Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Jacob's Descent
by Sandra Brannan

Publisher: River Grove Books
Pages: 264
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Liv has been forced to take a leave of absence from her job at the FBI following the tragic death of her love, Jack Linwood. She finds herself back home in Rapid City, South Dakota, far from her closest friend and colleague, Streeter Pierce, and her trusted dog, Beulah. Struggling with the risks and pressures of her career and the nostalgia of home, a heartbroken Liv questions whether or not she has made the right choices in life. As if that weren’t enough, she finds herself sitting in a bar, staring up into the faces of the bizarre wax heads of the infamous citizens of Deadwood—where her bullheaded sister Agatha has dragged her to drink off her pain. 

When it seems Liv will at last be left alone to mourn in peace, a beloved friend of the Bergen family is beaten beyond recognition and left for dead. Liv is suddenly catapulted into the middle of an investigation of a hundred-year-old murder case and a dark and twisted, century-old family feud. Aided—and sometimes derailed—by her comical sisters, a police officer who doesn’t trust her, a cryptic research paper, and a frightening and formidable motorcycle gang member, Liv must discover who beat her friend nearly to death before the perpetrator returns to finish the job and time runs out.


Kritters Thoughts:  I have read this series and have loved each book individually and as it keeps the story of the main characters moving.  I love how each book's mystery is basically self contained, but you don't want to start in the middle of this series because there are major character arcs that start in book one and are still going on.

In this book, Liv has returned home and is taking a leave of absence as she has had some major life happenings and needs to step back and regroup.  Of course, trouble always follows her and something happens while she is home and she gets/puts herself in the middle of it all.  

I love that although you know that she is the main character of the series and the main character can't die, she gets close enough that you wonder if maybe!  I read this book knowing that there was another after, so I had some safety knowing there was going to be another book, but you never know!

This book seamlessly led into the next book, so I was glad that I held off reading it until I had the next book in hand.  I don't always love reading a series of books back to back, but I was glad to read these two in a row.


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel  
     (come back tomorrow for a review of the next in this series)

Ebook 2018 Challenge: 65 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  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, August 13, 2018

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Our House
by Louise Candlish

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  On a bright January morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought in Trinity Avenue. 

Nothing strange about that. Except it is your house. And you didn’t sell it. 

When Fiona Lawson comes home to find strangers moving into her house, she's sure there's been a mistake. She and her estranged husband, Bram, have a modern co-parenting arrangement: bird's nest custody, where each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons at the prized family home to maintain stability for their children. But the system built to protect their family ends up putting them in terrible jeopardy. In a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanors, the nest comes tumbling down.

Now Bram has disappeared and so have Fiona's children. As events spiral well beyond her control, Fiona will discover just how many lies her husband was weaving and how little they truly knew each other. But Bram's not the only one with things to hide, and some secrets are best kept to oneself, safe as houses.


Kritters Thoughts:  Told in two different formats that were unique and interesting.  One was the transcript of sorts of a podcast that Fiona Lawson made about this incident that happened to her and the other was a word document that Abraham Lawson left behind.  Sprinkled amongst these two formats were narration to help give a little context and help move the story along.

Fiona Lawson approaches her house where she is "bird nesting" with her soon to be ex husband and finds all of her belongings gone and a new family moving in.  She must quickly get to the bottom of this without the aid of this soon to be ex husband who has disappeared.  What an interesting mystery!

I loved the story.  I loved the characters.  I loved the concept.  I just loved this one.  It was easy for a summer weekend to dip in and out of and pick up and put down for a weekend.  At the same time it was so interesting that I wanted to keep reading and reading to find out how it would all unfold.  

BUT the ending.  Without spoiling too much, I have to say that I hated the ending.  I wanted so much more from it and I wasn't happy with the conclusion.  Would I read it with knowing about the ending, YES!  The story is so different and fascinating that it is worth a little bit of frustration at the end.

Again, I love reading an author and finding out that they have a backlist.  Have you read any of Louise's backlist?  If I loved this one where should I go next?  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley NAL.  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, August 9, 2018

If We Had Known
by Elise Juska

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 320
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  One August afternoon, as single mother Maggie Daley prepares to send her only child off to college, their world is shattered by news of a mass shooting at the local mall in rural Maine. As reports and updates about the tragedy begin to roll in, Maggie, an English professor, is further stunned to learn that the gunman had been a student of hers. Nathan Dugan was an awkward, complicated young man whose quiet presence in her classroom had faded from her memory-but not, it seems, the memories of his classmates.

When a viral blog post hints at the existence of a dark, violence-tinged essay Nathan had written during Maggie's freshman comp seminar, Maggie soon finds herself at the center of a heated national controversy. Could the overlooked essay have offered critical red flags that might have warned of, or even prevented, the murders to come? As the media storm grows around her, Maggie makes a series of desperate choices that threaten to destroy not just the personal and professional lives she's worked so hard to build, but-more important-the happiness and safety of her sensitive daughter, Anna.



Kritters Thoughts:  A book that is about a few tough issues, but because the author confronts them so honestly with fantastic characters the book doesn't feel too heavy.  A shooting happens at a mall in this small college town and this book doesn't focus on the actual event, but the moments after and the years before.  I think the author really put an emphasis on how people need a place to point their fingers for the blame and the finger can go in many different directions.

