Posted in Reviews

Review: Full Circle by Regina Timothy

Today I’m posting my review of Full Circle by Regina Timothy – make sure to check back tomorrow for a special Q&A with Ms. Timothy!

4.5/5 ⭐️

If there’s one word I’d use to describe this book, it’s “journey.” The story chronicles relationships and various issues spanning several years and has so many emotional moments, you’ll feel like you’ve been on a rollercoaster when you finish it.

I mean all of this in a good way, of course. I really enjoyed all the characters’ perspectives, seeing their lives and struggles and ultimately witnessing their various choices and how it impacted the lives around them.

The book is told from multiple perspectives, including three women, all of whom have been touched in various ways by the 9/11 attacks. The main character is Samia, an Iraqi immigrant who escaped a terrible situation at home, only to find that the American dream isn’t all she thought it would be. Over the course of the novel, Samia is forced to confront prejudice, her son’s troubles and her harrowing past.

The emotion in the book is palpable, I could feel the characters coming through the pages and I really enjoyed all three main women’s characters, which were diverse and strong in all different ways. I was rooting for each one of them.

The story was so packed with action and suspense, I found myself really turning pages toward the end, excited/anxious to know how it worked out. The stories all came together expertly, which I really appreciated.

I also greatly enjoyed that the novel ends on a positive note, with hope for the future. Today, more than ever, I feel like we need that.

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Review: Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

Don't Wake UpDon’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Suspense fans, this one’s for you!

The mystery begins on page one and doesn’t let up until the very last chapter. I was so hooked.

Before I get into it, read this description and see what I mean:

Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table. The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor.

The choice he forces her to make is utterly unspeakable.

But when Alex re-awakens, she’s unharmed – and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind.

And then she meets the next victim.

Ok – so as you can tell one of the central mysteries is what happened, if anything happened at all! And I couldn’t even tell THAT until the end. Every time I thought I had it under control, something would make me question myself.

I really liked Alex, even if she was hard to get a grip on, and I was very much invested in her story from the beginning. It’s a nightmare everyone has, and she very possibly lived through it.

The author is very skilled at creating rich characters and a very complex plot without giving much away. There’s a lot of moving parts and they are very nicely tied together at the end.

I really enjoyed the ending. It was a fitting conclusion to a great novel. I don’t want to say too much because this book is so good, you’ll want to enjoy it yourself.

Just go get it. Seriously.

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Review: Our Little Secret by Darren O’Sullivan

Our Little SecretOur Little Secret by Darren O’Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I. Devoured. This. Book.

The premise is one that draws you in almost immediately, and I just had to keep reading until I found out what happened, and once that picture became clear, I had to know how it turned out.

The book follows two people: Chris, who goes to a train station to kill himself while in a deep depression about his wife, who was killed 10 months before; and Sarah, who happens to run into Chris at the platform and interrupts his plans. Both are then forced to deal with the aftermath and face their personal demons.

The pacing is very quick in this novel – you’re thrown right into the situation at the train platform. When I began reading the novel, before I knew it, I had read 10 percent of it! The rest of the novel goes equally as fast as you see both people struggle in the aftermath of their initial meeting.

I liked that it’s easy to put yourself in the middle of the story and wonder what would happen if you were there. It’s such an average thing – sitting, waiting for a train – that you can’t help but think after you read this: what are the others on this platform thinking? You never know, apparently.

The ending is a doozy, and as it becomes clear, it’s great. It just grips you.

Highly recommended.

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Review: Buried on the Fens by Joy Ellis

4Buried on the Fens (Nikki Galena Series #7)Buried on the Fens by Joy Ellis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ever since I read “Their Lost Daughters” earlier this year, I’ve been a big fan of Joy Ellis. “Buried on the Fens” is the latest in the DI Nikki Galena series, and I loved it just as much. I really enjoy how Ellis can take what seems like a straightforward mystery and creates a twisty, explosive haters that will shock you to your very core.

While the novel is in a series, it can be read as a standalone, no problem.

