“The Moroccan Girl”–Review

51XR6QqYJwL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Good evening, bloggers! It feels great to catch up with some new spy fiction. I’ve not read any for a while, after all. And this is my first time reading anything by Charles Cumming.

Every now and then, writers could use a little excitement, aside from living in fantasy worlds, right? Who knew such an opportunity would happen for author Kit Carradine? When MI6 agent, Robert Mantis, offers him an important assignment—to find a woman named Lara Bartok—while attending a literary festival in Morocco, Kit seizes the opportunity.

Yet something about the trip seems off. Why was it so important for Kit to track down this mystery woman? When he finally does find Lara Bartok, Kit learns she is a fugitive who was a part of Resurrection, a violent revolutionary movement targeting political figures from around the world. The longer he stays involved with Lara, Kit’s life is at stake. But he doesn’t want to abandon her. So they both are on a difficult mission to get Lara out of Morocco and to keep competing intelligence services in the dark.

I liked the whole idea of this story. An author-turned-spy running around the streets of Marrakech? Not bad. With the way it all happened for Kit, however, maybe it isn’t as exciting as a person would imagine. But that’s what made this story excellent. In fact, I hope to see Morocco, one day. I also liked that the ending has left me wondering what Kit plans to do next.

To all the spy fiction fans, I encourage you to check out this book. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

*I received this copy from St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review. The Moroccan Girl will be available on February 12, 2019.

About the author: Charles Cumming is the author of the Alec Milius books and the Thomas Kell books, A Foreign Country, A Colder War, and A Divided Spy, as well as the New York Times bestselling thriller, The Trinity Six. He lives with his family in London. For more info, click here. You also can follow him on Twitter.


“If We Had Known”–Review

41-x1bhtval._sx329_bo1,204,203,200_Hello, bloggers! I think it’s been at least over a month since my last review, so here’s a new one. I’ve been doing my best to getting around to reading unread books from my home library, which I finally did.

English professor, Maggie Daley, faces a controversy after a mass shooting at a local mall in a small town in Maine. The shooter, it turns out, happened to be Maggie’s former student, Nathan Dugan, from four years ago. In the eyes of his classmates, Nathan was awkward, isolated, made others uncomfortable, and rarely participated in class.

Now, four years later, Nathan had taken innocent lives at a mall—all before taking his own.

Then a dark, disturbing essay Nathan had written in Maggie’s class becomes viral on social media, and it’s not long before Maggie’s job and reputation are on the line. She, then, starts to ask herself that had she done things differently—had she acknowledged the red flags on Nathan’s essay—could lives have been spared? Would Nathan have been able to get the guidance he more likely needed?

In my opinion, this story was a bit realistic, which is often what I like in a novel. Not only was Maggie dealing with a national controversy—where the digital world seemed to be pointing the finger at her for Nathan’s actions—she realized she had to start listening to the warning signs from her daughter, Anna, who also struggled with years of anxiety.

Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

About the author: Elise Juska is the author of four previous novels, including The Blessings. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Ploughshares, the Gettysburg Review, the Missouri Review, Good Housekeeping, the Hudson Review, Prairie Schooner, and many other publications. She is the recipient of the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction from Ploughshares and her work has been cited in The Best American Short Stories. She lives outside Philadelphia and directs the undergraduate creative writing program at the University of the Arts, where she received the 2014 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

“An Anonymous Girl”–Review

419p4E1XfqL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

When she comes across an opportunity for a paid study on ethics and morality by the mysterious Dr. Shields, Jessica Farris jumps at the chance. Not only do the questions arouse her curiosity, she knows she could use the extra money. As the questions become intense and personal, however, Jessica asks herself if she ought to continue or just take her pay and never look back.

But Dr. Shields isn’t done with her.

Even though extra pay is offered, Jessica starts to feel there is more to the outside assignments she is given. She was supposed to get paid only for the surveys, after all. So what is the reason for Dr. Shields’s assignments?

As her paranoia grows–especially after revealing her most personal stories–Jessica can no longer trust what’s going on around her, especially Dr. Shields’s obsession and her manipulative experiments.

