Posted in Book Review

Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie Johnson

Read Dates: February 26,2019 – February 27, 2019
Expected Publication date: April 30, 2019
Source: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

GoodreadsAmazon
Untitled design (2)
cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431

Do you like romcoms?
Do you like kilts?
Do you like a thick Scottish accent?
Do you like a hunky man?
Do you like a hunky man with a thick scottish accent wearing a kilt?
THEN YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS ROMCOM STORY! (Assuming you answered yes to all of those questions…)

FIRST OF ALL, Melonie Johnson, where have you been all my life?? A Star Wars junkie redhead who loves dogs and used to be an English teacher? PERFECT! I am also a Star Wars junkie, love animals, and look better with red hair (in my opinion…). Though I never ended up being an English teacher, but I really wanted to! Let’s be friends! Maybe I’ll just book a flight to Chicago and show up at your door… or is that too Italian stalker type creepy?

Alright, alright, enough of me fan-girling over the author. We’re here about a book.

Cassie is heading out on a girls trip with her very best friends. Her main goal on this trip: find a hunky man and have a fling. She’s packed a giant box of condoms and is ready to find herself a man to have a one night stand with. After all, she deserves it as she works so much back home and doesn’t have time for a fling much less a real relationship. Her condom box remains unopened until the next to last destination on the girls trip where she runs into Logan, a prankster in a kilt, a handsome one at that. She’s found her fling, she’s gotten what she wanted. But does she want this to be more? Does Logan want more? Soon, the two can’t get enough of each other. But what are they willing to risk to be with one another long after the fling is over?

Alright, now don’t hate me… I really do hate to give this book such a low rating as I have a slight crush on the author and just want her to like me… buttttt… this book wasn’t for me.

That being said, there were definitely parts of it that I liked! I feel like if this had been a story about the girls and their trip, I would have liked it a lot more than I did. Cassie and Logan just didn’t do it for me. I never really connected to Cassie. Though, I did connect with a few of her friends. I also hear there are books set to release about Bonnie and Sadie and I am actually thinking I may need to pick those up. (Bonnie & Theo fa life!)

Anyway, there was a moment about 60% of the way through the book where I thought it was almost over. My tablet told me I was only 60% of the way through it but my brain was like, “Mmm, I don’t knowwww, it seems like we’re wrapping things up.” Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the book being written a little more realistically. Not every romance can be sugarplums and gumdrops and fairies ALL the time. But we went through THREE fallouts with the couple. I was becoming so agitated at the fact that they couldn’t just talk to each other. Then, when Logan finally DOES start to let things fly with Cassie, she cries. He says four words and she cries. (It may have been more than four words… I may be exaggerating.)

But again, I don’t think this book was for me. All of my friends are guys. And my best friend is a girl but she’s also… kind of like a guy. We just don’t relate to the emotional, squealing, obnoxious type friendships. Mind you, I enjoyed reading about Cassie with her friends. That part was fun. I had issues with the way she handled things throughout her relationship with Logan, though. It bugged me that her solution every time was to disappear and not even TRY to talk to him. It also bugged me that she had HIM change aspects of himself but never thought to change anything about herself. Sure, she said sorry, but then she just turned around and disappeared again when things got sticky. (Not that kind of sticky… ya perverts…)

Her friends? LOVED them. All of them actually. I enjoyed the scenes where they would meet up for margaritas and talk with each other about life. Those were the best parts of the book in my opinion.

Which leads me to my next issue with the book: too much detail .
I love a good detailed story where I can accurately picture the author’s vision in my head as I go… but I was reading about the way a Kit-Kat tasted on someone’s tongue and that’s about the time when I thought to myself, “Ok, this is a bit much.” I like a book to leave SOME things to my imagination. I sort of figured this would be the case when I saw how long the chapters were. I’m the kind of girl who likes shorter chapters. That means I’m getting everything I need and not a heck ton of extra things that aren’t relevant to the story at all. That’s usually how it goes, anyway.

