Blog Tour, Book Reviews

Release tour, excerpt, & review: Just a Little More (425 Madison #10), by Allie York

 
Release Tour for JUST A LITTLE MORE

by Allie York

Powered by Forever Write PR
 
 
Piper finally has her life together and Derek thinks everything is perfect. It seems like they may
be in for just a little more when their world is turned upside down. Readers will devour this
accidental pregnancy romance. The beloved 425 Madison series is back with season two,
JUST A LITTLE MORE by Allie York is now live! 

 

Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited 

 

 

Goodreads ➝ http://bit.ly/JALMGR
Piper
Dream career – check.
Amazing luxury apartment – check.
Stable relationship (with the sexiest man ever) – check.
I finally have my life together. Or I did until the universe decided to throw one heck of a curveball. 
Nothing could prepare me for the rollercoaster I’ve boarded.

 

Derek
Move from Alabama to NYC – check.
Job at the hottest restaurant in the city – check. 
Stable relationship (with the sexiest woman ever) – check.
Five years after my last heartbreak and I’m finally living my best life. 
Everything is perfect, until the surprise of a lifetime. 

 

My future and my past collide, turning my world upside down -when I’m finally starting to get things right. 

 

Piper and Derek are in for just a little more – after all, 425 Madison is the perfect place to fall in love!

**My Review**

Welcome to my stop on the release tour for the first book in season 2 of the 425 Madison series, Just a Little More! This sweet romance is about Piper and Derek and a huge surprise. They’ve been happily dating for a few months and have even decided to be exclusive. Their careers are going wonderfully, their relationship is easy, and then suddenly, a few things happen. First, Derek’s horrible ex re-surfaces and won’t take no for an answer. Secondly, Piper and Derek learn all about birth control not being 100% effective. Lastly, Piper accidentally finds herself with a new roommate, Sara, who was introduced in earlier 425 Madison novels. 

I was first introduced to Allie York in the first season of the 425 Madison series and loved her novel, Just Swipe Right. This is also where Derek and Piper were first introduced. Just a Little More had the same light-hearted, happy romantic feelings as Just Swipe Right, but I can’t say I loved it as much. The fun and flirty banter were there, the interesting and engaging characters were there, but something was missing. Unfortunately, I can’t exactly put my finger on what it was. Maybe because with the exception of one mistake (omission) on Derek’s part, things were almost too easy. Granted, an unexpected pregnancy is never simple, especially for paralegal and law student Piper, but there just wasn’t a lot of conflict. 

Also, there were several times in this novel where I found Sara to be much more intriguing than either Piper or Derek. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Derek, but Sara (even with all of her quirks and faults) stole the show in this one!

Just a Little More is a quick, fun read about two people dealing with a major surprise in their lives. It’s romantic, funny, and as always – contains all of the interesting 425 Madison characters that I have grown to love. This can be read as a standalone but I think it will be enjoyed much more if you have at least read Just Swipe Right!

*Thanks to Forever Write PR and Bookfunnel for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

Don’t Miss Just Swipe Right by Allie York from the first season of 425 Madison Ave.

 

“This is a super cute, fun book. Light-hearted, sweet rom-com that will have you just waiting for these two
to call it official.” —Let’s Read Romance on Just Swipe Right.

 

 

Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited 

 

Excerpt
Copyright @ 2020 Allie York 

 

“It’s going to be okay,” he finally speaks just as we step out into the crisp morning air.
“If you say so.” I realize how terrible I sound and sigh. “I’m sure it’s nothing, so it’ll all be okay.”
“Even if it’s not nothing.” Derek stops us in the middle of the sidewalk and makes me look at him. I nod and he kisses my forehead before we start walking again, still hand in hand. A quiet solidarity for what’s about to unfold. I feel like, at this point, we both know how this is turning out, but I hope like hell that I’m wrong. My brain fills with fog and I walk along with him in a daze. I decide that all the what ifs don’t matter until things are for sure, so I push it all out of my mind. I might be pregnant, and it is definitely Derek’s. I can handle anything no matter what comes my way. I was raised with that thinking, as was Eliza. No matter what life throws at us, we can handle it. If it’s possible to ramble in your inner monologue, I do it, for the entire block to the drug store. Inside I purchase a set of two tests to be safe and the woman gives us a smile that is either pitying or happy, I can’t tell. Derek keeps his hand in mine until we are standing back in front of my apartment door. When he lets me go, I feel a little hollow. I grasp the drug store bag in both hands. 
“Do you want me to go with you?” He doesn’t meet my eyes. 
“To pee?” I ask, cracking a smile. Maybe it’s not a good time to laugh, but I do. 
“I mean inside. I’m not going with you to pee.” Derek finally smiles too.
“Actually, I think I need a minute alone,” I admit. 
“I’ll wait in the living room,” he agrees.
“Okay.” 
“Okay.” He wraps his arms around me, crushing me to his chest, and kisses the top of my head. “You do what you need to do and yell when you need me.” Derek nods matter-of-factly and kisses me. “I… you know how much I care about you, right?” 
“Me too.” I know our conversation makes no sense, but it’s what we have right now.    

