July Wrap Up

First off, I have to point out that picture is from the trip I took with my family to the Grand Canyon, isn’t it stunning?!

July flew by for me, anyone else? My kids already start school in one week, crazy! Back to extracurriculars, homework and general craziness. Two of my three kids will now be in school full time, I’m wondering if that means I’ll have more time to read or less? 😜

July was a fantastic month for Novelgossip. I felt like I really found my stride as a book blogger and I’m so happy with what I’ve already accomplished. As always, thanks to every single one of you who take the time to read my posts and support me. ❤️

I crushed my TBR list, thank god because it’s growing longer every single day. Originally I had eleven books planned to review and I actually ended up getting fifteen done with. Not bad! 

First up was The Sister by Louise Jensen.

I really enjoyed this one and as it was Jensen’s debut I look forward to seeing more from her.

Next was Baby Doll by Hollie Overton. This was another excellent read with a unique and fresh perspective on a missing persons case.

After that I read Anything For Her by Jack Jordan. I raved about his other novel, My Girl and while this one was good, it wasn’t quite as good as My Girl. Still an interesting read though.

After that I read Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica. I’ve become a huge fan of hers and her latest novel did not disappoint.

I chose something lighter for my next read, To Have and To Hold by Lauren Layne. Super fun chick lit book!

Back to a mystery novel I read Redemption Road by John Hart. Excellent book with believable twists and turns.

Next was No Turning Back by Tracy Buchanan and she’s quickly becoming one of my must read authors. This book has a killer twist that left me with my mouth hanging open in complete shock! 

Twisted by Hannah Jayne was up next and it wasn’t my favorite read unfortunately. It was just too predictable for me.

Next pick was I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. I loved this book, the twist on the last page of part one was amazing! 

The Stepmother by Claire Seeber was my next read and wow was it a good one! Fantastic psychological thriller with a twist on Snow White.

Terry McMillan’s I Almost Forgot About You was next. I liked this story, it read like a modern day love story for a middle aged woman to me.

Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner may be my favorite read from this month. Such a beautiful and touching story. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway it ends soon!

Lovers and Liars by Nigel May was next and this is a perfect summer vacation read. Sexy, spicy and naughty fun!

Camilla Way’s Watching Edie was up next and I really enjoyed this psychological thriller. A creepy look at a female friendships drenched in secrets and betrayals.

I read Abduction by Nicole Hatfield who is a debut indie author with tons of potential. Also had an author Q and A wither her.

Finally, I read Last to Die by Arlene Hunt.

I started Top 5 Wednesday’s which is so fun along with It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 

I was nominated for two blog awards, Blogger Recognition Award and Secret Life of a Book Blogger which are always fun! 

I went on a Book Blogger Blind Date with the lovely Kate at Bibliophile Book Club which was awesome! 

I gave you 5 Reasons You Should Visit Your Library and 5 Reasons You Should Give Audiobooks A Try

Phew I think that wraps up July! On to August.

ARC August 

I first heard about ARC August from reading Lauren’s post over at Wonderlessreviews. This is hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat and is an annual way to catch up on the never ending pile of ARCs. Check out Read.Sleep.Repeat for all the details and sign up if you want! 

I have put myself on a Netgalley ban after I realized just how many books are on my shelf there. It’s getting a little ridiculous honestly. I’m really hoping to make a huge dent in my pile with the help of August ARC. 

My overly ambitious and all together unrealistic list: 


T.A.G. You’re It…
“It is 4 a.m. when they come for me. I am already awake, strung out on the fear that they will come, and fear that they won’t. When I finally hear the click of the latch on the dormitory door, I have only a second to brace myself before-”
At Cate’s isolated boarding school Killer is more than a game-it’s an elite secret society. Members must avoid being “killed” during a series of thrilling pranks-and only the Game Master knows who the “killer” is. When Cate’s finally invited to join The Guild of Assassins, she knows it’s her ticket to finally feeling like she belongs.
But when the game becomes all too real, the school threatens to shut it down. Cate will do anything to keep playing and save The Guild. But can she find the real assassin-before she’s the next target?


Model Finley needs someone to help her shed her “good girl” persona, so she’ll try Eddie on for size.

New York City model Finley is fed up with hearing the same feedback at castings: she needs to take some serious action to wipe the “good girl” stamp from her resume if she wants to launch to stardom.