I know I’ve pretty much just given you reasons why I didn’t like it, but I did actually enjoy it a little! Really I did! What girl doesn’t love a good romance novel where the man gives chase? If you’re a girl and you say you DON’T love that (at least once in a while) you’re lying. It was fun at times, light-hearted, touching, and a little dreamy. I finally know what “You ken?” means now. So that’s cool.
Not a bad book. And again, I really think it was a “it’s me, not you” kind of situation in my case. Red-headed Scott with a rather thick brogue? Eh, not really for me. But it wasn’t a bad book! Obviously, as it made me have all these emotions. Look how crazy this review is after all!

Anyway, don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself. This book has received some RAVE reviews so far and I can see why, given Johnson’s writing style. Her writing is so smooooooth. She doesn’t make reading her books hard at all. I’ve definitely got my eye on Mrs. Johnson now that I’ve discovered her.

**Special thanks to the publisher for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review!**

Keri

Posted in Book Review

The Thinnest Air by Minka Kent

Read Dates:February 22, 2019 – February 24, 2019
Publication date: July 1, 2018
Source: Free via Amazon First Reads

GoodreadsAmazon

Untitled design (8).png

cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431

Meredith is a blissfully happy 22 year old who recently married a middle aged man. Though most everyone she knew told her not to marry him, she did it anyway. Meredith and Andrew are crazy about each other and he treats her like a princess… and he’s able to do that more than sufficiently since he’s a multi-millionaire. Their marriage looks perfect from the outside, but is there more to the story? Questions arise when Meredith goes missing over two years after her wedding. Her car is found at a local grocery store with the drivers door ajar and her personal belongings left untouched in the passenger seat. It doesn’t look as if there were any sort of struggle at the scene. Did someone take her? Did she leave on her own? Her sister, Greer, is determined to find out and won’t let anything stand in her way. In her mind, everyone is a suspect. Especially her well-to-do brother-in-law. But what she begins to find out upon digging is that her sister kept many secrets from her, some of which may have led to her disappearance.

I TOLD you guys I was about to go on another journey with Minka Kent and I was NOT disappointed.

MINKA KENT, giiiirllll, you are a BRIGHT, blinking, GIANT red blimp on my radar. Guys, her writing style is SO refreshing. It’s so easy to be whisked away into one of her books. I’ve been whisked into two of them now and I don’t plan to stop there. Two Minka Kent books in a week and I HAVE NO REGRETS. I received her newest book, The Stillwater Girls from the publisher and was completely into her writing and the way she tells a story. So I couldn’t help myself… I immersed myself into another one of her creations.

The story here is told similarly to the way The Stillwater Girls is told. The only difference being that the two narrators are family in this book and in The Stillwater Girls, the two narrators aren’t related but end up crossing paths. Either way, I LOVE IT. Minka Kent is one of my new top authors.

So this book was, in a word, AMAZING. This was one of those that I pulled out on a Sunday morning intending to get a few chapters under my belt before starting my day but ended up finishing it completely by accident. It wasn’t until things started being revealed that I tapped the screen on my iPad to see just how far into the book I was. When I saw I was 92% in, it was too late. I HAD to finish. I HAD to know what would happen to the characters.

This book is a good reminder that you can think you know someone after a short time but nine times out of ten, you never really do. It reminds us that people we know our entire lives can hold things back for our benefit. They could be going through hard times but have cocooned themselves in a hard outer shell so as to protect you from their problems. It reminds us that sometimes we become a chameleon, changing who we are and how we act to accommodate others. It also reminds us that our decisions always have consequences…

Going into this I was a little weary of Meredith and her marriage to the wealthy, middle-aged Andrew. I’m sorry but when two people are that happy with each other and things are seemingly perfect, chances are, they’re actually not. I’ve never been a fan of watching people get married while in the honeymoon phase of their relationship when everything is new and you’re still dressing and speaking to impress each other. That’s exactly what this was. Because of that, he was definitely my first suspect. (As the husband always is anyway.) Though, I won’t tell you if I was right or not.

