Book Review

Book Review: Little Darlings by Melanie Gold-4 Stars

This story was dark, sad, and unsettling. Lauren Tranter has just given birth to twins. The delivery was traumatic, and of course the subsequent nights bring stress with the learning to breastfeed, sleep deprivation, and just learning a new process in general! So when Lauren calls for help saying she’s locked in the maternity ward bathroom with her twins because a woman is trying to take them and replace them with her own “creatures,” everyone chalks it up to postpartum anxiety and exhaustion. No one believes her, but a detective named Joanna Harper, feels for Lauren and wants to help her and not simply call it a case of paranoia.

I loathed Patrick, Lauren’s husband. My heart ached for Lauren. Being a mom, I can relate to Lauren especially from dealing with postpartum anxiety myself. It’s hard to distinguish at times what you’ve conjured in your head vs. what is really going on around you. The author did a great job portraying new parent life in a haunting but realistic way.

This is definitely a story that will stick with me for a long time-as well as have me checking my babies! 😉 Thank you to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for my copy.

Book Review

Book Review: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary-3 Stars

When I saw everyone on bookstagram raving about this I decided to try it. I started it in July and finished it in December if that gives you an idea of how much I liked it or not…

The premise seems weird right off the bat but I’m a sucker for romances so I still plowed on. Tiffy needs a place to live, and Leon needs money, so he leases his flat to her.

Leon works nights as a hospice nurse and Tiffy works during the day, so neither should ever be in the apartment at the same time. They share the same bed, but at different times, and each on their side at night. They eventually start communicating with Post It notes left throughout the house before accidentally meeting in person.

The redeeming quality of this book was Leon’s brother, Richie’s story and ultimately Tiffy’s newfound strength and courage she comes to find in herself again. I was wholly invested in finding out how things work out for Richie, more so than I really cared about the romance between Tiffy and Leon. Besides Richie, there’s a few other side stories going on including one with one of Leon’s patients that I was interested in seeing how it played out.

I guess I’m more a fan of insta-love romances because this one took forever to really peak my interest which was unfortunate given how hyped up I noticed it was.

Book Review

Book Review: Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel- 4 Stars

For most of her young life, Rose Gold believed she was chronically ill, allergic to all kinds of food, and even wheelchair bound at times. Her mom took her to countless doctors, had numerous tests done, yet the doctors couldn’t solve Rose Gold’s problems. Until Rose Gold’s testimony in court sent her mom to prison for the crime of poisoning her child to the point of making her seriously sick!

Don’t go into this thinking it’s just another Munchausen by Proxy book because there are so many layers to unravel! Five years after she was sentenced, Patty is finally free, and of course she has no where to go. When you poison your own child your community and all of your friends shun you, apparently… So, Rose Gold agrees to let her mom stay with her and her son. Has she forgiven her mom, ready to put the past behind them, or is she ready to show her she’s not a weak, ill little girl anymore? It’s all about who wants revenge the most and who’s crazy enough to go to any length to get it!

Thank you to Berkley Pub and Netgalley for an ARC. Darling Rose Gold releases on March 17, 2020!

Book Review

Book Review: The Dilemma by B.A. Paris-3.5 Stars

What would you do if you had *potentially* life changing, earth shattering news that would ruin someone’s happy moment?

This is exactly what Adam struggles with the entire length of this book. His wife, Livia, has waited years for this moment-her extravagant fortieth birthday party. She’s excited and radiant, so when Adam discovers something that has the potential to ruin her day and upend their lives, what should he do?

Livia, while excited for her special day, is also wrestling with something she knows will shatter their picture perfect family when it comes to light. I was SO irritated with Livia almost the entire book. If she would just SHUT UP for a second and let Adam speak for crying out loud!

By keeping these secrets from each other, are they protecting one another or just being selfish? This book was completely different from the author’s other novels. I was expecting a thriller, but this one was an emotionally charged family drama. It’s about grief, relationships, secrets, and healing. Although I was irritated with Livia the majority of the book, I still enjoyed reading this one. It draws you in, kicks your heart up into your throat until you think you won’t be able to breathe until you find out how each other will solve their separate dilemmas.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for an ARC. The Dilemma releases June 30, 2020!

Book Review

Book Review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell- 4 Stars

When Libby turns 25 and receives a letter saying she’s inherited a mansion, she can’t believe it. When she was just 10 months old, police found her in her cot after discovering three dead bodies in the kitchen. Neighbors claim there were other children and adults that lived in that house too, so why is the baby the only one left? What happened all those years ago in this house at 16 Cheyne Walk?

Each chapter takes readers back in time before Libby was even born, alternating between the events of the present day. One of the main protagonists, Henry, grew up in that house and gives his account of what happened. I can’t tell much more without spoiling anything, but just know this is creepy and disturbing, but I was addicted from the beginning and hated every time I had to stop reading!

Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books, and Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review

Book Review: American Royals by Katharine McGee- 5 Stars

 

Imagine if George Washington hadn’t become president but rather a king? This royal twist on American history was a juicy, drama filled contemporary romance and I LOVED IT.

Beatrice has America on her shoulders as she’s next in line to become their first Queen. Thanks to her grandfather for breaking tradition and declaring the Crown will go to the oldest child no matter their gender, Beatrice has been preparing for this most of her life.  She’s always played the part of a regal, sophisticated lady who always follows the rules and sticks to tradition, but when the future seems so close, will she listen to her heart or the Crown? Her parents are putting the pressure on her to find a suitable husband, even going so far as to making her a list to choose from, but she quickly realizes the one she loves isn’t on that list.

This was a great start to a series- it’s fun, juicy, and royally romantic- I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel in 2020! If you enjoy reading YA or books regarding royals, give this one a go!

Thank you to Netgalley for an advance copy of this book.

Book Review

Book Review: The Chain by Adrian McKinty-3 Stars

The Chain was a diabolical thriller involving a chain of kidnappings. One parent must kidnap another child after they discover their own child has been taken. They will not get their child back until the parents of their victim takes a child. This was definitely a unique read with a well thought out plot, but it seemed a little slow moving and unbelievable. The ending was crazy and part two moved a lot faster than part one which was good.

As a mother, this whole premise was horrifying but ultimately I was left feeling a little let down with this one. It just started out slow, and it eventually ended with a big bang that seemed to come out of nowhere and seemed odd and far-fetched.

Book Review

Harlequin Blog Tour: The Last Affair by Margot Hunt-4 Stars

 

I’m excited to be on a blog tour for Margot Hunt’s newest release, THE LAST AFFAIR!

BOOK SUMMARY:
Gwen Landon—poster woman for perfect wife, mother, and suburban bliss—is found brutally
bludgeoned to death behind her Floridian McMansion. Beautiful and beloved by her community, Gwen
makes an unlikely victim. But just a scratch below the surface of her perfectly curated world reveals one
far more sinister. When looking back over the six months leading up to her death, the question of, “who
would do this?” quickly shifts to, “who wouldn’t?”

Commercially successful food blogger and mother of three, Nora Holliday never imagined she would
have the nerve, let alone time, to get involved an affair. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she does
whatever it takes to keep it all together. But when Nora runs into Gwen Landon’s husband at a hotel in
Orlando, his easy kindness and warmth proves too tempting to resist. As their affair spirals dangerously
out of control, it seems things can’t get more complicated—until Gwen turns up dead.

 

This was a juicy, drama filled mystery that kept me hooked from the start! It begins with Gwen being found murdered in her backyard, and the story backtracks, following up until the day she’s killed.

When Abby, trying to recover from a broken heart and betrayal, leaves college and moves back home, she thought she could just retreat into her own sorrows and simply worry about her own problems, and how to get revenge on her EX best friend and boyfriend. She didn’t expect to catch her father with another woman. She vows to find out who this woman is, at any cost.

Ms. Hunt did an excellent job at character development. Both Abby and Gwen grated on my nerve with their whiny attitudes, and Abby for meddling in something way out of her control. Nora seemed the “perfect” wife and mother- always baking, lovingly caring for her kids, and staying with her sorry excuse of a husband, it’s easy to see why she was drawn to Josh’s charms.

The suspect list could literally be anyone-Nora’s husband, a recovering alcoholic… Josh, determined to get rid of Gwen so he can continue this illicit romance with Nora…Nora herself… the list goes on. This book will keep you guessing until the big reveal!

If you like mysteries and domestic suspense, definitely add this to your TBR. Keep reading for an excerpt, author info, and links to purchase your copy!

 

THE LAST AFFAIR
Author: Margot Hunt
ISBN: 9780778309222
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Publisher: MIRA BOOKS

Here’s a excerpt! I hope it captures your attention like it did mine!

