this story and I felt it got better as it went along.

For me what resonated throughout this novel is the ideology that “money is the root of all evil”.

The characters, in the beginning, are selfish, greedy and materialistic. They feel entitled and lack the ability to take responsibility for their own actions. And throughout the story as the plot develops, these characters each undergo a form of introspection to recognize what is truly important in life to them.

The story is well written. And the plot is full of drama, denial, deception, anger, heartache, loneliness, and acceptance. It is definitely captivating and a little sad.

It is a good, engaging, debut novel and I look forward to reading more from this author.

And from a book club standpoint, this novel is perfect. It is very thought-provoking and I think different perspectives will definitely lead to some great discussions.

 

#BookReview
Darkness by Karen Robards

#BookReview Darkness by Karen RobardsTitle: Darkness

Author: Karen Robards

Published by Gallery Books on March 29, 2016

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 377

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Karen Robards continues her penchant for “fantastic storytelling” (RT Book Reviews) with this next heart-pumping romantic suspense novel, the tale of a brilliant ornithologist trapped on the remote Attu Island in Alaska, fighting for her life—and that of a handsome stranger—before they’re swallowed up in darkness forever.

BOOM. That’s the sound that changes everything for Dr. Gina Sullivan, a renowned ornithologist on a group research grant trip on the remote island of Attu, Alaska. When an everyday outing turns sinister at the onset of one of Attu’s infamous storms, Gina expects thunder and lightning—but what she doesn’t see coming is the small jet plane that drops out of the sky and into the water mere feet from her boat. Even more unprecedented: there’s a sole survivor from the crash, and he needs Gina’s help. But it turns out that rescuing the stranger and getting them both out of the oncoming storm is just the beginning. Because the more Gina learns about James “Cal” Callahan, he of brooding eyes and muscled frame, the more she fears—for herself, and for him.

Cal has made a career of trading on government secrets and emerging unscathed—until a routine pickup goes horribly wrong and lands him in ice-cold water. Literally. He knows the plane crash was no accident and that there could very well be an enemy force currently combing the Alaskan island ensuring there were no survivors. Now if only the arrestingly beautiful bird-watcher with the clear-blue gaze would stop watching him, well, like a hawk. Cal convinces Gina to return to base camp and help him covertly get off the island. But when Gina makes it safely back to camp and finds her entire team murdered, all bets are off, and as darkness envelops the island, she must decide: trust a man she barely knows, or go it alone and risk running straight into the arms of a killer?


Review:

This book has everything you look for in a romantic suspense novel. There’s a deserted, isolated setting. A woman in danger. And of course a tall, dark, and handsome stranger that comes to the rescue.

This story is well written, action-packed and sexy.

As most people know, Karen Robards is well known in this genre, and once again she has delivered.

 

#BookReview
The Total Package by Stephanie Evanovich

#BookReview The Total Package by Stephanie EvanovichTitle: The Total Package

Author: Stephanie Evanovich

Published by William Morrow on March 15, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 256

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties and The Sweet Spot is back with a funny, sweet, and sizzling novel about the game of love, in which a hot quarterback must figure out how to score big with a beautiful and talented media analyst after a heartbreaking fumble.

Star quarterback, first-round draft-pick, and heartthrob Tyson Palmer has made a name for himself with his spectacular moves. When the head coach of the Austin Mavericks refuses to let him waste his million-dollar arm, Tyson makes a Hail Mary pass at redemption and succeeds with everyone . . . except Dani, whose negative comments about his performance draw high ratings and spectacular notices of her own.

Dani can’t forgive Tyson’s transgressions or forget the sizzling history the two of them shared in college, a passionate love Tyson casually threw away. And even more infuriating, he doesn’t realize that the bombshell with huge ratings is the cute girl whose heart he once broke.

But can a woman trying to claw her way to the top and a quarterback who knows all about rock bottom make it to the Super Bowl without destroying each other? And what will happen when Tyson—riding high now that he’s revived his career—realizes he needs to make an even more important comeback with Dani? Can he make some spectacular moves to get past her defenses—or will she sideline him for good?


Review:

After having read Stephanie Evanovich’s other two books and enjoyed them, I was really looking forward to reading this one and it didn’t disappoint.

This story is a second-chance, comeback story, complete with humour and romance with a football backdrop.

