Social Media Icons

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Review: A Caller's Game by J.D. Barker

A Caller's Game
by J.D. Barker

Thank you Hampton Creek Press for this amazing story. 
The #BuddyReadsToDieFor August pick - and it's a winner!

Publisher: Hampton Creek Press
Publish Date: February 21, 2021
424 Pages
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Suspense

DIE HARD meets TALK RADIO in this heart-pounding, relentlessly fast-paced thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Fourth Monkey—master of suspense, J.D. Barker.

"I'm going to offer you a choice."

Controversial satellite radio talk show host, Jordan Briggs, has clawed her way to the top of the broadcast world. She doesn’t hold back, doesn’t spare feelings, and has no trouble sharing what's on her mind. Her rigorous pursuit of success has come at a price, though. Her marriage is in ruins, she hasn’t spoken to her mother in years, and she's distanced herself from all those close to her. If not for her young daughter, Charlotte, her personal life would be in complete shambles.

When a subdued man calls into the show and asks to play a game, she sees it as nothing more than a way to kick-start the morning, breathe life into the beginnings of drive-time for her listeners. Against her producer's advice, she agrees, and unwittingly opens a door to the past.

Live on the air with an audience of millions, what starts out as a game quickly turns deadly—events long thought buried resurface and Jordan Briggs is forced to reconcile with one simple fact—All decisions have consequences. 

My Review:

Yesssssssssssssssssssss.  J.D. Barker has done it again.  I LOVE the 4MK trilogy (well, final book in that trilogy, I promise I'm coming for you!) and thoroughly enjoyed She Has A Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be.  If you've read Barker before then you know his books are girthy.. but they are worth every single word.

A CALLER'S GAME jumps from the very beginning.  It is legitimately hard to put this book down.  The short chapters and continuous action keeps you nose deep within the pages.  I don't know how many times my eyes widened and I would say, out loud, "WHAT?!" Jordan is a very interesting character - a radio talk show host who holds nothing back, doesn't treat people the way that she probably should but will do anything for the one person she does truly care about... her daughter, Charlotte.  And Charlotte most definitely is my favorite character.  A precocious pre-teen with a lot of attitude that you can't help but smile at.  Cole is the character you root for and Bernie... well, he's maniacal... and yet I really enjoyed his character and my heart still went out to him regardless of the actions he took here. I will say that I wish the ending had gone in a very slightly different direction but.. no spoilers here! 😉 

Honestly y'all, go get this book, grab your favorite adult beverage and a snack because once you start, you're going to be sitting with this for hours.  And I love the variety he's givins us - from a slightly slower paced but addicting trilogy to a horror/suspense/fantasy novel and now this action packed from start to end brilliance.  He's the king of suspense in my opinion. Fight me. 😏

Also, don't forget to read the Author's Note at the end.  Here's to stopping the What If's and really considering what is most important to you.  It shouldn't take a horrible event for you to realize where your energy should be spent.


Review: The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding

The Perfect Family
by Robyn Harding

Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: August 10, 2021
352 Pages
Genres: Thriller, Suspense

Thomas and Viv Adler are the envy of their neighbors: attractive, successful, with well-mannered children and a beautifully restored home.

Until one morning, when they wake up to find their porch has been pelted with eggs. It’s a prank, Thomas insists; the work of a few out-of-control kids. But when a smoke bomb is tossed on their front lawn, and their car’s tires are punctured, the family begins to worry. Surveillance cameras show nothing but grainy images of shadowy figures in hoodies. And the police dismiss the attacks, insisting they’re just the work of bored teenagers. Unable to identify the perpetrators, the Adlers are helpless as the assaults escalate into violence, and worse. And each new violation brings with it a growing fear. Because everyone in the Adler family is keeping a secret—not just from the outside world, but from each other. And secrets can be very dangerous….

My Review:

I thought I had problems! PHEW! Welcome to the lives of the Adlers.  Where appearances are more than deceiving and things are most definitely closer than they appear.  My 5th Harding book and once again she gives a very suspenseful, easy to devour read.

We get the POVs of each member of the family.  Viv, the mother, who likes to steal things ... and personally I think I liked her the best.  "But I don't see how fifty thousand dollars is going to help him sleep at night.  Or.. make his pimples go away."  Yep, she's definitely my fave. 🤣  Thomas, the father... well, outside of being a typical asshole who doesn't know how to properly solve a problem, he's relatively normal.  Eli, their son, just quit college due to a particular incident that happened there and now is set on the path that his parents will surely hate.. which makes him happy as he's tired of all their pressure.  And last, but certainly not least, Tarryn... rebel til the end.  Listen, you're not going to like these characters but they surely will have you feeling better about your own family.

