Thursday, September 21, 2017

Risking It All
by Nina Darnton

Publisher: St. Martin's
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When Marcia, a driven, successful editor in New York with a loving husband, finds she can't conceive a child, it rips the heart out of her seemingly-perfect life. Her desire to be a mother has become her obsession, and after trying and failing to become pregnant by every known method, she focuses all of her energy on her one remaining option: surrogacy. Her husband resists, and tries to convince her that they can be happy without a child; but faced with her unyielding determination, he relents, and reluctantly goes along with the idea. Everything looks good...until an unexpected tragedy occurs that changes their plans, their marriage, and their lives forever.

Kritters Thoughts:  Would you do anything to have a family?  Marcia must make that decision and with a resistant husband she must convince him to take the least paved path.  It was so interesting to read a story about a woman who had fulfilled all the professional goals that she had wanted, but starting a family was not working out for her so she must really push and exceed the obvious to get what she had always dreamed of.  Then when she gets her dreams answered things look a little different than she imagined and she must roll with the punches!

I don't want to divulge the major parts of the plot because as the develop it is interesting to see Marcia and her husband and how they each react in very different ways.  Both of their responses felt real and true and I liked that.  I liked that everything wasn't sunshine and roses and they had major speed bumps along the way.  

The one thing that made this book a little difficult was the slow pacing of it.  There were moments where it just wasn't moving that much and it was slow and steady and I was easily distracted away from it.  But I kept rolling through and was satisfied by the ending and how it all came together.

I would absolutely read another by this author.  I noticed she had one in her backlist and I hope she is working on something forthcoming.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2017 Challenge: 41 out of 50

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from St Martin's Press.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Dangerous Year
by Kes Trester

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Pages: 255
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Seventeen-year-old Riley Collins has grown up in some of the world’s most dangerous cities, learning political strategies from her ambassador dad and defensive skills from his security chief. The only thing they didn’t prepare her for: life as an American teenager.

After an incident forces her to leave her Pakistani home, Riley is recruited by the State Department to attend Harrington Academy, one of the most elite boarding schools in Connecticut. The catch: she must use her tactical skills to covertly keep an eye on Hayden Frasier, the daughter of a tech billionaire whose new code-breaking spyware has the international intelligence community in an uproar.

Disturbing signs begin to appear that Riley’s assignment wasn’t the walk in the park she’d been promised. Now, Riley must fight for her life and Hayden’s, as those around her reveal themselves to be true friends or the ultimate betrayers.

Kritters Thoughts:  Riley Collins hasn't had the typical childhood, she has missed out on the traditional experience, but at the same time has had some that are out of this world.  She has a little blip on the radar and this sets quite a few things in motion.  She is sent to the United States and must try to disguise herself as an American teenager while also completing a mission.

This was such a fun read.  It was easy to get into and invest in Riley Collins and hope for her to succeed and maybe even get a few life experiences.  I don't read a ton of YA partly because I just can't relate to the main character and I tend to get frustrated by them and their ways, but this one struck a great chord.  

I loved that this was a boarding school book, but had a great twist with a little mystery and drama!  If you are a fan of YA then you will love this one.  If you are like me and tend to limit your YA reading, I think this one will be a good one off to enjoy.  As a mystery reader, the way that Kes Trester put together the book was just right and the flow and the story were spot on.

Rating: perfect YA read

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from BooksSparks PR.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Face to Die For
by Andrea Kane

Publisher: Bonnie Meadow Publishing
Pages: 312
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When a case of mistaken identity in Manhattan results in Gia Russo seeing a photo of a Minneapolis woman who looks exactly like her, she can’t resist reaching out to the mysterious stranger. Their Facebook private message exchange blossoms into a budding, long-distance friendship, and the two women agree to meet in New York and gauge the truth with their own eyes. 

Shocked at the sight of one another, Gia and Danielle quickly bond over drinks, childhood pictures, and an uncanny feeling that they share more than just a visual resemblance. But when they decide to end the speculation and undergo DNA testing, the test’s confirmation that they’re identical twins raises more questions than answers. 

And with good reason. The same mysterious forces that separated the sisters years ago are still at large, desperate to keep the two women apart. When the danger surrounding their reunion escalates and the sisters fear for their lives, Gia turns to an investigator whose wedding she just planned, Marc Devereraux of Forensic Instincts. 

Despite being embroiled in another case, Forensic Instincts can’t turn the panicked twins away and agrees to help. But as the team digs up skeletons long since buried, they unearth the shocking truth about who is willing to destroy the sisters and the families they have grown to love in order to save themselves. 

Kritters Thoughts:  The sixth book in a series and this is one of those series where you can read mostly out of order because the mystery is self contained, there is some character development that you may miss out on the Forensics Insights team, but I am actually two books behind, so I haven't read book 4 or 5 and I didn't feel like I was missing too much.  I would say at least read book 1 so you know how the team gets formed and then you can read this one if you want to.  

I have to start by saying I just love the team.  I love that everyone has their own nitch and each of them is a vital part of the team.  I love that once you learn everyone on the team you can get attached to one or a few and as a reader it is exciting to get a series where you care about the characters from book to book.

The mystery in this book was great.  I love the prologue which gives you a quick glimpse and then you go into the story and there are so many questions.  My big marker as to if I like a mystery book is if I am satisfied by who the "killer" is and this one was so good.  I say this often on this blog, but I don't want to divulge too much because to spoil a mystery is something I just will not do.  The way Andrea unpacks the clues they are just at the right moment and I was happy clueless and had a few AHA moments!