The plot moves nicely, the characters are likeable, and the story is heartwarming, fun, and interesting.

I liked it and would definitely recommend it. I think it would be a great beach read.

 

#BookReview
14th Deadly Sin
by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

#BookReview 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson & Maxine PaetroTitle: 14th Deadly Sin

Author: James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

Series: Women's Murder Club #14

Published by Little Brown and Company on May 4, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

Detective Lindsay Boxer and her three best friends are back and recovering from the events that pushed them all to the edge.

After her near-death experience, Yuki is seeing her life from a new perspective and is considering a change in her law career. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Cindy has healed from her gunshot wound and has published a book on the infamous serial killers she helped to bring down. Lindsay is just happy that the gang are all still in one piece.

But a new terror is sweeping the streets of San Francisco. A gang dressed as cops are ransacking the city, and leaving a string of dead bodies in their wake. Lindsay is on the case to track them down and needs to discover whether these killers could actually be police officers. Maybe even cops she already knows…


Review:

I liked this book.

It was an easy read, flowed nicely and was entertaining.

Is the plot somewhat weaker than some of the other WMC books? Maybe. After all it is book #14 in the series.

Saying that, however, I still think it’s worth the read.

 

#BookReview
Wildfire in His Arms by Johanna Lindsey

#BookReview Wildfire in His Arms by Johanna LindseyTitle: Wildfire In His Arms

Author: Johanna Lindsey

Series: Callahan-Warren #2

Published by Pocket Books on February 23, 2016

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Lindsey’s passionate new tale about a gunfighter running from his past who finds his future when he escorts a beautiful outlaw to her hanging. Featuring one of Lindsey’s most intriguing heroes: the dangerous and mysterious Degan Grant from One Heart to Win.

With his work in Montana completed now that the Callahan-Warren feud has ended in marriage rather than bloodshed, Degan Grant sets out for California because it is far away from the home he wants to forget—until the US Marshal who saved his life calls in a favor. All Degan has to do is apprehend three outlaws on the marshal’s list and turn them over to the law. Easy enough, he figures, for a man no one wants to tangle with.

But then a bold young woman crosses his path. Maxine grew up so pretty and attracted so much unwanted attention in her Texas hometown that events spiraled out of control. She will try anything to escape the handsome, enigmatic gunfighter who intends to turn her over to a corrupt sheriff who will hang her instead of putting her on trial.

Saddled with a sassy, spirited young woman who insists she is innocent, Degan must hunt down a vicious killer and keep an old enemy at bay. But forced into intimate proximity with his beguiling prisoner, he finds his desire sparking into a wildfire of passion, and he can no longer deny that it is time for them to risk confronting their pasts so he can have a chance at a future with her in his arms forever.


Review:

This is a fun, easy read.

If you like the wild west, gunslingers, bounty hunters, horses and romance, this book is for you.

Well written and entertaining.

 

#BookReview
I Was Here by Gayle Forman

#BookReview I Was Here by Gayle FormanTitle: I Was Here

Author: Gayle Forman

Published by Viking Juvenile on January 27, 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Pages: 270

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Cody and Meg were inseparable.

Two Peas in a pod.

Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything – so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben Allister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open – until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.


Review:

This book deals with the very serious subject matter of teen suicide and the affects that it has on those left behind, such as parents, friends, acquaintances.

The book is narrated by “Cody”, the best friend, and the plot involves her struggle to grieve and to rid herself of guilt, while at the same time trying to uncover the “why” of it all.

The story is written in a very real way. There is no gloss or glamour. The characters are flawed and must endure other hardships than just the main plot.

All in all, although the story is about a dark issue, I think the author does well to show the importance of hope and self forgiveness by the end of the story.

I think this is definitely worth a read, especially for all those young adults out there.

 

#BookReview
The Seafront Tearoom by Vanessa Greene
@VanessaGBooks

#BookReview The Seafront Tearoom by Vanessa Greene @VanessaGBooksTitle: The Seafront Tea Room

Author: Vanessa Greene

Published by Berkley Publishing on December 1, 2015

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 353

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The first rule of afternoon tea: never rush. Take time to savor it. Just like friendship…

The Seafront Tearoom is an insider secret in small-town Scarborough – a beach-front haven with the best tea and cakes in town – and  journalist Charlie Harrison would love to put it on the map with a feature in her magazine. But single mom Kat Murray doesn’t want to see her favorite sanctuary overrun by tourists, and begs Charlie to seek out other options. She offers her help, as a “tea obsessive,” and so does French au pair Séraphine Moreau, whose upbringing makes her a connoisseur of everything sweet and indulgent.