Enter Eddie Wells. He’s shallow, predictable…and just as lost as Finley feels. Deep down, Finley is drawn to Eddie’s bravado, his intensity. Except Eddie is hiding something. A big something. And when it surfaces, both loving and leaving Finley will become so much harder. 


She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can’t get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband’s other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story’s ending will mean forgiving the man she’s loved for half her life, or facing her future without him. 


Emily is happy with her life just as it is. 
She has a career as a midwife that she loves . She enjoys living on her own as a single woman. But she also feels it’s time for a change and a spot of some sea air.
So when her best friend Rebecca asks whether she’d like to spend the summer cooking on a ‘puffer’ boat just off the Scottish coast, she jumps at the chance.
But she barely has time to get to grips with the galley before she finds herself with a lot on her plate.
Rebecca is heavily pregnant and is thrilled to have her friend on board doing most of the work. Then there’s Emily’s competitive and jealous kitchen assistant who thinks she should be head-cook, not Emily.
And there’s Alasdair, the handsome local doctor who Emily is desperately trying not to notice.
Because if she falls in love with him, as he appears to be falling for her, will she ever want her old life back again? 


The new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants—a hilarious and charming story about a quirky single mom in San Francisco who tiptoes through the minefields of the “Mommy Wars” and manages to find friendship and love.

When Mele Bart told her boyfriend Bobby she was pregnant with his child, he stunned her with an announcement of his own: he was engaged to someone else.

Fast forward two years, Mele’s daughter is a toddler, and Bobby and his fiancée want Ellie to be the flower girl at their wedding. Mele, who also has agreed to attend the nuptials, knows she can’t continue obsessing about Bobby and his cheese making, Napa-residing, fiancée. She needs something to do. So she answers a questionnaire provided by the San Francisco Mommy Club in elaborate and shocking detail and decides to enter their cookbook writing contest. Even though she joined the group out of desperation, Mele has found her people: Annie, Barrett, Georgia, and Henry (a stay-at-home dad). As the wedding date approaches, Mele uses her friends’ stories to inspire recipes and find comfort, both.

How to Party with an Infant is a hilarious and poignant novel from Kaui Hart Hemmings, who has an uncanny ability to make disastrous romances and tragic circumstances not only relatable and funny, but unforgettable. 


“The Dollhouse. . . . That’s what we boys like to call it. . . . The Barbizon Hotel for Women, packed to the rafters with pretty little dolls. Just like you.” 


Fiona Davis’s stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City’s glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side-by-side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success in the 1950s, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon’s glitzy past.


When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren’t: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn’t belong—a notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she’s introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that’s used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance.


Over half a century later, the Barbizon’s gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby’s involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman’s rent-controlled apartment. It’s a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby’s upstairs neighbor, to resist—not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose’s obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.


How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even—yourself?  

People are capable of almost anything. . . 

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors—a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . . 

“Meticulously crafted and razor-sharp. THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR lingers long after you turn the final page.”—Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fool Me Once

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years. 

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family—a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist. 


For readers of Kate Atkinson and Tana French comes a page-turning literary mystery that brings to life the complex and wholly relatable Manon Bradshaw, a strong-willed detective assigned to a high-risk missing persons case.
At thirty-nine, Manon Bradshaw is a devoted and respected member of the Cambridgeshire police force, and though she loves her job, what she longs for is a personal life. Single and distant from her family, she wants a husband and children of her own. One night, after yet another disastrous Internet date, she turns on her police radio to help herself fall asleep—and receives an alert that sends her to a puzzling crime scene.
Edith Hind—a beautiful graduate student at Cambridge University and daughter of the surgeon to the Royal Family—has been reported missing for nearly twenty-four hours. Her home offers few clues: a smattering of blood in the kitchen, her keys and phone left behind, the front door ajar but showing no signs of forced entry. Manon instantly knows this case will be big—and that every second is crucial to finding Edith alive.
The investigation starts with Edith’s loved ones: her attentive boyfriend, her reserved best friend, and her patrician parents. As the search widens and press coverage reaches a frenzied pitch, secrets begin to emerge about Edith’s tangled love life and her erratic behavior leading up to her disappearance. With no clear leads, Manon summons every last bit of her skill and intuition to close the case, and what she discovers will have shocking consequences not just for Edith’s family, but for Manon herself.
Suspenseful and keenly observed, Missing, Presumed is a brilliantly twisting novel of how we seek connection, grant forgiveness, and reveal the truth about who we are. 


