Sunday, May 22, 2022

Another busy week and very few moments to curl up with a book!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Make Me Disappear by Jessica Payne
Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins

Currently Reading:
The Boardwalk Bookshop by Susan Mallery

Next on the TBR pile:
The Brighter the Light by Mary Ellen Taylor

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Make Me Disappear
by Jessica Payne

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 381
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  By the time I realized the truth about Daniel it was too late. But the truth about me? He never saw that coming…

Dr Daniel Ashcroft was perfect: handsome, romantic, protective. I thought I was so lucky.

But then I heard the rumors about his previous girlfriend, that she had vanished without a trace. That’s when I found the cameras in my apartment.

I was trapped. Daniel made it clear I couldn’t leave him, not without risking everyone I loved. I had to disappear, so I arranged my own kidnapping.

I should have known Daniel would never let me get away that easily. But he could never have predicted what I’d do next…


Kritters Thoughts:  Two storylines - Noelle in the past and in the present.  Noelle in the past has met a great doctor and is in the process of falling in love.  Noelle in the present is on the run and the past doesn't look so great.  And while both storylines are going on, the reader can't trust anyone's viewpoint because the author wrote it just right!

I am finnicky when it comes to unreliable narrators sometimes the author does it just right and I love it from start to finish and sometimes its done poorly and I honestly have no idea how to differentiate between the two!  In this book, it was great partly because I honestly didn't feel like I could trust any of the characters.  All had motive to deception, but I also had a little empathy and sympathy for them all - they were written so well.  

While I may have guessed the culprit a little early, but only because I have become quote the mystery/thriller reader, I still enjoyed the journey of this book.  And to find out after finishing that this was a debut was a fun treat and I wish for so many more winded tales from Jessica Payne.  


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

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 41 out of 100

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Adult Assembly Required
by Abbi Waxman

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When Laura Costello moves to Los Angeles, trying to escape an overprotective family and the haunting memories of a terrible accident, she doesn’t expect to be homeless after a week. (She’s pretty sure she didn’t start that fire — right?) She also doesn't expect to find herself adopted by a rogue bookseller, installed in a lovely but completely illegal boardinghouse, or challenged to save a losing trivia team from ignominy…but that’s what happens. Add a regretful landlady, a gorgeous housemate and an ex-boyfriend determined to put himself back in the running and you’ll see why Laura isn’t really sure she’s cut out for this adulting thing. Luckily for her, her new friends Nina, Polly and Impossibly Handsome Bob aren't sure either, but maybe if they put their heads (and hearts) together they’ll be able to make it work for them.


Kritters Thoughts:  Before even diving into this book, I knew I was an Abbi Waxman fan and I knew that I would more than likely just love this book from beginning to end - and that is what happened!

An ensemble cast with a young woman at the center, Laura Costello has moved to Los Angeles primarily for grad school, but also to escape her very opinionated family and their expectations of her.  After a very dramatic afternoon, she stumbles into an independent bookstore where the three ladies in the store almost adopt her and help her with housing, clothing and all the things and friendships quickly form.  While the book definitely centers around Laura, there is enough plot for each of the characters where they almost have their own full stories.  

What I love about Abbi's books are the characters are full - they have a range of emotions and experiences and while, yes, there is some romance, they go to work and have relationships beyond the romance ones.  I will always pick up Abbi Waxman's books without even reading a synopsis because I know that I will get a cast of characters that are having full life experiences.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 40 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  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, May 15, 2022

This is two weeks worth of reading and while it is a small list, it has been a hard two weeks for our family as we had to say goodbye to one of our dogs, and my brain couldn't concentrate on anything!


A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
The Mad Girls of New York by Maya Rodale
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
The Damage Done by Michael Landweber
Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman
What They Don't Know by Susan Furlong

Currently Reading:
Make Me Disappear by Jessica Payne

Next on the TBR pile:
Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins

Friday, May 13, 2022

What They Don't Know
by Susan Furlong

Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Pages: 286
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  A picture-perfect suburban life fractures . . . and a darker reality bubbles beneath the surface.

Mona Ellison's life is as perfect as the porcelain dolls lined up on her shelves. She has a successful husband, a loving son, a beautiful home, and a supportive group of girlfriends ever ready for their weekly wine night.

But when Mona’s son gets entangled with the wrong crowd and runs away from home, her blissful suburban world begins to unravel. She tells her friends that boys will be boys, that he’ll be back as soon as his money runs dry . . . but deep down she knows there’s something else going on.

Then the police show up at Mona’s door. A young girl has turned up dead in their quiet town, and her missing son is the prime suspect.

