Book Review

Blog Tour & Book Review: He Started It by Samantha Downing

 



This book was wild… There was SO MUCH going on, I was left with my head spinning while seriously trying to comprehend what I just read!

Alternating between the past and present, it follows the Morgan siblings on a road trip. The first trip is when they are kids, traveling with their grandfather. The second, they are adults, completing the same road trip but for different reasons, also with their grandfather… But in a different way.

When their grandfather passes away he instructs them in his will to complete THE road trip again in order to receive their inheritance-which is a huge amount of money. No one can go to jail and no one can deviate from the original trip, or no one gets any money.


With grandfather’s ashes in the trunk and two of the siblings spouses along for the ride, mayhem follows this family across the country.  Where everyone’s a liar and someone’s maybe a murderer, this is road trip from hell.

Thank you to Berkley for my copy and inviting me to take part in this blog tour!

Book Review

Blog Tour & Book Review: Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle

 

 

This story has dual timelines told in alternating chapters. One being the present, and the other timeline is 20 years prior and focuses on Paul Keller and his two best friends Jax and Micah. Charlie grew up in a trailer park with a crackhead mom who abandoned her frequently, leaving her to take care of her baby brother Chet. Once she’s old enough, she legally changed her name to Charlotte, and now she’s married to one of the wealthiest men in town, Paul. 

As kids, Paul, Jax, and Micah were inseparable. But something happened to Jax when they were teens and he is now known around town as “Batty Jax” who just wonders the woods and spouts nonsense. Micah and Paul are neighbors and still best friends, and Micah is seemingly the only one who doesn’t judge Charlotte for leaving her old trailer park life behind for riches and love. 

Paul came under scrutiny among the town after his first wife was found dead in the lake below their house. Now, a stranger has been found dead, but it’s not really a stranger, is it? Charlotte knows she saw Paul talking to the dead woman the day before, so why does he lie and say he doesn’t know her? Better yet, why does Charlotte lie for him and continue to lie? As revelations about this stranger come to light, once buried secrets are exposed and Charlotte begins to wonder if she can trust her husband. 

 

Thank you to Harlequin Trade and Park Row books for my copy and for letting me take part in this blog tour!

 

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WNX6ZZS

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stranger-in-the-lake-kimberly-belle/1133065677

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/books/stranger-in-the-lake-original/9780778309819?aid=0 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778309819 

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Stranger-Lake/Kimberly-Belle/9780778309819 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/stranger-in-the-lake 

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/stranger-in-the-lake/id1477319023 

Google Play: https://books.google.com/books?q=editions%3AISBN0008907390 

 

 

Photo Credit Brandon Wattson

 

About the Author:

Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the forthcoming Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

 

Social Links:

Author website: https://www.kimberlybellebooks.com/

Facebook: @KimberlyBelleBooks

Twitter: @KimberlySBelle

Instagram: @kimberlysbelle

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kimberlybelle 

Book Review

Book Review: A Complete Game by Aven Ellis (Washington DC Soaring Eagles #3)

 

Addison loves all animals, but is enamored with ferrets. She also adores reading Regency romances, but as for her own romance, she’s stepping back to wait for the perfect man who will love every part of her. 

Brady pitches for the Soaring Eagles. His twin brother Brody is the star catcher, and Brady always feels like he’s second rate compared to him. His last relationship was full of drama and a girl who didn’t accept every part of him. 

When the two reconnect over a photo shoot involving baseball players and animals, the chemistry is instant. They are both struggling with accepting some truths about themselves. Addison has always wanted to work with animals but her family looks down on almost all of her life’s choices, so she has settled for something she thought would make them accept her. Brady’s concentration on his game is suffering because he feels such animosity at being on the same team as his brother. As Addison and Brady’s feelings for each other develop and they learn more about each other, it’s obvious they belong together, but when the time comes or them to face these truths, will their relationship survive or will they strike out? 

I enjoyed this book so much. Brady and Addison are both fun, sweet, and wonderful. I’m not a huge baseball fan so all of that was a little lost on me, but I LOVE the DC scene of this series. Their date at the Library of Congress was magical! Everything is so detailed and well thought out to the point I feel like I’m actually there! If you love romance or are a baseball fan definitely give this a read.

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

 

Book Review

Book Review: Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon {BLOG TOUR!}

Sister Dear  started out a little slow but the bombshell ending made it worth it!

