Review of Off the Grid by Robert McCaw

3 STAR REVIEW

Thank you so much to Oceanview Publishing and FSB Associates for the free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This genre of book was something entirely new for me. I normally don’t go for military, politics, male character as the main character books but I decided to give this one a try. While it was good and the writing did keep me intrigued, I had a really hard time with this one.

One reason this book was hard for me was all of the Hawaiian language. Sometimes the words were translated and explained and sometimes they weren’t so I had to look them up. Well, really I had to look up the pronunciation for almost every Hawaiian word which kind of got irritating when trying to read, I don’t want to have to stop constantly so I can google a word. I understand the book is based in Hawaii and obviously their language is going to get thrown in but I feel the author should have had a better way for readers to understand it.

The other reason I had a hard time with this book was because I didn’t get attached to or relate to any of the characters. I’m not big into politics and I don’t know much about the police force and every big character in the book was either on the force or had something to do with politics. Don’t get me wrong, the writing style was great and kept me reading the entire book even through my other complaints but for a book to be great to me I need to have some kind of connection with at least one of the characters.

Seeing as how this was the second book in the series and I have not read the first one I did feel a little left out when certain parts of the book referenced things that happened in the first so I would recommend reading the first book before you read this one.

The plot and action of this book were good and I did enjoy the mystery that was going on. I didn’t have the ending of the book figured out so I was in for a surprise which I liked.

Overall not a bad book, his writing and the plot kept me from DNFing but I think this will be the last book in this kind of genre that I’ll read.

About the author:

Robert B. McCaw is the author of Death of a Messenger (2016) and Off the Grid (to be published July 2019).

He grew up in a military family traveling the world. After graduating from Georgetown University, he served as a lieutenant in the US Army before earning his JD degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Upon graduation from law school he spent a year as a judicial clerk for Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black. He practiced law in Washington, DC, and New York City, representing investment banks, lawyers, directors, and other clients in complex civil and criminal cases, including many that generated significant press coverage.

For a number of years, Bob maintained a home on the Big Island of Hawai’i, studying its history, culture, and peoples. Archaeology and astronomy are among his many interests. In researching his books, he talked story with Hawai’i County cops and walked the streets where his stories take place. He and his wife live in New York City.

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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 The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

3 STAR REVIEW

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.

This book had so much potential to me and for a majority of this book I was hooked and couldn’t stop reading. I actually finished this in less than 12 hours, I was that into the story. And then I got to about the last 30 pages and it completely tanked for me.

Diana has raised two wonderful kids, Ollie and Nettie, with her amazing husband and is living a very privileged life. Even though the past still comes back to haunt her occasionally she has her family and her loving husband by her side. When her son Ollie brings home his girlfriend, Diana isn’t a huge fan of her at first and then Ollie and his girlfriend Lucy decide to get married. Diana tolerates her new daughter-in-law and the feeling is mutual but then Diana’s husband Tom dies and Diana is sucked into a state of depression. She contemplates suicide but then changes her mind about it but yet Diana still ends up dead and it doesn’t look like it was the suicide that it was staged to look like.

I was really enjoying this book until about 80-90% of the way in. I loved all of the family dynamics in this book and how Lucy and Diana finally put their differences aside and became close. And then the big “bombshell” dropped on who actually killed Diana.

*SPOILER ALERT*

First off a little back story. Every member of the family was looked at and questioned for her murder. Ollie because his company was tanking bad and he needed money, why not kill off his rich mom since he assumed the money was going to him and his sister? Lucy was looked at because of the assault that took place in the hospital after Tom accidentally drops his granddaughter and Diana just wants to smooth it over and move on. But lo and behold in was Nettie that killed her mother, all because she wouldn’t give her any money to help her have her own baby. I honestly cannot say how mad I got when that was revealed, that was the whole reason she died? Because her daughter’s obsession and madness about having a child of her own went that far and her mom wouldn’t help her so she killed her? I understand Nettie felt like her mom had never been there for her and or didn’t pay enough attention to her when she was younger and I understand the mental hit that women go through that can’t have a baby but really, REALLY?

I loved this book so much up until then which is the only reason I’m giving it a 3 star review. The characters were great and the storyline was gripping up until the ending but the truth behind the murder is what really killed it for me. I will more than likely try to read other books by Sally Hepworth but this was a disappointing book for me.

Review of Ten by Gretchen McNeil

2 STAR REVIEW ⭐️⭐️

I honestly wasn’t a huge fan of this book. The plot and synopsis definitely intrigued me with 10 people being stranded on an island for the weekend and their friends start turning up dead. Sounded really promising to me and as I’ve never read Gretchen McNeil I wanted to read it.

Meg and her best friend Minnie are heading to a party on an island for a weekend that you can only access by boat. A horrible storm starts the first night they’re there and they meet and hang out with 8 other people. Then their friends start dying one by one and everyone’s questioning if it’s someone from their group or is there someone else in the house?

