Sunday, July 28, 2019

Last Summer by Kerry Lonsdale

Last SummerLast Summer by Kerry Lonsdale
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was absolutely loving this when it started. It was everything I loved, but then it took a different turn.

The beginning was fast paced and had so many jaw dropping moments. Once Ella begins to start unraveling what happened to her everything changed. Everything slowed down. I do know that finding out what happened last summer was important, but it was so much more of that instead of present day stuff going on. The story ended up getting so slow that I just wanted to skip around. I was no longer enjoying it and found so much information that was not needed and that did not bring anything to the story itself. I also did not love how everything was wrapped up and why it all happened. I did not see it coming, and it was just not for me.

Overall, I am still giving this three stars from the beginning. It may be more around 2.5.

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The Gauntlet by Ashley Pagano: Book Tour Spotlight

Saturday, July 27, 2019

False Step by Victoria Helen Stone

False StepFalse Step by Victoria Helen Stone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this one, but there was nothing that set it over the top for me. It was pretty predictable and I was just waiting for some big twist which never happens.

I sit here trying to think of what to write for a review, but I do not really have much to say which happens often when I read a three star book (which is a good rating for me as it means I liked it). I did not love it and I did not hate it. It does deal with infidelity with most of the characters. I do not feel it was very thriller like at all. There is no big reveal or shocking moments. To be honest, not much happened after the first scene of why everything is happening the way it happens.

Overall, it was good though.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Risk of Us by Rachel Howard

The Risk of UsThe Risk of Us by Rachel Howard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was not expecting much going into this story. I am a social worker and I am pretty critical when it comes to stories around Foster Care and the Foster Care system. This is not an easy read, but I do think it is an important read.

This is a real and raw look into adoption and fostering children who have been effected by trauma. The author compares trauma and PTSD between a child in foster care and a soldier. It is a really eye opening statement. I can see why others will not like this, as it is a very taboo subject that we want to ignore. The reality is that our children are facing issues like Maresa everyday. Unfortunately, other children are not as lucky as Maresa to have patient and understanding adoptive parents to push through these chaotic, manic, and at times dangerous situations.

The story focuses more on Maresa and her family than the foster care system itself. I really appreciated that! It does still mention gaps and needs within the system including turnover and policy restrictions though. There were some positive and negative aspects when it came to the system itself.

I was not a huge fan of the ending. This is such a short read with only being less than 200 pages. I would have liked to see more of Maresa after adoption.

The one thing I wish the author would have left out was the political piece. It was a very small section of the story, but it was not needed. I wanted to recommend this book to our foster/adoptive parents, but won’t be able too since this small page of details was added. I am not saying the author does not have a right to her political opinion, I just wish it would not have been added to the story.

Overall, I still loved this and am going to recommend it to my fellow social worker friends.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The String by Caleb Breakey

The String (Deadly Games, #1)The String by Caleb Breakey

I was sent this book for a blog tour. My ratings and reviews will be my own personal opinions and are in no way influenced by publishers or authors who may have sent me books to review.

This does start off with a scene involving an animal that was pretty cruel, so be mindful there are triggers for animal abuse from the start. This was not the reason I DNF though. I just could not get into the story. I tried reading both the physical copy and the audiobook. It was just not for me.

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Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank

Queen BeeQueen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There was something addicting about this story. I could not really pinpoint why, but I was loving it. I stated this one night and I did not want to stop.

I really loved the beginning half of this story especially with Holly and the boys next door. I was not expecting the story with Leslie, but enjoyed that part as well but did find myself drawn more to Holly. I did like the first half of this story better than the second half, but it was all still done well. There was a little bit of everything from romance to villains to female impersonators.

I cannot wait to read more from this author.

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Revelry by Kandi Steiner

RevelryRevelry by Kandi Steiner
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is one of the most shocking reads of the year for me and not in a good way. I love Kandi Steiner. I mean love! I think I have given everything she has written four or five stars. I have not been able to get into anything lately, so I thought reaching for this would do the trick. It was not.