Together the three women will scour the countryside for quaint hideaways and hidden gems, sharing along the way their secrets, disappointments, and dreams – and discovering that friendship, like tea, takes time to steep. But learning too that once you open your heart, the possibilities are endless. 


Review:

This is a warm, sweet story about family, friendship, heartbreak, and love.

It has lovable characters, exquisite description, a wonderful seaside setting, and lots of tea and cakes.

It is a light, easy read. Perfect for a day at the beach or a cool day snuggled up on the couch.

 

This book is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

About Vanessa Greene

Vanessa Greene is a writer of romantic fiction, and lover of tea, cake and car boot sales. She grew up in north London, the youngest of three children, and always wanted to be a writer. Back then she wrote whenever it was quiet, in her room at dawn before school, in the shed full of spiders and in the cellar.

She studied English at university in Brighton then went into publishing – She was a book editor through her twenties, before picking up a pen again at thirty-one and writing The Vintage Teacup Club. Along the way she's also taught English as a foreign language in Mexico and Ecuador, and learned to tango in Buenos Aires.

She lives in London (in a pink house) with her husband and toddler son.

#BookReview
Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry
@pcalhenry

#BookReview Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry @pcalhenryTitle: Coming Up for Air

Author: Patti Callahan Henry

Published by St. Martin's Griffin on May 22, 2012

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband, she doesn’t quite seem to fit into her own life. But everything changes when her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away. Ellie sees her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, at the funeral, and learns that he is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death – and he wants answers to questions that Ellie’s not sure she can face.

As Ellie and Hutch start digging into Lillian’s history, and speaking for the first time in years, Ellie’s closed heart slowly begins to open. Using both a hidden diary that Ellie found in her mother’s things, and a trip to the Summer House, a mysterious and seductive bayside home, they gamble that they can work together and not fall in love again. But in piecing together a decades-old unrequited-love story, they just might uncover the secrets in their own hearts…


Review:

I enjoyed this book.

It was an interesting story that delved into mother/daughter relationships, secrets, heartbreak, love lost, love found and ultimately finding one’s self.

It was well written, easy to read, thought-provoking, and a generally nice story.

It’s definitely worth a read. 

 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

About Patti Callahan Henry

Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels, including the upcoming BECOMING MRS. LEWIS – The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis. A finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, an Indie Next Pick, an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year, Patti is a frequent speaker at luncheons, book clubs and women’s groups. The mother of three children, she now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.

#BookReview
Slow Ride by Cathryn Fox
@writercatfox

#BookReview Slow Ride by Cathryn Fox @writercatfoxTitle: Slow Ride

Author: Cathryn Fox

Series: Playing for Keeps #1

Published by Entangled: Brazen on September 28, 2015

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 100

Format: eBook

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

A sexy category romance novella from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

He’s looking for love. She’s looking for trouble…

As a successful doctor and weekend cowboy, Chase Cooper enjoys a full life with plenty of female company. But lately, something hasn’t felt right. He’s been distracted. Antsy. Damn it, he’s been lonely. With an eye on settling down with a nice girl, Coop invites his high school best friend down to his ranch to see if maybe she’s the one for him…

Instead, her twin sister shows up. The one who loathes him.

Julia Blair is already halfway to Coop’s ranch when she learns the invitation wasn’t for her, but her vivacious twin sister. She has two choices: slink back home, or see just how far this farce will go. One glance at hotter-than-sin Coop, and she knows she’s playing a dangerously hot game. Because what this cowboy wants, this cowboy gets…


Review:

A predictable rom-com…but oh so sexy.

The wrong twin. A sexy cowboy. Ooh…but also a successful doctor.

Quick read. Lots of romance, fun, and of course a little sex.

I have to recommend it. Really, who doesn’t like cowboys.

 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

About Cathryn Fox

New York Times and USA today Best selling author, Cathryn is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie) pizza and red wine. She has two teenagers who keep her busy with their never ending activities, and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. Cathryn can never find balance in her life, is always trying to find time to go to the gym, can never keep up with emails, Facebook or Twitter and tries to write page-turning books that her readers will love.

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