I finished reading this book yesterday and I think it’s worth the read. In fact, I actually liked it better than the authors’ previous novel. The suspense was great and the supposed flawless Dr. Shields made me want to know more of how it all was going to go down. So, dear readers, what would you do in that situation? For a substantial amount of money, would you be willing to be tested on ethics and morality? Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

*I received this early copy in a giveaway. An Anonymous Girl will be available on January 8, 2019.

About the authors: Sarah Pakkanen is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight previous solo novels and the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. A former investigative journalist and award-winning feature writer, she has published work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. She is the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C. For more info, click here.

Greer Hendricks is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. Prior to becoming a novelist, she spent two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly.She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children. For more info, click here.

“The Adults”–Review

41M7vuDU+sL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Do you want to spend the holidays with:

a) your new love

b) your ex

c) your kid

d) your ex’s new love

e) all of the above

Although Claire and Matt are divorced, they both agreed on the idea to spend Christmas together for the sake of their seven-year-old daughter, Scarlett. At the same time, neither can agree on whose idea it was to spend the holidays at the Happy Forest holiday park, let alone who agreed it was okay to bring their new significant others. Claire brings her new boyfriend, Patrick, and Matt brings his new girlfriend, Alex. Since Claire and Matt seem to get along on their own, even with their new loves involved, what could go wrong?

But that’s where things did go wrong. While Claire and Matt seem to be okay on the outside, Patrick is suspicious of Claire’s relationship with her ex-husband and concered where Patrick fits in. Meanwhile, to keep occupied, Patrick stays in training for the upcoming Ironman. Alex, on the other hand, seems to be the only one who feels the holiday trip is a bad idea, yet she does her best to remain patient with everything, as well as trying to get along with Claire. While the adults are trying to be civil, Scarlett has her imaginary friend, Posey, a giant rabbit, who both seem to be suspicious of Alex.

The more time spent under the same roof, the faster the tensions increase with the couples, and it isn’t long before secrets are spilling out. With things going from bad to worse, each one of them questions their parts in their relationships. And then it all ends with a phone call to the police. But didn’t they all agree to be adults about this?

I can’t say I loved this book; however, I’ll give it three stars for the storyline. I was curious to know why it began and ended the way it did. In my opinion, though, the idea of two exes and their significant others spending the holidays together is one of the worst ideas. Sure, it works just fine if it’s a Jerry-and-Elaine relationship (for those who watch Seinfeld, you get it), but it doesn’t work that way in real life. Throughout the story, I wasn’t sure how I’d felt about the characters. Patrick was always uptight; Matt acted like he didn’t care about anything; Claire was a little too nice; and, Alex seemed to ask too many questions. But I suppose that’s what made the tensions better.

Readers, what do you think? Would you go on holiday with your ex and his/her new love, even for the sake of making your children happy?

The Adults will be available on November 27, 2018.

*I received this early copy from Random House, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Caroline Hulse spends most of her days writing, having fulfilled her dream of having a job she could do in pajamas. She also works in human resources, sometimes. She is openly competitive and loves playing board and card games. She can often be found in casino poker rooms. She lives with her husband in Manchester, England.

“Breakup Poems”–Cover Reveal

COVERGood afternoon, bloggers! I just read J.R. Rogue’s latest book, Breakup Poems, which will be released on November 15, 2018. If you’re a fan of her writing, I recommend this latest title.

Presented in six sections, five devoted to the stages of grief, and a final one for her devoted group of online fans, the author examines the various emotions women go through as they mourn the loss of lovers ranging from almost-relationships to marriage.

Rogue has a beautiful writing style and her words are deep, revealing the many heartaches she’s endured. And I like how she’s able to share her struggles with those who can relate. She’s one of my writing inspirations, as a matter of fact. I look forward to more of her work.

*I received an advance reader copy from the author, in exchange for a review and cover reveal.

About the author: J.R. Rogue first put pen to paper at the age of fifteen after developing an unrequited high school crush (you can read about that in her newest novel, I Like You, I Love Her) and has never stopped writing about heartache. She has published multiple volumes of poetry and four novels. Two of her poetry collections, La Douleur Exquise and Exits, Desires, & Slow Fires, have been Goodreads Choice Awards Nominees. To keep up with everything she is working on join her Facebook group, Rogue’s Rebels, and join her mailing list for exclusive coupons.

