In Her Shadow by Kristin Miller

In Her Shadow: A Novel by [Miller, Kristin]

3.5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

Date of publication: April 21st, 2020

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Women’s Fiction

Where you can find In Her Shadow: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

A pregnant young woman becomes obsessed with the disappearance of her lover’s wife–only to discover that she may be headed for the same fate–from New York Times bestselling author Kristin Miller.

Once his secretary, Colleen is now pregnant with Michael’s baby. When he brings her to his opulent estate, Ravenwood, she is abruptly thrust into a life of luxury she’s never known. But Colleen finds the immense house suffused with the memory of Michael’s beautiful wife, Joanna, who left months ago and who haunts her imagination. It quickly becomes apparent that there is little room for a new mistress of this house: The staff greets her with hostility, and there are entire wings and corridors from which she is prohibited to enter.

Then bones are unearthed in the grove across the street.

When Michael falls under the suspicion of the detectives investigating the case, the soon-to-be mother of his child finds herself hurled deeper into her boyfriend’s dark past–a past that threatens to upend all her dreams. But the terrifying secrets lurking in the shadows of Ravenwood pale in comparison to the drastic measures Colleen will take to stake a claim to her new life.

Inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, In Her Shadow is the chilling story of one woman’s desperate desire to be loved and the ghosts that get in her way–but only if she lets them.


First Line:

“Help.”

In Her Shadow by Kristin Miller

My Review:

When I read the blurb for In Her Shadow, I was intrigued. Seeing the comparisons to Rebecca caught my interest right away. The blurb deepened my interest in the book. It sounded perfect for me. Then I read it. While I liked some parts of the book, there were other parts that I didn’t like. Those parts did factor in my rating of the review.

In Her Shadow had a fast plotline, which I liked. The book takes place within a week of Colleen moving into Michael’s house, Ravenwood. There were no dropped characters and, more importantly, no dropped storylines. The flow of the book was ok. Because the book had several different POV’s (always in 3rd person), the flow did get interrupted. I felt that if the author kept to Colleen, Michael, and maybe Joanna’s POV, the book would have had a better flow to it. I did not need to read about the detective, Michael’s friends, the cook, or the maid’s POV.

I liked, and felt terrible, for Colleen during the first half of In Her Shadow. She was thrust into a world that she did not know about. She had to deal with a staff that treated her like she was invisible. Adding to that, she was pregnant, and it was high risk. I didn’t blame her for feeling that she was overshadowed in the first days there. I also didn’t blame her for becoming obsessed with Joanna and her legacy. But, saying that, I wasn’t expecting what she found out.

I didn’t like Michael. From the beginning, he came across as skeevy. I had my doubts about him from the start. I mean, who moves on less than a month after his wife disappears? And then gets his new girlfriend pregnant? That was a huge WTF for several people in the book and me. But, as skeevy as he was, I didn’t quite believe that he killed Joanna. He was a coward and a bit of a wuss, but he didn’t spark that “I’m a killer” vibe to me.

The secondary characters most definitely made the book. From the police detective to Joanna’s best frenemy to Michael’s best friend, those characters breathed life into the book when it needed it.

The mystery angle of the book (Joanna’s disappearance) was well written, but it held no mystery for me. I was able to guess what happened to her before the author got there. I also guessed certain specific details that occurred before they happened (if that makes sense).

The thriller angle of the book was very well written. The author was able to keep me on my toes during those scenes.

The end of In Her Shadow was intense. Considering the prologue, I was expecting the book to end a certain way. I was not expecting what happened to happen. But, as I mentioned in the above paragraph, there was a huge plot twist that took me by surprise. I was not expecting what was revealed. I also was not expecting the final chapter or the countdown. Does that mean another book is in the works?


I would give In Her Shadow 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 In Her Shadow. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Shorefall (Founders: Book 2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

Date of publication: April 21st, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Founders

Foundryside—Book 1 (Review Here)

Shorefall—Book 2

Where you can find Shorefall: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

The upstart firm Foundryside is struggling to make it. Orso Igancio and his star employee, former thief Sancia Grado, are accomplishing brilliant things with scriving, the magical art of encoding sentience into everyday objects, but it’s not enough. The massive merchant houses of Tevanne won’t tolerate competition, and they’re willing to do anything to crush Foundryside.

