Thursday, April 18, 2019

Blood Orange
by Harriet Tyce

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

Goodreads:  Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise - she's just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems...

Just one more night. Then I'll end it. 

Alison drinks too much. She's neglecting her family. And she's having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up. 

Alison's client doesn't deny that she stabbed her husband - she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

I'm watching you. I know what you're doing. 

But someone knows Alison's secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she's done, and who won't stop until she's lost everything....


Kritters Thoughts:  As I have said a few times here on this blog, I am starting to steer away from books with cheating spouses - I just don't like to read books with this as the subject matter anymore.  So beyond the main storyline with Alison cheating on her spouse there was another one that kept me entertained and reading til the last page - Alison worked in the chambers in London and her first murder gets on to her desk and maybe because of her relationship with a Patrick.  At the same time that this murder is taking over her life, her marriage is falling apart and the two just may be connected.

I loved the few bits where she was interviewing the wife of the murdered man and she was getting to the bottom of the murder - the who what where when and why.  I was usually one step ahead of the main character Allison, but was glad for the confirmation when I was correct.  

The writing was good, so I would definitely try another one from this author, just hope it doesn't have cheaters in it.  The pacing was fine since I had to consider that the entire plot did not revolve around Allison's murder trial - although I wish it did!

I just couldn't enjoy the affair and its affects, especially since in this book there is a young child involved.  There was a little redemption at the end, but don't want to completely spoil it and give it all away.  If books with affairs don't bother you then I would completely recommend it.

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

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 19 out of 100


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, April 16, 2019

Sophie Last Seen
by Marlene Adelstein

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Pages: 280
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Six years ago, ten-year-old Sophie Albright disappeared from a shopping mall. Her mother, Jesse, is left in a self-destructive limbo, haunted by memories of her intense and difficult child, who was obsessed with birds. Trapped in her grief and guilt, Jesse stumbles through her workdays at a bookstore and spends her off hours poring over Sophie’s bird journals or haunting the mall to search for the face of her missing child.

When Star Silverman, Sophie’s best friend, starts working at the bookstore, Jesse is uncomfortable around the sarcastic teen, who is a constant reminder of her daughter. But Star has secrets of her own, and her childhood memories could be the key to solving Sophie’s disappearance.

With help from Star and Kentucky “Tuck” Barnes, a private detective on the trail of another missing girl, Jesse may finally get some closure, one way or the other.



Kritters Thoughts:  This book is more than your typical missing kid story, but it took awhile to get to the good stuff.  Sophie Albright went missing 6 years ago and her mother Jesse has spent every day since looking for her.  A routine trip to the mall changed her and their family forever and she just wants an answer to what happened that day.  

There was a bit in the beginning that I was worried this book wasn't going to go anywhere much and was going to be just an emotional journey, but about 2/3 in it started going in a direction that was entertaining and interesting.  I think the thing I liked the most was that when Jesse opened herself up to other people; i.e. her daughter's former friend Star she starts getting real clues that mean something and send her down a fruitful road.  I was really hoping that we could see Jesse get some conclusions and I was so thankful no matter how it happened that she did.  

It was an interesting combo of an emotional journey and a who dun it mystery.   


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

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 18 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.



Monday, April 15, 2019

Everything Here is Beautiful
by Mira T Lee

Publisher: Viking
Pages: 368
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Two Chinese-American sisters—Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister’s protector; Lucia, the headstrong, unpredictable one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When Lucia starts hearing voices, it is Miranda who must find a way to reach her sister. Lucia impetuously plows ahead, but the bitter constant is that she is, in fact, mentally ill. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until, inevitably, she crashes to earth. 

Miranda leaves her own self-contained life in Switzerland to rescue her sister again—but only Lucia can decide whether she wants to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans—but what does it take to break them?



Kritters Thoughts: Two sisters moved at a very young age from China to America with just their mother and through hard work and grit they found the American dream.  Miranda is the older sister and when their mother passed away she became the protector of her sister, Lucia.  Neither sister remembers their fathers death, but it greatly impacted their lives.  When Lucia starts battling mental illness, Miranda basically puts her life on hold to put her sister and their family first.

This book was completely about the sister relationship and how unique it is.  These sisters must really rely on each other without any extended family around; they must keep each other close in the good and bad times.  Yes, there was definitely some interesting cultural things because these women are Chinese-American, but that was just a minor compared to the major dissection of the sister relationship that this book did.  

The other big aspect of this book was mental illness.  I am not close to someone who battles mental illness, so I can't rate the honesty of the portrayal, but I really appreciated how it was written.  There would be a chapter from Lucia's perspective and you forget that maybe she isn't a reliable character and then a chapter would be from the perspective of her current love and the story was oh so different - it was so interesting to read.  It really put things into view for me that a mental illness can distort the view of reality.

I loved this book and the writing.  I was so impressed and excited to find out after finishing that this was a debut and I can't wait to read what Mira T Lee has next!


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 Viking.  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, April 14, 2019

When life is crazy, not a lot of reading gets done.  Traveling next week so maybe some plane reading!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Behind Closed Doors by Sherri Hayes
The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth
The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

Currently Reading:
The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott

Next on the TBR pile:
The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly rimmer

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Cliff House
by RaeAnne Thayne

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

Goodreads:  Three women—two sisters and their aunt—and the cliff house on the northern California coast that served as a beacon to them all…

After the death of their mother, sisters Daisy and Beatriz Davenport found a home with their aunt Stella in the beautiful and welcoming town of Cape Sanctuary. They never knew all the dreams that Stella sacrificed to ensure they had everything they’d ever need. Now, with Daisy and Bea grown, it’s time for Stella to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from them—a secret that will change their family forever. 

