Forever My Duke (Unlikely Duchesses: Book 2) by Olivia Drake

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3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: December 31st, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Unlikely Duchesses

The Duke I Once Knew—Book 1 (Review Here)

Forever My Duke—Book 2

Where you can find Forever My Duke: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

“I find Miss Fanshawe to be quite charming—for an American.”—The Prince Regent

Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She’s the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife—an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London ballroom.

But Natalie doesn’t have time to be swept off her feet by a handsome duke who must be a spoiled scoundrel like every other British lord. And she couldn’t care less about Hadrian’s title. After all, it’s not as if he actually worked to attain his wealth and status. He surely can’t understand what it’s like to be a busy woman, planning to open a school while trying to reunite a six-year-old orphan with his English relatives. Nevertheless, Hadrian launches his campaign to win her heart. Can the utterly delightful American beauty ever find a way to love him…despite his being a duke?


First Line:

Hadrian Ames, the eighth Duke of Clayton, shut the door against the noise of the taproom.

Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake

My Review:

Regency-era romances have always been a favorite of mine to read. I love immersing myself in those types of novels. So, when I saw that Forever My Duke was up for review, I jumped on it. I couldn’t wait to read about the American who captures the Duke. While I enjoyed the book, the female main character got on my nerves. I wasn’t a fan of how the six-year-old was treated by the Earl and his family.

Forever My Duke is the second book in the Unlikely Duchesses series. It can be read as a stand-alone. I did enjoy that. I am not a fan of picking up a book mid-series and then realizing I have to read the previous books. But, at the same time, I wish that there was more of a tie in to the first book. There was no mention of Abby and Max in this book. So, yeah, complete opposite reactions from me.

I did like Natalie. She had gone through a lot before arriving in England. My heart broke for her when she revealed what happened on the day of the massacre. What she did to protect the children. My pity for her did wane a little when she opened her mouth. She was abrasive and defensive. Her opinions on England’s hierarchy, while right, made her even harsh. There were points in the book where I wanted to reach in there and shake her. It got that bad. Plus, she wasn’t a perfect childminder. Leo disappeared several times while in her care. Drove me nuts.

I had to agree with a comment made during the book about Hadrian being uptight. He was very uptight. I loved seeing him gradually unbend. He became an interesting person to read about because of that. I did think it was creepy that he wanted to a) marry his 2nd cousin and b) marry her knowing she was barely 17. I know that is how it was done back then, but it didn’t lessen the ick factor for me. I loved how gentle he was with Natalie and Leo. Made my heart swoon. Of course, I never doubted his feelings for Natalie (who did). His actions at the end of the book with Leo spoke volumes.

I LOVED Leo. For a child who had undergone an extremely traumatic experience, he didn’t act like it. He acted like a typical six-year-old boy. I loved it. I loved that the author didn’t try and make him act like a miniature adult. Instead, he got into situations that a child his age would typically get into. Well, except for the end, with his uncle. But how that ended was flipping hilarious.

I didn’t get a romantic connection between Natalie and Hadrian until halfway through the book. Hadrian was focused on wooing his cousin (which resulted in an amusing secondary storyline). The romance didn’t start until they were at his house in London. Even then, I wouldn’t describe it as an immediate thing. It took some time for Hadrian and Natalie even to acknowledge their feeling. But once they did, it took off.

There were several intertwined storylines in Forever My Duke. The main storyline, Natalie delivering Leo to his maternal grandfather, was intertwined with Hadrian and Natalie’s romance. Intertwined with both storylines was the secondary storyline with Leo’s uncle and Natalie’s mysterious parentage. All of these storylines did make for an engaging read.

The end of Forever My Duke was one of the best I have read to date. Leo was hilarious. I liked that Natalie made amends with certain people from her past. I do wonder who the next book will be about.