 

JALM teaser

About the author 

 

Allie is a mom and dog groomer by day. At night she is posted at her laptop writing or reading in a cozy
corner. She has a soft spot for gooey romance, over-creamed coffee, and anything cute and furry. 


 

About the 425 Madison Series



Welcome to 425 Madison Ave the perfect place to fall in love. Nine delicious romances set in fast-paced
& sexy NYC just waiting for you to read.
This season will feature some new authors as well as some of season one’s favs. Back for season two is
Allie York, Leigh Lennon, MK Moore, Aubree Valentine, Lauren Helms, and Katy Ames. Plus a warm welcome to KC Enders, Jennifer Rebecca, and Marcie Shumway! 
Not only do we have a sexy mix of new and returning authors, prepare for pages packed with new
romances, characters, and tropes all from the same well-loved high-rise apartment building in NYC. 
Make sure to follow the 425 Madison Avenue Facebook page for more on release dates, cover reveals
and author spotlights. For exclusive excerpts, giveaways, and news subscribe to our 425 Madison newsletter!

 

 

 


Check out the Season One and get caught up today! You can read all nine books for FREE with

 

This series and all promotional events are brought to you by Forever Write PR – Forever your source for

 

 

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Dilemma, by B.A. Paris

The Dilemma,

by B.A. Paris

Publication: St. Martin’s Press; June 30, 2020

the dilemma

About the book: It’s Livia’s 40th birthday and she’s having the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding she never had. Everyone she loves will be there except her daughter Marnie, who’s studying abroad. But although Livia loves Marnie, she’s secretly glad she won’t be at the party. She needs to tell Adam something about their daughter but she’s waiting until the party is over so they can have this last happy time together.

Adam wants everything to be perfect for Livia so he’s secretly arranged for Marnie to come home and surprise her on her birthday. During the day, he hears some terrible news. He needs to tell Livia, because how can the party go on? But she’s so happy, so excited – and the guests are about to arrive.

The Dilemma – how far would you go to give someone you love a last few hours of happiness?

One day that will change a family forever.

**My Review**

I saw a review for this book on Meggy’s blog, Chocolate’n’Waffles, last week and knew I needed to bump this up on my TBR. I absolutely devoured this novel, ignoring all other responsibilities in life until I finished it. But it was funny because after finishing, I went back to Meggy’s review and noticed that although we both loved the book, it seemed to be for completely different reasons – which I always find exciting when a book touches readers in different ways!

As the blurb states, it’s Livia’s 40th birthday and she has been planning this elaborate birthday bash for twenty years. Yes, unfortunately, I said that this woman has been planning her birthday party for twenty years… Honestly, as soon as I learned that information, I almost stopped reading because I didn’t want to waste time reading about someone so narcissistic. Nevertheless, I pushed on – and I’m glad. 

Anyway, I quickly learned that Livia is hiding something from her husband, Adam, but doesn’t want to tell him until after her party, for fear of ruining the last chance for all of their family and friends happily gathering together. My mind went a million different places, but once I realized it was in regards to their daughter Marnie, my mind went a million more different places. Guess what? I was completely wrong. Off the mark, nowhere close to what the real situation was. And I liked it. 

Adam also has a secret, although initially, it’s nowhere near as serious as Livia’s. This is where I noticed a disconnect between myself and other reviewers. I was completely team-Adam from the beginning to the end of this novel. His secret was fun and exciting. Livia’s… Not so much. 

Without hinting anymore about the meat of the novel, let’s talk about B.A.Paris’ outstanding characterization and amazing portrait of a normal, yet dysfunctional family. Rarely does a reader get the pleasure to meet such raw and honest characters. However, in The Dilemma, prepare to feel every bit of tension, joy, pressure, happiness, and sadness. Even better is the front and center theme in regards to lies. Lies are lies, regardless of intent. I struggled with this part a little bit, but a takeaway from reading this novel is – do not lie, even if you are planning a wonderful surprise for someone, do not lie. You want to surprise your family with a new car or a new puppy? Great! But don’t lie in the process. Want to get your loved one a secret gift or just do something nice for them? Wonderful, but don’t lie about it! 

