Book Review ~ The Breakdown by B. A. Paris

Book: The Breakdown

Author: B. A. Paris

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Release: St. Martin’s Press | July 18, 2017

Source: Publisher

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

I know a lot of people already heard of this author by her previous work, but for me, this happened to be the first time I read B. A. Paris. I think it’s safe to say right now that it won’t be my last. A very engaging narration and story line that hooked me from the first page.

I don’t know how familiar you are with stories like this one, or how close you come to cracking your brain trying to come up with theories as you read along, but whatever your poison, this will be an enjoyable read. Though I admit it lacked the shock value for me, it still was an entertaining story. The narration, for one, was intriguing because you never know whether what Cass is going through is real or it’s a figment of her overactive imagination due to the guilt and stress she’s experiencing.

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Book Review ~ The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Book: The Wife Between Us

Author: Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Release: Macmillan | February 8, 2018

Source: Publisher

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.

It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with her replacement.

It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she loves.

The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect woman.

You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.

You will be wrong.

 

This was a fast paced, gripping novel about two women whose lives intercept and mingle, a story in which things seem blurry at the very least. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, and about the thrilling story told within, that my mind immediately started working overtime trying to guess what was happening. I liked the exercise because it sucked me right in.

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ARC Review ~ 19 Souls by J. D. Allen

Book: 19 Souls

Author: J. D. Allen

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Thriller

Release: Midnight Ink | February 8, 2018

Source: Publisher

Private Investigator Jim Bean is a straightforward, to-the-point man. When his latest client, Sophie Evers, asks him to find her brother Daniel, Jim has no idea how complicated his life is about to become.

Daniel is not Sophie’s brother. He is her most coveted prey. Clinging to the belief that they belong together, Sophie kills Daniel’s real sister to manipulate Jim into flushing Daniel out of hiding. She will create the “perfect life” for the only man she’s ever loved, no matter how many people she must kill along the way.

When Jim discovers the truth about Sophie, he’s driven to set things right before her delusional plan claims even more souls.

With a series name like Sin City Investigation, this book immediately got my attention. And the plot was interesting, we got a dangerous woman who wants to find the man she loves and is willing to do whatever it takes to find him, including killing his sister and impersonating her to hire a PI to do her footwork. Yes? No? It was a definite yes for me.

There were a couple of issues I had with this story though. While the idea of a murderess who clearly has mental issues appealed to me, we didn’t spend enough time in her mind for me to fully grasp her psyche, which was what interested me the most in this story. Sure, we read her point of view but it was very superficial, not enough to convince me I had front row seat to her mindset.

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Review ~ Shattered Fear by Tara Thomas

Book: Shattered Fear

Author: Tara Thomas

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Published: St. Martin’s Press, February 6, 2018

Source: Publisher

Welcome to the sultry streets of Charleston, where simmering desire and dark danger rule…

Forbidden love never felt so good…

She’s got a killer to catch.
He just might be it.
Undercover detective Janie Roberts needs to find out for sure if Brent Taylor is a murderer.
Handsome, wealthy, and sexy-as-sin Brent Taylor.
She’s got to get close enough to learn his secrets.

But getting this close is dangerous in more ways than one…

I find novellas hard to rate. On the one hand, they’re short and to the point so I might expect to get my story without too much drama, and on the other hand, well, they’re short and to the point. Fast. I’m prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to novellas because their job is hard, to tell a story in limited page numbers, but sometimes I just can’t get over the fact that writing a novella for a particular kind of story is the wrong choice. And in this case I think it was. This was a suspense story as well as a romance so I expected some development in that regard.

Janie is a cop. After several women start to disappear only to be found dead in the end, she goes undercover in a club as the bartender to gather information and to keep an eye out for possible suspects.

My biggest problem in this book was with Janie.

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Review ~ Once A Charmer by Sharla Lovelace

Book: Once A Charmer

Author: Sharla Lovelace

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Published: Lyrical Shine, October 17, 2017

Source: Publisher

Charmed, Texas, is a close-knit small town where people’s dreams of love can come true. That’s not to say that some people aren’t still waiting, and dreaming . . .
 
By day, Allie Greene stays busy with her family diner, and keeping tabs on her teenage daughter. What’s really exhausting Allie, however, are the nights. Not that she minds Bash Anderson unbuttoning her naughty desires—if only in her dreams. But what was he doing there at all? He’s her best friend, and a father figure to her girl. Talk about awkward. Talk about OMG-heat-and-fireworks that are flipping fifteen years of normal upside down. And now, when Allie needs him as a friend more than ever, logic doesn’t stand a chance against his lips and irresistible deep-blue eyes . . .

Sure, Bash has fantasized about Allie, but there’s no way he’d act on it. She and her daughter are the closest thing to family he’s ever known. With the exception of one drunken moment fifteen years ago, he and Allie have stayed on this side of the line—until that impulsive kiss of hers knocked him on his butt. That’s just one hurdle. Not only does Allie need Bash’s help to save her diner, but his apiary is in trouble, too. To stir the pot further, they’ve been roped into vying for the town’s Honey King and Queen contest—a sweet event that’s making them closer than ever. Something’s bound to come undone. Bash just hopes it’s not the friendship he’s worked so hard to hold on to.

All the spoons. Give me all the spoons and all the measurement cups for this book. Or you know what, no, I’ll have this to go with a nice cup of coffee, I’ll have it as cream on top of my double chocolate brownie. Or, I might have it as my security blanket to sleep with at night. I haven’t decided yet. Such a wonderful, charming-yeah, yeah, I know- sweet and heartwarming story.

As one of my favorite tropes, this is a friends-to-lovers story. Allie and Bash have been friends since they were seventeen, they’ve been through all the good, bad and ugly in their lives. They’ve seen each other at their best and inevitably at their worst. It was clear in the story that they both have been a little in love with each other from the start, it just had to take some teenage drama, money in trees and mysterious townsfolk with special powers to realize that.

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