I had no problems with any of the characters (except the girls that wouldn’t stop bitching about everything) but sad to say I had the killer figured out pretty early on and I don’t like books that I can do that in. I want a book that’s going to completely throw me for a loop at the end but sadly this one didn’t do it for me. I understand this is geared towards a teen audience but all the drama and bitching amongst the friends really annoyed me. Like, someone’s killing your friends and you’re more worried about who’s hooking up with who? Definitely a flop of a book for me.

Review of Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer

5 STAR REVIEW

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.

I’m not even sure where to start with this book. After reading the synopsis I immediately thought it was the mom making the kid sick and I thought to myself why would the author give that much information away which would leave no mystery or thrills to the novel. Then as I started reading the book I strongly felt it was the mom, then I thought it was someone else, and then I got to the end of the book and found out who was really hurting Meghan and I was in complete shock.

Becky’s daughter Meghan has been sick for awhile and no doctor or specialist can seem to figure out why. All of her test results come back normal and she appears to be a healthy 15-year-old, just skinny and pale which could be attributed to the fact that she never has an appetite.

After Becky’s husband Carl finds a specialist for a disease they hadn’t considered they think they will finally get the answers they’ve been searching for. Then Becky starts being investigated for Munchausen syndrome by proxy which Carl believes stems from Becky’s mother faking illnesses and having Becky lie for her growing up. Just as the Gerard family feels they’re starting to get answers their while world is taken from them by someone with a sinister plot.

This was honestly one of the best mystery/suspense novels I’ve read in a very long time. I found the beginning of the book to be a little slow for me but I think that was due to a lot of information being thrown out at once. Once I started reading further into the book I was drawn in and couldn’t finish the book fast enough.

I loved all of the characters especially Becky since she was a total mama bear determined to get her child better no matter what it took. There was a few times in the book where I feel she reverted back to how her mother used to have her act but she was honestly trying to do it in the best interest of her child which I think any mom with a sick kid would do.

Trust me when I say the ending will leave you reeling.

Review of Little Lovely Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly

4 STAR REVIEW

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

Please tell me I’m not the only one that balled like a big baby at the ending. Happy tears of course but holy moly did that ending get me.

Claire is training to become a doctor and her life is pretty great with her two daughters, husband, and their dog. One morning she wakes up feeling a little off but knows she can’t miss work and needs to drop her daughters off. On the way there she has to pull over at a gas station and in the bathroom ends up passing out while her two girls are still in the running car. Two homeless, drug addicts stumble upon the car and the guy convinces the girl they should take the kids and the car away from what he says is a druggie mom.
When Claire finally wakes up she can’t believe that her car and her two babies are gone. The search begins to find the kids then tragedy hits in more than one way and Claire and her husband give up hope. Except Claire can’t help but feel that her older daughter is still out there. She can’t anticipate how much her life is about to be thrown for a loop again.

I was a little skeptical about this book at first when all of the Native American culture and language started. I myself know absolutely nothing about their culture and beliefs so I was lost more than a few times. I feel that the author could have explained the language and some of the wording better. Instead I found myself constantly having to stop reading so I could google to figure out what they were talking about. But then as I got more and more into the story I found myself hooked. I didn’t want to stop reading because I was dying to know what was going to happen next.

Another thing I liked about the book was how many different points of view there was. Instead of having the whole story told just through Claire’s perspective you also got two other major characters voices and what was going on with them. It made the story so much more in depth and better than I could have anticipated. Such a great read even though the whole book will have you on an emotional rollercoaster.

Review of In Another Life by C.C. Hunter

5 STAR REVIEW

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.

I have never read anything by C.C. Hunter and the synopsis of this book really intrigued me. I love YA mystery books and as soon as I saw that this was about a girl that might have been kidnapped and adopted to a different family, I was immediately interested.

This book is about Chloe who is living with her mother that has just overcame breast cancer. After her mother and father divorce, her mom moves them to a new town and Chloe must start at a new school, as a senior no less. She’s known her whole life that she was adopted but she’s never let it bother her and has never had an interest in finding out who her real parents were. One weekend when her father is driving her back to her moms she meets Cash Colton and is instantly drawn to him. Cash’s motives for wanting to get to know her better might have something to do with what happened in Chloe’s past, something she has no idea about, something that Cash has been dealing with for the last 3 years with his current foster parents. Chloe and Cash must find out the secrets about Chloe’s past before that secret ends up getting them killed.

This was a great book right from the start. You’re immediately drawn in when Chloe meets Cash for the first time and trying to figure out what he was talking about when they ran into each other, literally. I loved Cash’s backstory and what he went through with his dad and how he overcame that and was trying to make his life right. I also loved how the story progressed with Chloe slowly learning everything about her first 3 years of life with Cash helping her out.

I love when books are told from both main characters point of view instead of the author trying to have one main character explain both sides. It makes the book feel a lot more in depth and you feel like as a reader you’re not missing out on any important moments with the other characters.

C.C. Hunter’s writing style definitely drew me in and kept my attention. I loved all the drama between Cash and Chloe’s relationship. It was a very enjoyable read and I hope to read other books from the author.