You know when you pick up a Harding book you are going to be entertained and you definitely will be with this one.  For a majority of the book, the suspense is throbbing and you can't help but turn page after page with the need to know what is happening to the Adlers.  You'll definitely need to suspend some reality, which I am always happy to do as y'all know.  But if I'm being completely honest, the ending kinda killed it for me.  Allllllll of that led to... THAT? 😐 I'm definitely in the minority with this thought so if you read reviews before you tackle a read, go read the others too.  

Harding is forever an autobuy author for me and while this wasn't my favorite of hers, I will read anything she writes. ANYTHING.


Review: No Exit by Taylor Adams

No Exit
by Taylor Adams

Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: January 15, 2019
336 Pages
Genre: Thriller

A thriller about four strangers, a blizzard, a kidnapped child, and a determined young woman desperate to unmask and outwit a vicious psychopath

A kidnapped little girl locked in a stranger’s van. No help for miles. What would you do?

On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.

Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.

Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?

There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?

Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.

But who can she trust? 

My Review:

Woooooooooooooow.  What an explosive thriller!!  Shame on everyone who didn't keep on my ass to pick this one up ASAP.  And to those who said I'd read it with a quickness, y'all weren't kidding! From the first chapter to the very last, it doesn't let up one instant.  So fast paced that I didn't even have time to try and figure anything out so every twist that came was like..... a nail gun to the head. 😏

I kinda really loved every character in this book - with a slight preference for Jaybird of course... and Darby. ❤ Honestly, they all played their parts so deliciously that I couldn't stop eating it all up. A game of cat and mouse... you legitimately have no idea which way it was going to go until the very very end. 

Go fish, anyone? 😉


Saturday, August 28, 2021

Review: 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

56 Days
by Catherine Ryan Howard

A huge thank you to Blackstone Publishing for this amazing copy.

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Publish Date: August 17, 2021
305 Pages
Genres: Thriller, Suspense

No one knew they'd moved in together. Now one of them is dead. Could this be the perfect murder?

Ciara and Oliver meet in a supermarket queue in Dublin the same week Covid-19 reaches Irish shores.

When lockdown threatens to keep them apart, Oliver suggests that Ciara move in with him. She sees a unique opportunity for a new relationship to flourish without the pressure of scrutiny of family and friends. He sees it as an opportunity to hide who - and what - he really is.

Detectives arrive at Oliver's apartment to discover a decomposing body inside.

Will they be able to determine what really happened, or has lockdown provided someone with the opportunity to commit the perfect crime?

My Review:

Pandemic books!! Are people ready for these? I'm not so sure about anyone else, but I AM.. except for those weird pandemic smut novels but let's not talk about that. 😉  I was one of those people who watched all the pandemics when things got locked down the very first time in March 2020, anyone else?  I also was SO excited that one of my favorite authors wrote one... and here I give you, 56 Days.

If you started dating someone but still barely knew them, would you move in with them during a two week lockdown so you can try to continue your relationship and also test it at the same time... What better way to get to know someone than basically spending 24/7 with them for two weeks right?  I went in thinking one particular way and then the author kept me guessing at what the heck was happening throughout - I certainly didn't expect some of those turns towards the end. 😮 I will say that for some reason this ran a bit slow for me so I could feel my attention waning in an out at times... I was also really busy this week so I was reading in smaller chunks and that could also be a reason. 🤷 I'm not sure how I felt in how lackadaisical people were considering they were in the beginning of a pandemic.  HOWEVER, I do think at the beginning no one really thought it was real. And at the end of the day, this is more about what was happening between Ciara and Oliver and not about the pandemic happening to them.  That was just a circumstance. 

In any manner, this is my fifth Catherine Ryan Howard novel and I LOVE the references to The Nothing Man in it!  While this may not be my favorite of hers, it is absolutely worth the read.  I would highly recommend The Nothing Man, Distress Signals and The Liar's Girl but honestly, you can't go wrong with any of her books.  So thriller lovers, get to reading. 


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Review: Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke
by Eric LaRocca

Publisher: Weirdpunk Books
Publish Date: June 1, 2021
Kindle Edition
102 Pages
Genre: Horror

Sadomasochism. Obsession. Death.

A whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s—a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires.

What have you done today to deserve your eyes?

