Throwback Thursday: Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: September 6, 2016

Publisher: Macmillan

Genre: Memoir

Blurb:

The highly anticipated new memoir by bestselling author Glennon Doyle Melton tells the story of her journey of self-discovery after the implosion of her marriage.

Just when Glennon Doyle Melton was beginning to feel she had it all figured out—three happy children, a doting spouse, and a writing career so successful that her first book catapulted to the top of the New York Times bestseller list—her husband revealed his infidelity and she was forced to realize that nothing was as it seemed. A recovering alcoholic and bulimic, Glennon found that rock bottom was a familiar place. In the midst of crisis, she knew to hold on to what she discovered in recovery: that her deepest pain has always held within it an invitation to a richer life.

Love Warrior is the story of one marriage, but it is also the story of the healing that is possible for any of us when we refuse to settle for good enough and begin to face pain and love head-on. This astonishing memoir reveals how our ideals of masculinity and femininity can make it impossible for a man and a woman to truly know one another – and it captures the beauty that unfolds when one couple commits to unlearning everything they’ve been taught so that they can finally, after thirteen years of marriage, fall in love.

Love Warrior is a gorgeous and inspiring account of how we are born to be warriors: strong, powerful, and brave; able to confront the pain and claim the love that exists for us all. This chronicle of a beautiful, brutal journey speaks to anyone who yearns for deeper, truer relationships and a more abundant, authentic life.

Review:

I’m joining in again with Throwback Thursday which was created by my good friend Renee at It’s Book Talk . She started this weekly feature as a way to highlight old favorites and read books that have already been published. I have so many older books on my TBR that get ignored in favor of review copies and I figure participating in Throwback Thursday will help me to read at a least one older title a week!

I usually don’t read much non fiction, but if I am in the mood, I tend to gravitate towards memoirs, there is something about someones personal story that is fascinating to me, especially when it’s just an average person sharing their life experiences.

One must be honest when they’re sharing the story of their life, this isn’t fiction where you can invent situations and experiences to suit whatever type of theme you’re striving for and the author was brutally honest as she detailed her struggles with bulimia, alcoholism and her marriage. This was such a raw look at one woman’s life, she allowed herself to be extremely vulnerable in order to share deep parts of her with the world, I so admire her bravery. She doesn’t apologize for the mistakes that she made, she doesn’t feel ashamed to just be who she truly is, but she reveals the painful steps she had to take in order to become her true self and it was beautiful to witness.

I found Doyle Melton to be sharply insightful and wise beyond her years, yes parts of this book were dark but I was so inspired as a woman by the nuggets of wisdom she shared. It was an intimate look at her life and her marriage which is rife with problems and beyond messy, but it was real, honest and heartfelt. If you enjoy memoirs, give this a try. Would also be good for anyone in the midst of a divorce or contemplating one.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Review: Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: November 21, 2017

Publisher: Gallery Books

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

Beloved author Molly Harper launches a brand-new contemporary romance series, Southern Eclectic, with this story of a big-city party planner who finds true love in a small Georgia town.

Nestled on the shore of Lake Sackett, Georgia is the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. (What, you have a problem with one-stop shopping?) Two McCready brothers started two separate businesses in the same building back in 1928, and now it’s become one big family affair. And true to form in small Southern towns, family business becomes everybody’s business.

Margot Cary has spent her life immersed in everything Lake Sackett is not. As an elite event planner, Margot’s rubbed elbows with the cream of Chicago society, and made elegance and glamour her business. She’s riding high until one event goes tragically, spectacularly wrong. Now she’s blackballed by the gala set and in dire need of a fresh start—and apparently the McCreadys are in need of an event planner with a tarnished reputation.

As Margot finds her footing in a town where everybody knows not only your name, but what you had for dinner last Saturday night and what you’ll wear to church on Sunday morning, she grudgingly has to admit that there are some things Lake Sackett does better than Chicago—including the dating prospects. Elementary school principal Kyle Archer is a fellow fish-out-of-water who volunteers to show Margot the picture-postcard side of Southern living. The two of them hit it off, but not everybody is happy to see an outsider snapping up one of the town’s most eligible gentleman. Will Margot reel in her handsome fish, or will she have to release her latest catch?

