Posted in Book Review

Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena

Read Dates: July 27, 2021 – July 28, 2021
Publication Date: July 27, 2021
Source: Owned Hardback

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From Goodreads:

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets–especially the dead. Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there. And they don’t come much richer than Fred and Sheila Mercer. But even all their money can’t protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mercers are brutally murdered the night after an Easter Dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their capricious father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of them is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did one of them snap after that dreadful evening? Or was it someone else that night who crept in with the worst of intentions? It must be. After all, if one of your siblings was a psychopath, you’d know.

Wouldn’t you?

When I see a Shari Lapena book available for preorder, I preorder it. I rarely even look to see what the book is about. This woman consistently brings the most amazing page-turners I have ever read. I finished this book in just three sittings… and I have a 14-month-old running around wrecking things all day. So they weren’t long sessions. But that’s how easy it is to read her books.

I may have said this before in a previous Lapena mystery novel review, but when you begin one of her books, you may think to yourself that there are too many characters and you’re not going to be able to keep up with who is who. There were only a couple, out of her now 6 books, that did that to me – where I felt I had to make a character sheet so I could quickly remember who I was dealing with and how they fit into the story. This book wasn’t one of them.

Lapena writes in such a way that you never lose sight of the big picture because of confusing variables along the way. She keeps things flowing smoothly and efficiently. I never got bored at any point of this book. Which became a real problem because I had to find a stopping point! But there aren’t any! This book was so amazing. It’ll keep you flipping those pages with the determination to finish the entire book in one sitting.

One of my favorite things about this book was that almost none of the characters were likable. One of them was slightly likable but none of them were likable enough for me to root for them or hope they weren’t the killer.

So, Fred and Sheila Merton are dead. The prime suspects? Their three children: Catherine, Dan, and Jenna. But WHO ACTUALLY DUN’IT!? Were two of them (or all of them) in on it together? Was it just one of them acting alone? Was it someone other than one of the three kids?!

I thought I had things all figured out. And I usually do. Butttt I didn’t. At no point in this book did I have anything figured out. Whether it be a side effect from my mom brain or the fact that I was in a trance reading this because of how captivating it was or maybe just because it was THAT well written? I cannot say because I truly have no idea. But this was such an amazing book that I didn’t really care, I was just happy to be along for the ride. This book just catapulted to the top as my favorite Shari Lapena novel to date. She really outdid herself on this one.

As for errors, I only found two. One was the use of “of” instead of “if”. The other was the use of the name Dan instead of Ted. I didn’t mark down page numbers or count against this book in terms of the rating because I simply didn’t have the capacity to do anything other than to hurry along the pages to find out who on Earth killed Fred and Sheila.

I can’t leave here without saying something about the ending. Obviously I’m not going to give anything away but let me just say… THAT ENDING. Omg. I was gaping at my book and then I was smirking and then I may have even giggled a little. I wish I could say more. I’m recommending this book to everyone I know so I can hear them all say, “Ok, but that ending, right!?” Even if I don’t know you, feel free to shoot me a message and give me a, “Girl, that ending though, right!?!”

If you’re a fan of whodun’it books with SO MANY TWISTS where there are no likable characters and they all could be the killer because they’re all terrible people… well then this is your book. What a delightful (but a little too quick, my bad) read.

I know it’s only been two days but I’m ready for the next one Shari! 😀

✌💛

Posted in Book Hype, Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal: Romancing the Gravestone by Gena Showalter and Jill Monroe (Artwork by Leni Kauffman)

I am so incredibly pumped and honored to be able to bring you guys the cover of Romancing the Gravestone which is set to release September 27th!

Gena Showalter is one of my all-time favorites and this time she is teaming up with Jill Monroe to bring us another sensuous story. These two authors are phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what their forces combined will bring us.

Let’s not waste any time here…

She suspects everyone of everything. Sometimes she gets it right.

Jane Ladling is the sole proprietor of her family’s landlocked cemetery, Garden of Memories. She’s responsible for the, er, guests, but there’s a slight problem. Well, besides her moody cat, Rolex, and her sixty-two-year-old best friend’s unrequited crush on the sheriff. An extra body now rests in Plot #39.