The main focus of the book is on a professor that the shooter had for freshman English and a paper he wrote.  With the incident in everyone's mind this paper looks a little more like a warning of something possible happening in the future.  And because of that she is blamed for not sending out warning signals and this sends her world into a tailspin.  On top of that she has a daughter who lives with anxiety and all of these will affect her also and it is interesting to read from her perspective also.

I liked that this book felt so relevant with the inclusion of facebook posts and articles and more.  Don't worry the book mostly looks like a typical novel, but it has some interesting inserts that make the story even better.  

I am always excited after I read a book by an author that I like to find that they have more books to read.  I will be checking out Victoria Helen Stone's backlist and may have to read them soon!


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

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Grand Central Publishing.  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, August 7, 2018

The Sugarhouse Blues
by Mariah Stewart

Publisher: Gallery
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Allie, Des, and Cara, each having her own reasons for wanting a share of their father's estate, meet in the grand Victorian home in which he grew up, only to be greeted by another secret he purposely hid from them: his sister Bonnie. The women reluctantly band together to take on Fritz's challenge, working with a local contractor to begin the renovations financed by an account Fritz had set up for the task. While the restoration appears to go smoothly at first, it soon becomes apparent that the work will be more extensive than originally thought, and Des, elected to handle the money, needs to find ways to stretch out the remaining savings while searching for new sources of funding.

As strangers linked only by their DNA try to become a family, the Hudson sisters also try to come to terms with the father they only thought they knew. In the process, each woman discovers her own capacity for understanding, forgiveness, love, and the true meaning of family.


Kritters Thoughts:  The second in a series and this is one of those series where you completely need to start with book one.  This series is about three sisters and both books had full plot points for each sister, so start this series at book one - The Last Chance Matinee.  Be warned that since this builds off book one, there will be spoilers below. 



Ok.  Now that you have been warned.  I loved book one and was excited to see that there was a book two and already knew before starting this book that there will be a book three!

Allie, Des and Cara are sisters, but Allie and Des didn't know about Cara and vice versa until recently when their father passed away and left them a theater that needed a lot of love and attention and was a condition of their inheritance.  That was book one.  

This book starts right where that book ends and they must deal with the consequences of costly repairs that need to take place at the theater and their budget is limited now.  I felt as though book one was very focused on them meeting and dealing with the theater and book two dove more into their lives and less repairs and their relationships with each other and people in the small town.  I loved the new focus of this book.  

I love each sister and where you can see how their parents and their upbringing affected each one so differently.  It was also so fun to read them more ingrained in the small town and learning about the town and how their theater affected this town.  

I completely can't wait for book three.  I am so interested to see where these sisters go from here and if they decide to stay in this town or move back to where they were before this book.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2018 Challenge: 64 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Simon and Schuster.  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, August 6, 2018

Cooper's Charm
by Lori Foster

Publisher: HQN Books
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  One summer, two sisters and a chance to start over…

Before the burglary that shattered her confidence, Phoenix Rose had a fiancĂ©, a successful store and a busy, happy existence. After months spent adrift, she takes a job at the lakeside resort of Cooper’s Charm. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, friendly colleagues and a charismatic, widowed boss, Phoenix is slowly inching her way back into the world.

Visiting Cooper’s Charm to check up on her little sister, Ridley Rose impulsively agrees to fill in as housekeeper. Still reeling from an ego-bruising divorce, she finds satisfaction in a job well done—and in the attention of the resort’s handsome scuba instructor.

For Phoenix and Ridley, Cooper’s Charm is supposed to be merely temporary. But this detour may lead to the place they most need to be, where the future is as satisfying as it is surprising…


Kritters Thoughts:  Before I embark on my review of this particular book, let me start by saying something about me and my relationship with romance books in general.  I read a lot of romance throughout the year and I love the genre mostly.  I am not a prude but also don't love books that are full of sexy times.  I like a relationship to flourish and maybe they go to the bedroom and we hear about how good it is, but I am in the middle of how much I like when it comes to the sexy times in a book.

Ok, with that being said, lets get on with the review.

Phoenix Rose owned a landscaping business and after an incident on the job she decides to move and start life over - she pushes a reset button.  Cooper owns a lakeside resort and after finding out about her past is keen on hiring her and allowing her that second chance.  

From the beginning, I loved these characters and the setting.  BUT I was put off pretty quickly.  Once you find out about the incident you will know why this put me off, don't want to spoil too much.  So with her incident, I could see her not being trusting of people especially the opposite sex and it felt like she went from hesitate to sexy talk with Cooper WAY too fast.  It didn't seem like a lot of time went by before she was sexy talking and sexy timing with him.  It really threw me for a loop.  

As I said above, I don't mind the sexy times if it feels like it is well placed and appropriate in timing with the book, but this went way too fast for me.  The other thing I didn't completely love about this book was the actual sexy times - they went on for pages and pages.  If you like a lot of descriptive bedroom time then you would like this, but I have to say that I will probably not read another Lori Foster, her books were too much for me.


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

Ebook 2018 Challenge: 46 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Aro 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, August 5, 2018

it was a nutty week with lots of things going on in our personal life, so not a lot of reading happened!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
If We Had Known by Elise Juska
A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson
Our House by Louise Candlish

Currently Reading:
Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

Next on the TBR pile:
After Nightfall by AJ Banner

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