My Review:

What in the holy mind fuck did I just read?!  😲

I'm just... what in the.... WOW.  This is definitely not a read for everyone and it will be a love/hate read with no room for in between.  Personally, I don't get triggered and I love depravity so this was the perfect little novella/short story for my kind of taste.  I've said it before and I'm saying it again, I don't know what this says about me as a person. 😏

At first I was like why am I reading about a damn apple peeler and then BAM the escalation that happens in just 102 pages is amazing.  The visuals I got were SO VIVID (and oh so gross).  Just simply brilliant. 


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Review: The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee

The Dating Dare
by Jayci Lee
Narrated by: Natalie Naudus

Thanks to for this gifted audiobook.

Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publish Date: August 3, 2021
9 hrs
Series: A Sweet Mess #2
Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Tara Park doesn’t do serious relationships. Neither does she hop into bed with virtual strangers. Especially when that particular stranger is her best friend’s new brother-in-law. It isn’t an easy decision, though. Seth Kim is temptation personified. His unreasonably handsome looks and charming personality makes him easy on the eyes and good for her ego.

When a friendly game of Truth or Dare leads to an uncomplicated four-date arrangement with Seth, Tara can’t say she minds. But their dates, while sweet and sexy, have a tendency to hit roadblocks. Thankfully, their non-dates and chance meetings get frequent and heated.

Seth is leaving for a new job in Paris in a month, and a no-strings attached fling seemed like a nice little distraction for both...but soon, Seth realizes that Tara Park doesn’t come in a "nice & little" package - she’s funny and bold, sweet and sexy, and everything he ever wanted and never expected to find. Neither of them are ready for something serious, and both have past relationship baggage they’ve been ignoring, but with a shot at forever on the line will they follow their hearts and take a chance on happily ever-after?

My Review:

This book is super cute.  As usual with this genre, you know where it's going - it's the journey that makes it fun. Tara and Seth have great chemistry and I enjoyed their banter. I did find it to be a bit cheesy in the beginning, but then it became so cute I looked past the cheese (but I mean, who doesn't love cheese!)... and then it ended way too cheesy for my taste. 🤣

What I did like a lot is how relatable the characters are - in all their glorious flaws.  Also, Lee just gave us the best #bookboyfriend.  Sigh.  Hi Seth, got a single brother anywhere? 😉 #askingforafriend

I don't have a lot to say because this book delivers exactly what you expect it to.  While it wasn't quite my glass of whiskey, it'll surely be your cup of tea.  


Saturday, August 21, 2021

#ATBR2021: Review: How to Kill Your Best Friend by Lexie Elliott

How to Kill Your Best Friend
by Lexie Elliott

Thanks so much to Berkley for this free book!

Publisher: Berkley Books
Publish Date: August 17, 2021
320 Pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller

If you suspected your best friend, the person you were closest to in the whole world, was a murderer, what would you do? Would you confront her? Would you help keep her secret? Or would you begin to feel afraid? Most importantly, why don't you feel safe now that she's dead? From the author of The French Girl comes a novel full of secrets, suspense, and deadly twists.

Georgie, Lissa, and Bronwyn have been inseparable since dominating their college swim team; swimming has always been an escape from their own problems, but now their shared passion has turned deadly. How can it be true that Lissa, the strongest swimmer they know, drowned? Granted, there is something strange about Kanu Cove, where Lissa was last seen, swimming off the coast of the fabulous island resort she owned with her husband.

Lissa's closest friends gather at the resort to honor her life, but Georgie and Bron can't seem to stop looking over their shoulders. Danger lurks beneath the surface of the crystal-clear water, and even their luxurious private villas can't help them feel safe. As the weather turns ominous, trapping the funeral guests together on the island, nobody knows who they can trust. Lissa's death was only the beginning....

My Review:


With this title, how could you NOT be intrigued?! Y'all know your partners that see you reading all those thrillers and horror are a little bit afraid of you. 😉 Unfortunately, for me, the story didn't quite work.

Resort, GOOD.  Reunion of friends, GOOD. Celebration of life. NICE. And then about a quarter through.... a... monster/serpent in the water? WHAT. I legitimately had no idea what was going on and at that point, couldn't figure out why or what this would mean.  But color me intrigued and so I continue to turn the pages.  To be quite honest, I didn't like where the serpent part of the story went.  I don't think we would've lost anything if it wasn't included.  And admittedly, I don't mind suspending reality and you certainly need to with this storyline but I found myself side eyeing a few things along the way.  I also figured out the "who" within the early chapters (GO ME!✌) but really wished I had been wrong. Ah well, win some, lose some!

