#BookReview: What She Found by Emerald O’Brien

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: March 26, 2020

Summary:

It was supposed to be the perfect getaway, but a knock at the door could ruin their lives.

After her recent separation, Tabitha Weaver is holding her life together by a thread. Luckily, her six closest friends have the perfect cure for heartbreak: a weekend in the countryside complete with relaxation, a blind date, and all the wine she can handle.

But it isn’t long before their night at the secluded rental house goes sour. The drinks flow a little too freely and lingering tensions arise before they’re interrupted by frantic knocking at the door. The stranger claims to have been in an accident, and though her head is bleeding, she refuses to let them call an ambulance.

With Tabitha distracted by her new beau, another friend leaving to check out the scene of the accident, and the rest of the group busy feuding, they lose track of the stranger’s whereabouts. It isn’t until she wakes up with a hangover that Tabitha finds a note on her dresser: Don’t stop until you find it.

Tabitha disregards the note, and the evening, and returns home believing the weekend is behind her. But when the strange woman is reported missing, the police start circling—the group must reexamine their accounts of what happened that night. And the discrepancies in their stories cannot be overlooked. It doesn’t help that the police have discovered clues to suggest foul play.

As the evidence mounts against them, loyalties are tested. Tabitha is desperate to find the truth about what happened to the woman.

Which of her friends is lying? Who can she trust?

A gripping psychological suspense for fans of Kiersten Modglin, Meghan O’Flynn, and Abigail Haas. If you liked Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, you’ll love What She Found.

Review:

WOW!!!!!

Emerald O’Brien has written an action packed, powerful mystery with “What She Found”.

I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting anxiously to find out whodunnit…… of course I was wrong…….

The friendship between this group of friends was complicated and so many deep deceptive secrets showed up throughout the novel!!!

There were so many twists in here that I was literally shaking my head at the end and actually read the ending twice!!!! I had to let it sink in and was just “wowed” again!!!!

I would highly recommend that you read this haunting page turner – you will not be disappointed.

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

5 Stars.

#BookReview: The Mother-in-Law by Kiersten Modglin

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: March 17, 2020

Summary:

There’s something strange about Loren’s new mother-in-law…

When Loren meets Jack, she’s sure he’s the man she’s been waiting for—a perfect husband and a father for her young daughter. Shortly after their wedding, their plans to start a life together are put on hold when the couple receives word that Jack’s father has died.

In an effort to appease her new husband, Loren invites her mother-in-law, Coralee, to stay with them while she grieves. When strange things begin to occur just after her arrival, Loren questions how much she knows about the woman she invited into her home.

One calculated move after the next, Coralee attempts to drive a wedge between Loren and her new husband. Jack believes his mother’s strange behavior is just further proof she needs their help, but Loren isn’t so sure. As Coralee’s actions become increasingly sinister, Loren is pushed to her breaking point and she realizes she must do whatever it takes to get rid of her mother-in-law for good.

What she doesn’t know about her new family could kill her…

Review:

I was totally and utterly shocked by Kiersten Modglin with her page-turning novel “The Mother In Law”.

The beginning was mysterious and draws you in instantly.

The twists in this novel were unexpected but that is one of Kiersten’s talents and she did not disappoint with this one.

The complex relationship between Loren and Jack was intriguing. Coralee the mother-in-law was powerful and intense.

I would absolutely recommend this; as well as, her other books.

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

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Diamonds, Teak, and Murder (Crystal Coast Cases #1) & Lenses, Lust, and Murder (Crystal Coast Cases #2) by A.M. Ialacci

Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Lenses, Lust, and Murder Date of Release: January 6, 2020

Summary:

When Allie Fox became a private investigator, she envisioned herself solving crimes and keeping her hometown of Carteret County a safe place. Instead, to her great regret, she’s found herself trailing cheating husbands and tracking check kiters. All that changes when her autistic brother, Ryan, discovers a body near the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Now, Allie is diving headfirst into the investigation.

Everyone in town loved the victim, or so they’re saying. Yet Allie soon discovers many at the Cape have shocking secrets they would kill to keep hidden. As she closes in on the truth, a frightening attempt is made on her life. Can she unravel the clues to reveal the murderer’s identity before becoming their next victim?

Review:

I was absolutely intrigued by “Lenses, Lust & Murder”!! A.M. Ialacci drew a stunning landscape right from the start. The trip climbing up the lighthouse and its view were breathtaking!! Too bad there was a dead body at the end of it!!

