#BookReview: In Her Eyes by Sarah Alderson

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: November 14, 2019

Summary:

You’re at home with your family. You think you’re safe. You’re wrong…

Ava’s life is the kind other people envy: loving husband; great kids; beautiful house. Until the night that a violent home invasion plunges her world into chaos.

In the aftermath of the attack, Ava needs answers to two questions. Who has targeted her family? And why?

But things aren’t adding up. She is starting to suspect that someone knows more than they are letting on. That everything she thought she knew about the people closest to her was a lie.

Ava needs to know what happened that night. And to do that she must decide who she can really trust. Because she’s about to discover that her family is in more danger than she ever imagined…

For fans of Rachel Abbott, Laura Marshall and Cara Hunter, IN HER EYES is a brilliantly twisty thriller about the secrets that lie behind a seemingly perfect life.

 

Review

Sarah Alderson had me hooked from the moment I picked up “In Her Eyes”.

What a cast of characters this novel had…From Ava to Robert to June to Hannah and so many more….. they were all instrumental in the story.  I truly couldn’t tell you my favorite.

I was in awe of the books ending! The twists and turns along the way we’re immense, so many I just never saw coming.

This was my first novel by this author.

If you want to read a thriller that you will not be able to put down, then this book is perfect for you!

I highly recommend “In Her Eyes”! Looking forward to the next Sarah Alderson Book! Sign me up!

I received the ARC of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: August 20, 2019

Summary:

“An exhilarating thrill ride that keeps you turning pages.. Ryan deftly delivers a denouement as shocking as it is satisfying.”–Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish and The Last Time I Saw You

Law student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future.

Problem is–she’s wrong.

And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival.

The Murder List is a new standalone suspense novel in the tradition of Lisa Scottoli

and B. A. Paris from award-winning author and reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan.

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Review:

Hank Phillipi Ryan’s triangular approach that is used to introduce each character to us in “The Murder List” was a winning combination. It was such a wicked playing field! So ferociously intense you didn’t know who you could trust! Such a beautiful gift in a thriller!

Rachel is a Howard Law Student married to Jack, one of the finest Defense Attorney’s in Boston. Rachel must work with Jack’s nemesis, Assistant District Attorney, Martha to complete her internship for Law School. Deliciously intense!

It is so thrilling..you will not want to stop reading!

Rachel wants to get on the  Murder List. To be part of the team defending the people being accused of murder. But. How do you get on this List? Is there more than one type of Murder List???

This story is nothing short of exhilarating! I was taken away with the courtroom drama, political games, and crimes. Everything had me gripped to the pages….Hank Phillipi Ryan truly has a gift for writing the riveting novel with twists you don’t expect and one that you certainly do not want to put down until you get to the very. last. word.

And, then you have to sit…and absorb everything you just read.

Brilliant!

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars

#BookReview: The Fourteenth of September by Rita Dragonette

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: September 18, 2018

Summary:

On September 14, 1969, Private First Class Judy Talton celebrates her nineteenth birthday by secretly joining the campus anti-Vietnam War movement. In doing so, she jeopardizes both the army scholarship that will secure her future and her relationship with her military family. But Judy’s doubts have escalated with the travesties of the war. Who is she if she stays in the army? What is she if she leaves?

When the first date pulled in the Draft Lottery turns up as her birthday, she realizes that if she were a man, she’d have been Number One—off to Vietnam with an under-fire life expectancy of six seconds. The stakes become clear, propelling her toward a life-altering choice as fateful as that of any draftee.

The Fourteenth of September portrays a pivotal time at the peak of the Vietnam War through the rare perspective of a young woman, tracing her path of self-discovery and a “Coming of Conscience.” Judy’s story speaks to the poignant clash of young adulthood, early feminism, and war, offering an ageless inquiry into the domestic politics of protest when the world stops making sense.

Review:

I was honored to have been able to read Rita Dragonette’s Novel “ The Fourteenth of September” during the 50 year Anniversary of the actual date that this story was wrapped around.