The author does keep you on your toes.  Everyone is a suspect and, as always, secrets start to surface and strange things start happening around the resort.  The story is fairly slow paced and I found myself wanting more of the snarky narrator who popped in occasionally talking about various ways to kill people.  

I think reviews are going to be all over the place with this one, and personally these kinds of books, whether they end up working for me or not, are my favorite... I love seeing which side I'm gonna land on.  So, if this book sounds intriguing, don't let this review deter you.  Elliott can definitely write and I enjoy her writing style alot.


Jessica's Review:

I'm pretty sure this title will make anyone stop and take a second look. HOW TO KILL YOUR BEST FRIEND is my third book by Lexie Elliott and I will say that I love her writing and the way she weaves together a good suspense read. Despite this one not being my favorite of Elliott's so far, I think this was still a solid read that I'd recommend!

My favorite parts of this book were the little sections from a mysterious narrator that gave us different methods of how to murder someone and how effective they are. I would have loved a lot more of that throughout the book. They were fun and the tone of the narrator was great. The rest of the book was good but much slower moving and fairly predictable for those who frequent the thriller genre. 

It wasn't bad but it wasn't my favorite in terms of suspense/thrillers. There were parts that I feel could have been removed entirely and the plot would have continued without issue, but that's just me. I think that this will be one of those books you either love or it just doesn't work for you. So if the synopsis catches your eye, then I still recommend giving this one a chance! 

3 stars

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Review: If You, Then Me by Yvonne Woon

If You, Then Me
by Yvonne Woon

Huge thanks to the author for this gifted book!

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publish Date: July 6, 2021
416 Pages
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

What would you ask your future self? First question: What does it feel like to kiss someone?

Xia is stuck in a lonely, boring loop. Her only escapes are Wiser, an artificial intelligence app she designed to answer questions like her future self, and a mysterious online crush she knows only as ObjectPermanence.

And then one day Xia enrolls at the Foundry, an app incubator for tech prodigies in Silicon Valley.

Suddenly, anything is possible. Flirting with Mast, a classmate also working on AI, leads to a date. Speaking up generates a vindictive nemesis intent on publicly humiliating her. And running into Mitzy Erst, Foundry alumna and Xia’s idol, could give Xia all the answers.

And then Xia receives a shocking message from ObjectPermanence: He is at the Foundry, too. Xia is torn between Mast and ObjectPermanence—just as Mitzy pushes her towards a shiny new future. Xia doesn’t have to ask Wiser to know: The right choice could transform her into the future self of her dreams, but the wrong one could destroy her.

My Review:

I absolutely LOVED this story!  Cue up an Asian girl named Xia who makes it into a very elite school called the Foundry.  She has an on-line boyfriend she can tell anything to, an app she made called Wiser whom she speaks to on the reg and always feels a bit out of place.... So yes, in her naivety, she starts to make some questionable decisions.

I was happy to see that while the synopsis suggests some weird love triangle between Xia, an IRL boy and her online love... that it also was a whole lot more!  It's Xia coming to terms with herself.  This comes not only in gaining some confidence but also in succeeding within herself.  There were so many times I wanted to shake some sense into her but I feel the experiences she went through were very realistic and very, very human.  Now... the only thing I side eyed a bit was the excessive use of alcohol and slight drug usage ... especially in instances of adults providing or taking advantage because of it.  Don't get me wrong, I remember what it's like to be 16 and certainly wasn't an angel but some parts of this didn't fell 100% authentic.  BUT, I wouldn't be surprised in this day and age either.  Ok, now I'm rambling.

I truly came to love and admire Xia throughout this read.  A few things I definitely saw coming but one particular little thing I was surprised by and I love it.  Was a little too neatly wrapped up? Possibly... but it absolutely worked for me.

Wiser, how do I get people to read this book? 😉  Seriously, readers and friends, this is an adorable story and would highly recommend.


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

BLOG TOUR & Review: Where I Left Her by Amber Garza

Where I Left Her
by Amber Garza

Thanks to MIRA Books for this gifted copy and stop on the blog tour.

Publisher: MIRA 
Publish Date: August 24, 2021
Kindle Edition
384 Pages
Genre: Thriller | Harlequin | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Books-A-Million | Powell’s

Whitney had some misgivings when she dropped her increasingly moody teenage daughter, Amelia, off at Lauren’s house. She’d never met the parents, and usually she’d go in, but Amelia clearly wasn’t going to let something so humiliating happen, so instead Whitney waved to her daughter before pulling away from the little house with the roses in front.