Then the island was so fired up with excitement as the ferry came in with the FBI Agents, and the local agents arrived to both work with Allie Fox and bring a special “something” for Allie’s brother!

A genius Set-Up! Intense! This was a story I knew I was going to dig my teeth into!

The novel sustained its intensity right through to the very last alarming twist!

A.M. Ialacci is a force to be reckoned with in the Mystery Genre. I hope there are a lot more stories with Allie as our female sleuth!

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

5 Stars.

Diamonds, Teak, & Murder Date of Release: August 1st, 2019

Summary:

Upon the sudden deaths of her parents in a car accident, credit fraud investigator Allie Fox traded her fast-paced life in Chicago for a boatyard bookkeeping job in sleepy Carteret County, North Carolina. It is a huge transition, especially as she is now the sole caregiver for her younger autistic brother. But when the yard foreman mysteriously ends up dead at work, she can’t resist being pulled into the mystery.

Plenty of people had reason to want Ty Guthrie dead, but he had been kind to her as a kid, and even the sheriff’s department thinks there may have been foul play. Despite the possibility of alienating all of her co-workers and risking her livelihood, Allie becomes a consultant on the case to discover the murderer in their midst.

The deeper she digs, the more secrets she unravels, and the killer turns his sights on her, and even worse, her brother. At odds with law enforcement and the DA while a massive hurricane bears down on the coast, the only thing that matters is that her brother is in danger. With everything to lose and time running out, it’s up to Allie alone to stop the killer, or die trying.

Review:

Reading “Diamonds, Teaks & Murder” was truly riveting! I read it ridiculously fast!

This is a second impressive murder mystery written by A.M. Ialacci!

I loved being introduced to another one of her protagonists!  A.M. Ialacci truly gets you invested!  It was fun to be back  after reading her first book, “Sight in the Dark”.

Allie Fox was just as unstoppable at finding answers, as I was in finishing her story!

I was so wrapped up in her livelihood, and that of her brother; that I had to know what the outcome was going to be…and….What a surprise it was!!

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

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: June 1st, 2019

Summary:

A moment on the platform changes two lives forever. But nothing is as it seems…

‘Take my baby.’

In a split second, Morgan’s life changes forever. A stranger hands her a baby, then jumps in front of a train.

Morgan has never seen the woman before and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life.

When the police question Morgan, she discovers none of the witnesses can corroborate her version of events. And when they learn Morgan longs for a baby of her own, she becomes a suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically tries to retrace the last days of the woman’s life. She begins to understand that Nicole Markham believed she and her baby were in danger. Now Morgan might be in danger, too.

Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia?

Or was something much darker going on?

Pulse-pounding, heartrending, shocking, thrilling. This is one book you won’t be able to stop thinking about.

Review:

(I know this is longer than I typically write, but this book really hit me in the feels)

I was completely dedicated to finishing “Woman on the Edge” in one sitting from the very first sentence!

It was spectacular!

I had chills!!

I had to know everything!!!

My mind was racing!!

Imagine a zipper being zipped up, that is how perfectly this story came together!

Nicole had a fierce, passionate drive to protect her daughter, Quinn. Wanting to protect a character while reading is so visceral!

My mind was spinning!

I was switching lanes constantly with Morgan! She was in trouble with the law, and for a long time I was cheering her on as she tried to prove her innocence and then boom!! Samantha Bailey had me completely stumped!! Even though I was connecting with Morgan, I would shift back and forth to contemplate her innocence!

My mind was swirling!

I loved that there was a solid Women’s Fiction story weaved between this Psychological Thriller that you will not miss, because it was so gripping in its own right.

The character’s were hugely developed.

Samantha Bailey’s Debut Thriller had me so absorbed…..I am still in a “‘Woman on the Edge’ Coma”!!

She has absolutely been added to my Top Author List!!

I read this novel with the same sense of urgency the subway trains rush in and out of their terminals!

I trust you will thoroughly devour it, as I did!

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

5 Stars.

 

#BookReview: I Said Yes by Kiersten Modglin

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: February 18, 2020

Summary:

The next psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Good Neighbors…

Yes.
The word that brought me such great joy and, eventually, such heartbreak.

When Mark asked me out for the first time, I didn’t have to think twice.
I said, “Yes.”

When he asked me to marry him just a year later, the answer came as easily as the breath that followed it.
“Yes.”

When he asked me to keep his secret, my response came too quickly.
“Yes.”

