Book Reviews

The Woman in the Window (A.J. Finn)

Author: A.J. Finn
Goodreads Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.97)
Pages: 427
Published: January 2nd, 2018 | William Morrow

Goodreads Synopsis:

Anna Fox lives along – a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times… and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russell’s move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, and their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble – and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control?

My Review (5 Stars!)

I read The Woman in the Window as a buddy read with my book bestie Megan over at Coffee By The Novel. I have to take a minute to say how much I enjoy buddy reads. I love being able to share my thoughts with someone while I’m reading along.

This book took us awhile to get through. Not because it was a bad book … it was a phenomenal book. Life just got in the way for us. As all of you know… life can become pretty crazy at times with work, school, families, and outside world extremes. But we finished and this was a fantastic read. I’m sad it took me so long!

I was a little nervous starting this book only because I did not want this to turn out like The Girl on the Train. This is far from what the book is like. It starts off with a woman who has agoraphobia. An extreme or irrational fear of crowded spaces or enclosed public places. In her case, she was terrified to be in the outside world. When she did make it outside of her house, she would have panic attacks that would confine her back into her home.

This novel was definitely gut wrenching. There was a chapter I had to skim through due to not being physically able to read it. It was extremely heartbreaking the loss that Anna endures.

This book also brought a lot of WTF moments. I was completely blindsided by parts of the book that I did not see coming. This book is full of suspense, it has heart pounding moments and it’s a ride that I won’t forget. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time.


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Book Reviews

Girls Night Out (Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke) @LizandLisa

Author: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
Goodreads Rating: 
★★★★☆ (3.64)
Pages:
323
Published:
July 24th, 2018 | Lake Union Publishing

Goodreads Synopsis:

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together. Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse – could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies? As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing – or too afraid – to admit.

My Review (5 Stars!)

Before picking up this book to read, I received it back in May. There were many times I wanted to pick this up but other books and life got in the way of doing that. I am extremely sad that I did not choose to read this book the second it arrived in the mail!

This book was refreshing. It wasn’t too murderous, it wasn’t too creepy and it wasn’t a slow read. This book kept me on my toes guessing what could have happened to Ashley and guessing on where she might be. Lisa and Liz not only brought suspense to this novel but they also brought the drama. The characters had their own unique personalities and quirks that made them all a little relatable.

I loved everything about this book. A fast paced read that made putting it down to go to work very hard. I was really hoping for a different ending. Be prepared readers, the last chapter will tug at your heartstrings.

Thank you again to Lisa and Liz for my free signed copy for an honest review. I am looking forward to your next novel!


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Book Reviews

The Birthday (DI Natalie Ward #1) @carolewyer @Bookouture @netgalley

Author: Carol Wyer
Goodreads Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.31)
Pages:
302
Published:
September 27th 2018 |Bookouture

Goodreads Synopsis:

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party… Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that ended very badly. Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie… Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

My Thoughts (4 Stars!)

Before I get started, I read this novel as a buddy with my bestie Megan over at Coffee By the Novel and what better way to start a new series off than with your bestie!?

As everyone knows Carol Wyer is hands down one of my favorite authors to date. The Birthday is a new book she has released that does not coincide with the DI Robyn series. I will be totally honest, I was a little skeptical just because I LOVE Robyn so much. I can relate so well with her and love her drive as a detective. But sadly, I did not feel this way towards Natalie Ward.

Natalie was very hard to get along with for me. I struggled with trying to sympathize and relate with her. When it came to her marriage, she was pretty absent and committed a horrible crime. She was also very absent with her children and that is something that bothers me not only in a book but also in real life. I don’t know if it’s just my morals coming out or the teacher in me.

Now.. with that being said, this new novel had everything I love to read in a thriller. It was fast paced, suspenseful, it was stressful, it was heartbreaking but most of all it was disturbing. And by disturbing, I’m referring to the person who was the suspect. Like, wow! I did not see that coming and was very sad when it came true.

I am very excited that this is going to be a series and read the next book. I would really love to get to know Natalie more and I feel that I can come to like her better than I do at the moment. I think she has a very good side to her and I hope the books can show me that. If you enjoyed Wyer’s other DI series, I highly suggest you pick up this novel too. Wyer is just getting started!

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Carol Wyer for an advanced copy for an honest review.


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Book Reviews

Bring Me Back (B.A. Paris) @BAParisAuthor

Author: B.A. Paris
Goodreads Rating: 
★★★★☆(3.60)
Pages:
223
Published:
St Martin’s Press | June 19th, 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:

Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone – never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story. Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood.

His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him… even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her. Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla – hiding in plain sight.

My Thoughts (4 Stars)

This book was a fantastic book to get me back on track for reading. It was a very quick read that engrossed me from the beginning. My love for B.A. Paris is strong. While I know many fellow book readers were not too big of a fan to this novel, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The novel goes between two different points of views. Finn’s and Layla’s.

The books starts out by giving us the background of Finn and Layla’s relationship and how it all began. The chapters juggle Finn’s point of view on Before and Now. After Layla goes missing and fast-forwarding 12 years Finn is not only dating her sister, Ellen, but is engaged to be married. When the announcement is made weird things start happening. Long lost items start showing up around Finn and Ellen’s home. E-mails from a stranger who seem to know too much come everyday and there are too many warning signs that Finn cannot see due to being emotionally attached to Ellen.

Towards the middle of the novel is where Layla’s point of view comes into character. She tells her side of the story and how she will fight to the death with her sister to win Finn back. There is a side to Ellen that Layla does not like. When they were younger Ellen would have done anything to protect Layla from the outrageous father but now Ellen is  far more controlling. She doesn’t let Layla speak for herself like she did when they were younger.