Prologue

Other than the woman’s blood-covered body splayed facedown in the grass, it could
have been any typical upscale Floridian backyard.
There was the ubiquitous pool with a water fountain feature, a patio furnished with
both a dining set and outdoor sectional couch, and an enormous gas grill capable of
cooking hamburgers by the dozen. A large pergola with a tropical vine trained over it
covered part of the patio. The dining area was shaded by a black-and-white-striped
awning. It was the very picture of suburban domestic bliss. It could have been the set
for a commercial advertising anything from laundry detergent to allergy medicine.
Again, except for the dead body.
The area had already been taped off. The first officers on the scene appeared with an
ambulance in response to a frantic 911 call placed by the woman’s daughter. The
paramedics had assessed the situation, and quickly determined that the woman was
dead. The fact that the back of her head had been bashed in with what looked like a
paving stone, conveniently dropped next to her prone body, made it immediately clear
that it had not been a natural death. The responding officers called the sheriff, who
responded by sending in a full investigative team. The medical examiner was now doing
a preliminary examination of the body, while police officers combed the area for
additional evidence. Two detectives, Mike Monroe and Gavin Reddick—separated by
twenty years and sixty pounds—were overseeing the operation, standing at the edge of
the patio under the shade of the pergola. It was the third week in April, but this was
South Florida and the temperature had already climbed into the low nineties.
“The paving stone came from the stack out in the front yard. They were delivered last
week by the company who’s installing the driveway,” Detective Reddick said. He was
the younger of the two men and had a wiry frame and angular face.
“Weapon of convenience. Suggests it wasn’t premeditated,” Detective Monroe said.
He had a ruddy complexion and a full head of thick dark hair, swept back off his face. A
strand never moved out of place, even in a strong wind.
“Plus he dropped the weapon, rather than taking it with him. Probably panicked.”
“Could be a she,” Monroe said mildly.
Reddick shrugged. “Blunt force trauma to the back of the head? You know the stats.
Overwhelming likelihood that it’s a man, and probably someone the victim was
intimately involved with. Husband, maybe a boyfriend.”
“The husband was with the daughter when she called it in.”
“Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, and then had her place the call.”
“No, it doesn’t.”
The family had been sequestered indoors, both to keep them out of the way, and so
that the officers waiting in the house with them could observe anything they did or said.
Other than the husband, there was a daughter in her early twenties and a teenage son.
The daughter was reportedly distraught, while the husband and son had both been
eerily quiet. It was possible they were in shock.

“Do we have an ID on the victim?” Reddick asked.
“It’s her house,” Monroe grunted.
“Yeah, but I like doing things the official way, you know? I’s dotted, t’s crossed, all of
that. Building a case, basic detective work.”
Despite the chilling scene in front of them—the woman’s body still sprawled on the
grass, the back of her head a pulpy, bloody mess—the corner of Monroe’s mouth
quirked up in a half smile. “Sure, kid, tell me all about basic detective work. I’ve only
been doing this for, what…thirty-two years now? The husband ID’d her. Victim is Gwen
Landon, age forty-nine. Married, mother of two. Husband said she hasn’t had any recent
conflict with anyone.”
“Other than the person who caved in the back of her head with a paving stone,”
Reddick pointed out.
“Wouldn’t be the first time a husband didn’t know his wife as well as he thought he
did.”
“Possible. But there’s another possibility, too.”
“What’s that?”
Reddick turned to look at his partner. His eyes were small and dark, and he had a
habit of squinting when he concentrated intently on something.
“The husband is a liar,” Reddick said.

Margot Hunt is a critically acclaimed author of psychological suspense. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.

SOCIAL:

TWITTER: @HuntAuthor

FB: @AuthorMargotHunt

Insta:@margot_hunt

Goodreads

BUY LINKS:

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

Thank you to the publisher and author for my advance copy of this book.

Book Review

Book Review: Outscored (Rinkside in the Rockies #3) by Aven Ellis- 5 Stars

Whitney is a seasonal decorator who meets hockey player Gavin while shopping for gnomes at a flea market! The two hit it off immediately. Whitney is so cute and unique. I love her job-getting to decorate homes and businesses for a particular season or holiday sounds so exciting! She’s great at what she does with her routine client base, but doesn’t know how to put herself out their for new business which is getting her some flak at work. Gavin is the team captain, and he’s more than ready to be back on the ice after a traumatic and painful injury. He doesn’t want to let anyone down or seem weak, or like a failure. They encourage each other while struggling with their own anxieties and worries and dealing with past relationship failures.

Their friendship and romance felt so real and sweet. I love all their fun quirks, inside jokes, and the chemistry they shared.  The romance is swoony and heartwarming but like every relationship, it comes with its fair share of drama, conflict, and misunderstanding. This book is also the perfect romantic Halloween read due to a super sweet scene at Gavin’s Halloween party!

I adore Aven’s books, and this is no exception! Especially since the heroine is a redhead named Whitney! 😉 Check this one out if you enjoy reading romance, hockey themed books, or fun, lighthearted novels with a happy ending!

Thank you to the author for my copy of this book!

Book Review

Book Review: The Whisper Man by Alex North- 5 Stars

“If your window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass. If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, The Whisper Man will come for you.”

HOLY GUACAMOLE YALL. This book was CREEPY!!!! I loved it!

Still devastated after the death of his mother, Jake and his dad Tom are needing a fresh start. They move into a supremely scary looking house in a town that was home to notorious child killer ‘The Whisper Man.’ Frank Carter groomed & lured his victims, young boys, with whispers. Now, another boy has gone missing, 20 years after Carter went to prison. Detective Pete Willis was on the original case and is now more determined than ever to catch this killer. Is he a copycat or Carter’s accomplice from so long ago?

When Jake claims he’s hearing whispers outside his window and is caught talking to himself, Tom worries if they’re in danger or if it’s just Jake’s imagination.

Equal parts suspense, thriller, and police procedural, this book will grip you from the first page! It is definitely a terrifying read; perfect for October!