After finding out Bruce, the man who loved her and raised her her whole life wasn’t her biological father, Eleanor Hardwicke is shattered. She’s always been rejected by her mother and sister, so the combination of this news coupled with Bruce’s death sends her over the edge. She finds the family her biological father has- wealthy, perfect, everything Eleanor isn’t. She doesn’t think it’s fair that her half sister has so many more opportunities than her. Why did her father abandon HER? She makes it her mission to infiltrate their lives but she gets into more than she ever could have bargained for. As Eleanor starts to transform herself from mousy victim to bold and vindictive, I found myself liking her less and less. She was so whiny, and perhaps a little unhinged. 

WOAH! This one had so many layers! It was so twisted and had my heart racing at the end. At times it was a little far-fetched, and the conclusion was a bit of a cliff-hanger, I did enjoy this one! I’m curious as to if there will be a sequel.  

Thank you to Harlequin Trade/MIRA books for my copy and for letting me take part in this blog tour!

Sister Dear will be published 5/26/20.

 

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Powell’s

 

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @HannahMMcKinnon

Instagram: @hannahmarymckinnon

Facebook: @HannahMaryMcKinnon

Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf {BLOG TOUR!}

 

Eve Knox was murdered 15 years ago but her killer was never discovered. Now, new evidence comes to light, and of course, DNA testing has come a long way. Can justice finally be served?

Officer Maggie Kennedy O’Keefe is now in charge of tying up this cold case her father couldn’t solve. But, things are tricky. Maggie was Eve’s best friend, and found her dead, along with Eve’s sister Nola. Maggie is seven months pregnant but determined to close this case. But everyone has secrets that threaten to be exposed even 15 years later, and Maggie starts receiving threats as she continues the re-investigation. 

Full of unpredictable twists, red herrings, and a lot of suspicious characters, I really enjoyed reading this one! Just when you think you know how it ends, you’re thrown for a loop. My heart was pounding reading the final chapter! 

Thank you to Harlequin and Park Row Books for my copy and for letting me take part in this blog tour!

 

 

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Powell’s

 

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @hgudenkauf

Instagram: @heathergudenkauf

Facebook: @HeatherGudenkaufAuthor

Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: The Secrets of Love Story Bridge by Phaedra Patrick- 4 Stars {BLOG TOUR!}

After the death of the love of his life Anita, Mitchell spends his days at his job doing the menial work of cutting padlocks from bridges. Lovers come from all over to place their lock on the bridge and he snips them off one by one, day after day.

When Mitchell saves a woman who falls into the water after she hung her lock, he regrets not getting her name.  But when his daughter Poppy’s music teacher Liza sees the article of Mitchell and the woman he rescued, she thinks it’s her sister who apparently disappeared over a year ago. Being that Mitchell was the last to have contact with her, Liza thinks he can help track her down using the lock she left behind. Mitchell vows to her mom and sisters he will help find her since he felt a connection to her after rescuing her. 

Not long after the rescue, he’s hailed as a hero, and garners lots of unwarranted attention. Thanks to a journalist, people from all over the city write in letters for a contest, handwritten letters thanking Mitchell for his selfless act, letters of unrequited love and regrets, or emotional love stories. Mitchell himself writes a lot of love letters to Anita even though she’s gone, and he still has the last letter she wrote to him before she passed away, still sealed and unread. 

While Mitchell tries to find the mystery woman, he finds himself thinking more and more about love and his regrets. With Liza and Poppy’s help he reads through the letters people have sent in and begins to open himself up to new beginnings.

Part love story, part mystery, this is a quick read with an uplifting and charming story line.

Thank you to the author and Park Row Books for my copy and letting me be a part of this blog tour!

 

 

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Powell’s

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @PhaedraPatrick

Instagram: @PhaedraPatrick

Facebook: @PhaedraPatrick

Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: The Heirloom Garden by Viola Shipman- 4 Stars {BLOG TOUR!}

 

Iris Maynard lives her life fenced off from everyone- literally. After losing her husband in WWII and her daughter years later to polio, she never leaves her home. Iris instead finds safety and solace in her garden, gently tending to and nurturing her plants. When the Peterson family moves in next door, Iris finds it harder and harder to be alone. 

Abby Peterson is a chemical engineer, mom to Lily, and wife to Cory. Cory has returned home from war after fighting in Iraq, struggling immensely with PTSD. Lily, 7 years old, is my favorite character. She is kind and curious, and becomes the piece that links the families together.