Determined to reunite with her son and prove his innocence, Mona follows an increasingly cryptic trail of clues on social media, uncovering a sinister side of suburbia and unveiling lies and betrayal from those she trusted most. And as Mona spirals further from her once cozy reality, a devastating revelation shatters everything she thought she knew. Now the only thing she’s sure of is that she can’t trust anyone . . . not even herself.


Kritters Thoughts:  Mona Ellison thought she was in the season of life where she could coast, life should be just smooth sailing, but life is unpredictable, especially when you have kids.  

I have read a few books where you see a parent go to great lengths for a kid and this one can be added to that sub sub genre!  As with all my reviews of mystery/thrillers, I keep them short as to not spoil a thing, but I rate them by the outcome and while there were some definite twists and turns - I am completely satisfied with the outcome.  

My first Susan Furlong read and will not be my last!  I was excited to learn after finishing this one that she has a backlist - I just don't know where to go next.  What should I read next of hers if this one satisfied that mystery/thriller reading itch.  

I would call this book a reading rut buster!  With many personal things going on, I have struggled to read recently and this book kept me flipping pages in my kindle for hours without moving a muscle and got me back on the reading wagon!  A suspense that is perfect for any season, but one I enjoyed over a rainy weekend!


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

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 39 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Partner in Crime 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.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Damage Done
by Michael Landweber

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Imagine a world devoid of violence—a world where fists can’t hit, guns don’t kill, and bombs can’t destroy. In this tantalizing novel of possibility, this has become our new reality.

The U.S. president must find a new way to wage war. The Pope ponders whether the Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is still relevant. A dictator takes his own life after realizing that the violence he used to control his people is no longer an option.

In the first days after the change, seven people who have experienced violence struggle to adapt to this radical new paradigm: Dab, a bullied middle schooler; Marcus, a high school student whose brother is the last victim of gun violence in America; Ann, a social worker stuck in an abusive marriage; Richard, a professor whose past makes him expect the worst inthe present; Gabriela, who is making a dangerous border crossing into the U.S.; the Empty Shell, a dissident writer waiting to be tortured in a notorious prison; and Julien, a white supremacist plotting a horrific massacre.

As their fates intertwine, the things each of the seven experience become emblematic of the promise and perils of the new world. The future holds bright new possibilities for ending terrorism, racism, and even hatred itself. But although violence is no longer possible, that doesn’t mean that some among us won’t keep trying. Mindless cruelty is still alive and well—and those bent on destruction will seek the most devious means to achieve it.
 


Kritters Thoughts:  A story of seven people and how each of them were impacted by a world devoid of violence.  Told in almost short story form as the author moves from one character to another and shows both the positive and negative side to a world where violence is gone.  From a bullied middle schooler to a social worker in an abusive relationship, each person wonders how long the world will be this way.

I went into this book with some definite thoughts and they were flipped upside down while reading.  I couldn't think of one reason why a world without violence wouldn't be a good thing, but this book really challenged my thoughts while reading.  

I had a favorite and a least favorite storyline.  To start negative and end on the positive - my least favorite was The Empty Shell.  I just couldn't connect with this character and couldn't care about his reaction to this new world.  My favorite was Ann and what an impact that the world without violence had on both her personal and professional life and I liked seeing how she had to react to this change in both places.  

Without spoiling anything, the thing I loved most about the book was the subtle connections from character to character or story to story.  Even until the end, it was fun to see how it was very much six degrees of separation and how the characters would show up within each other's stories.  

My first Michael Landweber book and I want to look into his backlist to see what else he has to read!


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 JH Public Relations.  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, May 10, 2022

Every Summer After
by Carley Fortune

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

Goodreads:  Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.

They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart.

Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without.

For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books—medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her—Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.

When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past.


Kritters Thoughts:  Two storylines with two people at the center of the story.  Persephone and Sam met as very young kids and they became fast friends and then it started to evolve!  One storyline starts in their younger years when they meet and begin their friendship, while the other one takes place many years later as Sam and his brother Charlie are mourning the loss of their mother and Persephone returns to the small town to reunite and maybe close all the doors left open from the past.  

I love a reuniting storyline as the characters can come together and fall back into their ways and it doesn't feel like instalove!  Because the reader has the past storyline to also read, there is history to add depth to the story.  The way the author moved from one storyline to the author was timed just perfectly - it kept me hanging and wanting to keep reading and reading to find out what would happen next in the past or the present.  

The character story arc was so spot on.  I have been known to roll my eyes once or twice at fictional characters who maybe do something that doesn't fit them, but these two had just the right ups and downs that felt right for the characters that she built.  

Excited to see that this was a debut and that there could be more to come from this author!

While I read a lot of romance and know there are steamy scenes in books, this one felt a little too much, but it fit in the storyline and wasn't out of place.  If you tend to avoid those, then I would go into this book knowing that they are there.     


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

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 38 out of 100

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