You see this is the year 1969, and the first Draft Lottery for the Vietnam War is 19 year old Judy Talton’s Birthday, September 14.  The awareness that if she were to have been born a man was so emboldened within her, that she makes choices that are going to be pivotal for her entire future.

Judy is in college on an Army Scholarship, and with this comes a certain level of responsibility. So does being the daughter of a Mother that served in World War II. Choosing her own path at this time in history was obviously not an easy one. Rita Dragonette wrote an absolutely stunning, beautiful, powerful and heartfelt story; one that finally is being heard!

It will leave your heart bleeding as lottery numbers are called. You will cry out for Veterans. You will truly empathize so often, because you will feel as if you are truly part of each scene. You see, let me try to explain! There will be no separation between you and Rita Dragonette’s Story….because you won’t feel like you are reading it as an outsider looking in; she takes you inside each moment in time. It is more than saying “I felt like I was there”…it’s deeper!! It’s almost Visceral!!

I cannot applaud this novel enough, because I could discuss it forever…

And, I will recommend it for the next 50 years!

I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

Side Note:

One of my Favorite Covers!

I have such a better understanding of what my Uncle, and husbands Uncle went through. A better understanding of their families..and their traumas.

It is a book that will make you think..What choices would you have made?

Perfect Book Club Book! High School Requirement!

Thank you Rita, for opening my eyes!

#BookReview: Never Forget (Honoring Those Who Serve #1) by Marie Savage

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: November 11, 2019

Summary:

Staff Sergeant Adam Brody is ready to put eight years of military life behind him. After witnessing his best friend and fellow soldier Mike Hargrove’s death, he carries a burden of guilt he can’t shake. Returning home to make good on a promise he made to his friend is the only way to keep his sanity and hope that one day he will be forgiven.
Mike’s widow Shannon Hargrove is not only facing eviction but the possibility of losing custody of her unborn son. Despite her efforts to make a life for herself and her baby, she faces obstacles that she may not be able to overcome by herself. With no husband, no support from family and a baby due in a few weeks, she doesn’t have the finances or the strength to continue fighting. That is until her husband’s best friend Adam, steps in to help.
Adam is duty-bound to make sure his friend’s wife and baby are taken care of, even if it means taking on a new role as a husband and father. Shannon is running out of choices and time, but is a marriage of convenience the answer? And when she begins to have feelings for her new husband, will she be betraying the love for the man she promised to never forget?

Review:

Marie Savage has written this deeply emotional novel that I enjoyed

Shannon’s heart wrenching story was one that was deep and believable.

With Veterans Day approaching, this was a truly touching story.

I have enjoyed all of Marie Savage’s books and this one is no exception.

I received this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookReview: True to Me by Kay Bratt

CBD7996D-2A95-4112-98DF-503A22A8B4DDReviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: December 10, 2019

Summary


From the bestselling author of Wish Me Home comes a breathtaking novel about the secrets that families keep and one woman’s illuminating search for the truth.

Quinn Maguire has a stable life, a fiancé, and what she thinks is a clear vision for her future. All of that comes undone by her mother’s deathbed confession—the absentee father Quinn spent thirty years resenting is not her real father at all. With that one revealing whisper, Quinn embarks on a journey to Maui, her mother’s childhood home, a storied paradise that holds the truth about her mother’s past and all its secrets Quinn is determined to uncover.

But settling on the island has its complications, and with the fiancé she left behind questioning every choice she makes, Quinn’s quest for her truth is even more difficult than she expected. As time passes and she digs deeper into her family history and her own identity, one thing becomes clear: Maui is as beautiful as she’d always imagined, and its magic is helping uncover the woman that Quinn was always meant to be.

Review:

Kay Bratt has written a beautiful heartfelt novel with “True To Me”.

Quinn’s truly emotional journey was one that instantly drew me in and had me right there with her through the happy and the sad times. Complex and tear jerking at times! I loved this story and found it hard to put down!

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for an emotional journey!

I received this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: The Light in the Hallway by Amanda Prowse

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Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Date of Release: November 11, 2019

Summary:

From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes the moving story of a man whose life is changed in an instant. How do you start again when you lose the only love you’ve ever known?

