The Other Girl by Erica Spindler

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Title: The Other Girl

Author: Erica Spindler

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: August 22, 2017

Genre: General Fiction, Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Number of pages: 256

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find The Other Girl: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

From the NYT bestselling author comes a chilling new thriller about a ritualistic murder of a college professor that sends a small town cop back into the trauma she thought she’d put behind her.

Officer Miranda Rader of the Hammond PD in Louisiana is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda comes from Jasper, just south of Hammond, a place about the size of a good spit on a hot day, and her side of the tracks was the wrong one. She’s worked hard to leave the girl she used to be behind and earn respect in her position as an officer.

However, when Miranda and her partner are called to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most beloved college professors, they’re unprepared for the gruesomeness of the scene. This murder is unlike any they’ve ever investigated, and just when Miranda thinks she’s seen the worst of it, she finds a piece of evidence that chills her to the core: a faded newspaper clipping about a terrible night from her long-buried past. Then another man turns up dead, this one a retired cop, and not just any cop—Clint Wheeler, the cop who took her statement that night. Two murders, two very different men, two killings that on the surface had nothing in common—except Miranda. 15 years ago.

And when her fingerprints turn up at the scene of the first murder, Miranda once again finds herself under the microscope, her honesty and integrity doubted, her motivations questioned. Alone again, the trust of her colleagues shattered, Miranda must try to trust the instincts she’s pushed down for so long, and decide what’s right—before it’s too late.

Trigger Warning: Rape, Date Rape Drug Use

Traitor in Her Arms (The Scarlet Chronicles: Book 1) by Shana Galen

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Title: Traitor in Her Arms

Author: Shana Galen

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: August 22nd, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Number of pages: Unknown

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Scarlet Chronicles

Traitor in Her Arms – Book 1

Where you can find Traitor in Her Arms: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Two morally compromised souls wage a battle of wits—and seduction—against the backdrop of the French Revolution in this thrilling romance from bestselling author Shana Galen.

After her late husband leaves her in debt to some dangerous people, Lady Gabrielle McCullough is forced to become a thief. In the intervening years, her skills have not gone unnoticed. After being recruited by the Scarlet Pimpernel, the mysterious do-gooder spiriting aristocrats out of revolutionary France, Gabrielle crosses the Channel for the most daring mission of her life. Accompanying her is the Earl of Sedgwick, a thief in his own right and an enticingly masculine presence. The man is not to be trusted—nor is Gabrielle’s body when he’s near.

Ramsey Barnes would not say he is an honorable man. His whole life has been based on a lie; why change now? Although it pains him to deceive the tantalizing Gabrielle, he’s working toward an altogether different objective: unmasking the Scarlet Pimpernel. If Ramsey fails, his blackmailer will ruin him. But when Ramsey’s confronted with the carnage of the Reign of Terror, he seeks refuge in Gabrielle’s heated embrace. Now he faces a terrible choice: betray the woman who’s stolen his heart—or risk losing everything.

My review:

Traitor in Her Arms is one of those books that is going to stay with you for a long while after reading it. Set during the French Revolution, I was sent on a hair-raising and harrowing adventure through England and France. I was literally on the edge of my seat for more than half the book and I think during the more harrowing parts of the book, I couldn’t take a breath, that is how much this book got to me. And believe me, for me to get so emotionally invested in a book is a good thing.

I had mentioned in another review that the French Revolution, while used as a backdrop in historical romance novels, really isn’t a place that authors visit in their novels. It was too violent and not at all romantic. But, I like what the author did to make Paris a perfect spot for Ramsey and Gabrielle’s romance. She made them go to France for two different reasons. Gabrielle, an accomplished thief, was to steal a bracelet and then secure the freedom of a Comtesse and her child. Ramsey, well he was to find out who was the Scarlet Pimpernel and tell his blackmailer his identity.

I couldn’t understand why Gabrielle was such an accomplished thief until it was explained a few chapters into the book. I couldn’t imagine my husband dying and leaving me to deal with his creditors. She was desperate and the unsavory people who her husband was dealing with were becoming more and more impatient. So she learned to pick locks and used those skills to steal jewels and whatnot from the fellow members of the ton.  When she was approached by the Scarlet Pimpernel and told that she was going to France to save the Comtesse and her child, she didn’t hesitate…even though France was in a state of civil unrest.

