Weekly Wrap Up: November 17th through November 23rd 2019

Books I’ve Read:

The Vanished Birds

The God Game

Finding Kyler

Westering Women

Forever My Duke

Books with Pending Reviews:

The Dead Girls Club—Review coming December 10th

Weekend Fling—Review coming November 26th

Thin Ice—Review coming December 3rd

A Cowboy Like You—review coming November 26th

Books with Published Reviews:

Twenty-one Truths About Love—Review Here

Win Big—Review Here

Into the Inferno—Review Here

NetGalley Requests:

Dark Alpha’s Temptation

Author/Publisher Requests:

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

The Rule—Book Blitz

Tasting Her Christmas Cookies—Book Blitz

Freeing Eden—Book Blitz

Pinky Promises—Book Blitz

Alee—Book Blitz

Unravel You—Book Blitz

Two Thousand Lines—Book Blitz

Back to You This Christmas—Book Blitz

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Weekly Wrap Up: November 10th through November 16th 2019

Books I’ve Read:

The Glittering Hour

The Dead Girls Club

Weekend Fling

Thin Ice

Into the Inferno

A Cowboy Like You

Win Big

Books with Pending Reviews:

Win Big—Review coming November 19th

Books with Published Reviews:

Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds—Review Here

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5’s Secret Nazi Hunters—Review Here

NetGalley Requests:

In Her Shadow—Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine/Ballantine Books

The Only Good Indians—Gallery, Pocket Books/Gallery Saga Press

The Last Human—Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine/Del Ray

Author/Publisher Requests:

Jane Anonymous—St. Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Two Thousand Lines—Book Trailer Reveal

Breathe In—Book Blitz

Devious Resolutions Anthology—Cover Reveal

Tempting Heat—Book Blitz

Begin with Me—Book Blitz

Skin and Bone—Book Blitz

Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds—Blog Tour

Season of ’72-–Book Blitz

Beneath London’s Fog—Book Blitz

A Perfect Mistake—Book Blitz

A Whole New Duke—Book Blitz

Take Me to Bed: Bedtime Quickies Collection—Book Blitz

No Broken Beast—Book Blitz

My Billionaire Fake Fiance—Book Blitz

Montana Mistletoe—Book Blitz

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Weekly Wrap Up: July 28th through August 3rd 2019

Clicking on titles under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Haul,and Email Haul will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on titles under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on titles Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz will take you to that specific blog post.

Clicking on links under Giveaways I’ve Entered will take you to that giveaway

Clicking on the titles under Freebies I Scored will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on the links under Weekly Posts will take you to that specific blog post.

Books I’ve Read:

Dark Alpha’s Redemption

Return of the Long Lost Earl

The Kilwade Tragedy

I Wanna Sext You Up

Books with pending reviews:

T-Minus—expected publication date: August 5th, 2019

Campusland—expected publication date: August 13th, 2019

The Warehouse—expected publication date August 20th, 2019

Books with published reviews:

Mad Mischief—Review Here

Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy—Review Here

The Duke is But a Dream—Review Here

In It to Win It—Review Here

NetGalley Haul:

The Dead Girls Club

Email Haul:

The Demon War (not on Goodreads yet)

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

The Escape Room—Excerpt

Summer in Nantucket—Book Blitz

Giveaways I’ve Entered:

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern—Read It Forward

Fever (Dark Kings: Book 16) by Donna Grant—Goodreads

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Catch Up Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Theme Thursday

Weekly Wrap Up: May 5th, 2019 through May 11th, 2019

Clicking on the link under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Haul,and Email Haul will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on the link under Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on the link under Freebies I Scored (which were free at the time I got them.) will take you to Amazon, BookFunnel, or Prolific Works (I will say which one next to the title).

