Wednesday, December 6, 2017

"The Broken Girls" by Simone St James


Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . . 

Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced. ~taken from Goodreads

"Mary Hand, Mary Hand, dead and buried under land.... Faster, faster. Don't let her catch you. She'll say she wants to be your friend...." 

Author Simone St. James does a brilliant and seamless job at blending a mystery/thriller with a bit of paranormal/ghost story! That aspect alone kept my read chilling, mysterious, and hard to put down. 

This book alternates time periods and main characters to tell the stories and myths surrounding the all girls boarding school of Idlewild Hall. Fiona is a journalist who's sister was murdered and placed in the old field on Idlewild's grounds. She learns that a rich benefactor has bought it to restore the school, she can't help but wonder who and why.

We also follow a group of girls who are roommates and attend the school in the 1950's. They are all girls who, in some way, have been discarded by both their families and the world. One goes missing on weekend, and the course of the remaining girls' lives change forever. 

There is also a myth that a ghost named Mary wanders the grounds in a black dress and veil and has been around since the school was built. She has a supernatural way to get into people's minds to whisper exactly what people fear most about their lives. 

Are all these stories connected? Who killed Fiona's sister? What happened to the missing roommate? Is Mary real or just a myth?

The one thing I can say about this book is READ IT!!!
It was my first read by the author, but I have already added his other books to my TBR pile! 

The Broken Girls is due to be released here in the USA on March 20, 2018. Preorder it now because the second it is released you will want to stay up all night to finish it! 

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for allowing me an egalley to read and give my honest review. 

Happy Reading! 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Lisa Jewell's "Then She Was Gone"



Ten years after her teenage daughter disappears, a woman crosses paths with a charming single father whose young child feels eerily familiar, in this evocative, suspenseful drama from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell—perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Liane Moriarty.

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a cafĂ©, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl? ~taken from Amazon

It's no secret that Lisa Jewell is one of my favorite authors. She has a way of writing that draws me in, keeps me hooked, and leaves me breathless at the end. I was almost in tears when I was approved to read the egalley of her latest novel, Then She Was Gone available on Amazon now for pre-order and due to be released on April 24, 2018 here in the U.S.

This book was cleverly plotted. When we first meet each character I wondered how exactly they would fit into this story. By the book's end, they had blended seamlessly. Each character was unique in their own way. Some started off lovable and by the end I hated them. Others visa versa. Each was relatable in their own little way. 

This story was a non-stop page turner. I can't remember the last time I wanted to finish a book so fast, yet didn't want it to end. I knew, somewhat, where the story was going but couldn't figure out how it all played out. The ending was a surprise and absolutely satisfying. 

I don't think it's a shock that I give this book a 5 star rating. I look forward to the next book by Lisa Jewell, as she always finds a way to keep readers on their toes. She is on my short list of authors I adore. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Atria Books for allowing me the egalley to read and give my honest review. 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

"Little Broken Things" by Nicole Baart



An engrossing and suspenseful novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Amy Hatvany about an affluent suburban family whose carefully constructed facade starts to come apart with the unexpected arrival of an endangered young girl.

I have something for you. When Quinn Cruz receives that cryptic text message from her older sister Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. They haven’t seen each other in nearly a year and thanks to Nora’s fierce aloofness, their relationship consists mostly of infrequent phone calls and an occasional email or text. But when a haunted Nora shows up at the lake near Quinn's house just hours later, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.

Nora’s “something” is more shocking than Quinn could have ever imagined: a little girl, cowering, wide-eyed, and tight-lipped. Nora hands her over to Quinn with instructions to keep her safe, and not to utter a word about the child to anyone, especially not their buttoned-up mother who seems determined to pretend everything is perfect. But before Quinn can ask even one of the million questions swirling around her head, Nora disappears, and Quinn finds herself the unlikely caretaker of a girl introduced simply as Lucy.

While Quinn struggles to honor her sister’s desperate request and care for the lost, scared Lucy, she fears that Nora may have gotten involved in something way over her head—something that will threaten them all. But Quinn’s worries are nothing compared to the firestorm that Nora is facing. It’s a matter of life and death, of family and freedom, and ultimately, about the lengths a woman will go to protect the ones she loves. ~taken from Amazon

"I have something for you" is the text message Quinn receives from her older sister, Nora, who she rarely talks to and hasn't seen in quite some time. She thinks nothing of it, until Nora wants to meet, and delivers a wide-eye, scared little girl and asks Quinn to keep her safe and tell no one. 

