Review/ By Her Touch by Adriana Anders

Review/ By Her Touch by Adriana AndersBy Her Touch (Blank Canvas, #2) by Adriana Anders
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on April 4th 2017
Pages: 412
Goodreads

He Will Always Bear the Scars
Undercover cop Clay Navarro left the Sultans biker gang a changed man. Its ringleaders may be awaiting trial, but he wears the memory of every brutal act he was forced to commit tattooed across his skin. He doesn't have space in his messed-up life for anything gentle--not now, maybe not ever. Dr. Georgette Hadley is drawn to the damaged stranger's pain, intimidated but intrigued by the warmth that lies beneath Clay's frightening exterior. But when the Sultans return looking for revenge, she finds herself drawn into the dirty underbelly of a life forged in violence...that not even her touch may be able to heal.
Blank Canvas Series: Under Her Skin (Book 1)By Her Touch (Book 2)In His Hands (Book 3)

This is the second book in the Blank Canvas series by Adriana Anders. You might recall that I read and reviewed Under Her Skin last week and I really enjoyed it and I have to say going into this I was a little nervous because you never know what the next book will be like well this did not disappoint. I loved it just as much as the first one.

I will be starting In His Hands the third book probably some time next week. I want to space out the books because I am not ready for this story to end.

With that being said, the books aren’t really a continuation where you need to read the previous book to follow along. I noticed that each story line or book is geared toward the main character and his or her storyline. Previous characters do make an appearance but not enough to where you would be how does this fit in etc

Our main character is Clay who is an undercover cop and he was in deep with a biker gang trying to get information out of the group so that he could bring the organization down. He is getting what he needs until someone snitches on him and the group take action to get him out of the picture and that means tattooing him and shooting him.

Thankfully he manages to escape with his life in tack but whats to get the reminders of what they did off of him before he goes back to testify. He is on the run and is constantly looking for his shoulder because he knows they will come looking for him. He realizes he can trust no one even those that he thought he once could.

He manages to escape to Blackwood, Virginia. He thinks he is far enough away that no one would think to look for him there. He knows that there is a dr who can help remove his tattoos and he is willing to pay any price to make it happen.

Normally George has a firm stance that you don’t mix business with pleasure but when she sees Clay come in asking for her help she can’t turn him away and makes after office appointments to help him remove this tattoos. The more she works on him the more she is intrigued by him.

Clay does a good job of holding her back as much as he can but slowly being around her he realizes he can’t and he will do anything to protect her from danger. But will he be able to protect her when the biker gang finally shows up? Does she realize how much her life could be in danger?

I was pretty much flying through this book because I had to know more and what was happening. This book was definitely a page turner for me. I can’t wait to dig into the third book very soon.

Review/ Night by Elie Wiesel

Review/ Night by Elie WieselNight (The Night Trilogy #1) by Elie Wiesel, Marion Wiesel
Published by Hill and Wang on January 16th 2006
Pages: 120
Goodreads

Born into a Jewish ghetto in Hungary, as a child, Elie Wiesel was sent to the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. This is his account of that atrocity: the ever-increasing horrors he endured, the loss of his family and his struggle to survive in a world that stripped him of humanity, dignity and faith. Describing in simple terms the tragic murder of a people from a survivor's perspective, Night is among the most personal, intimate and poignant of all accounts of the Holocaust. A compelling consideration of the darkest side of human nature and the enduring power of hope, it remains one of the most important works of the twentieth century.

New translation by Marion Wiesel, with a new introduction by Elie Wiesel.

I am a little embarrassed to say that this has been sitting in my TBR pile since 2006. I picked it up when Oprah announced her Oprah Selection and this was book 55. Not sure why I didn’t read it then but I think at the time I was just collecting books and not reading them. But 12 years later I am happy to say that I did haul this off my TBR pile and I read it.

After reading it I have to admit that I didn’t realize it was a trilogy. Here are the other books in the series:

Dawn: A NovelDay: A Novel

I did manage to pick up these two with a gift card and plan on reading them this month so be sure to come back and check out my reviews for them.

I had no idea what I was going to read when I started this book because I avoided reading the back cover and I have to say that I am happy I didn’t read it because I don’t know if I would have read it otherwise or at least not at this point.

If your a reader of my blog you know that I don’t read a lot of non fiction so this is a first for me but hopefully not the last.

Night is a true story of what Elie endured during the Holocaust and his life at a concentration camp.  This was definitely not a light read and at times I had to put the book down because I couldn’t imagine what it must have been like to live through that not knowing what was going to happen to you. It makes you wonder how a group of people literally could hate another group of people and think it was perfectly fine to kill them and treat them like they were nothing. It breaks my heart. Nothing those people did can justify why they needed to kill innocent people.

I struggled with a lot in this book and I think its was just wondering how people could do this to another living person. I think I went through a wide range of emotions at all the groups invovled. How could no one stand up for these people?

Elie realized at the age of 15 that he had to lie about his age in order to survive and you can see him struggle and survive all the way through the book. He witnessed so much that no one should have to witness or endure. You could see the determination in Elie and his determination not to give up. I am happy that Elie shared his story with the world as it needed to be told.

Elie was one of the few survivors of the Holocaust. His tale is gripping and heart breaking and one everyone should read. I have put this back on my book case to eventually reread one day or even if my son wants to read it its there for him to do so. This is one book that will stay with you.