Enter Special Agent Conrad Ryan. He’s gruff, he’s gorgeous, and oh, yes, he kind of suspects her of murder. What’s an innocent—and very single, not that it matters—girl to do? Solve the crime herself. Even if she must turn the small town of Aurelian Hills, Georgia upside down. 

The only line she won’t cross? Falling for the first man to make her heart flutter. Nope, not happening. Not even a little.

Would you LOOK at this cover!?

This amazing artwork is done by the wonderful Leni Kauffman who is no stranger to creating artwork for romance novels. She has created her fair share of beautiful covers as well as her own independent illustrations. To see all of her incredible works, here are some links to her social media outlets and her personal website.
Instagram
Twitter
Personal Website

This book is available for preorder using the following links (more to come!):
Barnes & NobleAmazon
If you’re interested in learning more about the authors or seeing some of their previous works you can find them on
Instagram:
Gena ShowalterJill Monroe
Twitter:
Jill Monroe
Facebook:
Gena ShowalterJill Monroe
Or their respective websites:
Gena Showalter

Happy pre-ordering everyone!
✌💛

One more picture because I loooooooove this one!
Posted in Book Review

Worldlines: A “Many Worlds” Novel by Adam Guest

Read Dates: July 10, 2021 – July 11, 2021
Date Published: May 30, 2020
Source: Free ebook via OnineBookClub.org in exchange for an honest review

GoodreadsAmazon

From Amazon:

Worldlines is the first novel in the Many Worlds series, and is a psychological thriller sitting firmly in the science fiction genre. Specifically, it resides in the visionary and metaphysical sub-genre, as well as using elements of hard science fiction and magical realism.

The Many Worlds series of novels imply that we live in a multiverse, and that everything that we experience is true in some manner or another. Not just the world around us that we see every day, but also our dreams and our hallucinations. The books hypothesise that these dreams and hallucinations allow each of us to see other worldlines within the multiverse and, in the context of lucid dreaming, be able to control someone else’s life. You will then explore various worldlines within that multiverse, and the devastating consequences when they inadvertently interact with one another.

Taking that hypothesis further, if we really do live in a multiverse, it would open up the possibility of immortality for each of us. The idea that our consciousness would always choose the path of least resistance, and therefore regardless of the scenario, we would always experience survival from our own perspective. In layman’s terms that means that if you and I were involved in an accident, you could experience my death, I may experience yours, but we’d both survive from our own perspective. We’d both continue to live our lives in separate worldlines.

This psychological thriller uses the butterfly effect to explore how different one person’s life can be based on what, at the time, appear the most trivial of actions. But sometimes, actions in one worldline, can have catastrophic consequences in another.
Follow the many lives of Gary Jackson through this hard science fiction novel, as with the assistance of his true love, Michelle Peyton, his best friend, Sinead O’Brien, and his physics tutor, Professor Leyton Buzzard, they attempt to unravel the secrets of the multiverse.

At time of writing the book, described as a metaphysical treat by Independent Book Review, has received over 200 4/4 reviews from the readers of Online Book Club, and currently sits 12th in their ongoing Book Of The Year poll for 2020, 5th in the science fiction category. It will also be featured as their Book Of The Month in July 2021.
Meanwhile, in another place, Physics student Gary Jackson finds himself in prison for a murder he has no memory of committing. Can the dreamer help the student get acquitted for a murder everyone saw him commit? Or will Gary spend his life in prison for someone else’s crime?

WOW. Just… wow. I will admit that at first, I was a bit bored. I felt the author was rambling a bit and I wrote in my notes, “What is this guy on about?” Well, I’ll tell ya… I wasn’t ready. I was in NO WAY ready. I arrived at a chapter where it was incredibly clear I was still residing with the same characters but the situation had completely changed. But it would, wouldn’t it? If, say, we were in a different dimension.

I love science fiction books but this was not what I am used to. I’m used to space stories complete with battles and interplanetary weaponry. Or stories about other species on different planets and the trials and climates they face. Not this. This was crazy! This was a whole new experience for me and I loved it!

