Review of Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Thank you so much to Dutton Books and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

I swear I will never be able to give Riley Sager anything but a 5-star review. His books have a way of sucking me and making me forget about everything else I should be doing I absolutely love them.

When Jules finds a hidden ad in the paper hiring for an apartment sitter she decides to give it a shot. Desperate for a job and barely making ends meet, Jules is willing to work just about anywhere at this point. When she arrives at the Bartholomew for her job interview she can’t believe her luck, getting to stay in this amazing place for four months and get paid a ridiculous amount of money to do so. And then comes the rules; no visitors, you must spend the night there every night, and you cannot speak to the other residents unless spoken to first. Jules agrees and when she meets another apartment sitter named Ingrid who shares the same disdain for some of the rules, Jules is excited to finally have someone to talk too and hang out with. But then Ingrid goes missing, doesn’t answer her phone, and leaves a mysterious note behind. As Jules starts digging more into the disappearance of Ingrid, she finds out more about the secrets behind the Bartholomew and how dangerous it really is.

I loved how this book was completely different from Riley Sager’s two other novels. What I had originally thought was going to be a book about a haunted apartment quickly turned into something I wasn’t expecting. The amount of suspense and creepiness in this book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time and I honestly couldn’t flip the pages fast enough. The plot and storyline drew me in and I loved every minute of it.

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Review of The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter

5 STAR REVIEW
I honestly wish I could give it more.

Thank you so much to Harper Collins and Gena Showalter for providing me with a free copy of this book for my honest review.

I’m a huge fan of fairytale retellings and this one did not disappoint at all! I loved Gena Showalter’s writing for years and this book was great!

The female main character of the book Everly has been raised in the mortal world by her mom and stepdad with her twin sister Hartly. She has no idea that she’s a fairy princess and that she possesses strong powers, powers that could get her killed. Her world gets turned upside down when they both find out they have powers and are taken to the world of Enchantia. Everything that happens to Everly is done because of what the fairytale or prophecy says is going to happen and everyone must figure out if she is the Evil Queen or not.

This story was kind of hard for me to get into at first but once I started I couldn’t put it down (can you say binge reading). I loved all of the characters but I especially loved Everly. She was such a sweet girl and only wanted the best for everyone and had a hell of a time when she had to be mean or kill someone. I loved the background thinking she had in some very intense parts and I loved how snarky and sarcastic she was, kind of reminded me of myself. And don’t even get me started on the romance between her and the Prince, holy swoon.

The fight scenes in this book were also incredible. Gena goes into so much detail in her books that you honestly feel like you’re right there with them and I honestly flinched at a couple of the spots when someone got hit, it seemed that real to me. I think that was one of the best parts about this fantasy novel was how descriptive and creative everything, it sucks you into the story and doesn’t want to let you go.

Review of The First Mistake by Sandie Jones

4 STAR REVIEW

Thank you so much to Minotaur Books for the copy of this book in exchange for my review!

I went into this book without having read Sandie Jone’s first novel (unlike the rest of the world) so I had no idea what to expect or what I was getting myself into.  I was not expecting all of the whip-lashing twists and turns and the constant guessing game of who’s right and who’s wrong.  

The story is told from two different characters, Alice and Beth, and I’m glad that you got to hear the backstory with Beth and what was going on in the present tense with both of them.  Parts of this book were completely predictable while other parts were throwing me for a loop.  I thought I had everything figured out around page 108 but I was way wrong when the book threw another twist at me.  

The dialogue between the characters kept me engaged in the story and I loved each of them for their own reasons, even the “bad” characters.  

This is a very fast domestic thriller and I honestly finished it in less than 12 hours.  I now feel like I need to pick up her first novel The Other Woman and devour that one as well!

Review of The Night Before by Wendy Walker

5 STARS

Thank you so much to St. Martins Press and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Wendy Walker has always been one of my favorite authors and she wrote another amazing book once again. I have read her other two published novels and this is by far my favorite one. This book was full of suspense and mystery and I loved that it bounced back and forth between the two main characters every other chapter.

