Thursday, January 21, 2021

337 by M. Jonathan Lee

 






Summary

337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens. It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note. While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursing home nearby. Keen to learn about what really happened that day and realizing the importance of how little time there is, he visits her to finally get the truth. Soon it’ll be too late and the family secrets will be lost forever. Reduced to ashes. But in a story like this, nothing is as it seems.


My Thoughts

Before I even review the story itself, I must comment on the physical book.  This book is wonderfully done!  This hardcover book is double ended. One side is a bright yellow with a door.  It looks cheery and inviting.  The other is a darker blue with a door and seems gloomy and more mysterious.  You can start on either side, it will take you to the same ending.  Very clever!

Now on to my thoughts on the actual story.  Like the other books I have read by this author, I really enjoyed this one!  From the moment I started reading I was sucked in!  I had such a hard time putting it down (and probably neglected things that I should have actually been doing).

I loved the suspense and mystery and the ending, Oh. My. Word.

You are left hanging by the ending but it feels complete nonetheless!  Such great writing!  I absolutely loved it!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Other Mrs. Samson by Ralph Webster

 




Summary

Surviving two wars, sharing one husband, searching for answers...

A hidden compartment in a black lacquer cabinet left in an attic reveals the secrets of two incredible women: Hilda, born and raised in one of the wealthiest Jewish families in turn-of-the-century San Francisco, and Katie, whose early life in Germany is marked by tragedy and death. Their lives are forever entwined by their love of the same man, the brilliant and compassionate Dr. Josef Samson.

From the earliest, rough-and-tumble days of San Francisco, through the devastation of the Great War in Berlin and the terrors of Vichy France, and then to a new yet uncertain life in New York City, their stories span the most tumultuous events of the twentieth century. In the end, one of these women will complete the life of the other and make a startling discovery about the husband they share.


My Thoughts

This book, this book, this book.... I am a bit at a loss for words!  I loved it, then I didn't, then I did again.  I can say that I definitely never hated it!  Ever!  It captured me from the beginning and, while there were times I did get somewhat... not quite bored but not extremely taken in (is there a word for that?!), I fell in love with this story.

I have to say, Hilda was my favorite.  I loved her!  Her end in the story left me brokenhearted and so unsatisfied!  And, while I did like Katie, I desperately wanted more of Hilda.

The twist at the end had me reeling!  I was not expecting that at all and, honestly, could have done without it.  It disappointed me.  I do still love this book, I just hated to be disappointed in the character so much!

I highly recommend this book and will probably be reading it again before too long!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

As the Stars Fall: A Book For Dog Lovers by Steve N. Lee


 


Summary

A desperate dog. A scarred girl. A bond nothing can break.


When a young girl suffering with her own tragedy comes across an injured young dog, she can’t resist helping him. Both having braved the worst the world had to throw at them, the pair quickly form an unbreakable bond. They picture their future as an endless stream of adventures filled with love, laughter, and good times.

But life has one last cruel trick to play…

At one moment heart-warming, the next heart-breaking, this is the story of a desperate dog’s roller coaster journey to be the one thing every good dog dreams of being – a best friend. Through a touching tale, As The Stars Fall explores how compassion can make us whole again and friendship can heal even the most broken of hearts.

For animal lovers, pet owners, and anyone who has ever had a four-legged best friend, especially those who enjoy dog stories and animal novels such as:

A Dog’s Purpose
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Marley and Me
The One and Only Ivan

If you crave a story of love and loss, of compassion and belonging, of friendship that knows no bounds, you need to read As The Stars Fall.


My Thoughts

My heart can't handle books like this!  I am very much an animal lover so to read a book such as this, it is great and terrible at the same time.

This is the story of a dog.  It's his story through his eyes.  Kai sure went through a lot in his little life and, though this may be fiction, it wrecked me.  If you are expecting a light, fun read this isn't the book for you.  It is wonderfully written but very heavy.

