Review: Girls’ Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

The market is flooded with mysteries. Every time one hits the top of the charts, a hundred more promising the same formula follow suit. I’m not going to pretend this newest one is one of those such books, but it is very good.

Three’s a crowd, right? Even though Natalie, Ashley, and Lauren have been friends for years, Ashley is the center around which they revolve. It seems as if the other two have always been vying for her attention, to be the one closest to her. But life and circumstances have driven them apart somewhat. Ashley, desperate to regain that closeness, arranges a girls’ weekend in Mexico. And then Ashley disappears. And Natalie can’t remember what happened. Did she have something to do with Ashley’s disappearance? Along the way, of course, secrets are revealed and motives are questioned.

This is a great beach read. Well, I don’t actually go to the beach but if I did I imagine this is the type of book I’d want to have with me. It’s fun and fast-paced and predictable while at the same time having a few twists and turns. Just in time for the summer reading season!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Girls’ Night Out

Review: Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

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I love medical mysteries.  Some of my classic favorites are from Robin Cook, the master of the genre.  So when I read the description of this new one, I just knew it was for me.

When Dr. Alex Taylor wakes up on an operating table, she’s naturally confused.  Did she suffer an accident that she can’t remember?  Nope, it’s something much more sinister.  Or at least that’s what she believes.  But her story of abduction by a madman is so absurd that nobody believes her, even though she’s a highly respected surgeon.  And then when strange things continue to happen, her credibility is further damaged.  And her sanity is called into question.  Can she get anybody to believe that her experience is somehow connected to a series of mysterious deaths?  And will it be too late to save herself?

This is a classic thriller.  It has all the elements needed for a suspenseful who-dunnit.  A great summer read!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Don’t Wake Up

Review: Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

remember-meThis was a book I really needed to read. I picked this one up from the charity table at my local co-op. I used to love Sophie Kinsella. It’s been a few year since I’ve read her so I thought I might revisit her writing again. Yesterday I decided to take this book with me in the car. Since moving to England I get car sick whilst reading my kindle. I wondered if it would happen with a dtb. To my delight it didn’t! I zoomed through a couple hundred pages. Then finished it today.

Here we have Lexi trying to regain the memories of the past 3 years. She lost the memories after a slight car accident.

I wonder how all of us would act and how lost we would be of we suddenly woke up one day and three years had passed. As You can imagine Lexi has a lot to come to terms with. She tries to reconcile this new, unknown Lexi with the Lexi she knew from before. Many of the pieces don’t fit and she struggles to make them all fit.

This has been a very tough week for me. My father’s birthday would have been this past week. A time I could always rely on knowing I would talk to him. His death hits me at times like waves. I felt greatly pulled under and lost the last few weeks. I lost a spider. Not a huge thing to many people I suppose, but gutting to me. And I’ve had the worst case of PMS I can remember. I’ve cried endless tears for no reason. I’ve been sad. I’ve been total drama queen. Like I said, it’s been a horrible week. Why say all of this in a review?

Because, books like this are seriously what has helped me get through the tough patches in my life. I loved this book because I could laugh a bit…because I could worry about someone else’s problems for a change…because I could sympathize with someone else and stop feeling sorry for myself…because for just a few hours I was able to forget…

I was lucky to find such a book as this for me just when I needed it. Thanks Ms Kinsella for making my week a little bit better. I truly needed it…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

Review: I Found You by Lisa Jewell

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I admit, mysteries and thrillers are probably my genre du jour.  And the more twisty and turny, the better.  This one was definitely that!

When Alice comes across a strange man on the beach, she immediately senses he needs help.  He has no memory, nothing to indicate where he came from.  So of course she takes him in until he can figure out just who he is.  And predictably, she falls for him along the way.

Meanwhile, young newlywed Lily is in a panic because her husband has disappeared without a trace.  He just went to work one day and never came home.  While trying to find him, she discovers he wasn’t who she thought he was.   In fact, the man she married doesn’t even exist.