After another failed relationship Laura decides to take a temporary leave from her job and apartment and move in with her sister Rosie who has the perfect family with her husband and son. Laura is struggling to break free from her past while it seems that Rosie has it all together. When Laura goes on a blind date with a guy from a dating website and then never comes home Rosie takes matters into her own hands to find her sister. Due to Laura’s past and the fact that she’s still viewed as killing her boyfriend years earlier, Rosie can’t help but think Laura did something bad again. But what Rosie and her husband Joe uncover will leave everyone reeling and casting doubt on one another.

I cannot say enough good things about this book. I was immediately hooked from the beginning and could not stop reading, I love how Laura’s character was viewed as the tough as nails chick with the “fists for hands” while Rosie was the more maternal have-to-take-care-of-everyone character. The storyline and plot were excellent and kept me thinking one thing but then threw me for a huge loop when it turned out I was wrong, way wrong.

This book was completely different from Wendy Walker’s other books and I loved that. I definitely think she should continue writing mystery/suspense novels because she is beyond amazing at coming up with some crazy stories.

 

PURCHASE LINKS

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-night-before-wendy-walker/1129285225?ean=9781250198679#/

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Wendy Walker has worked as an attorney specializing in family law. Her novels include EMMA IN THE NIGHT and ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN. She lives in Connecticut, where she is at work on her next novel.

Review of Only Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

 

3 STAR REVIEW

Thank you so much to Lake Union Publishing and Little Bird Publicity for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

I honestly had a really hard time getting into this novel.  A lot of characters were thrown at me in the beginning and I had a hard time keeping straight who was who.  I felt no connection to this book and honestly would have DNFed it if I wasn’t honestly a little curious about the outcome.

Annie Taft’s wedding is soon approaching and it’s speculated to be the wedding of the year if not the wedding of the century.  Her Aunt Faye is happy for her but can’t help think about Annie moving away after the wedding.  Annie is like a daughter to her as she took her in when she was 3-years-old after her mother was murdered and Annie helped convict the killer.  Now all these years later the killer is claiming innocence and Annie now isn’t so sure he was guilty.  Then Annie goes missing days before her wedding, right after the man who killed her mother is released.  

To me it seemed like the book wasn’t really about searching for the missing bride, it was more about all these different characters living in a small town and all of their individual problems.  Like I said above I had a hard time keeping up with the characters when every other chapter switches between their POVs.  I thought this book was supposed to be about the suspense surrounding finding the missing bride but really it’s about everyones story while they’re searching for Annie.  I wound’t have minded that if the characters had been more interesting and compelling but all of them fell short and were honestly a little annoying to me.  

Having never read anything by the author and after reading this book, I honestly don’t think I really want to explore her other novels.

Purchase Links:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/only-ever-her-marybeth-mayhew-whalen/1129690967?ean=9781503903890

 

About the author:

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Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of When We Were Worthy, The Things We Wish Were True and five previous novels. She speaks to women’s groups around the US. She is the co-founder of the popular women’s fiction site, She Reads www.shereads.org. Marybeth and her husband Curt have been married for 26 years and are the parents of six children. The family lives in North Carolina. Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She is always at work on her next novel. You can find her at www.marybethwhalen.com.

Review of Pray For the Girl by Joseph Souza

4 STAR REVIEW

Thank you so much to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

I have never read anything by Joseph Souza but this book immediately intrigued me. I loved the authors writing style and how you actually felt like you were in the town along with the characters. The plot had lots of secrets and twists and the characters were well developed. I also loved that this story revolved around a woman that was injured and came back from deployment with multiple mental ailments that were controlling her life. I’ve read a lot of books about men coming back from the war but it was nice to read one from a woman’s character.

Lucy never thought she’d find herself going back to her hometown of Fawn Grove, Maine to live with her sister’s family. After serving in Afghanistan then as a chef in New York she realizes the only way she can move on from the past and forget what the war has done to her is face it again. When a Muslim girl is found murdered by stoning Lucy becomes immersed in the case and feels a connection to the girl from her time in the war. The more Lucy digs into the murder and her hometown, the more she realizes how much the town has changed since she’s been there.

This was definitely a page turner and I, like everyone else, was not prepared for the plot twist, I didn’t see it coming. This was one of the best thrillers I’ve read in awhile which is really saying something, the author’s writing style was amazing and kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next.

