“Bring Me Back”–Review

51vWWmNEwqL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Good evening, bloggers! For those who’ve enjoyed the previous books by B.A. Paris, here’s a review of her latest book.

She vanished. He lied. The past won’t stay buried.

During their vacation in France, Finn and Layla go out for a drive. Then they stop at a service station to use the restroom. When Finn walks back to the car, however, Layla is gone. After frantically searching for her, Finn calls the police. He told the police the truth about that night….just not the whole truth.

It’s been over a decade since Layla’s disappearance. Although Finn has moved on, the past is haunting him. All of a sudden, he comes across possible evidence that Layla just might be alive, evidence that’s linked to Layla’s past. Every day that more clues turn up, Finn can’t help wondering if he’s being threatened, so he tries hard to search for answers. Every day of his coming up empty-handed, though, is making him crazy. Is Layla really alive? And why did Finn lie to the police all those years ago?

Granted, I do enjoy a book with secrets, twists, and suspense, but this one was just okay. The writing was decent, but I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed the author’s previous books. No matter, don’t let that stop you from checking out this new thriller. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

Bring Me Back will be available on June 19, 2018. *I received this copy from St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: B.A. Paris is the internationally best-selling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. She grew up in England, but has spent most of her adult life in France. She has worked both in finance and as a teacher and has five daughters. This is her third novel. Follow her on Twitter.

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“Jar of Hearts”–Review

51b6zk2LjaL._SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_Happy Friday, bloggers! I finally finished reading this great thriller, so here’s a quick description.

A terrifying night between high-school friends. Dark secrets held for far too long. Now, there’s a crack in the story of that long-ago night—and the consequences are deadly.

Fourteen years ago, Georgina Shaw’s best friend, Angela Wong, had disappeared after a party. Rumors and gossip spread fast. No one knows what to believe. After all, Angela was the most popular girl in school; she was worshiped by all. They all figure she’ll eventually show her face again. But no one knows what happened. Not even Kaiser Brody, who also was a best friend of Georgina and Angela. Georgina, however, is the only one who knows what happened. But she doesn’t tell a soul.

But when Angela’s remains are found 14 years later, near Geo’s childhood home, Kaiser—who is now a Seattle police officer—is sent out to arrest Geo for her involvement in their best friend’s death. Geo’s reputation, including her rising career in a Seattle pharmaceutical company, is instantly ruined when she’s sentenced to five years in prison. Once she’s out of prison, however, Geo tries to readjust to her new freedom. But the past, including her guilt, always comes back to haunt her.

The worst isn’t over, however, when more bodies are discovered. Not only do they seem to be a message to Geo, they’re also a possible lead to Calvin James, Geo’s high school boyfriend. While Kaiser is working to take down Calvin, Geo is forced to come clean with the truth of everything that happened 14 years ago, no matter how badly she wants to keep it buried.

This book was an excellent thriller. I loved the suspense and the conflict. Most of the chapters got me so angry, leaving me wondering whose side to take. More secrets were revealed and some of it just left me sad and I’d think, “No wonder it turned out this way.” Did Geo deserve what she got? Well, I suppose we readers will have our own opinions. No worries, though, I won’t spoil a thing. I’ll just encourage to get your hands on 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.

*Jar of Hearts will be available on June 12, 2018.

For more info on the author, click here.

 

“The Fallen Star”–Review

51lBd901daL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_“If kinging were easy, everyone would do it.”

Hello, bloggers! I finally finished reading The Fallen Star, the sequel to The Goblin Crown: Billy Smith and the Goblins, so here’s my review:

Although Billy Smith overthrew the corrupt General Sawtooth and claimed the Goblin Crown, his troubles still aren’t over. The Hanorian Army—the humans who had long ago invaded Kiranok—are still preparing to wipe out the entire goblin race. With goblins dying left and right, the remaining survivors are almost losing hope. Billy and his friends, Lexi, Kurt, and Hop, are crafting plans to finally bring an end to the war. With her magic quickly growing, Lexi goes up against the powerful wizard, Mig, while Hop and the quarterback, Kurt, set off to find the mysterious Fallen Star, which may be the answer to defeating the powerful Hanorian Army. At the same time, however, it may awaken an even darker force. Even though Billy has his doubts about his new title as the Goblin King, he just might be Kiranok’s only hope.