Survival is the name of the game as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself in Alexandra Oliva’s fast-paced novel of suspense.

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.

Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated.


Fifty-one-year old Tori Williams’ life implodes when she sends a text while driving and allegedly causes the horrific crash in which three people die. Public and press are baying for her blood, but Tori is no wallflower and refuses to buckle under their pressure and be a pariah. Etta, another driver involved in the fatal accident, saved Tori’s life at the scene. She’s a hero, so why is her life falling apart? Perhaps by saving Etta using any means, Tori can save herself—and in doing so, protect her own future and the future of those she loves. This incredibly topical and contemporary morality tale appeals across generations and will find favor with fans of authors such as Liane Moriarty, Marian Keyes, and Kathryn Croft. 

Sian Bishop has only ever experienced one moment of recklessness – a moment that resulted in her beloved son Rory. It’s not that she doesn’t love the outcome of that wild night, but since then she has always taken the safer route. So when dependable, devoted Richard suggests a move to the beautiful English countryside, she leaves the hustle and bustle of the city behind, and she throws herself into the picture-postcard cottage garden, her furniture restoration business, and a new life in the country.
Her good intentions are torpedoed on a glorious summer’s evening with the arrival of Gus Berresford. One-time explorer and full-time heartbreaker, Gus is ridiculously exciting, wonderfully glamorous and a completely inappropriate love interest for a single mum. But Gus and Sian have met before…
Sian has no use for a fling, she simply mustn’t fall in love with the most unlikely suitor ever to cross her path – even if he has now crossed her path twice. But who knows what can happen in a summer of love… 


Janet Evanovich, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, teams up with Emmy-winning writer Phoef Sutton for a brand-new series of thrillers featuring the invincible and incompatible pairing of Knight and Moon.

Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little to no sense of social etiquette. Good thing he’s also brilliant, rich, and (some people might say) handsome, or he’d probably be homeless. Riley Moon has just graduated from Harvard Business and Harvard Law. Her aggressive Texas spitfire attitude has helped her land her dream job as a junior analyst with mega-bank Blane-Grunwald. At least Riley Moon thought it was her dream job, until she is given her first assignment: babysitting Emerson Knight.

What starts off as an inquiry about missing bank funds in the Knight account leads to inquiries about a missing man, missing gold, and a life-and-death race across the country. Through the streets of Washington, D.C., and down into the underground vault of the Federal Reserve in New York City, an evil plan is exposed. A plan so sinister that only a megalomaniac could think it up, and only the unlikely duo of the irrepressibly charming Emerson Knight and the tenacious Riley Moon can stop it. 

Phew! I’ll stop there, fingers crossed I can get through these! 

Review: Last to Die by Arlene Hunt

Goodreads Amazon Author Website

Release date: June 22, 2016

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Thriller

Goodreads blurb: 

He watches. He waits. He kills … 

When Jessie Conway survives a horrific mass high school shooting, in the aftermath she finds herself thrust into the media spotlight, drawing all kinds of attention. But some of it is the wrong kind. 

Caleb Switch, a sadistic serial killer has been watching her every move. A skilled hunter, he likes his victims to be a challenge to him. Jessie is strong, fearless, a survivor, and now…she is his ultimate prey. 

As Caleb picks off his current victims one by one, chasing, killing and butchering them with his crossbow, he’s closing in on Jessie… But will Jessie defy the odds and escape with her life? Or will she be Caleb’s final sacrifice … 


From chapter one this book takes you on a nonstop roller coaster of a ride. It opens with Jessie, a thirty something teacher in the middle of a typical school day, but this day is anything but typical as it turns into a horror show as students with guns appear and open fire. Jessie is quick thinking and intelligent and manages to save the lives of several students and is soon lauded as the town hero.

But this act of heroism has a hefty price tag as it’s made her catch the evil eye of Caleb Switch. You see, he is a hunter and he is no longer satisfied by simply hunting big game animals, he now hunts humans.