But when she goes back the next day, an elderly couple answers the door—Amelia and Lauren aren’t there, and this couple swears they never were, that she’s at the wrong house. As Whitney searches for Amelia, she uncovers a trail of lies her daughter has told her—from the Finsta account to rumors of a secret relationship. Does she really even know this girl she’s raised? And Amelia’s not the only one with secrets. Could Whitney’s own demons have something to do with her daughter’s disappearance, and can Whitney find her before it’s too late?

My Review:

If you're a thriller lover and haven't read Garza's WHEN I WAS YOU last year, I implore you to grab a copy of it along with her latest, WHERE I LEFT HER.  I was blown away with the latter so was beyond excited when my eyes and hands landed on this one and lemme tell ya, Garza is talented and can tell one hell of a story.

Now, I'm not a mother but I can only imagine the panic and worry any parent goes through when their teenagers start pulling away and become rebellious. (Sorry mom and dad!)  But when they go missing, part of their social media erased and phone turned off... well, what the hell are you gonna do?!  What I really loved about this book was that while the focus is on finding Amelia, we also get to know her mom, Whitney, a bit as well.  Though, admittedly, it could be exhausting being in her head and I think that's just because when I was thinking one thing, I'd hit another chapter and get a big old NOPE, you are WRONG woman and have to switch my thinking again. (Personally, I LOVE that.)  

I think some people will find the ending a little bit over the top but for me, while there were some eye brow raising instances, I did enjoy where the story headed and personally, that last chapter did it for me. (Thank you, Garza!) Listen y'all, people be crazy and I am here for every bit of it!


About the Author:

Amber Garza has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Coffee and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they're real people. She lives with her husband and two kids in Folsom, California.

AuthorWebsite | Twitter:@ambermg1 | Instagram:@AmberGarzaAuthor | 

Facebook:AmberGarzaAuthor | Goodreads

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Review: A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

A Slow Fire Burning
by Paula Hawkins

Thank you Penguin Random House Audio & for this gifted book.

Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio
Publish Date: August 31, 2021
9 hrs 19 min
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women who knew him. Laura is the troubled one-night-stand last seen in the victim’s home. Carla is his grief-stricken aunt, already mourning the recent death of yet another family member. And Miriam is the nosy neighbor clearly keeping secrets from the police. Three women with separate connections to the victim. Three women who are – for different reasons – simmering with resentment. Who are, whether they know it or not, burning to right the wrongs done to them. When it comes to revenge, even good people might be capable of terrible deeds. How far might any one of them go to find peace? How long can secrets smolder before they explode into flame.

My Review:

An anticipated release, Hawkins has been a name on thriller readers lips ever since Girl On A Train.  Now, I really enjoyed that book but didn't love it as much as some readers.  But I was super excited to read Into The Water, which was just an ok read for me.  And her latest, A SLOW FIRE BURNING, reminds me of Into the Water in terms of a very large cast and the apropos title as this is definitely a slow burn of a suspense read.

One man found dead.  Three women who have every reason to kill him. LET'S GO!  It took me a bit to get into this story as it has a very slow start.  The many characters are unreliable and very unlikeable, both of which I do not mind in the least, and which makes for a very character driven book.  These types of books are usually very hit or miss for me and for this particular read, it ran a bit down the middle.  I really did love the premise of this and Hawkins keeps you guessing through every chapter.  I think the trouble I have is the pacing, which inevitably had me checking out a bit towards the middle.

So, in a weird turn of events, there's no pin pointing of why I did or didn't enjoy this book.  Hawkins, as usual, does an oustanding job of throwing a lot at you and bringing it all together at the end.  I am once again impressed with how she keeps this all organized as she's writing.  Maybe it's my mood that didn't allow for me to enjoy this as much as I could have.  Maybe I have to come to terms with the fact that she may not be the author for me. 🤷


Thursday, August 12, 2021

Review: When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain

When the Stars Go Dark
by Paula McLain
Narrated by Marin Ireland

Publisher: Random House Audio
Publish Date: April 13, 2021
11 hrs 29 min
Genres: Mystery, Suspense

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife comes an atmospheric novel of intertwined fate and heart-wrenching suspense: A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them help her heal?

Weaving together true crime, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this tense, affecting story is about fate, unlikely redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives--and our faith in one another.