I can’t say too much about any of the characters without giving a lot away BUT here’s a brief guide to our main characters:

Meredith: Missing. Early 20s. Married to Andrew. Sister of Greer. Stay at home wife who enjoys hot yoga. It also appears she has a stalker… Her perspective is one of the narrations in this book.

Andrew: Wealthy financial broker. Middle aged. Loving husband. Wants the best for his wife. Spoils her. A little mysterious. His sister-in-law is not a fan of him… at all.

Greer: Meredith’s sister. Bull headed, straightforward, and pushy. She fears no one and has a determined nature. She is desperate to find her sister. Her perspective is one of the narrations in this book. Owner and manager of a coffee shop chain.

Harris: Greer’s ex whom she dated for nearly a decade. Helps run her main coffee shop. Also is still Greer’s best friend.

Ronan: The detective assigned to Meredith’s case. He’s determined to crack this one.

There a couple of other characters that do add to the story but these are your main characters. Enjoy them. But don’t expect to know who they really are.

Just remember one thing if you decide to dive into this thriller…

NO ONE IS WHAT THEY SEEM.
TRUST NO CHARACTER IN THIS BOOK (except maybe Greer)
And most importantly…
Have a lovely time reading this!!!

Posted in Book Review

The Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent

Read Dates: February 19, 2019 – February 22, 2019
Expected Publication date: April 9, 2019
Source: ARC via Thomas & Mercer

GoodreadsAmazon

Untitled design (9).png

cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431

HAPPY TEARS!!!!

Listen, coming out of this book, I’m a wreck.

I received a copy of The Thinnest Air by Kent a good while back and just never got around to reading it. I WILL BE READING IT NOW, THANK YOU.

Minka Kent delivers a roller coaster ride of emotions in The Stillwater Girls.

Their primitive cabin in the middle of the woods where they live with their mother is all Wren, Sage, and Evie have ever known. They are cautioned against the evils of the world and are told to NEVER go beyond the forest. Until one night, the youngest, Evie, falls ill and their mother has to rush her through the woods and into town to get her medicine. Only, their mother and Evie never return. Months go by and the two remaining girls fear the worst. They’re running short on food and supplies. Winter has arrived and it is BRUTAL. Then, a man shows up claiming he knows their mother and he is there to take them from their isolated lives. He makes it very clear that they haven’t a choice and he is NOT leaving without them. Wren, 19, and Sage, 18, are about to embark on a journey and discover that their life and their world is not at all what they were led to believe.

THIS BOOK
I was entranced from the beginning. I was able to connect to the characters from the start. Mind you, once we met all the characters, I had pretty much figured the book out. I had the gist anyway. To me, though, this did not take away from the story at all. I was so invested in the characters that by the end of it all, I didn’t care that I had it figured out from the get go. I ugly cried at work, people!

This book definitely tickled my emotions which, as you all know, are always kept in check. I felt all the emotions on this journey. I was infuriated, I was frustrated, I was nervous, I was hopeful, I was overwhelmingly sad, and then I was overwhelmingly happy.

*sigh*

This was SO SO good.

I really enjoyed the way the story was written. We are told the story through the narration of two characters. Their perspectives take turns, guiding us through what’s happening and it flowed so wonderfully.

I’d also like to take a moment to appreciate Brant’s character. I know that I’m meant to be furious with him and hate him but… I just couldn’t. I was rooting for Brant the entire time. He was definitely my favorite character. Although, there wasn’t a character in the book I didn’t like. Except maybe one… or two… Yea, just two. And you’ll know who they are. Trust me.

I honestly don’t give books 5 stars (or cats) unless I have nothing to complain about. And guys, I have NOTHING to complain about. Some people may be a bit weary as, again, it is one that you may be able to figure out early on. But the ending… and the journey to the ending… it was so good. Well worth the read, in my opinion.

I’ll just be reading The Thinnest Air now, k, thanks, bye.

Special thanks to the publisher for the ARC via Netgalley.