But even the merchant houses of Tevanne might have met their match. An immensely powerful and deadly entity has been resurrected in the shadows of Tevanne, one that’s not interested in wealth or trade routes: a hierophant, one of the ancient practitioners of scriving. And he has a great fascination for Foundryside, and its employees – especially Sancia.

Now Sancia and the rest of Foundryside must race to combat this new menace, which means understanding the origins of scriving itself – before the hierophant burns Tevanne to the ground.


First Line:

“The gates are just ahead,” said Gregor.

Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett

My Review:

I was pretty pumped when I got the email from Del Ray/Random House asking if I wanted to review Shorefall. I had loved Foundryside and was wondering when the next book was going to be published. So, it was a no brainer what my answer was going to be.

Shorefall is the 2nd book in the Founders trilogy. I would highly recommend reading Foundryside first. You would better understand the world, the houses, Sanica, and everything else in the book.

Shorefall takes place three years after the events of Foundryside, and Orso, Sanica, Berenice, and Gregor have founded their scriving business. They have become a sort of Robin Hood to the poor but they give out scrives instead of money. After an excursion to steal one of the remaining Houses lexicons, Sanica is contacted by Valeria. Valeria has a warning. Her Maker is coming, and he is getting ready to destroy Tevanne. Sanica and her crew must prepare to fight Valeria’s Maker. But are they prepared for the toll it will take upon the group? And with the lines between good and evil blurred, will Sanica make the right choice?

Shorefall’s plotline was fast-paced. Seeing that this book takes place within a week or so of Valeria’s Maker arriving in Tevanne, there were no dropped plotlines or characters. The writing flowed beautifully when the book had to change from Sanica. There was no awkwardness either. That alone made me love the book.

It did take me some time to read Shorefall. But, and I want to stress this, it wasn’t because the book was awful and I was putting it off. Nope, it was the complete opposite. I slowed down my reading pace so I could savor this book. The writing, the language, the characters were beautifully written.

I can’t get much into the storyline or characters of Shorefall without giving away spoilers. I will say this; the characters blossomed in this book. And the storyline was fantastic. The details that the author thought to include was terrific.

I will touch upon Clef, Valeria, and Valeria’s Maker. There is a massive twist in the plot that I didn’t see coming that involves them. Looking back, it makes total sense. But when I was reading it, I was shocked. I ended up putting my Kindle down and saying, “No freaking way.

The end of Shorefall made me cry. Again, I can’t say why, but it does involve Orso and Gregor. My heart broke into smithereens during those scenes. With the way the book ended, I am not sure what is going to happen and now will be impatiently waiting for the final book!!


I would give Shorefall an Older Teen rating. There are mentions of sexual situations (no details). There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Shorefall. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

The Last Human by Zack Jordan

The Last Human by [Jordan, Zack]

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

Date of publication: March 24th, 2020

Genre: Science Fiction

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

Book Synopsis:

The last human in the universe is on the run from a godlike intelligence in this rip-roaring debut space opera.

Sarya is the civilized galaxy’s worst nightmare: a Human.

Most days, Sarya doesn’t feel like the most terrifying creature in the galaxy.

Most days, she’s got other things on her mind. Like hiding her identity among the hundreds of alien species roaming the corridors of Watertower Station. Or making sure her adoptive mother doesn’t casually eviscerate one of their neighbors. Again.

And most days, she can almost accept that she’ll never know the truth–that she’ll never know why humanity was deemed too dangerous to exist. Or whether she really is–impossibly–the lone survivor of a species destroyed a millennium ago.

That is, until an encounter with a bounty hunter and a miles-long kinetic projectile leaves her life and her perspective shattered.

Thrown into the universe at the helm of a stolen ship–with the dubious assistance of a rebellious spacesuit, an android death enthusiast on his sixtieth lifetime, and a ball of fluff with an IQ in the thousands–Sarya begins to uncover an impossible truth.

What if humanity’s death and her own existence are simply two moves in a demented cosmic game, one played out by vast alien intellects? Stranger still, what if these mad gods are offering Sarya a seat at their table–and a second chance for humanity?

The Last Human is a sneakily brilliant, gleefully oddball space-opera debut–a masterful play on perspective, intelligence, and free will, wrapped in a rollicking journey through a strange and crowded galaxy.


First Line:

Not so many years ago, Shenya the Widow was a void-cold killer.

The Last Human by Zack Jordan

My Review:

I usually do not read science fiction for review. That doesn’t mean I don’t read that genre. I wouldn’t say I like do not like reviewing that genre. So how did I end up with The Last Human for review? Easy, I wished for it on NetGalley and the publisher granted my wish.