Nikki Galena is called to a country church, where an old skeleton has been found, obviously the victim of a brutal murder years ago. As Nikki and her team investigate, they’re pulled into a 30-year-old mystery which seems to still be affecting people in the modern day. At the same time, another murder is confounding Nikki’s team. A woman was murdered and the people that knew her best – all members of a secret drinking society – aren’t talking. Everything collides in spectacular fashion as the investigations continue.

The atmosphere of this book is amazing. It’s all about secrets and trying to crack through layers of silence and misdirection. Plus, it opens with scenes in a creepy church graveyard on a quiet English marsh. Awesome.

There’s no way I saw the ending coming, and I really enjoyed it. It was extremely satisfying. I like how Ellis really blends together good and bad, really making you question who’s doing “right” and what exactly constitutes “wrong.” The characters aren’t all good or all bad. Except the villain in this one – they are uh…..really bad.

I would absolutely read more in this series. It was absolutely great.

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It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate.

Last week was a great reading week for me, and I’m excited about some things coming up, so I’m eager to share! OK, here we go:

What I read last week:

Both were very good!

What I’m currently reading:


“Buried on the Fens” by Joy Ellis – I’m about 20 percent through and things are really heating up!

What’s up next:


I’ve read others in this series and they were excellent so I’m pretty hyped to check this next installment out!

Happy reading everyone!

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The Mayfly by James Hazel

The MayflyThe Mayfly by James Hazel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First things first: This book was FANTASTIC. If you’re a mystery/thriller fan, you need to check this book out. OK, now on to the details.

I don’t want to give too much away because the reveals are great, and you’re going to want to stay up late reading.

The book follows Charlie Priest, a former cop turned lawyer with his own issues. But despite his flaws, he’s a fantastic investigator, who is attacked by a strange man one night in his home. The next day, the man is dead – killed brutally – and the victim’s family wants to hire Priest to figure out what happened. The answers lie deep in history, from the horrors of Buchenwald in 1945 and a remote farm post-war, all leading to to the present day. Priest must fight to figure out what is going on as the body count rises.

The elements of the book are blended really well, creating an atmosphere that just screams “thriller.” This book combines dark history, creepy families and just enough gore to make you want to sleep with one eye open. Figuring out how all the pieces fit together is a great challenge and I did not figure it out before the ending.

The scenario presented in the book is just real enough to really scare you, which also adds to the fun. The characters are fantastic; well written and flawed, but with enough character to like them. I think this is the start of a new series, and I’m ecstatic to see them again.

Overall, I throughly enjoyed this book. It is one of my top reads so far this year.

Highly recommended.

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In the Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell

In the Shadow of LakecrestIn the Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I DEVOURED this book.

I was worried that the historical (1920’s) setting would give the book a stilted/overly complicated style. But this book was such an easy read on top of such a great story, that I didn’t even realize how quickly I was racing through it.

The novel tells the love story of Kate Moore – raised by a poor mother who dreamed of a rich, handsome husband for her only child – and Matthew Lemont, a wealthy heir to a Chicago family’s fortune and terrible legacy. The Lemonts are well-respected, but also feared due to rumors of strange happenings on the family estate, Lakecrest. Many of the tumors surround Matthew’s aunt, Cecily, an eccentric artist who disappeared into a strange building 16 years before. As Kate unravels the family’s secrets, can she keep her sanity and her life from falling apart?

This story has it all: rumors of strange, heathen rituals, an evil mother-in-law, family secrets, a weird, sprawling estate; literally every gothic novel element is there, just waiting to be unraveled. And the author does a great job of using each element just enough to keep you guessing. There are enough moving parts to keep you guessing until the end.

I also liked that you couldn’t trust any of the characters in the novel. It wasn’t clear who was telling the truth, who was insane, etc. throughout the book. Even Kate comes under suspicion. That’s really the mark of a great suspense novel, when you truly feel you can’t even trust the person telling the story – you’re so wrapped up in the intrigue.

I also loved the ending. So neat and clean. It really was the exact perfect way it should have ended.

I highly recommend this novel to people who love suspense and great thrillers. I look forward to this author’s next work.

A++

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