I saw a segment on The Today Show the other day and only caught a tiny bit of it but it was discussing lies in marriages. Even little tiny lies like “I’m five minutes away, almost there” when the person is actually still packing up at work can destroy a relationship. Then they went on to say that you should disclose any lies withing 12-24 hours of telling them. So is it o.k. to lie if there is good reason, such as wanting your partner to be happy? Is it o.k. to lie if you are planning a fantastic, amazing, fabulous surprise that you know will make your partner happy? You know, a few days ago I would have answered, “sure!” After reading The Dilemma, however, I may have changed my mind just a little. 

The Dilemma is as relatable as it is shocking. Any of you out there reading this review could be any of the characters in this novel. Kudos to B.A. Paris for creating something so addictive and juicy, yet completely relatable and something I could honestly imagine happening to anyone. I’m only about 5 books in for 2020, but this is absolutely the best so far. Highly recommended!

*Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Book Blitz, Giveaway

Book Blitz & Giveaway: What Are Friends For?

What Are Friends For?
Sarah Sutton
Publication date: January 14th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

FALLING IN LOVE ISN’T COMPLICATED…UNLESS IT’S WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND.

A close, easygoing friendship can all change with just one kiss. Seventeen-year-old Remi Beaufort learns this the hard way when she plays a blindfolded kissing game at a party.

She thinks she’s kissing Jeremy, the totally hot basketball player she’s been crushing on. And the kiss…it’s amazing. Heart-stopping, world-changing, toe-curling. The kiss makes her forget about her overbearing mother, the next-door neighbor’s drama, and the probability that she’ll fail her senior year. The best kiss of her life makes all that fall away.

Until her blindfold falls off, and she realizes that instead of kissing her crush, she’s kissing Elijah, her best friend since third grade.

Though she manages to convince Elijah that he was kissing his girlfriend, Remi can’t get the thought of his lips on hers out of her head. As things between them grow more and more complicated—because it turns out her fantasizing about his mouth is more of a problem than it sounds—Remi has to make a choice: does she live the rest of her life loving her best friend in secret? Or does she tell the truth and risk ruining their friendship forever?

Heart-melting and romantic, What Are Friends For? is a swoon-worthy best-friends-to-lovers story that will leave you crushing hard.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

There were times between us that felt totally normal—like, almost the entire time we’d been cutting out snowflakes, things had felt normal. I hadn’t been staring at his mouth or imagining his body heat enveloping me into a hug. We joked like normal, laughed like normal. But the quiet moments between us had my heart aching, wanting.

“See you tomorrow,” Elijah said, and I saw from the corner of my eye the shadow of him rising to his feet. He pressed his hand once against the spot between my shoulder blades before walking off, his socks silent on the wooden floors. I counted each of my breaths as I waited for the sound of the door to open.

It took seven slow inhales and exhales and then Elijah was gone, leaving me with a torrent of thoughts and a hurting heart.

 

Author Bio:

Sarah Sutton is a YA Romance author, bringing you stories about teenagers falling in love (sometimes with magic)She spends her days dreaming up ideas with her two adorable puppies by her side being cheerleaders (and mega distractions).

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

  • $25 Amazon gift card
  • ebook copy of What Are Friends For?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Best of Crimes by K. C. Maher

The Best of Crimes,

by K. C. Maher

Publication: RedDoor Publishing: September 1, 2019

best of crimesAbout the book:

Walter, a child prodigy who now works on Wall Street, considers himself a father figure to Amanda, his daughter’s best friend, and only child of a neglectful single mother. But when he loses his job after the 2008 financial crisis and his materialistic wife leaves him, taking their daughter, his relationship with Amanda enters a precarious new stage.

Walter struggles to give her the affection and guidance she needs, without succumbing to her budding sexuality. In the year before she enters high school, these two lonely souls will transform each other as Walter breaks out of his emotional shell, and Amanda blossoms into adolescence. In a world that has always failed to protect its most vulnerable,

The Best of Crimes is a new narrative and an unconventional love story that will challenge your perception of right and wrong.

**My Review**

Whether you want to compare The Best of Crimes to Lolita or Rust and Stardust, what an outstanding novel! This is yet another NetGalley download that has been patiently waiting to be read, and one that I regret not reading sooner. As stated in the blurb, this novel is about Walter, his marriage to Sterling, his daughter Olivia, and her best friend/neighbor, Amanda. Walter and his wife Sterling meet Amanda when she is very young and she becomes friends with their daughter. But as the years pass, things change. Walter, who used to only be into older women, finds himself completely enthralled by and obsessed with his daughter’s best friend. Amanda’s mother is never around and even in elementary school, Amanda is frequently left alone for long periods of time because of her mother’s job(s). When Sterling decides to leave Walter (temporarily, according to her) and take Olivia with her, Walter transitions into a caretaking role with Amanda, while also trying to suppress his true feelings for the young girl.

