Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Title: The Bride Test
Author: Helen Hoang
Series: Book Two in the Kiss Quotient
Genre: Contemporary
Published By: Berkley (May 7, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 5 Solid Stars!!

Book Description:
Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

The Kiss Quotient was one of my absolute favorite reads last year and one I still thinking about and if I'm being honest, use to compare other books to so picking up Hoang latest was a complete no brainer for me. In fact, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I knew not only was I getting a treat but more than likely one heck of a romance and emotional ride to go with it. 

I adore those stories that can pack a punch and worm their way right into your very soul and Haung has a way of doing that with her characters, her story line, and her words. Stories that leave a mark long after you have put them down. I want to start off by saying, read the Author's Note, maybe even before starting this story, because it truly adds so much more to it.

This story is one I won't soon be forgetting. It really did pack in the feels, the emotions, the everything,

A story about one woman's struggle to overcome her circumstances and to be better, not only for herself, but for those she loves.

A story about a man, that overcomes just as much as the woman but in totally different ways.

I have never swoond more for a characters, than I think I have for Khai. He wanted to be better, be stronger, be...more. And he didn't even realize, the whole time, he already was. Sometimes he broke my heart in the best possible ways.

I still have so much I want to say about this story and very few words that are good enough to express them all. What I will say though is this, with as much as I loved The Kiss Quotient, I loved this even more. So much more. This is a story that I want to read and read again and then re-read again. One that will never get old, never lose it's potency. A story that can change everything and anything. One that gives you hope, compassion, understanding, and so much more. 

Well done Ms. Hoang, well done. 

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

Monday, April 29, 2019

Review: Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs

Title: Storm Cursed
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Book Eleven in the Mercy Thompson Series
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published By: Ace (May 7, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 5 Solid Stars!

Book Description:
In this new installment in the No. 1 New York Times bestselling series, Mercy Thompson must face a deadly enemy to defend all she loves . . . 

My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.

And a coyote shapeshifter . . . And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn't stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word. We will die to keep it.

The Mercy Thompson series is not only one of the most fun series in its genre but also one of the most kick butt with lovable characters that are memorable. It is also why this series has, from the very first book, been in my top ten favorites in UF and will remain there.

It is so much fun, so addicting, and so freaking entertaining. It truly has a little bit of it all. Humor, action, magic, beasties, a family bond, danger, baddies...truly, all of it. Every single thing I love about this genre is always packed up tightly and effortlessly in these books. And even though it shouldn't be possible, each book just gets better and better. I adore them. I speed read through them and then kick myself for not savoring them more and making them last. But, can you blame me? They are fantastic and fans of the series know, they are impossible to ignore. It's like Christmas every time a new release comes out and this new release, let me tell you, was so worth the wait!

I adored it. I devoured it. I tried really really hard to make it last but I flew through it because it was just so good, just so everything I missed. I love Adam and Mercy and how they support one another, love one another and take care of one another without being overbearing or alpha male even though Adam is so. Alpha. Male.

The pack, the friendships, the supernaturals beings, just everything about this series screams perfect and Briggs once again did an amazing job. I was completely in her power as I read each page taking very little breaks from anything else. I was hooked and once again, in love. 

Truly another wonderful installment and I'm so thrilled this series is still going strong. 

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

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Blog Tour Review: The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott

Title: The Missing Years
Author: Lexie Elliott
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Mystery
Published By: Berkley (April 23, 2019)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
An eerie, old Scottish manor in the middle of nowhere that’s now hers.

Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago—her father.

Leaving London behind to settle the inheritance from her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home, nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, joined by the half-sister who’s almost a stranger to her.

Ailsa can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her—as if her past hungers to consume her. She also can’t ignore how the neighbourhood animals refuse to set one foot within the gates of the garden.

When the first nighttime intruder shows up, Ailsa fears that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything.

About the Author:

Lexie Elliott has been writing for as long as she can remember, but she began to focus on it more seriously after she lost her banking job in 2009 due to the Global Financial Crisis. After some success in short story competitions, she began planning a novel. With two kids and a (new) job, it took some time for that novel to move from her head to the page, but the result was "The French Girl", which will be published by Berkley in February 2018 - available to pre-order now!

