Review ~ Gone Girl

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Title: Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn

Publication Date: Jan. 1, 2012

Genre: Contemporary Adult Fiction/Mystery/Suspense

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4 Star**** Review

So, I have to confess that I was a little slow at getting into this one. However, I read it alongside a group of friends, and a couple of them devoured the book from page 1. I think it’s just a matter of personal preference. I want a hero/heroine. I want to connect with someone. This isn’t one of those books. But, if you’re a lover of “who done it” books, and you don’t need to feel faith in anyone, then this will probably be your book!

It is one giant mystery. I will say that it is highly probable that you will figure out who did it, too. But, it’s still not predictable. Even if you figure it out, you won’t have figured out the whole scenario, and you’ll still be impressed. I was, and I didn’t even really “like” the book. I can respect the writing and the story, though. I have to admit that even though I didn’t like the characters (because of their character, not lack of development), I still found myself at times flipping quickly through the pages to figure something out.

Wrapping this up, if you NEED hearts and flowers, then this isn’t for you. If you love a good crime mystery, then I highly suggest it! Would I read another Gillian Flynn? It’s certainly possible.

Happy Reading,

Alison

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4.5* Review ~ Verum @Court_Writes

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Title: Verum

Series: The Nocte Trilogy #2

Author: Courtney Cole

Publication Date: Feb. 2, 2015

Genre: New Adult Psychological Suspense

The truth shall set you free.

My name is Calla Price and I’m drowning.

My new world is a dark, dark ocean and I’m being pulled under by secrets.

Can I trust anyone? I don’t know anymore.

The lies are spirals. They twist and turn, binding me with their thorns and serpentine tongues. And just when I think I have it figured out, everything is pulled out from under me.

I’m entangled in the darkness.

But the truth will set me free.

It’s just ahead of me, so close I can touch it. But even though it shines and glimmers, it has glistening fangs and I know it will shred me.

Are you scared?

I am.

My ****4.5**** Star Review

Have you read my review for Nocte yet? If not, HERE it is.

You should read it if you’re looking for my review for Verum because this book is a whole lot of what the first book was. Except, you can expect to be even more thoroughly confused! A WHOLE LOT more confused. This book made zero sense, and yet I know it will make complete sense.

I have to warn you, though, that it is completely maddening. COMPLETELIY!!! I wanted to get on here and give it a 3 star rating just for driving me CRAZY. Uh, it’s a good thing this is just a trilogy because I don’t think I can take much more!!

Nonetheless, if you loved the mind freak that Nocte was, you can expect nothing less from this book!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Consequences by Aleatha Romig

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Title: Consequences

Series: Consequences #1

Author: Aleatha Romig

Release Date: Aug. 5, 2011

Genre: Contemporary Dark Suspense/Thriller/Erotic

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Aleatha Romig comes a suspenseful thriller about secrets and deception, passion and love, choices and consequences.

Every action has consequences.

Waking in an unfamiliar bedroom in a luxurious mansion, Claire Nichols is terrified to discover that a chance encounter led her into the cruel hands of her abductor, Anthony Rawlings. Claire has no understanding of why she’s there, but it’s been made abundantly clear–she is now his acquisition and every action has consequences.

Learn the rules to survive.

Facing incomprehensible circumstances, Claire must learn to survive her new reality–every aspect of her livelihood depends upon the tall, dark-eyed tycoon who is a true master of deception. Driven by unknown demons, he has no tolerance for imperfection, in any aspect of his life, including his recent acquisition. Anthony may appear to the world as a handsome, benevolent businessman, but in reality Claire knows firsthand that he’s a menacing, controlling captor with very strict rules: do as you’re told, public failure is not an option, and appearances are of the utmost importance.

Captivate the captor.

To fit together the pieces of the puzzle, Claire must follow his rules. Will her plan work, or will Anthony become enthralled by Claire’s beauty, resilience, and determination, changing the game forever? If that happens, will either of them survive the consequences?

Nobody ever did or ever will escape the consequences of his choices.–Alfred A. Montapert

Amazon * Goodreads

My ****4 Star**** Review

Wow. This was a twisted one! If you like dark and mysterious then this may be the book for you. If you like spinning psychological tales where you can’t tell who the bad guy is or what’s really happening, then this may be for you.

I have to confess that I put this book down almost half way through, and didn’t pick it back up for quite a while. I couldn’t see where it was going and it was driving me crazy. I actually took a peak at the ending to see if I liked where it was going and determined I didn’t.

Well, after reading a review for the most recent book in the series, I realized I didn’t at all know where the story was going. The end of book one was misleading. So, I decided to give it another try.

Turns out I had put the book down right before things started getting interesting. And that ending? Well, I had COMPLETELY misinterpreted it because there were key details I didn’t know yet.

Am I happy I picked it back up? Yes. Will I continue with the series? Maybe. Okay, probably. It’s not one where I’m dying to know what’s next, but I’m definitely intrigued. I’m just not sure if I can handle the mind assault at this moment.

