Saturday, August 31, 2019

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup


Whoa...this book was so dark, brutal, gory...fantastic...

I have been wanting to get ahold of this book for a loooong time. I finally got lucky enough to get a copy. I must admit I was a bit intimidated when I discovered it was over 500 pages and that it was a police procedural. Trust me, none of that matters. The chapters were short and I flew through them. I found the tension building as I raced through them. I am not a fan of police procedurals but this had such a intriguing blurb that I had to dig in and yes it was addictive.

The crimes are not for the faint of heart. I found myself almost wanting to cover my eyes and peek at the pages, it was that gory. Yet what did I expect? This is a flipping serial killer that is into some weird games. He leaves his calling card at each scene...a handmade chestnut man. Yet the tiny chestnut dudes all have something in common. They all have the fingerprints of a victim that has been thought to be dead for a good year. she alive or did she make these before she was brutally murdered?

I was all over the place with my suspicions as to whom might be "the chestnut man" as the killer was justly named by the media. We follow along with the team of detectives and they were just as much in the dark as I was as to who this twisted psychopath was.

I loved the ending and dare I say I predict there may be a sequel? Do I dare say the author left an opening for yet another twisted book? I really thought this was going to be just "too much for me" when I started it. Yet, it was like a bad accident, I just could not look away. I got caught up in the storyline and I had to know.........who is the chestnut man?

Thank you so much to Harper Collins for this gorgeous ARC.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Passengers by John Marrs

OMG this book is absolutely brilliant! How have I not read a John Marrs book before this? Where has this author been all my life?!  Seriously this book had me at the edge of my seat the entire wild ride.

I have been eagerly awaiting to get my hands on a copy of this book! The book came out earlier in the year for my fellow bloggers across the pond and after reading each fantastic review one after another, I knew this was going to be one heck of a book. It is finally due to come out here in the U.S. on August 27, 2019 and I was lucky enough to get an early copy.

Self driving either love the idea or you hate it. I personally hate the idea of it because it terrifies me that we are going to put that much faith in technology. If you love the idea, well just read this book. Perhaps the most disturbing thing I found about this book is the fact that, well it really could happen. I am astounded at the great details of this book and how realistic it all felt. Hackers can do anything these days and I found this whole situation just very capable of happening in the future.

All eight people held captive in their cars had a story to tell. I found myself captivated by each one for different reasons. I was left with my mouth hanging open as the author managed to shock me over and over again as each person's story unraveled before my eyes.

Suspenseful, thought provoking and one hell of a ride (literally). If you want a book that you just can't put down, well pick up this one! I loved every minute of it. I read this one with my book group the Traveling Sisters and it was quite the hit.

Thank you so much to Berkley for my advance copy! Thank you to John Marrs for this fantastic book. I can't wait to read the rest of your books!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Oh my gosh Nina Hill, what is not to like about you? Nina Hill has it going on- or that is what she tells herself. Actually she does! She is totally content with her life she has built herself and I love it. This book was so fun, witty, sometimes a bit snarky and it was so entertaining I devoured it!

Nina is a girl on a schedule- don't mess with Nina's schedule! She plans every single thing she does in her planner and does not take it well if things don't go just as she has it planned. I laugh, but yet I am the same way ( I just like to know what is going to happen the next day). As life would have it things don't always go as planned.

Nina lives with Phil (her cat) whom she has extensive conversations with, which I loved because I do the same with my dogs. You would think Nina would be lonely but heck no this girl is busy as all get outs. In fact her schedule is jam packed. She has trivia nights, movies, book club, her job at the bookstore, she can't even squeeze in a date with a guy if she wanted to for well at least two weeks. Oh Nina you had me laughing out loud at some of your antics.

Then it happened, a glitch in Nina's organized life. She found herself going from an only child that was raised by a nanny to having a large family she never knew about. What?! Eeekkk...for anxiety prone Nina this might not be the best scenario!