The beginning of the book was a little slow for me as Lucy is trying to overcome her PTSD and self-wallowing but the further you get into the book the better it gets. Lucy is such a strong amazing character that I felt an immediate connection with through all of her flaws and setbacks. I loved her personality and how brave she was in front of other people even when she was suffering so much inside.

Excellent novel and I’m very excited to read more by Joseph Souza!

 

Purchase Links:

Barnes – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pray-for-the-girl-joseph-souza/1129244656?ean=9781496716231#/

 

About the author:

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Before launching his writing career, Joseph Souza worked as an intelligence analyst for the Drug Enforcement Agency (Organized Crime Unit) in Washington, D.C. His award‑winning short fiction and essays have been published in literary journals throughout the country. He lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and two children.

 

Blog Tour and Review for The East End by Jason Allen

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Thank you so much to Park Row Books for inviting me to participate in this blog tour!  

Book Summary:

THE EAST END opens with Corey Halpern, a Hamptons local from a broken home who breaks into mansions at night for kicks. He likes the rush and admittedly, the escapism. One night just before Memorial Day weekend, he breaks into the wrong home at the wrong time: the Sheffield estate where he and his mother work. Under the cover of darkness, their boss Leo Sheffield — billionaire CEO, patriarch, and owner of the vast lakeside manor — arrives unexpectedly with his lover, Henry. After a shocking poolside accident leaves Henry dead, everything depends on Leo burying the truth. But unfortunately for him, Corey saw what happened and there are other eyes in the shadows.

Hordes of family and guests are coming to the estate the next morning, including Leo’s surly wife, all expecting a lavish vacation weekend of poolside drinks, evening parties, and fireworks filling the sky. No one can know there’s a dead man in the woods, and there is no one Leo can turn to. With his very life on the line, everything will come down to a split-second decision. For all of the main players—Leo, Gina, and Corey alike—time is ticking down, and the world they’ve known is set to explode.

Told through multiple points of view, THE EAST END highlights the socio-economic divide in the Hamptons, but also how the basic human need for connection and trust can transcend class differences. Secrecy, obsession, and desperation dictate each character’s path. In a race against time, each critical moment holds life in the balance as Corey, Gina, and Leo approach a common breaking point. THE EAST END is a propulsive read, rich with character and atmosphere, and marks the emergence of a talented new voice in fiction.

My Review:

4 STARS

Thank you so much to Park Row books for the free copy of this book and inviting me to participate in this blog tour!

This is a very intense and compelling book that I really enjoyed.  I loved the storyline and all of the characters and this was a pretty fast read for me!  I couldn’t put this book down a couple of times as the cat and mouse game began and I was dying to know what happened next.

Corey has just graduated from high school and lives in the Hamptons with his mom Gina who is a housekeeper for billionaire Leo Sheffield.  Full of angst towards the rich people, Corey starts breaking into their homes and not stealing anything, but playing pranks on them.  He decides to break into the Sheffield mansion one night and witnesses something he shouldn’t have.  Corey then must decide what to do when he finds out the whole thing is going to be covered up.

I loved how the story was told from Leo, Corey, Gina and Angelique (best friends with Leo’s daughter that also witnessed the horrible act that Corey saw).  I love when books are wrote from different characters POVs instead of just a one-sided story so you feel like you get the whole story from everyone involved.

This was a great story from debut author Jason Allen and I definitely plan on reading more by him!

 

THE EAST END

Author: Jason Allen

ISBN: 9780778308393

Publication Date: 5/7/19

Publisher: Park Row Books

 

Buy Links:

Harlequin

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Powell’s

 

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @EathanJason

Facebook: @jasonallenauthor

Goodreads

 

Jason Allen author photo 2_c Jim Glasgow

Author Bio: Jason Allen grew up in a working-class home in the Hamptons, where he worked a variety of blue-collar jobs for wealthy estate owners. He writes fiction, poetry, and memoir, and is the author of the poetry collection A MEDITATION ON FIRE. He has an MFA from Pacific University and a PhD in literature and creative writing from Binghamton University, and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where he teaches writing. THE EAST END is his first novel.