Review:

Have you ever read a book and felt like the author wrote it just for you? Like it truly speaks to your soul, the characters seem like your type of people and there is such a strong connection you wouldn’t be at all surprised if said characters jumped off the page and strolled into your home? That’s exactly what happened when I read Sweet Tea & Sympathy, I felt understood. That may sound silly as this book is a very lighthearted read, but it’s true! I loved everything about it from the setting of small town Georgia, to the characters and the sweet and funny storyline.

I think what made me enjoy this book so much is that Margot’s sense of humor is similar to my own. She’s sharp and sarcastic, but underneath her cool exterior she has a pretty huge heart. Her burgeoning relationship with Kyle was equal parts awkward, adorable and spicy which is basically my favorite combination of all time. Besides those two you have Margot’s family, which although extremely embarrassing they made me laugh so much. The residents of Lake Sackett aren’t exactly welcoming to Margot but her altercations with some of the prissy ladies in town had me rolling.

This is the start of a new series and I couldn’t be more thrilled, I already miss these characters and can’t wait to catch up with them next spring. I was utterly charmed and delighted by Sweet Tea and Sympathy and Harper is such a wonderful storyteller.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Blog Tour: The Silent Foutain by Victoria Fox

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: October 31, 2017

Publisher: Harper Collins

Genre: Historical Fiction

Blurb:

Something terrible happened here…Hollywood, 1975: Tragedy sends troubled film star Vivien Lockhart into the arms of Giovanni Moretti, and it seems her fortunes have finally changed. Until she meets his sister, and learns that her new husband’s past holds dark secrets. Tuscany, Present day: Everyone in London is searching for Lucy Whittaker – so Lucy needs to disappear. But her new home, the crumbling Castillo Barbarossa, is far from the secluded paradise it seemed. Across the decades, Vivien and Lucy find themselves trapped in the idyllic Italian villa. And if they are ever to truly escape its walls, they must first unearth its secrets…

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Silent Fountain. Check out TLC Book Tours for the full schedule.

Review:

I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting when I started reading The Silent Fountain but whatever I had been anticipating could in no way live up to my actual experience reading this little gem of a book. It had a little bit of everything and then some, there was suspense, tension, intrigue, scandal, romance all steeped in a dark and painful history. It was also extremely evocative and took me on quite an emotional journey that I won’t soon forget.

This is told using dual narratives, you have Lucy in the present day who is fleeing London after a troubled past to seek work in Tuscany and then there’s Vivien in the seventies who lived in the house where Lucy will be working. This was a very compelling read but I did find myself more drawn to Vivien’s sections, I think I was just more emotionally connected to her and fully invested in her story. The pacing was great, it flipped back and forth effortlessly until things almost merged together in a heartbreaking conclusion.

Fox is an amazing writer, her imagery was beautiful and I was swept away to Italy inside the walls of Barbarossa. She did an awesome job of constructing a haunting setting in the old, worn out mansion and I could easily imagine each and every scene I read. The stunning cover didn’t hurt either, I swear I kept staring at it time and time again! Fox has a new fan in me, I’ll definitely be following her closely, this was an excellent read.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for my review copy.

About the Author:

Victoria Fox is a bestselling author in the UK. She used to work in publishing and is now the author of six novels. The Silent Fountain is her breakout novel in North America. She divides her time between Bristol and London.

Connect with Victoria

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Extract: Murder on the Minneapolis by Anita Davison @aria_fiction

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: October 1, 2016

Publisher: Aria

Genre: Historical Fiction

Blurb:

NEW YORK 1900.  A captivating historical drama on-board the maiden voyage of the S.S. Minneapolis featuring series character Flora Maguire. For fans of Downton Abbey.

Young governess Flora Maguire is on her way home from America on the maiden voyage of the S.S. Minneapolis with her young charge Eddy, Viscount Trent, when she discovers a dead body.

Unconvinced when the death is pronounced an accident, Flora starts asking questions, but following threats, a near drowning and a second murder, the hunt is on for a killer. Time is running out as the Minneapolis approaches the English coast.