If you love to read- and I know you do, this is a great book to pick up! I loved Nina and I am sure you will too. Super cute and funny, it was a joy to read. I read this with my fellow bookworms a group of Traveling Sisters.

Thank you so much to Berkley for the ARC via Edelweiss and Abbi Waxman for this delightful book! I am looking forward to reading the rest of her books!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Gothic, creepy, a house with a hideous history...OMG yes please!! This was hands down my favorite book by Ruth Ware! All the stars for this one! I have read all her books except The Death of Mrs. Westaway (which is sitting here in my bookcase waiting to be read). Up until this point In a Dark Dark Wood was my favorite, but wow oh wow I loved this book.

Four nannies in a year, umm okay people that should be a sign that there are some real problems at the Heatherbrae House. Granted the house has an extensive history, I mean don't all old homes? That is what Rowan told herself when she applied for the job. Okay Rowan, you just keep telling yourself that. Drawn in by the generous salary and the gorgeous home she decided to roll the dice and try out the job, even with the history of previous nannies not being able to cut it. Were the  the rumors true that the house was haunted? Is that what caused them to leave so quickly? Or was it the somewhat difficult children that they were entrusted to?  I began to wonder if it was Sandra and Bill Elincourt whom appeared to be a bit challenging to deal with in themselves.

I tell you what, there is no way I would have spent numerous nights in this house like Rowan did. I was completely creeped out as nightfall hit each evening. Things were happening and they appeared to be supernatural. Given the history of this home, there is no doubt that is what would be running through my mind if I were staying there. Add to it this "smart house" with all the amazing, yet creepy features. That would drive me mad in itself. If I were Rowan I would be concerned that my employers were watching my every move, meaning that someone else could be too.

I have read some reviews that said this was a slow start or slow moving book but not for me! I was sucked in from the very first page. This was a really fast pace for me and I couldn't put it down. I read this late into the night. I am really looking forward to what Ware is going to come up with next. I read this with a group of fellow Traveling Sisters! It made for a fantastic group read.

Thank you so much to Gallery/Scout Press for this ARC I received via Edelweiss. I LOVED it!! Thanks you to Ruth Ware for another fantastic book!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Wow I just really loved this book, I certainly didn't want it to end. I rarely say that about a book as I am usually ready for it to wrap up, but not this one. I found myself completely immersed in their story and it felt so real.

This is my first book I have read by Elin Hilderbrand and I was blown away. I love her style of writing and I truly felt like I wasn't reading, I got swept up and lost in the world of a summer in Nantucket. It probably does help that I love the whole idea of what it would be like to live there and I claim if I could live anywhere that is where it would be. I also think 1969 would have been a fantastic time to be alive.

The Levin family is a family that has been blessed to have a summer home in Nantucket and it is a family tradition to "summer" there and this summer is no different. Except everything is different this year. The summer of 1969 brings upon a huge amount of change in their personal life and the lives of everyone around them. There is the landing on the moon, Vietnam, Woodstock, Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick.

The Levin/Nichols family is dealing with Kate's first grandchild being born, her son getting drafted, her daughter taking off to find herself and yet her youngest dealing with all the things that come with turning 13.

This book was so enjoyable to read and I was literally swept up into their lives. I was so invested in each character. The author has created such relatable, well developed characters, I felt I was part of their lives.

 It was enjoyable to be swept into another era where there were no cellphones- you were lucky to have a phone in your home and a television. It was bizarre to hear of expectant mothers drinking and smoking to help them relax. Oh my you have come a long way baby! Only people of a certain age will get that reference! I was born in the 1970's so I can vaguely remember some of this. All the fine details really caught my attention- like the mention of Dr. Scholl's shoes, my how I loved clomping along in my mother's Dr. Scholls. I am sure this book will trigger a lot of fond memories for many people.