The Last Human is the story of Sarya. Sarya is the adopted daughter of Shenya the Widow and she lives on a space station. But, Sarya is also the last of her species, a Human. Sarya’s mother and herself have worked carefully to hide what Sarya is. Everything was okay until a bounty hunter showed up and everything went sideways. The result was Sarya on the run with a spacesuit who can think for itself, an android who is obsessed with death and a super-smart fluffball (think a Tribble) and her protector. When two gods approach Sarya with a chance to make right past wrongs, she has to make a choice. Does she accept what they individually offer? Or does she go her own way?

The plotline for The Last Human was well written and kept my attention. There was a little bit of lag (when Sarya was inside the Observer’s brain), but the author was able to pull past it. There was also no dropped storylines or characters, which was a massive plus for me.

Sarya was an awesome character. She knew that she was Human, and she knew that she needed to keep her Humanity secret. If she didn’t, she would have been killed on sight. She loved her mother, Shenya the Widow, and was devastated when Shenya gave her life to let Sarya escape. She did make some rash decisions, but that only highlighted her Humanity. Her actions at the end of the book were exciting and thought-provoking.

The science fiction angle of the book was wonderfully written. It has been a long while since I read a space opera that I enjoyed. The worlds, the technology, the other life forms were fantastically written. I loved that the author broke the book up into the tiers of intelligence. I also loved that he gave excerpts of the rules and a glimpse into why Humanity was wiped out.

The end of The Last Human was satisfying. It raised a lot of questions for me. Those questions weren’t to do with the book but with the question “Is there life out there.


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

I would reread The Last Human. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

The Other People by C.J. Tudor

The Other People: A Novel by [Tudor, C. J.]

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

Date of publication: January 28th, 2020

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

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

Book Synopsis:

A gripping new thriller about a man’s quest for the daughter no one else believes is still alive, from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man and The Hiding Place.

Driving home one night, stuck behind a rusty old car, Gabe sees a little girl’s face appear in the rear window. She mouths one word: ‘Daddy.’ It’s his five-year-old daughter, Izzy.

He never sees her again.

Three years later, Gabe spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, searching for the car that took his daughter, refusing to give up hope, even though most people believe that Izzy is dead.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, also put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter.

Then, the car that Gabe saw driving away that night is found, in a lake, with a body inside and Gabe is forced to confront events, not just from the night his daughter disappeared, but from far deeper in his past.

His search leads him to a group called The Other People.

If you have lost a loved one, The Other People want to help. Because they know what loss is like. They know what pain is like. They know what death is like.

There’s just one problem . . . they want other people to know it too.


First Line:

She sleeps.

The Other People by C.J. Tudor

My Review:

The Other People is about Gabe and his search for his missing daughter. Gabe’s wife and daughter were murdered while he was on the way home. At the time, Gabe didn’t know that and was surprised when he saw his daughter’s face appear in the back window of the car in front of him. That set off a series of events. Gabe was accused of their murder and the cleared. Then the car is found and new evidence that his daughter wasn’t the one that died. But, Gabe isn’t prepared for the truth. He also wasn’t ready for a secret that he has kept buried to be exposed. What happened the night his wife and daughter were killed? Will Gabe get his answers?

I know that it is only a few weeks into the new year, but this has to be the best mystery/thriller/suspense book that I have read to date. I couldn’t put this book down!! Put it this way, I read it in two hours. It was that good!!

The plotline in The Other People does get off to a slow start. It did take me a couple of chapters before I got immersed in it. There was also a small amount of lag in the book, right around where Fran left Alice with her mother. But the author was able to get the book back on track.

Gabe was amazing in The Other People. He knew that he saw his daughter the night of the murder, and he never gave up hope that she was alive. I did feel bad for him at the beginning of the book because he was utterly destroyed by what happened. I also admired his restraint when he found out what his in-laws had done. I would have gone ballistic. And of course, there was the issue of his secret. I wish that it had been released earlier in the book.

Fran was an enigma throughout the book. I didn’t understand why she was on the run until she went to her mothers. Then a little bit of her story fell into place. At that point, I understood why she did what she did. My heart broke for her.

I figured out Alice’s story reasonably early in the book. But I couldn’t understand what was happening to her with the stones. Then it was explained and man, it was creepy. Again, my heart went out to her.