So, are you creeped out yet? Let me get the critical parts out of the way first. If you hesitate reading this novel for fear of reading about a grown-ass man being sexual with an adolescent girl, then don’t worry. This isn’t the case at all. With that being said, there are still some icky moments that make you want to set the book aside for a minute, take a deep breath, and prepare yourself for what could possibly come next. Does Walter have some issues? Oh yeah… Does Walter alter Amanda’s life and future intimacy with others because of their relationship? Most likely. Are the logistics of this story a bit far-fetched in our day and age? Certainly. The likelihood of a child Amanda’s age being left unsupervised for the periods of time that she was, without social service involvement is little to none. 

Now, for the good parts. I am truly in awe of this author’s writing. I was completely captivated from the first word until the last. She could have been writing about animals being slaughtered, and I think I still would have hung on to every, single word. Every once in a while I come across a debut author with this talent for writing and I am amazed, but it doesn’t happen often. Told from Walter’s POV (until the last chapter), Maher perfectly captures the voice of Walter and brings him to life. Furthermore, her development of the other characters is just as remarkable. 

Ignore the subject matter and read this for her writing! Even descriptions of lunch including cheese, olives, and pomegranate juice mixed with water sound better coming from K.C. Maher. 

Back to her characterization… Amanda is the most likable character in this novel. Prepare to hate Sterling and Cheryl (Amanda’s mother). Prepare to dislike Walter and Sterling’s daughter, Olivia, although most of her unpleasant characteristics are typical of girls that age. But most importantly, prepare to hesitantly like and admire Walter, despite his taboo affections for/towards Amanda. Does it make sense to like Walter? Absolutely not. Did I like him anyway? I couldn’t help it! He knew his thoughts and feelings were inappropriate and all he ever did was try to tell others that he had said feelings and knew they were wrong. What did everyone else do? They laughed it off and commended him for taking care of Amanda when no one else would. 

I’ll try to curb my increasing thoughts on this novel, but I want to leave you with this challenge. If you only read one book this year that is outside of your comfort zone as far as subject matter, then this is the one to read. The Best of Crimes is honest, raw, and uncomfortable – but some of the best-damned writing I’ve come across in a long time. Bravo to the author for taking a chance and bring these characters to life! 

*Thanks to NetGalley and RedDoor Publishing for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Purchase The Best of Crimes on Amazon!

Book Blitz, Book Reviews, Giveaway

Book blitz, review, & giveaway: Glass Half Full (Barflies #2), by Katia Rose

Glass Half Full
Katia Rose
(Barflies, #2)
Publication date: January 8th 2020
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

You win some, you lose some.

Back at home with half a college degree after the fiasco of the century sent her packing, it’s safe to say that Renee Nyobé is losing some. She’s a hot mess, and not the cute kind. No, if hot messes had categories, hers would be ‘littering the stairs of the metro station with your sweaty underwear because you were too busy rushing to the job interview you’re already late for to zip up your yoga bag.’

A job—any job—is just what she needs to get her life back on track, and it might as well be at Montreal’s most famous dive bar, Taverne Toulouse.

Dylan Trottard is winning some. As Taverne Toulouse’s new manager, he’s got one rule for himself: don’t screw up. Following that rule gets a lot harder when the woman he’s spent the past three years trying to forget starts working behind the bar.

They were never supposed to want each other, and they sure as hell aren’t supposed to want each other now. She’s the girl that got away before he even had her, and he’s the guy she didn’t think would ever give her a second glance.

Now they can’t keep their eyes off one another, and the stakes are even higher than before. There’s a lot to lose, but as the pull between them gets harder and harder to ignore, Renee and Dylan start asking how much winning is worth.

Glass Half Full is part of the Barflies series, a set of standalone romantic comedies that chronicle the lives and loves of the staff at a Montreal dive bar.

Goodreads / Amazon

**My Review**

Welcome to my stop on the book blitz tour for Katia Rose’s second in her Barflies series, Glass Half Full. Once again we are back in Montreal at the beloved dive bar, Taverne Toulouse, but this time the focus is on longtime employee and new manager, Dylan Trottard and a blast from his past, Renee Nyobé. After meeting years earlier during poetry slams, Renee and Dylan never expected to bump into one another again. But when Renee starts working as a bartender at the Taverne, each of them realizes that the old attraction and chemistry between them is still there.  