When she's not writing, Lexie can be found running, swimming or cycling whilst thinking about writing. In 2007 she swam the English Channel solo. She won't be doing that again. In 2015 she ran 100km, raising money for Alzheimer Scotland. She won't be doing that again either. But the odd triathlon or marathon isn't out of the question.

The Missing Years is an atmospheric read from the very first almost tense chapter. With the manse, the very house, taking on a personality of its own. 

It is no secret that this genre is one of my favorites and even though I knew the genre I was getting into when I started this story, I was expecting all the other stuff I would be getting as well. 

This story was...a bit creepy in a really good way. The house its self really does take on a personality all its own and I really enjoyed being drawn into the story and the very heart of the mystery. Add in a touch of Scottish lore and setting and you really do have a fun read that kept me guessing, turning the pages and completely entertained the whole way through. 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Review: Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine

Title: Wolfhunter River
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Book Three in the Stillhouse Lake Series
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published By: Thomas and Mercer (April 23, 2019)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
She can’t ignore a cry for help. But in this remote hunting town, it’s open season.

Gwen Proctor escaped her serial-killer husband and saved her family. What she can’t seem to outrun is his notoriety. Or the sick internet vigilantes still seeking to avenge his crimes. For Gwen, hiding isn’t an option. Not when her only mission is to create a normal life for her kids.

But now, a threatened woman has reached out. Marlene Crockett, from the remote town of Wolfhunter, is panicked for herself and her daughter. When Gwen arrives in the small, isolated rural community, Marlene is already dead—her own daughter blamed for the murder. Except that’s not the person Marlene feared at all. And Gwen isn’t leaving until she finds out who that was.

But it may already be too late. A trap has been set. And it’s poised to snap shut on everyone Gwen loves. Her stalkers are closing in. And in a town as dark as Wolfhunter, it’s so easy for them to hide…

With all that transpired in book two, I was really curious where else this story could go. How Caine would carry the rest of the story line and more importantly, what other horrors could possible be in store for Gwen and her children. 

I didn't have anything to worry about, Caine more than made not only this story entertaining, but it's own story separate from the others and yet, not at all separate. We still get Marvin torturing them all in only a way he could and yet there is a new mystery that makes the story line entirely new and fresh as well. 
Throw in crazy stalkers, Marvin's fans, and obsessed family members of the victims and you have one heck of a story that is not only easy to fall right back into but completely enjoyable.

  Not only were the characters more fleshed out but other things were revealed as well about them, their past and of course the horror that will always remain with them of what Marvin did and continues to do to them when it shouldn't even be possible. 

All in all, a very pleasing, very entertaining read that kept me interested and turning the pages. 

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

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Blog Tour Review: Dreams of Falling by Karen White

I adore Karen White's work which is why I am so excited to be sharing her latest book with you, Dreams of Falling. This was so incredibly good and fans are going to adore it! If you haven't tried one of her books, you truly are missing out and I can't recommend this enough!

Title: Dreams of Falling
Author: Karen White
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Berkely
Source: ARC provided by the publisher (in exchange for an honest review)

Book Description:
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night the Lights Went Out comes an exquisite new novel about best friends, family ties and the love that can both strengthen and break those bonds.

It's been nine years since Larkin fled Georgetown, South Carolina, vowing never to go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she knows she has no choice but to return to the place that she both loves and dreads--and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home. Ivy, Larkin's mother, is discovered in the burned-out wreckage of her family's ancestral rice plantation, badly injured and unconscious. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly 50 years. Secrets that lead back to the past, to the friendship between three girls on the brink of womanhood who swore that they would be friends forever, but who found that vow tested in heartbreaking ways.

About the Author:

With more than 1.8 million books in print in eight different languages, Karen White is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 23 novels, including the popular Charleston-set Tradd Street mystery series.

Raised in a house full of brothers, Karen’s love of books and strong female characters first began in the third grade when the local librarian issued her a library card and placed The Secret of the Old Clock, a Nancy Drew Mystery, in her hands.