Will Flora be able to protect Eddy, as well as herself?

Is her burgeoning relationship with the handsome Bunny Harrington only a shipboard dalliance, or something more?  And what secrets must Flora keep in order to stay safe?

Hey everyone, hope y’all are having a wonderful week. I have an extract from Murder on the Minneapolis to share today!

Extract:

Chapter 1

Saturday

Well-wishers stood four deep on Pier 39 in New York Harbour beneath a sea of colourful hats wide as sailboats, their owners waving handkerchiefs or sobbing into them. Horse-drawn carriages with crests on the doors lined up alongside hired hackneys to disgorge elegantly dressed couples and businessmen with their matronly wives, all of whom joined the clamour on the quayside taking farewell of friends and relatives. The clatter of hooves vied with shouts from newsboys and costermongers plying their wares to the waiting crowd, their voices combined in an inaudible concert.

Boisterous children darted between them, miniature flags held aloft on sticks; Union Jacks and Stars and Stripes in equal numbers. Harassed nurses made vain attempts to round them up, while their parents looked on with bored disinterest. Porters strained behind loaded trolleys calling out their warnings to make way, while imperious matrons issued braying instructions for the disposition of their luggage.

‘It’s huge!’ Flora stood at the bottom of the gangplank, her foot tapping in time to the music from a brass band led by an enthusiastic conductor in a rendition of the ‘Washington Post’ march. She had seen ocean-going steamers before, even travelled on one, yet there was something awe-inspiring about the Minneapolis, with her gleaming black hull, bright red smoke stack and taut metal winch lines draped with multi-coloured bunting.’

‘This is her maiden voyage,’ Eddy shouted as he waved the shipping line brochure that had been his constant companion this past week under Flora’s nose: ‘Listen to this,’ he opened the booklet and read aloud. ‘She’s six hundred feet long, and 13,400 tonnes, which means she has the largest tonnage of any ship afloat, apart from the SS Oceanic.’

‘Which was the ship we came over on three months ago,’ Flora reminded him.

‘I know, but Minneapolis is a brand new ship.’ He looked up briefly from the brochure. ‘This is her maiden voyage, and she’s carrying only seventy-eight first-class passengers and a hundred and fifty five crew. That’s almost two crew members for each passenger. Just think, Flora we’ll be the first people to travel on her.’ He tucked the booklet back into his pocket, his gaze following a man who walked past with a boy of about his own age. The man pointed items of interest out to the boy, who laughed and chatted at his side, both intent on each other.

‘I’m sorry you have only me for company on the trip home.’ Flora caressed Eddy’s shoulder gently with one hand. ‘Your parents would have stayed to see you off, but they had a train to catch.’

‘I don’t mind being with you, Flora. For a governess, you’re a good egg.’ Eddy swiped a hand across eyes that looked suspiciously wet, then trained a morose glare on the emotional farewells taking place on the quayside. ‘Mama didn’t even bother to get out of the carriage.’

Although tall for thirteen, with well-defined features that promised to mature into male handsomeness in years to come, Edward, Viscount Trent, was still very much a child.

‘You’re very important to your father.’ Flora bit her lip at the disappointment in his voice. ‘You’re Lord Vaughn’s heir, remember.’

She tried to imagine how she would feel, if her parents had packed her off back to England while they toured the Eastern United States. The question was moot, for her mother had died when she was young and, as Lord Vaughn’s head butler, her father didn’t possess the resources to send her anywhere. Flora had resigned herself long ago to viewing the peripatetic lives of the English aristocracy from the shadows.

‘I would sooner be just his son.’ Eddy broke away from her and pounded up the gangplank.

Sighing, Flora prepared to follow, but was prevented by a young man in a shabby brown suit who stepped in front of her, a bulky camera raised to his face. ‘Photograph, Miss?’

‘Er no, thank you.’ Flora stood on tiptoe to keep Eddy in sight, he had reached the saloon deck and was on his way to the outside companionway. ‘Maybe later.’

