“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.

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“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.

“Indecent”–Review

51ZGckGkZVL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Good evening, bloggers and bookworms! I started the beginning of this new month with a new book I couldn’t put down, so here’s my review.

Shy, introverted Imogene Abney has always been fascinated with the elite. Since she was a young girl, she’d fantasized about attending prestigious prep schools and fitting in with her peers, to finally escape from her own reality. Now in her early twenties, Imogene takes a job as a teacher’s assistant at the Vandenberg School for Boys, in Westchester, New York. As she gets to know her new surroundings, Imogene begins to feel like she finally belongs.

Then she crosses paths with Adam Kipling, a handsome and privileged, much younger student at the school. Once she acknowledges Adam’s charming ways and status, Imogene is instantly drawn to him. Although she’s aware of the strict zero tolerance policy of teacher-student relationships, an illicit affair happens between them. Despite the consequences should she be caught, Imogene can’t help her strong feelings for Adam—which becomes an obsession—and she’s willing to risk anything to be with him, all the while losing herself in the wrong person.

This story left me wondering what would happen next. Oftentimes, I’d shake my head during certain chapters, and then there were moments where I wasn’t sure whether to feel bad for Imogene or to hate her for whom she was becoming, for what an unhealthy involvement was doing to her. Well, I won’t leave any spoilers, so I’ll just encourage you to read 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.

Indecent will be available on March 6, 2018.

About the author: Corinne Sullivan studied English with a creative writing concentration at Boston College, where she graduated in 2014. She then received her MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College in 2016. Her stories have appeared in Night Train, Knee-Jerk, and Pithead Chapel, among other publications. Indecent is her debut novel.

“Pretty Lost Dolls”–Review

411UUFkwQEL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Welcome home, little doll…

Detective Jade Phillips is back in the second installment of the Pretty Little Dolls series. In fact, she’s back in the same cell where her captor, Benny, held her prisoner for four years, along with her sister, Macy—who Jade had left behind during her escape over eight years ago. While she is fighting to stay strong and to overpower Benny once and for all, Jade has high hopes that she’ll make her escape again and to finally bring Macy home. But after years of Benny’s abuse, Macy has lost her mind. Will Jade still be able to save Macy?

Meanwhile, Detective Dillon Scott—Jade’s lover and partner on the police force—is doing everything in his power to find Jade and to destroy Benny. Until Benny is dead, Dillon knows Jade will never be at peace.

Honestly, I couldn’t put this book down. It definitely got better, especially because most of the chapters were from Benny’s point-of-view. If you’ve read the previous book, you know how much of a psycho he is. In this book, though, he gets worse. This installment was twice as disturbing and graphic, but it’s still worth reading. Also, the book had more of Dillon’s perspective and I liked that he was quick to act when it came to Jade. His love for her was strong and he was willing to stop at nothing to have her back.

If you haven’t read the first book, Pretty Stolen Dolls, I encourage you to do so. You just might love it. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. As I’ve mentioned regarding the previous book, the second book also contains violence, language, and adult content. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

About the authors: K Webster is a USA Today Bestselling author of dozens of romance books in many different genres including dark romance, taboo romance, contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. When not spending time with her supportive husband and two adorable children, she’s active on social media connecting with her readers. For more info, click here.

Ker Dukey’s books tend to be darker romance, edge-of-your-seat, angst-filled reads. Her advice to readers: “When starting one of my titles…prepare for the unexpected.”
For info on Ker Dukey, click here.

“The Resurrection of Joan Ashby”–Review

51gPNfTSLBL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Joan Ashby is an acclaimed writer, a woman who believes in the importance of independence, to pursue her aspirations, to not let anything stand in her way. For as long as she’s been writing, one of her main goals was to never marry or have children. Despite her years of success, however, life didn’t turn out the way she’d planned, for she had become a wife and mother to two sons. Although she loved her sons, Joan still felt a betrayal of the pact she and her husband, Martin, made, which was to not have children.

While living the life of wife and mother, it is years since Joan’s had anything published. At the same time, she is secretly writing a new novel, which takes decades to complete. Once the secret manuscript is complete, Joan questions every choice she’s made. Where had she gone wrong? Was she still a writer? Was her family to blame for her choices? And can she reclaim the life she’s always wanted before she’d given it all up for love?

Honestly, I was excited about the conflict of this novel. I liked the idea of an acclaimed writer trying to find herself after putting her life on hold for her family. Although the first half of the story was good, there were too many excerpts of Joan’s writing in a few chapters, including the second half of the story. I got the idea behind her stories, yet it was a bit much for me. Of course, I won’t give any spoilers. I just wasn’t too happy with the second half, especially the ending. The writing is excellent, but I was turned off later on in the book. I don’t discourage anyone from reading the book, though, so check it out.

Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

About the author: Cherise Wolas a writer, lawyer, and film producer whose movies include an SXSW Audience Award winner. A native of Los Angeles, she lives in New York City with her husband. The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is her debut.

“Cicada Summer”–Review

61TRNEC4GsL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_It’s never too late to start again…

Alex Proctor invests in and renovates old homes. She’s come upon many, rundown properties, yet she’s always believed that, no matter the house’s condition, there’s a story behind the walls of every home, that there’s beauty in it all. She enjoys the excitement of making properties a home again. Her latest project is a century-old house near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Because the house has been badly neglected, Alex knows the work is going to be challenging. Nevertheless, she has faith that it all will work out.

Within a few weeks, the cicadas are supposed to reappear after 17 years, which is also the time the repairs on the house should be finished and ready to sell. However, Alex stumbles upon one disaster and surprise after another, leaving her wondering if her hard work is even worth it all.

While working on the house, Alex finds random treasures hidden in the house, one of them including some carved initials which reveal a love story from long ago of Alex’s elderly neighbor, Elsie.

While getting to know more of Elsie’s past life, Alex has been thinking about her own life and how to make peace with everything that’s caused her heartache. Meanwhile, her mind constantly wanders toward her lingering feelings for her ex-husband, Matt. Their only involvement is their five-year-old daughter, yet Alex’s feelings are all over the place every time she and Matt have to see each other when it comes to their joint custody with their daughter.

No matter her feelings, Alex has always felt that moving on was the only way. However, with all that is going on in her life, she sees this house as a possibility of second chances, not just with the house, but with her life.

I received this copy from the author, in exchange for an honest review, and I’m happy to say that I’ve enjoyed the story. No spoilers, of course, but you’ll learn the reason behind the book’s title. I love how this book shows the reader that, no matter what’s happening in our lives, there’s always a chance to make things right.

Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

About the author: Maureen Leurck graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and currently resides in a suburb of Chicago with her husband and three children. She escapes up to the Lake Geneva area when she can for a good fish fry. For more info on the author, click here.