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The Girl I Used to Be - Mary Torjussen
WOW! WOW! WOW!

This book took only a short time for me to really get interested in it. And, when it took off, WOW!, it took me on a whirlwind of a story. 

There were so many plot twists, the author should be looking to some whiplash lawsuits. HA! JK
Seriously, I am still shaking, thinking that dude could be out. He's evil incarnate.

I do have to say, this was the second book by this author that I have read. I went back and read my review on the first one and remembered the book. I do remember Hannah getting on my nerves, a lot. However, I can say that I will remember this one for it's plot twists and just the overall suspense that I lived in while reading the book. 

Don't start this book at bedtime!

Thanks to Penguin Random House First to Read program for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

 

Wicked River - Jenny Milchman

Wow, wow, wow!!! You can bet your bippy that I will not be going camping, canoeing or hiking anywhere in the near future or let's just emphatically say NEVER!

Thirty minutes after finishing this book, my heart was still racing, as it had been for about the last one and half hours of the book.

I have been a fan of Jenny Milchman ever since I met her on her first cross country tour with her first book and her whole family at my local independent, MBTB here in Houston. I was mesmerized by her stamina and gumption to undertake this journey. And, of course, I loved her first book "Cover of Snow".

This book also did not disappoint. I was enthralled at the very beginning and sped right through. A couple spending their honeymoon canoeing and camping in the Adirondacks? Seriously? What's wrong with a beach? My utter distaste for Doug, the groom, and Natalie's husband began very early and held fast throughout much of the book. Especially when his true colors and agenda came to light.

Their journey was doomed from the beginning. Natalie being an amateur and Doug, not that much better, took on these thousands of acres as if there were little or no huge dangers at all in those mountains. Silly people and Doug was a dumba$$ for even setting it up. However, the real reason why he did so is brought about early in the book which only added to my dislike of this man.

The perils they faced were horrendous and if it wasn't for bad luck, this couple would have none, none at all.

However, at the end, Doug was proven to be only human with an self established ego that was quickly rendered not true and he realized it.

An excellent read that I sped through, enjoyed and one that my heart was glad that it was over. The double duty that it was handling and with my age, could have been disastrous. Ha!!

Definitely one to not be missed if you love action, adventure and constant suspense set in the wilderness of the Adirondacks where anything can happen.

Kudos to the author, Jenny Milchman, and thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Bridal Girl  - Meredith Schorr

3.5 Stars

 

This was the third book that I read and the third book in the series "Blogger Girl". I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and looked forward to reading this one. However, this one was not my favorite.

For me, this one seemed pretty cheesy with a lot of hokey mixed in. Just a little too much for me. Especially the bachelorette party scenes. My first thought when Kim received those texts and especially the picture text from Nicholas was that the men at his bachelor party got hold of his phone. 
However, Kim went off on a tangent that the man she was going to marry in a week would send those to her. Seriously? This part just rubbed me the wrong way.

There were, however, lots of laughs and the tiring bickering between the sister and sister-in-law was somewhat funny, but got old fast.

It left me wondering why this smart girl was acting so dumb. Possibly it was her wedding nerves and I can see that and I understand that. However, for me, the constant worrying just seemed to get in the way of all the fun times. 

As I said, it was still a decent read and I will pick up the next one because I know the fun times and the outrageous antics will be there. I just think the worrying took up too much space. Or it could be that I'm just old and don't remember all those frustrations and silliness while being young.

Kudos to the author and thanks to Henery Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell - Robert Dugoni

I have read many books in the Tracy Crosswhite series and loved them all. Naturally, when I saw Robert Dugoni's name on this book, I didn't even read the description, I just pressed request. Hello, it's Robert Dugoni, has he ever written a bad one? (Not that I know of or have read.)

I remember sitting down to read this book, knowing it would be an excellent mystery, suspense. Boy, was I wrong. As I started reading it, however, I was emphatically absorbed in this life of Sam Hill, the boy with red eyes who everyone called "Devil Boy". I was about 77% through (Chapter 27) when I looked up and thought to myself "Robert Dugoni wrote this?". Amazing!! I did not even miss the mystery or suspense I was expecting. I was too busy shedding happy and sad tears and loving reading about Sam Hill's journey. And what a journey it was!