I would give Forever My Duke an Adult rating. There is sex. There is no language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Forever My Duke. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Releasing Keanu (The Kennedy Boys: Book 8) by Siobhan Davis

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4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: December 30th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: The Kennedy Boys

Finding Kyler—Book 1 (Review Here)

Losing Kyler—Book 2

Keeping Kyler—Book 3

The Irish Getaway—Book 3.5

Loving Kalvin—Book 4

Saving Brad—Book 5

Seducing Kaden—Book 6

Forgiving Keven—Book 7 (Review Here)

Summer in Nantucket—Book 7.5

Releasing Keanu—Book 8

Adoring Keaton—Book 9

Reforming Kent—Book 10

Where you can find Releasing Keanu: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Keanu
Selena played me.
Confirming I wasted years loving someone who didn’t love me back.
It should be easy to move on, but since she dumped me, I can’t shake her from my thoughts, no matter how hard I try.
Dates and random hookups don’t help, because no one measures up to the girl I still love with my whole heart.
When she appears at my door, begging me for help, I can’t turn her away. My protective instincts kick in, and I grasp this second chance with both hands.
This time, I’m determined to open her eyes.
To help her realize she made a mistake throwing what we had away.
To prove our love is the real deal.

Selena
Keanu has it all wrong.
I let him go because I love him too much to continue holding him back.
And I’ve paid for it every day since.
I didn’t think it was possible to miss someone this much, but my entire being aches for him in a way that isn’t healthy.
It’s why I continue to keep my distance even though it’s killing me inside.
No one understands me the way he does, so, when my ugly past returns, threatening to undo years of progress, he’s the first person I run to.
If anyone can keep me safe, it’s the love of my life.
Maybe, this time, I’m strong enough to be the woman he deserves.
If my past doesn’t take me from him first.

Releasing Keanu is a STANDALONE new adult romance in the Kennedy Boys world. No cliffhanger, no cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.


First Line:

An icy chill creeps up my spine, and I clutch my arms around my shivering, semi-naked body, pulling my bent legs even more tightly to my chest.

Releasing Keanu by Siobhan Davis

My Review:

When I saw that Keanu was getting his story, I was excited. He had not been an enormous presence in the books I have read in the series, but he intrigued me. His heartbreak over breaking up with Selena was palpable. I figured his story was going to be something special. And it didn’t let me down.

Before I get into the review, I do have to give a trigger warning. Before you, all roll your eyes and say, “Really, Jolie,” let me explain. The author chose to include a trigger warning at the beginning of the book. Which I thought was wise, considering the content that she was writing about. See, Selena was kidnapped and used as a sex slave from the ages of 10 to 13. There are some vivid and disturbing scenes of sexual abuse. But, the majority of the book focused on Selena and her recovery. She had extreme PTSD and extreme anxiety because of what she went through. As someone with PTSD, I had to pace myself while reading those scenes because I was triggered myself. So, if you are triggered by human trafficking, sexual abuse (some graphic), forced drug use, physical abuse of children, and graphic details of PTSD and anxiety attacks, I would suggest not reading this book. If not, I would still read with that warning in mind.

The plotline for Releasing Keanu was lightning fast and flowed well. There were no dropped storylines or characters. There was also no lag.

The storyline for Releasing Keanu was compelling and heartbreaking. I loved that the author chose to write about such a difficult subject. Not only did she write about Selena’s time in captivity was tact and grace, but she decided to show how life was afterward. She also explained how the healing process went one step forward and two steps back. I loved it, even if it had me in tears for 80% of the book.

The storyline with Selena’s former captors was interesting. I did find that storyline a little rushed towards the end. I also didn’t get a sense of justice when certain things happened. But, I was happy those evil people were caught. I wish that it wasn’t as anti-climatic as it was.

Selena and Keanu’s romance was breathtaking. Keanu moved so slowly with her. That usually would irritate me to no end, but in this case, it didn’t. He didn’t want to push her and risk her closing upon him. On her end, it was heartbreaking to see her wanting to get closer to Keanu, but she was so afraid. But it was worth it. I do think that the events at the end of the book were a little rushed. But, with what was hanging over their heads, I understood why Selena and Keanu did what they did.

