Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Longest Silence by Debra Webb - EXCERPT

A note before I get to the excerpt, I don't normally excerpt books here, but when I read the pitch for this book, I got super excited.  I agreed to both an excerpt and a review, so check back on March 23rd for my full review.

And now on to the excerpt . . .


“Give him his money back and send him on his way and we’ll pretend this—” Tony gestured to the two of them “—never happened.”
“Holy shit, is that your dad?” the guy asked, hands going up in front of his chest as if to protect himself from a coming attack.
“Just go.” Riley shoved the twenty at him. He almost fell over his own feet trying to reach the door while fumbling with his fly. Another half a minute elapsed with him struggling with the lock before escaping.
Once he was gone, Riley said, “I told you all I know about Tiffany.”
“Sit.” Tony indicated the other chair. No matter how much psychology he forced into his brain, the idea of how mankind survived, considering survival required the species to go through puberty and adolescence, remained a mystery to him.
Riley sidled over to the chair on her side of the room and collapsed into it. “Are you going to tell on me and ruin my college career? I’ll lose my scholarship, you know.”
Gee, so nice to see more of that overwhelming concern for her roommate.
“That depends on how cooperative you are in the next five minutes.”
The girl glanced at his crotch.
Tony rolled his eyes. “Really?”
She cleared her throat. “What do I have to do?”
Leaning forward, he braced his forearms on his thighs and looked her straight in the eyes. “You have to tell me the truth. You and Tiffany weren’t getting along, were you?”
For one long moment she didn’t answer. She drew in a deep breath and released it. “We hate each other.”
Tony concluded as much. “Why?”
“She came into the room and caught me with…a guy.”
It happened. Guys loved it when other guys caught them getting laid by most any means. Apparently girls didn’t feel the same way. “Why was that such a big deal?”
Another exaggerated sigh huffed from her gloss-shined lips as she glanced to the bare mattress behind Tony. “Because we were in her bed.”
Now that was dirty. “So you were conducting your little business in this room in Tiffany’s bed?”
Riley nodded.
“I can see why she would be angry. When did this happen?” He opened his phone to his notepad.
She gasped. He showed her the screen to confirm he wasn’t calling anyone.
“Right after the semester break. She’s barely spoken to me since.”
“Have you been using your own bed?” He held up a hand. “Before you answer that question, keep in mind that the forensic folks will find all DNA on Tiffany’s bed linens.”
She nodded adamantly. “I don’t go near her side of the room anymore.”
Tony decided she was telling the truth. “We’ll keep this between us, if you tell me what you believe happened to Tiffany.”
She blinked, her eyes still wide behind the oversize eyewear. “I already said what I think in my statement.”
“I want everything you have, Riley, even if you aren’t completely sure it’s important. Any suspicions you have or rumors you’ve heard might be important, too.” He shrugged. “The goal here is to make sure Tiffany comes back home safely, right? Unless, of course, you have some reason to hope she doesn’t come back.”
The missing tears showed up then. “I don’t want Tiffany to be hurt. I mean, we’re not friends or anything, but I wouldn’t wish anything bad on anyone.”
Tony rolled his hand in a go-on motion.
“So there was this guy…” She shrugged. “I saw Tiffany with him once and she kept talking to someone on her cell. I think it was the same guy. That’s why I told the chief she had a new boyfriend. That’s what I figured.”
Frustration lit in Tony’s veins. “Did you recognize him or hear her say his name?”
Riley shook her head. “No. She’s very private. Not that she would have shared any of her business with me anyway.”
“Something made you think this guy was different,” Tony suggested. “Something more than just a study friend or a friend-friend?”

“Oh yeah for sure,” she agreed. “He was older. Maybe closer to forty. Like thirty-five or something.” She frowned as if trying to recall. “Dark hair. Blackish, you know. Taller than Tiffany. About your height, I guess. She acted all swoony around him like she was with some rock star.”


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Review: Friends and Other Liars by Kaela Coble

Friends and Other Liars
by Kaela Coble

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  To all my old friends:
So here you all are. Nice to see you can show up for a person once he's dead.
When Ruby St. James returns to her hometown, it is to the grave of her old friend Danny, a member of a group that was, ten years ago, Ruby's whole world. The crew made a pact back then: stay together, stay loyal, and stay honest. But that was before all of the lies.
Because even friends keep secrets. They just don't stay secret for long.
Now Danny has left behind a letter for each of them, issuing one final ultimatum: share your darkest betrayal to the group, or risk it coming out in a trap he has created. When past mistakes resurface, the lines of friendship blurb, and four old friends are left trying to understand what it means to lie to the ones you love best.

