Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Blog Tour Review: One More Lie by Amy Lloyd

Title: One More Lie
Author: Amy Lloyd
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Published By: Harlequin (May 28, 2019)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
A thrilling new novel of psychological suspense from the award-winning, internationally bestselling author of The Innocent Wife 

Charlotte wants to start fresh. She wants to forget her past, forget prison and, most of all, forget Sean. But old habits die hard. Despite the ankle monitor she must wear as part of her parole agreement and frequent visits to her therapist, she soon finds herself sliding back toward the type of behavior that sent her to prison in the first place. The further down that path she goes, however, the closer she gets to the crime that put her in prison all those years ago. And that's the one memory she can't face. Until, one day, Sean tracks her down.

Amy Lloyd won theDaily Mail First Novel competition for her debut, The Innocent Wife. Now she returns with a chilling portrait of a woman trying to be good, even when she isn't sure she wants to be.

About the Author:

Amy Lloyd won the Daily Mail and Penguin Random House First Novel competition in 2016 with her thriller 'The Innocent Wife'.

A fascinating look at how your upbringing can both determine your life and shape it in ways you least expect. 

Lloyd's psychological thriller, One More Lie was both interesting and horrific at times. With an unreliable narrator both from, not one, but two point of views, it keeps you on edge guessing who the bad guys are or if the bad guy even exists. 

With memory loss, denial, and an upbringing that was less than stellar, both MCs keep you wondering which one is evil and which one was an angel and constantly flipping back and forth between the two. 

Slightly slow paced as the story unfolds, it was still a page turner and had me wanting to know all the details and how it would all end. Definitely one that fans of both the author and the genre will flock to and devour. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Blog Tour Review: Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim

Title: Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune
Author: Roselle Lim
Genre: Contemporary
Published By: Berkley (June 11, 2019)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
Lush and visual, chock-full of delicious recipes, Roselle Lim's magical debut novel is about food, heritage, and finding family in the most unexpected places. 

At the news of her mother's death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn't spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco's Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She's even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother's restaurant.

The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant's fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother's cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around--she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

About the Author:

Roselle Lim was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada as a child. She lived in north Scarborough in a diverse, Asian neighbourhood.

She found her love of writing by listening to her lola (paternal grandmother's) stories about Filipino folktales. Growing up in a household where Chinese superstition mingled with Filipino Catholicism, she devoured books about mythology, which shaped the fantasies in her novels.

An artist by nature, she considers writing as "painting with words."

Lim's debut novel is indeed every bit as magical, emotional, and heart warming as it claims to be.

Full of grieving, moving on, finding oneself, and a community coming together to help their own, it truly is one you don't want to miss out on and will leave a lasting impression. 

Realistically told with issues that anyone can relate to, it truly was beautifully told as it slowly unfolded and family issues and secrets were revealed and one woman learned to move on, become someone she was always meant to be and to learn how to grow and most of all, forgive. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Review: The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter

Title: The Evil Queen
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: Book One in the Forest of Good and Evil
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
Published By: Inkyard Press (June 25, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Welcome to the Forest of Good and Evil. A dream come true, and a living nightmare.

Evil isn’t born, it’s made. One thought and action at a time. Take a good look at what you’ve made.

Far, far away, in the realm of Enchantia, creatures of legend still exist, magic is the norm and fairy tales are real. Except, fairy tales aren’t based on myths and legends of the past—they are prophecies of the future.

Raised in the mortal realm, Everly Morrow has no idea she’s a real life fairy tale princess—until she manifests an ability to commune with mirrors.

Look. See… What will one peek hurt?

Soon, a horrifying truth is revealed. She is fated to be Snow White’s greatest enemy, the Evil Queen.

With powers beyond her imagination or control—and determined to change Fate itself—Everly returns to the land of her birth. There, she meets Roth Charmaine, the supposed Prince Charming. Their attraction is undeniable, but their relationship is doomed.

As bits and pieces of the prophecy unfold, Everly faces one betrayal after another, and giving in to her dark side proves more tempting every day. Can she resist, or will she become the queen—and villain—she was born to be?