The plotline with Gabe looking for his daughter was amazing. The author was able to show his frustration, worry, anger, and hope. I was a little irritated by how the police treated him. But once concrete evidence was found (and Gabe told them what his father in law did), they took him seriously.

The plotline with Fran and Alice was interesting. Right away, I guessed what was going on. But I never guessed why it happened, who Fran was running from and how it was connected to Gabe. That all took me by surprise. Add in the secondary storyline with Fran’s sister and The Sandman, and yeah, I was blown away.

There was a paranormal element in the book that I wished it had more power in the book. It was interesting because of how Alice brought the stones in. But, the connection to Gabe’s secret was something that I didn’t even see coming.

The end of The Other People was interesting. I say interesting because there were a couple of twists in the plot. I didn’t see either of them coming. The author did a great job of combining all of the storylines, even ones that I thought were done with. But, it was the very end of the book that gave me chills.


I would give The Other People an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Other People. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

The Vanished Birds: A Novel by [Jimenez, Simon]

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

Date of publication: January 14th 2020

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy

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

Book Synopsis:

A mysterious child lands in the care of a solitary woman, changing both of their lives forever in this captivating debut of connection across space and time.

“This is when your life begins.”

Nia Imani is a woman out of place and outside of time. Decades of travel through the stars are condensed into mere months for her, though the years continue to march steadily onward for everyone she has ever known. Her friends and lovers have aged past her; all she has left is work. Alone and adrift, she lives only for the next paycheck, until the day she meets a mysterious boy, fallen from the sky.

A boy, broken by his past.

The scarred child does not speak, his only form of communication the beautiful and haunting music he plays on an old wooden flute. Captured by his songs and their strange, immediate connection, Nia decides to take the boy in. And over years of starlit travel, these two outsiders discover in each other the things they lack. For him, a home, a place of love and safety. For her, an anchor to the world outside of herself.

For both of them, a family.

But Nia is not the only one who wants the boy. The past hungers for him, and when it catches up, it threatens to tear this makeshift family apart.


First Line:

He was born with an eleventh finger.

The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

My Review:

I was on the fence about reviewing The Vanished Birds. To make up my mind, I read the first four reviews on Goodreads. That is something I never do, but I was conflicted. The reviews were evenly conflicted about the book. So, I decided to take a chance on it. For the most part, it was a good book. But some parts made me wonder why they were written, even after finishing the book.

The Vanished Birds had a slow to a medium-paced plotline. When the book focused on Nia and her relationship with Ahro/their travels until he was 16, the book moved at a medium-paced. But, when the book focused on Fumiko Nakajima (past and present) and her travels, it slowed to a crawl. I will be honest; I skimmed over a large part of her story. I started paying attention when she was on the secret base and the events afterward.

I enjoyed reading about the type of space travel that Nia used to go between planets. It fascinated me. I couldn’t imagine being in space for what I would have thought would be a few months and to find out that 15 years have passed.

Nia was a tough cookie to like during the book. She made some questionable decisions that affected the people around her. Nia kept people are arm’s length. She did unbend, slightly, when she met Ahro. She unbent, even more, when Fumiko asked her to keep him safe for 15 years. But, I couldn’t quite bring myself to like her.

When Fumiko was introduced in The Vanished Birds, I didn’t understand what her role was. I mean, it was explained relatively early on that she was the founder of the colonies in space, and she invented the engine that allowed space travel. But I didn’t know why her backstory was being told. It didn’t go with the flow of Nia’s story. Even when her story was brought to the present, I still wondered: “Why?” I also wondered why she was so invested in Ahro. It was explained, and it didn’t show her in a good light.

I loved Ahro. I loved seeing his character growth throughout the book. I wasn’t prepared for what his secret was, though. I honestly thought that it had something to do with music and his affinity for it. So, when it was revealed, I was shocked. I loved watching his relationship with Nia and her crew grow, which made what happened and who caused it such a shock.

I do wish that more time had been spent on the times they visited the planets. There were so many locations!!! All exotic and all made me want more. But that didn’t happen.

I wasn’t a fan of the last half of the book. I had questions about what was going to happen to Nia and Ahro once the dust settles. I also had questions about Fumiko. I can only assume what happened to her. And then there is the question about where Ahro originally came from and who The Kind One was.