This book has several compelling characters that are well developed and intriguing. Besides Jessie there is her brother in law Ace, an ex con. While he’s made some mistakes and bad choices in the past, it seems that now he is ready to do what’s right. Darla is a local reporter who will not let anything stop her from getting to the heart of a story. Caleb is a cold blooded, cunning sociopath with no emotions and no regrets. He places his victims into two categories; A or B with A being reserved for those he feels are the strongest and smartest. 

Since the killer is revealed right from the start, there is no mystery behind that aspect. There were a few twists, but only one really surprised me. Rather than keeping you constantly guessing whodunnit, this book ramps up the suspense while you’re waiting for the action to unfold. The reader knows the who, and some of the how, but you don’t know when. 

The only thing missing for me was more detail about Darla’s story. I enjoyed her and would’ve liked to learn what happened to her in the end. There were also mentions of Jessie’s brother a few times, then…nothing. I had a few theories about him that I had hoped would come up but nothing panned out. 

If you’re set on a story with lots of twists and turns then this probably isn’t for you, but if you want a wonderfully written thriller with well developed characters and fast paced chapters told from several interesting viewpoints, give this one a read.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Tour/Review/Author Q and A: Abduction by Nicole Hatfield

I’m so delighted to be a part of the book tour for Abduction! Nicole Hatfield is an indie author and this is her debut novel. I had the opportunity to interview her too.

Author Q and A

1. What’s a typical writing day for you look like? Describe your perfect writing environment. 

In a perfect world I would sit at a desk in silence with my coffee and beautiful music playing in the back ground. In reality, as a mother of three kids, silence is a concept that doesn’t exist. Ever. So, to combat that (because yelling at them does not, in fact, encourage silence and only adds to the noise.) I went out and bought a pair of headphones and downloaded a billion songs. When I write, I use the music to drown out the noises of war and mayhem that permeate our house on a daily basis. I hear nothing but the sweet tone of Ruth B’s voice or the beat of a J.T. song instead of the war cry of a 6 year old that could be compared to 1000 banshees.   

2. How did you get started writing? Was it something that you’ve always loved?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I never thought I was good enough and gave up for a huge chunk of my life. I picked it back up at the encouragement of some amazing people and decided that the sting of possible rejection was the lesser evil when compared to the regret of not doing something because I didn’t believe in myself. This is my first published book and I’m maintaining cautious optimism on the outcome but no matter how it goes, I’ve already decided to continue to pursue my dream.

3. Who are your favorite writers/inspirations?

I am such an eclectic reader. I read anything and everything I can get my hands onto. I am a huge fan of English classics. I love the Bronte sisters and Jane Austin. Abbi Glines is a favorite when I want a light hearted romance. Gena Showalter, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Nalini Singh are my go-tos for supernatural. I could go on for days and days about my love of all books but I’ll stop here in the interest of not causing you to lose all of your followers. 

4. Anything you can tell us about upcoming projects?

I am currently working on Stefan’s story. For those who haven’t read it, Stefan was a secondary character in my novel Abduction. I have about 4 other projects that have been started but nothing past the first chapter. My goal is to get Stefan’s story finished before the end of the year.

5. Normally how do you develop plots/characters? Brief us on your process.

My characters develop themselves. It sounds weird but it’s the only way I can explain it. Sometimes I start out with an expectation on how a character is going to be then find myself doing the exact opposite of that because for one reason or another the story shapes them into someone else.

6. Favorite character from one of your own novels?

Stefan is definitely my favorite character and I’m super excited about writing his story. He portrays himself as overly cocky and confident but there is so much more to him than that. He is so much fun.

7. Preferred method for readers to contact you?

Right now, the best way for readers to contact me is through my Facebook page.


08. What’s the best compliment that you’ve received about your work?

Every single compliment I have gotten blows my mind. Every time someone tells me how much they enjoy my writing or demands more is an amazing experience for me. I couldn’t pick just one because I still haven’t got over the shock of there being even one compliment let alone more than that. It means so much to me to know that I entertained someone. Knowing that people are actually enjoying something that I created is the exhilarating.


Goodreads blurb: 

Audrey Green’s life was going nowhere fast. She didn’t think things could get any worse until a stranger at a door proved her wrong. 
Mistaken for another woman, Audrey is abducted and thrown into a situation she thought possible only in the movies. 
Upon discovering the identity of her gorgeous yet arrogant captor, Audrey is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: Fight for her freedom… or stay and be rewarded. 
A simple choice with a huge reward. 