Posted in Book Review

The Promise by Teresa Driscoll

Read Dates: February 13, 2019 – February 18, 2019
Publication date: February 7, 2019
Source: Netgalley via Thomas & Mercer

GoodreadsAmazon

The Promise

cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431

“… but as we all learn much too late, guilt is a dangerous bedfellow.”

As I sat and read this book while on a break at work, I found that I had accidentally uttered the words “Holy moly,” out loud. And if that isn’t the perfect way to describe this book, I just don’t know what is. So many twists and turns that came out of this story! I wanted to slap myself for not seeing certain things coming but there were just SO MANY little paths to keep up with! I was distracted by a different path in the story so that when a twist came, I was completely blind sighted! AND I LOVED IT.

Alright alright… where to begin…

Beth, Sally and Carol. The three amigos. The three best friends that anyone could have. They meet at a Catholic boarding school and are soon inseparable. But dark and sinister things happen within the school walls and even outside of them while school is out for breaks. One particular school break brings with it an event that becomes the turning point for the three girls and their friendship. An event that they agree to take to their grave. An event that is back to haunt them now that their alma mater is scheduled to be sold and torn down. And it seems someone else knows about what happened…

I was captured from the very beginning with this story and the fierce bond the three girls had with one another. I was equally captured by the conflict between them. I had soooo many questions. Questions that were slowly answered throughout the story and in JUST the right time. Three girls hold the same secret on their shoulders and the same secret effects their lives in different degrees and in different ways. By now they’re all well into their 30s and their carrying what happened differently. One is haunted every day, one desperately wants to forget and has mastered the art of pretending it never happened, and one has too much going on in her life now to think about what happened then, though she never truly forgets. What’s more is the way this book shows how even though we can have the fiercest of bonds with someone, guilt can bring us to doubt, to point fingers, to desperately want logical explanations to the extent to which we would throw someone under the bus to get them, no matter how much we love that person. Guilt is a heavy burden to carry. No matter if the guilt is misplaced or not, it is heavy and can drive a person mad. The basis of this book is guilt. I want to reread it knowing that everything fueling the decisions and actions of these girls was simply guilt. GUILT GUILT GUILT. I’m not going to say “guilt” again, I promise.
This book just delivered on this natural human occurrence SO WELL. It was beautiful.

Now I may be biased as I was able to relate to some of the happenings and a couple of the characters, but this was a DAMN good book. I was never bored with this book. I never felt the writing was drawn out too long or that the narration was too narrow. (Other than, of course, wanting to know what the hell their secret was! Among other things…) The pacing was perfect. The character building was perfect. The amount of mystery left for us to ponder over was PERFECT. Did I expect a darker twist than the ones I got? Yes. But I found myself emotionally invested in this story, which is something that can be a challenge for me. I don’t typically cry over books or movies, but when I do, it usually involves a pet or animal. Well, this one didn’t. This one got me right in the feels by using just these three girls. I found myself misty eyed more than once during my journey through this story. This was a wonderful read and has found itself on the top of my list of books I want to read a second time.

Special thanks to the publisher for providing the ARC via Netgalley.

Posted in Book Review

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

Read Dates: January 8, 2019 – February 8, 2019
Publication date: November 3, 2015
Source: Borrowed paperback from a friend

GoodreadsAmazon

Bazaar of bad dreams

cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431half_cat-face_1f431

“I know you,” she said. “You’re Stephen King. You write those scary stories. That’s all right, some people like them, but not me. I like uplifting stories, like that Shawshank Redemption.”
“I wrote that too.”
“No you didn’t,” she said, and went on her way.

