Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Witch Hunter
by Max Seeck 

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  A bestselling author’s wife has been found dead in a gorgeous black evening gown, sitting at the head of a formally set dinner table. Her most chilling feature—her face is frozen in a ghastly smile.

At first it seems as though a deranged psychopath is reenacting the gruesome murders from The Witch Hunter, the bestseller written by the victim’s husband. But investigator Jessica Niemi soon realizes she’s not looking for a single killer but rather for dozens of believers in a sinister form of witchcraft.

They know her every move and are always one step ahead. As the bodies start piling up, Jessica knows they won’t stop until they get what they want. And when her dark past comes to light, Jessica finds herself battling her own demons while desperately trying to catch a coven of killers before they claim their next victim.
 


Kritters Thoughts:  Roger Kopnen is a famous author and the final book in his trilogy has just been released.  While he is away promoting this book, his wife is found dead in their home and looks similarly to something from one of his books - is he a suspect or is someone trying to frame him?

This was a book that was translated and I am not sure if it was in the translation or in the editing from the book that I received from Netgalley, but I was missing some information that would have put some context to a few of the chapters that went back in the past of one of the investigators - Jessica Niemi.  I wish I had some more info as it would have helped place these in the context of the greater story.

I hate to spoil mystery/thrillers because the ending is pretty vital for the story, but I am not sure I even still know the outcome of all the dead bodies?!  I could have missed something, but this didn't affect my feelings of the book in the end.  No matter the outcome of who dun it, the way that the bodies piled up and the clues that unfolded, I enjoyed the pacing and the way the author put together the mystery in the story.

I think I would try the next in the series when it is available because I would like to see where Jessica as a character ends up.


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

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 107 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.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Autumn Skies
by Denise Hunter

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When a mysterious man turns up at Grace’s family-run inn, it’s instant attraction. But she’s already got a lot on her plate: running the Bluebell Inn, getting Blue Ridge Outfitters off the ground, and coping with a childhood event she’d thought was long past.

A gunshot wound has resurrected the past for secret service agent Wyatt Jennings, and a mandatory leave of absence lands him in Bluebell, North Carolina. There he must try and come to grips with the crisis that altered his life forever.

Grace needs experience for her new outfitters business, so when Wyatt needs a mountain guide, she’s more than happy to step up to the plate. As their journey progresses, Grace soon has an elusive Wyatt opening up, and Wyatt is unwittingly drawn to Grace’s fresh outlook and sense of humor.

There’s no doubt the two have formed a special bond, but will Wyatt’s secrets bring Grace’s world crashing down? Or will those secrets end up healing them both?


Kritters Thoughts:  The third in a series where I recommend starting at the beginning and read each book in a row.  

Three siblings have finished the renovations of an inn in their hometown after their parents passed away quickly and tragically.  Now running the inn, they have had a timeline as to when they would all move on to the next phases of their lives and it is coming up soon.  

The youngest sibling, Grace, was still in school when they lost her parents, but now she is 21 and operating her own business out of the inn and is ready to be a full fledged adult out of the watching eye of her siblings.  

Wyatt has moved to the small town to return to the scene of a crime and to confront the past in hopes that he can move into his future and the next phase of his career.    

As in most romance books the ending is inevitable, but the journey is the story.  I always appreciate a romance that throws in a twist and although I may have known it a little far ahead, it still made me gasp and I wanted to keep reading to find out how the characters would respond to the revelations.  

I loved this trilogy and hope to see many more to come from Denise Hunter.


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, October 25, 2020

A great weekend with a day with beautiful weather and one day full of rain which both warranted some great reading time!


A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Steena Holmes
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St James
Perfectly Impossible by Elizabeth Topp
Miracle Creek Christmas by Krista Lynne Jensen

Currently Reading:
AOC by Lynda Lopez (audiobook)
My Only Child by Sam Vickery

Next on the TBR pile:
The Forgotten Sister by Nicola Cornick

Friday, October 23, 2020

Lies We Tell Ourselves
by Steena Holmes 

Publisher: SH press
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  “I found her.” One phone call and three whispered words is all it takes for Paige Fischer to risk everything - including her own life.

One missing sister...
Twelve years ago, Paige Fischer's identical twin, Jessica was kidnapped. Blaming herself, Paige never gave up hoping Jess is still alive, despite everyone else in her life insisting it’s time to move on.

One devoted fiancé...
Jamie is the perfect partner, and father to their son, but when he asks Paige to set a date for their wedding, she tells him she can't, not until her sister is found. Every step forward Paige takes with her life feels like a betrayal to Jess and until Paige knows for sure what happened to her, she can't settle down.

One fateful lie...
There's been a sighting and all it takes is one phone call, one betrayal and one whispered threat for Paige to throw caution to the wind and do what nobody else could: rescue Jess. But what if Paige doesn't make it in time? Is Jess still alive? Or is someone playing a twisted game with Paige?

Whatever outcome, the only thing Paige knows is that she's willing to risk it all, even her own life, to save her sister.


Kritters Thoughts:  Paige is a twin, but when she is a young girl, her twin sister goes missing and that incident has changed her life and even set the course for her career.  She ends up working for an organization that helps families and victims of sex trafficking.  I think deep down she believes if she works in this field in her hometown there is a chance she can right the wrongs and hopefully find her sister.  

Told through multiple perspectives, this story switches from detectives who are trying to take down a sex trafficking ring to Paige and an unknown woman both in and out of the hospital.  The reader has hopes throughout the book that the families in the book can find conclusions to their situations.  

I am an avid reader of mysteries, so I may have picked out our culprit a little earlier, but it didn't ruin the reading experience for me.  I still wanted to see how the clues would all come out and confirm if I was even correct!  