My Review:

I had absolutely NO idea what I was walking into with this read.  I typically don't re-read synopses when I pick up a book because I figure if I have it, I probably wanted it and therefore, just read it!  I kind of wish I had reread this one though.  I love that it's short, concise without giving a single thing away.  However, since I didn't, I felt a bit lost during the first 10% or so.  However, I quickly caught on and the rest is... well, history. 😉

Anna is an amazing character and I was very much drawn to her.  And oh my heart, Cricket! McLain has a way of getting you to really feel for all the characters, primary, seconday and tertiary.  But dangit, give me a pet that makes an impact and my heart soars.  

This definitely feels like literary crime fiction and is extremely well written.  I didn't quite love it as much as I thought that I would but I really appreciate what this book was doing.  It may just be my mind set at the moment, or it could be that I would've had a different experience had I not listened to it. It's really hard to say.  What I loved the most is the atmosphere that it created.  It kind of gives me The Sinner feels, if you know what I mean. No levity.  Just straight, foggy mystery wrapped in a detective facing her own demons along the way.

Y'all, if you're looking for sunshines and rainbows you're not going to find it here.  HOWEVER, if you love a slow burn, atmospheric literary procedural that really tugs at your heart... welcome home.


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Review: Song of the Forever Rains by E.J. Mellow

Song of the Forever Rains
by E.J. Mellow

Huge thank you to Montlake for gifting me this amazing read.

Publisher: Montlake
Publish Date: July 1, 2021
424 Pages
Series: Mousai #1
Genre: Fantasy

The Thief Kingdom is a place hidden within the world of Aadlior. Many whisper of its existence, but few have found this place, where magic and pleasure abound. There, the mysterious Thief King reigns supreme with the help of the Mousai, a trio of revered and feared sorceresses.

Larkyra Bassette may be the youngest of the Mousai, but when she sings her voice has the power to slay monsters. When it’s discovered the Duke of Lachlan is siphoning a poisonous drug from the Thief Kingdom and using it to abuse his tenants, Larkyra is offered her first solo mission to stop the duke. Eager to prove herself, Larkyra accepts by posing as the duke’s potential bride. But her plans grow complicated when she finds herself drawn to Lord Darius Mekenna, Lachlan’s rightful heir. Soon she suspects Darius has his own motivations for ridding Lachlan of the corrupt duke. Larkyra and Darius must learn to trust each other if there is to be any hope of saving the people of Lachlan—and themselves.

Welcome to the world of Aadilor, where lords and ladies can be murderers and thieves, and the most alluring notes are often the deadliest. Dare to listen?

My Review:

Well, I think I found another favorite author.  I have had her Dreamland series forever on my TBR (I know, I'm grounded) but I DID read The Animal Under the Fur (a standalone y'all have to read if you like action romance) and LOVED it!  And now... SONG OF THE FOREVER RAINS.  Honestly y'all, I don't know if there's enough stars for this one.  It's been a minute since I've delved into some dark romantic fantasy and I think maybe that's what I've been missing all summer.

First, the visuals are OUTRAGEOUS - I savored so much of what I was seeing in my head as I turned page after page.  Kingdoms, magic, sorceresses, kings, drugs, addiction, grief, romance, sassy AF sisters... ALL WHOM I LOVED.  Though can I change my name to Larkyra now please? 😍 I would also like a Kaipo please... k,thx. Secondly, the writing is amazing and I, if you can't already tell, am enthralled with the world building.  I legitimately want to travel to the Thief Kingdom and watch the Mousai perform. I don't care what the cost.  The Thief Kingdom reminds me slightly of a sultier and scarier version of Vegas (and I LOVE me some Vegas.) 

Uff y'all.  I know I'm rambling but really if you like fantasy in the sleightest, go pick this up and read it immediately.  All I can see now are pink jellyfish in a dark blue sky, jeweled masks and if I listen closely enough... a song beginning.

Oh Mellow.... now I have to wait for the second in this series.... Sticks.


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

BLOG TOUR & Review: The Other Me by Sarah Zachrich Jeng

The Other Me
by Sarah Zachrich Jeng

Thanks to Berkley for this free book and stop on the blog tour.

Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: August 10, 2021
352 Pages
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Sci-Fi

Two lives. The one you wanted. The one that wanted you.

Her birthday should be like any other night.

One minute Kelly’s a free-spirited artist in Chicago going to her best friend’s art show. The next, she opens a door and mysteriously emerges in her Michigan hometown. Suddenly her life is unrecognizable: She's got twelve years of the wrong memories in her head and she's married to Eric, a man she barely knew in high school.