Our main characters that we revolve around throughout each worldline are Gary, Michelle, and Sinead. Along with their families, of course. Sinead’s mother, Mary, plays a huge role in this story as well if you ask me. Mainly, though, Gary who finds that his professor might not be far off on his in depth tangent on life or death situations along with all the possible outcomes and the idea that all the possible outcomes have been played out in other parallel universes. This intrigued me from the start and I was excited to see where the story would go since there was NO WAY this book would have focused on this tangent so closely if it wasn’t going to matter later.

Is it not possible that whilst we sleep, our consciousness drifts into neighbouring Worldlines, passing through different eventualities, each one making perfect sense in that moment? Yet you wake up, you remember the journey through those Worldlines, and it’s only then you think about the lack of continuity. At this point, you just shrug it off as a weird dream, but I wake up in a morning, and I can recall a dream. This means I have made conscious memories, in my sleep, whilst I was unconscious. How do you explain that?”

What, then, would happen if you became entangled in the crimes of a version of you from a parallel universe? What if you did something to land yourself in cuffs but you have no memory of doing it as it wasn’t you who did it in the first place? It was, instead, a you from a parallel universe. These are the things that kept me up at night.

Seriously though, after four hours of non stop reading and obsessing over the premise of this novel, I decided I should never sleep again, lest I end up in a parallel universe by accident and do something to ruin that dimension’s me.

Is any of this making sense?

This question brings me to my next point on this book. The author made this wild and complex idea into a story that was easily followed. Not once did I get lost in all the science behind what was happening. Guest wrote this book in a way that we could all understand and appreciate what was going on. While reading this book, you’ll jump back and forth between all the different worldlines, but the way he presents it is so easy to follow. Not once did I have to go back to make sure I understood what I just read.

“I can’t process all of this,” I said. “It’s like there’s been a glitch in the matrix.” “That would be no more far-fetched a theory than you having been possessed by someone from another Worldline,” she commented.

I found myself gasping out loud multiple times while reading this. I was so enthralled by what was going on. I never could have seen any of it coming. It was fantastic! When I finally finished reading that first night, I kept my husband up talking about the book and debating what this might mean if the theories in this story were real. And if I’m being honest, this book has me believing.

This book is a wild ride and I wish I could say more but I really don’t want to give anything away. This book was so much fun to read and I would highly recommend it to anyone with an open mind who loves sci-fi mind-benders.

I mean, honestly, where else can you get a book that give you a sad ending, a happy ending, and a cliffhanger simultaneously!?

If you like reading books that make you forget who you are and where you are, I implore you to read this. But don’t just read it, become it. Do whatever you have to do to get in the zone so that there is nothing except you and this book. If you can immerse yourself completely, it is a wonderfully mind-boggling experience that will have you up at night wondering what parallel universe yous might do to your universe. 😉

But unconsciousness, and sleep by definition, would seem to disprove that theory. And yet we dream and make conscious memories in our sleep. The two facts don’t tally. There must be a missing link.”

✌💛

Posted in Book Review

Heartless by Gena Showalter

Read Dates: June 29, 2021 – July 2, 2021
Date Published: June 29, 2021
Source: Kindle ebook

GoodreadsAmazon

From Goodreads:

Kaysar the Unhinged One, fae King of Midnight, can drive anyone to madness with his song. A ruthless warrior forged in hate, he lives to force his enemies to their knees. He will stop at nothing to succeed—even abducting and seducing his foe’s beloved bride to ensure his own child one day sits on the male’s throne. Except, his prize escapes to the mortal realm before the first kiss, her heart transplanted into a human beauty with dangerous secrets…

Chantel “Cookie” Bardot is a professional gamer girl great at trash-talking, bad at peopling. After a long-awaited surgery, she begins to morph into a powerful fae princess. Catapulted into a strange land ruled by a cruel but seductive villain, she must battle flesh-and-blood monsters and navigate royal intrigues. But the true danger is Kaysar, whose every wicked touch tempts her beyond reason. Should she run…or descend into the darkness with him?

