Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Every so often I go into a book and I know as soon I as I start reading it that I am going to love it. This was one of those books.

Jane is living two lives. One as a successful lawyer in Malaysia, where she calls all the shots and is a force to be reckon with. Then there is plain Jane from Minnesota. Jane from Minnesota wears frumpy clothes, is docile and works at an insurance company as a data entry clerk.

Jane is living two lives for one reason and one reason only. To get revenge. Steven Hepsworth is her target. He also works at the insurance company. He is a preachers son. He appears to be a well rounded individual. Stephen may not be as he appears and Jane knows it. Jane knows all his secrets. Even though Jane has just met him. Will Jane take revenge too far? Will things turn deadly? Jane is a self proclaimed sociopath and even she isn't sure how far she will go. "I have never killed anyone. I am not that kind of sociopath. But you never know. Desperate times."

I have read some excellent books lately, but most have been slow burns. Taking off and becoming a 4 or 5 star read at about the half way point. Not Jane! Jane had me right from the start. Somehow this author managed to make a suspenseful thriller with a sociopath who is hilarious. There are so many great lines in this book it is too many to count. I found myself actually laughing out loud, literally. This book was so hard to put down that I have to let you in on a funny fact. I went to the eye doctor yesterday and they surprised me by saying I needed my eyes dilated. The first thought I had was NOOOOOO! I am 70% done with Jane, you can't do this to me. Well they didn't care much about Jane. As soon as I could focus my eyes, I got right back to reading about Jane.

This is a must read in my opinion! I loved this book. I am looking forward to reading more from this author. 5 fabulous stars from me!

Thank you so much to Victoria Helen Stone, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this fantastic book!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Girls Night Out by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

Three girls alone in Mexico. Going out every night to the local bars, doing shots and drinking well into the night. What could go wrong? Plenty could go wrong and it does.

Ashley, Lauren and Natalie have been friends for years. They have shared milestones with each other and have always been there for one another. Except lately their relationships have been strained. Ashley and Natalie have created a very successful company and the stress of working close together is taking it's toll. Lauren has drifted away from the girls after the death of her husband Geoff which she blames on Ashley. So Ashley suggests a girls trip to Mexico to reconnect with her two BFF's.

After a drunken night of partying the girls wake up to Ashley missing. Did she leave on her own to escape her strained marriage or did she meet a more sinister fate? The thing is, there are several key suspects, including her closest friends.

I found this to be a really enjoyable, easy read. In fact I had to go to work today with a major book hangover after staying up until 3 am reading this. I just had to find out what happened to Ashley. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. The story really touched on friendships and how the dynamics can be tricky, especially with a group of three girls.

Don't forgot to read the acknowledgment page. I was impressed by the amount of research that the authors did for the book. They actually visited the area in Mexico and visited places that they wrote about. It also touched on their friendship and the process of writing this book.

Does what happens in Mexico stay in Mexico? Find out by reading Girls' Night Out! 4 fab stars from me!
Thank you so much to Liz Fenton, Lisa Steinke, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for this ARC. I really was excited to be given the opportunity to read this book!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

No Place Like Home by Rebecca Muddiman

For starters, I love the title of this book. I agree, there is no place like home. You can relax, be yourself and feel safe and content. There is no place I would rather be. Polly feels the same way. Can you blame her?

This story opens with Polly Cooke just trying to get home. She is tired from working hard and wants to go home and relax. Except she looks up to her home window and sees him. Her stalker appears to be in her house! He is everywhere. What is poor Polly to do? She is 35 years old and just got her own home. A home she really had to work hard for. Trust me, she really did have to work hard to obtain this home. On that note, that is all I can say. Usually I go much more into detail with a review, but it would defiantly spoil it for you if I did.

Honestly up until half way into the book I was on the fence about how I felt about it. It was good, but I wasn't really sure what direction it was going. Then it happened, about half way into the book it took a huge turn. It has been awhile since I have been so caught off guard with a book. I literally could not put it down. The author was brilliant in lulling me into a false sense of thinking I knew what was going on. I never saw this coming in a million years. Plus even when I thought I knew what was going on, the utterly shocking details kept unfolding. There is some really evil twisted things going on in this book and I LOVED it!!!  5 fabulous stars from me!

Thank you so much to Rebecca Muddiman, Bloodhound Books and NetGalley for this ARC.

Monday, August 13, 2018

She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell

You would think that twins sisters would have a bond like no other. Especially if they had lost both parents and all they had were each other. Are Bel and Rose Enright an exception to this rule? Bel is outgoing,  a fashion trend setter, artsy, makes friends easily. Rose is quiet, polite, studious, the rule follower. They are twins but they couldn't be more different.