No Quinn and her husband must care for this strange girl, all while trying to figure out why.

I have to say it was an enjoyable, quick read. I loved the small town setting and the characters were mostly believable. 

The first 2/3 of the book kept my attention, however the last 1/3 seemed to drag on and I just wanted the story to hurry up and end. The conclusion was something I suspected, I just wasn't sure how it would come full circle. 

Little Broken Things  is the story of a troubled family with strained relationships and secrets. It was worth reading, though it wasn't a stand out novel in my eyes. 

3.5 out of 5 star read for me! 

Thanks to Netgalley and Atria Books for allowing me the egalley to read and give my honest review. This novel is due to be released in the U.S. on November 21, 2017. Add it to your TBR list by pre-ordering it now!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

"Emma In The Night" by Wendy Walker



One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn't add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister's return might just be the beginning of the crime. ~taken from Amazon

This was my first book From author Wendy Walker. While browsing Netgalley I came across Emma In The Night. I was immediately drawn to the cover art. Clicking the cover I read the description and knew I had to read it. It sounded intriguing. I wasn't disappointed. 

Cass return home after vanishing years ago with her sister, Emma. Cass is all alone. The questions begin. Where is Emma? What happened? Where have the girls been this entire time?

Chapter by chapter Cass tells the story. Each revelation brings even more questions from her parents and from investigators. With each chapter we learn more about the secrets to the girls' past. Not everything in this well-to-do family is how it seemed to the outside world. Right away, FBI agent and forensic psychologist Abby Winter can see through Cass' story and pokes holes in it. 

This story is well written. The plot twists come a the perfect time and kept me interested and engaged throughout the entire book. The ending was not something I imagined or saw coming. A beautifully disturbing read!

This is a solid 5 star read for me! I look forward to reading Wendy Walker's other books, as they have already been added to my TBR pile! 

You can get your ebook, hardcover or paperback copy of Emma In The Night now! While you are there, check out the author's other books.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for allowing me a free copy to read and review.  

Happy Reading! 

"The Roses of May" by Dot Hutchison



Four months after the explosion at the Garden, a place where young women known as the Butterflies were kept captive, FBI agents Brandon Eddison, Victor Hanoverian, and Mercedes Ramirez are still entrenched in the aftermath, helping survivors in the process of adjusting to life on the outside. With winter coming to an end, the Butterflies have longer, warmer days of healing ahead. But for the agents, the impending thaw means one gruesome thing: a chilling guarantee that somewhere in the country, another young woman will turn up dead in a church with her throat slit and her body surrounded by flowers.
Priya Sravasti’s sister fell victim to the killer years ago. Now she and her mother move every few months, hoping for a new beginning. But when she ends up in the madman’s crosshairs, the hunt takes on new urgency. Only with Priya’s help can the killer be found—but will her desperate hope for closure compel her to put her very life on the line? ~taken from Amazon

If you have been following my blog for awhile you should know how much I loved the first book in this trilogy. It was the perfect physiological thriller. I raved about The Butterfly Garden and all it's glory for those who could stomach to read it. I was ecstatic when I learned that it was part of a trilogy and two more books would be released. I checked Netgalley daily to see when the ARC was available for request. Luckily, my request was excepted. 


This will be a short review, mainly because I would never think of spoiling this book. If you haven't read the first book GO HERE NOW and get it. 

The Roses Of May picks up a few months where The Butterfly Garden left off. We are introduced in more detail to the FBI agents who rescued the girls. We are also introduced to a mother and daughter who have been through an ordeal of their own. They too have dealt with the FBI agents and become close friends with each other. 

Priya and her mother have moved to a new town after her sister was murdered and her father commits suicide. They are trying to escape the horrors and sadness of their past. However, the serial killer responsible for her sister's death may have found her and is stalking her in this small new town.

Meanwhile, the trial for The Gardener is underway. The Butterflies are having a hard time dealing with life outside the garden and cling to each other for support and guidance. 

Then there is the FBI team. They are here for support and guidance to both Priya and her mom and the Butterflies. They are the ones trying to piece the mysteries together while providing friendship. They believe Priya meeting the Butterflies could help both heal the wounds of the past.

This second book I wanted to constantly compare to the first. I don't think that is fair. They are actually two separate stories that simply have the FBI agents in common. That being said, I think that blend from one book to the next was fabulous. I got to find out what happened after the big reveal in The Butterfly Garden, but I also was introduced to a wonderful, new set of characters.