I actually took my time reading this book because I wasn’t sure how I’d felt about it. Although I didn’t love the first book, I found it worth reading, especially during the second half. No matter, I must say I’m sorry I doubted fantasy fiction. The Fallen Star did start to get interesting. In fact, I’m really curious to know how it all ends, when/if Billy, Lexi, and Kurt make it back home, and if they do, what will they tell everyone?

Now I await the final book. If you haven’t read the previous book, check it out. I recommend it for fans of middle grade/fantasy fiction. The Final Star will be available on June 12, 2018. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

*I received this copy from Turner Publishing, in exchange for an honest review.

Check out the author on Twitter.

“Second Story Man”–Review

61RkJrP7i9LGood evening, bloggers! I hope you were able to enjoy World Book Day. This afternoon, I finished reading another great one from Charles Salzberg, so here’s my review.

Francis Hoyt is athletic, brilliant, arrogant, manipulative, and ruthless. He cares for no one but himself. In fact, he loves talking about himself, all the while truly believing he’ll always be the best at anything. What he’s always excelled in, though, is stealing high-end silver. Somehow, he’s been able to enter homes—usually while families were eating dinner—swipe the silver, and make his escape without leaving any trace of his DNA. How was it all possible? How did he manage to avoid getting caught?

Charlie Floyd is a recently retired investigator with Connecticut’s attorney general department. For years, he’s been a stubborn, yet highly-skilled investigator, but now felt it was the time to take some time for himself. When he receives a phone call from Manny Perez—a Miami police officer who’s worked with him in the past—regarding Francis Hoyt, Charlie is a bit hesitant. It isn’t long before Manny talks him into taking on the case with him, however, and the two friends work endlessly together, determined to not rest until Hoyt is behind bars.

Each chapter alternates from the points-of-view of Hoyt, Floyd, and Perez. When Hoyt eventually learns that Floyd and Perez are gaining on him, he taunts them. There’s no way he’s backing down, no matter the situation. He’ll do whatever it takes to have them out of the picture, even if some people may have to get hurt. I really liked where the story was going and the narration and dialog was well-written. Getting to know Hoyt’s story and why he did what he did made the story even better. Even the ending had me saying, “Are you kidding me?” No spoilers, of course. The whole story was realistic, which is what I do like in a novel. I recommend this one for crime fiction enthusiasts.

Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

About the author: Charles Salzberg is the author of the Shamus Award-nominated Swann’s Last Song, Swann Dives In, Swann’s Lake of Despair, and Swann’s Way Out. He also is the author of Devil in the Hole, which was chosen as one of the Best Crime Novels of 2013 by Suspense Magazine. He lives in New York City and teaches writing at the Writer’s Voice and the New York Writers Workshop, where he is proud to be a Founding Member. For more info, click here. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

“Exhibit Alexandra”–Review

518kDHHwmRL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_He thought he knew everything about her, until she went missing.

The story begins with Alexandra Southwood’s disappearance. While the police are investigating her disappearance and questioning her husband, Marc, Alexandra finds herself held against her will in a strange room. She’s forced to watch news clips of her coping husband and daughters who are desperately seeking information on her whereabouts. While held in the strange room, Alexandra thinks back to her memories when she met Marc, leading up to the life they’d eventually build together.

Meanwhile, Marc is keeping contact with the police. When he’s informed of his wife’s bloody belongings that were found, the case goes from missing person to a murder investigation. While friends and family tell him that he may have to accept that his wife’s gone, Marc thinks otherwise. He cannot—will not—accept that his wife is dead. He loves her too much. They’ve always been so happy…

Until months later—while the case is still going on—Marc comes across some letters addressed to Alexandra which may prove that she may not have been so happy after all. Marc, then, embarks on his own journey to find her, to finally get the answers to questions he’s asked for months.