This book alternates between the late 1940s and 2003. Iris is a botanist, a career that was rare for a woman in those days. She was faced with many challenges in her career, which only added to her heartache of losing her family.  She becomes very well known among gardeners for her gorgeous hybrid flowers, but a huge misunderstanding causes her to wall off not only her plants, but herself to the outside world. Abby is working to name and develop special marine paints for her company and is also faced with issues in the workplace due to being a woman in a male-driven field. 

The author gave very educated descriptions of the plants that bordered on a little too much for me at times but if you love gardening or flowers you will appreciate all of the details! This is a story of grieving and loss, but also of love, hope, friendship, and family. Definitely have your tissues ready when you read this one!

The Heirloom Garden will be published on April 28. Thank you to Harlequin Trade/Netgalley/Graydon House for my copy and for letting me take part in this blog tour!

 

 

For more information on the author or the book check out these links below.

SOCIAL:

Author Website: https://www.violashipman.com/

TWITTER: @viola_shipman

FB: @authorviolashipman

Insta: @viola_shipman

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14056193.Viola_Shipman

 

BUY LINKS:

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Book Review

Book Review: Seduced by a Steele by Brenda Jackson- 3 Stars {BLOG TOUR!}

Mercury Steele is a wealthy playboy, determined to never settle down with a woman after having his heart broken in college. Sloan Donahue is running away from her rich but heartless parents and an arranged marriage and definitely doesn’t need a man or a relationship right now. 

Mercury comes from money but made a name for himself as a successful sports agent after leaving the NFL. He hasn’t given his heart to anyone else since college, and is determined to stay single while having fun with beautiful women. 

Sloan’s parents only care about wealth, and try to force her to marry a man who will ensure riches for their families. When Sloan runs off trying to escape, her powerful father will stop at nothing to get her to come back home, from canceling her credit cards and causing her friend’s rent check to bounce, leaving Sloan homeless. When Mercury learns all about the troubles Sloan is dealing with, he is determined to make taking care of her his responsibility.

Besides the romance, my favorite part of this book was the Steele family dynamic. Mercury’s parents and brothers (and their wives) were kind, fun, and caring. 

Seduced by a Steele is part of a Harlequin desire series but you can read this as a standalone. If you’re into soap operas or just need a quick, steamy, fluffy read to get your mind off of things give this one a go. 

Thank you to Harlequin and Netgalley for my copy of this book and for letting me be a part of this blog tour!

Book Review

BLOG TOUR! Book Review: Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer-4 Stars

 

When the Walsh siblings make the hard decision to move their father into a care facility, the youngest sibling Beth volunteers to clean out the family home. Beth is on maternity leave and figures taking on this challenge will help her get through her days because she finds herself struggling more and more with motherhood. When she discovers the door to the attic is padlocked and they have to essentially break in, she finds paintings and dark, depressing diary entries scattered among candy wrappers and other junk causing her to question everything she knew about her mother and her childhood. 

Told in two different timelines, Beth as a mother in 1996, and her mother Grace, in 1957. Grace is young and in love, ultimately marrying and having several children very close together. Each diary entry sheds light on a struggling wife and mother, drowning in problems and dealing with them all on her own. Maternal health and societal expectations were very different in the 50’s and 60’s but Beth finds herself recognizing some of her own struggles written in her mom’s diary.

While I ultimately enjoyed the story and the family dynamics, this was a very heavy and emotional book to read. It deals with postpartum depression and Alzheimer’s/Dementia. At times, this book was too much to handle and I had to take a break from reading for a couple days. If you enjoy family dramas with a little mystery thrown in, give this one a try. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for my copy. 

Book Review

Book Review: The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James- 5 Stars

 

This was so creepy! A cold case mystery,  the paranormal, & dual timelines? Sign me up!

In small town Fell, New York, weird things happen at The Sun Down Motel. Doors open and shut, the smell of smoke wafts around, but no one is there. All of these things happened in the 80’s and they’re still happening in the present day when Carly shows up searching for answers about her aunt Viv who worked at the motel back in 1982. Carly’s just lost her mom and wants to know more about her mom’s sister, the aunt she never knew. Carly makes friends with a couple of locals and digs right into the library’s archives, but the real answers lie within the motel…

If you like strong Nancy Drew type heroines check this one out!