Book Reviews

Killman Creek (Rachel Caine)

Author: Rachel Caine
Goodreads Rating: ★★★★★ (4.32)
Pages: 348
Published: December 12, 2017 | Thomas & Mercer

Goodreads Synopsis:

Every time Gwen closed her eyes, she saw him in her nightmares. Now her eyes are open, and he’s not going away. Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war is not over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text… You’re not safe anywhere now. Her refuge at Stillhouse Lake has become a trap. Gwen leaves her children in the protective custody of a fortified, well-armed neighbor. Now, with the help of Sam Cade, brother of one of Melvin’s victims, Gwen is going hunting.

She’s learned how from one of the sickest killers alive. But what she’s up against is beyond anything she feared – a sophisticated and savage mind game calculated to destroy her. As trust beyond her small circle of friends begins to vanish, Gwen only has fury and vengeance to believe in as she closes in on her prey. And sure as the night, one of them will die.

My Thoughts (5 Stars)

This second installment to Stillhouse Lake blew me away. If you have not read the first novel, you need to and you need to read them in order. You will be lost on background knowledge if you don’t start with Stillhouse Lake.

From the first page to the last page, I was completely engaged, I was on the edge of my seat and I did not know what was going to happen. This was a thrill ride! I loved the first novel, but I loved this one even more.

The book opens up with a little background story (not enough to fill you in though) of where the last book ended off. Gwen Proctor previously know as Gina Royal in her past life will stop at nothing when hunting down her ex-husband. During this adventure, Sam Cade stays by her side even though he has all the reason in the world to turn against her and kill her himself. Her ex-husband has brutally murdered his sister and how is he to know if Gwen actually helped. The evidence that shows up in this novel doesn’t make it look good for her in his eyes, or her children’s.

Not only does Gwen face the sicko patrol, Absalom, and her ex-husband she has to face the small circle of friends she does has and the reasons they turned against her when she needed them the most.

Gwen is at a fight for her life to protect her children and it was the most suspenseful read I have read. I could not read this book fast enough for how busy my personal life is. If I had no other engagements, I could have easily read this book in a sitting or two.

Looking at characters, I have to share my love for Sam Cade. Not only is a huge character in the book but he is a strong character. I want to have my own Sam Cade when fighting issues. He is brave, supportive, strong, gentle and flies by the seat of his pants. My favorite kind of character.

This novel was full of twists and turns. Reading it, I could picture this movie as a motion picture and I’m really crossing my fingers in hope that might happen one day. This is a great two book story and would make a great movie!

The Stillhouse Lake Series is a series I will love for all time and will read again when necessary. Highly recommended!


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Book Reviews

The Silent Children (Carol Wyer) @carolewyer @bookouture @NetGalley

Author: Carol Wyer
Goodreads Rating: 
★★★★★ (4.37)
Pages:
360
Published:
December 7th, 2017 | Bookouture

Goodreads Synopsis:

The boy studied the bruise turning yellow at the base of this neck. With quick fingers his mother tightened his tie, and pulled his collar high above it. Her eyes along said, We will not speak of this… Years later, a man is found shot dead in a local park. On his phone is a draft text: I can’t keep this secret any longer. The recipient in unnamed. Detective Robyn Carter knows this secret is the key to the case, but his friends and family don’t offer any clues, and all her team have to go on is a size-ten footprint.

Then a woman is found in a pool of blood at the bottom of her staircase, and a seemingly insignificant detail in her stepdaughter’s statement makes Robyn wonder: are the two bodies connected, and has the killer only just begun? When another body confirms Robyn’s worst fears, she realizes she’s in a race against time to stop the killer before they strike again. But just as she thinks she’s closing in, one of her own team goes missing. Buried in the past is a terrible injustice. Can Robyn uncover the truth before another life is lost?

My Thoughts (5 Stars)

Carol, you have done it again! You have to stop leaving me on this cliff hanger…!