Kritters Thoughts:  Friends are reunited at the death of one of their own and when they all return to their small town in Vermont they are all confronted with lies from their past and the friend that is dead is ready to expose them all.  

I love small town stories and I love friends returning to small town stories!  I liked the concept of this book, but a few things just didn't work for me.

I expected all the lies to be revealed one after the other and expected that all of the friends from "the crew" to get time to tell their story and that wasn't the case.  This book definitely revolves around Ruby and is almost solely told from her perspective.  I would have loved a few more chapters told from other people and for the book to feel more balanced.  

I did like that the chapters bounced from current day and then back to high school.  It was fun to read about these characters (although mostly through Ruby's lens) and get their stories both in the current day and then in the past.  I love reading angsty high school days and then have them reflect on them.  

All in all, it was a fine read.  I wanted just a bit more from it, but it did entertain.  I would recommend this book to other readers, but would be maybe give them a warning or two.  After finishing reading the book, I found out that it was a debut and I would say that I will definitely read another by Kaela Coble.



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

Ebook 2018 Challenge: 18 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Sourcebooks.  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, February 26, 2018

Review: The View From Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble

The View From Rainshadow Bay
by Colleen Coble

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 336
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  After her husband, Jack, dies in a climbing incident, Shauna has only her five-year-old son and her helicopter charter business to live for. Every day is a struggle to make ends meet and she lives in constant fear of losing even more than she already has.

When her business partner is murdered, his final words convince Shauna that she’s in danger too. But where can she turn? Zach Bannister was her husband’s best friend and is the person she blames for his death. She’s barely spoken to him since. But right now he seems her only hope for protecting her son.

Zach is only too happy to assuage his guilt over Jack’s death by helping Shauna any way he can. But there are secrets involved dating back to Shauna’s childhood that more than one person would prefer to stay hidden.


Kritters Thoughts:  A widow still trying to move forward, a friend who feels at fault for the death and some quick mysterious deaths start this book in an interesting spot.  A mystery/thriller with a complete women's fiction turn, this book is perfect for a reader of women's fiction who wants a little more in their books.  

Shauna was such a great character.  I loved having her as the guide through this story, she was such a real character and I loved the range of emotions in this book.  My favorite thing is when I wish that a character were real and I could become friends with her, I felt this way about Shauna.  

I have read quite a bit of Colleen Coble and whether you like the story or not her writing is nice and easy to read.  It is easy to get into the story, but also the perfect read if you have a few distractions to easily put down and pick back up again later.  Her writing time and time again is just smooth and makes me enjoy an afternoon with her story.

After finishing this book and thinking about it, I have to say I felt as though the book revved up really fast.  It almost went from 0 to 80 in 2 seconds and I felt a little out of control.  It took a bit for me to settle in and enjoy, almost like too much happened too quickly!  In the end, I would say I loved it, but I would have loved a little more in the beginning.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel (and I think one is coming!)

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, February 25, 2018

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

I got a lot of reading done this week, not sure I enjoyed them all, but they were read!
A meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
In Every Moment We Are Still Alive by Tom Malmquist
The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz
The View From Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble
Sisters First by Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush Hager
Autumn by Ali Smith

Currently Reading:
Friends and Other Liars by Kaela Coble

Next on the TBR pile:
The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

Friday, February 23, 2018

Review: The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz

The Lucky Ones
by Tiffany Reisz

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

Goodreads:  They called themselves “the lucky ones.” They were seven children either orphaned or abandoned by their parents and chosen by legendary philanthropist and brain surgeon Dr. Vincent Capello to live in The Dragon, his almost magical beach house on the Oregon Coast. Allison was the youngest of the lucky ones living an idyllic life with her newfound family…until the night she almost died, and was then whisked away from the house and her adopted family forever.