“I Like You, I Love Her”–Review

FULL WRAPGood evening, bloggers! Congrats to J.R. Rogue on the release of her new book, I Like You, I Love Her. Here’s a quick review:

In a lot of ways, I was one of the lucky ones. My high school crush liked me back. It should have been magic and fire, but it was tragic and brutal. I wrote it that way, anyways.
His name was Bryan Winthrop. He was our high school basketball star. The prom king. The most beautiful boy I had ever laid eyes on. He liked me — the theatre geek who never should have caught his eye — but he loved her.

Alternating from her high school days to ten years later, Severin Thompson tells her story of her involvement with Bryan Winthrop. Severin was always drawn to the boy she never could have. He was meant for someone else, after all. During the homecoming dance, however, a mistake is made and the gossip quickly spreads. Ten years later, Severin drives back from Los Angeles to her childhood home in Kansas. Although she’d built a new life in L.A., Severin never denied her constant thoughts of her old crush, Bryan. When they do see each other again, it all comes back to her. The betrayal. Their unhealthy involvement. Their hurting the ones they love. Nevertheless, Severin hangs on to the false hope that Bryan will finally come through for her, that just maybe she can feed her addiction again.

This story is a work of fiction, based on the author’s high school days. I think it was well-written. At times, I’d get annoyed with Severin because she’d been obsessing and chasing a guy who never intended to change, who made one excuse after another, who claimed to like her, but the excuses and pity parties never ended. Still, Severin lived on false hope for years. I really like the author’s poetic writing in her novels and how the topic of her stories really connect with many readers who can relate to such heartache. This story tells us that it’s normal to make mistakes, that we can learn from them. Letting go can be difficult, despite how we feel about someone. But, sometimes, we have to think about what’s more important. Once I got toward the end of the novel, I really understood why the book got its title.

If you haven’t check out her work, I encourage you to do so. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

*I received this copy from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: J.R. Rogue first put pen to paper at the age of fifteen after developing an unrequited high school crush and has never stopped writing about heartache. She has published multiple volumes of poetry, such as Tell Me Where It Hurts, All Of My Bullshit Truths; Exits, Desires, & Slow Fires, and three novels, Burning Muses, Background Music, and Kiss Me Like You Mean It. Two of her poetry collections, La Douleur Exquise and Exits, Desires, & Slow Fires, have been Goodreads Choice Awards Nominees. She can be found on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. For more info, click here.

“The Exes’ Revenge”–Review

51oWSC9XY+L._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_Good evening, bloggers! Happy Pub Day to Jo Jakeman’s The Exes’ Revenge. Here’s a quick description and my review.

There’s only so far a woman can bend before she breaks…

He made their lives a living hell. Now three women will get their revenge in this gripping and darkly satisfying debut thriller.

The story revolves around Imogen Rochester’s point-of-view and her marriage to Phillip. A marriage that’s been difficult for a long time. Phillip is manipulative, abusive, and he’s cheated on Imogen enough times. After years of a failed marriage, they both want out. All that’s needed to move on is for Phillip to sign the divorce papers; however, he’s making it a mission to make the divorce as difficult as possible.

To make matters worse, Phillip demands that Imogen and their son move out of the house by the end of the month. If she doesn’t, Phillip will sue her for sole custody. Imogen is furious, yet terrified. For years, Phillip has always been one step ahead of her. He’s always had power over her. She always had to be careful to not make him angry. But, now, she’s had enough. And that’s when she does the unthinkable.

While plotting to take Phillip down, Imogen never expected to come together with Phillip’s first wife, including his current live-in girlfriend—two women who’ve also been hurt by the same man. Despite their differences, the three women plot to make sure Phillip gets what is coming to him.

This book had a pretty good storyline. I do enjoy a domestic thriller every so often. Even in some scenes, Phillip nearly had me fooled, even though I was practically saying, “Don’t fall for it, don’t fall for it.” Although I didn’t really love the book, I still think it was pretty decent. I suppose I expected a little more toward the end, but I’ll still recommend this one, anyhow. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

*I received this early copy from Berkley Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Jo is a writer based in Derbyshire. Her debut psychological thriller will be published in the UK as Sticks and Stones, by Harvill Secker (Penguin Random House) on 12 July 2018, and as The Exes’ Revenge, by Berkley in the USA on 11 September. For more info, click here. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.