As the novel comes to a close there is a side to Ellen that I seen coming. I just didn’t know how it would end. For both her and Layla.

This book was full of twists and full of surprises that I was intrigued to read about. I would suggest this read if you enjoy quick easy reads. These characters were easy to like and Paris’ writing was amazing as usual. Unfortunately though, I enjoyed her other two novels Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown much more!


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Book Reviews

The Chosen Ones (Carol Wyer) @NetGalley @Bookouture @carolewyer

Author: Carol Wyer
Goodreads Rating: ★★★★ (4.44)
Pages: 374
Published: May 24, 2018 | Bookouture

Goodreads Synopsis:

They had not been forgiven. And they would never be forgotten… When a doting young father is murdered and his body discovered in a cornfield for his family to see, it’s a harrowing new case for Detective Robyn Carter. But just as Robyn starts to investigate, a popular local doctor and young mother, is found dead outside her surgery. As Robyn tries to find the link between the victims, she uncovers a dark web of secrets. Were these much-loved members of the community as innocent as they seemed?

The killer has a message for Robyn and the carefully chosen victims. Can Robyn get to the truth before she becomes the next target?

My Thoughts (5 STARS!)

Just when I think Wyer can’t top herself, she proves me wrong again! This novel is drop dead exciting and that ending was SHOCKING!

I think I say this every time I write a blog for Carol, but if you have yet to pick up the DI Robyn Carter series, I suggest you do it today! Her writing is full of suspense, crime, passion and cliff hangers. It’s everything I want and need in a story. I read this novel as a buddy read with my bestie Megan over at Coffee By the Novel. This read took us a little while to get through due to our own personal issues NOT due to the book itself.

I was waiting for this novel to give me ALL the answers from thee extremely huge cliff hanger I was left with in The Silent Children and I am still not any closer to knowing the big “event” than I did in the last book. I need to know what happened to Davies!!!

The Chosen Ones was perfectly written to keep readers on their toes by second guessing characters, feeling heartbroken for characters and for almost making them want to cry (or maybe that was just me!). Wyer is the master when it comes to creating characters. Inside the pages of this novel, she creates her villain so readers can identify their pain. I related to this villain and felt extremely sorry for this person until the end that is. I love that she made this character a real human being rather than some psycho killer who had past issues.

From the beginning, when I picked up Little Lost Girl, Wyer had sunk her claws into me and I’m so glad that this series is not finished yet because I’m not ready for her or DI Carter to let me go just yet.!

Don’t forget to look for her new novel coming soon: The Birthday releasing September 27, 2018.


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Book Reviews

Close To Me (Amanda Reynolds) @NetGalley

Author: Amanda Reynolds
Goodreads Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.69)
Pages: 384
Published: July 27, 2017 | Wildfire

Goodreads Synopsis

She can’t remember the last year. Her husband wants to keep it that way. When Jo Harding falls down the stairs at home, she wakes up in hospital with partial amnesia-she’s lost a whole year of memories. A lot can happen in a year. Was Jo having an affair? Lying to her family? Starting a new life? She can’t remember what she did – or what happened the night she fell. But she’s beginning to realize she might not be as good a wife and mother as she thought.

My Thoughts (3 Stars)

I struggled a lot with this novel. It started out very slow for my liking and held true for 3/4 of the book. As a reader, I am not one to quit a book and I have to say I was interested to find out what exactly happened to Jo and her family. The book picked up speed within the last 100-150 pages. I’m usually not one to dislike characters very much either. In each and every book I read or have read, I’ve always attached to a character or two. In this novel I unfortunately did not have that take on any character within these pages. I could not find the sympathy for any of the Harding family. All of the lies and betrayal each member hid from Jo and vise versa I was almost hoping myself her memory stayed gone so everyone could just move on.

Knowing that this is Reynolds debut novel, it is a very good start. I cannot wait to see what she has coming next. I will definitely be picking it up to read. Unfortunately this book was just not a favorite. If any of you bloggers/readers enjoy a more slow read, I thoroughly think you will enjoy it.

Thank you to NetGalley, Quercus and Amanda Reynolds for a free copy to read for an honest review.


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Book Reviews

Force of Nature (Jane Harper) @NetGalley @Flatironbooks @janeharperautho

Author: Jane Harper
Goodreads Rating: 
★★★★☆ (3.95)
Pages:
326
Published: February 6th, 2018 | Flatiron Books

Goodreads Rating:

Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?

When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path. But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But did that lead to murder?

My Thoughts: (5 Stars!)

I wish I could be a character within Jane Harper’s stories because I am so in love with Aaron Falk. *Insert: Eye Heart Emoji*

Force of Nature was a read as a buddy ready with my girl Megan over at Coffee By the Novel. We also read The Dry together when it first came out. You can check out our reviews here: Megan’s Review  My Review.

Looking back at reading The Dry, we loved it. Everything about it had us completely captured. I felt the same way with Force of Nature. Looking at the two novels, they do go together in developing Falk’s character but could be read as stand alones. I do not suggest this however. I love getting to know a characters full background before jumping ahead.

The ending was perfectly twisted in it’s own way separated from the rest of the book. Reading this novel beginning to end, I was totally engrossed with Harper’s writing. But that ending!? Woah! I did not expect that in any way. Nor did I expect who the culprit was. I thought for sure I had everyone pegged for who they truly were but I was incredibly wrong!

For me, novels that are written this way are my absolute favorite. I don’t mind the predictable stories but I have way more fun and are more in tune with the novel instead!

If you have not picked up either of these books, do so now. These two are high on my recommendation list!

For those of you who have read this, how excited were you about the duo at the end? I was ecstatic! And more importantly hope they both rollover into the next book!


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