This book was a solid 4 star read for me. I really think readers will enjoy this story!

Thanks to Netgalley and publishers Thomas & Mercer for allowing me a free copy to read and review. 

*** I will add that although I received egalley copies for both books, I have also bought both physical copies to add to my shelf at home. That's how good these are!*** 

Happy Reading!


Susan Rieger's "The Heirs: A Novel"



Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him.  The Falkes brothers are pitched into turmoil, at once missing their father and feeling betrayed by him.  In disconcerting contrast, their mother, Eleanor, is cool and calm, showing preternatural composure.  
 
Eleanor and Rupert had made an admirable life together -- Eleanor with her sly wit and generosity, Rupert with his ambition and English charm -- and they were proud of their handsome, talented sons: Harry, a brash law professor; Will, a savvy Hollywood agent; Sam, an astute doctor and scientific researcher; Jack, a jazz trumpet prodigy; Tom, a public-spirited federal prosecutor. The brothers see their identity and success as inextricably tied to family loyalty – a loyalty they always believed their father shared. Struggling to reclaim their identity, the brothers find Eleanor’s sympathy toward the woman and her sons confounding. Widowhood has let her cast off the rigid propriety of her stifling upbringing, and the brothers begin to question whether they knew either of their parents at all. 
 
A riveting portrait of a family, told with compassion, insight, and wit, The Heirs wrestles with the tangled nature of inheritance and legacy for one unforgettable, patrician New York family. Moving seamlessly through a constellation of rich, arresting voices, The Heirs is a tale out Edith Wharton for the 21st century. ~taken from Amazon

Hey all! I'm back! I know it's been awhile since I reviewed. My youngest has major spine surgery and it's been a tough few months. He is doing great now and I have books to share with you!

The Heirs seemed like just my kind of book. An upper class NYC family with secrets! From reading the description I was so excited to receive an egalley from Netgalley to read and review.

This story opens with the death of a beloved father and husband. Each chapter is told by a different family member or close family friend, and secrets about his life are unraveled, showing that the perfect upper-class New York family weren't all that they seemed to be.  

I had some pretty high expectations going into this read. I was quickly disappointed. Reading was very detailed and made for slow reading. There were so many characters to learn about and remember that I got confused and lost in the shuffle of a new character each chapter. Instead of revealing twists and turns I seemed to just read a typical soap opera about a privileged family. 

What struck me was that although each chapter was dedicated to a specific character, I not once actually connected with a single one. While each character's layer made the overall story intriguing, it was very predictable. 

I am somewhat torn on how to rate this. Though it was a predictable plot and pretty unrelatable on all levels, I did find some instances enjoyable. I would say this is a 3.5 to 4 star read for me. I did get this read in a span of a couple days also, so that has to count for something. 

Susan Rieger's "The Heirs" is available now for purchase in ebook, hardcover, and paperback format. If you need a quick summer read that takes you away from reality, this is a great book to add to your stack! 

Once again, I would like to thank Netgalley and Crown Publishing for providing me a copy to read and give my honest review. 

Happy Reading and I hope you have had a wonderful summer!  





Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Roanoke Girls: A Novel by Amy Engel



“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”

After her mother's suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother's mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran…fast and far away.
 
Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.
 
As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart. ~taken from Amazon

Wow! This was an emotionally charged book written about a very taboo subject. I have to just say that I LOVED this book! Somehow this book manages to his every emotion. This is a coming of age, dark and twisted, powerful story of love. It hit every emotion cover to cover.

Every character in this book has some sort of flaw. A damage done to them that has scared them and made them even more interesting. There wasn't a single character that didn't fascinate me. 

The Roanoke Secret is revealed pretty early on. It isn't hard to figure it out, yet it isn't a secret that is flat out revealed. You know what the secret is yet the story keeps going. This books switched back and forth between present day and the summer of secrets. I finished this book in about 3 days.

There is no BIG REVEAL at the end of this twisted, messy story. Rather, all the pieces seem to fall into place letting the reader see the entire picture all at once instead of bits and pieces. The end of the story left my mouth hanging open in awe. 

I highly recommend this. I am so thankful for Netgalley and Crown Publishing for allowing me a copy to read and review! 

Get your copy now and start reading! 

A 5+ star read for me!

Happy Reading!