When Nick’s wife Kerry falls ill and dies, he realises for the first time how fragile his happiness has always been, and how much he’s been taking his good life and wonderful family for granted. Now, he suddenly finds himself navigating parenthood alone, unsurehow to deal with his own grief, let alone that of his teenage son, Olly.

In the depths of his heartbreak, Nick must find a way to navigate life that pleases his son, his in-laws, his family and his friends—while honouring what Kerry meant to them all. But when it comes to his own emotions, Nick doesn’t know where to begin. Kerry was his childhood sweetheart—but was she really the only one who could ever make him happy?

And in the aftermath of tragedy, can Nick and his son find themselves again?

 

Review:

“The Light in the Hallway” by Amanda Prowse was amazingly beautiful and wonderfully written. I could not put this book down. The story flips between two time periods in Nick’s life, the summer he was 10 years old and the present at the age of 35. I enjoyed both time periods and getting to see the characters in Nick’s life grow and develop long term relationships. 

This novel brought back so many feelings for me and at times there were tears shed. Nick was a young widower and since I was a fairly young widow, I understood everything he was experiencing. There are a wide range of emotions from the initial panic and heartbreak to finding the ability to move forward with life. 

Nick was a man who understands what love and life is all about and is not afraid to do the right thing. I would highly recommend this novel.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Love, Jane by Katie Blanchard

FA0BE975-7A7A-4298-8552-A3600416524CReviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: November 12, 2019

Summary:

Jane always longed for security and thought she found it when she married Stewart. When stress takes a toll on their marriage, she hires yoga instructor Shana to help him, but finds that sometimes inviting a stranger into your home means they never leave.
Tossed out of her home and marriage, penniless, while Shana sleeps in her place, Jane is brutally attacked. With help from Billy, the cop who saved her life, Jane takes on a new identity to hide from the man who assaulted her. Hiding is exhausting, but she’s not sure who to trust. Even Billy has past ties to her husband.

While the cops hunt for her attacker, a run-in with Shana exposes a secret that could result in a new madman on Jane’s tail– Stewart. Both women are in peril and Jane must decide if she can help the woman who ruined her marriage.

Will she be able to save them both or is the danger closer than either of them imagines?

Review:

“Love, Jane” by Katie Blanchard – Wow, just Wow!!!!!

What can I say????

I finished this gripping thriller in one day and was totally enthralled from the very beginning.

I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next !!! The twists in this novel were mind-blowing!!!

This was a fantastic read!!! I cannot wait for the next book!!!!

I received this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: A Rocky Divorce by Matt Coleman

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Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Date of Release: December 11, 2019

Summary:

Raquel “Rocky” Champagnolle is an antisocialite. Swift-thinking. Stiff-drinking. Quick with a joke between Cape Cods, but would rather get lost in a book than a nightclub. Nevertheless, when divorce leaves her stripped bare of everything except wit and a winning smile, Rocky does the unthinkable. She joins the Junior League of Texarkana.

Brimming with blondes, the Junior League affords Rocky the opportunity to sip cocktails and make fun of wealthy people. She even starts to eye-roll her way into a little philanthropy until Junior League matriarch Waverly St. Laurent insults Rocky’s weight. After that, Rocky refuses to put her skills to use solving a string of home invasions plaguing Texarkana’s wealthiest benefactors. Instead, she channels her contempt into spurning the usual Junior League fundraising efforts in favor of transforming a pack of soccer moms into drug dealers.

But then Waverly St. Laurent mistakes her husband for the home invader and shoots him dead. And Rocky finds all the inspiration she needs to awaken her greatest talent. Not solving mysteries. Spite. When Rocky’s finished, Waverly St. Laurent may find herself guilty of killing her husband to cover up a string of decades-old murders. In addition to her greatest crime: fat-shaming Rocky Champagnolle.

Review:

LAUGH OUT LOUD FUNNY!

“A Rocky Divorce” by Matt Coleman is a worthwhile read. Personally, I found the beginning of the book a little slow. Looking back, I think it was necessary to get to know Rocky, the main character. 

