Nat is Scary as Hell but I’d love her planning skills one day…

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On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself. Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage? (From Goodreads)

**Spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned**

This was an intensely insane book. It was filled with such tension and apprehension that you’re filled with pins and needles all throughout the book. You knew it was inevitable and everything was going to be crumbling down with Nat’s plan but the question was how and when. 

You have to admit, despite everything Nat’s plan was just so well thought out all for one thing – relying on a drug dealer. Of all kinds of people, she relies on one that could (and did) ultimately turned tail and pretty much ruined the entire plan. That was the biggest flaw of the entire thing and you have to wonder if she didn’t rely on him, would the whole thing have worked out?

You have to admire her smarts for pulling this off. Her character is excellent and she’s fiercely protective of her family as a unit (understandably so) it’s almost scary to underestimate her as Will seems to have done (and is still doing.) And it’s so hard to like Will in fact he’s so unlikable you don’t understand why Nat just picks up her things and leaves. Aside from also nearly ruining Nat’s plan he’s pretty much a spineless nitwit and doesn’t contribute much to anything. Nat should have kicked him to the curb a long time ago (or when she found out about his stupidities)

The plot itself was so well done it was hard to stop reading. It pretty much grabs you from cover to cover. It’s seamless with no interruptions, it can get frustrating because of some of their actions, but it’s such a good read. The ending, although everything did come to a close, makes you want to be extra careful of Nat.

I enjoyed reading this one and it’s definitely recommended. 

I give it an 8 out of 10. 

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Library Loot Week of July 8th

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Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I have this horrible habit of taking books out of the library even when I have so many at home and a lot on my library book cart (yes! I have one! my loving husband bought one for me)

I had quite the conversation with my husband about the fines that I forgot to pay off that was on his card:

Husband : if I see more fines in the library card I’m going to take both cards away

Me: NO YOU CANNOT. YOU CANNOT TAKE AWAY MY FREEEEEEEDOOOM

Husband : I’m serious!!!

Me : GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH

Husband : 😒😒😒😒😒😒😒

I was still in Fourth of July Mode. (Mixed with Braveheart)

Anyway, I took out three books (why? why do I keep doing this..send help)

But I wanted to feature one because it’s an inter library loan and they’re more picky on the due date and I’ll be focusing on this one a lot more:

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I read the first one and really loved it. It’s an interesting world and the magic in it is really good. Plus the main character is flawed (drug addict, goes through phases of withdrawal, tough as nails, fights with all she’s got and comes out bloodied but ready for the next encounter) you can’t really go wrong with this.

I’m in the mood for some action and a quickish read. I’m juggling a lot of books lately and got some ARC’s in the mail so sometimes it’s good to get that quick read in to get the reading on a roll.

Anyone read this series? I’m okay with paranormal urban fantasy books just not keen on the romance bit. The romance in the first one was low key but not bad and didn’t induce any eye rolling on my part.

Any one else got some library loot? let me know in the comments!

Toodles!

Not up to the Hype…

All of them are friends. One of them is a killer. During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves. They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world. Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead. The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps. Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it. Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close? (From Goodreads)

 I somewhat liked the mystery aspect of the novel. That’s what got me into reading this one in the first place. However it wasn’t what I thought it would and I finished the novel only because I wanted to know who it was that did the murder and the story behind it. 

The plot itself could use a little more as it’s lackluster and not interesting. If you’re looking for a murder mystery that’s a classic whodunit it’s not here. There may be slight similarities to it but it’s really more of a bunch of thirty somethings in a house and something bad happens. The events leading up to the murder are each told in a point of view of a character. 

At first it may be difficult to tell which one is which. You rather forget who is who as the characters are rather bland and uninteresting. Miranda stands out the most but even she’s not that likable. She’s a resentful spiteful twit who likes to step over others and hates their successes as she’s amounted to pretty much nothing. I’ve never seen such a spoiled brat as Miranda. Then you have Katie and Emma who aren’t that interesting either. Although if I had to choose, it’ll be Katie who was somewhat interesting. Until of course, she decides to do something extremely stupid and she ends up being just as spiteful as Miranda. Goodness, I didn’t think I was watching one of those soap operas or reality shows where they have this much drama.

Then there’s Heather and Doug who aren’t a part of the group of friends but they each had their own story to tell. Well not really. Not much was revealed from them except they had horrible pasts. Okay. Details please. It’s nice to have well rounded characters but they ended up being vacant and lifeless. 