Readers/bloggers, if you have yet to pick up the DI Robyn Carter series I suggest you do TODAY! You are missing out on some amazing stories and an amazing writer. Carol Wyer in the past year has not only become a friend to me over social media but one of my most favorite authors to read.

Her writing is full of suspense, crime, passion, and cliff hangers. It’s everything I want and need in a story. Robyn Carter is hands down my hero. Which I’ve said before but I’ll keep saying it from here on out. Her character is determined to not only catch the bad guys but to make a difference in the community and it other people’s lives that she is a part of.

While Robyn has been fighting crime and solving murders she has a case of her own that hits a little too close to home in this novel. I have been waiting since book one for this “event” to happen and after reading book four I don’t what outcome I’d rather read.

Looking inside the story and the relationships that are forming make me so excited to get my hands on the next book to see how much further those relationships are going to go. My favorite one right now (and it’s not a total giveaway) is Shearer & Carter. It is so incredibly adorable how they both shy at the fact that there are feelings there.

Other than DI Carter my next favorite character who almost comes as close as the first is Robyn’s  cousin Ross. He is such a loveable man and willing to go above and beyond his job for Robyn. I would not mind if he ended up getting his own series either (hint, hint).

These books come highly recommended and if you have read them tell me what you think below in the comments. I love to hear what other readers and bloggers have to say about books that I am incredibly in love with!


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Book Reviews

The Christmas Gate (T.A. Cline) @Old_Farmer

Author: T.A. Cline
Goodreads Rating: 
★★★★☆ (4.22)
Pages:
100
Published:
December 6th, 2016 | Tate Publishing

Goodreads Synopsis:

Robert Robinson, a renown author from New York City, is traveling unwillingly through a snow storm on his way to a small farm in upstate New York owned by his editor. Robert’s fame from the success of his books has changed him. His indulgence in big-city parties and being in the spotlight has allowed his arrogance to swell and for him to lose focus of his obligations. Now, being excessively late on the third book of a three book contract, he is given an ultimatum.

Robert is oblivious to Christmas and all that goes along with it. His parents loved Christmas, but he hadn’t spoken  with them in over eight years. Over the years, he has slowly disconnected from everything that reminded him of them. Christmas just became a day for a bigger party. While at the old farm house, Robert discovers something that has been hidden there for possibly generations. What secrets lay just beyond an old screeching gate? Will the miracle of Christmas find its way to Robert?

My Thoughts (4 Stars)

This was an incredibly heart warming Christmas read. I am so glad I picked this book up to read for this specific season. This book is a novella and is part 1 of 2 that leaves you with a “to be continued…” The Christmas Gate 2 is the second book to this novella and I cannot wait to pick that up and hopefully finish it before the beginning of the New Year.

This novella could easily be turned into a Hallmark movie on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel. This is a traditional Christmas story that touches on forgiveness, family hardships, greed and spiritual beliefs. This is more of a Christian based novella but is not over the top to make you feel uncomfortable if you don’t follow the belief. It’s a story that highlights the different stages of love and grief along with showing us that life is too short to not love and live life to the fullest. I love how it kind of goes along the lines of the story A Christmas Carol.

I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it if you are looking for a cute holiday read or simply if you’re looking to meet your Goodreads goal before 2018!


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Book Reviews

Stillhouse Lake (Rachel Caine) @rachelcaine

Author: Rachel Caine
Goodreads Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.11)
Pages: 302
Published: July 1st, 2017 | Thomas & Mercer

Goodreads Synopsis:

Gina Royal is the definition of average –  a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor – the ultimate warrior mom. With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace. But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake – and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed – or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One this is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

My Review (5 Stars)

Looking at my pile of books that I have on book shelves gave me no intentions to go out and buy another book to read. I keep telling myself that I am not going to buy anymore books so I can read more from the books I already have. Well I was in a group chat with 3 other lovely ladies and they convinced me that I would not regret buying this book.

Upon buying the book I made this into a buddy read with a friend of mine, Kathleen over at betweentleaves and this book definitely lived up to all the hype I have heard. You always wonder and second guess the reviews of others. Sometimes books live up to those reviews and other times they don’t.