I will continue to read this series (and need to read book 4 and 5) because they way she constructs her books is just right!

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Partner in Crime Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Summer That Made Us
by Robyn Carr

Publisher: Mira Books
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  That was then... 

For the Hempsteads, two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, summers were idyllic. The women would escape the city the moment school was out to gather at the family house on Lake Waseka. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.

This is now... 

After an accidental drowning turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. For good. Torn apart, none of the Hempstead women speak of what happened that summer, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth.

Kritters Thoughts:  Let me start by saying I am a Robyn Carr fan and I love her romance series and the stand alone women's fiction books.  She can write a book so I was surprised throughout this whole book that I couldn't get into it or care about any of the characters.  This book was all about the characters - two sisters who marry two brothers and each have three girls and one summer at their lake house sends these families spiraling out of control and many years later two of the girls decide to return and one invites the others and of course drama ensues.

As I said above this is a character driven story and not really any of the characters drew me in and I couldn't get to caring about them.  When other girls arrived to the lake house I was hoping to find one to connect with, but I just couldn't.

The thing about this book that was entertaining was the mystery about the past.  I liked learning the details about what tore the families apart, but it didn't make me care anymore about them in the present.

This book won't keep me from continuing to read Robyn Carr.  I will pick up the next one with the same excitement I have when she releases each stand alone! 

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Little Bird Publicity.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

With a little bit of pup drama, I had extra time curled up on the couch coddling her, so got some extra reading time which was nice!

A meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino
Confessions of a Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson
Christmas Angels by Viola Shipman
Risking It All by Nina Darnton
The Trust by Ronald Balson
Dog Dish of Doom by EJ Copperman

Currently Reading:
Sugar Pine Trial by RaeAnne Thayne

Next on the TBR pile:
The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

Friday, September 15, 2017

by Maria Murnane

Publisher: Kindle Press
Pages: 194
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  It’s a piece of news Daphne never expected to hear: Her globe-trotting friend Skylar, who vowed never to get married, is engaged! Time to celebrate in Manhattan—Skylar’s treat, of course. After years scaling the corporate ladder, she can more than afford it. 

Daphne arrives in NYC with news of her own—the novel she’s finally finished appears to be going nowhere but the trash bin of every publishing house around. She’s devastated but plans to keep her disappointment under wraps, something that becomes trickier when she sees Skylar’s spectacular apartment. Could her life have been like this if she’d chosen a different path? 

What Daphne doesn’t know is she’s not the only one with a secret. Skylar and their friend KC are also holding something back, but what? As the trip unfolds, the truth about each woman emerges, along with tears. 

And laughter. And love. 

Kritters Thoughts:  The sequel to Wait for Rain and I completely recommend starting at the first book in this series because this book may not make complete sense without it.  

The three friends Daphne, Skylar and KC are reunited in this one as they celebrate the out of the blue engagement of Skylar so they head to Skylar's in New York City.  Of course when these girls reunite they egg each other on and its just fun.  

The thing that I didn't love in book one was the many times that Daphne was in her head and how distracting that was, that didn't happen in this book, which made me love this book SO much more!  I loved how the girls interacted in this book so much more, it seemed as though since this wasn't far after the reconnection in the first book they just seemed to bounce off each other so much better.  

This book is shorter in length and after meeting the characters in the first book, this one read so quickly.  I still say start with book one because there are things from that book that you need to know to better enjoy this one.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2017 Challenge: 38 out of 50

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wait for Rain
by Maria Murnane

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 281
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Daphne White is staring down the barrel of forty—and is distraught at what she sees. Her ex-husband is getting remarried, her teenage daughter hardly needs her anymore, and the career she once dreamed about has somehow slipped from her grasp. She’s almost lost sight of the spirited and optimistic young woman she used to be.

As she heads off to a Caribbean island to mark the new decade with her best friends from college, Daphne’s in anything but the mood to celebrate. But when she meets Clay Hanson, a much younger man, she ignores her inner voice warning her that she’s too old for a fling. In fact, this tropical getaway might be the perfect opportunity to picture her future in a new sun-drenched light.

With the help of her friends, Daphne rediscovers her enthusiasm for life, as well as her love for herself—and realizes that her best years are still ahead.

Kritters Thoughts:  Three friends decide to get away for their 40th birthday and celebrate and just spend time together as friends.  Daphne the mainish character has finalized a divorce and is still mourning the loss of the relationship and struggling with moving forward.  With the help of friends and some strangers she interacts with, she learns a lot about herself and makes some big changes in her life.

For the most part I loved the book.  The one thing that happened throughout the book that I didn't love was the constant Daphne in her head and questioning herself and stressing and anxiety.  I understood at the beginning and it showed what was going on in her mind, but I feel like it went on too long and at times it got distracting from the story.  I loved that Daphne was flawed and not perfect, but it just got in the way a few times of the story for me.

I loved the three friends and how they were the same age but at different moments in life and very different people and how Maria Murnane showed that women can be friends and help each other move their lives forward from different points in life.  With what I said above, I would still love more books with these friends and am reviewing another "Daphne White" book tomorrow.  I hope to say tomorrow that I would like more after it as well, come back to find out.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2017 Challenge: 37 out of 50

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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