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I’ve been reading a LOT of books like this lately – books where you just can’t figure out what on earth is going on. The Nocte series, Mud Vein, and Never,Never. I’m sure I can add more to the list, but these are all books I’ve read this year. This seems to be a growing trend, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I’m one to flip to the end because I’m dying to know if things will work out okay, and in these books, things aren’t always okay. I can handle that every now and then, but I feel like my mind needs a break – like I need to get lost in a sappy love story where everything is hunky dory. That’s hilarious, because usually those are boring….

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Mud Vein @tarryn__fisher

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Title: Mud Vein

Author: Tarryn Fisher

Release Date: April 5, 2014

Genre: Dark Psychological Thriller/Mystery

When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat… and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.

My *****5 Star***** Review

I love you and hate you, Tarryn Fisher!!

Oh, my gosh!!! This book was maddening from start to finish! Tarryn leads you on to then leave you second guessing yourself. Then you’ll think you have it figured out again only to second guess yourself. But, wait! It might be – NOPE! Wrong again! And on and on and on and on and on…

Will there be a happy ending or horrific deaths? Is this a love story or not. Who will be destroyed in all of this? Will people be changed for the better or worse?

WHO IS BEHIND ALL OF THIS?!? Is it him? Is it her? Is it a stalker? WHO IS IT?!?

These questions will drive you completely INSANE!!! You’ll be on the edge of your seat WAITING, DYING for something to happen – ANYTHING to happen. But, you’ll just continue to be driven through the slow and painful torture. It is MADDENING!

So, I say this book is definitely NOT for everyone. But, if what I described sounds like your cup of tea, then by all means have at it!

Anyway…love and coke. The consequences for both are expensive: you get a mighty fine high, then you come barreling down, regretting every hour you spent reveling in something so dangerous. But you go back for more. You always go back for more.

Happy Reading,

Alison

The Buried ~ Blog Tour w/ Review & 2 Giveaways

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The Buried

THE BURIED by Shelley Coriell (October 28, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $8.00)

“It’s cold. And dark. I can’t breathe.”

Successful, ambitious state prosecutor Grace Courtemanche is at the top of her game. Then she gets a chilling call from a young woman claiming to be buried alive. Desperate to find the victim before it’s too late, Grace will do whatever it takes . . . even if it means excavating the darkest secrets of her own past and turning to the one man she thought she would never see again.

FBI agent Theodore “Hatch” Hatcher is a man without roots-and that’s the way he likes it. But when a grisly crime shatters Cyprus Bend, Florida, Hatch is dragged back to the small town-and the one woman-he hoped was in his rearview for good. Forced to confront the wreckage of their love affair, Hatch and Grace may just find that sometimes the deepest wounds leave the most beautiful scars-and that history repeating itself may just be what they need to stop a killer . . . and save their own hearts.

B&N * BAM! * iBooks * IndieBound * Amazon * GooglePlay

Excerpt

Hatch slipped his gun into the holster at his back and walked up the steps of Grace’s back porch. Instead of going inside, he settled his elbows on the rickety railing and stared out at the black. Like the young women buried in those wooden coffins, he and the others trying to crack this case were in the dark. The splintered wood dug into his elbows.

But his team was at his back. Jon was in the middle of the hunt. Hayden, a world-renowned criminal profiler, was walking in a killer’s shoes and getting into the twisted place that was this unsub’s head, and Berkley was giving the killer a face. He smiled. And maybe he’d call Evie, the SCIU’s bombs and weapons specialist. His fiery little teammate had a way of lighting things up. Grace had called the group he worked with his family. He’d always called them his team. They were the men and women he’d fight for and put his life on the line for. Wasn’t that what one did for family? Wasn’t that what he was doing for Alex? For Grace?

His head lolled forward and hung between his forearms. The steamy swamp was clouding his brain again, blurring and tumbling his truths. The first time here the fog had been so thick he couldn’t see anything beyond Grace.

A wedge of light cut across the porch, and Grace’s bare feet padded across the rough boards. She joined him at the railing but said nothing.

He aimed his interlaced hands at the pitch black night. “No bogeymen.”

More silence. She was probably thinking again. About Janis’s fight for her life, about the killer’s next move, about old bones. Grace didn’t know how to unwind and shut down, something that usually came as natural as breathing to him. He sucked in a long breath of warm, soupy night air clogging his throat.

Grace raised an arm, her fingertips sliding down his back, the touch so light it may have been more about him wanting her touch than her actual touch. Shifting so she stood behind him, she ran her other hand down his back. He pulled in a breath, the air sliding through his lungs now lighter and sweeter and cooler. Her fingers brushed along his waist and slipped under his shirt, skin settling on skin.

Every muscle in his torso tightened, trapping the sweet breath in his lungs. And still her fingers traveled, gliding along his ribs, across his chest. His lower body stirred. She pressed against his back, her thighs and midsection molding to his. This time his lower body quaked, sending a tremor to his brain.