I am both glad and sad that I read this book!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

A Rainforest Adventure by Sharon C. Williams

 



Summary

Jasper is no ordinary parrot. He lives in the rainforest, which secrets he’s eager to explore. Jasper loves his home and his family, and he's also in charge of his younger brother Willie - a responsibility Jasper takes very seriously.

When he meets Charlie - a spider monkey with a penchant for food and a laid back attitude - he realizes he’s in for an adventure he never thought possible.   Even if this means getting into danger and worrying his mother to no end.

Exploring the boundaries of the forest, Jasper understands that there is more to the world around him. Who are the strange new creatures that have come there? With Willie and Charlie by his side, he will soon find out.


My Thoughts

This was a cute book, fun adventure, and a few laughs!  The relationship between Jasper and Willie is great and I love the new friendship relationships with George and Charlie.

Children will love the fun story and learning things about the animals and the rainforest!  This is a great book for children who are just getting into "chapter books."

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Watch Her Vanish by Ellery Kane Blog Tour

 

Watch Her Vanish Blog Tour


The beam from the lighthouse slices through the dawn sky as she runs down the rocky stairway to the beach. She tries to take it all inthe waves crashing against the cliffs, the whip of salt grass in the windbefore finally dragging her eyes down to the innocent girl’s blonde hair, strewn across the bottom step like seaweed…

Returning home to Fog Harbor, California, to be closer to her little sister, Olivia Rockwell is struggling to adjust to life in a town so small she can hardly breathe. That is, until the sound of a scream leads her to the body of a local teacher in the shallows nearby. All the evidence points to Olivia’s most threatening criminal psychology patient, Drake, who is safely locked up behind bars…

Convinced of Drake’s innocence—and desperate to believe in the system that’s keeping her murderer father in prison and away from her sister—Olivia gets to work on her own suspect list. All her life she’s run towards trouble, but this time she’s treading on the toes of Detective Will Decker, whose past mistakes mean this case is his last chance to make amends.

Then a second woman’s body is discovered, strangled while out on an evening jog. The strip of blue material used to choke her implicates Drake once again, forcing Will to admit he needs Olivia’s special talent for understanding the minds of killers. It’s clear more innocent women will die if they don’t get one step ahead of the murders, and Olivia knows she will need her estranged father’s help to get close to Drake. 

But when Olivia’s profile leads them to believe Drake could be masterminding murders from within the prison walls, a message written on a scrap of paper found in the latest victim’s car leads them to a terrifying realization: Olivia’s little sister will be next…

An addictive and unputdownable crime thriller that will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of Melinda Leigh, Kendra Elliot and Mary Burton.

Readers love Watch Her Vanish:

PERFECTION! Be prepared to skirt your responsibilities because you won’t want to put this book down… keeps you guessing until the end. I cannot wait for the next installment!’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars

A taut fast-paced thriller in every sense of the word. Dark and oozing with suspense. Well plotted and stunningly written. Loved it!’ Kelly Russo Reviews, 5 stars

WOWZA!!!… I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment in this series!’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars

Absolutely fantastic… I couldn’t put it downonce I started.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

A scream!…  Grabs a hold of you and keeps you reading till the end!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Loved!! Everything about this book was spot-on!…  I was pulled in from the beginning and it didn’t let up once! Can’t wait for book 2.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘A fantastic book. Like wow! I really got into this read This book will draw you in and you won’t be able to stop.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Grabs you by the heart, then grabs you by the throat and shakes up all your cells.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Author Bio

Forensic psychologist by day, novelist by night, Ellery Kane has been writing–professionally and creatively–for as long as she can remember. Just like many of her main characters, Ellery loves to ask why, which is the reason she became a psychologist in the first place. Real life really is stranger than fiction, and Ellery’s writing is often inspired by her day job. Evaluating violent criminals and treating trauma victims, she has gained a unique perspective on the past and its indelible influence on the individual. And she’s heard her fair share of real life thrillers.


Ellery lives in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, a picturesque setting that provides the backdrop for many of her novels. If you don’t find Ellery interviewing murderers behind prison walls or pecking away at her latest novel, she is probably at the gym landing a solid jab-cross to a punching bag; riding bicycles with her special someone; or enjoying a movie the old-fashioned way–at the theater with popcorn and Milk Duds.


