Weekly Wrap Up: April 14th through April 20th 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 Pending Reviews and 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

Ten: Part 1

A Light in the Desert

Darwin’s Cipher

Kingdom of Exiles

Sunset Beach

Journey to Territory U

Journey to Territory M

Extinction of All Children

Books with pending reviews:

Sunset Beach—expected publication date May 7th, 2019

The Perfect Wife—expected publication date August 6th, 2019

Books with published reviews:

Journey to Territory U—review here

Journey to Territory M—review here

Extinction of All Children—review here

NetGalley Haul:

Raze

We Are All Good People Here

Jackson

The Perfect Date

Unsuitable

Email Haul:

Dark Matter

An Indigo Wind

Freebies I Scored (Free at the time of posting. Please check the price before purchase!!):

Giveaways/Contests I entered:

Enter to Win Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis—Read It Forward

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

Jackson—Blog Tour Invite

The Perfect Date-–Blog Tour Invite

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

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Weekly Wrap Up: April 7th through April 13th 2019

Weekly wrap-up banner

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 Pending Reviews and 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

The Perfect Wife

Because You’re Mine

The Third Eye

Bloodline Destinies

The Prince of Persuasion

Bloodline Origins

Books with pending reviews:

Because You’re Mine—review coming August 6th, 2019

Ignite—review coming April 30th, 2019

Books with published reviews:

The Third Eye—review here

Bloodline Destinies—review here

The Ash Family—review here

Bloodline Origins—review here

Love, Again—review here

Prince of Persuasion—review here

NetGalley Haul:

Email Haul:

The Shadowverse: A YA Sci-Fi Superhero Thriller

Freebies I Scored (Free at the time of posting. Please check the price before purchase!!):

Giveaways/Contests I entered:

Blog Tours

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Believe Me by J.P. Delaney

Believe Me: The twisty and addictive follow-up to the bestselling The Girl Before by [Delaney, JP]

4.5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine

Date of publication: July 24th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Trigger Warning: Mental Illness

Where you can find Believe Me: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In this twisty psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before, an actress plays both sides of a murder investigation.

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions. The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap? But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

My review:

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This book messed with my head, big time. See, I liked psychological thrillers. I like reading a book where I don’t know what is going to happen from one chapter to the next. I like damaged main characters. I didn’t think that I was going to get that with Believe Me. I thought this book was going to be your typical who done it with the female main solving the crime. What I got instead was a book that kept me guessing from chapter to chapter. A book that I had a hard time forgetting about once I was done with it. A book that got under my skin. I should have known better than to assume the book was going to be a typical book.

Believe Me’s plot started off simple and progressed into complex. Claire was a British ex-pat actress living in New York City without a green card. Desperate for work, she starts doing decoy work for divorce lawyers. It is that job that puts her in the path of Professor Patrick Folger. His wife is found dead the day after the setup. Claire is brought in for questioning since she was the last person to see her alive. She is recruited by a shady psychologist to get to know Patrick and to get a confession out of him. Little does Claire know that her life is going to be turned upside down and inside out.

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Claire was such a complex character to write. As a reader, I love it when characters have different layers to them. Claire definitely had them. There was one point in the book where I was questioning her memories of growing up in foster care. She was such a great actress that she made me, the reader, question what I was reading. I am sure that was the author’s intention. I loved it!!

I didn’t know how I felt about Claire. My feelings for her went from one extreme to another. I could love her in one chapter and then hate her in another. I have never had another book do that for me. Even at the end of the book, when we were seeing the “realClaire, I was still on edge about her. I mean, was that the real Claire we were seeing or was it another one of her personalities?

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I’ve gotta say that Patrick had me fooled the entire book. I went from thinking one thing about him to thinking another to rethinking my opinion. So, needless to say, I was surprised by what he revealed to Claire. I shouldn’t have been but I was. Actually, let me rephrase that. I was more shocked by what he revealed.

I was also surprised that the poem referenced in the book “Les Fleurs du Mal” is an actual book written by Charles Baudelaire. To be honest, I did think that it was made up. Until I did a google search and there was a ton of information about it. I’m not going go too much into him but I will say that those poems are freaky. Google them and him. You’ll see what I mean.

