Review/ Winter Solstice

Review/ Winter SolsticeWinter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand
Published by Little, Brown and Company on October 3rd 2017
Pages: 304
Source: ARC From Publisher
Goodreads

*The USA Today Bestseller* Raise one last glass with the Quinn Family at the Winter Street Inn.
It's been too long since the entire Quinn family has been able to celebrate the holidays under the same roof, but that's about to change. With Bart back safe and sound from Afghanistan, the Quinns are preparing for a holiday more joyous than any they've experienced in years. And Bart's safe return isn't the family's only good news: Kevin is enjoying married life with Isabelle; Patrick is getting back on his feet after paying his debt to society; Ava thinks she's finally found the love of her life; and Kelly is thrilled to see his family reunited at last. But it just wouldn't be a Quinn family gathering if things went smoothly. A celebration of everything we love--and some of the things we endure--about the holidays, WINTER SOLSTICE is Elin Hilderbrand at her festive best.

I quickly have to thank Little Brown and Company for sending me a advance readers copy of this fourth and probably final book in the Winter series. I would only hope that Elin decides to perhaps write a fifth book to kind of just tie up some loose ends as to what happens next and I could see that there could be another book but its always hard to tell in these cases.

I loved this series and I think it was a great introduction into Elin Hilderbrand’s writing and its peeked my interested that I decided in 2018 I need to do a Elin Hilderbrand reading challenge and read her other series. Is there a series I should start off with?

Like the previous books the Quinn family heads to Nantucket for the holiday season to be together as a family in what possibly could be the last one together.

In the previous book Kelly, the father has brain cancer and has decided to stop treatment so every day could possibly be the last day. He wants to be with his family and take it all in without being sick with chemicals in his body. He wants to go on his terms not anyone elses.

The book is told in alternating voices of the Quinn family like the previous ones. In my previous reviews I have always gone in order but this time I am going to start with Bart. He is finally home safe and sound but still dealing with the lingering affects of what he endured. He is secluded in his room dealing with the fact he watched his friends being killed. Mitzi is trying everything to help her son and things having a big birthday party is just the thing. He is against it the whole time but gives in because he wants to make his mother happy and I honestly think he is happy that he let her do it because he finally gets a happy ending and this is one of the reason I think Bart needs a series of his own or at least a book. I loved Bart.

Ava is now living in NYC and has a new boyfriend. She is teaching music at a private school and is loving it. She is on the  right track with the new boyfriend but hits a road bump when his ex comes to town with her new boyfriend and his son. Things get off to a rocky start between everyone. I am happy that Ava didn’t give up and throw in the towel. I think this also could be another book.

Kevin and Isabelle are the happy little family and parents to two kids and their business is starting to take out.

Finally Patrick is trying to get his own business back up but is finding it hard. His wife, Jennifer is a interior decorator and trying her best to keep the family going but hits a road blog when a client is asking for more and puts her in a awkward position. Will she tell Patrick what really happens?

As I have mentioned throughout the review I think each of these characters could have a book or series of there own and I would clearly read them because I want to know more and what happens to them. As you can see I am invested in them.

I was reading that one of the characters in the book Eddie is actually a character in the book The Rumor so I think I will need to check that out because his character was tossed into the book and he had a shady past that I wanted to know more about because its like he came in from left field.

I hope that this is not the end of the characters. I really enjoyed these quick reads and so happy I read them.

 

Review/ Beyond Love

Review/ Beyond LoveBeyond Love (Beyond, #2) by D.D. Marx
Published by Beyond Dreams Publishing Group on November 7th 2017
Pages: 184
Goodreads

After trusting in her beloved friend Dan’s guidance from above, Olivia is finally on the path to realizing her destiny. Staring at a blank canvas after ditching her raucous corporate life and meeting the love of her life, Finn McDaniels, a hot, widowed, celebrity chef, she is ready to begin anew. When she arrives back home to tie up the loose ends in Chicago, she receives more frightening news further delaying her journey with Finn. Unable to control the outcome, she begins questioning her trust and faith in Dan once again. She distracts herself the only way she knows how, by diving head first into a new project. What seemed like a time killer may actually be the thing that saves her and catapults her into a world she never dreamed of.

When Olivia and Finn finally reunite, a deep dark secret is uncovered threatening to ruin the relationship she has waited for her entire life. Olivia is forced to decide whether to tell Finn or let it live in the past forever. Is their relationship strong enough to weather the storm or will it cause them to part ways for good?