Now, in front of a judge and jury, I’ll be asked the question I never anticipated.
“Did you know who the killer is?”

The answer is second nature by now.
“Yes.”

Summary:

Kiersten Modglin wrote an elaborately delivered domestic thriller that will shock even the best reading detectives out there!

“I Said Yes” flips the script when you least expect it!

A few times I just wanted to scream! Because the surprises were just so huge!

Many things in this story will make you think twice before you answer your next simple “Yes or No” question! I know I will.

Once again….It was “Mind Boggling….Kiersten Modglining!!”😉

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

4 Stars.

 

#BookReview: Crescent City Moon: Crescent City Series: Book 1 by Nola Nash

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: October 30, 2019

Summary:

Things put underground in New Orleans don’t often stay there. Even things that should – like bodies, and secrets.

How do you fight an enemy you can’t see that can kill on a whim? In 1820s New Orleans, on the eve of her twenty-first birthday, Zéolie Cheval discovers the mangled body of her father murdered in his bed and a maniacal voice haunting the recesses of her mind. When the priest sent to comfort her is killed while the house is swarming with police, Zéolie becomes entangled in a web of mystery that takes her from the French Quarter, to the Ursuline Convent in the Ninth Ward, and deep into the Louisiana swamps.

Officer Louis Saucier, who is losing his heart to Zéolie and his grip on logical reality, helps her find the pieces to her puzzle. The mother superior of the Ursulines offers assistance from a mediumistic nun and a voodoo priestess, blurring the lines between the spiritual and the supernatural.
After opening the family crypt to find it uninhabited, Zéolie realizes that her father lied about her mother’s death – amongst other things. Now, Zéolie must to come to terms with magic she inherited from her grandmother and the price that comes with it.

Step inside the magic and mystery of the 1820s French Quarter to see if an unlikely menagerie can help Zéolie take down a murderous maniac while she shields the officer she loves. Can she harness powers she didn’t know she had? Or, will she make the ultimate sacrifice?

Review:

True darkness creeped through each page of Nola Nash’s “Crescent City Moon”.  That darkness was her character Solène, and it felt as though she found her way into the very room I was reading!! I think she may have even been upset with me for reading this story! That is how spooked I was!

It was beyond tantalizing! Nola Nash’s Novel was so alive, it had it’s very own heartbeat! That beat began to pulse along with mine, until it was racing so fast I had to remind myself to breathe.

I look forward her next nail-biting, look-over-my-shoulder, jump-out-of-my-seat, page-flipping, fast-heart-beating, remind-myself-to-breathe, OMG-it’s-Solène! Novel!!!

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

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: February 4, 2020

Summary:

All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home.

Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn’t want to see her today, or ever again.

But she can’t resist. She parks outside the open gates of Newnham House, watches from across the road as Flora and her children Thomas and Emily step out of the car. Except… There’s something terribly wrong. Flora looks the same, only older. As Beth would have expected. It’s the children. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then.

They are still five and three. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt – Hilary hears Flora call them by their names – but they haven’t changed at all.

They are no taller, no older… Why haven’t they grown?

Review:

“Perfect Little Children” by Sophie Hannah was a haunting and mysterious novel.

It took me a little bit to really get into it and then I was unable to put it down.

The relationships between all of the characters in the novel were intense and complex.

I was definitely not expecting the surprising and twisted ending, so it made the wait worth it.

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

3.75 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BookReview: Dead Before Dying (Shadow Valley Manor #1) by Kerry Schafer

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: February 9, 2016

Summary:

Twisting and eerie, sharp and unforgettable, DEAD BEFORE DYING brings a heroine worthy of Sue Grafton to a terror worthy of Dean Koontz.

In this supernatural thriller, shot through with biting wit, Maureen Keslyn checks herself in to Shadow Valley Manor to recuperate and rehabilitate from her last job. There, she runs afoul of the stern director and makes friends with some of the other residents, mostly older, all harboring either a secret or a grudge. With secrets of her own, like why she has her own Federal Agent checking up on her, and how she injured herself in the first place, Maureen fits right in, even as she sticks out like a thorn.
But Shadow Valley isn’t just for rest–Maureen is working undercover, seeking to find and eradicate whatever forces are picking off the residents (and staff) at a grisly clip. With her resources dwindling one death at a time, and unnatural forces seething to rise up once more, Maureen’s experience fighting the supernatural will be her only hope to destroy a clever and powerful evil–and her only chance at surviving it. She’ll need people as paranoid as she is–from the sheriff, to the undertaker’s daughter, to a cook whose knife skills in the kitchen could prove deadly out of it–if she is going to bring rest to the weary, and peace to the dead…

Review:

I met the most colorful cast of characters while reading Kerry Schafer’s “Dead Before Dying”, and it was so exciting!