Lowering the camera, the youth pressed a pasteboard card into her hand. ‘Printed in our own darkroom, and available throughout the voyage,’ his sales patter continued unabated. ‘Perfect to send to your loved ones as postcards.’

‘I’m sure.’ Thanking him with a smile, Flora shoved the card into a pocket without looking at it, and joined a queue of passengers further up the gangplank.

An officer saluted her with a smile, and flattered, she stood a little straighter before proceeding to the packed deck where a group of sailors held out baskets of tightly coiled paper streamers in pastel colours. Flora grabbed a handful, pausing to allow an elderly matron to totter past with a tiny white dog on a leash. With a sharp eye open for Eddy, she eased through the press of bodies, where a barrage of feathers and silk flowers batted her face, their owners with world-weary expressions oblivious to her repeated and increasingly urgent “excuse me’s”.

She spotted Eddy again on the promenade deck, where he strolled the row of doors of the suites where she guessed he was trying to find theirs. Flora started up the companionway to join him, forced to a halt at the top when a noisy family shoved past her. She stepped back to let them pass, where her attention was caught by an arrestingly pretty woman beneath the deck canopy. In a claret wool travelling coat with mutton leg sleeves and fox fur trim, she looked to be about Flora’s own age. Her features were set hard, eyes narrowed and her fists clenched at her sides in barely restrained anger.

The object of her fury was older, with slightly receding hair, olive skin and thick eyebrows that met in the middle. He accepted her tirade in silence, while he repeatedly eased his collar away from his throat with a finger.

Her message delivered, the lady shot him a final hard glare, swivelled on her heel and stalked away.

The man inhaled deeply from a lit cheroot, shot the smoke in a straight upward stream, turned and leaned both forearms on the rail, hunched forward as if the encounter had drained him.

Flora took in his yellow-stained fingers and badly cut hair as she passed, intrigued as to what someone like him could have to say to the immaculate girl in her expensive clothes.

About the Author:

Born in London, Anita has always had a penchant for all things historical.  She now lives in the beautiful Cotswolds, the backdrop for her Flora Maguire mysteries.

Anita’s Blog – http:thedisorganisedauthor.blogspot.co.uk

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/anita.davison

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AnitaSDavison

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate.

What I Read Last Week:

I’m obsessed with The Wife Between Us I loved it!

A Season to Lie was another solid book in a series I’m enjoying.

Bridges is the second in a series about female friendships and life, really good!

Written in Blood was a really cool read, old school vibe with a unique killer.

I listened to Let’s Just Be Friends and I always enjoy a Camilla Isley book.

Beneath the Skin was a different type of psychological thriller.

Currently Reading:

Up Next:

How was your week? Any amazing books I need to check out?

Review: Left to Chance by Amy Sue Nathan

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website

Release date: November 21, 2017

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Blurb:

From the author of The Good Neighbor and The Glass Wives comes an enchanting story of returning home and discovering what truly matters after loss.

No one knows why Teddi Lerner left her hometown, but everyone knows why she’s back.

Twelve-year-old Shayna— talented, persistent, and adorable—persuaded “Aunt Tee” to return to Chance, Ohio, to photograph her father’s wedding. Even though it’s been six years since Shay’s mother, Celia, died, Teddi can hardly bear the thought of her best friend’s husband marrying someone else. But Teddi’s bond with Shay is stronger than the hurt.

Teddi knows it’s time to face the consequences of her hasty retreat from family, friends, and, her old flame, but when she looks through her viewfinder, nothing in her small town looks the same. That’s when she truly sees the hurt she’s caused and—maybe—how to fix it.

After the man she once loved accuses Teddi of forgetting Celia, Teddi finally admits why she ran away, and the guilt she’s carried with her. As Teddi relinquishes the distance that kept her safe, she’ll discover surprising truths about the people she left behind, and herself. And she’ll finally see what she overlooked all along.

Review:

This was my first book by Nathan but I enjoyed it so much that I’ll be adding her earlier work to my TBR. There was something so natural and authentic about her writing, I was almost immediately invested in Teddi’s life and that of the residents of Chance, Ohio. This was full of poignant moments and plenty of life lessons that stick with you long after you turn the final page.