I quickly want to thank Laura from iReadBookTours for allowing me to be a part of the tour for this series and for sending me copies of the book to read for my honest and sincere review.

This is the second book in the series and it picks up where Beyond Believing ended. You can click HERE to read my review of that book.

Once again the book is told in two points of view and that is of Olivia and Finn. I was excited to start this because I wanted to know what our lovely couple was up to. This book did not disappoint and I should warn you in advance this is another one that you should have tissues on hand because there were a few moments I was crying a bit.

This was also a super quick read and I have to thank spraining my ankle last week for allowing me to read this pretty much in one sitting. It felt strange being able to curl up on the couch and read during the day. Its been awhile since I have done that.

I should say that I wouldn’t read this as a book on its own and that you really should read the first book to get the full story line. I am excited to see where the third book will go with this.

Anyways back to the book. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil it and because its the second book in the series. But what I will say is that Olivia and Finn have decided to move in together so she is in the process of selling her condo so that she can move to  California.

One her way back from being with Finn she is on the airplane and discovers that her seat mate is related to one of her best friends from college and before long they are all hanging out. This makes you realize how small the world really is.

Beyond Love comes with all kinds of twists and turns. Just when you think you are living the life and things are going good you are suddenly reminded that its not all a bed of roses. Thats exactly what happens once Olivia gets back to Chicago. Without going into to much detail she gets some bad news that literally shakes up her world and leaves her questioning things and Dan. Whenever there was a problem or situation that came up she turned to Dan for guidance and he would some how convoy the message that things will be okay but with everything that is happening she is questioning if Dan is really there for her. Questioning why he would send her someone only  to have him possibly taken away from her.

When Olivia and Finn are finally able to reunite things seem good but then a secret from Olivia’s past has come to surface and she is struggling about what to do. Does she keep it hidden? Or does she come clean and possibly risking her future with Finn?

I can’t wait to read the third and finally book, Beyond Forever to see what happens to Olivia and Finn. Be sure to come back in early December to read my review of that. I am actually just about ready to curl back up on the couch to read it now.

 

Review/ Seven Days of Us

Review/ Seven Days of UsSeven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak
Published by Berkley Books on October 17th 2017
Pages: 368
Goodreads

A warm, wry, sharply observed debut novel about what happens when a family is forced to spend a week together in quarantine over the holidays...
It's Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew's elder daughter--who is usually off saving the world--will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she's been told she must stay in quarantine for a week...and so too should her family.
For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity--and even decent Wi-Fi--and forced into each other's orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.
As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.
In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who's about to arrive...

Before beginning my review I have to quickly thank Berkley/Penguin Random House for providing me a eARC of the book so that I could review it.

This is a debut novel and one that I really enjoyed reading. It was a pretty quick fun read.

The first thing that sucked me into the book was the synopsis. We can all imagine what it would be like to be stuck with your family during the holidays but image if you were quarantined and you literally had no place to go because you had to stay inside? No one could come in.

I think I would be somewhat okay but I am sure I would crack at the seams eventually. So I have my fingers crossed I am never in that situation but at least I would have my books to read right?

The main character is Olivia and she is a doctor who will be coming home for Christmas after several years of being away. Now Olivia was in a highly infected area that is dealing with the haag virus. Its a deadly virus that has taken many lives. They have many strict rules while they were there and needless to say you know that Olivia managed to break those  rules by having a relationship with another dr there.

Olivia’s sister Phoebe still lives at home and you can tell they don’t have the best relationship so having Olivia there puts a kink in her plans. She is newly engaged and in the midst of planning her wedding so being quarantined puts a major kink in her plans.

Another twist is Olivia’s mother. She hasn’t been feeling well and the news isn’t good but she is determined not to say anything to the family because she wants to enjoy this Christmas with the girls because she doesn’t know when it will happen again.

This was such a great read and like I said earlier I really enjoyed it. There is so much more to the book and I think this was a fantastic debut novel. It just goes to show not everyone is perfect and that everyone has secrets no matter how big or small they are. Things like that can only bring a family together or tear them a part.

 

 

 

Review/ There’s Someone Inside Your House

Review/ There’s Someone Inside Your HouseThere's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers on September 26th 2017
Pages: 289
Source: Book Bought
Goodreads

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

I had to admit before getting into my review that I have not read Stephanie Perkins first books and I am not quite sure why because I have them sitting on my tbr but after reading this I really think I want to haul them off and binge read. I know those first books are a completely different genre but still I am now  curious to read them.