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The end of the book was insane. It is where the plotline went from simple to complex. I am not going to get into much of the ending except I wasn’t expecting what happened to happen. Also, as I mentioned above, I wasn’t too sure about Claire. Even with everything revealed, I still had my doubts about her.

There were a few reasons why I didn’t give Believe Me a 5-star rating. The main reason was that the book got off to a slow start. I know that the author was laying the groundwork for Claire’s story but still. It crept. I almost DNF’d (but I am glad I didn’t).

I also felt that the plot faltered towards the middle of the book when Claire was in the mental hospital. I felt that her experiences in that hospital were not relevant to the storyline. It was interesting but not relevant.

My last reason was the last few chapters of the book and how Claire’s secret came out. While it was shocking, I definitely didn’t see it coming. It came out of left field. When the book finally ended, I felt it was anticlimactic.

What I liked about Believe Me:

A) Got under my skin

B) Complex characters

C) The end of the book

What I disliked about Believe Me:

A) Book got off to a slow start

B) Plot faltered towards the middle of the book

C) The ending felt almost anticlimactic

I would give Believe Me an Adult rating. There is sex. There is violence. There is language. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There is a trigger warning for Believe Me. They are mental illness. If you are triggered by that, I suggest not to read the book.

I would reread Believe Me. I would recommend this book to family and friends. But I would include a warning about the triggers.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Believe Me

All opinions stated in this review of Believe Me are mine

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

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

The Girl Before: A Novel by [Delaney, JP]

Title: The Girl Before

Author: J.P. Delaney

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Date of publication: January 24th, 2017

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Number of pages: 352

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: No

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Emma
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate-glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

Jane
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

My review:

Emma and Si were looking for a new apartment (or flat as they call it in England) after Emma was attacked in a burglary. All of the apartments that Emma and Si visited were no good for various reasons. The agent was at the end of his rope until he remembers this one house that was on the market. Emma is intrigued and they are able to go and see it. The house is a work of art, with a state of the art computer system that runs the house and a minimalist design. Emma falls in love with the house and fills out the application. After an anxiety-filled wait, Si and she get the 2nd meeting. That’s where they meet Edward Monkford, the owner and architect of the house. Needless to say, they are approved.

Jane is recovering from having a stillbirth that could have been prevented if the hospital had more staffing and more Doppler radars. She decides that she needs a change of scenery and starts looking for apartments/houses to rent. Perchance, she is told about One Folgate Street by her realtor and makes the decision to fill out the application. Like, Emma, Jane is granted a 2nd interview and like Emma, she signs a very specific and odd lease once Edward decides she can rent it.

Both Emma and Jane find out that Edward has a tragic past. His wife, Elizabeth, and his son were killed in an accident on the site of one of his projects. They also both find out that there was a cloud of suspicion hovering over Edward about that.

But this is where Jane and Emma’s stories differ.

Emma and Si don’t last very long in the house. Emma actually breaks it off with Si, who takes it very hard, and starts a relationship with Edward. But, the more the author reveals about Emma, the more you start wondering if everything that is happening is in her head.

Jane also starts a relationship with Edward, shortly after moving into the house. Around the same time, Jane finds out about Emma’s death and starts researching it. All of the information points towards Edward being her killer but Jane can’t help but something’s off about that.

This book sticks to the thriller and mystery elements, unlike some of the other books that I have read. I was genuinely surprised by the 180 one character does. It took me by surprise that the web of lies that was spun was so extensive and that the character just didn’t know when to stop.

The ending was a little sad and I had to reread it a couple of times to understand what happened. Then to have another renter show up and look at the house….shudder. What a sequel that would make!!!!

How many stars will I give The Girl Before: 4

Why: A thriller/mystery that genuinely had me guessing until the big reveal. The plot twists were done in such a way that you couldn’t help but be shocked. And the ending was the biggest one of all…

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex, violence, and language. A scene of a mother saying goodbye to her still-born child (which was heartbreaking), a scene of a badly brutalized kitten and a scene of someone’s head smashing off a marble floor.

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