Easy decision, right? 

Or will her choice and her captor’s secret ultimately lead to more danger than she could ever be prepared for? 


This blurb instantly hooked me. Mistaken identity? Kidnapping? Danger and suspense? Umm yes please! My favorite kind of book. 

Right from the start, Hatfield dives right in. There’s no waiting, or needless build up, it’s just BAM straight to the action. Filled with a nonstop intense narrative, this book had plenty of the twists and turns that I need in any suspense novel.

Audrey was a character that I really liked. She is relatable as she is just an average woman that speaks to many other women. She’s down on her luck already, then she finds herself tangled up in this insane web of deception and betrayal. Soon, she finds she has to make a difficult choice. Is she willing to risk it all for a reward she never imagined? 

There were also some great supporting characters, but I don’t want to reveal their roles as it could spoil things. Liam was an intriguing character. He’s sexy, aloof, cold and calculating. But there may be more to him than meets the eye. Stefan is also fascinating. He’s funny with a dangerous edge. I enjoyed both of these men and what they added to the story.

The dialogue is sharp, witty and adds something romantic to the tension that Hatfield creates. I enjoyed this balance as it helped break the mood of an intense storyline. There is enough romance here to call it a romantic suspense novel, but it’s not overbearing. There were sparks and a handful of sizzling scenes, but nothing too over the top.

Per usual, I don’t want to go too in depth into the details of this book because I refuse to spoil things for others, but Hatfield shows great potential as a suspense novelist and I’m looking forward to hearing more from her as an author. 

Overall rating: 4/5

About the author:

Nicole Hatfield is a wife and a mother of 3 amazing children. Realizing her life long dream of being a published writer, she started writing chapter by chapter on an internet forum and soon Abduction was born.

You can connect with Nicole Hatfield at


Review: Watching Edie by Camilla Way

Goodreads Amazon
Release date: July 28, 2016 in the UK and August 2 in the US.

Publisher: Harper Collins UK

Genre: Mystery/Psychological Thriller

Goodreads blurb:

Beautiful, creative, a little wild… Edie was the kind of girl who immediately caused a stir when she walked into your life. And she had dreams back then—but it didn’t take long for her to learn that things don’t always turn out the way you want them to.

Now, at thirty-three, Edie is working as a waitress, pregnant and alone. And when she becomes overwhelmed by the needs of her new baby and sinks into a bleak despair, she thinks that there’s no one to turn to…

But someone’s been watching Edie, waiting for the chance to prove once again what a perfect friend she can be. It’s no coincidence that Heather shows up on Edie’s doorstep, just when Edie needs her the most. So much has passed between them—so much envy, longing, and betrayal. And Edie’s about to learn a new lesson: those who have hurt us deeply—or who we have hurt—never let us go, not entirely… 


This book is told alternately from Before and After a mysterious incident, with Edie narrating the After and Heather narrating the Before. As the unreliable narrator has been abundant in many psychological thrillers as of late, it only added to my distrust and wariness of both women, which I enjoyed. I love not knowing who to trust and trying to decode and decipher every word that comes out of a characters mouth. It adds an additional layer of suspense to an already suspenseful narrative.

Edie and Heather have a very bizarre friendship. Edie was a happy, pretty and outgoing teenager, while Heather was awkward, unpopular and odd. Despite their differences the unlikely pair become close friends. But what happened Before to tear them apart? And what does that have to do with their adult lives now?

There is quite a bit of buildup to what happened Before, then you jump to After where things are getting creepy and unsettling for Edie. You see, Edie has her baby all alone and she has no one to help her in her time of need. She’s lonely, isolated and in desperate need of a friend. Suddenly, Heather shows up just when she needs her the most and she swoops in to save the day. She helps out so much that it’s almost as if she’s taking over Edie’s life. Strange things begin to happen to Edie, things that are making her paranoid and frightened. Is it just a coincidence that this started while Heather arrived? Or are old, long buried secrets to blame? 

Once the details of Before are revealed, things start to fall in place. I was disgusted, angry and disappointed, yet it all made perfect sense. I would have liked a bit more closure in the end, but that is just me being greedy and always wanting a tidy ending with an epilogue, thank you very much. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Harper Collins UK for my copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Explanation of my Rating System

I’ve noticed recently how different all of us book bloggers rate books and how different each rating system can be. It seems like the majority of us use a basic five star system, but many of you are creative and use something specific to your blog, which I love! I’ve also seen some that break down different parts of the book and rate them individually which is also great, I’m just not quite that ambitious. 