I would give The Vanished Birds 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 Vanished Birds. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Steel Crow Saga (Steel Crow Saga: Book 1) by Paul Krueger

Steel Crow Saga by [Krueger, Paul]

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

Date of publication: September 24th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA

Where you can find Steel Crow Saga: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Series: Steel Crow Saga

Steel Crow Saga—Book 1

Book Synopsis:

Four destinies collide in a unique fantasy world of war and wonders, where empire is won with enchanted steel and magical animal companions fight alongside their masters in battle.

A soldier with a curse
Tala lost her family to the empress’s army and has spent her life avenging them in battle. But the empress’s crimes don’t haunt her half as much as the crimes Tala has committed against the laws of magic… and her own flesh and blood.

A prince with a debt
Jimuro has inherited the ashes of an empire. Now that the revolution has brought down his kingdom, he must depend on Tala to bring him home safe. But it was his army who murdered her family. Now Tala will be his redemption—or his downfall.

A detective with a grudge
Xiulan is an eccentric, pipe-smoking detective who can solve any mystery—but the biggest mystery of all is her true identity. She’s a princess in disguise, and she plans to secure her throne by presenting her father with the ultimate prize: the world’s most wanted prince.

A thief with a broken heart
Lee is a small-time criminal who lives by only one law: Leave them before they leave you. But when Princess Xiulan asks her to be her partner in crime—and offers her a magical animal companion as a reward—she can’t say no, and soon finds she doesn’t want to leave the princess behind.

This band of rogues and royals should all be enemies, but they unite for a common purpose: to defeat an unstoppable killer who defies the laws of magic. In this battle, they will forge unexpected bonds of friendship and love that will change their lives—and begin to change the world.


First Line:

Dimangan heard his name and came when he was called.

Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

My Review:

I have noticed a couple of themes in the books that I have been reading lately. The first one is that I saw is the plenty of strong female characters. The second is that Japanese/Chinese based fantasy is becoming more popular. Both caught my attention when I read the blurb for Steel Crow Saga. I am happy to say that I loved Steel Crow Saga!! It was a fantastic read.

Steel Crow Saga has four separate plotlines. Usually, that would be an issue for me. I lose focus on many plotlines. But, in this book, it wasn’t an issue. The author was able to keep all four plotlines separated. I had no problem keeping them straight. I also loved that while the plotlines did get merged towards the end of the book, they were still separate.

The characters in Steel Crow Saga were well written and well fleshed out. That made the book so much more enjoyable for me to read. I did have my favorite characters in the book. I loved Lee and Xiulan, separately and together. I also did like Tala and Jimuro, but Lee and Xiulan captured my heart.

The fantasy angle of the book was amazing!! I loved how shadepacting worked. To have an animal bond that close to you must be amazing. But I also could see why it was done with only animals and not humans. I thought having the bad guy having hundreds of shades was great. I also liked that the characters could steal the shades from other people. I liked it.

Another part of the book that I loved was the LGBT representation in the book. Xiulan and Lee had feelings for each other. Jimuro’s oldest friend was a transgender man. Mang, Tala’s brother, was gay. Lee, and I believe Jimuro, were bisexual. I loved it!!

I have read reviews where this book was compared to The Last Airbender and Pokemon. I did get the Pokemon vibe while reading it but I didn’t get The Last Airbender vibe. Shrugs.

I also liked that each race was a different Asian country. China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and India were represented. Doing that added more depth to the book. There also could be more countries that I didn’t pick up on.

There was a lot of violence and death in Steel Crow Saga. It didn’t bother me (violence in books usually don’t). But some people are bothered by violence. Unfortunately, this book couldn’t be told without the violence.

Tala and Mang’s relationship was one of the saddest ones that I have read to date. My heart broke several times whenever their relationship came up. The author also explains how he became a shade. Again, talk about my poor heartbreaking. I was in tears. What Mang asked Tala to do was awful, and it shaped her for the rest of her life.

The end of Steel Crow Saga was interesting. It was interesting because while the main storylines ended, the author left room for another book. I am curious to see what will happen with Tala and Jimuro, especially after what was revealed. I am also interested to see where Lee and Xiulan’s relationship will go. Also, I want to know what will happen with the different countries now that the war is over. I can’t wait for book 2 to come out!!


I would give Steel Crow Saga 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 Steel Crow Saga. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney

The Perfect Wife: A Novel by [Delaney, JP]

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

Date of publication: August 6th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

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

Book synopsis:

A missing woman receives a second chance at life, thanks to her billionaire husband–but the consequences are deadly in this gripping psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before.

Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s an icon of the tech world, the founder of a lucrative robotics company. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago, and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss. She is a miracle of science. 

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband’s motives–and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what reallyhappened to Abbie half a decade ago?


My review:

When I started reading The Perfect Wife, I was expecting a psychological thriller. I was expecting to read about Abbie’s remembering what happened to her the night of her accident. I was even expecting a few twists to the plot, which the book delivered. What I wasn’t expecting was the science fiction angle of the book. That took me by surprise.

The plotline of The Perfect Wife was interesting. Abbie wakes up wondering who she was. She is filled in by her husband. Abbie is an AI. She is a replica of Tim’s wife who went missing over five years ago. Abbie’s memories of her marriage show that Tim and herself are in love and happy. But Abbie can’t help but think that something is missing. That memories are missing. Abbie soon embarks on a mission to discover her missing memories. She also wants to find out what happened to Abbie 5 years earlier. Did she disappear? Or did something more sinister happen?

I liked Abbie, but I couldn’t get a feel for the AI. She was bland, personality- wise, for 90% of the book. I couldn’t connect to either version of her, which irritated me because I wanted to in the worse way. Abbie before was much more enjoyable.

Tim creeped me out. I understood that he was devastated by Abbie disappearance. But to make an AI that had her memories was creepy. Even creepier was how he was before Abbie. Talk about chills!!

Danny was also an essential character in The Perfect Wife. The author did a tremendous job of describing his form of autism. The author also did a fantastic job of explaining the various schools/treatments that Abbie and Tim tried.

I wasn’t a fan of the switch between 2nd person POV and 3rd person POV. I don’t like 2nd person POV. Add in that it kept switching to 3rd person and I was like “What” during some parts of the plotline. I kept having to reread chapters, and I am not a huge fan of doing that.

The end of The Perfect Wife confused me. I had to read it a few times. Even now, after I have finished the book, I still don’t get it. The author did wrap up the “What Happened To Abbie” storyline well but it didn’t jive with the rest of the story. Plus, what happened to Abbie and Danny at the end. I couldn’t figure out which one was the truth.


I would give The Perfect Wife 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 Perfect Wife. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Perfect Wife.

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


Have you read The Perfect Wife?

What are your thoughts on it?

Do you think that there will eventually be AI’s that look like human beings?

Let me know!!

The Rumor by Lesley Kara

The Rumor: A Novel by [Kara, Lesley]

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

Date of Publication: June 18th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

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

Book synopsis:

A single mom discovers just how deadly gossip can be in this irresistible debut thriller inspired by a sensational true crime story, for fans of Big Little Lies, The Couple Next Door, and The Widow.

Joanna is desperate to ingratiate herself with a popular clique of mothers at her son’s new school. But when she tries to impress them by repeating a rumor she overheard at the school gates, there’s no going back. . . .

Rumor has it that a notorious killer, a woman who has been released from prison years after her brutal crime, is living under a new identity in Joanna’s seaside town. So who is the supposedly reformed murderer now living in their neighborhood? Suspicion falls on everyone.

Joanna becomes obsessed with the case, pawing through decades-old records in an attempt to name the killer. But her curiosity not only ostracizes her from the community, but exposes her son and his father to a heartless psychopath who has killed–and may kill again. 

How dangerous can one rumor become? And how far will Joanna go to protect those she loves from harm, when she realizes what she’s unleashed?

Joanna is going to regret the day she ever said a word….


First Line

It’s happening again.

The Rumor by Lesley Kara

I am guilty of judging a book by its blurb. When I read the blurb, I thought that it was going to be a run of the mill suspense/thriller/mystery. I thought that I would be able to figure out who the killer was by the middle of the book. Yeah, well, that didn’t happen. I was taken by surprise by The Rumor , and I loved it.

The murderer in The Rumor is based on a real crime. Mary Bell killed a four-year-old and a three-year-old in 1968. The author had Sally follow Mary’s path in life. I was chilled reading those parts of The Rumor. The question that burned in my mind as I was reading was, “What can drive a ten-year-old to kill?

The plotline in The Rumor was fast paced. There were no slow interludes. Everything that occurred in the book, happened within a few weeks of Joanna repeating the rumor. There was no lag, and there were no dropped or missing storylines.

Joanna became a hot mess during the book. The minute she repeated that rumor, she was on a fast track to collide with the killer. There were times where I wanted to shake her, though. Mainly with her personal life. I did feel bad for her at the end of the book. What she learned shocked me as much as it shocked her.

