ARC · book review · Bookouture · Loveswept · Minotaur Books · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Press · Swerve

Weekly Wrap Up: December 9th through December 15th, 2018

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

If, Then
The Reckoning
The House of Fire and Rain (Firemountain Chronicles, #2)
The Girls at 17 Swann Street
Forget You Know Me
Keep Her Close
Illegally Yours (Laws of Attraction, #2)

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

The Girls at 17 Swann Street—review coming February 5th, 2019

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Forget You Know Me—-review coming February 5th, 2019

Forget You Know Me

Keep Her Close—review coming December 11th, 2018

Keep Her Close

Illegally Yours—review coming January 22nd, 2019

Illegally Yours (Laws of Attraction, #2)

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

The House of Fire and Rain

The House of Fire and Rain (Firemountain Chronicles, #2)

Keep Her Close

Keep Her Close

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

Getting Hot with the Scot

Getting Hot with the Scot (Sometimes in Love, #1)

The Perfect Girlfriend

The Perfect Girlfriend

Dark Alpha’s Awakening

Dark Alpha's Awakening (Reaper, #7)

Things You Save in a Fire

Things You Save in a Fire

Keeping Lucy

Keeping Lucy

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

Shattered Reflections

Shattered Reflections

Dirty Alphas

Dirty Alphas: A Reverse Harem Urban Fantasy Romance

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

ARC · book review · Crooked Lane Books · Minotaur Books · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Press

WWW Wednesday: December 12th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Personal:

We got a snowstorm that dumped 14 inches on us. Now, if this was in the NE, Mid-West, or SW (think Washington/areas of California/Oregon), it wouldn’t have been a problem. They are equipped to deal with that much snow. But, here in Hickory, NC….they are not. My kids haven’t been to school since last Friday. I am slowly going insane. Add to everything, BK had to go to Chicago on Monday for a meeting and is coming back late tonight. So, its just been me. I told him this morning that I am going to chug an entire bottle of wine on Friday….lol.

Speaking of the kids, I have a busy week with them next week. Miss B has her Winter Concert (she plays the trumpet) on Monday. My only complaint is that it is at 7:45pm. Which is beyond Miss R’s bedtime. So, it will be interesting to see how that goes. Progress reports go on Tuesday. I am not too worried about Mr. Z (he’s straight A’s). It’s Miss B. She has made up everything that she didn’t pass in or do. That raised her grade from a 40 to a 63. Almost there. On Wednesday, Miss R has her Christmas presentation at school. It should be cute, seeing 2, 3, and 4 (with some 5) year olds putting on a play about Jesus’s birthday. Thursday, Mr. Z has a bell presentation as school. He is playing C sharp. It is also a 1/2 day (which is unheard of in this school system). On top of all that, I still have to wrap presents. I planned on getting 90% of them done this week and well, look how that turned out.

Reading:

I am almost caught up with reviews. I have maybe 3 reviews to write and plan on doing that today. Reading wise, I am behind by 2 books. Which is pretty good for me.  I have gotten 90% of my author request books read (which factors into the reviews I need to write). I have also whittled down my NetGalley TBR. My January and February are chock full of reviews…lol. I have one book on my NetGalley TBR that is bugging me. The publisher took it back for editing, send an email saying that I would get another copy of the book. And nothing. It’s just sitting there. I am anal about stuff like that. I want this book off my 3 months and older section.


What I am currently reading:

If, Then

click on the picture for Amazon link

In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful coworker in Ginny’s own bed, and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.

At first, the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.

I am only on the first chapter of this book but it looks interesting. I can’t wait to see where this book is going to go. If, Then is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is March 12th, 2019. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.


What I recently finished reading:

The Reckoning

click on the picture for Amazon link

The Reckoning is the stunning follow-up to The Legacy, which was the start of a thrilling new series that Booklist (starred) recommends for fans of Tana French. 

Vaka sits, regretting her choice of coat, on the cold steps of her new school. Her father appears to have forgotten to pick her up, her mother has forgotten to give her this week’s pocket money, and the school is already locked for the day. Grownups, she decides, are useless.

With no way to call home, she resigns herself to waiting on the steps until her father remembers her. When a girl approaches, Vaka recognizes her immediately from class, and from her unusual appearance: two of her fingers are missing. The girl lives at the back of the school, on the other side of a high fence, and Vaka asks to call her father from the girl’s house. That afternoon is the last time anyone sees Vaka.

Detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja are called in. Soon, they find themselves at the heart of another shocking case.

From the international number one-bestselling author of The Silence of the Sea, winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel Yrsa Sigurdardottir returns with the follow-up to The Legacy.

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. I am not going to go much into the book except to say that it was really good. I am hoping that there will be a Book 3 and I am going to read Book 1 as soon as I can. The Reckoning is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is February 12th, 2019.