Books I’ve Read:

I Know You

Into the Shadows

Books with pending reviews:

Books with published reviews:

Little Darlings—review here

Into the Shadows—review here

A Safe Place—review here

Sunset Beach—review here

Then Came You—review here

Welcome the Little Children—review here

The Scent of Murder—review here

No Other Duke But You—review here

No Feelings Involved—review here

The Roads to Damascus—review here

NetGalley Haul:

A Highlander Walks into a Bar

The Duke Is But a Dream

Email Haul:

The Rumor

Fairy Ring: Changeling of Janderelle

Bending the Rules

The Woman He Knows

The Bridge of Little Jeremy

Freebies I Scored (Free at the time of posting. Check the price before buying!!):

Giveaways/Contests I entered:

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

The Scent of Murder—Blog Tour

No Other Duke But You—Blog Tour

No Feelings Involved—Blog Tour

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Little Darlings

4 Stars

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Date of publication: May 10th, 2019

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Where you can find Little Darlings: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman andGrimms’ Fairy Tales.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

My review:

Laura swears that she was attacked in her hospital room, shortly after the birth of her twins. She is written off as a tired, new mother when the police are involved. Her husband and the doctors think that she is imagining things. When she gets home, things start to get worse. She starts seeing that woman outside of her house. Again, she is written off as being a tired new mother. Then she takes the twins out for a walk in a park. Where they disappear. The twins are found shortly after being reported missing. But Laura swears that there is something different about them. She needs to bring her boys back. How is she going to do that? Are the myths and legends about changelings to be believed? Or is Laura suffering from a form of postpartum psychosis?

I couldn’t wait to read Little Darlings. From the reviews that I have read, the book was going to be fantastic. So, when I finally got around to reading, I was excited. Little Darlings has earned every bit of praise that has been thrown its way. When a book has me wondering which end is up, it is good!!

I wish that I hadn’t put it off. This book is that good. It is also super creepy. The bit of folklore that the author chose to put at the beginning of each chapter only added to the supernaturalness of the book. I loved it!!

What I also liked is that I didn’t know what was true. Was everything that Laura was experiencing real or in her head? That is what I loved the most about this book. The author did a great job of putting up both sides. And then she does a fantastic job of letting you make your own conclusion at the end of the book. Like I mentioned above, I love it when a book can keep me guessing about what actually happened. Even after it was over.

The end of Little Darlings sent a chill up my spine. Not going to get into it but let’s say that enough doubt is cast that I wondered what happened. The epilogue (well, I wouldn’t quite call it that) was what made me think. It also made me sit and think for a while after I finished the book.

I gave Little Darlings a 4-star rating. This was a creepy book to read. The characters were relatable. The plotlines were fast paced and well written.

I would give Little Darlings an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is violence. There is language. There are triggers. They would be postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis, and cheating. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Little Darlings. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Crooked Lane Books for allowing me to read and review Little Darlings.

All opinions stated in this review of Little Darlings are mine.

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

Have you read Little Darlings?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Weekly Wrap-Up: January 13th through January 19th, 2019

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page): 

Montauk—review coming June 4th, 2019

Moonlight & Whiskey—review coming March 12th, 2019

In Another Life—review coming March 20th, 2019

The Last Letter—review coming February 26th, 2019

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

The Hangman’s Secret—review here

Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants—review here

The Perfect Liar—review here

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave—review here

First Grave on the Right—here and here

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap-Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

The Hangman’s Secret (Victorian Mystery: Book 3) by Laura Joh Rowland

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

3 Stars 

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Date of publication: January 8th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Series: Victorian Mystery

The Ripper’s Shadow—Book 1

A Mortal Likeness—Book 2

The Hangman’s Secret—Book 3

Where you can find The Hangman’s Secret: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

From award-winning author Laura Joh Rowland, a story about the darkness that lurks within and the deadly secrets that beg to be revealed.

Intrepid photographer Sarah Bain and her motley crew of friends are back to hunt criminals in the dark, seedy underbelly of Victorian London, but little do they know, the darkness may lurk closer than they first divined.

Photographer Sarah Bain and her friends Lord Hugh Staunton and sometimes street urchin Mick O’Reilly are private detectives with a new gig—photographing crime scenes for London’s Daily World newspaper. The Daily World is the latest business venture of their sole client, Sir Gerald Mariner, a fabulously wealthy and powerful banker. 

One cold, snowy January morning, Sarah, Hugh, and Mick are summoned to the goriest crime scene they’ve ever encountered. A pub owner named Harry Warbrick has been found hanged and decapitated amid evidence of foul play. His murder becomes a sensation because he was England’s top hangman and he’s met the same fate that he inflicted on hundreds of criminals. 

Sir Gerald announces that the Daily World—meaning Sarah and her friends—will investigate and solve Harry Warbrick’s murder before the police do. The contest pits Sarah against the man she loves, Police Constable Barrett. She and her friends discover a connection between Harry Warbrick’s murder and the most notorious criminal he ever executed—Amelia Carlisle, the “Baby-Butcher,” who murdered hundreds of infants placed in her care. 

