Review: How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst

I hate it when I get a book and then forget about it. I mean, something drew me to that story. But then, something drew me to another story. And then another. And before I knew it, original story was somewhat forgotten. Admit it, you’ve done the same thing. Luckily, though, this one made its way back onto my radar. Because it would have been a shame to miss it.

Emma/Susan has done her time. No matter that she can’t really remember what she did. She was tried and convicted of the most horrific crime imaginable – killing her baby. But now she’s out and trying to build some semblance of a new life. Then the pictures start coming. Somebody is determined to dredge up a past she’d rather not think about. Soon, though, she begins to have doubts. Is her inability to remember that terrible night actually her mind trying to tell her she didn’t do it? As she begins to dig deeper, someone seems determined to stop her. Too many secrets, too many unanswered questions to just let it go.

This is a good story, predictable at times but gripping nonetheless. There were many things I figured out along the way but just as many that threw me for a loop. The ending did become a bit muddled with too many characters doing too many things in an effort to wrap it all up. My fault for rushing to get to the end, I suppose…


Buy It Now: How I Lost You


Review: Charlatans by Robin Cook

Medical mysteries are a dime a dozen these days. Great ones, however, are a different story. Robin Cook is one of the best, a master of the genre.

Boston Memorial Hospital. Noah’s finally achieved his dream of working at this state of the art medical institution. And everything is going his way. He’s busy and has almost no social life to speak of, sure. But he’s rapidly moving up the ranks and earning quite a reputation as a surgeon. And then several unexpected deaths occur. Not under his hand, but when he’s called upon to help investigate these deaths he finds himself right in the thick of it.

Enter Dr. Ava London. The highly regarded anesthesiologist is under suspicion of negligence and must prove her innocence. When Noah becomes involved with Ava, matters definitely become more complicated. As their relationship intensifies, Noah’s suspicions about Ava begin to grow. He starts to question himself. Is he just being paranoid or is she really hiding something?

This story reads like vintage Robin Cook. Medical jargon, secrets, murder, suspense…it’s all there. I did feel like the ending was rushed and left too many unanswered questions. Still, a good one!


Buy It Now: Charlatans

Review: This Is Not a Love Letter by Kim Purcell


Teenage love is hard, no doubt.  Surely this is the person you’ll be with for the rest of your life, right?  And there’s no possible way you can live without them, is there?

For young Jessie, it all becomes a bit overwhelming.  Sure, she loves Chris with all her heart.  And she can’t imagine her life without him.  But when things start moving a bit too fast, getting a bit too permanent, she decides to slow it down a bit.  Just a break, she tells, him.  Just one week.  A chance to take a step back and breath for a minute.

And then Chris disappears. And she wants him back.  But it’s too late.  She makes all kinds of promises to herself and everyone else.  If only he’ll come home, things will be different.  She didn’t really want a break.  She’s sorry, she misses him, things will be better than ever.  If only it were that simple.

This story is all kinds of things at once.  It’s a love story, sure.  But it’s also a mystery. Exactly what did happen to Chris?  It’s also an excellent take on teenage issues.  A great read!


Buy It Now:  This Is Not a Love Letter

Review: The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

Whenever I find myself rushing through the pages of a book, it means one of two things. It’s either a really bad book that for some reason I feel obligated to finish, or it’s one of those “grab you by the seat of your pants and don’t let go” books. In this case, fortunately, it’s the latter.

Two women, each trying to make a fresh start after a traumatic event. Emma is struggling to feel safe after being violently attacked in her own home. Jane is still trying to come to terms with the loss of her stillborn baby. Although their stories take place at different times, both women feel as if the house at One Folgate Place is just what they need to recover. Sure, there are A LOT of rules in place. But the price is right so they go for it despite any reservations they might have.

It’s really hard to describe what’s happening in this story. Told from two viewpoints and in two different time periods, you have to work a bit to keep the storylines separate. But then they begin to converge, and this is where the real creepiness begins. An obsessive owner, intrusive technology, secrets each woman is keeping…there’s a lot going on. But trust me, it’s worth it. A few of the twists were expected, a couple of twists at the very end really surprised me. A great thriller!


Buy It Now: The Girl Before

Review: The Man in the Black Suit by Sylvain Reynard

“I’m no longer the prey. I’m the predator.”

For those who’ve heard of Sylvain Reynard books but didn’t want to feel obligated to read a trilogy, this book is perfect for you. The Man in the Black Suit was pure SR. Romance and intrigue galore. I can’t explain it, but there’s just something about SR’s writing that instantly connects me. I am never bored, nor do I skim. I read slowly to absorb every beautiful word. Perhaps it’s the scenery or even the romantic words? Perhaps it’s all the art? I’m not sure. I don’t even know who or what they’re discussing, but the passion that’s shown is what keeps me engaged.

In this story, Acacia and Nicholas start out on the wrong foot. I mean, he seemed like such a stuck up jerk. I wasn’t sure how she was going to get past his outer snottiness. But it was going to be so much fun watching these two clash. Their chemistry is off the charts. Acacia tries to maintain a work relationship with Nicholas but soon admits defeat and finds herself on a road she never thought possible.

“Acacia, there’s so much corruption in my world. Lies, betrayel, viciousness. You don’t know how lovely it is to be in the presence of someone truthful and honorable.”

From the very first page I was completely sucked in. The intrigue and suspense had me at the edge of my seat. And as I was reading, I felt like I was seeing all the beautiful art and people around me. It was like I was living in this book. That is what SR does to me.

Thank you, SR, for sharing your beautiful words with us. I know when I open up one of your books, I’m going to be immediately transported into a world filled with beauty and I’m not sure I ever want to leave.


Buy The Man in the Black Suit

Review: One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus


High school can be a killer.  Literally in this story by Karen M. McManus.  I mean, my time in high school was no walk in the park but I never had to deal with the mysterious death of a classmate…

Five kids walk into detention.  Only four walk out.  Each of the survivors had their own reasons for wanting Simon dead.  Let’s be honest, he wasn’t really a nice person.  As the creator of a popular gossip app, his specialty was finding out the deepest darkest secrets and putting them out there for the world to see.  But killing him seems to be taking things a bit too far.  When everyone’s a suspect, who can you really trust?

A good story, entirely plausible in today’s world of instant gratification and immediate access to all kinds of info good and bad.


Buy It Now:  One of Us Is Lying

Murder Over Mochas by Caroline Fardig

Solid, cute, cozy mystery with a dead guy, an amateur sleuth, an ex-fiancé, an ex-boyfriend, a potential boyfriend, and a couple of cops. Oh – and a coffee shop! I’m going to admit, I often choose books based on their covers, and I chose this one for the coffee. #yesidid

The protagonist Juliet is likable and genuine. I liked that I could envision her expressions and feel her exasperation. The police officers and a few other secondary characters were a little bit one dimensional to me, but I didn’t mind, as I was busy trying to solve the mystery before they did. I liked Juliet’s best friend Pete, also. He’s a sturdy, reliable dude – and every cozy mystery needs a Pete.

Fardig did a nice job weaving a creative, fresh mystery with just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. I was onto the perp before Juliet was, but it still took me a good while to do it, and I had fun from beginning to end.