Teddi doesn’t want to go back home but there’s no way she can say no to Shay. When I say she left six years ago I actually mean she fled, leaving everyone she knew and loved because she was in so much pain and had no idea how to face it. Running away was easier. Her homecoming is awkward to say the least, the only person who seems truly happy to see her is Shay. I loved that Teddi’s life was far from perfect, it was totally messy but she was finally willing to face her issues head on. She was brave, honest and she had a terrific sense of humor.

This book had it all, a fantastic small town setting, characters that felt like friends or people that you would want as friends, and wonderful, touching lessons about friendship, loss, love and life. It all had so much warmth, tenderness and heart behind it and I throughly enjoyed every second I spent getting to know these lovely characters.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Beneath the Skin by Caroline England @CazEngland

Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK

Release date: October 5, 2017

Publisher: Avon Books

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Blurb:

No-one remembers your past. But you do.

‘Antonia, Antonia. My name is Antonia.’

It’s been her name for many years. But sometimes, like tonight, she forgets.

Antonia has a secret. A secret so dark and so deep that she can barely admit it to herself. Instead, she treats herself to Friday night sessions of self-harm while her husband David is at the pub, and her best friend Sophie is drinking too much wine a few doors down.

Nobody close to her knows the truth about what the teenage Antonia saw all those years ago. No-one, that is, except her mother. But Candy is in a care home now, her mind too addled to remember the truth. Antonia is safe. Isn’t she?

The lies start small. They always do. But when the tightly woven story you’ve told yourself begins to unravel, the truth threatens to come to the surface. And then what’s going to happen?

Review:

I want to start by saying that I think this book was slightly misleading only because I don’t believe it was marketed correctly, which is unfortunate. It’s billed as a psychological thriller and while I can definitely agree with the psychological aspect it’s not a true thriller by any means. It’s more of a character driven psychological drama with some unexpected developments. Despite having to adjust my expectations once I really got started with this one, I did enjoy it but I just wanted to clear that up for any future readers!

This follows four different couples who all have ties to each other and the story goes back and forth between all of them, weaving in and out rather seamlessly. You have Antonia and David, Sami and Sophie, Charlie and Helen and Olivia and Mike and you’ll like some of them and loathe others, which I always think is entertaining. They were all extremely well crafted, the characterization is really the base of this book and what makes it really good. They have tangled pasts and are harboring their own secrets making for a dark, unpredictable tale.

England is a really talented writer, she has a beautiful writing style with prose that flows and holds your attention. This has super slow building tension that gradually builds up, it’s structured into three parts and once the second part starts things get more intense than they were previously. There were some loose threads in the end that did leave me wanting a bit more, but overall I was pretty satisfied. I would recommend picking this up if you need a break from a typical psychological thriller, I’ve heard this described as a domestic noir and I think that is an apt and fitting label.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Q & A with Pankaj Giri, Author of The Fragile Thread of Hope @_PankajGiri


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK

Release date: October 29, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Blurb:

In the autumn of 2012, destiny wreaks havoc on two unsuspecting people–Soham and Fiona.

 

Although his devastating past involving his brother still haunted him, Soham had established a promising career for himself in Bangalore.

 

After a difficult childhood, Fiona’s fortunes had finally taken a turn for the better. She had married her beloved, and her life was as perfect as she had ever imagined it to be.

 

But when tragedy strikes them yet again, their fundamentally fragile lives threaten to fall apart.

 

Can Fiona and Soham overcome their grief?

 

Will the overwhelming pain destroy their lives?

 

Seasoned with the flavours of exotic Nepalese traditions and set in the picturesque Indian hill station, Gangtok, The Fragile Thread of Hope explores the themes of spirituality, faith, alcoholism, love, and guilt while navigating the complex maze of familial relationships.

 

Inspirational and heart-wrenchingly intimate, it urges you to wonder–does hope stand a chance in this travesty called life?

Happy Saturday everyone!! This book first caught my eye after I read Jules review and while unfortunately I do not have room in my schedule  to read this anytime soon, I was pleased to be able to interview the author! Enjoy.

