Posted in Reviews

Review: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Emma in the NightEmma in the Night by Wendy Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some books are full of action, thrills and big explosions – others are subtle as they twist your mind and make you question everything. “Emma in the Night,” is definitely the latter. And it’s amazingly good.

The story begins when Cass Tanner returns home. Her and her older sister Emma went missing three years ago. With no clues and no bodies, the case went cold. When only Cass returns, she begs for help finding Emma and she weaves an elaborate tale about being forcibly kept on an island with Emma, an older couple and a baby Emma gave birth to. All the evidence points to her telling the truth. But FBI investigator Dr. Abby Winters senses something is off – and that hunch three years earlier about there being trouble in the Tanner home is correct. Where is Emma and what really happened three years ago. It’s all going to come to a head.

This book involves a lot of psychology and exit stench of questions about the truth and importance – it’s really interesting because it creates a possible where you’re constantly questioning what you think you know. You don’t know which characters you can trust and which you can’t. And since the ultimate truth is not revealed until the very end of the book you are kept guessing.

I love trying to piece together what all was happening. I didn’t guess the ending, and I think it was done really well and in a way that was very satisfying.

I’d really like to see more of Abby in future novels. Her personal story is very interesting and her job as an FBI psychological analyst has a lot of possibilities for future stories. I hope we see her again soon.

I’d recommend this novel for anyone looking for a good psychological thriller that will keep me reading into the night.

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Review: Ominous by Lisa Jackson

Ominous (Wyoming, #2)Ominous by Lisa Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve seen these multi-author collaborations before, but never tried one. However, this latest venture between Lisa Jackson, Nancy Bush, and Rosalind Noonan looked good, so I decided to branch out. I have to say, I’m pretty glad I did.

“Ominous” provides the suspense, romance and mystery we’ve come to love from these authors, all in one volume. I greatly enjoyed it.

FYI: this novel contains multiple, graphic sexual assaults. If this is a triggering topic for you, you probably want to choose another book.

The novel centers around three girls, who, one summer night 15 years ago, decided to sneak out of their homes and go skinny-dipping at a local lake. However, things go terribly wrong when they are attacked – and through mutual agreement they decide never to talk about that night again. However, in the present day, all three have returned to the small Wyoming town where they grew up. And it shortly becomes apparent that their attacker is back as well, and ready to start up again.

I really enjoyed this book. It had all of the elements of a romantic suspense novel from Jackson or Bush that I’ve come to love. Plenty of suspects kept me guessing throughout the book as well. I didn’t guess the ending. And let me tell you – the villain in this book is bad. Like, really, really creepy/scary/awful. I was really creeped out during his “scenes.”

The romances were also on point as well. I was routing for each of the couples, and was happy with their scenes. They felt real and genuine, which is the key in this genre.

My only complaint would be that it with three main characters and three romances, there were a lot of characters squeezed into the book. I wish we had more time with each of them! But that’s the nature of anthologies.

Overall, I really liked this book and would try another multi-author effort involving these authors. Any fan of these authors will enjoy it.

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Posted in Book Extras

Cover Reveal: Never Apart by Romily Bernard

I’m happy to bring you a cover reveal for a cool new YA/supernatural-ish book. It looks awesome to me! Enjoy this sneak peek; the book is released Oct. 3!

This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled Teen & USA Today’s HEA Blog.

Book Description:

How many times would you die for love?

What if you had to relive the same five days over and over?

And what if at the end of it, your boyfriend is killed…

And you have to watch. Every time.

You don’t know why you’re stuck in this nightmare.

But you do know that these are the rules you now live by:

Wake Up.

Run.

Die.

Repeat.

Now, the only way to escape this loop is to attempt something crazy. Something dangerous. Something completely unexpected. This time…you’re not going to run.

Combining heart-pounding romance and a thrilling mystery Never Apart is a stunning story you won’t soon forget.

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Never Apart by Romily Bernard today!

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Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Entangled Publishing

About Romily Bernard:

Romily Bernard graduated from Georgia State University with a Literature degree. Since then, she’s worked as a riding instructor, cell phone salesgirl, personal assistant, groom, exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service rep.

So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed.

Her YA thrillers FIND ME, REMEMBER ME, LIE FOR ME, AND TRUST ME are now available.

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Entangled Publishing

Posted in Reviews

Review: Among the Dead by J.R. Backlund

Among the Dead (A Rachel Carver Mystery #1)Among the Dead by J.R. Backlund

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book; it was an easy, quick read that will satisfy your mystery/thriller craving. The setting was great – a small town in the mountains of Western North Carolina – and the mystery was intriguing.

But I did have some issues with it, which took it from a 5-star to a 4-star read.

Rachel Carver quit her job at the NC State Bureau of Investigations after a tragic incident on her last case. She gets a call from her former partner to consult on a case in the sleepy mountain time where he works. A man was killed and the department wants to make sure they solve the case without errors – and fast. But soon things spiral out of control as it becomes clear they’re dealing with more than just a random kill.