With that being said, I figured it was time to go through and explain my personal rating system. 

I’ve stuck to the five star model as I cross post my reviews to Goodreads and Amazon and it just keeps things easier and even across platforms. 

Here’s what each rating means to me:

1/5: Couldn’t even finish this one because of several determining factors such as poor editing, awful confusing plots, and overall bad writing. (Note, it’s really rare for me to rate a book this low. I realize that authors spend endless amounts of time writing and I can usually appreciate the effort. If I use this rating, rest assured that it’s that bad.)

2/5: This rating means that while I felt the book had potential, it needs some more work. I may have liked parts of the premise or the characters, but something was missing. 

3/5: This rating means that I liked the book but there was usually one or more issues that kept me from rating it higher. The plot and characters were probably enjoyable, but maybe they weren’t as developed as I would have liked. I would recommend this book in some instances to certain readers.

4/5: I really liked this book and would recommend it to fans of this genre. It was well written, had an engaging premise, and well developed characters. I may have had a minor issue with something, but it was still a great read. (Note, many books that I really liked get this rating as I tend to save 5’s for books that I find perfect.)

5/5: This book was excellent and I loved it. I will be recommending it to everyone who will listen and I will be talking about it for ages. The writing is brilliant, characters are relatable and superbly developed and the plot was fantastic. It’s a must read.

I do use half star ratings sometimes because I may feel like a book is almost to the next rating and I want to give the author credit. Since I try and reserve my five star ratings for truly amazing books, many really good books may be rated 4.5/5.

What does your rating system look like? 

Review: Lovers and Liars by Nigel May

Goodreads Amazon  Author Website
Release date: June 16, 2016

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Chick Lit

Goodreads blurb: 

Welcome to the Velvet Hotel Barbados where money and sex go hand in hand with murder …. 

When millionaire playboy Sheridan Rivers is found dead at his luxurious hotel on the paradise island of Barbados, there are several suspects in the frame… 

Sutton: Sheridan’s long-suffering wife was permanently pushed aside for his younger lovers. Was it time for her to make a stand? 

Kassidy: Sheridan’s assistant longs to be wealthy in her own right. Employed for her sexual and organisational skills, could she have had her eyes on a bigger prize? 

Nikki: Sheridan’s oldest daughter has done something really bad that her dad has discovered. What price will she pay to keep his silence? 

Heather: The apple of her father, Sheridan’s, eye. But she blames him for a terrible tragedy that turned her world upside down. Is the time ripe for revenge? 

Four women, each with a cross to bear – all waiting for the perfect moment to get even… 

This summer, pour yourself a glass of bubbly and escape with the elite to the golden beaches of Barbados for a sexy, scandalous romp that you won’t be able to put down. 


Nigel May has been often compared to Jackie Collins, who I absolutely adored. Upon hearing these comparisons I knew that I had to immediately check out his work as I’ve been a fan of JC for years. I’m delighted to say that May fills up a part of the hole in my heart that appeared when the lovely Ms. Collins passed. 

This book is filled with a colorful cast of characters that are both fascinating and repelling. There are some who you loathe because they are absolutely vile, there are others that I adored for their strength, witty bitchiness and naughtiness. 

Sheridan Rivers is murdered right at the start of the book, then you go back to several months prior to his death. The man has no shortage of enemies as the reader soon discovers, and as his shocking misdeeds are revealed you can’t help but wonder how he managed to stay alive as long as he did.

Getting a glimpse inside the world of the fabulously wealthy is always so fun for me. Layered with exotic locales, sex, gossip, and glitz, this book takes you on one hell of a sexy ride. Every character has dirty little secrets hidden which adds intrigue and deceit to this spicy novel. 

This book is a perfect summer read as it is hip, current, racy and oh so entertaining. Grab a cocktail and head to the pool with a copy of Lovers and Liars for a light, breezy and devilishly naughty treat. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for my copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Top 5 Wednesday 

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at  Gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts On Tomes. Check out the Goodreads group for more info.
Most Unlikable Characters: 

While I really liked this book, I had very conflicting emotions about Lexie. There were moments where I really sympathized with her, then there were others where I absolutely couldn’t stand her! I was so torn. She definitely isn’t easily likable.