When Selena and Keanu had sex, it was one of the most poignant scenes of the book. The buildup (which included a therapy session) was sweet. It wasn’t supposed to be hot. I did cry during that scene because it represented how far Selena had come in her recovery.

The end of Releasing Keanu was your typical HEA. I did think that the storylines involving Selena’s former captors had a rushed ending. I also thought that what happened to Selena was typical. But, overall, I loved it. I also loved the sneak peek into Keaton’s book.


I would give Releasing Keanu an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Releasing Keanu. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book*

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

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5 Stars

Publisher: Harlequin – Graydon House Books (U.S. & Canada), Graydon House

Date of publication: December 30th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find The Wives: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Imagine that your husband has two other wives.

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

And who is his mysterious third wife?


First Line:

He comes over on Thursday of every week.

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

My Review:

My expectations of The Wives wasn’t high. I thought it was going to be a typical psychological thriller. I should have known from the blurb that wasn’t the case. I loved the twisted journey that this book took me on!!

The plotline of The Wives was full of twists and turns. What I loved about this book was how the author cast doubt on all the main characters. I also liked how she did lightning-fast shifts in the plotline. It was amazing to read and kept my attention to the stories.

I loved Thursday, but I didn’t understand why she would stay in a relationship where she saw her husband once a week. I am not well versed in polygamous/polyamorous relationships, but that scream something was off to me. I loved her slow descent into insanity. There were scenes where I wanted to scream, “No, don’t!!

I didn’t like Seth. He was responsible for what happened. But, at the same time, I felt terrible for him. He had a hellacious childhood and was scarred by that. He did try to help, but it was too little too late.

Regina was a mystery for the entire book. I couldn’t quite get a handle on her. She had an agenda and was going to carry it out. I do think that she got what she deserved in the end. How she got it, though, I didn’t agree with.

The mystery/thriller/suspense angle of the book was well written. I will say that this book played major mind games with me for the entire book!! Which, again, kept me glued to it. I needed to see what happened.

The end of the book was insane. I couldn’t believe the twists in the plot that were revealed. The major one shocked the heck out me. The other twist that involved Regina shocked me. Mainly because of what happened.


I would give The Wives an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Wives. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Jesse & The Thinkers (Jesse & Jake: Book 1) by Ken John

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4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: August 11th, 2019

Genre: Middle Grade

Where you can find Jesse & The Thinkers: Amazon | BookBub

Original Review

Book Synopsis:

Jesse Winkler is one of the few who dare to stand out. A ‘weirdo’, the children at the adventure playground call him, and not because of his red bow tie. Strange things always seem to happen when Jesse is around.

No one can quite figure out what ‘Brave Jake’, who happens to be the most popular kid in the playground, sees in ‘Weirdo Jesse’. But Jake always knew. He could just tell. One person’s weirdo is another person’s hero.

Jesse and Jake’s journey turns into a deadly situation when an enemy from another world unleashes a weapon designed to destroy the minds of The Thinkers and anybody who comes across it. They find themselves caught up in a battle that was not meant for them. Or was it?

Jesse and The Thinkers is an action-packed, compulsively readable adventure story, leaving you emotionally involved in the extraordinary characters we meet along the way.


First Line:

It was the summer holidays in the small town of Langley.

Jesse & The Thinkers by Ken John

My Review:

This type of review is a first for me. I have never, in all of the books that I have read, have done a 2nd review. But, when the author approached me to rereview Jesse & The Thinkers, I figured why not. I am glad that I did because Jesse & The Thinkers was just as good as I remembered.

I enjoyed reading Jesse & The Thinkers as much as I did the first time.
Which I didn’t expect. Jesse and Jake’s adventures in Thinkland was action-packed and engaging. The plotline was medium paced and exciting. That made for an enjoyable read.

I enjoyed reading Jesse & The Thinkers as much as I did the first time, which I didn’t expect. Jesse and Jake’s adventures in Thinkland was action-packed and engaging. The plotline was medium paced and exciting. That made for an enjoyable read.