Because I always like to know myself, I will say that there were some religious connotations which can sometimes bother me if it's on and on. However, in this instance, I didn't have a problem with any of them. Sam Hill went to a Catholic school and his mother was a very devout Catholic. Of course, there are going to be some religious parts in the story. However, it wasn't hellfire and brimstone with lots of pages of the gospel. Their religion did play a big part in the story, the mother was always reaching for her rosary, it was just a part of her like anything else, like a tic, a habit.

There were also a few sex scenes that were said and done. There was nothing lasting for pages and pages at a time. The scenes were written to help the reader understand just how awkward and behind this very smart boy and then man, was with all this "love stuff". So, nothing fifty shades of anything going on.

An excellent read that I tore through and absolutely loved.

The author did a tremendous job with the characters and the portrayal of this boy with the red eyes who was born with an unfortunate, predestined future of ridicule and scorn. One which also included changing his name from Sam Hill to Sam Hell in order to mock him. A boy who grew up to be better than everyone else in the book. A true, honest human with lots of empathy and compassion.

Giant kudos to the author and thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Then She Was Gone: A Novel - Lisa Jewell

4.5 Stars

This was my fifth book by Lisa Jewell. I know when I see her name, I'm in for a good thrilling page turner that will keep me up all night.

However, part way through this book I had determined that I knew exactly what happened to Ellie, a child who turned up missing at the age of 15. Out the front door on the way to the library in which she never arrived. I was so bummed that I had it figured out. I was thinking, with all the 5 star ratings, what's up?

Alas, just a few more pages in and while it was pretty similar to what I thought was actually going on, it did sway a little differently. Well, duh, it is Lisa Jewell. 

However, with that being said, for me, I found this to be a decent read, not my favorite, but a helluva lot better than some books I've read.

The characters were out there. Noelle was cray, cray; Floyd was very strange and very creepy which certainly rubbed off on his daughter, Poppy, and Laurel was too trusting, too quickly.

I really liked the ending and am certainly glad that I got to enjoy it.

Kudos to the author for the entertainment and thanks to Atria Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Girl in the Ice: A gripping serial killer thriller (Detective Erika Foster crime thriller novel Book 1) - Robert Bryndza

First off, excellent cover!! It certainly drew me to this book, the first book in the Erika Foster series. Now the question is "There are four other books in this series, where have you been?" I'm not sure the answer to that question, but I can truthfully say that I am glad that I finally caught on to it.

Erika Foster is not your normal police detective (who is?). She's been involved several times where those around her were hurt during a case, namely, her husband who died on her last one. A fact that follows Erika to her new post. Of course, there is an A$$hole there who has problems with women cops on his team. And, because of her past, her reputation, while great in getting the job done, has left several people hurt, injured or dead in her past. A fact that did leave her with a precarious resume as to whether, as a woman, she could actually perform her duties.

I just love it when a woman is constantly chastised and criticized because she is a woman by egotistical (for absolutely no reason) man. A man who hates being one upped by a woman and will not even fathom looking at or considering her ideas because she is a woman. Yet the real problem here for this man is because she's smarter, way smarter, than him. Of course, not in his mind. And, always, always, always, that idiot is shown for what he really is just by doing his job "the way he thinks it should be done".

It also seemed to me that management had chosen Erika to be on their team so that they could bully her and ruin her career forever, while looking for a scapegoat in order not to clear this case properly. Erika hit resistance everywhere she went in this book. Suspensions, lies, and unsubstantiated or unreal facts were just part of her everyday life while working in this new job.

Even though there are a lot of sidetracks and wrong turns that the department is making Erika take against her will, she will and does come to the bottom of this thriller.

One that kept me spellbound and had me fist pumping at the end that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Kudos to the author and thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a 
free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Husband Hour - Jamie Brenner

I could barely finish this book. It wasn't because it was bad, not even close. No, that was definitely not it. It was due to many tears and the many loud foghorn noises emanating from blowing my nose so much 
that went along with those tears. 

I hear a lot about CTE in the news in relation to football players suffering concussions, but I never really thought about hockey. I suppose that's because I don't really follow it, but however, it does make sense. Those guys are cray, cray on that ice!

This book really touched me. It wasn't only because of my feelings towards the subject matter at all. It was because the author did an awesome job of portraying the characters in this heartbreaking tale of one family's lives.

There were so many issues involved in the plot of this story and none of them felt out of place or redundantly portrayed. It was a story of one family's love, loss and life. A story that broke my heart and had me smiling at the end.

