Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Before I Knew
by Jamie Beck

Publisher: Montlake Romance
Pages: 354
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  On the second anniversary of her husband’s suicide, Colby Cabot-Baxter is ready to let go of her grief and the mistakes made during her turbulent marriage. Her fresh start comes in the form of A CertainTea, the restaurant she’s set to open along Lake Sandy, Oregon, with help from her family. But when her executive chef quits just weeks before the grand opening, Colby is pressured to hire old family friend Alec Morgan. His award-winning reputation could generate buzz, but their friendship has withered since her husband’s reckless dare cost Alec’s brother his life.
Distracted by guilty secrets concerning the tragedy that changed his and Colby’s lives, Alec self-destructed and lost his famed restaurant. With his career in tatters, he’s determined to use this opportunity to redeem his reputation and to help the woman he’s loved from afar find happiness again.
But secrets have a way of coming out. When Alec’s do, they might destroy the new life he and Colby have rebuilt together.


Kritters Thoughts:  Colby Cabot-Baxter has had a trying few years and she is making some personal changes to hopefully turn her life in a new direction and change.  She is opening a restaurant and with that she needs a chef and in walks someone from her past and is a part of those trying years and the past will return, but hopefully there is a future.

What a great book!  The reader is easily told the events of the past, but the story doesn't sit there long and quickly and easily moves into the future and I loved that.  I loved how the author gave us all the details, but it didn't slow down the pace of the story.  

I also loved that there were secrets between the two main characters, but the reader actually knows before the characters do and it isn't over done about all the secrets.  The way she unfolded the story just worked right.  

I know the story was completely contained within this one book, but I wouldn't mind a sequel or another story set with these characters in this town.


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


Ebook 2017 Challenge: 34 out of 50


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from PR By the Book.  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 21, 2017

The Other Girl
by Erica Spindler

Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Officer Miranda Rader of the Hammond PD in Louisiana is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda comes from Jasper, just south of Hammond, a place about the size of a good spit on a hot day, and her side of the tracks was the wrong one. She’s worked hard to leave the girl she used to be behind and earn respect in her position as an officer.

However, when Miranda and her partner are called to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most beloved college professors, they’re unprepared for the gruesomeness of the scene. This murder is unlike any they’ve ever investigated, and just when Miranda thinks she’s seen the worst of it, she finds a piece of evidence that chills her to the core: a faded newspaper clipping about a terrible night from her long-buried past. Then another man turns up dead, this one a retired cop, and not just any cop—Clint Wheeler, the cop who took her statement that night. Two murders, two very different men, two killings that on the surface had nothing in common—except Miranda. 14 years ago.

And when her fingerprints turn up at the scene of the first murder, Miranda once again finds herself under the microscope, her honesty and integrity doubted, her motivations questioned. Alone again, the trust of her colleagues shattered, Miranda must try to trust the instincts she’s pushed down for so long, and decide what’s right—before it’s too late.



Kritters Thoughts:  Miranda Rader has outgrown her wild days and is now an upstanding citizen and police officer, but when a murder in the small town starts bringing up pieces from the past, she must confront it head on.

There are only a few chapters that take place in the past, but they were perfectly timed and just enough to get the glimpse of what happened to Miranda and why she is who she is now and even a peak into the people who were around then and now.  I loved them, but didn't need any more than were provided.

I have to say although through it all I loved it, I was disappointed in the main character because I feel like she didn't go down a route of questioning until late in the book and not to give much away but the title of the book was a semi giveaway!

I still loved the book and the writing and how the whole book came together and I would completely read another book by Erica Spindler and will be passing her praise to all my friends and family who read the mystery/thriller who dun it genre.


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


Ebook 2017 Challenge: 33 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.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bout of Books starts on Monday, August 21st and goes through Sunday, August 27th. 

My goal for the Bout of Books 20 TBR pile is to read 250 pages per day, which amounts to 1,750 pages for the whole week.  

 
Doing another round of Bout of Books, we shall see how it goes.  I love participating because there are really no rules, you are just challenge yourself to read more than you typically do.  So I am hoping for a great week in books!

I am excited that I will be on vacation for 4 out of the 7 days of this bout of books, so I should be able to read away those days!

Let's see how this goes!

1. A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang (350 pages)

2. Something Like Happy by Eva Woods (384 pages)
3. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter (528 pages)
4. The Long Way Home by Kevin Bannister (348 pages)
5. Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton (272 pages)

This is a total of 1,882 pages!


For those that don't know what Bout of Books is... here you go:


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
This was a GREAT week of reading.  The office was quiet and the weekend was semi quiet!  The end of next week starts a great vacation and I am so ready!
A meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin
The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
Before I Knew by Jamie Beck
American Housewife by Helen Ellis
I'll Have What She's Having by Erin Carlson
The One that Got Away by Melissa Pimetel
A Mother Like Mine by Kate Hewitt

Currently Reading:
A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang

Next on the TBR pile:
Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

Friday, August 18, 2017

Girl Last Seen
by Nina Laurin

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.

Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots.

I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can't bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago.