I really enjoyed reading this one, I was hooked right away and had a hard time putting the book down at times.

This is completely outside my normal reading genre as you may notice and the reason I don’t read horror is because I have an over active imagination so these kinds of books I don’t usually gravity towards because I am up half the night being paranoid and worried. I do have to say that this isn’t a really horrifying book, I mean yes there was blood and killings but it wasn’t like watching Scream.

I am going to try and be careful with my review because I don’t want to give too much away but if you read the description you get a good feel for what the book is about.

Our main character, Makani, has moved from Hawaii to live with her grandmother in a small Nebraska town. She has no real relationship her parents and I was always wondering why and why did she move to live with her grandmother and that is slowly revealed as you read the book because you know there is a secret there. This secret still haunts her to this day and she has kept in guarded.

We are introduced to quite a few characters such as Alex, Darby, Ollie, Haley, Caleb, Rosemarie and a few others. At first I thought it was going to be too much to keep track of but it was easy to keep track of who was who and the part they play in the story. With the kids that are killed it would have been nice if they had a little more of a story line apart from when they were being killed if that makes sense. It was almost like characters were quickly introduced then killed. I think I might have enjoyed it a lot more had this been the case and they had a stronger storyline.

As for the killer I liked how it was built up because you didn’t really have an idea who it was (I had no idea who it was as there was no introduction of this character before hand) and I wish it would have lasted a bit longer or at least offered a few clues as to who it could be before hand. As for the reason why the killer killed was a bit of a let down. ‘

Over all it was a good book and I had no idea what to expect when I started to read it and I did enjoy reading it and its actually made me think about hauling her other books off my TBR to read.

Have you read this? What did you think?

 

 

Review/ The Lost Causes

Review/ The Lost CausesThe Lost Causes by Alyssa Embree Schwartz, Jessica Koosed Etting
Published by Kids Can Press on September 5th 2017
Pages: 344
Source: ARC From Publisher, Book From Tour Company
Goodreads

They're the kids that no one knows --- or no one wants to know. The rich depressive, the OCD chick, the hypochondriac, the drug abuser, the athlete with anger management issues. All chosen for intensive group therapy because they're out of other options. They're lost causes, the therapist tells them. She promises this support group will help them heal.
There's only one problem. She's not a therapist. And that water she offers? It contains a dangerous serum that gives each of the kids a psychic power.
Suddenly, they can think clearly, speak to ghosts, see the past, even move objects with their mind. Their earlier problems have vanished, but their new freedom comes with a price. Sabrina, Gabby, Z, Justin and Andrew are to help the FBI solve the grisly murder that has rocked their small town. Their new powers will help them uncover clues and follow leads that have eluded the authorities. Their outsider status gives them the perfect cover.
But the same traits that make them top investigators also make them vulnerable. As they close in on the murderer, they expose a much larger conspiracy that puts them directly in harm's way and makes them wonder who --- if anyone --- they can trust.

You probably have noticed that I have been doing quite a bit of reading once again and I have to thank blog tours for getting me back into reviewing as I need to review the books so its been a win win situation.

Before beginning this review I quickly want to thank Rockstar Book Tours for allowing me to be on the tour stop for The Lost Causes and to netgalley for allowing me to download this book and finally  to kids Kids Can Press for approving me to read this.

When I started to read this I quickly thought of my all time favorite movie, The Breakfast Club with the mix of quirky characters who probably wouldn’t be thrown into a situation like this. I should say this is in no way a remix of the movie but when you read it you instantly think of it.

I really enjoyed reading the book. It was a pretty quick read and did it with a few days. I have to say that that I don’t know if this is something I would have picked up on my own because I didn’t hear much about this book before seeing it in my email but once I read the description I had to give this book a try and I am happy that I did. Plus this book was right up my alley with the mystery and suspense.

As I was reading the book I loved how you were kept in suspense because you had no idea what was coming next and I love books like this because as you are reading its nice not having the predictable things happen. I thought it was the perfect pace and one that you can absorb it all before something happens.

The Lost Causes is centered around 5 teenagers who are from all walks of a normal high school life, the jock with serious anger issues, a rich depressive, an OCD chick, the hypochondriac and the drug abuser. This kids might pass each other in the hall and not really pay attention to each other until the FBI brings this group together to help them solve the mysterious death of a local resident.

Can this group manage to help the FBI solve this mystery?