I have been a Steena Holmes fan for awhile and this one fits nicely on the bookshelf with her other books.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 111 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, October 22, 2020

Rescue You
by Elysia Whisler

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

Goodreads:  She needs a fresh start. He’s got scars that haven’t healed. With the help of some rescue dogs, they’ll discover that everyone deserves a chance at happiness.

After a year of heartbreak and loss, the only thing keeping Constance afloat is the dog rescue she works at with her sister, Sunny. Desperate for a change, Constance impulsively joins a new gym, even though it seems impossibly hard, and despite the gym’s prickly owner.

Rhett Santos keeps his gym as a refuge for his former-military brothers and to sweat out his own issues. He’s ready to let the funny redhead join, but unprepared for the way she wiggles past his hard-won defenses.

When their dog rescue is threatened, the sisters fight to protect it. And they need all the help they can get. As Rhett and Constance slowly open up to each other, they’ll find that no one is past rescuing; what they need is the right person—or dog—to save them.


Kritters Thoughts:  From the opinion of a dog mom, a book where the two sisters focus a lot of their time on rescuing dogs who need a new good home is one that I am excited to read.  Constance is the older sister who after their mother dies ends up raising her younger sister and Sunny is that younger sister who hasn't had a lot of burden on her shoulders and has spent her life rescuing/stealing dogs and giving them a better life through adoption or through a program where they become a helpful aid to veterans in need.  Rhett is a veteran who owns a gym and hasn't completely mentally or physically healed from his years and many tours and maybe an encounter with Constance could change his life.  

Although there were moments in this book that I felt missed the mark and felt forced to move the story along, overall the story was enjoyable.  I appreciated that the sisters had two very different journeys in the book.  They both reacted to their childhood trauma in different ways and it informed the way they entered love.  I was glad to see two women grow up in the same home end up in different situations that are so polar opposite.

If you are an avid reader of the romance genre, there may be moments where this book doesn't live up to others, but you can appreciate good characters and sweet love story.


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

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 106 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, October 21, 2020

When You Were Mine
by Kate Hewitt 

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 342
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  “Dylan…” I croak, but my little boy doesn’t even look at me. “Dylan,” I say again, my voice breaking now, and the social worker gives me a reproving look. I’m not helping, but I don’t care. “Dylan!” My voice is louder now, and my gaze stays locked with my son’s as she pulls away from the curb and drives away, taking my very life with her.

Single mother Beth loves her seven-year-old son Dylan with all her heart. He’s her world. But life with Dylan isn’t easy—and his emotional issues push Beth to her very limit. When a misunderstanding leads Dylan to be taken into foster care, she is determined to do whatever she can to get him back.

Mother of two, Ally has always dreamed of fostering—it feels like her chance to give back when she has been so lucky in life. But when Dylan joins their family, Ally finds herself struggling to balance his needs with those of her own children and husband—something Beth can’t help but witness when she visits.

Beth wants nothing more than to find a way to bring her beloved child home. But where is the right home for Dylan? Is it with the mother he was born to? Or is a new mother the greatest gift Beth could give her son?


Kritters Thoughts:  Two mothers.  Beth, one single and trying to make ends meet with a child who has a few issues, Dylan.  Ally, the other married with two kids and seems as if she has all the pieces put together with a great part time job, one child in college at Harvard and the other surviving school, but no issues to be reported.  Ally has thought about opening her home to foster children as her children leave their home and she finally decides to and Dylan will be her first placement.   

Told through the perspectives of both mothers as they are on two sides of the foster care perspective and throughout the story as they interact they learn about how each other approach motherhood and the highs and lows that each mother can go through with each child.  

Although not a mother myself, I really got into this book and really appreciated seeing two mothers go through motherhood in different ways and have very different experiences.  I loved seeing inside both their homes and then seeing through each other's eyes the other's life and both seeing positives and negatives in each other's lives.  

I have read a few Kate Hewitt's books and each one has met or exceeded my expectations.  She has quite the backlist that I hope to continue to read and catch up on!


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 104 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.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The House by the Lake
by Ella Carey

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 234
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Anna is content with her well-ordered life in San Francisco. But her world is turned upside down when her beloved grandfather, Max, reveals a startling secret: Anna is part of an aristocratic family who lost everything during World War II. What’s more, Max was forced to leave behind a precious item over seventy years ago in their estate in old Prussia. It’s now his ardent wish that Anna retrieve it.

Anna burns with questions as she heads for Germany: What memento could be so important to her grandfather? And why did he keep their history hidden? As she searches for answers, she finds herself drawn to Wil, a man who may hold the key to unlock the mystery. Together they discover that her family’s secrets are linked with an abandoned apartment in Paris, and these secrets go deeper than she ever imagined.


Kritters Thoughts:  The second in a series and the book is connected to book one, but doesn't really need to be read in a row.  A character from the first book is in this second, but the stories felt self contained.  

Two storylines, one in 2010 and one in the 1930s, one that starts in California and one that starts in Paris, but both make their way to Germany and a castle where both women's lives will be forever changed.  

Anna is sent to Germany to the home of her ailing grandfather to retrieve something.  There she will find more than the intended purpose of her trip.  In 1930, Isabelle makes a visit to this castle and falls in love with a man, but their paths will diverge and her life will go in a different direction.  

I loved how the author had both Anna and Isabelle discover the house at the same time and the back and forth in that chapter might have been my favorite in a story where there are two timelines - it was just genius!  It happened throughout the book, but for me it stood out in this chapter and I loved it.  

There were some moments where the story slowed down a bit and the pacing felt a little sluggish, but at a certain point the story picked up and it was a race to the end!

I can't wait to read book three and see this trilogy be complete.


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

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 103 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.
 

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