 

Review/ Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders

Review/ Under Her Skin by Adriana AndersUnder Her Skin (Blank Canvas, #1) by Adriana Anders
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on February 7th 2017
Pages: 344
Goodreads

Her Body is His Canvas

A darkly possessive relationship has left Uma alone and on the run. Beneath her drab clothing, she hides a terrible secret—proof of her abuse, tattooed onto her skin in a lurid reminder of everything she’s survived.
Caught between a brutal past and an uncertain future, Uma’s reluctant to bare herself to anyone…much less a rough ex-con whose rage drives him in ways she will never understand. But beneath his frightening exterior, Ivan is gentle. Warm. Compassionate. And just as determined to heal Uma’s broken heart as he is to destroy the monster who left his mark scrawled across the delicate tapestry of her skin.

Its not very often that I read a lot of romance books but when I do I seem to enjoy the ones I pick up and this was no exception. I first heard about Under Her Skin from a Sourcebooks Casablanca email last year and I instantly had to pick up the book because it sounded really good and I don’t know why at the time I didn’t read it once I had it but going into 2018 I said that this was going to be the year I read more of my own books so I am happy to say that I finally did take this off the TBR pile to read.

This was a super quick read and I practically read it in one sitting. I had a hard time to put the book down. This is the first book in what I think might be a trilogy although I could be mistaken. The other books in the series are:

By Her TouchIn His Hands

Be sure to check back this month because I plan on reading the other two books this month.

This is Adriana’s debut novel. If this is any indication then the following books are going to be amazing and I can’t wait to continue this series.

Under Her Skin takes place in Blackwood, Virginia and its this tiny little town where everyone knows everyone and their business. Thankfully for Uma she plans to be in and out before her ex boyfriend finds her. She arrives a beaten down woman who trusts no one. On the outside she looks like a normal every day person but in the darkness of her room you see that she has been branded. Her body holds the scars and the torture she endured from her ex-boyfriend.

Uma is there because she heard about a doctor who runs a free clinic who can remove skin imperfections and she is hoping that the doctor will be able to help her so that at least on the outside she can be normal again or be able to look at herself without seeing that awful reminders of what she endured.

Knowing that staying in the town will cost her money she decides she needs a low key job and manages to find one being a housekeeper for an elderly lady, Mrs Lloyd. Mrs. Lloyd was fiesty and told it like it was with a deep dark past as well. She was the perfect match for Uma and Uma held her ground against her. It was nice to see that Uma could finally get through to Mrs Lloyd vise versa. As the story progressed you could understand where she was coming from. I think Mrs Lloyd was just what Uma needed because her own mother did nothing to help or protect her daughter.

Now enter the love interest because heck no romance book would be complete without one. In this case its a big burly guy named Ivan. He happens to live next door to Mrs. Lloyd’s. She tried hard to put up a barrier between them because the last thing she wanted was to be involved with anyone but gradually over time she realized there was something there and spending time with Ivan felt good. I loved how gentle Ivan was and how he let her set the pace. He was a complete gentleman. One I think anyone could fall for.

I am so excited to continue this series and to see what happens. Does it continue the Uma, Ivan storyline are will we get to see more of the side characters get more of a storyline such as George the dr, the sheriff, or even Jess.

I am still thinking about this book as I sit here and do this review and that says a lot about the book for me.

 

 

Review/ Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Review/ Faithful by Alice HoffmanFaithful by Alice Hoffman
Published by Simon Schuster on August 1st 2017
Pages: 288
Goodreads

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers comes a soul-searching story about a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate.
Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.
What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.
Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.
Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.

Choosing the first book of the year is always a hard choice for a book lover especially if a book lover has a lot of books on her shelf but I have to say that I am happy with what I chose this year. I decided to go with something new to me and Alice Hoffman is certainly a new to me author even though she has written quite a few books. Plus I have to say the cover is really pretty.

Faithful was a pretty quick read and I managed to pretty much devour it within a few sittings. Its a short quick read. I do admit that when I picked it up I didn’t read the back of the book  and perhaps this wasn’t the best book to kit of the new year because it wasn’t one of those happily ever after kind of books but none the less. I am happy I read it. Its definitely a tear jerker and will tug at your heart strings. Be fore warned to have some tissue on hand.

The book is told in our main character Shelby’s point of view. Shelby is racked with guilt and is hiding in her parents basement, hiding away from the world and feels that if she probably turn back time she would. She would never have drive the car with Helene that night and she would have stayed in.  Shelby and her friend, Helene are in a tragic car accident. Shelby walked away unhurt but scarred and Helene is in a coma. Every day is a struggle for Shelby. She is just barely surviving.

Then out of the blue these mysterious post cards start showing up and at first Shelby things its Helene because anyone who has gone to visit Helene claim she works miracles so I could see where Shelby would think she was behind the messages or had something to do with them.

With the help of Ben, who just happens to be the one supplying her with drugs they form this weird kind of relationship but at the time it works for Shelby. He manages to get out of her rut to see that she is truly deserving of living her life. They both decide to move to NYC and its there that she discovers things about herself that she never knew before and is slowly on the road to realizing that she is worthy of living and moving forward with her life.

It was nice to see Shelby come around and I can’t say I know what she was going through because I don’t but can only imagine. But I do know that throughout the book I couldn’t help but root for her to see the light and see that things would be okay.

After reading Faithful I have to say I am curious about Alice Hoffman’s other books and curious to read more. Have you read Alice Hoffman? What should I read next?