The mystery element (what little of it) was there and it came and went throughout the chapters. When all is final and revealed well, it’s all right but it’s not the best either. There’s not much in the way of background information and if there was, not much is given and the characters have no substance at all. The plot comes up empty and the whole thing with Iain, was that meant to be a red herring? This entire story just didn’t amount to what I thought it would. It’s disappointing as I wanted to like the book and was hyped for it. 

Don’t really recommend this one. If you really want to read it, I suggest library take out. Otherwise skip this one entirely. 

I give it a 4 out of 10. 

 

Thank you William Morrow for the Review Copy!

 

Engaging read. Twisty Plot. = Well worth the read

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When Clara’s boyfriend, Luke, disappears, everyone believes that he’s left her, but Clara thinks she knows the truth. Recent evidence suggests that Luke had a stalker, and Clara worries that he’s been kidnapped. Then Luke’s older sister, Emily, who vanished twenty years ago, suddenly reappears. Emily wants to help Clara with her search for Luke, but she refuses to talk about what happened–even though it nearly destroyed her family when she vanished. And the deeper Clara digs into Luke’s mysterious disappearance, the more convinced she is that the two incidents are connected. (From Goodreads)

This one was engaging and a good read overall. I read this one in nearly one sitting because it was that good. The plot itself is engaging and the mystery aspect of it kept you guessing and wondering until nearly the end of the book – and even then there’s still potential after that.

Although the plot was really good, and the writing itself was also well done, I didn’t think much about the characters. Which goes to show how well the writing is. You shake your head at some of the decisions made by some of these characters (all in the name of putting on a good face) but you just feel compelled to follow along to see what will happen. There’s plenty of twists here and there and a breadcrumb trail of clues to follow but what you think might happen, might actually surprise you.

You may, or may not sympathize with Hannah. She had it pretty rough after finding out a life changing truth. On the other hand her actions and personality made you see red. She was awful to the core. If you have ever read Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage, you’ll find similarities between the two girls who are ironically, both named Hannah (spelling varies).

There is room for a sequel, although I think it should end here. Sure, there’s an open ending but it’s not a cliffhanger. It may leave you with some questions but it’s a good enough ending to let things lie. A sequel may be overdoing it and stretching this story unnecessarily.

Such an engrossing read. Give yourself time to read this. Once you open it, you won’t be able to stop reading until it’s done.

I give it 9 out of 10.

 

Holy Bejeebus this is a must read

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In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…Bold, reckless Nina Markova grows up on the icy edge of Soviet Russia, dreaming of flight and fearing nothing. When the tide of war sweeps over her homeland, she gambles everything to join the infamous Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive. British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with brazen, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. But a shared secret could derail their mission, unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it. Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride grows up in post WWII Boston, determined despite family opposition to become a photographer. At first delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancée, Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Armed only with her camera and her wits, Jordan delves into her new stepmother’s past and slowly realizes there are mysteries buried deep in her family. But Jordan’s search for the truth may threaten all she holds dear. (From Goodreads)

I loved reading this one! A great blend of action, intrigue and romance complete with a cast of likable characters. Each one with their story to tell and it’s told well. For some background information it would help to read up on the subject of the Night Witches and their exploits during World War II (which is a fascinating subject on its’ own)

Of all the stories to read, Nina’s naturally, is the most interesting. She’s a wild child, does her own thing and doesn’t care about norms, conventions, and rules. She does her own thing but joins up with her squad not because of the love of her land and country but because she loves to fly. It’s her passion and it shows. I love reading about Nina because of her free spirited attitude and her drive. It’s what keeps her going.

The plot is free flowing and the chapters goes back and forth time-wise, and changes perspective depending on the character. Besides Nina, Jordan’s point of view is also interesting. She’s also got an independent streak in her and it’s nice to see her go on her own path based on her decisions. It’s unheard of back then in the day (we’re talking about 1950’s here) so it’s nice to read.

The writing is excellent and it grabs your attention from page one. I rather wish there was a small glossary to see what Nina says in Russian (although I’m sure it’s rather colorful language) but other than that small bit, the characters are engaging, and it’s nice how they all come together in the last third of the book.

