Review: Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre

When I first read the synopsis of this, I was intrigued. Can you imagine waking up in someone else’s body? I would flip out. That’s exactly what happens to Liv when her and Morgan and their boyfriends get into a car accident. Liv seems to have died, while Morgan survived. Except she didn’t, sorta.

But it’s not just the new body that would freak me out. It’s the mysterious texts. The boyfriend that should be mine, if she were really Morgan, and the general sense that nothing is as it should be.

When Liv finds a file in Morgan’s room, a whole new world opens up for her. There is more going on around her than she ever knew. Scary and horrifying, if I’m being honest. She must try and put the pieces of her past together and see why this has tampered with her future.

My heart was racing a quite a few times as I was reading. I wanted to read faster just to get to the end. When it was over, I sat back and wondered what in the world just happened. There’s a bit of mystery, romance and sci-fi working here. While it was good, I’m having a hard time figuring out how I feel about the end. For some reason I didn’t expect it to happen this way, and yet my head can’t wrap around any other way it could’ve happened. What a ride!

~Melpomene
Buy Like Never and Always https://amzn.to/2JDe2Cq

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The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson

Miranda inherits a bookshop – and a whole slew of secrets. Fun and clever, The Bookshop contains many allusions to Shakespeare, a literary mystery, and a box of family treasures.

Problem was, I solved the mystery in the first couple chapters, and the Shakespearean quotes bogged me down after a while. I think a little more work ensuring the book flowed effortlessly (for the reader!) would have helped. Even though I really liked Miranda and the other bookshop staff, and I thought that Meyerson did a good job developing the friendships, the family relationships and the mystery itself all seemed a little contrived. All’s well that ends well, though, right?

(get it?)

-calliope

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Quick Review: The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz

Holy cannoli!! What a wild ride! Creepy and twisted and oddly addicting. Tiffany knows how to wield the pen and create fantastical stories that grab you from the very first page. From the moment I opened this book, I was sucked in and couldn’t put it down. I found myself talking out loud, and often, in order to make heads or tails about what happened. And I should pat myself on the back, because I was right!! Well, my first gut feeling was right. The more I read, the more I changed my mind, but I kept coming back to my original thought. Yay, me!

Allison goes back to house she grew up in, only to confront her past ghosts. Something happened that made her leave and she is determined to find out what really happened. She meets up with all her past family and finds out that there were more secrets than she ever imagined. But she will stop at nothing to uncover what really happened.

This book made me uncomfortable, and not because it’s made up, but because it’s probably real. While the story itself is made up, the finer points I’m sure happened. Sick and twisted, but forgiving and hopeful. That is all I will say. I want you to go in this with an open and clear mind.

The Lucky Ones is a standalone that will keep you engaged and guessing till the very end. I hope you love it as much as I did! Plus it has a character, from another book, that many may get excited about. I know I did. And it made me love this book even more.

~Melpomene

Buy The Lucky Ones http://amzn.to/2DsIu0x

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

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Review: March of Crime by Jess Lourey

I really really love this series of mystery novels set in small town Minnesota. I’ve waited patiently (and by patiently I mean stalking NetGalley and Amazon and the author’s website) for each new release. And I’ve enjoyed every delicious moment of librarian sleuthing, senior citizen joking, boyfriend avoiding, festival attending, and the good guys overall trying to keep out of trouble while helping find the bad guys. 

But this one failed me. Lourey wrote this installment just a little too much on the other side of lewd and bawdy. I’ve gotten to know the main character over the years, and she wouldn’t forget underwear, much less deliberately go without it. I didn’t like the contrived sensuousness at all. 

The mystery was a little macabre for me as well. I just want to go back to the earlier books and enjoy a decent cozy mystery without wincing and scrinching my nose. 

Maybe my tastes are tame compared to yours. Maybe you like when things get a little crazy and you were disappointed with earlier books, waiting for more crazy to happen. If so, read March of Crime, and you’ve got your wish. 

-calliope

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Review: The Final Vow by Amanda Flower 

This is number three in a series – and I so wish I had read the first two, well, first. I totally dug the storyline: Kelsey Cambridge, historical farm director gets herself embroiled in a murder mystery. And I dug the characters: bridezilla, jerky ex, perky assistant, grouchy good old boys club, Wonder Woman wedding planner, and uber-supportive wannabe boyfriend. But I struggled to empathize with them, because I didn’t get to know them deeply enough. I almost felt my heartbeat faster when things got a little dicey for Kelsey, but for the most part I was on an even keel, just watching the events unfold but not really feeling them. 

I think I need to read number four though. Now that I’ve been introduced to Kelsey et al, I need to see where the romances go, how the Cherry Foundation decides to proceed, and if ringing the bell makes it into daily rotation at Barton Farm. By the end, I was invested, and now I need more!

-Calliope

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Review: The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

01-ab “Love what they destroyed.
Destroy what they loved.”

This story is nothing like I’ve read from Ms. Reisz before. NOTHING. In fact, this story has to be one the most insane stories I have ever read. I went in knowing nothing. No spoilers or anything, just a vague idea that it’s about thievery and bourbon. That’s it. But when I finished I sat back and wish I took Dramamine for all the twists and turns this book had. A truly wild ride.

SYNOPSIS
When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it’s to discover he’s been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it’s property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris.

In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.

You must go into this story blind to truly appreciate the way the story unwinds itself on the pages. Deception, lies and revenge are the main themes of this tale. And one seriously messed up family. I won’t reveal spoilers, but I will say that you’ll never see the end coming. While some parts in this story will make you squirm, if you just take a deep breath, you’ll be fine.

To be honest, I held off reading this because I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this more, or even as much, as her Original Sinners series. That series is bananas. But I am so glad I took a chance. Tiffany has a writing style that is so addicting, you can’t help but be sucked in. You won’t be disappointed in anything you read from her.

~Melpomene

Buy The Bourbon Thief HERE