What books I think I’ll read next? (click on the pictures for Amazon links)

In the Blink of an Eye

Originally titled Sixty Seconds

A deeply emotional drama that explores a family’s path to forgiveness and redemption in the aftermath of a tragedy.

The Brennans — parents, Finn and Bridget, and their sons, Jarrah and Toby — have made a sea change, from chilly Hobart, Tasmania, to subtropical Murwillumbah, New South Wales. Feeling like foreigners in this land of sun and surf, they’re still adjusting to work, school, and life in a sprawling purple clapboard house, when one morning, tragedy strikes.

In the devastating aftermath, the questions fly. What really happened? And who’s to blame? Determined to protect his family, Finn finds himself under the police and media spotlight. Guilty and enraged, Bridget spends nights hunting answers in the last place imaginable. Jarrah — his innocence lost — faces a sudden and frightening adulthood where nothing is certain.

In the Blink of an Eye is a haunting, redemptive story about forgiveness and hope.

I was intrigued by this book. This book is something that I like to read. I am hoping that this book is as good as I think it is going to be. In the Blink of an Eye is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is March 19th, 2019. Look for my review after that date.

The Girl He Used to Know

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game–and his heart–to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

I like reading second chance romances. I can’t wait to read this book. The Girl He Used to Know is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is April 2nd, 2019. Look for my review after that date.

The Mother-in-Law

A twisty, compelling novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder…

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law. 

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.
The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation. 
Who could possibly want Diana dead? 
Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses?

With Lucy’s secrets getting deeper and her relationship with her mother-in-law growing more complex as the pages turn, this new novel from Sally Hepworth is sure to add to her growing legion of fans.

Another book that I am looking forward to reading. I like a good mystery and this looks like something I will enjoy reading. The Mother in Law is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is April 23rd, 2019. Look for my review after that date.

Little Darlings

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

This book sounded super creepy. Changeling stories are always creepy in my eyes. I am hoping that this book is as good as it sounds. Little Darlings is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is May 10th, 2019. Look for my review after that date.

Dirty Alphas: A Reverse Harem Urban Fantasy Romance

Know what’s worse than being forced to marry your depraved, sadistic alpha? 
Hiding his corpse.
 

Ten years after storms and seismic disasters ravaged the world, only one major forest remains intact in the United States, and my werewolf pack is responsible for keeping Heartland Forest for the wolves. Jacob Knight may have been a terrible alpha, but he kept the fae, vampires, and man-eating trolls from taking over Heartland. Day by day, they close in on us. 

For two years, I’ve gotten away with murder, and it hasn’t been easy. I live a lie, and it’s eating me up inside. It’s a price I must pay to keep my secrets buried and my pack safe. 

But nothing stays buried for long in Heartland Forest. 

When Jacob’s three alpha brothers ride their motorcycles into town, claiming they want to rent a room in the apartment building I manage, I know they’re here for more than low rent and creaky pipes. 

Do I have what it takes to take on three dirty alphas?

I haven’t read (or reviewed) a reverse harem in a while. I also haven’t read anything to do with shifters in a while. So when I was approached to review Dirty Alphas, I figured “Why not“. Dirty Alpha’s is currently on pre-order. Its expected publication date is December 14th, 2018. Be on the look out for my review after that date.

Watcher in the Woods (Rockton, #4)

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s latest thriller, the town of Rockton–and her fans–are in for another hair-raising adventure.

The secret town of Rockton has seen some rocky times lately; understandable considering its mix of criminals and victims fleeing society for refuge within its Yukon borders. Casey Duncan, the town’s only detective on a police force of three, has already faced murder, arson and falling in love in less than the year that she’s lived there. Yet even she didn’t think it would be possible for an outsider to find and cause trouble in the town she’s come to call home.

When a US Marshal shows up in town demanding the release of one of the residents, Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Dalton, are skeptical. And yet only hours later, the marshal is shot dead and the only visible suspects are the townspeople and her estranged sister, in town for just the weekend. It’s up to Casey to figure out who murdered the marshal, and why they would kill to keep him quiet.