I was surprised at who the child killer was. When it was revealed, my mouth dropped open, and I said, out loud, “No effing way.” I was not expecting it to be that person. The author did a fantastic job of throwing out red herrings and pointing fingers at various people in the book. I loved it!!

The end of The Rumor was intense. Everything was revealed in a showdown that I can only describe as epic. I couldn’t put the book down because I needed to know what was going to happen. What chilled me was the last chapter. I got chills up and down my spine when I read it.


I would give The Rumor 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 Rumor. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

The Soul of Power (The Waking Land: Book 3) by Callie Bates

The Soul of Power (The Waking Land Book 3) by [Bates, Callie]

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

Date of publication: June 4th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Waking Land

The Waking Land—Book 1 (review here)

The Memory of Fire—Book 2 (review here)

The Soul of Power—Book 3

Where you can find The Soul of Power: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book synopsis:

One young woman learns the true nature of power–both her own and others’–in the riveting conclusion to The Waking Land Trilogy.

Sophy Dunbarron–the illegitimate daughter of a king who never was–has always felt like an impostor. Separated from her birth mother, raised by parents mourning the loss of their true daughter, and unacknowledged by her father, Sophy desires only a place and a family to call her own. But fate has other ideas. Caught up in Elanna Valtai’s revolution, Sophy has become the reigning monarch of a once-divided country–a role she has been groomed her whole life to fill.

But as she quickly discovers, wearing a crown is quite a different thing from keeping a crown. With an influx of magic-bearing refugees pouring across the border, resources already thinned by war are stretched to the breaking point. Half the nobility in her court want her deposed, and the other half question her every decision. And every third person seems to be spontaneously manifesting magical powers.

When Elanna is captured and taken to Paladis, Sophy’s last ally seems to have vanished. Now it is up to her alone to navigate a political maze that becomes more complex and thorny by the day. And worse, Sophy is hiding a huge secret–one that could destroy her tenuous hold on the crown forever.


My review:

I was excited when I saw that the final installment in The Waking Land series was available for review. I had reviewed the first two books and enjoyed them. I had high expectations for The Soul of Power. And guess what? It didn’t let me down.

I do want to give everyone a heads up about the timeline of the book. The Soul of Power starts after Jahan is sent to Paladis. Elanna’s capture and torture by the witch hunters are going on during the events of The Soul of Power. So keep that in mind while reading this book.


The Soul of Power is Sophy’s story. Crowned queen at the end of The Waking Land, Sophy desperately wants a united country. But, with a court that hates and questions her and a country that is at the point of imploding, it looks like that isn’t going to happen. On top of all that, Sophy has a secret. A secret that could cost her the throne.


I can’t even begin to express how excited I was when I got the ARC for The Soul of Power. I had been hoping that this book was going to be Sophy’s story. When I read the blurb and saw that it was Sophy’s story, I did a happy dance. I couldn’t wait to read this book.

The amount of stress that Sophy was under was insane. I know that I wouldn’t have been able to function under that amount of stress. Plus, not knowing who to trust. I would have said, “Here’s the throne, see ya” and left. But, she stayed and I admired her for that.

I enjoyed watching Sophy grow as a character in this book. She started unsure and resentful of Elanna’s popularity. She wanted to do the right thing but kept getting lousy advice from her council. But, as the book went on, she blossomed. She found her backbone. She overcame her insecurities about Elanna. By the end of the book, she became the queen she needed to be. I loved it.

The plotline regarding Sophy’s father was interesting. I was curious to see how it was going to play out. I wasn’t expecting it to go the way it did. I was shocked. I was also shocked at what Sophy did at the end of the book. I think she was too lenient. After what her father did to her and Rhia, I expected something more. But, thinking about it, what she did was a more fitting punishment.

The author didn’t hide Sophy’s secret. During the first chapter, it was mentioned a few times. How Teofila didn’t notice it when they were together was beyond me. But she did have other things on her mind.

The Soul of Power was also violent. I lost count of how many times Sophy was attacked. Along with the violence, there was also death. Some people deserved it. But there were some deaths that surprised me. And there was one death that broke my heart. I wasn’t expecting it.

The magic angle of the book was well written. I liked that people were starting to experience magic. I loved that the magic didn’t pick and choose who it wanted. I did feel that Sophy’s magical awakening was drawn out. It got to a point where I felt like saying “Just get it over with!!“.

