Sunday, November 8, 2020

Review - The Night Away

Five Stars from me!

*Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the free copy for my honest review.*

Amber and George are new parents to Mabel and seem to now have everything they have ever wanted, but Amber is struggling silently with post partum depression. Ruby, Amber's sister, is insisting that she watch Mabel and Amber and George take a night away. But no one realizes that someone has been watching Amber and Mabel. And then Mabel disappears under Ruby's watch.

This book had my attention from the start, which doesn't happen often. The story was intriguing and the misdirection throughout was fantastic! The characters were likeable at times, but I also felt like the pain of the situation was a bit of karma in the end. I did end up feeling quite bad for Ruby for the situation but also for how the family treated her after the abduction.

The pacing of the story and the misdirections and twists kept this novel new and very interesting and I can't wait to read more of Jess Ryder's novels!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Review - In a Holidaze

Another review for NetGalley. Five stars for a sweet holiday rom-com!

*Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the free copy for my honest review.*

Maelyn Jones has just spent what will be the last Christmas with her family and friends at the cabin in Utah where they have been spending Christmases for years. But Rick and Lisa have dropped a bombshell that they are selling the cabin and everything is up in the air. As her family is driving away, Mae is questioning everything about her life and future. She asks the universe to show her what will make her happy and then they are broadsided by a truck and Mae wakes up on the plane heading to Utah to start the Christmas vacation.

With Benny, a family friend who knows all of her secrets, as her only ally during the resets, will Mae be able to set her life on the right course to find happiness?

I found this book to be a very charming take on Groundhog Day with resets when Mae seems to be off track with seeing her happiness. The interactions between the characters came off as very authentic and the banter was sweet and witty. I loved reading about the schedule they have with different activities each day. And it was nice seeing Mae's realization to be more of a grown up throughout the experience.

The only thing that I would have liked to see more of is resets. Because that is where a lot of the humor comes in, right? When she can't remember which time line things happened in and confuses those around her with acting strange from all of the resets.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book, the characters and the writing.

View all my reviews.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

The First to Lie

*I received a free copy of this novel from Hank Phillip Ryan and Forge/Tom Doherty Associates/Macmillan publishing for my honest review.*
The First to Lie by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Nora is working for Pharminex as a drug rep. Ellie is an investigative reporter trying to break a story on Pharminex's break through fertility drug wide open. Turns out that the drug is being pushed as a fertility treatment even though a side effect is infertility. Just when you think you know where the story is going, we go back in time to Brooke, the teenage daughter of the owners of the Pharminex empire, and Lacey, the bride to be of the son of the Pharminex empire.

The reasoning behind the permanent infertility is never fully expounded on, but it is very similar to never seeing Jaws in the movies. It doesn't really matter how it happens. It is a devastating end result for any woman who is trying to have a baby. And those feelings and the empathy relating to it comes across in the writing. I found myself needing justice.

Ryan is a master of plot twists and deception and keeping the readers on their toes while they try to figure out what is going on and who is who. And just when I thought I had it figured out, the tables turned and I was left reeling and needing to find out how it all ends.

My first Ryan novel, but most definitely not my last! Five stars!

Friday, September 4, 2020

In Her Shadow

In Her Shadow by Kristin Miller

 A slow start and then a roller coaster ride even to the very end!

Location - Ravenwood estate in California

Players - Colleen, a young and pregnant and seemingly naive woman who moves into her boyfriend's estate when her doctor recommends taking it easy for the rest of her pregnancy. Michael, the boyfriend who started a relationship with Colleen 4 months after his wife disappeared. Joanna, Michael's wife who is a constant reminder to Colleen of who she will never be and to Michael of what he lost.

Plot - The novel opens as Michael moves Colleen into his estate after encouraging her to quit her job as his assistant. Colleen is in over her head as she didn't realize that Michael even had an estate, but he is a rich financier so of course he does. And the house is daunting and the staff are rude and dismissive of Colleen. Very reminiscent of Rebecca.

The story is told from various perspectives in the week leading up to Colleen's murder. Quite an imaginative way to lay everything out! Once Joanna's body is found in woods across the street from Ravenwood, everyone becomes a suspect and Michael becomes distant to Colleen.

When I first started listening, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get through the book, but I'm glad I stuck with it because.... wow! There were so many curve balls throughout and the huge twist at the end was mind blowing! A solid 4 stars!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

We Came Here to Shine

A great summer read!

We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall


Location - 1939 World's Fair in NYC

Players - Vivi, an actress who was promised to the Aquacade as the female lead against her wishes. Maxine, a journalist student who receives an internship to write at the daily Fair newspaper.

Plot - Neither woman is happy with how they wind up at the fair and both make attempts to change the course of their summers after they meet at the fair and become friends.

This story not only gives great detail of the summer of the Fair and the exhibits and some of the daily happenings, but details the fight that women had to deal with in the 30's ad 40's of being viewed as lesser than men. Vivi and Max are both pioneers in this fight in this novel.

This is an historical fiction novel very reminiscent of Fiona Davis. I did try to look up some of the characters and movies mentioned that Vivi was supposed to star in, but those were part of the story line. The World's Fair was real, obviously, and the Aquacade was real. The male lead who swam in the Aquacade and the producer were real as well.

This was a good story and a great look into the World's Fair! I rounded up from 3.5 stars.