Ramsey was an enigma to me, at first and I couldn’t understand why he was stealing Cleopatra’s jewels. But the more into Ramsey’s story I got into, the more something didn’t add up. I really didn’t understand why Madam seemed to have him by the balls and kept threatening to show his secret. But the more into the book I got, the more the author gradually peeled back Ramsey’s layers. When his secret was finally revealed and the reasons behind it, I actually felt bad for him. What a burden to be carrying around!!

The book really picked up once Ramsey and Gabrielle were undercover in France. I will give you all a warning and say that this part of the book is not for those who do not like violence. Because there were some pretty violent and descriptive scenes. I was literally chilled when Ramsey and Gabrielle saw the aristocrat who was literally dismembered before their eyes. Also, what chilled me was when they went to witness the people being guileteened. I couldn’t get the descriptions of the square soaked in blood, the people being executed or the people watching out of my mind. I knew that was a bloody period in France’s history but I guess I didn’t know how bloody until I read this book.

The end of the book was pretty anticlimactic after reading Ramsey and Gabrielle’s times in France. But it did end as a happy ending for both Ramsey and Gabrielle.

How many stars will I give Traitor in Her Arms: 5

Why: I loved this book. It was a beautifully written book that had plotlines that definitely kept my attention and a romance that defied Revolutionary France.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex and violence. Like I said above, when Gabrielle and Ramsey were in France, it was very bloody and some people could be put off by it.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Ready to Run (I Do, I Don’t: Book 1) by Lauren Layne

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Title: Ready to Run

Author: Lauren Layne

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: August 22nd, 2017

Genre: Humor, Romance

POV: 3rd person

Series: I Do, I Don’t

Ready to Run – Book 1

Runaway Groom – Book 2

Just Run With It – Book 3

Where you can find Ready to Run: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: Luke Elliott, a playboy firefighter who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.

Trigger Warning: None

Tightrope Walker by Shaun Hume

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Title: Tightrope Walker

Author: Shaun Hume

Publisher: Popcorn & Rice Publishing

Date of publication: March 31st, 2013

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Number of pages: 193

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find Tightrope Walker: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Hetta is a Tightrope Walker. A leader of armies. She has been one all her life. But Hetta has just turned thirteen, and there has never been a thirteen-year-old Tightrope Walker. Ever. Is she too old to do her duty? Is she too old to walk upon the field of battle and survive?

Trigger Warning: None

Mary Poser: Butterflies and White Lies as Bollywood Comes to Nashville by Angel A.

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Title: Mary Poser: Butterflies and White Lies as Bollywood Comes to Nashville

Author: Angel A.

Publisher: Angel’s Leap

Date of publication: August 21st, 2017

Genre: General Fiction

Number of pages: 478

POV: 1st person

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The recipe for a warm and humorous story…

In a modest bowl of Nashville, gently place a girl who is Country music, Bible belt, and a Steakhouse foodie.

Then add a surprise portion of exotic and handsome Anglo-Indian, who is a passionate Bollywood director, vegetarian and Hindu.

Stir vigorously on a bed of intense attraction.

At first, the ingredients will seem to clash and separate.

Keep stirring…

Include a dollop of jealous boyfriend and a meddling mother.

Splash in a serving of fun and mischievous friends. Keep stirring…

Add a dash of a crazy aunt and a minister father to keep the flavors working together.

Sprinkle in even more complicated family members to taste.

Cook on high emotions.

The secret ingredient that cuts through the sweetness is a final layer of shocking revelation that adds a surprising depth of flavor.

Finish with a twist of ‘Oh My God! Is she really going to do that?’.

Serve as tasty bite-size chapters in a novel dish of mayhem and madness with a side of Country music and Bollywood dancing.

My review:

I couldn’t get into this book, which is very unusual for me. I didn’t love this book but I didn’t hate it either. I was kinda “eh” while reading it. Which made me a little sad because I really wanted to get into the book. I like most of the characters and thought the storyline was great. It just didn’t hold my attention.

I didn’t like Mary at first. She really was kind of a pushover and there were certain points in the book where I kinda wanted to go into the book, shake her and yell “Why!! Use your brain!!” But, seeing that this is a fiction book, I just settled for humphing grumpily at my Kindle. I think that she could have had a better choice in friends too. Her family, though, she didn’t have a choice and they were all kinds of crazy. Oh, and let’s not forget that she was immature. There were certain scenes where I was like “Really, you could have handled that better”. But by the end of the book, I did like her. She came into her own and I was like “You go girl”

I actually felt bad for Simha. He fell for a girl who was the polar opposite from him and who kept jerking him around the entire book. Honestly, I would have said “See ya” after the scene where she bolted after they had sex. But he still kept on trying. Sending her gifts, texting her all the time, making a Bollywood musical in Nashville so he could be near her. He was too much, even for me.