Karen’s roots run deep in the South where many of her novels are set. Her intricate plot lines and compelling characters charm and captivate readers with just the right mix of family drama, mystery, intrigue and romance.

Not entirely convinced she wanted to be a writer, Karen first pursued a career in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University. Ten years later, in a weak moment, she wrote her first book. In the Shadow of the Moon was published in August, 2000. Her books—referred to as “grit lit” (Southern Women’s Fiction)—have since been nominated for numerous national contests including the SIBA (Southeastern Booksellers Alliance) Fiction Book of the Year.

Karen White has never let me down. From her beautifully worded stories to the rich lush settings and well thought out characters, everything about her stories draws me in and refuses to let me go even long after the story is over. 

Her latest wasn't an exception. It was wholly entertaining, hard to put down and just enough of the supernatural to keep all lovers of the genre, both historic and fantasy enthralled and eagerly turning the pages.

I loved the family dynamic, the flashes from past to present and the intriguing mystery of it all as it slowly unfolded over the years. The friendship between these three girls and their live after that friendship, was just so believable and amazing. I loved every heart pounding moment as it all came together, was revealed, and put to rest. 

Another wonderfully told, wonderfully narrated story by a master story teller. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Review: The Raven's Tale by Cat Winters

Title: The Raven's Tale
Author: Cat Winters
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published By: Amulet (April 16, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:
Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appears to him. Muses are frightful creatures that lead Artists down a path of ruin and disgrace, and no respectable person could possibly understand or accept them. But Lenore steps out of the shadows with one request: “Let them see me!”

With a dark almost macabre feel, The Raven's Tale is classic Poe without being classic Poe.

With nods to both Poe himself and Shakespeare, this wonderfully imaginative and lushly enchanting tale was hard not to get wrapped up in.

With all the tragedy, angst and horror one would expect from both Poe and Winters, the two combined created on heck of a story line that was everything I was expecting and hoping for. 

Twisted, dark, and filled with all the things I remember from my Poe days, I loved both the lines from some of Poe's finest tales and poems right down to the twist of his muse taunting him in all the most horrific ways one can imagine for a muse to taunt and tease and torment. Truly a delightful read that had me completely captivated and wanting more. 

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

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Blog Tour Book Review: The Patient One by Shelley Shepard Gray

Title: The Patient One
Author: Shelley Shepard Gray
Series: Book One in the Walnut Creek Series
Genre: Contemporary
Published By: Gallery Books (April 9, 2019)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
Seven former best friends reunite and struggle to heal after the tragic death of one of their own in this evocative and heartrending novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Gift and Her Secret. 

When word had gotten out that Andy Warner had committed suicide, everyone in Walnut Creek, Ohio, had been shocked. For seven men and women in their twenties, some Amish, some Mennonite, and some English, each of whom had once counted his or herself as one of Andy’s best friends, it had been extremely painful.

And, maybe, a source of guilt.

Years have passed since they’d all been together last. Some of them got into trouble. A couple got into arguments. Eventually they all drifted apart. But even though none of them really saw each other anymore, there was a steadfast certainty that they’d always have each other’s backs—even when no one else did. Their bond was that strong…until Andy did the unthinkable.

Now the seven remaining friends, still reeling from Andy’s death, have vowed to look after each other again. As far as they’re concerned, it doesn’t matter that they’re now in their twenties and have drifted far apart. They need to connect again…for Andy.

About the Author:

Shelley Shepard Gray has published over seventy novels. She currently writes Amish romances for Harper Collins, Kensington, and Simon & Schuster and contemporary women’s fiction for Blackstone Publishing.

Her novels have been Holt Medallion winners and Inspirational Readers Choice and Carol finalists. Shelley’s novels have appeared on both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. 

Her novels have been highlighted in the Philadelphia Enquirer, Washington Post, Time Magazine, and USA Today. She has also been interviewed on NPR as well as numerous regional radio stations. 
Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s degree in English literature and elementary education and later obtained her master’s degree in educational administration. She currently lives in Colorado Springs and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two young adults, and always has a dachshund by her side. She is an active member of her church, on Facebook and on Twitter.


