Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Girls of Mischief Bay
by Susan Mallery

Publisher: Mira
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads:  Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time at her Mischief Bay Pilates studio. Can she say enough is enough without losing the man she loves? 

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg rose to become vice president in her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she can have it all. And if she can, does she want it? 

Although Pam Eiland has a beautiful house and a husband she adores, she feels… restless. She wonders who a stay-at-home mom becomes after the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise her husband brings the heat and the humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again. 



Kritters Thoughts:  The first in a series and I am so glad I was able to start it!  Three women are at three different places in life and each dealing with something and through a yoga class they form a friendship where they will each be able to help the others through their issues.  Nicole is the breadwinner, the cook, the parent and everything in between and her husband decided without her input to quit his job to pursue screenplay writing.  Shannon has always put her work first and is on the cusp of a big birthday and may be regretting putting work before love.  Pam is the eldest of the group and has raised three kids and is feeling like each day is the same over and over, until her life changes on a dime.

Although I completely related with one of the characters, I still enjoyed reading the other two.  I loved how each of them had things or qualities or characteristics that the other needed or wanted.  Susan Mallery fluidly changed from one character to the next so they each received equal airtime, but it happened naturally.  It was also easy to learn each woman and the things that they were dealing with, but it never felt like too much for each character to have going on - no soap opera here.

Overall, this book made me appreciate the female friendships in my life and how often the women that I surround myself with help me get through some of life's speedbumps; sometimes they have the best solutions!  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Harlequin.  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, March 2, 2015

Hush Hush
by Laura Lippman

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  On a searing August day, Melisandre Harris Dawes committed the unthinkable: she left her two-month-old daughter locked in a car while she sat nearby on the shores of the Patapsco River. Melisandre was found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity, although there was much skepticism about her mental state. Freed, she left the country, her husband and her two surviving children, determined to start over.

But now Melisandre has returned Baltimore to meet with her estranged teenage daughters and wants to film the reunion for a documentary. The problem is, she relinquished custody and her ex, now remarried, isn't sure he approves.

Now that's she's a mother herself--short on time, patience--Tess Monaghan wants nothing to do with a woman crazy enough to have killed her own child. But her mentor and close friend Tyner Gray, Melisandre's lawyer, has asked Tess and her new partner, retired Baltimore P.D. homicide detective Sandy Sanchez, to assess Melisandre's security needs.

As a former reporter and private investigator, Tess tries to understand why other people break the rules and the law. Yet the imperious Melisandre is something far different from anyone she's encountered. A decade ago, a judge ruled that Melisandre was beyond rational thought. But was she? Tess tries to ignore the discomfort she feels around the confident, manipulative Melisandre. But that gets tricky after Melisandre becomes a prime suspect in a murder.

Yet as her suspicions deepen, Tess realizes that just as she's been scrutinizing Melisandre, a judgmental stalker has been watching her every move as well. . .



Kritters Thoughts:  The most recent book in the Tess Monaghan series and as this series goes, Tess' personal story interacts with the investigation that is solely contained in this book - think CSI episodes.  I recently read the first book in the series and have read one or two in between, but was definitely lost a little when it came time for the story to revolve around Tess' individual story - word to the wise, pick up this series from the start and read in order.  (Doesn't need to be back to back, but definitely in order!)

With that said, I did love this book.  I loved how Tess' personal story, being a new mom really impacted the way she investigated this story.  She definitely couldn't keep home and work separate.  Saying this, I loved that her personal life intertwined with her work life, made for a more realistic and true story.  After having just read the first book, I could completely see a drastic change in the Tess from the first book compared to this one, now I would love to read the evolution.

Laura Lippman is a great writer.  She mixes fact and fiction, location and characters and comes up with a great story that keeps a reader engaged from the beginning to the end.  I would recommend her to readers who don't tend to read the mystery/thriller genre, her story has full plots that are just great reads!


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 TLC Book 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.






Sunday, March 1, 2015


Another rough week, but another great weekend with some winter weather that kept me shut inside, of course with book in hand and dog in lap!
A
 meme hosted by Sheila at BookJourney. 