If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw's whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact...

I've spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow.

Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn't been another girl.

And now there is.



Kritters Thoughts:  Laine is working two jobs and trying to support herself and it is revealed early on that she had a hard childhood with a major experience that forever changed who she was.  While working one of her jobs, she sees a missing report, but this one seems different from the rest and pulls her in to figure out what happened to this girl.  

I loved the premise of this story and the first half worked so well for me, but somewhere half way thru I got lost and couldn't really get back into it.  There was a big thing about her past and what happened to her and how it happened that I just didn't get nor enjoy.  I actually rolled my eyes and got frustrated with the book because I just didn't think it worked with the rest of the story.

With all of that, the plot of the story was unique and there are details that I don't want to spoil that made this different from other missing girls books and I liked that.  I just wanted a few of the other things that happened to go a different way - sorry to be vague, but I don't want to ruin someone else's experience by revealing major plot points.  

I enjoyed Laine's present day life and I enjoyed her connection to the Olivia Shaw case.  I even enjoyed who ended up bring the kidnapper and liked their connection to all of it.  


So I am officially on the fence on this one.  There were major parts that I loved and how the plot unfolded, but there were also big parts that didn't work for me at all.  I will say this was a good debut and I would be interested in reading more for this author, but hope the next story is completely solid and a good book from beginning to end.


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


Ebook 2017 Challenge: 32 out of 50


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Hachette.  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 17, 2017

If the Creek Don't Rise
by Leah Weiss

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In a North Carolina mountain town filled with moonshine and rotten husbands, Sadie Blue is only the latest girl to face a dead-end future at the mercy of a dangerous drunk. She’s been married to Roy Tupkin for fifteen days, and she knows now that she should have listened to the folks who said he was trouble. But when a stranger sweeps in and knocks the world off-kilter for everyone in town, Sadie begins to think there might be more to life than being Roy’s wife.


Kritters Thoughts:  In the hills of Applachia, there are towns that seem like they haven't aged and life is still primitive and this book explores one of those towns as a new teacher has come to town to teach the children and will maybe stir up things.  

With only a few chapters and each chapter narrated by a different character and only a few chapters had repeats, it was an full view because you saw life through the pastor, a woman who was abused by her husband, her grandmother and her aunt and so on.

I lived in North Carolina in two parts for quite a few years and North Carolina has a special place in my heart because it is where I was first an adult and I am not naive to say that there are towns like this both in North Carolina and in many if not all other states in the United States, but this book just didn't work for me.  It felt like a caricature of this lifestyle and just disingenuous.  I was cringing a few times not because I didn't think it was true, it just didn't feel right.  I feel like I am talking circles, but its hard to describe what I really didn't love about it, but I felt it through the whole book.

I would read another book by this author, only if it wasn't set in this area because it wasn't her writing her per say it was more her portrayal.  


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


Ebook 2017 Challenge: 31 out of 50


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Sourcebook.  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 15, 2017

The End of Temperance Dare
by Wendy Webb

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When Eleanor Harper becomes the director of a renowned artists’ retreat, she knows nothing of Cliffside Manor’s dark past as a tuberculosis sanatorium, a “waiting room for death.” After years of covering murder and violence as a crime reporter, Eleanor hopes that being around artists and writers in this new job will be a peaceful retreat for her as much as for them.

But from her first fog-filled moments on the manor’s grounds, Eleanor is seized by a sense of impending doom and realizes there’s more to the institution than its reputation of being a haven for creativity. After the arrival of the new fellows―including the intriguing, handsome photographer Richard Banks―she begins to suspect that her predecessor chose the group with a dangerous purpose in mind. As the chilling mysteries of Cliffside Manor unravel and the eerie sins of the past are exposed, Eleanor must fight to save the fellows—and herself—from sinister forces.


Kritters Thoughts:  A fantastically creepy book that has a little historical element and maybe a few ghosts.  Eleanor Harper was previously at Cliffside as a reporter when the car accident happened that took two lives and now she has returned to become the director and from the beginning things have been a little creepy.  

I spoil the book a little mentioning the ghosts, but I am not revealing too much.  I wish I had known about it ahead of time, I still loved the book, but I roll my eyes at a few moments with ghosts involved!

I loved the historical aspect so much.  To get an inside glimpse into a home that was used for TB patients and to see how those patients were treated was many things, but interesting is the only word I can come up with.  

I enjoyed my first Wendy Webb experience and I own one of her other books and after reading this one, it has moved to the top.  I loved how she slowly but surely gave the reader little bits of knowledge and the way she unpacked it was so perfect.  I will have to add that this was definitely a creepy book and I was home alone when I finished it and maybe that wasn't the best idea!


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


Ebook 2017 Challenge: 31 out of 50


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Lake Union 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.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

An extra crazy week at work and busy nights with fun things and my birthday weekend, so I am impressed with what I finished and am counting down the days til some vacation reading!

A meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
At Wave's End by Patricia Perry Donovan
If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss
The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb

Currently Reading:
Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin

Next on the TBR pile:
The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
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