Gena does it again. She creates another round of characters who are completely unique despite the amount of characters she has already created in numerous past books. Not only are these characters unique but they remain true to their ideals the same way all her other characters in all the other universes she has created have done.

Kaysar is a man obsessed with vengeance. Vengeance for the things he has endured and the things he has lost. He cares not who dies by his hand, unless they happen to be someone he deems worthy of survival so that he might torture them for the remainder of their lives.

…the tattoo on his bicep. A snake curled into a figure eight, eating its own tail, with a sword running through its center. His kingdom’s symbol, meaning “eternal war.”

Cookie is a mortal in need of a heart transplant. Once she finally receives her new heart, she finds herself morphing into a fae princess from the very realm Kaysar is from. Cookie has always had a lust for murder and violence but has always kept it at bay since the mortal world frowns upon that sort of thing. However, once in Astaria, that all changes once she meets the murder hungry Kaysar and gets a taste of life in a fae realm where anything goes.

“Oh, Kaysar. Isn’t this amazing?” Never had she felt so giddy. So alive. “My first actual battle. They threatened us, and now I get to kill them all by myself.”

This book was incredibly enjoyable and I think I might be holding back half a star for things I may end up getting in future books, but bear with me.

I was pumped for this book because it was called an “Immortal Enemies” book. So my head immediately went to “enemies to lovers” which is one of my favorite things to read. It wasn’t really that, though. I guess they were sort of enemies in the beginning, like, the VERY beginning, but they ended up teaming up rather quickly with separate end goals in mind. Still, not the enemies I was expecting.

These two fought, like, a lot. Though, I didn’t mind it because it kept them both true to their characters. They’re both very strong willed and hard-headed, so it made sense that they would be at odds with each other at some point or another. And they are. For most of the book. There’s always something going on with these two. 9 times out of 10, it’s hilarious. But the last squabble they had was a bit much for me. Another reason for my deduction of the half star, the last squabble and it’s resolve didn’t really work for me. Someone who Kaysar has been at odds with for 70% of the book makes one small comment and that is the thing that makes Kaysar rethink his anger and causes him to apologize to Cookie. Meh. Not really true to his character there… BUT, I think we’re going to see more of these two in future Immortal Enemies books and I’m excited for that. There were a couple of things that were left unresolved and a thing or two that never gave us a sense of finality. But I think we may end up seeing some of that unravel in the future if this series is going to be anything like the Lords of the Underworld series. Regardless, I’ll be here for it because I love Gena and I love these characters she creates.

Look at her. His Briar Rose, the embodiment of destruction and the most breathtaking sight in all the lands.

Now, the violence, let’s talk about the violence.

I loved it. And not in a way that I was just cheering on every death and never thinking the people maybe didn’t deserve to die. When Gena gives us a new character, she tells us what they’re like, what their morals or lack of morals are and she ALWAYS follows through. In that respect, I loved the violence in this book. Most books will tell you the characters are ruthless and violent but they don’t follow through. Gena’s characters most certainly followed through. Mind you, some were spared, mostly by Cookie. BUT, Cookie dished out some carnage too. It was really fun to read if I’m being honest. (And I am.)

I have to mention Peal Jean!!! And Sugars!! It’s not everyday you find a book with a 26 year old living with a 62 year old who is also her best friend. And Sugars the cat… I love cats, and the fact that Sugars was thrown into this and described as a “panther” made me picture my house panther throughout the book. Those two were a lot of fun to read and just as combative and chaotic as Cookie.

All in all, this was a good read. Gena’s book are written in a way that they seem like they’ve flown by. You look down and realize you’re suddenly 75% of the way through the book when you literally just started it a couple hours ago.

If you like steamy sex scenes, a couple that bickers but always finds their way back together, 62 year old roommates with a great sense of humor, and absolute, total, unrelenting CARNAGE… this is your book. Go get it. Go read it. Go love it. It’s a good one.

“Sometimes you can’t see the end until you get to the middle.” A trick she’d learned sacking digital fortresses. “Imma go get in that middle.”

✌💛