I absolutely loved the first in this series, The Bar Next Door, so I was really excited to read this follow-up novel about Dylan. As in the first novel, Katia Rose absolutely kills it as far as character development! As engaging and entertaining as the novel is, it doesn’t feel like a fictional story about fictional characters. Dylan, Renee, and everyone else in the novel feels like normal, everyday people – which I love.

Not trying to write any spoilers, but the basic premise of the novel is this… Dylan is struggling with his new responsibilities as a manager and worried about letting people down. Renee is sort of starting over after leaving college and coming home. And most importantly, Dylan and Renee are finally confronting feelings they felt years ago that never really went away. There’s enough conflict to keep things interesting, there’s a wonderful amount of romantic tension, and of course, with a Barflies novel – there are plenty of silly and funny moments along the way. Even better is both Dylan and Renee’s poems that are scattered here and there throughout the novel. Beautiful words from such beautifully complex characters!

I’m not sure I loved Glass Half Full as much as I did The Bar Next Door, but it is still a wonderful book that I highly recommend. Katia Rose is proving to be a consistently talented author that I look forward to reading more from in the future!

*Thanks to Xpresso Books for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

EXCERPT:

“I always wondered something,” she continues when it’s clear I can’t speak. “That night, did you…Were you…Did you want to kiss me?”

I wanted to do more than kiss her. I wanted to breathe her in. I wanted to inhale her.

“It would have been a bad idea,” I manage to get out through my clenched jaw. She’s staring up at me through those damn eyelashes, and all I can think about is her mouth, her neck, that inch of her gorgeous bare shoulders I can see before they meet with the edge of her coat.

“I’m glad you didn’t.”

Everything grinds to a halt.

Shit, shit, shit.

“I’m glad you didn’t,” she repeats, “because I wasn’t ready for you to kiss me then, not like I am now.”

 

Author Bio:

Katia Rose is not much of a Pina Colada person, but she does like getting caught in the rain. She prefers her romance served steamy with a side of smart, and is a sucker for quirky characters. A habit of jetting off to distant countries means she’s rarely in one place for very long, but she calls the frigid northland that is Canada home.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

**Giveaway**

Enter for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

Enter here and good luck!

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Plain Janey, by Nicola McDonald

Plain Janey,

by Nicola McDonald

Publication: Troubador Publishing/Matador; November 28, 2019

 

 

About the book:

Jane and Sophie met in 1993 and instantly became close friends; fast forward to 2016 and both women are enjoying successful careers and happy lives. But what happens when your happy ever after is threatened? What happens when the rug is pulled from under your feet, sending your hopes and dreams flying? When the journey you forged and the relationships you nurtured are now forced to take a diversion?

Packed with suspense, Plain Janey is a romance novel with a twist. An intense and passionate look at infidelity, Nicola McDonald has woven a unique tale of friendship, manipulation, grief – and what happens when your life is falling apart.

**My Review**

So, the other day I was browsing available books on NetGalley and came across Plain Janey by Nicola McDonald. Having never heard of this author, I found myself somewhat intrigued by what appeared to be a unique novel. Once I started reading, my thoughts and opinions were all over the place. You know how people are always rubber-necking when they pass a car accident? No one really wants to see any carnage from the accident, yet you just can’t help looking. That’s the best way I can describe my ability to have read this entire novel. 

I’m not saying it was bad, but it was truly bizarre. Jane and Sophie met as young girls and thirteen years later they are still best friends. Jane is happily married to Kamden, a successful life coach, and mom to four-year-old twins, Mercy, and Taylor. Sophie is a police detective and was happily married to Raylen until he suddenly left her for a “younger model” without any explanation. A year and a half later, Sophie still isn’t over her husband leaving her and sets out to prove to herself that it wasn’t her fault, that any married man can be seduced. Oh, and she’s completely batshit crazy.

I’m not a big fan of books with a ton of cheating, but something about this one sounded different to me, thus why I chose to read it and continue reading it until the end. Honestly, although the blurb states “an intense and passionate look at infidelity,” it was Sophie’s slow collapse into insanity that was most disturbing. Well, that, and also Jane’s complete disregard for her wonderful husband and happy little home that she had. 

Unfortunately, I can say little about the plot because of spoilers, but I will say that about 20% into it, everything changes in a hugely unexpected way. I absolutely didn’t see it coming, which is always fun. However, things just continued to get more and more bizarre as the novel progressed, almost to the point of being silly.