The Author’s Note is also good for explaining what she’s done historical speaking wise. If you are stickler for history perhaps this isn’t for you – it’s more character and story driven. Still an engrossing read and greatly recommended!

I give it a 10 out of 10

Thank you William Morrow/Harper Collins for the Review copy!

 

Darktown is a Must Read. Especially Now.

0373210426.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgResponding from pressure on high, the Atlanta police department is forced to hire its first black officers in 1948. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers and their authority is limited: They can’t arrest white suspects; they can’t drive a squad car; they can’t even use the police headquarters and must instead operate out of the basement of a gym. When a black woman who was last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up fatally beaten, no one seems to care except for Boggs and Smith, two black cops from vastly different backgrounds. Pressured from all sides, they will risk their jobs, the trust the community has put in them, and even their own safety to investigate her death. Their efforts bring them up against an old-school cop, Dunlow, who has long run the neighborhood like his own, and Dunlow’s young partner, Rakestraw, a young progressive who may or may not be willing to make allies across color lines. (From Goodreads)

This is such a great powerful read. On one hand you feel like going into the book and start punching every bigot you see since they’re such awful hateful people. Yet on the other hand, you feel for Boggs and Smith. They’re trying so hard to elevate themselves and make everything a better place for the community and pretty much for their race. Yet they’re non stop met with opposition from both sides and it’s disheartening to see yet the most awful thing about all of this is, this all happened in the last century. It’s mind blowing and horrible how humans are but it’s a reality we all must know and be aware of.

The plot itself was very interesting and the pace is steady. There’s plenty of characters to read about and the supporting characters gives the story plenty of substance. The emotions and tensions are dutifully felt in the book and you can only read on with the feeling of hopelessness as Boggs and Smith attempt to try and do their jobs as best as they can but they’re thwarted at every turn. It’s amazing they stick with the job, and admirable because of the amazing amount of strength and grit they display to go through all the obstacles they face while trying to do their investigation.

The plot was also good at showing both sides of the story. Besides Boggs and Smith you also have Rakestraw who seems more moderate thinking than the rest of the characters, his behavior is certainly different and he tries to be understanding – however still maintaining his superiority mentality. It’s a start I suppose to eradicate this kind of behavior in a character but you can’t help but feel frustrated as this type of hatred and belief that is so deeply ingrained in everything; in society, thinking, in life. It’s horrible to see and to think this type of behavior still persists in other forms and methods.

Definitely recommend this read despite the awful things some characters do in the book. It’s eye opening and gripping read. It will elicit powerful emotions but it’s accurate and detailed. No sugar coating here but the truth. Worth the read.

I give it an 8 out of 10.

Medical Thriller with a Steady Plot..

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Can you love someone to death?  Some would say Becky Gerard is a devoted mother and would do anything for her only child. Others claim she’s obsessed and can’t stop the vicious circle of finding a cure at her daughter’s expense. Fifteen-year-old Meghan has been in and out of hospitals with a plague of unexplained illnesses. But when the ailments take a sharp turn, doctors intervene and immediately suspect Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare behavioral disorder where the primary caretaker, typically the mother, seeks medical help for made-up symptoms of a child. Is this what’s going on? Or is there something even more sinister at hand? (From Goodreads)

The pace of this plot was steady and although it did keep your reading and page turning, there just didn’t seem to be enough to get me to really like the book. Yes I was intrigued by what was going to happen next, if everything was really all in Becky’s head, if there were other things behind it, or if Meghan really was sick with some weird rare condition.

The mystery aspect of it was not too bad and getting to the bottom of it was basically what carried the novel for me. It did feel like bits here and there were dragging and by the last third of the book I pretty much wanted it over with as it was just getting too much. You really do feel for Meghan here because she’s caught between both her parents and you can feel her isolation.

I don’t feel much for the other characters mentioned in the book. They’re really not that likable – Meghan would probably be the one I like the most in this book but even then her personality is flat and not that much substance is put into anyone.

The last third of the book got me to forgive the slow dragging plot. It was like watching an avalanche go down a hill and the pace got super quick after that. It was enough to get me to forgive the book for the slow dragging plot as I pretty much wanted to know what was the final outcome and what was the ending of it all.

Slow plot, great mystery aspect with bland characters, it’s an interesting read and if you’re into the slow build up to a climactic ending, then by all means read it. It was okay for me.

I give it 6 out of 10.

Thank you St Martin’s Press for the Review Copy!