Finished this past week:
Elephant in the Sky by Heather A Clark
How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck
The Traveling Tea Shop by Belinda Jones
The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

Currently Reading:
A Different Kind of Same by Kelley Clink

Next on the TBR pile:
The Snow Globe by Judith Kinghorn




February was a good month, short and sweet!  I had a lot of really good reads which always making reading more fun!  I don't tend to read towards the holiday, so not everything was all lovey dovey!

1. The Storied Life of AJ Fickry by Gabrielle Zevin
2. Changing Everything by Molly McAdams
3. The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney
4. Caught Dead by Andrew Lanh
5. The Swimmer by Joakim Zander
6. One Wish by Robyn Carr
7. The Forgetting Place by John Burley
8. The Curvy Girls Club by Michele Gorman
9. Twin Piques by Tracie Banister
10. Hush Hush by Laura Lippman
11. The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman
12. The Reluctant Midwife by Patricia Harman
13. Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue
14. Terror Never Sleeps by Richard Blomberg
15. Splinters of Light by Rachel Herron 
16. Elephant in the Sky by Heather A Clark
17. How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck
18. The Traveling Tea Shop by Belinda Jones
19. The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery

Total pages read, clicked, and flipped: 6,877

Where Have I Been Reading?:
Massachusetts
California
Oklahoma City, OK
Hartford, CT
Oregon
Sweden
Maryland
London
San Francisco, CA (3)
Baltimore, MD
West Virginia (2)
Virginia
Toronto, Canada
Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Caught Dead
by Andrew Lahn

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Pages: 283
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  One of the beautiful Le sisters is dead.

Hartford, Connecticut’s small Vietnamese community is stunned. Mary Le Vu, wife of a poor grocery-store owner, died gunned down in a drive-by. Her twin sister insists dutiful Mary “wouldn’t be caught dead” in that drug-infested zone. The police rule it an unlucky accident. Skeptics hire private eye Rick Van Lam to get to the truth. 

Amerasian Rick—his father an unknown US soldier—is one of the boi doi, children of the dust, so often rejected by Vietnamese culture. But his young sidekick, Hank Nguyen, a pureblood Vietnamese, can help Rick navigate the closed world of Little Saigon. Surrounded by close friends—a former-Rockette landlady, his crusty mentor, and his ex-wife Liz—Rick immerses himself in a world that rejects him—but now needs his help. Especially when a second murder strikes in Little Saigon.

Rick and Hank delve into the families of the Le sisters, one poor, one very rich, and uncover a world of explosive ethnic tension and sinister criminal activity ranging from Hartford’s exclusive white suburbs to the impoverished inner city. To solve the murders—and bring closure to Mary’s grieving circle—Rick looks to long-buried memories of his Buddhist childhood for the wisdom that will lead him to a murderer. 



Kritters Thoughts:  Someone who hasn't every felt like a full part of his culture is asked to help solve a crime for close family friends, but some members of the family aren't as accepting of him - as he is half white and half Vietnamese.  But he is chosen to investigate the murder or a mother and aunt and get to the bottom of it.  

I loved the uniqueness that the Vietnamese culture gave to this who dun it.  And the two sets of siblings and an "adoptive" son were the meat of the story for me.  I loved hearing how the two sets of siblings grew up in two very different homes but with their mothers as twins you would think it would have been very similar upbringings!  The sibling rivalry mixed with family rivalry made this book for me.

The way the book ended was interesting - not what I expected and not sure I completely loved it, but it wasn't bad.  


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 TLC Book 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.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Twin Piques
by Tracie Banister

Pages: 383
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Forensic accountant Sloane Tobin and kooky pet psychic Willa may have the same face, but that’s the only thing these identical twins have in common. 

How she can read the hearts and minds of animals has always been a mystery to Willa, and her rotten luck with men is equally baffling. Although she’s been looking for “The One” for what feels like forever (A teenage marriage to a French mime and dating a guy named Spider seemed like good ideas at the time!), optimistic Willa refuses to give up on love. When she meets Brody, the handsome rose expert hired to save her grandmother’s garden, she’s instantly smitten, but why does he keep sending her mixed signals? Does he return her feelings, or is their attraction all in her fanciful head? 