The characters in Jesse & The Thinkers were well written and fleshed out. What I liked about Jesse and Jake is that they didn’t care what other people thought about them, Jesse especially.

Zar was an enigma. There wasn’t a lot said about him except he was an evil general, intent on taking over planets. His brainwave, which caused fear and mayhem, was interesting too. I can’t wait to see what his character ends up being like in book 2.

The end of Jesse & The Thinkers was exciting. There was no end to the plotlines. Instead, the author ended the book on a cliffhanger. The cliffhanger has me pumped to read book 2. I can’t wait to see what Jesse and Jake run into in that book.


I would give Jesse & The Thinkers a Tween rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is very mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 10 read this book.

I would reread Jesse & The Thinkers. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Angel of Evil (The Great Devil War: Book 4) by Kenneth B. Andersen

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4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: October 20th, 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Series: The Great Devil War

The Devil’s Apprentice—Book 1 (Review here)

The Die of Death—Book 2 (Review here)

The Wrongful Death—Book 3 (Review here)

The Angel of Evil—Book 4

The Fallen Angel—Book 5 (expected publication date: May 2020)

The Fallen Devil—Book 6 (expected publication date: 2020)

Where you can find The Angel of Evil: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

SPOILER-ALERT! Stop reading if you haven’t read book I-III yet!

Nothing will ever be the same. Satina is gone, kidnapped by the enemy. Disobeying Lucifer, Philip heads out to find her, journeying into the deep darkness of Outer Reach. But nothing can prepare Philip for the horror that awaits—or the demons he will face.

Meanwhile, Lucifer’s kingdom is threatened as the Great Devil War draws closer. All Hell is about to break loose.

The Angel of Evil is volume 4 of The Great Devil War series.


First Line:

There was a knock at his door and he heard his mother’s voice in the hallway.

The Angel of Evil by Kenneth B. Andersen

My Review:

I was super excited when I started reading The Angel of Evil. I needed to know what was going to happen to Philip, Lucifer, Satina, Aziel (yes, him!!), and the other residents of Hell that have been introduced throughout this series. I was not disappointed. The Angel of Evil more than delivered in this book.

It is hard to write a review for a book that has such a complex storyline. I am going to try. There is so much that I want to say but can’t because I fear revealing something I shouldn’t. I am going to be annoyingly vague in this review (sorry, not sorry). Hopefully, my vagueness will make someone want to read the series.

The plotline of The Angel of Evil was fast-paced. Right from the beginning, it took off, and it didn’t slow down until the end. I loved it. I also liked that, for once, I couldn’t tell what was going to happen to Philip.

I am going to warn people (as I did in previous reviews and this blurb does) that The Angel of Evil is NOT a stand-alone book. You NEED to read the first three books first before reading this one. That isn’t a suggestion. There is so much going on that you will get lost reading this first. Trust me on this.

I loved Philip in this book. He was on a mission to save his friends, and nothing would stop him. Not even Lucifer saying, “No.” He showed leadership skills at points during the book. And let’s not forget about his bravery. Or the actual depth of his feelings for Satina.

Again, the author did a fantastic job of taking Biblical stories and myths from various cultures and meshing them together. I loved seeing Norse mythology being featured right along with Biblical stories.

The storyline about The Great Devil War and Aziel were wonderfully written. There was a point where I was wondering what that little devil was up to. His plans were meticulously laid out, but Philip was the one who threw a wrench in them.

I felt awful for Satina in The Angel of Evil. Her time with Aziel changed her. She was not the sweet tempter anymore. She had been through a traumatic experience. I am expecting her to be back to her old self for the next book. I missed her in this one.one.

The end of The Angel of Evil was terrific. I cannot wait to see what book five is going to bring. If the teaser chapter is any inclination, then I can’t wait to read the book!!