I am not really sure why, but I never connected with this story of Wren and Anderson. There was no development around their relationship initially to make me buy into it. Normally there is more build up with her characters. It was almost insta-lovey. Anderson just loved her right away after a five minute conversation. I just never truly devoured their story like I normally do with Kandi Steiner.

I also felt like nothing happened. Anderson had a sad back story which I could see why others loved it. I wanted more around his past though. Wren being divorced just did not do it for me. Yes, her husband was a jerk but it was just not a back story that interested me. I have never DNF anything from this author, but there were so many times I wanted to put this down. The only reason I finished was due to the author herself and thinking this had to get better. I ended up skimming to get to the end anyway.

I did like the musical references throughout though. I thought that was a fun detail.

Overall, this was just not for me. I still highly recommend Kandi Steiner as she is one of my favorite authors.

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Demon in the Whitelands by Nikki Richard: Cover Reveal

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle

Meet the SkyMeet the Sky by McCall Hoyle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 Stars

I can see why this one would be hit or miss for people. I am giving it a three stars, as it was ok. It kept my attention and was fast paced. It was a very exaggerated look into two teens stuck in a storm/hurricane. Some of the things they do along the way were so annoying and unrealistic. I just found myself rolling my eyes at certain things that happened.

Both Sophie and Finn have back stories that kept the story interesting. I wanted to know more about what previously happened in their lives even more than what happened during the storm. Finn makes some ridiculous decisions along the way and I just never really liked him.

Overall, this was ok but not something I would be recommending to many others.

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Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall

Knightmare Arcanist (Frith Chronicles Book 1)Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fantasy is hit of miss for me as it is not my go to genre. This sounded really good though so I wanted to give it a try. I picked it up one night thinking I would most likely put it right back down. When the story starts in a cemetery with graves being dug, it caught my interest. I ended up reading over fifty pages right then and there.

Volke is 15 years old. This really reminded me of a middle grade story. I enjoyed the writing as it was very engaging. However; I found myself losing once the trials started. They also just were not what I wanted. I know this would probably lead to more dangerous and exciting events, but it was just not for me. I am keeping this though as I think my nephew would eat this story up!

Edit: My best friend asked to read this as she loves fantasy. She loved it. I asked her for her thoughts she finished it. She said she would give it around three stars. It had great characters and she loved Volke and Illia. She loved learning about their backstory as the story continues to see Volke strive for his goals.

I was sent a copy of this as part of a blog/Instagram review tour.

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Monday, July 15, 2019

When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O'Neal

When We Believed in MermaidsWhen We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O'Neal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was sent this book for a blog tour. My ratings and reviews will be my own personal opinions and are in no way influenced by publishers or authors who may have sent me books to review.

This story captivated my attention from the very fist paragraph. I fell in love the with the story and the writing. The author was very descriptive as I could picture the scenes with ease. Sometimes writing can be too flowery, but this was a great mix without being too much.

This is a story about two sisters which starts off like nothing I was expecting. It is a story that deals with many series topics as well (abuse, family, neglect). It will leave you flipping through the pages to see what happens to the characters.

Overall, I really loved this one.

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

One Little Secret by Cate Holahan

One Little SecretOne Little Secret by Cate Holahan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This story immediately caught my attention as it started off with an investigation into a sexual assault and a murder. I was very intrigued within the prologue and first chapter to see where this would go next. It did veer off a little different than expected after that and I was ready for it to be over. I thought about DNFing several times.

You will be introduced very quickly to several characters (the main characters, their children, their significant others). I had to take a step back and get everyone straight. I had a hard time keeping track of all of the characters throughout the story as there was really nothing distinguishable about them. This also jumps from different times in the story which I normally am not a fan of. It did not bother me too much in this one, but I still just never seemed to care what was going on.

This really reminded me of Big Little Lies, so I think you would like this if you liked that. There is a lot of drama. The story jumps from time and place as you are learning what happened while the couples were at the beach house.