Unlike her twin, Sloane has zero interest in romance. Her passion is her job, where she uses her gift for numbers to take down slimy embezzlers and asset-hiding spouses. When she’s assigned two high profile cases, Sloane feels confident the promotion she’s been angling for is within her grasp. But will her plan to climb the corporate ladder be thwarted by difficult clients, her co-worker-with-benefits, or – most surprisingly of all – her own sister? And how’s she supposed to stay focused on the drama at work when her childhood friend, Gav, moves in next door and the spark between them becomes impossible to ignore? 

To get what they both want, can Willa and Sloane band together and rely on each other’s strengths? Or will their differences drive them apart once and for all?



Kritters Thoughts:  A set of twin girls that can't be any more different!  Sloane is the serious twin, an accountant, but definitely avoiding the seriousness in relationships.  Willa, a pet psychic, living day to day and had quite a bad run on relationships.  They balance each other and I loved how they found the best advice in each other.

Personally, I may be more of a Sloane, so I LOVED reading her chapters more than Willas chapters.  As they were labeled, (and very different characters), it was easy to switch from one twin to another.  As I have said about previous books, I loved that this book didn't completely revolve around drama in their love lives, they also had drama on the work front.  

As far as I know, only ebook version, but a great add to any ereader for fans of chick lit.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2015 Challenge: 15 out of 100


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, February 26, 2015

Megan's Hope
by Steena Holmes

Pages: 70
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  What is normal when a kidnapped daughter returns home? 

Emma is now home and Jack, the man Emma calls Papa is part of their family. Life should be good, right? 

Except Jack is dying and no one is quite ready to say goodbye. 

This novella follows the life of Jack and Emma throughout the past year and if you thought your heart had already broke while reading Finding Emma and Emma’s Secret - get ready. 


Kritters Thoughts:  A year of short stories for each month starting in January after Emma has returned to her family, but Jack is still involved with the family.  Dottie has passed away, so Emma's family is all Jack has and thankfully they have welcomed him with open arms.  He is definitely aged and this book follows the family as they prepare to say goodbye to him.

As per usual with the Emma books, I cried during the entire book!  I loved having stories from each month to take a peek into the family, but the "cliffhanger"ish ending of each month was great!  I found out after reading that these were short stories released to Steena's fans that she compiled and put into this novella - I am so glad, I loved it!  

If you haven't started this series, start at the beginning and definitely read this one.


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2015 Challenge: 10 out of 100


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.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One Wish
by Robyn Carr

Publisher: Mira
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Grace Dillon was a champion figure skater until she moved to Thunder Point to escape the ruthless world of fame and competition. And though she's proud of the quiet, self-sufficient life she's created running a successful flower shop, she knows something is missing. Her life could use a little excitement. 

In a community where there are few eligible singles, high school teacher Troy Headly appoints himself Grace's fun coach. When he suggests a little companionship with no strings attached, Grace is eager to take him up on his offer, and the two enjoy…getting to know each other. 

But things get complicated when Grace's past catches up with her, and she knows that's not what Troy signed up for. Faced with losing her, Troy realizes Grace is more than just a friend with benefits. He's determined to help her fight for the life she always wished for but never believed she could have—and maybe they can find real love along the way.



Kritters Thoughts:  The 7th in the Thunder Point series and before I start the review, I would suggest picking this series up from the beginning, although somewhat companion novels, there are details of other characters that you will miss and it is better to let it build.  

Now for the review.  I don't know what it is, but I like these books more and more as this series goes.  Each of them has a little bit of sexy times, but nothing over the top and in your face and distracting from the true story.

Grace has escaped to Thunder Point to start on a clean slate with her past buried.  Troy is a high school teacher who recently got his heart broken has his crush just got married.  They keep it light and fun for a bit, but circumstances throw their relationship out of the fun zone and into the serious zone.

I absolutely adored this book!  Even more so than previous books, I loved how the secondary characters (who all have books about them in this series) were perfectly woven in and out of the story.  In some of the other books in the series, I didn't see the secondary characters and the story was caught up on the main characters.  

I also loved this couple, although I am not sure the synopsis on the book was the best representation of the book, I liked the story better than the synopsis!  Again, I would say start this one in the series.  They read fast and once you get started you won't want to stop!

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel (and I know there will be 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.

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