Step back in time, now, to a tragic event that happened on the very same beach where Alice came across her handsome stranger.  Could these events possibly related?  And could Lily’s missing husband be connected?  But of course!   It wouldn’t be a thriller otherwise.

I love Lisa Jewell’s stories.  They rely heavily on characters and family connections while at the same time portraying them authentically.  Her latest is no different.  Grab it!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  I Found You

Review: Burying Water by K.A. Tucker

burying-water-9781476774183_hrDisclaimer: An earlier review of this book was previously posted to the blog. However, in light of the second part of the story being released tomorrow, I felt that another look at this wonderful story was needed!

Almost 2 am. That’s what time I stayed awake until in order to finish this book. And at my age, that doesn’t happen very often.

When “Jane” wakes up in a hospital, she has absolutely no memory of how she got there or even of who she is. With the help of the sheriff who found her on the side of the road and his surgeon wife who saved her life, Jane begins to build a new life. But there’s something about the sheriff’ son, Jesse, that niggles at her lost memory. There’s definitely an attraction but something tells her it goes deeper than that. Told from alternating perspectives, the story also switches from past to present. We hear Jane’s present-day story as she struggles to find herself. And then there’s Jesse’s story leading us up to Jane’s brutal attack.

Although I’ve seen this book described as a romance, I’d say it falls more into the suspense/thriller genre. The romance is there, most definitely. But that’s not what kept me awake reading to find out what was going to happen next! It’s also been mentioned as the first in a new series which interests me immensely as I’d love to see where the author goes next with these intriguing characters. This is the first book that I’ve read by KA Tucker, but it definitely won’t be the last!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Burying Water: A Novel (The Burying Water Series)

Review: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout

3123874I have to start off by saying how much I enjoyed this book. I expected it to be decent, good even. But it was much better than I had anticipated.

The story beings with Samantha surfacing from some type of traumatic event. She has no knowledge of what happened and no memory of the person she used to be. She does know, however, that she was likely the last person to see best friend Cassie, who is now missing. In addition to trying to regain her memory, Samantha starts to realize that she doesn’t like the person she used to be. She’s rich, popular, beautiful, has a handsome boyfriend, and is a typical mean girl. So in fact losing her memory gives her a second chance at life, at becoming the person she wants to be. But when her memories start to resurface, she realizes that something dangerous is lurking in the background.

This was an excellent story for me. I really liked Samantha, and her interactions with the other “mean girls” were entirely believable. There’s also a nice little thriller element to the story with a few surprises towards the end. A highly compelling story that was hard for me to put down!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Don’t Look Back (A Novel)

Review: Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

20140209-163912.jpgA young single mother dies a violent death. Her two young children witness this horror. With no family members to take them in, they are at the mercy of the courts until an adoptive family is found. Not only is the family willing to adopt both young children, they are also extremely wealthy. And they all live happily ever after…or not.

Things start out well enough for Jamie and his sister Cate when they’re adopted by the Henry family. They fit right in and are soon enrolled in private school, horse-riding lessons, piano lessons, and everything else that being part of a well-off family entails. But as they enter their teenage years, Cate begins to spiral downward in a cycle of drug and alcohol abuse as well as signs of mental illness. Cate’s wild ways catch up with her when she’s sentenced to a juvenile detention facility for burning down a neighborhood horse barn. Jamie’s life without Cate settles into a predictable, safe rhythm. That is, until Cate is released. It starts with threatening phone calls and soon Jamie is seeing Cate everywhere he looks. She’s come back for him, and she’s still crazy. Or is she?

This second novel by Stephanie Kuehn had me flipping pages, or in my case pushing page turn buttons, faster than you can imagine. It’s an intense, on-the-edge of your seat novel that I finished in one day. I kinda thought I had it figured out towards the end but there was still enough suspense at the end to satisfy me. And a big plus for young adult readers is that it’s a fairly safe book with only the hint of sexual tension between teenagers. Grab this one and plan to set everything else aside until you finish it!

~Thalia

Buy it Now: Complicit