Each of the characters are far from perfect and I think that as once of the nice things about the book because even though you have the jock who has it all in reality he doesn’t and I think that makes the book more relatable to the teens who will read this.

I really hope that there is a book two coming out because there was so many things I am left questioning and I still have a lot of feelings about the characters in the book. I want to know what happens next.

 

 

Review/ Black Bird of the Gallows

Review/ Black Bird of the GallowsBlack Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Published by Entangled Publishing on September 5th 2017
Pages: 300
Goodreads

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.
Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.
What's more, she knows something most don't. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Before being my review I have to thank Chapter By Chapter for allowing me to be a part of this book tour and to Entangled Publishing for sending me a eArc of the book to read for my honest review and participation in the tour.

I personally have to admit that I love taking part in book tours because you can always find a hidden gem in them. The past few months  I decided that I really wanted to branch out in my reading genres and the book tours have been allowing me to do that.

Black Bird in the Gallows is not within my typical reading genre as its described as fantasy,  mythology with I would say some touches of mystery and romance to it as well. In the past I would have looked the other way but I am really happy I took a chance on this debut novel and I will definitely pick up future books that Meg writes.

It was a pretty quick read although it did take me a few days to read. So there was no breezing through this one this time. Even with reading it a few days ago I am still thinking about this book. I have no idea what to compare it to and I think this is a good thing, right?

Our main character is Angie/Sparo (who I have to say I loved. She came off like a girl next door that you could see yourself being friends with.) has living in a van with her mother for quite some time and  Angie is trying to get use to living a normal life with her dad and friends. I loved the relationship she had with her dad because it was so real and how he is so involved impressed me. Angie is just a typical girl but is insecure and at the same time she is a kickass girl who doesn’t back down to anyone even though she is basically being bullied and I think thats how a lot of readers will be able to relate to her. As you get to know her she is a girl of many hidden talents.

Then Reese moves in next door and he seems like a strange character at first because he has a flock of crows that come with him. I thought that was a little creepy at first because I always have associated crows with bad things. I know Reese comes off like I am the man but deep down I could see he wanted to trust Angie and welcome her into his world. I love how he never forced Angie do anything she didn’t want and he let her have a voice.

I think Angie and Reese are my current favorite couple. Their relationship was sweet and innocent and not rushed. I loved watching this develop into something and that Meg didn’t give them a smooth ride in this relationship both over came a lot bumps in the road.

All I can say is you must read this because I can’t describe it in words without wanting to tell you all about the book and that will mean giving away spoilers.

 

 

Review/ Cinderella, Necromancer

About the book:

Cinderella, Necromancer
Author: F.M. Boughan
Publication Date:  September 5, 2017
Publisher:  Month9Books

 Darkness can only be controlled by those with the darkest of hearts.

Ellison lost her mother at an early age. Now, sixteen, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her vicious daughters.

When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her eventual freedom.

Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother’s and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy.

Stumbling into a chance meeting with Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival where she might see him once more.

But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince again? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she’s ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother? And what if she actually liked watching her stepmother suffer?

As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, it becomes harder to tell whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.

CINDERELLA NECROMANCER is CINDER meets ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany

Before getting into my review I just have to thank Chapter by Chapter for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour and to Month9Books for sending me a ebook for my honest and sincere review.

When I was a little girl I loved the classic Cinderella story and that was my most read Disney book I owned. To this day its still one of my favorite classic fairytales  that I never get tired of.

Fast forward to Cinderella, Necromancer which just happens to be a retelling of Cinderella. Its set in a whole different world from the original but still has the feeling its taken places during the same time period as the original and its much more darker and evil then the original.

We grew up with the sweet and innocent Cinderella who just wanted to live happily ever after, after the passing of her parents and to get away from the evil stepmother and sisters and in the classic she does just that but fast forward to this one and Ella is a bad ass girl who doesn’t listen to anyone. Yes she still is determined to get away and live happily ever after with her brother away from her step family but it seems like she is more set on revenge then anything else.

F.M Boughan did a fantastic job with the retelling of Cinderella and what was nice was that she added a little brother to the storyline and the evil stepmother and sisters were just as awful as the original version. The other thing that was different in this version is instead of the Godmother there is evil spirits who aren’t exactly doing good.

This was a really quick read and I read it almost in one sitting. I was sucked into the story line from the first page and had a hard time to put the book down.

I should mention that this is a debut novel and I can’t wait to read future books by F.M. Boughan.

Chapter by Chapter