I would give The Angel of Evil an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would reccomend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Angel of Evil I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Wrongful Death (The Great Devil War: Book 3) by Kenneth B. Andersen

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4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: April 5th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Series: The Great Devil War

The Devil’s Apprentice—Book 1 (review here)

The Die of Death—Book 2 (review here)

The Wrongful Death—Book 3

The Angel of Evil—Book 4

The Fallen Angel-–Book 5

The Fallen Devil—Book 6

Where to find The Wrongful Death: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

An unfortunate chain of events makes Philip responsible for the untimely death of the school bully Sam—the Devil’s original choice for an heir. Philip must return to Hell to find Sam and bring him back to life, so that fate can be restored. But trouble is stirring in Lucifer’s kingdom and not even Philip can imagine the strange and dark journey that awaits him. A journey that will take him through ancient underworlds and all the way to Paradise.

The Wrong Death is volume 3 of The Great Devil War series.


First Line:

“I’m going to bed, Mom.”

The Wrongful Death by Kenneth B. Andersen

My Review:

This review is going to be challenging to write because I can’t give too much away without spoiling this book. That frustrates me because there is so much that I want to write, but I can’t!! But I will try.

The Wrongful Death is the 3rd book in The Great Devil War series. The Wrongful Death is not a book that can be read alone. To understand what is going on in The Wrongful Death, you need to read the first two books. I can’t stress this enough for this series. You will get lost!!

The plotline for The Wrongful Death was slow to start. Usually, I wouldn’t like it. I would want the author to start the book off with Philip going back to Hell. But, in this case, it is needed. Philip’s state of mind and his friendships (mainly with Sam) needed to be explained. Plus, it was interesting to see Satina’s jealousy manifesting. After those couple of chapters, the book did pick up speed, and it flew to the end.

The author did a fantastic job of creating a Hell that wasn’t as evil as I thought it would be. He also did a tremendous job of showing a fractured Hell. A Hell where the demons were starting to split between Aziel and Lucifer. I loved it!!

I loved that the author also chose to write in Biblical stories, along with Greek myths. Which meant I loved it when Philip and Satina journeyed to Hades to rescue Sam. The condemned that they met, along with Hades and Persephone (who was scarier than Hades, in my opinion), was wonderfully written.

I enjoyed getting to know more about Sam in this book. As evil as he was on Earth, he was innocent in Hell (and Hades). He was shocked by what he witnessed. Even more so, he was shocked by Philip’s infamy down there.

Philip and Satina’s relationship was cute. I did raise my eyebrows at the whole sleeping in bed together but, and I stress but, nothing happened. There were a few innocent kisses, and that’s it.

I am still getting over the ending of The Wrongful Death. I was not expecting either things to happen. I was shocked and saddened. But, at the same time, I cannot wait to read book four because I have a feeling that everything is going to hit the fan in that book.


I would give The Wrongful Death an Older Teen rating. There is no sex (some kissing scenes). There is mild language. There is violence. I would reccomend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Wrongful Death. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Die of Death (The Great Devil War: Book 2) by Kenneth B. Andersen

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4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: October 5th, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Series: The Great Devil War

The Devil’s Apprentice—Book 1 (Review Here)

The Die of Death—Book 2

The Wrongful Death—Book 3

The Angel of Evil—Book 4

The Fallen Angel—Book 5

The Fallen Devil—Book 6

Where you can find The Die of Death: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life. But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe. Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way.

The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series.


First Line:

“Philip.”

The Die of Death by Kenneth B. Andersen

My Review:

The cover of The Die of Death was the first thing that I noticed about the book. It is one of the more arresting covers that I have seen, ever. It caught my eye and made me wonder what the book was going to be like.

The Die of Death is the 2nd book in The Great Devil War series. You cannot read this as a stand-alone. It will help if you read the previous books to understand what was going on in this book. I can’t stress this enough. You will be lost if you decide to read The Die of Death first.

The Die of Death is billed as a young adult fantasy. Because of the subjects discussed and portrayed, I would suggest that an older teen (16+) read the book.

