Book Review ~ The Stranger Inside by Laura Benedict

Book: The Stranger Inside

Author: Laura Benedict

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Release: Mulholland Books | February 5, 2019

YOU PUT YOUR KEY IN THE LOCK. The door won’t open.

THE HOUSE SHOULD BE EMPTY. But someone else is here.

There’s a stranger living in Kimber Hannon’s house. He tells the police that he has every right to be there, and he has the paperwork to prove it.Kimber definitely didn’t invite this man to move in. He tells her that he knows something about her, and he wants everyone else to know it too.

“I was there. I saw what you did.”

These words reveal a connection to Kimber’s distant past, and dark secrets she’d long ago left buried. This trespasser isn’t after anything as simple as her money or her charming Craftsman bungalow. He wants to move into her carefully orchestrated life—and destroy it.

This book, I’m sorry to say, was a disappointment for me. There were a lot of stuff that interested me. Finding a stranger living in your house and claiming that you rented the house to them yourself is not something that happens everyday after all. This alone was enough to grab my attention but the tension that the author built at the very beginning bore no fruit in the end.

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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 ~ A New Leash On Love by Debbie Burns

Book: A New Leash On Love

Series: Rescue Me #1

Author: Debbie Burns

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Kindle

Published: Sourcebooks Casablanca, July 1, 2017

Source: Publisher

If you open your heart to love

When Craig Williams makes the tough decision to return his daughter’s adorable new puppy to a shelter because of his unfortunate divorce, it’s just another part of putting the pieces of his life back together. Getting grief from the fiery young woman running the shelter is the least of his problems…or so he thinks.

There’s no telling where it might take you

Megan Anderson loves the animals at the no-kill shelter she runs, and seeing puppies and kittens returned breaks her heart. Taking on the problems of a handsome man returning his puppy is something that just fires her up. Been there, done that, got burned. But as Craig and Megan are drawn closer together, they realize that the world isn’t all black and white, and the magic of unconditional love can do anything…

If I have to tell you the biggest winner in this book, it’d have to be the shelter. As an animal lover myself-a huge dog person to be exact- reading about how a shelter works and how the animals and people interact, what goes through the minds of those who work there and how they manage the place, interested me more than the romance itself. 

Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t get into the storyline of how Megan and Craig fell in love, I couldn’t even pinpoint when they forged an intimate relationship before taking that big step forwards. It felt as if their bonding took place off the pages and we got the details of what happened after. As interesting and emotional as the shelter storyline was, Megan and Craig’s romance was that passive. 

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Review ~ Girl Number One by Jane Holland

girlnumberoneBook: Girl Number One

Series:

Author: Jane Holland

Genre: Thriller

Format/Page Count: e-book, 360

Published: Thomas & Mercer, September 27, 2016

Source: Publisher

There’s a body in the woods. At least, there was. Eleanor Blackwood saw it on her morning run: a young woman, strangled to death.

But the police can find nothing—no body, no sign of a crime—and even Ellie has to wonder if it was a trick of her mind, a gruesome vision conjured up by grief. It’s eighteen years to the day since she witnessed her own mother’s murder on the same woodland spot. But what if she really did see what she thinks she saw? What if the body was left there for Ellie alone to find?

And there’s one detail Ellie can’t shake: a deliberate number three on the dead woman’s forehead. When she discovers a second body, this one bearing the number two, Ellie is convinced they are not messages but threats. The killer is on a countdown: but who is girl number one?

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HodgepodgeReview

I don’t know what to make of this book. The plot sounded so intriguing, and I was in the mood for a good thriller, plus the cover was beautiful and interesting enough, and yet for the first 100 or so pages I simply couldn’t get into the story. Couldn’t even connect with the main character, Eleanor. She’s seen her mother die when she was six years old, has some repressed memories about that terrible day, and everything comes to the surface when she discovers a body eighteen years later, exactly at the spot her own mother was killed in the woods..Intriguing, yes? Well, yeah. But I can’t say Eleanor was the most relatable heroine ever. And not for the lack of having a connection to her mind. The narration is first person, so we get a pretty good picture of what Eleanor is thinking at all times, but it’s also how the book dragged in those first hundred pages. We see too much of what Eleanor is thinking. After the initial finding of the body, Eleanor drags us around with her while she shares her thoughts about her friends that adds nothing to the mystery if you ask me.

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Review ~ Major Misconduct by Kelly Jamieson

MajorMisconductBook: Major Misconduct

Series: Aces Hockey #1

Author: Kelly Jamieson

Genre: Sports Romance

Format: e-book

Page Count: 268

Published: Loveswept, October 13, 2015

Source: Publisher

In Kelly Jamieson’s seductive new Chicago Aces romance—perfect for readers of Sawyer Bennett and Toni Aleo—a fun-loving free spirit tempts an uptight hockey star into opening himself up to love.

As the captain of the Chicago Aces, Marc Dupuis is all business. The apartment he shares with his teammate and best friend, Duncan, is a refuge from the pressures of fame. But when the sexiest woman he’s ever seen interrupts his early morning coffee wearing only a skimpy cami and matching panties, Marc can’t exactly say he minds. Their chemistry is off the charts. Unfortunately, this girl’s no random puck bunny. She’s Duncan’s little sister—and she’s moving in.

Lovey Armstrong could stare at Marc’s chiseled abs and listen to his French-Canadian accent all day. She just has no idea what’s going on inside his head: When he’s not charming her pants off, Marc makes a Zamboni machine seem warm and cuddly. Lovey knows the team’s bro code says no messing with sisters, but all these mixed messages are hard on a girl’s self-esteem—especially since she’s finally getting her new life together in Chicago. She decides he’s worth another shot . . . because if anyone can melt the ice around Marc’s heart, it’s Lovey.

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HodgepodgeReview

I have mixed feelings about this book. While all the elements for a well fitted sports romance were there-like my favorite ice hockey and falling for your best friend’s little sister- I still couldn’t invest in the story as much as I wanted to. And I wanted to.

Lovey and Marc’s situation as roommates, their sudden attraction and inevitable romance was actually quite nice to think about. I liked the thrill that came from keeping their affair a secret from their other roommate who was Lovey’s brother. It’s kinda sexy to be sneaking around. But as much as I like that setting, their romance did start a bit suddenly for me. Better yet, it felt like what they felt was romance from the very first moment they saw each other, whereas I would’ve preferred more time for their relationship to develop. It wasn’t even a few days before they started thinking about how the other brought out the best in each other, or how they lightened each other’s mood and burdens.

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