Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Stalking Sapphire
by Mia Thompson

Publisher: Diversion Books
Pages: 184
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Despite the illusion Sapphire Dubois presents to the rest of the world, she is not just your stereotypical 22-year old Beverly Hills heiress; she hunts serial killers. While her fellow heirs spend their nights with trending celebs and drugs at the hottest club, Sapphire secretly spends hers luring, capturing, and anonymously handing over So-Cal’s most wanted killers to the police — just your average Tuesday night. 

What Sapphire doesn’t know is that one of her adversaries is watching her every move, aware of both her true identity and her unconventional hobby. Needless to say, he doesn’t approve. Used to being the one who redefines the definition of predator and prey, Sapphire’s world abruptly shatters when a gruesome ‘gift’ arrives for her at the Beverly Hills Country Club. With her involuntary crush, handsome Detective Aston Ridder, close on her tail, Sapphire now has to rethink her routine strategy and figure out how to capture a killer who already knows she’s coming.



Kritters Thoughts:  Sapphire Dubois lives in a fancy house in Beverly Hills and she has an inheritance that is more than most people will make in a lifetime, but she doesn't care about any of this, she cares more about the serial killer that she just led to the police!  And she is just 22 years old!  

I loved this book mostly because I loved Sapphire as a character.  The mystery that she was solving was just ok, but Sapphire herself was so great!  I loved how she was balancing almost two lives and what happened when they collided a bit.  

As far as the mystery in the book it was just ok, but I say this as a reader who reads a ton in this genre every year.  I was satisfied as to who was the perp in the end and I did enjoy that I was wrong when I thought I had guessed way too early.  BUT I didn't love this in the same breath.  The clues that obviously pointed to one person didn't completely work for me when the actual person was revealed.  I didn't think the clues and hints pointed towards him and I felt if I reread the book I still wouldn't have picked him out.  This may all be confusing, but trying to tell my reasons without spoiling the book!

The thing that impressed me most was my biggest concern going in.  I was nervous to read a mystery/thriller book that was only 184 pages and was worried that it would feel rushed and not fleshed out with the limited pages.  This was not the case at all.  I felt like the story was full and had the twists and turns that would have been there if it had been over 300 pages.  

I don't know yet if I will continue with the series, but I am glad I tried this one.


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


Ebook 2018 Challenge: 60 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, July 16, 2018

When We Found Home
by Susan Mallery

Publisher: HQN Books
Pages: 416
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Life is meant to be savored, but that's not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you'd rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn't know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister--Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old. 

Callie doesn't love being alone, but at least it's safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.

But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. He was clever enough to turn a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, yet he can't figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love. 

But love isn't Malcolm's strong suit... until a beautiful barista teaches him that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.


Kritters Thoughts:  Three half siblings that didn't know they each existed until recently and due to the love and pursuit of a grandfather they are brought into a home and each get a life reset.  

One of my complaints is about Callie and Santiago.  He meets her in the warehouse and doesn't know who she is and finds out from Malcolm, but has yet to have a conversation with her and then decides she is the love of his life and he will pursue her, REALLY?  He went from 0 to 80 in 10 seconds and without even talking to her, didn't love it.  So he admits it out loud, but I just couldn't get behind it, it was just so weird.  And it continued throughout the book, I never really got behind that pairing.

On the other hand I liked Malcom and Keira's story so much better.  It felt like it had history and back story and I just loved the ups and downs they had in the book, they felt so real and true and honest.  

I like to warn when a book has sexy times and this one had a few scenes.  It didn't seem too overwhelming, but they were definitely in there so if you like to avoid those books, I would warn you with this one.

I love Susan Mallery single books, they have some romance but they have super strong plots and great characters.  I will continue to read her one off books they are perfect reads for pool days.


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, July 15, 2018

With fourth of july and our niece for the weekend, not a lot of reading happened last week and weekend, but this week and weekend made up for it, so this is two weeks worth of reading.

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Safe Houses by Dan Fesperman
The Summer Sail by Wendy Francis
Stalking Sapphire by Mia Thompson
When We Found Home by Susan Mallery
The Last Thing I Told You by Emily Arsenault
The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

Currently Reading:
Woman Walks into a Bar by Rowan Coleman

Next on the TBR pile:
Beautiful Exiles by Meg Waite Clayton

Friday, July 13, 2018

Safe Houses
by Dan Fesperman

Publisher: Knopf
Pages: 416
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  West Berlin, 1979. Helen Abell oversees the CIA's network of safe houses, rare havens for field agents and case officers amidst the dangerous milieu of a city in the grips of the Cold War. Helen's world is upended when, during her routine inspection of an agency property, she overhears a meeting between two people unfamiliar to her speaking a coded language that hints at shadowy realities far beyond her comprehension. Before the day is out, she witnesses a second unauthorized encounter, one that will place her in the sightlines of the most ruthless and powerful man at the agency. Her attempts to expose the dark truths about what she has witnessed will bring about repercussions that reach across decades and continents into the present day, when, in a farm town in Maryland, a young man is arrested for the double murder of his parents, and his sister takes it upon herself to find out why he did it.


Kritters Thoughts:  What an interesting book.  This is a combination historical fiction, mystery/thriller and this was one of those books that you had to read closely for many reasons.  For one there is a large cast of characters and some of them have two names as they are spys, field agents or have identities for one reason another.  You also have to read closely to make sure you know who works for whom and what side they are on.  

One thing that made me realize that I was really into this book and loving it, was my wonderment if any of this was based in truth.  I love when I go into a book with little back story and wonder the whole time if there is any truth behind the book - such a good feeling!  I wondered if the Sisterhood and almost hoped that there was some truth for these women in this moment in time had each other as a support system in this crazy male centric job field.  