Something happened at Amelia’s execution. The Official Secrets Act forbids the seven witnesses present to divulge any information about it. But Harry had a bad habit of leaking tips to the press. Sarah and her friends suspect that one of the other witnesses killed Harry to prevent him from revealing a secret related to the execution. What is the secret, and who hanged the hangman?

My review:

When I first read the blurb for The Hangman’s Secret, I was undecided if I wanted to read this book or not. While I like mysteries, I have to be in the right mood to read them. But, seeing that the book was set in one of my favorite time periods (The Victorian Era), I decided to take a chance on reading it. While I am glad I took the chance on reading it, I was unimpressed with the book. It didn’t surprise me or astonish me. I was a little disappointed in it.

The plot for The Hangman’s Secret was a good one. Sarah and her friends are dispatched to a crime scene by the paper’s owner, Sir Gerald Mariner. There has been a gruesome murder. Sarah, a crime scene photographer, arrives on the scene to find out that the victim was a hangman. Pushed into solving this murder before the police, Sarah finds out that the victim was the hangman for a notorious baby murderer. She also finds out that something happened at that hanging. Whatever that was, someone was willing to kill the people who were at the hanging to keep them quiet. Can she solve it? Or will her reputation, her relationship, and friendships be ruined? Also, will she be able to finally track down her father? Or will she discover something about her past?

While I enjoyed reading The Hangman’s Secret, I felt that it dragged in spots. Mainly in the middle. I was mentally urging the characters to do something to bring the plot out of its lag. Which happened but I almost DNF’d the book before it happened. Also, the beginning was slow. There was too much time discussing the characters backgrounds and storylines from the earlier books. I am here to read this book, not to read about Sarah, Mick and Hugh’s adventures with Jack the Ripper and kidnappers. If that could be cut back a bit, the beginning wouldn’t be so slow.

Sarah bothered me. Because this is Victorian England, I get that she should have been a little reserved. But she wasn’t. She was determined to be an independent woman. Which was unheard of in those days. She was the one that Sir Gerald talked to when he wanted something done. She was the one that took on the job of finding her father. She called the shots in her relationship. It was unheard of in those days for a woman to have as much power as she did. I hate to say this (because I am all about girl power) but I wished she was more like women of that era. Because it was not realistic the way she was.

I liked the mystery angle of the book. The author did a great job at keeping the identity of the killer hidden until the end of the book. I did think it was going to be one person and I was surprised at who it was. I did feel that all the red herrings and false leads weren’t needed. The whole Cross angle of the mystery didn’t do it for me. It actually made me aggravated that one person could be so nasty. As for the mystery of Sarah’s father, it was well done. But there were more questions than answers.

The romance between Bennett and Sarah screamed of dysfunction and took away from the story. While I appreciated that Sarah had someone to love her, I didn’t like that it became a focal point in the plotline towards the end. I also didn’t like how Sarah was judged on her looks. It wasn’t even other people, she put herself down.

The author tied the storylines up nicely at the end of the book. I thought that the ending went on a little longer than I thought. There was no big twist. I also had questions about DCI Reid. Where did he go? There was no mention about him at the end of the book. Seeing that he was Bennett and Sarah’s nemesis, I would have thought there would have been a mention about it. I did like that the author left enough room for another book.

What I liked about The Hangman’s Secret:

  1. The plotline. I enjoyed it
  2. Being set in Victorian England
  3. The end of the book

What I disliked about The Hangman’s Secret:

  1. It dragged in spots and was slow to start
  2. Sarah. She didn’t match the stereotype of women of that era
  3. Sarah and Bennett’s romance

I gave The Hangman’s Secret a 3-star rating. The plotline and the mystery angle of the book was enjoyable to read. I also liked how the book was ended. But, the story was slow to start and the plotline lagged in spots. Also, I didn’t think that Sarah fit the stereotype of women of that era. I also thought that Sarah and Bennett’s romance was dysfunctional and brought no added depth to the story.

I would give The Hangman’s Secret an Adult rating. There is sex but it is not graphic. There is violence, sometimes graphic. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Hangman’s Secret. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Hangman’s Secret.

All opinions stated in the review of The Hangman’s Secret are mine.

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