There were several times that I almost closed out this novel, not wanting to finish it. But back to my earlier reference about car accidents, I just couldn’t look away. I applaud McDonald’s attention to detail in developing her characters and also the unique plot. However, this was just too weird for me. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Matador for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Book Reviews

Book Review: Date Night, by Samantha Hayes

Date Night,

by Samantha Hayes

Publication: Bookouture (August 20, 2019)

date nightAbout the book:

Returning early from a disastrous date night with my husband, I know something is wrong the moment the wheels crunch the gravel drive of our home. Inside, the TV is on and a half-eaten meal waits on the table. My heart stops when I find our little girl is alone in the house and our babysitter, Sasha, is missing…

Days later, when I’m arrested for Sasha’s murder and torn away from my perfect little family, I’ll wish I had told someone about the threatening note I received that morning.

I’ll hate myself for not finding out who the gift hidden inside my husband’s wardrobe was for.

I’ll scream from the rooftops that I’m innocent – but no one will listen.

I will realise I was completely wrong about everything that happened that night…

But will you believe me?

**My Review**

Oh my God! Don’t you love it when you read a book and the ending just completely blindsides you? This was one of those “what in the hell just happened” books for me but in the best way possible!

As you can read in the blurb, Libby and Sean (married for 6 years with a 4-year-old daughter, Alice) go out on a date night. After Libby finds a disturbing note on her windshield one morning, she starts to question her and Sean’s relationship. He takes her out for a night on the town to smooth things over. The problem? When they get home, their babysitter, Sasha, is gone and their daughter is upstairs sleeping all alone. 

This novel is told from Libby’s POV alternating between before and after her arrest for Sasha’s murder. Trying my best not to include any spoilers, author Samantha Hayes instilled a huge amount of doubt in several characters throughout this one. She had me doubting numerous characters for a great deal of the book. But guess what? I was sort of right, but then I was oh, so wrong. My preferred genres are romance and women’s fiction, but I get onto these kicks where I only want to read suspense/thrillers. This one totally did it for me. This book is wonderfully sinful, but I never, ever, saw the ending coming. Isn’t that what makes the best suspense/thrillers? According to my Kindle app, I was at 97% in my reading when I figured out what was going on. Yay, Samantha Hayes! I was completely hooked, had several theories – but no, never even imagined what was coming.

Libby was the absolute worst unreliable narrator of all time. Nothing added up, especially once she started talking to the police, but yet, I was completely surprised. This was one of my most fun reads this year. There are parts that aren’t pretty and made me feel uneasy, but nevertheless, a wonderful novel. 

*Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Between the Lies, by Michelle Adams

Between the Lies,

by Michelle Adams

Publication: St. Martin’s Griffin; March 5, 2019

between the liesAbout the book:

In the vein of Allison Brennan, Michelle Adams’s Between the Lies is an addictive psychological thriller with twists that keep the reader guessing until the last page, in which a woman who’s lost her memory is back home with a family she doesn’t know—who are keeping secrets of their own. The truth is hiding between the lies. What would you do if you woke up and didn’t know who you were?
Chloe Daniels regains consciousness in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She doesn’t recognise the strangers who call themselves family. She can’t even remember her own name.

What if your past remained a mystery?
As she slowly recovers, her parents and sister begin to share details of her life.
The successful career. The seaside home. The near-fatal car crash.
But Chloe senses they’re keeping dark secrets—and her determination to uncover the truth will have devastating consequences.

What if the people you should be able to trust are lying to you?

**My Review**

Between the Lies is my first time reading author Michelle Adams, and I certainly found this to be an addictive thriller. Chloe wakes up in the hospital having no idea who she is or what her life was like before the car accident. She is living back home with her parents and younger sister, who are all immediately sketchy and creepy. Her father is a psychiatrist, her mother is just a mousy woman who appears to be walked all over, and the college-aged sister seems o.k. one minute and then sneaky the next. The police are wanting Chloe’s help in piecing together what happened in the accident, her father keeps telling them that she isn’t ready, and for the most of the book – she has no idea what happened. 

Thriller fans know that the “waking up with amnesia” plot isn’t unique or original these days, however, this one still reeled me in from the very beginning. The story is told primarily from Chloe’s POV with the exception of some entries from an unknown narrator. It took a while to figure out the identity of the unknown narrator and some of their passages greatly added to the suspense factor of the novel. What I loved about all of the characters and the book, in general, is that for a good portion of the book I truly didn’t know who to trust and who was up to what. Some of the characters ended up fading into the background a bit, but overall, it was a toss-up as to whether or not anyone in the novel was being honest about anything at all. And if you love to hate characters, you are in for a treat with Chloe’s lying, dishonest, weird, controlling father. The man had zero redeeming qualities. 