This novel was not only spot on to the amazing reviews but I was engrossed from beginning to end!

This is a riveting story about a family who is ripped at the seams due to their loving father being a serial killer. I loved this idea for a premise. For one, you didn’t see it coming. For two, you didn’t expect the opening to start with a bang and for three it just goes to show even though you think you may know a person, everyone has secrets.

This book had only a few things that I would have changed. Page lengths is the first one. I am such a stickler for long chapters. Don’t get me wrong, each chapter was equally filled with gripping scenarios and situations, I am just not a fan of long chapters. One only huge detail I would have changed (I will not ruin) is the ending. I realized a few chapters before the end what exactly was going to happen once the killer was caught. It was a little predictable but I still loved this book as whole regardless. I will be ranking this book as top 5!

This was a book that isn’t like all other thriller novels, it’s a book that builds on someone’s anxiety, it builds on a persons fears and it builds on a family’s will to survive. I am very thankful to my bestie Megan over at Coffee By the Novel for getting me the second installment: Killman Creek. I already know my 2018 is going to start of with a BANG!

This book is HIGHLY recommended. Enjoy!


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Book Reviews

Penpal (Dathan Auerbach)

Author: Dathan Auerbach
Goodreads Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.88)
Pages: 243
Published: June 2012 | 1000 Vultures

Goodreads Synopsis:

How much do you remember about your childhood? In Penpal, a man investigates the seemingly unrelated bizarre, tragic and horrific occurrences of his childhood in an attempt to finally understand them. Beginning with only fragments of his earliest years, you’ll follow the narrator as he discovers that these strange and horrible events are actually part of a single terrifying story that has shaped the entirety of his life and the lives of those around him. If you’ve ever stayed in the woods just a little too long after dark, if you’ve ever had the feeling that someone or something was trying to hurt you, if you remember the first friend you ever made and how strong that bond was, then Penpal is a story that you won’t soon forget, despite how you might try.

My Thoughts (5 Stars)

I have never been so afraid to live in the middle of the woods … until now. 

This is a book that a friend of mine; Brittany over at @brittreads recommended to me. It’s a book I was looking for during the Halloween season that I never really got around to reading. Finally I ended up picking it up and now I wish I hadn’t.

This book is realistically terrifying. Not only did it have me on the edge of my seat, I was afraid to read it alone. IN MY OWN HOUSE. This book gives stalking and child predator a whole new meaning.

When I first picked up the novel, I could not figure out if this author himself went through this or if this was strictly a made up story. Part of me is still on the fence but I was reassured this was truly fiction. Fiction or not though, I have never been so incredibly pissed off in a book nor have I ever felt so sick to my stomach.

Penpal looks into a young boys life and consistently stays around his kindergarten age while the story is being told. Only the last two chapters are told during his high school/adult life. During these times the narrator talks about the friendship he made with a specific child and how they were so adventurous. You watch them as children play imaginary games, explore imaginary places but what you don’t expect to find is them being stalked by someone you never get to understand completely.

The ending to this story is very hard to swallow. I expected the ending but not in a way that it was laid out. The synopsis was not kidding when it says “Penpal is a story that you won’t soon forget, despite how you might try,” because I would love to forget what I read.

This was the most terrifying, horrific, scary and effed up story I have read in my lifetime. All 27 years of it at least, and I recommend it to everyone who is brave enough to enter his life.

How far can you go into the woods? 


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Book Reviews

The Couple Next Door (Shari Lapena) @sharilapena

Author: Shari Lapena
Goodreads Rating: 
★★★★☆ (3.74)
Pages:
308 
Published:
August 23, 2016 | Pamela Dorman Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall. Your neighbor told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying. Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour. Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone. You’ve never had to call the police before. But not they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there. What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

My Review (4 Stars)

I wholeheartedly enjoyed this novel. This book had me on the edge of my seat and I could not read it fast enough. As in my last review most of you learned I went through a tough couple weeks when it came to reading books and doing bookish things. I’m so glad I finally read through this entire novel. It was very fast paced, has a lot of twists and turns and has the craziest ending!!