The Die of Death’s plotline was fast-paced. But, it wasn’t so fast that I had issues following the plotline. The author knew when to slow down enough for critical scenes to be absorbed. Also, there were no dropped storylines or characters. I loved it!!

Philip was different in The Die of Death. His time in Hell had changed him. He stood in a more morally gray area. He was still a “good” boy, but there was an edge to him. I wasn’t surprised when he died again. But I was surprised when he was tasked with finding Mortimer’s dice. With Satina’s help (and I loved how teed off she was with him at the beginning), he started to dig into who had the dice. I did not doubt that he would find the dice. But I was surprised at the twists and turns that the story took to get there. Philip visited Purgatory (which was nothing like I imagined) and spent time at Mortimer’s house. I can’t go much after that because of massive spoilers. All I will say is that I wasn’t expecting Philip’s storyline to turn out the way it did.

I loved that the author took evil historical figures and peppered them throughout the book. I had a deep sense of satisfaction when I saw that Jack the Ripper was being chased by the women he murdered.

Philip and Satina’s developing romantic relationship was cute. There were a few “aww” moments with them during the book. I hope that they stay strong in the next book!!

Lucifer was a considerable presence in the book. I am still trying to wrap my head around him being fatherly to Philip. Not something I would even think to say when I think of the devil. I will say that I didn’t agree with his decision, and yes, it did hasten things up quite a bit.

The storyline involving the dice was interesting. I wasn’t expecting who took it. I did think it was another person, so, yes, I was surprised. But, I was also saddened by why the person took it. The hourglasses also saddened me along with the bargain Philip made with Mortimer.

The end of The Die of Death was bittersweet. I wasn’t surprised at who was in Mortimer’s basement. I also wasn’t surprised at what that person did and attempted to do. He got what was coming to him. There was also a perfect lead in to the next book, which I can’t wait to read!!!


I would give The Die of Death an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would reccomend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Die of Death. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Seven Letters by J.P. Monninger

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3.5 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of publication: October 8th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Where you can find Seven Letters: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

J. P. Monninger, author of the international bestseller The Map That Leads to You, the novel Nicholas Sparks called “romantic and unforgettable”, tells a poignant love story of the ways the world divides two souls—and the way that love brings them together.

Kate Moreton is in Ireland on sabbatical from her teaching position at Dartmouth College when she meets Ozzie Ferriter, a fisherman and a veteran of the American war in Afghanistan. The Ferriter family history dates back centuries on the remote Blasket Islands, and Ozzie – a dual citizen of Ireland and the United States – has retreated to the one place that might offer him peace from a war he cannot seem to leave behind.

Beside the sea, with Ireland’s beauty as a backdrop, the two fall deeply in love and attempt to live on an island of their own making, away from the pressures of the outside world. Ireland writes its own love stories, the legends claim, and the limits of Kate and Ozzie’s love and faith in each other will be tested. When his demons lead Ozzie to become reckless with his life—and Kate’s—she flees for America rather than watch the man she loves self-destruct. But soon a letter arrives informing Kate that her heroic husband has been lost at sea, and Kate must decide whether it is an act of love to follow him or an act of mercy to forget.


First Line:

The Irish tell a story of a man who fell in love with a fairy woman and went with her to live on an island lost to time and trouble.

Seven Letters by J.P. Monninger

My Review:

I don’t know why I kept putting this book off!!! Well, I understand why. Life got in the way, and it wasn’t at the top of my priority list, which happens to the best of us. So, when I realized that I missed the publication date (huge oops!!), I took Seven Letters off of the backburner and read it. It was a good read, and I really should have read it sooner.

Seven Letters went between having a fast-paced plotline, and a medium paced one. That did aggravate me while reading. It provoked me because I like my books to have one speed while reading. If I have to adjust my reading speed continuously, then it takes away from my experience. I also didn’t like that several secondary storylines were either ended abruptly or left hanging.