Hands down a fabulous 5 stars for this book! Now I am going to just continue on my way while humming Summer of you all probably will find yourself doing too!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

Wow! The author certainly knocked it out of the park with this one! Five flipping scandalous stars from me. This book will leave you with your mouth hanging open. I loved it! I was submersed into a world that I had no idea that existed until a recent news segment and of course this book! Up until this point sugar babies were just a candy I had enjoyed as a child!

Natalie is 21 and is your typical college student, struggling each day to make ends meet. She is working as a waitress and must endure the endless raunchy comments and put on a smile in order to get tips and pay the bills. Yet she likes to party and makes some bad choices in the men department when she has her "beer goggles" on. Often waking up to regret her choices and wonder why she continues in this cycle.

Natalie ends up befriending a fellow student named Ava, unbeknownst to her, Ava has it all. The best zip code, clothes, possessions. Except Ava doesn't work and didn't come from money. Well Nat...welcome to the sugar bowl baby! Life here means you can have it all. As Ava introduces Natalie to the sugar baby lifestyle things start to heat up. Can Natalie handle this lifestyle? Can she deal with her inner self saying, hey girl you are making  yourself a prostitute  just without a pimp? One wrong decision and  you could pay with your life in this profession....

 I found myself absolutely fascinated and yet disturbed with this. It is so far removed from any reality that I have known, that I kept thinking what a great imagination that the author had. Except that this apparently is reality people! The author did a great deal of in depth research for this book and in my mind that made this even more intriguing. It was like a guilty pleasure to read this book. You know, you really shouldn't enjoy reading about stuff like this but my goodness I did! I couldn't put this down, it kept me up to the early hours of the morning. I was lucky enough to have some great book people to read this with - Traveling Sisters, as there was much to chat about!

Thank you so much to Scout Press for this ARC that I loved! Thank you to Robyn Harding for this fantastic tantalizing book!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin


In Megan Goldin's unforgettable debut, The Escape Room, four young Wall Street rising stars discover the price of ambition when an escape room challenge turns into a lethal game of revenge.

Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.
In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game. They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style—but a life of extreme luxury always comes at a cost.
Invited to participate in an escape room as a team-building exercise, the ferociously competitive co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival.
Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up the corporate ladder. As tempers fray, and the clues turn deadly, they must solve one final chilling puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?

Grab your copy here!

 My Thoughts

Wow! Now this my friends is one heck of a thriller! I love when one of my most anticipated reads of the year turns out to be even better than I hoped. I LOVED this book! I literally could not put it down!

You take four investment bankers and stick them in a elevator together...for a long time...what do you get? Sounds like the start of a bad joke, right? Well this is no joke. This is downright terrifying. Lured to a building under construction and into the elevator to the 70th floor to take part in a team building exercise, these four self absorbed bankers have no clue what is about to happen. As they reach the 70th floor, the elevator screeches to a halt, lights and air conditioning go off...and the nightmare begins.

This scenario would send anyone into a complete melt down but myself even more so as I personally am terrified of elevators! The author has a great skill of making you feel like you are right there in the elevator. With the fine details of how stuffy and dark it is and the feeling of panic building within each person in the elevator as they realize, this just might not be a game. They might really not be getting out in one hour as they had thought.

I especially loved the alternating chapters that went back in time to give us a clear picture of each of the characters life that lead up to the time in the elevator. The high energy, cut throat world of Wall street that molded each person into what they are today in the elevator. Working long hours, almost every day of the week, they know each other well, perhaps better than their family members. Greed, power and the need to be at the top of the game are what they are all about. Yet now they are helpless....their lives are now in the hands of whoever led them to this iron cell 70 floors up...

Absolutely terrifying, I loved every minute of it! Thank you so much to Kelly at St. Martin's Press for inviting me along on this blog tour. I was over the moon excited to get to read this book. Thank you so much to Megan Goldin for this fantastic thriller!

Author Bio:

MEGAN GOLDIN worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. THE ESCAPE ROOM is her debut novel.