Gena Showater has an unique ability to write stories that are so engrossing, so entertaining, that you never want to put them down. Once you start them, you are hopelessly trapped in the imaginative worlds that she is able to create. Worlds that are so far out there, so far fetched, you can't help but fall in love with them and want to go there and visit them yourself.

Add irresistible characters that are completely relatable (even the bad guys) and you can see what I mean about not being able to put one of her books down as soon as you start it.

I am always irrevocable transported into another world and darn if I don't want to escape it. 

This time Showater transports us into the very heart of a fairy tale, but this time, it isn't your classic retelling. Nope. With twists and turns and things you will never see coming, Showater adds not only a new twist on an old tale but blows it out of the water and makes it completely her own. 

Where nothing is black and white or what it seems to be. When you can't help but care for those you never thought you would and despise those you shouldn't.  Showater once again creates something unlike any retelling I've read before. Totally engrossing, totally enchanting, and completely hard to put down. 

This memorized me and held me captive from the first page down to the very satisfying last. 

I couldn't of asked for a more perfect, twisted tale of love and passion and wrong and right and overcoming and rewriting destiny until it fits what you want to be. Who you were always meant to be, good or bad, devil or angel. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Review: Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Call It What You Want
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published By: Bloombury (June 25, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship...

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

Kemmerer won me over years ago with her Elemental series and with each new book, regardless of the genre, she continues to wow me. With her fleshed out characters, stand out story lines and heartfelt messages, she is an author I count on to give me a good story that is every bit as irresistible as it is hard to put down once started. 

I adored this book. So different from what I was expecting. So much more heart. So many emotions that so many people, regardless of being in the same shoes as the characters or not, can some how relate to and I think it is also, one of the reasons, Kemmerer is so good at what she does. You can relate to every aspect of the story without actually having been through any of it. Because regardless of the situation, we've all experienced the emotions. The feelings behind the actions and that is what makes this story, these characters so fabulous and so relatable. 

What I loved most of all about this story was that it was so darn believable. Not just the storyline but the way the characters dealt with (or not dealing with) the things that were thrown at them. The way it ended. It was realistic without being overly so. 

I love the way Kemmerer made me care for them, feel for them, and want to reach through the very pages and give them all a great big hug. I laughed, I frowned, I got teary eyed. I really truly experienced this story, not just read it. Another stand out and hit it out of the park novel for Kemmerer. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, June 10, 2019

Book Review: Wherever She Goes by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Wherever She Goes
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published By: Minotaur (June 25, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
“Whipsaw sharp and whiplash fast.” —Shari Lapena

"This is a gripping tale of secrets, lies, and maternal anxieties.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

From New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong comes a brand new psychological thriller about the lengths one woman will go to in order to save a child. 

“Few crimes are reported as quickly as a snatched kid.”

That’s what the officer tells single mother Aubrey Finch after she reports a kidnapping. So why hasn’t anyone reported the little boy missing? Aubrey knows what she saw: a boy being taken against his will from the park. It doesn’t matter that the mother can’t be found. It doesn’t matter if no one reported it. Aubrey knows he’s missing.

Instead, people question her sanity. Aubrey hears the whispers. She’s a former stay-at-home mom who doesn’t have primary custody of her daughter, so there must be something wrong with her, right? Others may not understand her decision to walk away from her safe life at home, but years of hiding her past – even from the people she loves – were taking their toll, and Aubrey knows she can’t be the mother or wife she envisions until she learns to leave her secrets behind.

When the police refuse to believe her, she realizes that rescuing the boy is up to her alone. But after all the secrets, how far is she willing to go? Even to protect a child.

Armstrong always delivers with an action packed, suspense filled mystery that kept me turning the pages and eager for more. 

Wherever She Goes was all these things and best of all, kept me guessing numerous times and had me swaying back and forth with exactly what was going on and what in Aubrey's past was catching up to her. 

A story where everyone is suspect and you never know who to believe or what is going to happen next this was fun filled with a very believable story line, both with the mystery and with Aubrey's personal life, this had me interested right up until the end. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Review: Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa

Title: Soul of the Sword
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Book Two in the Shadow of the Fox Series
Genre: Fantasy
Published By: Inkyard Press (June 25, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

Kagawa has an amazing ability to bring her fantasy worlds and characters to life. So much so that they seem to breath off the very pages you are reading. You get completely immersed into her stories, into their lives, and into the danger that always seems to lurk in the dark and magical realms she is so good at creating. 