Overall, this just did not work for me.

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Refuge at Pine Lake by Rose Chandler Johnson

Refuge at Pine Lake (Pine Haven)Refuge at Pine Lake by Rose Chandler Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been in a huge reading slump, and to be honest I was just not excited about this as much as I was when I agreed to review this one. All I can say is THANK YOU, and I am sorry I doubted it (that was a reading slump speaking; nothing against the story or author). This pulled me out of my slump, and I really want to read more from the author.

The story and writing drew in my attention right away. I loved both Matt and Robin from the very beginning. Both are dealing with some chances in their lives (I do not want to ruin anything), but I really liked what it brought to their stories. I like how they meet at the lake house, and how you see their relationship develop.

This was such a sweet read. If you love clean romance I highly recommend it. There is also a cute dog within the story which I loved. Overall, a great read!

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Summer Island by Kristin Hannah

Summer IslandSummer Island by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

If you love stories about second chances, you may really love this story. It deals with second chance romances, second chance friendships, and second chance family relationships. It is a very touching look at the relationship between a mother and her daughter.

As soon as this started I knew it would probably end with tears based on one of the subjects in the story. It did not bring the emotional tole I was expecting or wanting, but was still sad at times. This story was a little slower than some of the authors other works, and I did not find myself wanting to move ahead at times. It just did not capture my attention like I expect from KH writing.

Overall, it was ok.

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Merged by Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl: Cover Reveal

Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Conspiracy by Kat Martin

The Conspiracy (Maximum Security #1)The Conspiracy by Kat Martin


I really love romantic suspense, and this one sounded amazing. Unfortunately, this was not for me and I did end up DNF (did not finish) this one.

This started off really strong, and I thought I would run through this one. Then it took a turn that just lost me. I was not expecting pirates and rebels and such. It was just not something that interested me enough to continue.

I also love romance, and need some sort of romance in a story to really love it. This just did not work for me. It was like steamy and sexy thoughts and scenes were thrown in at the very wrong times. It annoyed me.

Overall, this is disappointing as book two is also on the way and I have no desire to pick it up at this time.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Side by Side by Anita Kushwaha

Side by SideSide by Side by anita kushwaha
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was sent this book for a blog tour. My ratings and reviews will be my own personal opinions and are in no way influenced by publishers or authors who may have sent me books to review.

I had agreed to review this story for a Instagram/Blog tour, and I just had no desire to pick it up. It was two days before my review was due, and I knew I had to give it a go. I was not expecting to fall in love with this story so much. I finished this in one sitting.

This story does deal with triggers such as loss, suicide, and mental illness. Kavita is mourning the loss of her brother (not a spoiler as it happens within the first page). Sunil has been battling mental health for some time, and his demons finally took over and won. He disappears and days later is found dead from an overdose.

This story is told in three parts: Fall, Crawl, and Rise. It was such a powerful story around loss and the effects ones actions can have on others. This is shown in several ways, and not just by the loss of Sunil. You really get a look into how loss can take a toll on a family. It shows the good and the bad. I really felt the emotions within the writing. The author had a great way of describing different aspects in the story.

Overall, this really surprised me and I definitely recommend it.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling

These Witches Don't BurnThese Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have heard so many people talk about this, and the reviews have been mixed. One of my favorite YT really loved it though and we have similar tastes. I knew I needed to at least give it a try.

Based on the cover I thought this was going to be a cute romance involving witches. I knew this was being marketed as a LGBT fantasy, so I was not expecting a thriller/mystery aspect to the story. When the story began, I almost put this down thinking it was not for me. I kept reading though and I ended really loving this. This story does involve elemental witches (which I loved), Regs, and Hunters. Some of the story was very predictable like who the Hunter turned out to be. However; there were some darker twists that I was not expecting in this YA novel. I found myself immersed in the story and wanting to know how it was going to end.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and look forward to seeing what happen in book two.

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