Racing to get back to her old life, Kelly's search leads only to more questions. In this life, she loves Eric and wants to trust him, but everything she discovers about him—including a connection to a mysterious tech startup—tells her she shouldn't. And strange things keep happening. The tattoos she had when she was an artist briefly reappear on her skin, she remembers fights with Eric that he says never happened, and her relationships with loved ones both new and familiar seem to change without warning.

But the closer Kelly gets to putting the pieces together, the more her reality seems to shift. And if she can't figure out what happened on her birthday, the next change could cost her everything... 

My Review:

What would you do if you were a tattoed Artist living in Chicago one minute and then BOOM, now you're a glorified housewife in Michigan... WHO GOES ON RUNS?! 😮 

I really, REALLY don't want to say too much about this one or it'll just give it all away so I'm going to keep this short and sweet.  Around page 80-something, I (weirdly) put a finger up ☝ and said outloud in my "haha" voice, _______ DID THIS!  To fill in the blank, you'll have to read this story... and I really think you should!!  Turns out I was right (no paparazzi please 🚫📸) and I was unreasonably happy that I was... and I really loved the intricacy of what was happening throughout the read.

I will say that sometimes it could feel a bit repetitive and there are definitely some plot holes but I don't mind creating fillers in my head for these.  I also felt if this story stopped after Chapter 42, I would've been satisfied.... however, I really did enjoy that last chapter, some bowties are meant to be tied.

This is a fun, crackling type of read - if you love psychological thrillers with a bit of sci-fi then absolutely pick this one up.  Hell, do it even if you don't. 😉


Thursday, August 5, 2021

Review: The House of Little Bones by Beverley Lee

The House of Little Bones
by Beverley Lee

A big shout out and thank you to my friend, Beverley Lee, for gifting me this advanced copy! Squee!!

Publish Date: September 21, 2021
Kindle Edition
Genre: Horror

He thought he was untouchable.

David Lansdown, esteemed British horror writer and supernatural sceptic, is used to basking in the glow of the press… Until a hastily snapped photo hits the headlines and makes his affair with his publisher’s son public.  When David finds himself at Bone Hollow, a house with a glass wall overlooking a wild and desolate moor, his only concern is writing his next best seller to bury his misdeeds in the past. But something stirs beneath the earth. Something bound to the land. Something determined to take everything from him. Luca Fox-Waite is still in love with the man who cast him aside, but his own childhood demons lurk in his shadow. As he discovers more about Bone Hollow’s history, he finds himself ensnared in its story—a story steeped in time and tragedy. 

Because curses lie in bones, and they do not die.

The House of Little Bones is a tale of avarice, adoration, and of how the sins of the past cling to the living as well as the dead.

My Review:

OMFG, Bev-er-LEY! Why are you so damn talented.  Ok y'all.  It's always a little nerve racking when you read a book by an author you consider a friend. But then you read the opening and remember your friend is a freakin' genius!  Um a queer horror novella surrounding a curse? GIMME ALL THEM BONES!

"It was very quiet in the aftermath of the avian suicide.  Through the gore-streaked glass, it began to rain."

Did you feel that?  The entire read felt suspenseful, hair raising and suspenseful.  I got to one chapter and was all, "oh.. oh.... OH!!!!!".... but THEN ☝... 😉.  BUY THIS BOOK. I adore curse stories and this is a fantastic one.  When will people learn not to piss of a woman anyways? Psh. 🙄 I also absolutely fell in love with Luca.  He's my favorite character... well, maybe tied to one lovely, scary fucking lady. 😉  David is David and I'm pretty much in the middle of where I stand with this dude and that's all I gotta say about that!

Haha - y'all, seriously, this is an AMAZING story.  If you haven't read Lee yet, go stalk her book list and put each and every one on your TBR.  Want grief horror? Vampire trilogy? She's got you covered.  And you'll want to pre-order this one.  I couldn't put it down once I started, especially when I noticed the page count.  Lee delivers and she delivers hard.  And I loved learning that very last part. ❤ As always, all the stars.

Oh yeah, lesson learned here: always check your food before you take a bite.  Can't believe you did that to me, Bev! 😒


Review: Nocturnal Salvation by Villimey Mist

Nocturnal Salvation 
by Villimey Mist

Thanks so much to the author for this gifted copy!

Publisher: KDP
Publish Date: March 26, 2021
Kindle Edition
Series: Nocturnal #3
Genre: Horror

Leia Walker has become the monster she feared.
Turned into a vampire against her will, she struggles to adjust while protecting her younger brother.