I fell in love with Shadow of the Fox and couldn't have been more anxious or eager to get my hands on Soul of the Sword.

It didn't take me long to once again fall seamlessly into the very heart, the very center of the world that is this series. Totally invested in all that had happened last book and more than excited to find out where the story would take all of my beloved characters next. 

With ore action, more danger, more risks, and more tension around every corner, not to mention bad guys, myths, legends, and lore and Soul of the Sword not only lived up the Shadow of the Fox, but I think it surpassed it. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or the publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, June 3, 2019

Book Review: The Beyond by Chloe Neill

Title: The Beyond
Author: Chloe Neill
Series: Book Four in the Devil's Isle Series
Genre: Fantasy
Published By: Berkely Books (June 4, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:
Sensitive Claire Connolly must journey to another world in the electrifying fourth installment of Chloe Neill’s post-apocalyptic urban fantasy series.

It’s been a year since the Veil between the human world and the world Beyond was torn apart, and war began again. Sensitive Claire Connolly and bounty hunter Liam Quinn have been helping their human and paranormal allies fight back against the ravaging invaders and save what’s left of New Orleans.

But a new enemy has arisen, more powerful than any they’ve seen before, and even Devil’s Isle cannot hold her. . .

When Claire learns of a new magical weapon–one built by paranormals themselves -she knows it could turn the tide of war. But to reach it, she and Liam will have to cross into the Beyond itself. In a world full of hostile magic and dangerous foes, she’ll have to channel the powers she once kept hidden in order to survive. New Orleans hangs in the balance, and the storm is growing closer . . . 

Set in the very atmospheric and mysterious and even superstitious city of NOLA, The Devil's Isle series is one that is not only hard to resist, but hard to put down.

With supernatural creatures galore and magic and danger everywhere, it truly is something to take notice of. 

I have enjoyed the wonderful mix of characters from the very beginning with their light hearted banter and witty snarky one liners, they really are a fun group of people set out to save each other and their beloved city. 

With just the right amount of unwordly-ness, supernaturals, magic, mystery, and the right amount of romance, this series really is a diabolical combination of all the things I love not only about this genre but about Neill's writing in general. 

And even though I haven't been able to find for sure if this is the last book in the series, I do know that it ended so nicely that if it was, I would be very happy with how it all came together and was resolved. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Book Review: Storm and Fury by Jennifer Armentrout

Title: Storm and Fury
Author: Jennifer Armentrout
Series: Book One in the Harbinger Series
Genre: YA/NA Fantasy
Published By: Inkyard Press (June 11, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

I absolutely adored Armentrout's Dark Elements trilogy and when I saw that she was releasing a new book set in the same world of the Wardens, I knew it was something I had to try.

I'm so excited that Armentrout decided to resurrect this series. It really is so much fun and truly completely unique.

Not only do we get a continuation of the series but this time with a new unique character but, we get to see many old favorites as well. 

It couldn't have been any more fun if it tried.

I loved every second of this book. From the slow burn romance to the action and mystery to the fun banter and of course, they very real medical condition that Armentrout herself has. It was so informative and interesting and just...yeah. Such a great read and one I can not wait for all fans to read and of course, for the next book to come out.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, May 20, 2019

Blog Tour Book Review: The Yankee Widow by Linda Lael Miller

Title: The Yankee Widow
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Historical
Published By: MIRA (May 1, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
From a #1 New York Times bestselling novelist comes this richly layered, multi-generational saga set against the backdrop of the Civil War, told in a smart, assured, compelling voice. Linda Lael Miller is known for portraying strong women characters at climactic points in history that speak to the hurge fanbase that she has creates as the author of over 100 novels.