Q & A:

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

 

I write whenever I get time, at home or at the office, especially if I am in the process of writing a book. Else, I take a break and enjoy my life.

 

My perfect writing environment would be a silent room with my laptop, a cup of black tea, a box of chocolates, and a good internet connection. Contrary to traditional belief that internet distracts a writer, I need the internet to find perfect synonyms, check if a sentence is grammatically correct, and research facts necessary for my book.

 

 

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

 

Frankly speaking, I never even dreamt ofbecoming a writer. In fact, I didn’t even use to read (except for Harry Potter, which I read in my late teens). But after my father passed away four years back, some of my friends suggested me to start reading to divert my mind from the pain. I followed their suggestion, and slowly I fell in love with reading. I also began writing, starting with book reviews. Over the years, having read many books and developed my writing skills by writing several blog posts, I thought of trying my hand at writing a novel. A plot slowly developed in my mind, and soon I started writing. The rest is history.

 

 

3. Who are your favorite writers/inspirations?

 

My favorite writers are Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner is arguably my favorite book), Renita D’Silva (a UK-based, award-nominated, critically acclaimed writer of six bestselling books), Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (award-winning bestselling US-based writer), and J.K.Rowling (can never forget the magical experience which has become a part of my life).

 

 

4. Anything you can tell us about upcoming projects?

 

I have not thought about it yet as I am busy promoting The Fragile Thread of Hope. Once I settle down, I will reflect on my next book.

 

 

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

 

More than two years ago, the plot of The Fragile Thread of Hope took birth in my mind. Probably the story was influenced by the books I was reading at that time–the complex brotherly love between Hassan and Amir in The Kite Runner and the beautiful love between Noah and Allie in The Notebook. Those themes stuck with me, so I felt like weaving a story based on love, loss, and family relationships. Gradually, the characters developed in my mind, and scenes began taking shape and haunting me. After a few weeks, the characters began putting pressure on me, as if prodding me to bring them to life on the canvas of my novel. Then, as I finally obliged, The Fragile Thread of Hope was born.

 

(The Notebook is one of my favorite books!!)

6. Preferred method for readers to contact you?

 

Readers can either contact me via mail (pankajgiri.ps@gmail.com) or via social media.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PankajGiriAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_pankajgiri

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pankajgiri.ps/

 

 

7. On average, how long does it take you to write a book?

 

Generally, it takes me around a year to write a book, but editing takes a lot of time thereafter. Overall, I can produce a decently edited book in two years.

 

 

8. Which one of your characters do you relate to the most?

 

That has to be Soham. He is my alter ego. Not only do we share pains, but we share many characteristics as well. However, I made him a bit more mentally stronger than me because eventually, it’s the writer’s choice. 🙂

 

 

9. If writing wasn’t your career what would you be doing?

 

I used to work in the software industry in Bangalore, but after my father’s death, I had to relocate to Gangtok, my native place. Now, I work in a government job. But my passion lies in writing, and I devote a majority of my time on it.

 

 

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

 

When Renita D’Silva–a marvellous writer and my literary idol–read my book and said that it is one of her favorite books. Whenever I remember that, I always get a very special feeling.

(Renita is a brilliant writer, what an amazing compliment!)

About the Author:


Pankaj Giri was born and brought up in Gangtok, Sikkim–a picturesque hill station in India. He began his writing career with a book review blog, and now, after several years of honing his writing skills, he has written a novel–The Fragile Thread of Hope, a literary inspirational fiction dealing with love, loss, and family relationships. He is currently working in the government sector in Sikkim. He likes to kill time by listening to progressive metal music and watching cricket.

Audiobook Review: Let’s Just Be Friends by Camilla Isley @camillaisley

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: October 13, 2017 (Audible version)

Narrator: Heidi Baker

Publisher: Pink Bloom Press

Genre: NA Romance

Blurb:

What if the man you’ve always loved isn’t the right one for you?

Rose Atwood has been in love with her best friend for years, and she’s tired of keeping her feelings under wraps for fear of getting hurt. Being Tyler’s best friend is becoming more difficult with every passing year and every new woman in his life—especially Georgiana Smithson, a snotty, beautiful girl who’s in Law School with them.