Bel and Rose lose their mother leaving them no other family except for their grandmother. Their grandmother greets them with less than open arms. Instead of nurturing the twins in their time of grief, she keeps with family tradition by shipping them off to an exclusive boarding school. Thrown into a new life with no friends or family to turn to, the girls cling to the Donovan's whom are the dorm heads.

This twisty tale is exactly what you would think a high end co-ed boarding school full of teenagers would be like. This is a very realistic view of present day problems- bulling, cliques, teenage attractions, obsessions and rebellions. Throw in some snap chat and face book and you have a real life drama. Except things go too far. How well do you know your spouse, your sister, your friend? Are you sure? You may be surprised at the secrets they keep. Would you cover for them? No matter what? Even if you would be destroying lives?

This is a suspense filled read that kept my interested until the end. This is my first book by Michele Campbell and I look forward to reading more from her!

Thanks to Michele Campbell, St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison

5+++ stars from me! I have read quite a bit of really good books this year and this is one of them. This is a book that is going to stay with me. I requested this ARC simply based on the fact that I really like the last two books I have read by this author. No One Knows and Lie to Me were 5 stars in my book. So I had pretty high expectations. What I didn't know is that she managed to exceed them. This is my favorite work so far by her.

Mindy Wright is a 17 year old blazing the slopes as a champion downhill skier. She is in the running for making the Olympic team. All she has to do is ace this competition. Then it happens, she falls and has to be hospitalized for her injury to her leg with surgery pending. There is still hope for her Olympic dream, until the doctors discover by accident that she has leukemia. She has been tired lately but thought it was just her training schedule.

Upon learning that she had leukemia, I instantly thought oh great, I don't want to read a depressing book. I am a nurse and I deal with enough with illness and death that I just don't like to read about it when I am trying to decompress from whatever I have dealt with during my work day. Much to my surprise, it wasn't like this with this book. Somehow even with that being part of the story, it just wasn't a depressing story to me. Upon being diagnosed with leukemia this book develops into so many twists. They weren't random though, they all were shocking, but it blended so well with the story, it seemed like real life. It wasn't a bunch of shock value twists. It was just a twisted story of a family that sucks you in. I honestly didn't want the book to end. Just when you thought another detail to this story couldn't be added, there is another one. Quite possibly my favorite line was "Why can't this bitch just stay dead."

Multiple deaths, missing children, mental illness, suicides. Seem like too much? Not a chance. This is a perfectly spun story that I truly enjoyed reading.

On a side note, I highly suggest reading the author's note at the end of the book. It actually brought me to tears, it is very touching and heartfelt. As someone in the medical field I was impressed by her medical terminology and details. Thanks for another great read J.T. Ellison!

Thank you to J.T. Ellison, Harlequin Mira and NetGalley for this ARC

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Killer You Know by S.R. Masters

You are a bored teenager during the summer hanging around with a bunch of your friends. The five of you have been together all summer with lack of anything else to do in your small town. One of your friends states it is his goal in life to become a serial killer. You all laugh and think yeah okay weirdo, lay off the drugs. Yet there is something disturbing about the depth of details he goes into. He states there will be 3 murders all made to look like a suicide. He gives you all the details, so you will know it was his work when you hear about them. You laugh it off and other jokes are made. Years go by, you all drift apart. You don't think about the drunken drug fueled conversation of youth. Or do you?

Fast forward 16 years. The gang wants to get back together for a reunion. Everyone shows but one person. The person that claimed he would become a killer. You turn to google and are terrified by what you find.....

I was reading another book when I received an advanced copy of The Killer You Know. I had been highly anticipating reading this particular book. The premise was so intriguing. I thought I would just read one chapter, just to get a feel for it. Nope, it was all over at that point. The author had hooked me and I had to keep reading.

Right from the start you are pulled in by the promise of a possible killer. A killer you may know. I spent the whole time looking for clues and trying to unravel the truth. I kept figuring out what really happened, except I was wrong. The author managed to keep me guessing until the end.

I also quite enjoyed the 1990's. So I especially appreciated all the references to the 1990's bands. It brought back a flood of memories. I almost felt nostalgic. You know what it means when you experience nostalgia don't you? You don't?  Well read the book and you will!

It is hard to believe this is Mr. Masters first novel. Bravo! It was fantastic. I can't wait to read more from him.

5 Fantastic stars from me!

Thank  you to S.R. Masters for this advanced read.