A richly drawn, multigenerational saga writ large against the complexities and heartbreak among families of both sides as men take up the war to presserve the nation or defend their way of life. Told in a smart, assured and compelling voice, the novel is the story of Caroline, the young wife of Jacob, who together live on a farm raising their daughter Rachel just outside of Gettysburg. When Jacob joins the Northern army to do his duty and help save the Union, no one anticipates he will not return. Caroline gets news that he is wounded and has been taken to Washington DC with his regiment, and so she must find her way there and navigate the thousands of wounded to find him. Thus begin this saga that focuses on the strong women and men of both sides and both races who sacrificed so much and loved so well during this critical juncture in American history.

About the Author:

The daughter of a town marshal, LINDA LAEL MILLER is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West. The "First Lady of the West" lives outside Spokane, Washington, where her rescued horses, dogs and cats live the high life.

Published since 1983, Linda was awarded the prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 by the Romance Writers of America. She was recently inducted into the Wild West Heritage Foundation's Walk of Fame for her dedication to preserving the heritage of the Wild West.

Hallmark Channel is developing a series based on Miller's Big Sky Country novels, published by HQN Books. In addition to writing more contemporary cowboy romances, she is working furiously on a big book Civil War series for Harlequin. When not writing, Linda loves to focus her creativity on a wide variety of art projects.

More information about Linda and her novels is available at www.lindalaelmiller.com and at www.facebook.com/OfficialLindaLaelMiller

Beautifully written and rich in detail, The Yankee Widow will transport you back in time to an era that is seldom talked about let alone experienced. With a country literally torn in two with brother again brother and friend and foes alike, this atmospheric novel will make you feel like you are in the very heart of the battle, both on the field and off. 

A time when war raged the country side, women had to be strong and independent and children grew up way too fast. When men were gentlemen still and freedom was a thing that not everyone experienced or got the luxury of having. 

Wonderfully told in alternating point of views, The Yankee Widow will tug at your heart strings and keep you thoroughly engaged the whole way through. Truly a riveting story that you will be glad you took the time to read, enjoy, and learn from. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Blog Tour Review: The Great Pretenders by Laura Kalpakian

Title: The Great Pretenders
Author: Laura Kalpakian
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Contemporary
Published By: Berkley Books (April 16, 2019)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
The daughter of Hollywood royalty, Roxanne Granville is used to getting what she wants--even if she has to break the rules. But after a falling-out with her grandfather, a powerful movie mogul, she has to face life on her own for the first time....

Roxanne forges a career unique for women in the 1950s, becoming an agent for hungry young screenwriters. She struggles to be taken seriously by the men who rule Hollywood and who often assume that sexual favors are just a part of doing business. When she sells a script by a blacklisted writer under the name of a willing front man, more exiled writers seek her help. Roxanne wades into a world murky with duplicity and deception, and she can't afford any more risks.

Then she meets Terrence Dexter, a compelling African American journalist unlike anyone she's ever known. Roxanne again breaks the rules, and is quickly swept up in a passionate relationship with very real dangers that could destroy everything she's carefully built.

Roxanne Granville is a woman who bravely defies convention. She won't let men make all the rules, and won't let skin color determine whom she can love. The Great Pretenders is a riveting, emotional novel that resonates in today's world, and reminds us that some things are worth fighting for.


About the Author:

Laura Kalpakian was nominated for the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for American Cookery. She won a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award (twice), the Anahid Award for an American writer of Armenian descent, the PEN West Award, and the Stand International Short Fiction Competition. She has had residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Montalvo Center for the Arts, and Hawthornden Castle in Scotland. She is the author of sixteen novels, and four collections, and over a hundred stories published in collections, anthologies, literary journals and magazines in the USA and the UK.

There is so much history, so much content in The Great Pretenders that is truly enchanting and you can tell that the author spent a lot of time and effort into getting so many world events and Hollywood events right. It really is like taking a step back in time and experiencing it all for yourself through a different perspective. 

A time when everything and anything and everyone was judged, tried and prosecuted for the color of their skin, where they lived, how they dressed, what they believed in,  and how much money they had. 

Rich in detail, family drama, a Hollywood atmosphere and all the things that go with them all, this was a read unlike any I've read before. 

Sometimes troubling, sometimes slow but always interesting, The Great Pretenders is a book that is sure to appeal to many people who love the theme, era, and the setting.