The blurb for this book made me want to read it. It seems like it would be a good murder mystery. I can’t wait to read it!! Watcher in the Woods is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is February 5th, 2019. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

Alban Lake Publishing · ARC · book review · Independent Book Publisher's Association · Loveswept · Member's Titles · Minotaur Books · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Griffin · St. Martin's Press

Weekly Wrap Up: October 21st through October 27th 2018

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

A Nanny for Harry

Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides, #10)

Stripped Down

Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7)

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #13)

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)

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

Kiss Me at Christmas—review coming October 31st, 2018

Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides, #10)

Stripped Down—review coming October 29th, 2018

Stripped Down

First Grave on the Right + Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Reread + Blog Tour)—review coming November 9th, 2018

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #13)

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

Our Life in the Forest—review here

Our Life in the Forest

Big Stick—review here

Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7)

Until We Are Free—review here

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

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

Watcher in the Woods (Rockton, #4)

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

Stripped Down

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

ARC · Bantam · book review · Crooked Lane Books · Independent Book Publisher's Association · Loveswept · Member's Titles · Minotaur Books · NetGalley · Non ARC · RABT Book Tours · Random House Publishing Group · Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine · St. Martin's Press

Weekly Wrap Up: October 7th through October 13th 2018

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

Dear Santa: A Novel

Tetterbaum's Truth (Just Call Me Angel Book 1)

Days of Reign

 

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

The Christmas Star—review coming October 16th, 2018

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

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

Tetterbaum’s Truth—review here

Tetterbaum's Truth (Just Call Me Angel Book 1)

Days of Reign—review here

Days of Reign

The Forbidden Door—review here

The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk, #4)

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

Little Darlings

The Storyteller's Throne

A Nanny for Harry

The Reckoning: A Thriller

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

Accidents Happen

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

ARC · book review · Minotaur Books · NetGalley · St. Martin's Press

The Middleman by Olen Steinhauer

The Middleman

2 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

Date of publication: August 7th, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find The Middleman: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

New York Times bestselling author Olen Steinhauer’s next sweeping espionage novel traces the rise and fall of a domestic left-wing terrorist group. Told from the individual perspectives of an FBI agent, an undercover agent within the group, a convert to the terrorist organization, and a writer on the edges of the whole affair, this is another tightly wound thriller, and an intimate exploration of the people behind the politics, from a master of suspense.

My review:

I made a mistake when I got The Middleman from NetGalley. I wasn’t paying attention, thought I hit the Read Now button for another book and ended up with this one instead. I do not like political/espionage thrillers. I have read them, even reviewed them, in the past. I can’t get into the books. So, I wasn’t very happy when I realized what I did. But, I decided to suck it up.

I couldn’t get into the book. I struggled to finish it. If I didn’t have a personal goal of not DNF’ing a book, then it would have been DNF’d and forgotten about. But, I stuck it out. It took me 4 nights to finish this book. 4 torturous nights of me falling asleep while reading. That is something I rarely do.

I did like the plot. It was something that I could see happening in real life. 400 young people disappearing all at once. All 400 have traces to a domestic terrorist group. Told from 4 different POV’s, this should have been a riveting book. Instead, I ended up getting bored with the book halfway through. If the author had stuck with one or two POV’s, then it would have worked. But with 4 different ones. Well, I had a hard time keeping track of everything. Even with the chapters marked.

I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. It drove me nuts because I need to have at least 1 connection in the book. I didn’t have any.

I did feel that the book did fit in with the mystery genre pretty well. The story with the 2nd in command of the terrorist group was well-played out. I didn’t see him being who he was until it was explained at the end. As for the thriller genre, not so much. I kept losing attention, which isn’t good in a thriller. You need to be sucked into a thriller book and then spit out at the end feeling. The Middleman didn’t do that. The same thing goes for suspense. The book should have been fast-paced right from the start. Instead, it started off slowly. It did pick up steam by the middle of the book, only to slow down by the end of the book. Very frustrating to read.

I do feel that there was a huge hole in the plotline in the middle of the book. Take for instance Rachel being in the hospital. I had to reread the chapters leading up to her being injured for any mention of her getting hurt. There was nothing. But suddenly, she was on medical leave from a bad injury. Made 100% no sense to me. There are a few more examples but I don’t want to make a novel out of my review.

There was also some lag in the plotline. One right around Rachel’s injury. The other was when Kevin was in Europe, chasing leads all over the place. The author recovered very well but still.

The end of The Middleman was confusing. Not in the sense how it ended. I agreed with the explanations that Rachel got about the case. It was the ending involving another key character. I kind of shook my head and wondered “Why was she there? How did she get there?” I was also left wondering if that group was going to be reborn. Something about what the men were talking about made me wonder that. There were also some unfinished storylines that made me go “Huh“. I hate it when storylines are left unfinished. I hate it even more when it was attached to a major storyline. No closure makes me cranky.

Why I rated The Middleman 2 stars. There were huge holes in the plotline mid-book. There were dropped storylines. There were too many POV’s. There were some things that I did like about The Middleman. I did like the plot. I felt that the mystery angle of the book was well written.

What I liked about The Middleman (to recap):

A) The plot

B) The mystery angle of the book was well written.

What I disliked about The Middleman (to recap):

A) Huge holes in the plotline

B) Dropped storyline

C) Too many POV’s

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

I would not reread The Middleman. I would not recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Middleman.

All opinions stated in this review of The Middleman are mine.

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