This was the first of Shari Lapena’s work that I have read and I can easily say that I enjoy her writing style. I love the way she led all of the clues in one direction at the beginning of the book. I indefinitely thought I had it all figured out when it came to the culprit and she threw in this tiny curveball that sent me back to square one trying to figure it all out again.

The character relationships and the characters backstories was something that didn’t please me the most. This book did not allow you to form a relationship with the characters, it didn’t give you time to decide if you liked a character or not. This book came down to figuring out the truth and getting justice for baby Cora. I did however, love Anne’s backstory. She was an emotional wreck and gave the reader quite the thrill ride!

At about half way through the novel, I figured out what was going on inside the story. From then on, it was a race to finish the book to get the answers to why this person did what they did. Why go to such an extreme of kidnapping a child?!

This was also a book that gave me a hard time deciding what to rate. I teetered on the fence for a 3 1/2 star and a 4 star. The reason I chose 4 stars is because I was significantly entertained through most of the book. I never thought that it was dragging or lagging very much to disinterest me. Would I recommend this novel, absolutely. It’s every parent’s nightmare.


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Book Reviews

The Missing Girls (Carol Wyer) @Bookouture @carolewyer

Author: Carol E. Wyer
Goodreads Rating:
★★★★★ (4.43)
Pages:
392
P
ublished: September 14th, 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:

One girl found dead. Another girl gone… Long shadows danced on the tin walls. Inside the trunk lay Carrie Miller, wrapped in plastic, arms folded across her ribcage, lips sealed tight forever. When a girl’s body is found at a Midlands storage unit, it is too decomposed for DI Robyn Carter to read the signs left by the killer. No one knows the woman in blue who rented the unit’ her hire van can’t be traced. But as the leads run dry another body is uncovered.

This time the killer’s distinctive mark is plain to see, and matching scratches on the first victim’s skeleton make Robyn suspect she’s searching for a serial killer. As Robyn closes in on the killer’s shocking hunting ground, another girl goes missing, and this time it’s someone close to her own heart. Roby can’t lose another loved one. Can she find the sickest individual she has ever faced, before it’s too late?

My Review: (5 Stars)

This novel blew me away! I was hooked on page one! This is my favorite DI Carter book in the series so far!!! 

The Missing Girls was read as a buddy read with my bestie Megan over at Coffee By the Novel. This book was a novel that was completely devoured and very hard to put down. The DI Robyn Carter series has been one of my favorite series. It has currently surpassed the Helen Grace series written by M.J. Arlidge in my eyes.

I love everything about Robyn Carter. I love her work ethic, I love her thought process, her instincts, her devotion to not only her job but to her colleagues, and most of all I love DI Carter for the way she still loves her husband after his passing.

When decided to read this book, both Megan and I had already been huge fans. This book could not have added more suspense to our lives along with more love we could give Wyer.

The Missing Girls had me hooked from page one. I had life happen in the middle of this book and could not read it as fast as I would have liked but the times I was reading, I was completely captivated by Wyer’s writing. The story line, writing style and character development were on point in this novel.

There are just the right amount of twists and turns. Especially when you’re not ready for them. I can say that the culprit I had in mind was definitely not who it turned out to be. Even with this books’ incredibly dark side, it had a very light emotional side as well. With Robyn giving more light into her married life, her relationship with Amelie and her new found work relationship with Shearer, it contains the perfect amount of “awe” moments for this twisted psychological thriller.

This book deserves a 5 star rating and a lot of praise! If someone asked me for a recommendation, the series would be a definite first thought while recognizing this book as my favorite! December cannot come fast enough to get my hands on The Silent Children.

Make sure you stop by Megan’s blog to read her review of The Missing Girls (DI Robyn Carter, #3)!

Thank you to Carol Wyer, Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book for an honest review!


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