The secondary characters left a bad taste in my mouth. Mary’s mother was a homophobic, racist Christian. Her brother was the same but on a lesser level. Her father had no backbone and acted like Jerry Lewis to break up arguments. Her best friend was a jealous witch who was all about herself. Her fiancé was self-centered and racist. Actually, the only secondary characters I liked were Alice and Erin. But really, having Alice say “bro” all the time got very tiring to read. Also, having the characters leaving the g’s off of words “Starvin’, such as, was great to create the accent but that too got tiring to read.

I did like the sex scene between Simha and Mary. It showed the full depth of their feelings for each other (even if Mary wasn’t willing to admit it). All I have to say is cosmic sex rocks….lol. That scene is also why I kinda hesitated on slapping a Christian label on this review. But seeing how heavily God was mentioned, I felt that a Christian label was appropriate.

The whole Bollywood angle fascinated me, along with the mentions of the Hindu religion. Believe it or not, but I have never seen a Bollywood movie but after this book, I am going to find one and watch it. I have a feeling that it will be right up my alley. Also, I didn’t know much about the Hindu religion and thought that it was awesome that the author had Simha explain the aspect of the religion to Mary. What I liked were the changes that Mary made in her life. Taking up yoga and going vegetarian was a pretty significant lifestyle change. I just wish that she had the sense to do the other changes earlier in the book.

The end of the book was insane. Everything blew up at once and it was kind of hard to keep track of things. But I liked it, it was very interesting and definitely kept you on your toes reading wise

How many stars will I give Mary Poser:  3

Why: I kinda went back and forth on giving either a 3 star or 4-star rating to this book. While I loved the romance aspect of it, I felt that the other parts of the book brought the book down. I couldn’t get past Mary’s mother and that is what caused me to lower the book down to a 3-star rating. If she had been toned down a tad, then I think I would have given the book 4 stars.

Will I reread: Maybe

Will I recommend to family and friends: Maybe

Age range: Adult

Why: One intense sex scene. Also, racist comments and homophobic comments

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Succumb (The Hierarch Series: Book 1) by Ebony Olson

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Title: Succumb

Author: Ebony Olson

Publisher: Inkitt

Date of publication: August 30th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 

POV: Alternating 1st person and 3rd person

Series: Hierarch Series

Succumb – Book 1

Where you can find Succumb: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

“Some say the terrors of the past can haunt you, that they will mold you into the person you will become. If that’s the case I’m going to be very dark and twisted.”

For years Seraphina Gaelach has resisted being part of the Alvöru she was born into. After an abusive childhood, Phin thought she left the days of being a helpless victim behind and taken control of her life. All that changed the night Sebastian Maviper, High Lord of the Alvöru, decided to claim her. 
Three years later, by reuniting with an old friend who is like a brother to her, Phin’s life is put in peril and she is dragged back into Sebastian’s world. Can she forgive what he did to her?
Old enemies are stirring and uniting in an effort to control the Alvöru, and everyone in it. When they kidnap Granger and Phin as bait to lure Sebastian to their trap, Phin must make decisions and alliances that will potentially destroy all those she cares about.

Trigger Warning: Rape, Death scenes

Risking Her Heart: A Contemporary Romance by Rochelle Katzman

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Title: Risking Her Heart

Author: Rochelle Katzman

Publisher: TCK Publishing

Date of publication: May 12th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 266

POV: 3rd person

Where you can buy Risking Her Heart: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Billionaire playboy.

He’s ruthless in business and in bed.

He’ll sleep with you, rip your heart out, and never commit.

He’ll charm you, seduce you, and set your world on fire.

He’ll make you feel as if you’re his woman then claim you’re only friends.

Friends, as in call once in a while. Not friends with the potential of more.

Drake doesn’t do more.

He’s the exact type of man Livvie needs to stay away from, especially with her destructive pattern of dating narcissistic men who refuse to be monogamous.

Until fate forces them to meet.

Livvie wins a one-week stay at Morganthal Winery, owned by Drake Morganthal. She doubts she’ll see him. And even if she does, there’s no way he’ll give a random raffle winner the time of day.