This was my first Stephen King book, guys. That’s right. My SK cherry has been popped. Growing up, we were told SK books were bad. That having them in the house led to odd occurrences happening in the house due to evil spirits. Mind you, I never saw that in action as we didn’t have a single SK book in the house. I didn’t necessarily steer clear of SK books because I WANTED to, I just grew up to believe we shouldn’t have them. So out of habit, I didn’t read any Stephen King books. Ever. Now, going back to odd occurrences from books, THAT I have experienced before. As I was in the middle of the third installment of the Beautiful Creatures series, weird things started happening in my house. Mom and I both witnessed some odd things going on. We got rid of the books and BOOM, problem solved. No more weird stuff.
This is why I chose the above excerpt from Stephen King’s The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. A woman in a supermarket recognized him as the “horror writer” and refused to believe he was anything but. I feel like a lot of people live with the misconception that everything King writes is purely horror in the form of exorcisms and demons and otherworldly happenings. And that’s just not true.
This book brought out the poet that King is. Yes, there’s a POEM by King in this book!
This book isn’t any one thing, though. It is many things. This is a collection of stories King was inspired to write based on his own personal experiences or his own imagination giving him ideas about real places he passed every day.
Before each story, he gives us a look into his life and what gave him the inspiration to write these stories in the first place.
We read about a wrecked car with monsters that lurk inside. A man who writes hateful obituaries for celebrities who have passed away and discovers an interesting side effect to his writings. Two struggling mothers who are in over their heads and looking for an out. A kid in a propeller hat who lives only to make one man’s life miserable. A rich man who is in a great deal of pain but finds out the pain is not related to his injuries involving a plane crash. A man who dies and finds that the afterlife is actually a choice given to you by a man behind a desk. A man whose kindle provides a service that no other kindle owner can obtain.
I also really enjoyed “Under the Weather” but saying anything at all about that one would certainly give everything away.
These were just some of my favorites. Every story in this book was interesting and hard to move away from. And, of course, they all had that classic SK grit.

Anyway, I’m happy to report that nothing weird or creepy happened upon bringing this book home and I’d like to immensely thank my friend, Yasmin for throwing me on the Stephen King wagon. I had a wonderful time reading this.

Side note: Yes it took me a month to get through this book. This book was something I read between the other books I’ve been reading in this time frame. I would read a story or two from the Bazaar every now and then. It was one HELL of a leisure read!

Posted in Book Review

The Homecoming by Andrew Pyper

(Read dates: January 28, 2019 – February 1, 2019)
Expected Publication date: February 26, 2019
Source: Netgalley via publisher – Simon and Schuster

GoodreadsAmazon

710h-xrmjsl

cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431

FIRST FIVER OF THE YEAR!

First of all, Andrew Pyper, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? I am scrambling around the internet in a frenzy looking for other books by Pyper. What a writer. WHAT. A. WRITER.

Ok, so this book takes place in the middle of a rain forest in the Pacific Northwest. A family has been called to gather there to read the last will and testament of their estranged father. But there’s a catch to the will: they can all split his assets (which are quite the fortune) but only IF they stay there in the lodge for 30 days. 30 days. With no contact to the outside world. Only them, the lodge, the forest, and the things they haven’t discovered that lurk there… watching them.

Starting this book, I was immediately sucked in. The story is told through the perspective of Aaron, the eldest son of the recently deceased Raymond Quinlan. As a surgeon who works back in the city, saving lives is all Aaron knows. He doesn’t really know how to do anything other than surgery. Especially being in a lodge where he is forced to converse with his family. What he didn’t expect, were the dark turns their stay would take. Every member of the family has a weird feeling about the forest and what lies within the massive acreage. But things really start to pick up when Aaron’s sister sees a man in the woods… watching her. From there, if I tell you anything else… it would be too much.

What I can tell you is how ABSOLUTELY AMAZING this book is. JUST READ IT!!

I was genuinely afraid of what may happen next and boy did I have every right to be. This book threw so many things at me that I did NOT see coming. This was definitely one of those “WTF” type books in the sense that you never really understand what’s happening until the characters lay it all out for you. Highly recommend this for fans of thrillers. I would call this a mystery book as well but it’s so much more a thriller. It will keep you guessing, keep you on the edge of your seat, and leave you struggling to catch your breath when it’s all over.

Special thanks to the publisher for providing the ARC via Netgalley.