This wasn't my first book by this author, but it was definitely the best. I absorbed this book in one sitting with frequent breaks to attend to the needs of my eyeballs and my nose.

An excellent read which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Kudos to the author and thanks to Little, Brown and Company and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Sixth Day (A Brit in the FBI) - Catherine Coulter, J.T. Ellison

Drones? Very old manuscript? Bitcoins? Vlad Dracul? Trained falcons? Bram Stoker? Political figures mysteriously dying daily on a daily basis?

What the heck? How do all these tie in together you ask? Well, just leave it to Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison. They absolutely had and have the knack to do so while keeping you on your toes with your pulse racing and your heart beating right out of your chest.

This is definitely a duo that when I see their names together, I am immediately raising my hand to sign me for their reads. As usual, this one did not fail to disappoint. Psychotic villains who went way above and beyond the "what if" scary factor.

This book had me racing through it. The action is non stop and believable (scary!!). I loved how hemophilia and Dracula were able to come together in this unputdownable read. I especially loved the little bit about Bram Stoker - genius!

Grossest part? "He gave her a chicken neck from his pocket." OMG, I could literally smell that rancid thing and even now, I am still getting a little nauseous.

While only my second book in the series, I look forward to more and hopefully find time to go back and read the others.

Excellent read that I read in one sitting.

Kudos to the authors and thanks to Gallery, Pocket Threshold Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Go Ask Fannie - Elisabeth Hyde

This is a story of a family of six that became a family of four overnight when the mother and oldest son die in a car accident when the youngest daughter was six years old. It's present day and Elizabeth, the youngest daughter is now 38 years old. Elizabeth was in the back seat of that vehicle then and was not killed. Her and the remaining other two siblings are visiting their elderly dad. It's the first time they have been all together for a number of years.

The siblings LOVE to bicker. They are constantly aggravating each other and the oldest daughter (a lawyer who is doing very well) is forever telling everyone how they should run their lives.

There are humorous moments, sad moments and very sad moments. A family memoir in which a Fannie Farmer cookbook is a big deal for the family as the mother used it to write a lot of personal notes which the family cherished. When the family asked what was for dinner, the mother would always reply "Go ask Fannie" hence the title of the book.

I found this to be a very entertaining book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. While the kids did bicker a lot, it wasn't enough to get on my nerves and at times was sort of humorous.

Thanks to Penguin Group Putnam and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Twenty-One Days - Anne Perry

Believe it or not, this was my first book by Anne Perry. I know, where have I been? Of course I had heard of her, but I never got the chance to read her until now. Finally.

This book is somewhat of a legal procedure book with some courtroom drama scenes. It's not the pages and pages of courtroom procedure and legalese though. I'm going to call it "light" legal drama because the main characters are lawyers and defendants. The action mostly takes place, however, behind the scenes while the main character is doing due diligence trying to get his client declared innocent of a murder charge.

I liked the main character, Daniel Pitts, a lot. He's young, smart and interested in right and wrong. Along the way, Daniel discovers that someone very close to him could be responsible for his recent client's wife's death whom he is representing. A case he must quickly (21 days) solve in order to help his client stay away from the hanging rope.

The plot twists used to figure out this very strange murder scene are cray, cray. The story was told in such a way that I didn't even question the fire. One that turns out to be a huge missing link in the story of the murder.

I loved this book and I hope to get to read more of Anne Perry in the future.

Thanks to Random House Ballantine and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Unbury Carol: A Novel - Josh Malerman

Oh Dwight, Dwight, Dwight, you money grubbing A$$hole! I could not wait to see what happens to you!!

This was a story told from the days when they used to put a bell in the coffins just in case they were still alive and woke up later.

Carol Evers is normally a regular woman until she lapses into a coma that is indistinguishable from death during high stress. This phenomenon has happened to her several times in the past. Only two people, besides herself, know of this condition, her A$$hole husband, Dwight, who married her for her money and her ex-husband, James Moxie, who is currently living at the other end of the trail and is summoned to help save Carol.

I thought this was a very original concept and very cleverly written. The author did a great job setting up the scene in this book. A land of olden days with dirt streets, wooden sidewalks (maybe) and old time wood buildings. The scene was set on land consisting of several cities along a "trail". The length of which takes two days on horseback to make. There are coaches with horses, local saloons and the ever present whorehouses which make up the rest of this backdrop. One which really gave me a feel for the old time westerns I've seen in the past.