Ellery was previously selected as one of ten semifinalists in the MasterClass James Patterson Co-Author Competition, and she recently signed a three book deal with Bookouture for her new Rockwell and Decker mystery thriller series.
If you’d like to receive a notification when new books are released, please sign up for Ellery’s newsletter at ellerykane.com. Ellery also signs e-books on authorgraph.com.


Monday, September 21, 2020

The Dating Itinerary by Brooke Williams




 Summary

As if it wasn’t bad enough to be deemed the “most single person” at her magazine’s office, budding reporter Penny has now been tapped to write a series of features called “The Dating Game.” From speed dating to Tinder, old-fashioned matchmakers to up-and-coming “dark dating,” Penny now has to go on a lot of dates. Silver lining: meeting new people should be fun, right? But running into her old rival, George, at her first dating event is decidedly not. Not only does the arrogant know-it-all have zero trouble attracting women, wherever Penny goes, somehow he just. Keeps. Showing. Up.

Geo knows he’s right on the cusp of writing success with the chance to have his own syndicated column. All he has to do is follow his agent’s ideas for showcasing different dating avenues, and he’ll pull in enough to help his sister’s non-profit women’s shelter get off the ground. Sure, his itinerary is starting to look strangely similar to his old rival Penny’s, but all’s fair in love and syndication, right?

The more they look for love in all the wrong places, though, the more they start to wonder if it was right in front of their noses all along. Still, the brutal dating scene just might end them, if these two don’t kill each other first.


My Thoughts

Okay, this was cute!  I have actually been in the mood to read a cute little rom-com type book.  You know what I'm talking about, the kind that is a little cheesy like a Hallmark movie.  Well, this is exactly what The Dating Itinerary is!

Was it a bit predictable? Yes.  Did it make me roll my eyes and sigh once in a while? Yes.  Was I totally and completely here for it? Yes!  Was it exactly what I wanted? YES!

Can you tell I liked this book?  I flew through it and it set me on a reading roll!  Loved it!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Asking For Truffle by Dorothy St. James


Summary

 When Charity Penn receives a letter saying she won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina complete with free cooking lessons at the town's seaside chocolate shop, The Chocolate Box, she's immediately skeptical. She never entered any contest. Her former prep school friend offers to look into the phony prize--only to end up drowned in a vat of chocolate. Struck with guilt, Penn heads to the southern beach town to investigate why he was killed. But as wary as she is of the locals, she finds herself lured into their eccentric vibe, letting her defenses melt away and even learning the art of crafting delicious chocolates. That is, until delight turns bittersweet as she steps straight into the midst of a deadly plot to destroy the seaside town. Now, only Penn's quick thinking and a mysterious cask of rare chocolate can save the town she's learning to love. Rich and decadent, Asking for Truffle, the first in a new cozy series by Dorothy St. James, is sure to be a delectable read for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.





My Thoughts

I have really been into cozy mysteries lately.  I'll read one, read another genre, and then go right back to a cozy mystery.  Sometimes I don't even read a different genre in between!  So, when I had the opportunity to read and review this book I was ready for it!

There are so many things to like about Asking For Truffle.  First of all, chocolate!  A book set in a chocolate shop definitely sounds good to me!  Once again, I was more than ready to read this book!

While I did enjoy it, I can't say that I was sucked in and blown away.  I struggled a bit with actually getting in to the story.  I'm not sure why exactly but it just wasn't working for me.

The main character, Penn, wasn't mu favorite.  She honestly kind of got on my nerves.  Penn was a bit whiney and constantly assumed people were after her money.  And, another thing that drove me crazy was that she came to the area to investigate her friend's murder but didn't check into anything for like four days!  She just kept taking cooking lessons!  Lol!

I'm definitely not saying that this was a bad book.  It wasn't!  It was still pretty good.  It just wasn't the best I've ever read.  It was simply ok.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.