The Patient One was a beautifully told story about eight life long friends growing up together, learning from one another and coming back together after a tragic event that changes them all and makes them all become who they were always meant to be. 

Told in alternate point of views, The Patient One handled so many differences in both attitude, status and religion, as well as the tough topic of suicide,  wonderfully. With each voice bringing something different to the story and each culture done so well, this truly was a touching coming of age story about finding where we belong and who we want to be. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Blog Tour Review: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Title: My Lovely Wife
Author: Samantha Downing
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published By: Berkley Books (March 26, 2019)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher (in exchange for an honest review)

Book Description:
Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this wildly compulsive debut thriller about a couple whose fifteen-year marriage has finally gotten too interesting...

Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored.

We look like a normal couple. We're your neighbors, the parents of your kid's friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with.

We all have secrets to keeping a marriage alive.

Ours just happens to be getting away with murder.

About the Author:

I live and work in New Orleans, where I'm trying to stay cool in this southern heat and write my next novel.

Every once in a while I pick up a story that completely messes with my mind. A story was twisted and dark and so darn fascinating, that it's hard not to love it and want to keep reading, even though you really should stop.

A story that is both captivating and almost sickening. One that keeps you curious and wondering and most of all interested. One that you can't put down no matter how hard you try. 

My Lovely Life, is one such story. 

I don't even know where to begin other than to say, pick this up, read it and more importantly, experience it for yourself because really words aren't going to do it justice.

It messes with you. It fascinates you and in the end, it will leave you reeling wondering what in the heck you just read and wanting to read it all over again 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Review: When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

Title: When We Left Cuba
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Series: Sequel to Next Year in Havana
Genre: Contemporary
Published By: Berkley Books (April 9, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 5 Solid Stars!

Book Description:
In 1960s Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life--and heart--to take back her country in this exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.

Beautiful. Daring. Deadly. 

The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez--her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro's inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost.

As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future--but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything--not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart... 

Rich in detail and devastating history, Next Year in Havana enchanted me with the smooth way it blended history with fiction and before I knew it I had completely devoured it in one sitting.

Knowing that there was a sequel on the horizon, this time told from possibly the most famous and notorious Perez girl, I knew it would be one of my top reads for the year and I'm happy to report I wasn't wrong.

Filled with strife, and  heartache but also love and friendship, When We Left Cuba will completely take readers breath away with the seamless way Cleeton once again weaves through history both past and present in a time when the world was being torn apart but so many events and conflict. 

The author once again proves that she can write about a history that many of us don't know about and makes us all care deeply about it and want to learn more, until we are so engrossed with the story and the characters themselves that it changes us all. The way we think, they way we feel and most of all, changes our perspective on how we view the world and those around us.

Beautifully told and completely memorizing, I enjoyed Beatriz's story so much and am so glad I was introduced to this series for so many reasons. I will be on the lookout for whatever the author writes in the future. 

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

Monday, April 1, 2019

Review: Grave Destiny by Kaylana Price

Title: Grave Destiny
Author: Kaylana Price
Series: Book Six in the Alex Craft Series
Genre: Fantasy
Published By: Ace (April 2, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
The dead tell no tales, unless they have grave witch Alex Craft to speak for them. When a paranormal war threatens, Alex's unique abilities might be the only thing that can stop our world from being changed forever.

I always know when I open an Alex Craft book I am going to get one heck of an action packed adventure. One that will keep me rapidly turning the pages and engaged the whole way through. 

I have loved these characters from the very beginning and even though I once thought myself as not a fan of anything having to do with the fae, this series completely changed my mind. 

From the very first page it was obvious this series stood out. The deceit, the lies, the glamour, the mystery, the deaths, magic...just all of it. The very characters themselves are memorable and with each new installment I find myself more and more in love with it. 

The latest installment had even more of all the things I have come to know and love about this series. So much more was revealed and slowly meted out. The twists, the turns, that unbelievable ending! I seriously am so excited about the direction this series is headed and I couldn't be more excited for the next book. 

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