Rocky whose real name is Raquel is a rather brash young woman not afraid to speak her true feelings. She doesn’t hold back! Rocky is an elementary school teacher who gets herself involved in solving crimes and problems. She is so irreverent she mercilessly tickles the funny bone. 

Matt Coleman takes you on a rollercoaster ride with his first book in a new series. You will want to jump in and enjoy the ride. I can’t wait for the next installment to see what Rocky is going to do next.

You’re gonna love her! 

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Now That You’ve Gone by Fiona Gartland

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: October 19, 2019

Summary:

“I’ve witnessed many sordid things in my life. As a stenographer at the Criminal Courts of Justice, I thought I’d seen how low a human being might stoop. But one week into O’Malley v O’Malley and I’d decided there was nothing uglier than a bitter break-up.”

Stenographer Beatrice Barrington is back and working in the family law courts in Dublin when a friend seeks her help. Georgina O’Donnell’s husband, Andrew Dalton, has been murdered and the gardaí are keeping her in the dark. Georgina thinks Beatrice might be able to find some answers through her friend, retired detective Gabriel Ingram.

There has been a rift between Beatrice and Gabriel, but she agrees to do what she can. She contacts him and discovers he now has a lodger in Number 9, Oxmantown Road – a young woman with her own secrets.

Together Beatrice and Gabriel begin to uncover Andrew Dalton’s past. Then a stranger who says he is an old friend of Andrew’s appears and claims that the dead man owed him money. The pressure becomes too much for Georgina, and Beatrice finds herself trying to protect her friend and her family.

But who is she protecting them from?

Review:

Of course, I was enamored with Fiona Gartland’s novel “Now That You’ve Gone”, being that it is a story based in Dublin, Ireland. My favorite place on earth! She truly took me on a trip while I read her story and that was glorious.

Only this story was much more the beautiful city of Dublin, it was a story wrapped up in a dead man, court room drama, and two girlfriends trying to sort it all out.

It was intriguing, inviting and; dare I say, even a bit fun to read! They’re were twists I did not expect!

This is the second book in the series, but could definitely be read as a stand alone. I know I would thoroughly enjoy Book 1. Fiona Gartland is a gifted story teller!

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

 

#BookReview: The Shape of the Atmosphere by Jessica Dainty

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: November 2016

Summary:

Gertie MacLarsen believes she was given ugliness at birth. Growing up in an estranged home, the only times she feels beautiful are the nights her father comes in to show her the stars. The day of her 16th birthday, the same day that Sputnik traverses the sky, Gertie’s life is irrevocably changed. After a family

tragedy, her elusive and alcoholic mother sends her to Willow Estate, a private mental institution, where she is thrown into a world of harsh therapies, dangerous hospital politics, and, surprisingly, a sense of family.

Within the walls of Willow Estate Sanatorium, Gertie finds awfulness and grace, terror and family. From hydro and shock therapy, to first love, to rape and suicide, the only thing Gertie is sure of from day to day is that growing up is not a choice and that forgiveness and acceptance are perhaps the greatest gifts anyone can give. As Gertie learns her fellow patients’ stories, she realizes she is not the only one alone in this giant universe and that finding yourself sometimes means letting the past versions of yourself go and letting others help you define your own center of gravity.

Set against the historical backdrop of the early space race, THE SHAPE OF THE ATMOSPHERE features a spectrum of supporting characters that bring the dramatic setting to life and a plot that explores what it means to know yourself in a world that never stops expanding and changing, and that humanity is possible, in any universe.

Review:

Meeting one of the strongest young characters I have in a long time in Jessica Dainty’s “The Shape of Atmosphere” was one of the best surprises. This is a coming of age novel set in the 1950’s wrapped around history learning more about the Universe and the Mental Health Institutions that existed at the time.

Gertie MacLarsen is a complex teenager that I fell in love with from the first page. I was her champion right through to the last page. This is a truly compelling, provocative and enlightening read.

It made the size of my room actually pulsate and sound louder than it was, because this book gave all I had more meaning.

I highly recommend this story to anyone that likes to read about a character that struggles to grow to become themselves. Knowing your heart breaks wide open..Trust there is hope on the other side.

For the fighting spirit!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.