I did like where the story was going. Once I learned the reason behind her disappearance, it made me so mad. In a good way, of course. I just couldn’t believe it, though. No worries, I won’t leave spoilers. All I can do is recommend you read the book. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

*FTC Disclosure: I received this copy from Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Natasha Bell grew up in Somerset and studied English literature at the University of York. She holds an MA in the humanities from the University of Chicago and an MA in creative writing from Goldsmiths. She lives in southeast London.

“Our Little Secret”–Review

51zVxxBPhDL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_They say you never forget your first love. What they don’t say, though, is that sometimes your first love won’t forget you…

…a compulsive debut about a missing woman, a tangled love triangle, the secrets we keep, and the secrets we share.

Sitting in a police station interrogation room for hours, Angela Petitjean is being questioned regarding a missing woman, Saskia Parker. Although Angela claims she knows nothing, all evidence points to her. Meanwhile, Homicide Detective J. Novak believes Angela is guilty. While he continues to question her, Angela tells her story from a decade ago, when she met HP in high school. They’d gone from being friends to being in love. And then it all changed when Angela went away to college, their love story suddenly falling apart. Then Saskia came into their lives.

I really enjoyed reading this story. The narration was well-written and I was curious to know more, although I had occasional frustrations with Angela and HP because of their choices, but that’s what made the story worth reading. Of course, I won’t spoil anything, but as the story progressed, I didn’t feel sorry for Angela or HP. No matter, I had to know where it all was going to end. If you’re interested in checking out the book, you’ll know what I mean.

Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

Our Little Secret will be available on April 24, 2018.

*I received this copy from St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Roz Nay grew up in England and studied in Oxford University. She has been published in The Antigonish Review and the anthology Refuge. Roz has worked as an underwater fish counter in Africa, a snowboard videographer in Vermont, and a high school teacher in both the UK and Australia. She now lives in British Columbia, Canada, with her husband and two children. Our Little Secret is her first novel. For more info, click here. You can also follow her on Twitter.

“Kiss Me Like You Mean It”–Review

COVERMy love is poison. His kiss is mine.

 “The first time he saw me I was shattered glass, and he was a shadow. If I had stayed, he would have just faded away.”

It’s strange how easy it is to tell our stories to a stranger’s eyes. The truth about Connor Stratford and I had always been a sad tale. Over ten years of chasing, tears, lies, vows, and leaving. Two people who never loved each other at the same time, but couldn’t let each other go. 
 
 Now here I was telling our story over drinks midday in an airport bar with my old diary clutched in my hand. Telling some version of our story, anyway. 
I left him once with no goodbye. Now I was returning home to give him what he needed to move on. 
“It’s important. It’s what you’re thinking.”
 
I knew what his message meant, sent in the middle of the night after I woke from a fever dream. He was finally ready, and so was I. I just needed to finally give him the kiss he begged for. The one that meant goodbye.
Based on a true story, the main character, Gwen, is in an airport bar as she tells her story of her on-off relationship with Connor Stratford and how it all changed her throughout the years. This is the second novel I’ve read by this author and I think it’s definitely worth reading, especially because many readers can relate to the topic of this book. Some chapters upset me because of Gwen’s actions. Later on, however, I’ve learned that there was more to her than the fact that she always wanted what she couldn’t have. Still, I just had that love-hate relationship with her.
J.R. Rogue’s narration and dialogue is beautiful and poetic, so I highly recommend you check out her previous works. As always, feel free to leave your comments. Happy reading!
*I received this advance review 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, Exits, Desires, & Slow Fires, and two novels, Burning Muses and Background Music. Her third novel, Kiss Me Like You Mean It, will release on March 22, 2018.

 

Two of her poetry collections, La Douleur Exquise and Exits, Desires, & Slow Fires, have been Goodreads Choice Awards Nominees.

 

You can also follow the author on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and you can check out her site here.