Between the Lies was a page-turner for me and one that I wasn’t able to put down until I finished the entire thing. I can’t say that I loved the ending, but I find myself feeling that way often when it comes to thrillers. It’s such a nail-biter with all of this suspense and questions, etc. but then – a mediocre ending. Why can’t it be fantastic all the way through? The ending also wasn’t very believable for me. Could everything really be that o.k. after everything that had happened? I think not. Regardless, I highly recommend this to fans of psychological suspense. The writing is excellent, the characterization is perfect in that everyone feels like a suspect, and there are numerous twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat.

*Thanks to St. Martin’s Griffin and NetGalley for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Eventide (Hode’s Hill #3), by Mae Clair

Eventide (Hode’s Hill #3),

by Mae Clair

Publication: Lyrical Underground; December 31, 2019

eventideAbout the book: The darkness is coming . . .

The old house near Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania is a place for Madison Hewitt to start over—to put the trauma of her husband’s murder, and her subsequent breakdown, behind her. She isn’t bothered by a burial plot on the property or the mysterious, sealed cistern in the basement. Not at first. Even the presence of cold spots and strange odors could be fabrications of her still troubled mind. But how to explain her slashed tires or the ominous messages that grow ever more threatening?

Convinced the answer lies in the past, Madison delves into the history of the home’s original owners, only to discover the origin of a powerful evil. An entity that may be connected to a series of gruesome attacks that have left police baffled. No matter where she turns—past or present—terror lingers just a step away, spurred on by a twisted obsession that can only be satisfied through death…

**My Review**

As I sit down to write this review I have all kinds of emotions going on. First of all, I absolutely loved this third installment in the Hode’s Hill series. Secondly, I’m sad because I believe that this is the last of this wonderfully creepy series. Thirdly, I spooked myself beyond belief after finishing it (in broad daylight, no less) and am still laughing at myself for being such a baby! I will get to my silly story (Mae – you will love it), but first, my review. 

Eventide takes us to Hode’s Hill once again for another chilling mystery involving all kinds of spooky, paranormal occurrences. Madison Hewitt has bought the old house at the end of the road (a.k.a. Stewart Manor) and is looking forward to starting over on her own, spending time with her sister, and enjoying her career in real estate. Spooky things begin to happen immediately upon her moving in, but then she also learns a few days later about longtime rumors of the place being haunted. But the little quirks and curiosities seem to intensify after her boyfriend, Roth, unseals an old cistern in the basement. 

This novel is told from multiple POV’s and from dual timelines – present day and the 1870’s. The narrator from the 1870s is a young woman named Hollande Moore who is moving to Stewart Manor to work as a companion to Sylvia Stewart, the aging mother of adult sons/twins Nathaniel and Tristan. Hollande quickly learns how argumentative and unpleasant the woman is, as well as, she gets the feeling that there are many secrets within the family. Meanwhile, the present-day story involves Madison trying to figure out what or who is causing problems in her home, seeking help from her empath sister Jillian and her boyfriend Dante, an artist that has the ability to communicate with those beyond the grave. 

There are times when I read novels with dual timelines that it gets frustrating and there are times that it is absolute perfection. Eventide is a novel where the execution of the plot is perfect. The creepiness factor is already through the roof with Mae Clair’s trademark creativity and vivid imagery. Even little things like a glove being moved are scary when written by Mae. But alternating between the creepy things happening in the past and present provides the reader with a wonderfully unsettling feeling that keeps the pages turning with wild anticipation about what will happen next. Be warned there are frequent descriptions that are quite graphic, but this all just adds to the wonder and mystery of the story.

I have mentioned before that I never had any interest in reading this genre until Mae Clair came into my life. Eventide is another example of a book that, a few years ago, I never would have picked up. However, it is one of my favorite books from her to date and certainly in my top 10 reads this year. I have liked all of her books (loved, really) but Eventide just completely gripped me from beginning to end. With Mae’s exquisite writing, character development, and endless surprises – Eventide was far beyond a five-star read for me. This one is highly recommended, but definitely read it in the daytime, with lights on, someone sitting nearby, and so forth – it is scary!

*Thanks to NetGalley, Lyrical Underground, and Mae Clair for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

If you have not yet started the Hode’s Hill series, check out my reviews of Cusp of Night and End of Day

Pre-Order Eventide on Amazon!