I am a huge Karin Slaughter fan, but Lena Adams from her Grant County series drives me insane! She’s one of those characters that I love to hate. Throughout these books, there were times where I wanted to scream at her and shake her hard. Anytime I started to feel sorry for her I immediately shook it off. She clearly got under my skin.

All four Plumb siblings in The Nest. I had heard tons of hype about this book so I was really excited to read it. It was a major letdown for me unfortunately. This family is so self entitled and self absorbed that I couldn’t find anything relatable about them. I disliked all of them.

I had heard great things about Denise Mina’s Alex Morrow series but I didn’t even bother continuing on after the first book. She’s angry and mean and just an all around mess. I generally like tortured female leads but this one missed the boat for me as I found I couldn’t sympathize with her.

I had high hopes for The Wicked Girls but it didn’t live up to my expectations. It was an ok read, but the character of Kirsty really annoyed me. I don’t wanna get into the why too much, but I feel like she was able to come off with her hands clean and it was undeserved.

What characters do you not like?

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger

I was tagged by both Martin at A pretty wonderful book and Amanda at Hanging with Amanda. Thanks so much for the tag guys! If you haven’t checked out their blogs, please do.

The object of the tag is to answer the questions, then nominate 5 more bloggers who you’d like to get to know a bit more about by them answering the same questions. 

How long have you been a blogger? 

Only about 6 weeks now but I’ve been reviewing books on Amazon and Goodreads longer. I really love having a place where I can connect with other book lovers!

At what point do you think you will stop? 

Umm never hopefully! I really enjoy book blogging and I feel like I’ve found something I’m really passionate about. I hope to keep sharing my book related opinions for a very long time.

What is the best part? 

Being able to talk about books with like minded people. I’m constantly adding to my TBR and that’s fun as well. I love reading other bloggers reviews of the same books I’ve reviewed. It’s interesting to see if they had similar thoughts and it’s also nice to see others viewpoints even if they differ from mine. Oftentimes it makes me really see a new perspective and opens up new discussions and questions.

What is the worst part? 

Not being able to ever feel like I’m completely caught up. I swear everyday there are tons of ideas for new posts or just five new books added to my TBR. It’s never ending!

How long does it take you to find/create pictures to use?

Not long usually. If I’m making one it’s less than a few minutes. I’m trying to get more creative about posting better pictures to go along with my posts. 

Who’s your book crush? 

At the moment, no one. Honestly, I’ve been reading a lot of thrillers so those characters aren’t very crush worthy haha. Otis in Phantom Limbs is so sweet but as its a YA book and he’s a teen I feel creepy adding him as a crush.

What author would you like to have on your blog? 

Oh man, so many! Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, Emily Giffen, Jodie Picoult, Tana French, Karin Slaughter, Sophie Kinsella, James Patterson, Harlan Coben, this list goes on and on. Really any author that I’ve read and enjoyed their book. I would love to pick their brains!

What do you wear when you write your blog? 

Whatever I’m wearing for the day! I’m very casual, I don’t dress fancy very often. I’m a stay at home to three kids under 7 and nice clothes and sticky little kid hands do not mix well! 

How long does it take you to prepare a post?

Depends on the type of post. Tags and memes usually not too long, less than a hour. Reviews take longer as I want them to be of quality content. I take notes while reading a book for review so it takes some time to organize my thoughts. I usually try and do them in one sitting so I would say a few hours tops, more if I get interrupted.

How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture? 

It’s amazing! So warm, welcoming and supportive, I’ve been blown away. There are so many of you that have been sweet and engaging and I appreciate it immensely.

What do you think one should do to have a successful blog? 

Post content that you believe in and are passionate about. Don’t be swayed by what others are posting or saying. So what if someone loves a book that you didn’t? Post your opinion too. I love hearing various viewpoints. Be committed. It will take time, consistency and patience for all of us to have successful blogs.

My nominees: 

Taylor at Taylor Reads Books

Annie at The Misstery

Lottie at Novellique

Fernanda at Mystery Date With a Book

Ayustika at That Bibliophilic Cauldron

This was fun thanks again for the nominations!