Now, thirteen years later, Allison receives a letter from Roland, Dr. Capello’s oldest son, warning her that their father is ill and in his final days. Allison determines she must go home again and confront the ghosts of her past. She's determined to find out what really happened that fateful night--was it an accident or, as she's always suspected, did one of her beloved family members try to kill her?

But digging into the past can reveal horrific truths, and when Allison pieces together the story of her life, she'll learns the terrible secret at the heart of the family she once loved but never really knew.


Kritters Thoughts:  I saw on an Instagram post someone described this book as creepy and steamy and it is just that!  A neurosurgeon takes kids in from the worst of situations and gives them a home and maybe most wouldn't question the motives, but in a fiction story, you are wondering when something will jump out and the truth will be revealed!  I loved having the creepy feeling from beginning to ending, made me read this one so fast!

Allison was the perfect character to take you back into this home after she had been gone for 13 years.  From the beginning you felt her innocence and trusted her to a fault.  I loved her and was so ready to take the journey with her and I love a book even more when I love the main character quickly and easily.

Be forewarned that the steamy word is absolute.  There was a full chapter and some scenes throughout that were very hot and heavy.  I would still recommend this to you and would say just skim this because the creepiness of the book is too good not to read it!

This was my first Tiffany Reisz read and I am interested in reading some of her backlist but it is long - where would you recommend I go from here?  Does she have another stand alone that is full of the creepy crawlies?!


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.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review: In Every Moment We Are Still Alive by Tom Malmquist

In Every Moment We Are Still Alive
by tom Malmquist

Publisher: Melville House
Pages: 288
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When Tom’s heavily pregnant girlfriend Karin is rushed to the hospital, doctors are able to save the baby. But they are helpless to save Karin from what turns out to be acute Leukemia. And in a cruel, fleeting moment Tom gains a daughter but loses his soul-mate. In Every Moment We Are Alive is the story of the year that changes everything, as Tom must reconcile the fury and pain of loss with the overwhelming responsibility of raising his daughter, Livia, alone.


Kritters Thoughts:  Tom's very pregnant girlfriend Karin takes a quick turn for the worse and they end up in the hospital.  Tom must make medical decisions for both his dying girlfriend and his premature baby girl and live with the outcomes as they come.

This book has an editorial thing that drives me batty!  It has no punctuation when it comes to dialogue and for me that makes it harder to read and overall a frustrating experience.  I wish that there was a standard that all books had to have to allow for all people to have an easy reading experience.

Maybe because this book is set in Stockholm and I am not familiar with the culture there, but on almost every page I wanted to smack Tom.  For being a husband going through an extremely difficult situation he was so rude and offputting to all the medical staff.  I just couldn't handle his attitude towards all of the nurses and doctors, I wanted him to get his stuff together and act better.

All in all I just couldn't get around this book.  The premise was right up my alley, but between the lack of punctuation and Tom as a character, I just couldn't.


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

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.



Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review: The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen

The Tuscan Child
by Rhys Bowen

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betrayal.

Nearly thirty years later, Hugo’s estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father’s funeral. Among his personal effects is an unopened letter addressed to Sofia. In it is a startling revelation.

Still dealing with the emotional wounds of her own personal trauma, Joanna embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to understand her father’s history—and maybe come to understand herself as well. Joanna soon discovers that some would prefer the past be left undisturbed, but she has come too far to let go of her father’s secrets now…


Kritters Thoughts:  So this book has one of my favorite things going for it - dual narrative.  One storyline is 1944, a British bomber has landed in Italy and is injured and a local woman finds him and helps bring him back to life.  The other storyline starts in 1973 and his daughter is trying to find the truth about him as he has recently passed and she found some interesting bits in his things and it sends her on this journey.

I love when I read a dual narrative and I love both storylines at the same level.  Obviously having Joanna's story from her point of view was a little more entertaining, but I was on pins and needles throughout his story because I wanted to know how he ended up back in England and with his wife and a new daughter, I just needed to know what he lead him from there to here!

Rhys Bowen has a long running series and I haven't read any from that series, but I have read this and her other stand alone - In Farleigh Field and I loved them both completely.  I am hesitant to start a big series, but I am hoping for another stand alone from her.


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 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.




Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery

Sisters Like Us
by Susan Mallery

Publisher: Mira Books
Pages: 432
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  The grass is always greener on your sister’s side of the fence…

Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgeling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.

Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.

Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.