But she’s wrong.

From the moment they lock eyes, their chemistry is so intense, Drake has to have her. He makes his motives very clear.

Between his delicious wines and his gorgeous body, which she craves like a drug, Livvie has to decide if she’ll spend the week in his vineyard and his bed, or if she’s strong enough to turn away a man as addictive as Drake Morganthal.

Trigger Warning: 

51 Sleepless Nights: Thriller short stories collection about Demons, Undead, Paranormal, Psychopath’s, Ghosts, Aliens and Mystery by Tobias Wade

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Title: 51 Sleepless Nights: Thriller short stories collection about Demons, Undead, Paranormal, Psychopath’s, Ghosts, Aliens and Mystery

Author: Tobias Wade

Publisher: Unknown

Date of publication: June 18th, 2017

Genre: Horror, short stories, paranormal

Number of pages: 358

POV: 1st person

Where you can buy 51 Sleepless Nights: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Horror/Thriller Stories Collection 
A diverse collection of short horror stories including the grizzly confessions of a serial killer, parallel dimensions, becoming trapped in a virtual world and encountering ancient aliens buried beneath the Earth’s crust. Demons, monsters, psychopaths, undead, mad experiments and paranormal – no matter what makes your heart race, you’re guaranteed to face your fear with these terrifying tales. 

Excerpt: 
I felt her arms around me, but she wasn’t trying to choke me or restrain me. She was… hugging me. It was such an alien sensation that I immediately opened my eyes. That’s when I saw them. Hundreds – no thousands of gossamer spider webs holding up her body like a marionette doll. I recoiled immediately, and she let me without the slightest resistance. 

The spiders were everywhere. Crawling across her face, through her hair. When she opened her mouth, I saw more of them inside her, pulling the threads to work her jaw. Her throat pulsed, and I knew more must be further down to vibrate her vocal chords. 

“But he’s never going to hurt you again. You have our word.” 

I was too shocked to fully understand what was happening. The alarm in my mind wouldn’t stop, and I still felt like I was about to pay for my rebellion. I didn’t want to stare, but couldn’t look away. I didn’t want to go and see, but my feet carried me there anyway. 

I opened Jeff’s room and found him on his bed. His hands and feet were bound with countless loops of spiderweb. More of it was across his face, tying his tongue securely to the roof of his mouth. His skin was perforated with a thousand holes, and spiders were crawling in and out of them as they carefully partitioned and wrapped each piece for consumption. His eyes blinked at me, although I don’t know if that was a sign of life or simply the successful attachment of yet another internal strand. I quietly closed the door and let them finish their work. 
-My Mother the Spider Queen

Trigger Warning: None

A Life of Death (A Life of Death: Book 1) by Weston Kincade

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Title: A Life of Death

Author: Weston Kincade

Publisher: Unknown

Date of publication: May 31st, 2017 (Originally published May 15th, 2011)

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult, Mystery

Number of pages: 333

POV: 1st and 3rd person

Series: A Life of Death

A Life of Death – Book 1

The Golden Bulls – Book 2

Where you can find A Life of Death: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Alex Drummond is a troubled high school senior with a checkered past, a broken home, and a surprising ability. When he touches items that murder victims held in their final moments, Alex relives the events in gruesome detail, seeing what they saw, thinking their thoughts, and even feeling what they felt. But who will believe a troubled teen, especially when the murders are so close to home and might reveal skeletons hidden for hundreds of years? Join Alex as he struggles to find his destiny, understand love, solve the mysterious murders within his small hometown, and speak for victims who can no longer speak for themselves.

Trigger Warning: Child Abuse

Catalyst Moon: Breach by Lauren L. Garcia

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Title: Catalyst Moon: Breach

Author: Lauren L. Garcia

Publisher: Inkitt

Date of publication: August 16th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Number of pages: 413

POV: 3rd person

Series: Catalyst Moon

Incursion – Book 1 (review here)

Breach – Book 2

Where you can find Catalyst Moon: Breach: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In an uncertain world on the brink of chaos, can love and destiny prevail?

When Kalinda parts ways with Stonewall at Whitewater City, she has no idea if she will ever see him again. But when their paths cross once more, they find themselves in the middle of impending turmoil.

Fear is consuming the land as the body-snatching thralls are multiplying and destroying everything in their path. Meanwhile, rebellion is brewing between the mages and sentinels and threatening to rock the very foundations of their co-existence.

Trigger Warning: None

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