I liked Kate, but she annoyed me during the book. The choices she made were a huge source of irritation for me. Take her relationship with Ozzie, for instance. She knew he had issues (drinking, possible PTSD), and she jetted once the honeymoon phase was over. But, she did change. Her character matured, and she realized that her choices weren’t the right ones. By the end of the book, she was a different woman, and I liked it.

I felt terrible for Ozzie. But at the same time, I wanted to shake him and say, “Dude, get help!!”. He never told Kate about his time in the service (in his defense, though, she never asked). He never told her about his demons from that time. I do think that he was the better person when he let her go. He knew that his demons were too strong, and he couldn’t live with himself. He needed that time apart to heal.

The romance angle of the book got me. Kate and Ozzie burned fast and bright in the beginning. It was almost too quick and bright, and I knew that something was going to happen. By the second half of the book, they were floundering, and I did wonder if they would ever get past everything. But the end of the book, oh my. Talk about deep romance there. I was in tears from the minute Kate landed in Ireland to the very end.

The end of the book was hard to read. It got almost too much for me to read. I did guess at some of the ending details. The last letter, though, made my heart sing (and I did shed a few tears).


I would give Seven Letters an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Seven Letters. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters

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3 Stars

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Date of publication: December 10th, 2019

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find The Dead Girls Club: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

A supernatural thriller in the vein of A Head Full of Ghosts about two young girls, a scary story that becomes far too real, and the tragic–and terrifying–consequences that follow one of them into adulthood.

Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…

In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real–and she could prove it.

That belief got Becca killed.

It’s been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night–that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She’s done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn’t seen since the night Becca died.

The night Heather killed her.

Now, someone else knows what she did…and they’re determined to make Heather pay. 


First Line:

There’s nothing special about the envelope.

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters

My Review:

When I read the blurb for The Dead Girls Club, I was intrigued. I loved the idea that the blurb presented. While I did like the book, I found it confusing to read at times.

The Dead Girls Club is split into two storylines. Now and Then. The author did identify when it was Now or Then’s chapters. I am not a massive fan of dual storylines, but in this case, it was needed. I do wish that the book started with a Then chapter because I was a little confused about the necklace and why it scared Heather so bad.

Even though the book had dual storylines, the author was able to keep the flow of the story going. There were parts of the book, though, where the plotline lagged. That happened mainly towards the end of the book.

I do wish that the Red Witch was more of a presence in the book. That story wasn’t even introduced until the middle of the book. It wasn’t mentioned regularly until the last half of the book. It was the whole reason why I read the book.

I didn’t like Heather in either storyline. In the Now storyline, she was becoming unhinged. At first, I got why she was so freaked out about the necklace. Then she became obsessed. She started cyberstalking/stalking people. She wasn’t focusing on her job. I will say that I wasn’t surprised when everything imploded. The same goes for her behavior in the Then chapters. I will say that Becca knew how to manipulate Heather into doing what she wanted, and Heather didn’t fail to deliver.

I did feel bad for Becca. How horrible was her life that she needed to make up stories? And to alienate the only person who truly understood what was going on? As weird as this sounds, I do wish a couple of chapters had been written from Becca’s perspective. That way, I could have gotten a better handle on what was going through her head. I also couldn’t believe that any observant adult would notice the bruises and everything else that was going on with her.

I am going to age myself here, but I was the same age as Heather and Becca were in The Dead Girls Club. Just reading some of the things that they did, the music they listened too, and the clothing they wore sent me back to that time. Like Heather and Becca, I was interested in some of the same things they were. One memorable time of reciting “Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary,” and using the Ouija board is seared into my brain. But it ended when our parents found out, and we all got into trouble. No one dies (well, one girl was convinced Bloody Mary showed up and scratched her legs up), and we all grew up to be who we are today.

There were two big plot twists in The Dead Girls Club. I didn’t see either of them coming. Honestly, there was a point in the book where I did think the same thing as Heather. Then, when it was revealed, I was stunned. But, I was even more shocked by what was revealed towards the end of the book. It came out of nowhere. I had to put the book down and say, “Are you flipping kidding me???