Rape was brought up in the book. I thought that the author explained what happened to Sophy’s mother in a tactful way. She left just enough unsaid that I understood exactly what Mag went through.

The end of The Soul of Power kept me enthralled with the book. So much happened that I almost couldn’t keep it straight. But, it was the last chapter that closed the book for me. Loved it!!


I would give The Soul of Power an Adult rating. There is mention of sexual situations. There is violence. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Soul of Power. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Soul of Power.

All opinions stated in this review of The Soul of Power are mine.


Have you read The Soul of Power?

What are your thoughts?

Have you ever hidden something from someone?

Let me know!!

The Night Window (Jane Hawk: Book 5) by Dean Koontz

The Night Window: A Jane Hawk Novel by [Koontz, Dean]

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Bantam

Date of publication : May 14th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Series: Jane Hawk

The Bone Farm—Book 0.5

The Silent Corner—Book 1 (review here)

The Whispering Room—Book 2 (review here)

The Crooked Staircase—Book 3 (review here)

The Forbidden Door—Book 4 (review here)

The Night Window—Book 5

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

Book synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz brings Jane Hawk’s one-woman war to an explosive climax as the rogue FBI agent wages her final battle against a terrifying conspiracy–for vengeance, for justice, and for humanity’s freedom. 

Groundbreaking, wholly involving, eerily prescient and terrifyingly topical, Dean Koontz’s Jane Hawk series sets a new standard for contemporary thrillers. Since her sensational debut in The Silent Corner, readers have been riveted by Jane Hawk’s resolute quest to take down the influential architects of an accelerating operation to control every level of society via an army of mind-altered citizens. At first, only Jane stood against the “Arcadian” conspirators, but slowly others have emerged to stand with her, even as there are troubling signs that the “adjusted” people are beginning to spin viciously out of control. Now, in the thrilling, climactic showdown that will decide America’s future, Jane will require all her resources–and more–as she confronts those at the malevolent, impregnable center of power.


My review:

I was excited when I saw that The Night Window was available for review. I was waiting for this book. I needed to see how Jane Hawk’s quest to bring down the Arcadian’s would end. And I wasn’t disappointed. This book was a fast-paced ride from beginning to end.

All the storylines were fast paced and well written. I had issues putting the book down, that is how into I got. I needed to find out if Jane was going to expose the Arcadians and reunite with her son. I needed to know if Tom was going to outwit Hollister. Also, let’s not forget the secondary storylines. Instead of distracting me from the storyline, they added to it. They added that little bit of extra depth to the book that was needed.

Jane, by far, was my favorite character in The Night Window. Her determination to protect her child and to expose the Arcadian’s came off the pages. She took more risks in this book. Her near misses with the Arcadian’s were incredible and nerve- wracking. I did feel bad for her, though. She was exhausted from all the running that she had to do. She wanted to be with her son. She wanted it to be over and justice for her husband.

I wanted to shake Vikram. He took a lot of risks to help Jane. Like going to Ricky and getting the modified RV. He made me nervous. But he was brilliant. It was that brilliance that kept them ahead of the Arcadians. It was also that brilliance that had him do what he did during the last chapters.

Warwick Hollister was one of the evilest characters that I have read to date. The glimpses of him that I got in the previous books didn’t prepare me for what was in this book. I shuddered every time he appeared in the book. But, I did enjoy his descent into madness. Without giving anything away, let’s say that he got paid back tenfold.

The Night Window was a perfect fit into the thriller genre. As with any of his books, Dean Koontz knows how to deliver a thriller. I was kept on edge the entire book. The build-up of that angle was fantastic.

The mystery angle wasn’t there for me. I wasn’t feeling it. The only time I even got a tiny bit of feel for it was when the Arcadians were chasing after Jane and Vikram. But even then, it was more of a thriller.

I loved the end of The Night Window. I did not expect it to go the way it did. But, in hindsight, it was the only way. The author did what few do. The author did what few do — showing what happens after the fact. It was also a fitting ending to the series.


I would give The Night Window an Adult rating. There is no sex (but there are references to sexual situations). There is violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Night Window. I would recommend this book to family and friends.

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


I would like to thank the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Night Window.

All opinions stated in this review of The Night Window are mine.


Have you read The Night Window?

What were your thoughts on it?

Do you think that something like the Hamlet List could exist?

Let me know!!