When Rose, dumped by her long-term boyfriend, moves temporarily into Tyler’s apartment, tension spikes. Georgiana wants Rose out of the house. Rose wants Georgiana out of Tyler’s life. And Tyler … well, he doesn’t really know what he wants.

As an unexpected argument brings Rose and Tyler closer than they’ve ever been, they must decide if there’s more to their relationship than being just friends. And they must do it quickly, as Georgiana is determined to do everything in her power to keep Tyler and Rose apart. After all, all is fair in love and war.

Will Rose make a leap of faith and trust Tyler with her heart? Will Tyler make the right choice, or will he be too late?

Let’s Be Just Friends is a fast paced, captivating novel that will keep you glued to the pages with humor, heartbreak, and romance. It’s a story about friendship, love, and the choices we make.

Review:

This is the first in a series that follows a group of college aged kids as they navigate adulthood, school and love. I actually read the second book, Friend Zone first but reading them out of order wasn’t an issue for me, but naturally if you’re new to the series I would recommend starting with book one.

This is told via multiple perspectives but you mainly hear from Rose and Tyler with a handful of chapters from Georgiana and her brother Ethan. Rose and Tyler swear they’re “just friends” but the only people who truly believe that are them, it’s so blatantly obvious they have feelings for each other to everyone else, they’re in total denial. Rose is single but Tyler has a girlfriend named Georgiana and she’s bound and determined to keep her man away from Rose. There is a whole lotta drama going on between these three and then when Rose meets Ethan things get even more sticky.

I love Isley’s style, she writes the type of books that you can get lost in and finish in a few hours, there’s nothing complicated, well besides the characters relationships haha! They’re not too heavy and the drama makes for some great entertainment which is just what I need from time to time. Heidi Baker was a really great narrator, she had a super warm voice that was engaging and made me feel like I was listening to a friend talk to me about her crazy group of friends. Cute, uncomplicated and flirty would be the perfect description!

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

Review: Written in Blood by Layton Green

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: November 7, 2017

Publisher: Seventh Street Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

Detective Joe “Preach” Everson, a prison chaplain turned police officer, is coming home. After a decade tracking down killers in Atlanta, and with a reputation as one of the finest homicide detectives in the city, his career derailed when he suffered a mental breakdown during the investigation of a serial killer who was targeting children.

No sooner does Preach arrive at home in Creekville, North Carolina–a bohemian community near Chapel Hill–than a local bookstore owner is brutally killed, the first murder in a decade. The only officer with homicide experience, Preach is assigned to the case and makes a shocking discovery: the bookstore owner has been murdered in exactly the same manner as the pawnbroker in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

With the help of Ariana Hale, a law student and bibliophile who knew the victim, Preach investigates the local writer’s community. As their questions increase, a second body is found, this time eerily resembling the crime scene in a famous Edgar Allan Poe novella. Preach and Ariana realize that their adversary is an intelligent, literate killer with a mind as devious as it is disturbed–and one or both of them may be his next target.

Review:

What is it about flawed detectives that speaks to my soul? There is something about damaged protagonists with complex and dark pasts that always gets under my skin and Preach wiggled his way into my cold, black heart. Oftentimes a brooding, handsome, complicated cop is a total cliche but for some reason, it didn’t feel that way here. I immediately connected with Preach and was dying to know more about his motivations, his history and what made him the person he is today. Throw in a clever killer and what more can a girl want?!

I absolutely loved the creativity behind the premise for this one, the idea of a killer referencing famous literary works was so intriguing to me. While the case Preach is working has a heavy literary vibe the author didn’t weigh down the text with too many dense, hard to decipher quotes but rather there were a handful of them that enhanced the story and brought a really intelligent aspect to the plot.

This was a good old fashioned police procedural with a subtle sophistication to the authors writing style. The characterization was incredibly strong both in Preach and his fellow officer Kirby and witness Ari. The plotting was super involved and there were a ton of head spinning misdirections that left me reeling. Highly recommended for a cosmopolitan type of reader that wants a classic murder mystery with a literary bent.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.