I would give The Dead Girls Club an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Dead Girls Club. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Thin Ice (Alaska Wild Mysteries: Book 1) by Paige Shelton

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4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

Date of publication: December 3rd 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Series: Alaska Wild Mysteries

Thin Ice—Book 1

Where you can find Thin Ice: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

First in a new series set in Alaska from beloved author Paige Shelton, Thin Ice will chill your bones.

Beth Rivers is on the run – she’s doing the only thing she could think of to keep herself safe. Known to the world as thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild, she had become the subject of a fanatic’s obsession. After being held in a van for three days by her kidnapper, Levi Brooks, Beth managed to escape, and until he is captured, she’s got to get away. Cold and remote, Alaska seems tailor-made for her to hideout.

Beth’s new home in Alaska is sparsely populated with people who all seem to be running or hiding from something, and though she accidentally booked a room at a halfway house, she feels safer than she’s felt since Levi took her. That is, until she’s told about a local death that’s a suspected murder. Could the death of Linda Rafferty have anything to do with her horror at the hands of Levi Brooks?

As Beth navigates her way through the wilds of her new home, her memories of her time in the van are coming back, replaying the terror and the fear—and threatening to keep her from healing, from reclaiming her old life again. Can she get back to normal, will she ever truly feel safe, and can she help solve the local mystery, if only so she doesn’t have to think about her own?


First Line:

The good thing about being suddenly overcome with fresh terror is that you forget everything else you were afraid of.

Thin Ice by Paige Shelton

Book Review:

When I read the blurb for Thin Ice, my attention was caught. A mystery set in a remote town in Alaska? Count me in!! I am glad that I read Thin Ice because this book was fantastic!!

Thin Ice has a fast-moving plotline, which I appreciated. The book’s flow was good too. I didn’t have an issue following the story. There were some plotlines or characters that I had questions about. But, I have a feeling that those will be explained (or explored) in later books.

I did feel that Beth River’s character was a little predictable at first. I also felt that her character was one dimensional. But, as the book went on, her character became anything but predictable. Also, her character fleshed out. Those two things alone made Thin Ice a more enjoyable read for me.

The main plotline centers around Beth. She had been kidnapped and sustained a brain injury when she escaped. She has no recollection of her kidnapper other than a name and the make/model of the van she was held captive in. Fearing that her kidnapper would return for her, she made plans to stay in a small, almost off the grid town in Alaska. I could understand why she wanted to be off the grid. Honestly, if I were in her shoes, I would have done the same. I also got why she didn’t trust anyone. She couldn’t remember what her kidnapper looked like, which is why Beth ran to Alaska and why she didn’t trust anyone there.

Beth’s predictableness, for me, began when she arrived in Alaska and got involved in the murder investigation. There was a point where I was eye-rolling because it was so cliched. A thriller writer gets involved in a mystery of her own. But, the author did add a neat spin to that plotline.

I didn’t like how the detective treated Beth during the book. My internal antenna began to quiver during that first interaction. I felt that she didn’t take Beth’s memories seriously. Heck, I would have been jumping with joy at some of the details that Beth remembered. The detective’s reactions, to me, seemed one of irritation.

I need to mention Beth’s mother. She was obsessed with finding her husband and then added finding Beth’s kidnapper to her agenda. I am rooting for her finding the kidnapper before the police. Why? Because I have a feeling that Beth’s mother is going to lay down some old fashioned, “You don’t mess with my baby” justice.

The townspeople were a motley crew. Each person was running from something, which makes me wonder how these people will be in the upcoming books.

Thankfully, there was no romance in Thin Ice. The book was uber focused on Beth and the murder investigation even to go there. I loved it.

The end of Thin Ice was nail-biting. I was on edge for a couple of chapters because of what was going on. The author did a great job of wrapping up the murder angle of the plotline. But everything else, well, that was left open. I cannot wait to read the next book!!


I would give Thin Ice an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Thin Ice. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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