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!


Saturday, April 29, 2017

"I Was A Bitch" by Emily Ruben



When Lacey Jones wakes up after a horrific accident, she realizes that she’s lost all memory of the last two years. In this time, she has turned from a wallflower into the gorgeous and popular Queen Bee of her high school. Adding to the confusion, she is confronted with two guys who claim to love her; her football star boyfriend and the mysterious and attractive Finn.

Now Lacey has to figure out who she can trust as she starts to put her life back together and slowly discovers what really happened on the night of the accident.

Will she be able to resist her developing feelings for Finn and stay loyal to her boyfriend? ~taken from Amazon


What a fun read! I was gifted this ebook by the author to read and give my honest review. I was told to read it when I could fit it into my reading lineup... and then completely forgotten about it! Horrible on my part, I know. I have since reformatted my organizational ways! I started this book one evening and was finished by the next. It was a fast read!

Despite what my children think, it wasn't that long ago I too was a high school student. I remember how it felt to be a teenage girl, zigzagging my way through the halls, worrying about what everyone thought of me. Wondering what clique I actually fit in to. 

Lacey, the main character, wakes from a coma. Although she was only unconscious for a few months, her memory has been reeled back to 2 years prior. She has no memory of her current friends. She has no idea how she became the queen bee, or queen bitch, at school. She is not sure she likes what she has turned in to.

Then there is Finn. Sexy, funny Finn. She has no idea who is he or what the relationship between them is. Friends? Best friends? Gay best friend? Boyfriend? His entire existence in her life is a mystery to her.

As Lacy starts to unravel the bits and pieces of her past she realizes she was, no IS a bitch. She doesn't like it, but isn't sure how to change it. Her amnesia seems like a way to start new again, but for some reason she feels she must keep her amnesia a secret from all except her immediate family. 

Will Lacy ever remember how she ended up having a horrific accident that left her memories in pieces? Will she revert back to her old ways, or change her attitude towards her friends and life? Will Finn be more than a friend?

This was the perfect mix of mystery and romance, all wrapped up into a delightful YA story line. 

Thanks to author Emily Ruben for allowing me a copy of "I Was A Bitch" . It was a 4 star read! 

Happy Reading!

My Husband's Wife: A Novel by Jane Corry



When young lawyer Lily marries Ed, she’s determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind. But then she takes on her first murder case and meets Joe. A convicted murderer whom Lily is strangely drawn to. For whom she will soon be willing to risk almost anything. 

But Lily is not the only one with secrets. Her next-door neighbor Carla may be only nine, but she has already learned that secrets are powerful things. That they can get her whatever she wants. 

When Lily finds Carla on her doorstep sixteen years later, a chain of events is set in motion that can end only one way. ~taken from Amazon

Lily and Ed's marriage starts out exactly how new marriages should never start- shrouded in secrets and lies. They married quick, after just a brief dating period and are still trying to get the hang to life together. They agree to watch the neighbor's little girl, Carla, while her mother works on the weekends. At first it seems like a blessing, distracting them from the issues going on between the couple, but soon turns into an annoyance. Little do they know Carla will influence their futures more than they ever imagined.

Meanwhile, Lily has taken on her first big case. A man who is in prison for murdering his girlfriend has new evidence to offer to the case, stating it proves he is innocent. Against her better judgement, Lily gets too personally involved in the case. This involvement will change her life forever. 

This book is wonderfully written. I enjoyed the authors alternating points of view, giving me a first account glimpse into the different plots of the story. 

The pace was perfect, leaving me engulfed in the story line and hinting at just enough mystery to keep me turning the pages with utter intrigue. It is a novel full of suspense, sadness, spite, jealousy, hatred, and at times, twisted. 

I really enjoyed reading My Husband's Wife. It was a book that has been on my TBR list for quite some time. I am glad I finally sat down to read it! It is a quick read that took me about 3 or 4 days to finish. 

I give it a solid 4 stars!

Happy Reading! 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"My Last Lament" by James William Brown



A poignant and evocative novel of one Greek woman's story of her own and her nation's epic struggle in the aftermath of World War II.

Aliki is one of the last of her kind, a lamenter who mourns and celebrates the passing of life. She is part of an evolving Greece, one moving steadily away from its rural traditions. To capture the fading folk art of lamenting, an American researcher asks Aliki to record her laments, but in response, Aliki sings her own story...

It begins in a village in northeast Greece, where Aliki witnesses the occupying Nazi soldiers execute her father for stealing squash. Taken in by her friend Takis's mother, Aliki is joined by a Jewish refugee and her son, Stelios. When the village is torched and its people massacred, Aliki, Takis and Stelios are able to escape just as the war is ending.

Fleeing across the chaotic landscape of a post-war Greece, the three become a makeshift family. They are bound by friendship and grief, but torn apart by betrayal, madness and heartbreak.

Through Aliki's powerful voice, an unforgettable one that blends light and dark with wry humor, My Last Lament delivers a fitting eulogy to a way of life and provides a vivid portrait of a timeless Greek woman, whose story of love and loss is an eternal one. ~taken from Goodreads

This was such a heart wrenching story. I LOVE LOVE LOVE historical fiction, which all my blog followers probably know by now. This was by far the most emotionally draining piece I've read lately. 

As a young girl, Aliki, witnesses her father's murder during WWII. From there she tells her story about the struggles of war. Death, poverty, hunger, and time of pure fear gripped me with every page I turned. 

The author does an amazing job at making it feel like the story is being told directly to the reader. This story is told via "cassette tapes" which gave it a real feel of being captured for historical purposes. Very descriptive writing. I had no problem imagining every little detail of the story. I liked the little bits of dark humor added throughout the storytelling. 

The characters are very unique and quite interesting, though appealing is not a word I would use to describe most. You definitely will not forget them. This is a book to be read slowly so that you can take in every little word. It is a view of WWII from Greece, a point of view not often seen in historical fiction writing, which I enjoyed. 

My Last Lament is available now. It is not for light reading. Be ready to be overwhelmed with emotions. A 4 star read for me! 

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

Happy Reading!