Across the world, humans and vampires are becoming bloodthirsty—feral beasts spawned by Adam Levant, a dangerous, sun-immune vampire. The people of Europe don't know their fate hinges on a young woman and her group of vampires and vampire hunters. Time is ticking, and Leia must find a cure for Adam's deadly blood. Her search leads to a reluctant alliance between her vampire guardians and the Owls, the hunters. Together, they venture to Atlanta to find a toxicologist from Adam's past.

Caught between chasing a cure and holding on to her sanity, can Leia find a way to control her Hunger and stop Adam for good... or will she doom her fellow vampires and the rest of the world?

My Review:

Do you ever continue a series and since it's been so long since the last book, that the characters start showing up in your head kind of pixelated and then come clear as you read? No? Just me? 🤣  It's been almost two years since I've  read Nocturnal Farm... two LONG years!  

It's so good to be back in Leia's head.  Despite, and because of, her anxiety and OCD, she is a very strong individual who is now learning how to navigate a new life she never wanted.  All while having to protect her human brother, Nathan, keep her Sangue (human blood bag) close by and help stop a war.  You know... no big deal.  Just humanity on the line... the side of Leia she hopes to hold on to for as long as she can.

Moderately paced, action packed and sprinkled with a little bit of humor, we get a satisfying ending in this book 3 of the Nocturnal series.  BUT, and this is why I read cover to cover, it looks like we will be getting another book in the series and I am so excited to see how Leia continues to navigate her life. GIVE ME MORE VILLIMEY!!! 

Fans of Blade and vampire stories in general will have a ton of fun with this series so get on it!! 


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Review: Fallen by T.J. Newman

by T.J. Newman

Thanks so much to for this ALC.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: June 4, 2021
8 hrs 26 min
Genre: Thriller

9 hours

You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

My Review:

PHEW! This debut novel from Newman is chock full of action and suspense and holy hell.... but before I start, props to the narrator, Steven Weber, for a fantastic read that kept me hooked from start to finish.  Also, I kept thinking it was the actor but the voice didn't fit and then... realized it wasn't him. I wonder how many people thought the same. 🤣

I love that the author took her own experiences as a flight attendant to incorporate into this novel.  It clearly shows and it's something I always applaud in books.  And the pacing in this is FAST.  Please fasten your seatbelts and keep your tray tables in their locked positions!  How do you decide if you'd rather have your family killed or to crash a plane full of people?  HOW DO YOU CHOOSE?  And honestly, I don't even care how plausible some parts of this may have been... I enjoyed the entire ride

I had some issue keeping up with who was who and what was going on and when and I'm not sure if that's because I listened to this one instead of reading it with my eyes.  We did get multiple POVs from air to ground and this cast of characters are fun bunch - especially the flight crew. Jo, I love you!  I also appreciate making the "bad guys" not SO bad in certain scenes, depicting that they are also very human.  

I kept thinking I would love to see this as a movie and it turns out it got optioned so you bet I'm going to watch the adaptation along with a huge bucket of popcorn.  Exactly the read I needed right now.


Sunday, August 1, 2021

Review: The Therapist by B.A. Paris

The Therapist
by B.A. Paris

Thanks so much to St. Martin's Press for this gifted book.

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: July 13, 2021
304 Pages
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…

My Review:

What would you do if you found out that that house you just moved into was the sight of a gruesome muder? Could you stay?

My fifth Paris read and this one is just as compulsive and easy to one-sit read because of the short chapters and continuous fishing of the red herrings.  But lemme tell y'all.... Alice is just as annoying as Cass is in The Breakdown!  Girl has GOT to learn to chill and being in her head was like herding cats.  I do like to hate on characters but PHEW with this woman - I couldn't make sense of most of her actions nor her obsession.  But hey, let's just go with it because I love this author AND I kinda really need to know just what exactly is happening in The Circle!

The story itself is ok - new to the neighborhood, there was a murder, need to solve murder but especially because of the name of the victim. O.K.  But it does go off the rails a bit.  And yet, I'm still somewhat invested.  But then it gets really repetitive and I grew annoyed with Alice and her weirdly quasi-formal way of speaking.  And still here I am.  I, along with Alice, am starting to get flustered - WHO IS IT ALREADY? 🤣  

While this isn't my favorite by this author, she is an auto-buy for me and I will continue to read her over and over again.  My favorite is still Behind Closed Doors, which I always highly recommend.  The Therapist may be more for you if you like the lighter side of thrillers with a bit of reality suspension.  Lessons here: don't live in a small gated community or try too damn hard. 😉