Kritters Thoughts:  The fourth in a series that doesn't really seem connected, so you can start here and read all over the place!  I have read two out of the four of this series and have loved both, I need to read book two and three and of course continue on in this series!

In this book there are two sisters and they are completely polar opposites raised by the same woman, but couldn't have become different adults.  One is divorced, was a stay at home before the divorce and is now raising a daughter and strives each day to be the perfect mom with the perfect house, while her sister is a scientist and has great fear about her abilities to become a mother and is thankful for a husband who will stay at home with their upcoming child.

I love books about sisters.  It reminds me of me and my sister.  We are polar opposites and now in our adulthood we can see the positives in each other's choices and celebrate each other.  I loved that from the beginning these sisters respected each other's choices and loved each other for who they were.

If you tend to avoid Susan Mallery because she is primarily a romance writer, I would urge you to try these books.  There wasn't any sexy times in this book and they are about relationships, so don't be wary book is for those who like a good book with good characters and a good story.  And this series is full of stand alones which I love!

After reading this book, I am more motivated to get caught up in this series and to look out for the ones coming in the future.


Rating: perfect beach read

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, February 18, 2018

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

Even with having my niece for the weekend, I got some quality reading time in this week and weekend.  Her and I had a lazy Sunday and spent a lot of it in bed her on her ipad and me reading on mine!
A meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Still Me by Jojo Moyes
The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin
Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery
The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott
The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen

Currently Reading:
In Every Moment We Are Still Alive by Tom Malmquist

Next on the TBR pile:
The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz

Friday, February 16, 2018

Review: The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

The Queen of Hearts
by Kimmery Martin

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

Goodreads:  Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties, when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they're happily married wives and mothers with successful careers--Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling, until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years. 

As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie's life--both professionally and personally--throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick's unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.


Kritters Thoughts:  Two best friends both work in the medical field and have been friends for a very long time.  With the longevity of the friendship they think they know everything about one another, but they will find out through this book how little they knew and if their friendship can survive the truth.

At the heart of this book, it is a book about friendship.  The ups and downs that friendships can take and through jobs, relationships, family and so on some friendships can stand the test of time and some get a little battered.  

This book takes place in Charlotte, NC.  And as I lived there right out of college and there are not a lot of books set in this little city, it was so fun to "revisit" it through a fictional book.  The little Charlotte moments really made this book a special read for me!

Be warned this book had an overabundance of medical drama and procedures.  If you don't fall asleep during the surgeries on Grey's Anatomy then you won't be bothered by it.  I didn't love it, but it did affect my reading.  I would hesitate recommending this to just about anyone because the amount of medical things was on the higher end.  

So I would say that this book was a four star for me, but that is a totally personal rating.  I have someone in mind to send it off to, but I know they will enjoy all the quirks this book has!


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 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.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Review: Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Still Me
by Jojo Moyes

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

Goodreads:  Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She is thrown into the world of the superrich Gopniks: Leonard and his much younger second wife, Agnes, and a never-ending array of household staff and hangers-on. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her job and New York life within this privileged world. 

Before she knows what's happening, Lou is mixing in New York high society, where she meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. In Still Me, as Lou tries to keep the two sides of her world together, she finds herself carrying secrets--not all her own--that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places? 


Kritters Thoughts:  The third installment in this series and although this book could be somewhat self contained, I absolutely suggest starting at book one - Me Before You.  Below, I will talk about the book which could be spoilerie if you haven't read book one or two, so you have been warned!

There are some controversies over the first book, but with book two and three, they are completely sweet romantic comedies, perfect for a beach bag or a rainy weekend!

Still Me takes Louisa Clark to New York City where she will care for a woman in a wealthy family.  She goes to the city with little details and is thrust into New York City elite.  This seems to be a perfect job for her, but you know with previous books with Louisa that hijinks must ensue!

I loved the ups and downs of the book.  It was a sweet ride with a character that I completely love.  I will admit that I saw the movie after reading the first book and I will now always picture Louisa Clark as the actress who plays her in that movie and I am fine with that.  I can picture her doing all these crazy things in New York and in the fancy and quirky clothes that she is known for.  

I wonder if this is the end of Louisa Clark, I wouldn't mind one more after this one to maybe take her beyond where this story concludes.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

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



Back to Top