The feelings and thoughts of these characters were a hoot. Especially Dwight. What a simple mind he was with an ego the size of Texas. Smoke was another character that was definitely out there.

I found this to be sort of, okay, crazy hokey, but it worked. I thought it was very entertaining and sped right through it.

Thanks to Random House Ballantine and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Saint of Wolves and Butchers - Alex Grecian
I've read several of this author's Scotland Yard's Murder Squad and thoroughly enjoyed them. However, this book which (I hope) is setting up a new series of a new agency that is set up to find, capture and punish Nazi war criminals.

Rudolph Bormann, now Rudy Goodman, (what a play on words this name change is) was a Nazi doctor and concentration camp administrator prior to illegally entering the U.S. in the 1950's. He has now set up a "cult" that applies a lot of the Nazi principles. This is one helluva despicable man. The things he has been doing since he's been in the U.S. are startling, jaw dropping and out there.

He's recently been discovered by a camp survivor and turned into the foundation that was set up to find these criminals. Travis Roan and his dog, Bear, have been charged with finding his father who had set out to check up on these allegations when he went missing.

There is a heck of a lot of action going on in this book and I was held spellbound. I sped through this book, my anger at this Nazi and his actions ran rampant. A book I thoroughly enjoyed and was, quite frankly, a little sad to see it end. I really like these new characters, Travis and Skottie and hope I do see more of them.

Also, the lightning trick at the end of the book - GENIUS!!

Thanks to Penguin Group Putnam and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
 
 

 

The Saint of Wolves and Butchers - Alex Grecian
I've read several of this author's Scotland Yard's Murder Squad and thoroughly enjoyed them. However, this book which (I hope) is setting up a new series of a new agency that is set up to find, capture and punish Nazi war criminals.

Rudolph Bormann, now Rudy Goodman, (what a play on words this name change is) was a Nazi doctor and concentration camp administrator prior to illegally entering the U.S. in the 1950's. He has now set up a "cult" that applies a lot of the Nazi principles. This is one helluva despicable man. The things he has been doing since he's been in the U.S. are startling, jaw dropping and out there.

He's recently been discovered by a camp survivor and turned into the foundation that was set up to find these criminals. Travis Roan and his dog, Bear, have been charged with finding his father who had set out to check up on these allegations when he went missing.

There is a heck of a lot of action going on in this book and I was held spellbound. I sped through this book, my anger at this Nazi and his actions ran rampant. A book I thoroughly enjoyed and was, quite frankly, a little sad to see it end. I really like these new characters, Travis and Skottie and hope I do see more of them.

Also, the lightning trick at the end of the book - GENIUS!!

Thanks to Penguin Group Putnam and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
 
 

 

A Matter of Chance: A Novel - Julie  Maloney
When Maddy's daughter disappears, She gets, of course, a little maniacal. Desperate to find her missing daughter, she does some crazy things. She's hell bent on a mission and I don't blame her. However, she does do a lot of dumb stuff, desperate in her search.

I found this to be a decent read. There were times when I felt that the story bogged down a little, but just as fast, the action would pick right back up. 

In the end, I was glad that I got to read this book as I sped through it reading it all in one sitting.

Thanks to She Writes Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

 

The Secret to Southern Charm (The Peachtree Bluff Series Book 2) - Kristy Woodson Harvey

I was so excited to return to Peachtree Bluff. The first book had so many adventures and laughs. I loved it!!!

In this book, the family matriarch (Ansley's mother) gets cancer, Sloane's husband, Adam, is missing in Iraq and Ansley is overplaying a somewhat teenage role far beneath her age over Jack. For me, it was mostly all sadness and a LOT of complaining going on. I like these characters a whole lot better with some happiness and fun going on. This one was just too sad, gloomy and depressing for me.

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the book, but I definitely did not enjoy it as much as the first one.

The next book is setting up to answer some serious questions and I hope to see a lot more fun and sisterly rivalry in the next one.

Thanks to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

A Nantucket Wedding - Nancy Thayer

This was my second book by this author. Again, entertaining and a great beach read. Nothing that really blew me away, but I do have a couple of comments on some of the annoying characters.

Poppy - What a beatch!
Alison - Please, please, please take a chill pill. Her whining was really starting to irk me.
Ingrid - Sorry, but what a BORING name especially for someone who seems to be the "bad girl" at first.

As I said, a decent read. Not as good as the first one I read, but still good.

Thanks to Random House/Ballantine and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.