This was a paranormal murder mystery unlike any other! It was set in a Nursing Home called “Shadow Valley Manor”, where FBI Agent Maureen Keslyn works both diligently and humorously to solve a crime. I appreciated Maureen because she was in her 50’s! It was cool to have an older kick-a&& heroine!

Other stories are told about each elderly paranormal being living there; and I was (dare I say) enamored with the story of the 90 year old vampire. I also love how the cat warns Maureen of ghoulish things in the night! (And me…Yes, I was known to jump while reading!..lol)

There is this overall sense of creepiness, which I thought Schafer wrote wonderfully. I was totally drawn in because this story is intriguing, enticing, dark, and smoldering with the sense of need to know!!

I moved urgently through the story because I always had to know what was around the next corner!!

I highly recommend Kerry Schafer! She is so very talented at this paranormal mystery stuff! Wow! Her audible was fabulous, too!

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

4.5 Stars.

#BookReview: The Lucky Ones by Kiersten Modglin

E47319DC-5D19-4EBE-A387-AAD51C53464DReviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: January 17, 2020

The Lucky Ones is FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
Get your copy of The Lucky Ones today: https://amzn.to/2QIhS30
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2sFjqCB

Summary:

They were supposed to die.

Five years ago, the residents of the Gerbera subdivision in the small town of Fallen Oaks were brutally murdered in their beds. The only survivors, now called The Fallen Oaks Five, were children—practically strangers at the time, forever connected by the weight of all they witnessed.

Now grown, the anniversary of their families’ deaths approaches and the Fallen Oaks Five receive letters of warning: the killers are still out there and they aren’t finished with them.

In a race against time and murderers who remain both faceless and nameless, the Five must return to their old homes in order to piece together the events of a night they’d all rather forget. Their old town is riddled with secrets, and every person they come into contact with is a suspect. With everything at stake, can the Five solve the mystery and finally learn the truth about the night that cost them everything? Or will they find themselves victims of a fate they should’ve succumbed to years ago?

 

Review:

Kiersten Modglin has done it again!!!

The twists and turns in “The Lucky Ones” had me shaking my head and going “Are you kidding me?”

I was enthralled with this novel from the moment I picked it up. Kiersten Modglin has away of grabbing you and keeping hold until you read the shocking ending.

It was emotional yet complicated and exhilarating at the same time!!!

If you are looking for action packed thrillers, you must read “The Lucky Ones”, and all of her other books, too….You cannot go wrong and you will not regret it!!!

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

5 Stars.

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#newreleases #suspense #newbooks #books2read #psychologicalthriller #darkreads #newreleasebooks #bookworm #books #ebooks #bookrecs #bookrecommendations #fivestarreads

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#BookReview: Lenses, Lust, and Murder (Crystal Coast Cases #2) by A.M. Ialacci

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Reviewers: Serena Soape

Date of Release: January 6, 2020

Summary:

When Allie Fox became a private investigator, she envisioned herself solving crimes and keeping her hometown of Carteret County a safe place. Instead, to her great regret, she’s found herself trailing cheating husbands and tracking check kiters. All that changes when her autistic brother, Ryan, discovers a body near the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Now, Allie is diving headfirst into the investigation.

Everyone in town loved the victim, or so they’re saying. Yet Allie soon discovers many at the Cape have shocking secrets they would kill to keep hidden. As she closes in on the truth, a frightening attempt is made on her life. Can she unravel the clues to reveal the murderer’s identity before becoming their next victim?

Review by Serena Soape:

A.M. Ialacci has written a captivating mystery that had me wondering all the way to the end – whodunit….. and yes I was totally surprised when I found out who the culprit was!

“Lenses, Lust and Murder” was a well written novel with easy-to-like characters.

The main character, Allie does a phenomenal job working hard to crack the case of the murder at Cape Lookout Lighthouse.

Allies’s brother Ryan was one of my favorite characters. They had a very special relationship that was a key factor in solving the murder.

I have read all of A.M. Ialacci’s books and have enjoyed them all. These are definitely action-packed, unexpected and will keep you turning the pages.

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

4.5 Stars.