Bea thought she’d sown all her wild oats when she got pregnant far too young. The marriage that followed was rocky and not destined to last, but it gave Bea her wonderful, mature, now eleven-year-old daughter, Marisol. But just as she’s beginning to pursue a new love with an old friend, Bea’s ex-husband resurfaces and turns their lives completely upside down. 

Then there’s Daisy—sensible, rational, financially prudent Daisy. She’s never taken a risk in her life—until she meets a man who makes her question everything she thought she knew about life, love and the power of taking chances.


Kritters Thoughts:  I am a RaeAnne Thayne fan, but I am even more of a fan of her stand alone books.  With a little less romance and more plot and characters, her stand alone books are just top notch.  

At a young age two sisters - Daisy and Beatriz, lost their mom to drug use and after a stint in foster homes their young aunt took them in and raised them.  Through bringing them in she made some major life choices and did a lot to put them first.  Now as adults they are all living around each other and this book takes a snapshot of a few moments in their current life and at the same time tells the story of how these three women ended up where they are now.  

I loved each and every woman in this book for the character that they were.  It was so easy to see how the past shaped them into the women they were and the bond between them.  I really enjoyed reading about the big cast of characters that surrounded the women and even though the cast was big, it was so easy to keep everyone straight.  There were a few eye roll moments that reminded me I was reading fiction, but they in no way took away from the bigger story.  

I know this is a stand alone and that is a part of why I love it, but I wouldn't mind a sequel that took place a few years after the conclusion of this book and took another snapshot into these women's lives and where they are then.


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

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.


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

One Summer in Paris
by Sarah Morgan

Publisher: HQN
Pages: 400
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Audrey can’t believe it when her husband of 25 years announces he doesn’t want to join her on their long-planned trip to Paris – he wants a divorce instead! Reeling from the shock, a devastated Audrey makes the bold decision to go on this holiday of a lifetime alone. She quickly strikes up a friendship with 18-yr old Grace, who’s been dispatched to Paris by her mother to ‘learn the language’ – in reality, it’s so her mother can concentrate on her new husband. Heartsore from this rejection, Grace is rebellious, wild, and desperately unhappy. They forge an unlikely bond. Audrey can’t believe the risks Grace takes. Grace can’t believe how lacking in self-confidence Audrey is. Together, over a summer in magical Paris, they’ll help each other overcome the pain they’re both wrestling with and through finding each other, discover stronger, happier versions of themselves.


Kritters Thoughts:  Audrey is headed to a dinner ready to surprise her husband with the trip of a lifetime as they are starting their lives as empty nesters, he is approaching this phase of life in a different attitude and needs a break from the life they have been living.  Audrey decides to take this trip alone and reset her life and priorities.  

I have really been evaluating my reading recently and really trying to avoid the cheating books.  I just don't enjoy reading books where spouses are doing that sort of thing and am just trying to stay away, I committed to reading this book before I started really limiting this in my reading.  I am glad I still read this book but there were some moments where I really cringed and and maybe skipped ahead a bit.  

The moments that I loved the most were between Audrey and Grace.  I loved how in Grace's life she needed an Audrey to step and help mentor her through her transition and Grace was able to affect Audrey through this speed bump in her life.  It was interesting to read about characters who are not related with this age different really impact each other.  

I love Sarah Morgan's writing and will always enjoy reading books, I just didn't completely love the subject matter of this one, but didn't take away from my love of her as an author.


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

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.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Little Lovely Things
by Maureen Joyce Connolly

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:   Claire Rawlings, mother of two and medical resident, will not let the troubling signs of an allergic reaction prevent her from making it in for rounds. But when Claire's symptoms overpower her while she's driving into work, her two children in tow, she must pull over. Moments later she wakes up on the floor of a gas station bathroom-her car, and her precious girls have vanished.

The police have no leads and the weight of guilt presses down on Claire as each hour passes with no trace of her girls. All she has to hold on to are her strained marriage, a potentially unreliable witness who emerges days later, and the desperate but unquenchable belief that her daughters are out there somewhere.


Kritters Thoughts:  A hard book to read, but so worth it.  A busy mother who is trying to balance schooling, motherhood and being a spouse has an allergic reaction and the next thing she knows her children and her car are gone.  With a heavy layer of guilt she must continue to search for her girls while also move forward with the life that she has left.

I absolutely loved this book.  The pacing was top notch, enough where I read it in one day in two sittings - I couldn't put this one down at all.  I really wanted to know what would happen to these girls and this family.  

The writing was fantastic.  I fell in love with this family from the very beginning and felt the whole range of emotions for them all.  I had such sympathy for both parents who are put in such a horrible situation.  My favorite thing is when I have such deep emotions for a character where I have REAL feelings.  

I love it when I look up an author after I finish their book and go searching and realize that the book I read was a debut, makes me sad because there is no backlist to go dive into, but excited because if this is the debut I am in hopes that there is more and more to come from this author!


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

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 17 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.

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