This book has a great mystery at its core. The story doesn’t give too much away until it wants to, which gives the reveals a nice punch. And I liked that the author really ties everything together. Nothing is insignificant in the grand scheme of things, which is really cool.

Plus, I really liked Rachel as a character: she was smart, but not cocky, and she had an interesting personality. You could tell there was a good backstory there.

I just wish we had gotten to see more of that backstory. We were just kind of thrown into the middle of her life with no context, despite really wanting some more information. There were also some other things that I had questions about that didn’t really get addressed. It would have been nice for some more explanation.

But overall, I really enjoyed this book. It looks like the author is planning a series starring Rachel, and I would definitely read more.

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Review: Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo

Down a Dark Road (Kate Burkholder, #9)Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I grew up near several Amish communities and know as well as anyone that they’re generally about as normal and boring as anyone; they simply belong to a different, more intense religious practice. But there’s something about any secretive religious sect that is just fascinating and, when written about in the right way can add a creepy feeling to a good story.

Linda Castillo strikes that balance yet again in the latest Kate Burkholder novel. This book was a great ride, from beginning to end.

Kate – an ex-Amish police chief – becomes embroiled in what was thought to be a closed case when her former childhood friend, convicted of the murder of his wife, escapes from prison and takes his four children and Kate hostage. He insists that he didn’t kill his wife and begs Late to look into it. Then he lets her go. As Kate begins to investigate, she realizes that maybe Joseph wasn’t as guilty as everyone thinks he was. If that’s the case, who really killed his wife? Or is Late blinded by her childhood memories and unable to see the truth?

This novel starts at a running pace and doesn’t let up. It was just a thrill from start to finish and Castillo pulls no punches, adding details that really pull you in and make you gasp. I loved it.

I guessed the gist of the ending, but I didn’t mind it, since there’s so many questions about how the bigger picture will turn out. (I’m really trying not to spoil things so I hope all that makes sense.) There’s a lot questions involved so there’s more than enough to keep you interested.

However, at least one of my questions didn’t get answered, which is why it’s a four-star read instead of a five-star.

Overall, I loved it and am completely hooked on the Kate Butkholder series. Highly recommended

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Flashback Friday Review: Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo

I didn’t realize until a couple days ago when I was planning out my reading week that I hadn’t posted the last Kate Burkholder novel review! I read it prior to starting up my re-launch of this blog, so it only made it to Goodreads. So, now that I’m starting the next in the series (the ninth total!), here’s my take on the eighth Kate Burkholder novel, “Among the Wicked.” The Amish have never been so spooky!

Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder #8)Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off: This book can be read as a stand-alone novel. I am reviewing it as such. I liked it so much I may buy the others in the series!

I’m a little breathless after finishing this one. It’s an intense ride that doesn’t let up for a second. And I NEVER saw the end twist coming. Not for a second.

So. The basics: Kate Burkholder is a police chief in Ohio who used to be Amish. She’s summoned to work undercover in New York when a young woman is found frozen to death under weird circumstances. She quickly discovers that the town’s charismatic leader may be up to some bad things – including murder.

As the story unfolds, it just keeps adding questions: Who, why, how?! Most of it was good. It kept me reading. But the four stars come in because some of those threads did not get tied up. I’m still not exactly sure what happened with some of the characters. It’s sometimes implied, but never confirmed.( I don’t want to give anything away because it’s really good and you’ll want to read it for yourself. Afterward, I’d be interested to hear some other’s opinions.)

That doesn’t keep me from recommending the book, because I really do, I just want to be upfront about it.

I also loved the authenticity of the Amish portrayal. It was interesting and very accurate based on my interactions with plain people.

Overall, HIGHLY recommend.

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The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham

The Secrets She KeepsThe Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been awhile now since I’ve been so wrapped up in a novel that I have to take a peek at the ending. If I don’t, I can’t just relax and read the book – I’m just racing to the ending, needing to know how it all works out. “The Secrets She Keeps” made me peek.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot because it all unfolds beautifully as you get further into the novel. But, generally, the book alternates between two women’s point of view: Agatha and Meghan, both of whom are expecting babies. Meghan is a mommy blogger who leads a life that looks perfect from the outside, but is fractured from within. Agatha works at a supermarket and from the beginning, you can tell something about her is….off. Her story unfolds as the novel goes on.

This novel isn’t about suspense, since most people can guess what’s going on early on, but it’s more about the thrill – how the heck is this going to work out?! I was absolutely glued to the pages. Both stories are fascinating and it’s hard to say which woman I enjoyed reading about more. In different ways, both were fascinating and captivated me.

The ending was as satisfying as it could be, and left me with both sadness and hope. It really shows how good a book this was in that it made me feel so many emotions; from happiness to extreme sadness.

Highly recommended.

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