And now for my embarrassing story of the day…

Yes, I say the embarrassing story of the day because it seems I typically have at least one good one per day, it’s just how I am. I started reading this book yesterday evening around 7ish. Normally, when I start a book, I read until I finish it without stopping. However, my husband distracted me with a movie so I had to continue reading today. It is crazy windy here today so there was a variety of creepy background noises to increase my spook-level while reading. Then, of course, the dogs are being weird and whining because of the wind and spooky sounds. But the cherry on top of it all was when I reached the end of the book. Once Eventide ends, on the next page is a sort of afterward about A Thousand Yesteryears, which was the first in Mae’s Point Pleasant series and the Mothman. There’s the book cover, blurb, and an excerpt with the first few chapters. Mind you, I have read A Thousand Yesteryears twice already, but I read through the blurb and excerpt anyway. My husband had left the t.v. on earlier before he left, so when I finished reading and closed my iPad, I look up to see pictures of the collapsed Silver Bridge and realized it was a documentary about Point Pleasant, the Silver Bridge, and of course – Mothman. That’s not amazingly unusual, but this is the second or third time in 2 years that I have finished reading one of Mae’s books, only to look up and realize that a Mothman special was on t.v. Weird? Possibly. But what spooked me was while I was staring at the t.v. thinking about this repeated coincidence – the t.v. turns off. I will admit that I sort of sat there like an idiot for a minute thinking, “what the hell” while also being scared to death. But then I heard one of my dogs let out a big sigh and I looked over and saw that she had just rested her big head on top of the remote, thus turning off the t.v. Still a bit creepy that she just so happened to directly hit the power button without messing up the volume, channels, etc. However, I finally got myself together and was able to laugh about it all 🙂 I’m now certain that there is no ghoul in my basement or anything after me. 

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Book Review: Stolen Hearts (Whiskey River Road, #2), by Kelly Moore

Stolen Hearts (Whiskey River Road, #2), by Kelly Moore

Publication: January 9, 2020

stolen heartsAbout the book: It was a day like any other on the ranch.

Hard work and no play make for a cranky cowboy. Needing a night out on the town left me sneaking into my father’s house like a teenage boy.

That was my first mistake of the day.

The second was playing hero to a damsel in distress that turned out to be no damsel at all, but a sexy, snarky woman who took me by surprise.

How you ask?

I’d been a ladies’ man.

That is until I became a father.

My rebel days were gone. A six-year-old sassy daughter changed all that for me.

I didn’t need the complicated, messy kind of love stuff. My hands were full.

A mission into town to handle a family issue would make my life more muddled.

The day I met the woman who would steal my heart.

A thief.

A woman on the run.

A woman with one too many secrets.

A woman who I had to save because if I didn’t, I feared she would disappear and take two hearts with her.

I wasn’t prepared for the danger she was in and the decision I’d have to make.

She’d hate me for sure.

I definitely wasn’t prepared for her to leave.

**My Review**

I’m so excited to bring everyone my review for the second book in Kelly Moore’s Whiskey River Road series, Stolen Hearts! In the first book in the series, Coming Home, we were introduced to Clem Calhoun and her estranged family. Stolen Hearts includes all the Calhoun family again but focuses on Clem’s brother, Bear. Bear is a single Dad to his young daughter Missy, works in auto repair, as well as, on his family’s farm. Oh, and don’t let me forget that he also performs in a band when he has time. Can I just say, yum! One day while in town he spots Nita doing some things that she should not be doing, and suddenly everything in his primarily predictable life changes.

I was so excited to read Bear’s story! In the first book he was funny, sexy, a great father to Missy – but he seemed sad and angry at times. All those traits are still present this time around, except Kelly Moore introduces his sweet, loving, romantic and even sexier side. Nita seems mysterious, angry, withdrawn, and at times, intimidating when her character is introduced into the story. It’s obvious she has major secrets, but her wonderfully softer side soon comes to light.  She is not a character that will instantly steal your heart, but as Moore slowly reveals more and more about her, you will become Nita’s biggest cheerleader.

Anyone who loves family sagas will adore Stolen Hearts, but please start with the first book, Coming Home, in order to understand everything that is going on with this family. As per usual when it comes to Kelly Moore, I struggle to give this novel a specific genre label. One might say just general fiction. Then you could go with romance or romantic comedy. I could even throw in romantic suspense because there is certainly suspense in this book. Regardless of what genre you call it, this is a shining example of Kelly Moore’s unique and well-developed plots, her detailed and realistic characterization, and her amazing ability to entertain her readers.

Stolen Hearts embodies all the humor, angst, suspense, lust, and love that was in Coming Home, yet it takes all those attributes a step further. The raw emotion between Bear and Nita, the themes surrounding family and relationships, and the nail-biting tension make this a book that you will read from start to finish without taking a break.

*Thanks to Kelly Moore for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!