After reading this, I decided that I really want to see this as a movie.  I don't think that often and don't care for my books to have a life outside of the book form, but this one really struck me as a great book to adapt and for it to hold up to the transfer from one art form to another.  

This was my first introduction to Dan Fesperman.  I was so excited to see quite the backlist when I finished this book.  I don't even know where to go next!  Where should I go if I liked this one a lot?


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 Knopf 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.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Summer Sail
by Wendy Francis

Publisher: Touchstone
Pages: 307
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Three college roommates are celebrating a twentieth wedding anniversary by taking a cruise to Bermuda. As the ship pulls away from the pier, everyone is looking forward to lounging by the pool, sipping sunset cocktails, and reminiscing. Abby, the mother hen of the group, will be celebrating her wedding anniversary in style, even as she and her husband keep a secret from the group. Ambitious career woman Caroline happily anticipates several stress-free days away from her magazine job with her boyfriend, Javier, who may or may not be finally inspired to propose. And single mom Lee (annoyingly gorgeous and irresistibly popular in college) hopes she’ll win back the affections of her formerly sweet daughter Lacey, who after her first year in college, has inexplicably become a little bit of a monster.

As the balmy pink shores of Bermuda come into view, tensions simmer, and old jealousies flare, sending the temperature from soothing to scorching in this engrossing tale of three best friends on a vacation they won’t soon forget—but not for the reasons they expect.


Kritters Thoughts:  When you think of a summer women's fiction novel, this is the book that should now come to mind.  Three women have been friends since college and they often take vacations to reconnect.  This year one of them decides to combine the vacation with a celebration of their wedding anniversary and the girls plus their families.  So off they go from Boston to Bermuda . . . 

I loved that the story equally focused on each of the three ladies.  Each had something going on, but nothing felt overtly dramatic.  It was no where near soap opera level drama as I explained to my mom, it was "normal people drama."  They each had a full story but nothing overshadowed one or the other.  

I loved the setting.  A summertime cruise to Bermuda was so fun.  I have only cruised once, but reading this book made me giggle a few times at the honest moments that everyone has on a cruise - the joy of finding a quiet nook on the ship or the realization that there is food available at all times of the day and how to not continuously eat!

This book was just the right thing to read over a summer weekend by the pool or on our boat!  I loved that it had a great plot, some good character feelings and just the right setting.  This elevated Wendy Francis to an author I want to watch out for!


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2018 Challenge:  59 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Touchstone 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, July 10, 2018

The Subway Girls
by Susie Orman Schnall

Publisher: St Martin's
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In 1949, dutiful and ambitious Charlotte's dream of a career in advertising is shattered when her father demands she help out with the family business. Meanwhile, Charlotte is swept into the glamorous world of the Miss Subways beauty contest, which promises irresistible opportunities with its Park Avenue luster and local fame status. But when her new friend—the intriguing and gorgeous fellow-participant Rose—does something unforgivable, Charlotte must make a heart-wrenching decision that will change the lives of those around her forever.

Nearly 70 years later, outspoken advertising executive Olivia is pitching the NYC subways account in a last ditch effort to save her job at an advertising agency. When the charismatic boss she’s secretly in love with pits her against her misogynistic nemesis, Olivia’s urgent search for the winning strategy leads her to the historic Miss Subways campaign. As the pitch date closes in on her, Olivia finds herself dealing with a broken heart, an unlikely new love interest, and an unexpected personal connection to Miss Subways that could save her job—and her future.


Kritters Thoughts:  One of those books that has two storylines, one in the present and one in the past.  I have to admit these are my favorite types of books, I get the historical fiction aspect, but also get to see something current and now.  Also, usually there is a little mystery as to how these two stories are connected, it is all of the genres I love rolled into one!

To focus on this book.  In 1949 there is Charlotte and she has huge dreams for a woman of this time to work in advertising and be an independent career woman before she settles down and does the wife and kid thing.  The current storyline revolves around Olivia and she works in advertising and is still feeling the effects of working in a "man's world."  

There was less of a mystery about how the stories were connected, it was just more obvious than most, but I didn't mind that at all.  Instead it was interesting to see the similarities between women in the workforce then and now and a few differences, wish that wasn't the case!

I loved this book even more when I found out that the Subway girls was based on fact and that this was a real campaign.  I love when an author chooses something that could be obscure and unknown from history and can create a whole world and story from this one little bit.  It makes me look things up and see the truth and I feel more engaged when there is fact behind the fiction.

I have read all of Susie Orman Schnall's books and I will continue she writes fantastic female stories with substance and depth.  After three books with two four star ratings and one three, I can give myself the fan status!


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


Ebook 2018 Challenge: 57 out of 100


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.

Monday, July 9, 2018

I See Life Through Rose Colored Glasses
by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

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

Goodreads:  Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella’s delightful essays are sure to strike a chord with every woman. Their nine book series is among the best reviewed humor books published today, and has been compared to the late greats Erma Bombeck and Nora Ephron. 


Kritters Thoughts:  Another essay/column collection from the mother daughter duo - Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella.  This mother daughter duo does a column in the Philadelphia newspaper and after reading most of the books, it makes me want to subscribe just to read them live as they are coming out.  

These stories are about everything from motherhood, to being single in NYC to loss and these stories have made me cry and completely laugh out loud.  It would be hard to find a woman who can't relate to a story or two in the book and even the ones that I don't relate to make me laugh because I can picture my mom, sister or a friend who the story reminds me of!  

There isn't much to say about this specific collection over the ones I have read; they are perfect to throw into a beach bag for the summer.  The stories are 3-5 pages, so you can easily read this and put it down, its just a great summer time book of stories.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel


Ebook 2018 Challenge: 44 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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