Review: Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

Oh the drama! Quinn and Nora are distant sisters who would still do anything for each other. Tiffany is Nora’s bff… and a messed up drug addict with an illegitimate daughter. When Nora texts Quinn that she and Tiffany need her help, Quinn steps up. But it’s hard to know how to do the right thing when Nora won’t give her any details, and Tiffany is nowhere to be found.

I was psyched reading the first half of this book – there are good guys and bad guys, weak women and strong women, loving yet dysfunctional mothers, and a criminal so disgusting he turned my stomach. Baart weaves them all together in a dramatic and suspenseful plot, a story you don’t want to stop reading because you can’t believe what’s happening next.

And then — I’m not sure if it was my particular frame of mind, or if I’ve just read way too many books — I by mistake figured out the one big unknown. The mystery. The root of the drama. The guy who caused the secrets to grow bigger and bigger. And I hate that I figured it out, because it ruined the rest of the story for me. I skimmed the last half of the book, just in case there were some worthy plot points (and there were).

Baart is a master at expressing the love and confusion and envy and all the emotions in a sisterly relationship. What I appreciated most is that Baart lets her female characters be unapologetically themselves. There are no victims here, except maybe a little girl. The grown women own their choices, support each other, and make their own new beginnings.

-calliope

Buy LITTLE BROKEN THINGS (publishes on Nov.21, 2017)

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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.

-calliope

Buy MURDER OVER MOCHAS

Review: The Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson

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There are certain things I look for in a gripping psychological thriller.  Great characters, engaging storyline, plausibility, a nice little twist or two…if these things are present then I’m likely to enjoy and recommend it to others.  This newest release from Kerry Wilkinson fits the bill.

Olivia is the girl who disappeared 13 years ago, and now she’s back.  Her mom and dad couldn’t be happier, although there are other people in their small village who have their doubts.  Where has she been all this time?  What exactly happened that day she disappeared from their backyard?  And why has she suddenly reappeared?  Questions abound as the mystery deepens.  If she’s an imposter, what does she want?

This was a great little story, full of suspense.  It kept me guessing until almost the very end which is no small feat.  Grab it and settle in for an enjoyable ride!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Girl Who Came Back

Review: When I Am Through with You

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This one didn’t go anything like I was expecting.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  However, it does make for a difficult task writing a review without giving too much away.

Teenagers, weekend hike in the mountains, somebody dies.  That’s the story in a nutshell.  There’s a bit more to it, of course.  Ben starts off the story by telling you that he killed someone.  Not just any someone, but his girlfriend while at the same time claiming to love her very much.  Just how and why he killed her remains a mystery for much of the story.  Along the way we’re introduced to a host of other characters with their own bits of intrigue.

While this was a good enough story, I feel like it could have been more.  I somehow felt cheated by the ending as I was expecting something a bit juicier.  Still, it’s suspenseful enough to keep you interested as you wonder just what’s going to happen with this ragtag group of teenagers out in the middle of nowhere.

Read it and let me know what you think!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  When I Am Through with You

~~Review: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

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High school can be brutal.  Even more so when you’re the new girl.  Finding new friends can be a lifesaver.  Or not…

Kacey’s only known the dysfunction of life with her mother.  So when she moves in with her dad, things are shockingly normal. Including her stepmother and step siblings.  She even makes new friends, tops among them being Bailey and Jade.  Amazing how quickly they took her in and made her one of their own.  Maybe a bit too quickly?

When Bailey goes missing, all eyes turn to Kacey.  What does she know about Bailey’s disappearance?  And does it have anything to do with the legend of that creepy ghost lady everyone likes to talk about?  Kacey soon finds out that her new friends aren’t at all what they seem to be.

This is mean girls at its finest. Two’s company, three’s a crowd and all that.  The real thrill, though, comes from the many twists and turns along the way.  It’ll keep you guessing up until the very end.  And after you’re done guessing, you’ll just be shocked.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Little Monsters

Review: Honor by Jay Crownover

I am kicking myself for waiting so long to read this book. I’ve read everything Jay’s written and yet, for some insane reason, I held off on this one. I think my brain knew the next book was coming out in October, so it made me wait. Yes, let’s go with that.

When I read the introduction, I was immediately nervous. Will I like Nassir? Will he be too damaged to change? Then I read the prologue. And let me tell you, anyone can change, if they have the right motivation. Is Nassir perfect? Nope. He’s what you’d call an anti-hero. He may make you cringe at his methods of doing things, but he does them for the right reasons. He’s just a little more extreme than most. But when he meets Keelyn “Honor”, everything changes for him.

I loved these two together. After being shot in the previous book, she fought to stay away from Nassir, thinking that’s what was best for her. She had a rough life and wanted peace. But she was so wrong. When she finally accepts him, and what he offers her, there’s no backing away. These two were connected from the very first moment they laid eyes on each other. Rather intense, if you ask me. My heart was racing quite a bit during this book. Intense may actually be a mild for how they are together. Explosive. That’s better.

Nassir and Key may be one of my favorite Crownover couples. I love the crazy love and crazy atmosphere they live in. Definitely kept me on my toes and had me reading slow, so I could savor it all. This world they live in is rough and unkind, but they make it work. I am super excited to read the next one! I bet it’s going to be even crazier. You don’t need to read the previous Point books to fully enjoy this one. But I still recommend you do, since the characters pop up in here and Nassir is in those ones as well.

~Melpomene

Grab Honor HERE

Review: The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

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Diane Chamberlain does it to me every time.  She writes stories that are so amazingly compelling that I find myself rushing through them while at the same time savoring the brilliance of the story.  Her latest is even better than that.

Tess has everything she’s ever wanted.  She’s surrounded by family and friends, close to graduating from nursing school, and engaged to the love of her life.  Then one mistake, one night, changes everything.  A drunken encounter with a strange man leaves her pregnant.  Suddenly her entire life is in upheaval.  Having a child out of wedlock in 1944 is out of the question.  So she does the only thing she knows to do.  She leaves the life she knows behind without much of an explanation to anyone.

When she settles in North Carolina with the father of her child, things definitely don’t go as expected.  She’s seen as an outsider by almost everyone in the small town.  Her new mother-in-law doesn’t care for her, and neither does her sister-in-law Lucy. Although Henry’s kind to her and she wants for nothing, he doesn’t really act like a husband.  And then there’s the accident.  Lucy’s dead, and everybody blames Tess.

But as her outsider status grows, so does her suspicion that something’s going on with Henry.  Not only is he increasingly distant, he’s gone for long periods of time during the night.  Oh and there’s that stash of hidden money she comes across…

I loved this book.  That’s not really surprising because I love this author.  But this one’s a bit different.  The historical fiction element was wonderfully written and made for one heck of a story.   This story will likely go down as one of my favorites from Diane Chamberlain.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Stolen Marriage