He settled his hands over hers. “Whoa there, Princess.” He spun so they were shadowy face to shadowy face. “What’s this all about?”

Grace’s tongue darted over her lips, more nervous than naughty. “Bacon.”

He blinked. “Bacon?”

She knotted her fingers in the bottom of his shirt. “Bacon, Theodore. I am bacon. You are bacon.” With each line, she drew him closer. Her teeth dug into her bottom lip. “You do like bacon, don’t you?”

“It’s…uh…nice. I’m partial to hickory smoked. With grits. And eggs. Over easy.” Easy. Yeah, it would be so damned easy to pull Grace into his arms. He jammed his hands in his pockets because letting them slip across Grace’s skin would take them to a place neither one of them needed to go.

Grace’s lips curved in a soft smile. She rose on her toes, her breath fanning his neck, his jaw. Her hands, her mouth, her words, everything about Grace was so soft and easy. The fog. Must be the fog. A gauzy steam blurred everything but the woman before him. Too close. She was way too close.

He unclenched his hands and settled them on her arms. “I’m not sure what this is all about, but last time we talked about this, about us, forever wasn’t on the table, at least not for me, and that’s still the case.”

“I know.” Her sweet breath danced across his skin.

“Damn it.” He pushed her away, out of arm’s reach. He needed space between them. An ocean would be nice. “Then why are you doing this?”

She closed the space between them in half a heartbeat but didn’t touch him. “Because old dogs die and newborn babies never get a chance to live.” Her lips trembled. “And because someday soon you’ll sail off into the sunset.” She lifted her hands in surrender. “And there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it, any of it. So until then, Hatch, I’m going to make the most of every moment I have with you, and according to Allegheny Blue’s vet, that means having an extra slice or two of bacon.”

My ****4.5 Star**** Review

This is the second book in Coriell’s Apostles series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. You can find my review of The Broken, the first book in the series, HERE.

It’s not often that I say the second book in a series is better than the first, but it happens from time to time, and this is one of those instances. This story never dragged. I was hooked from the start and kept plowing on through. Sleep deprivation was my only obstacle.

I connected quickly to the main characters, and even several of the minor characters. I’d have to admit that I even had a soft spot for Blue, and I’m not even a dog person. Grace seemed a little too concerned about pleasing her dead father in the very beginning, but that was the only odd characteristic I noticed throughout the whole story. I felt like the love story behind the mystery was so much better in this story than the first, and it was never bad in the first book. You could feel the chemistry between Grace and Hatch, but their relationship was so much more than lust, and I appreciated seeing that. But there were so many other great relationships in this book, too. Shelley’s good at throwing in quirky characters, too. Speaking of which, I enjoyed the little appearance of Smokey Joe from the first book.

It was really amazing to me that one moment I’d be swooning in the middle of a love scene, and the next I could feel the absolute intensity and seriousness of a situation the characters had found themselves in. The mystery was well-presented. About 70% of the way in I thought I had guessed how things were going to play out. I was mostly correct, but it was still a long shot and there were still many surprises. It definitely wasn’t easy to guess how things would play out, and I remained in suspense.

I’ll also have to point out that Shelley is very good at ugly. This is definitely not a story for the faint of heart. At one point I quickly covered my mouth with my hand trying to hold my stomach down. It was rough! However, I managed to trudge through the one very gruesome scene. You can expect some strong language, child abuse, and just a few briefs moments of horror.

I also appreciated that the story didn’t end too abruptly. I liked getting a little picture of what things looked like after all the dust settled.

I highly recommend this to mystery lovers, especially if you like a romance mixed in!
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Giveaway Time!!!

Win 1 of 15 copies of The Buried!!!


Enter Here!!!

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The second giveaway is for a print copy of The Buried. Prize available to US & Canada only.

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About the Author ~ Shelley Coriell

shelley coriell

A former newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and restaurant reviewer. These days Shelley writes smart, funny novels for teens and big, edgy romantic suspense. A six-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist, she lives and loves in Arizona with her family and the world’s neediest rescue Weimaraner. When she’s not behind the keyboard, you’ll find her baking high-calorie, high-fat desserts and haunting local farmers markets for the perfect plum.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure – flying around the world!

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My ****4.5**** Star Review

Every now and then I like to take on a book for review that I’m not sure will interest me. I don’t like limiting myself to the books that I “typically” read. For me, I tend to like some romance in my books. This book is far from that category. I can’t say that it is completely without any romantic elements, though.

I decided to give this book a try as a read-aloud to two of my kids, ages 7 and 10. I had to lighten a little of the language, but there wasn’t much there. I think I used the word “heck” a whole lot in place of “hell,” but I’d definitely recommend this for early teens. My 10 yr old son absolutely LOVED it! He has requested me to get the rest of the series. We even did some research into the history behind the Yukon Gold Rush, and read the poem, “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” as a result of the book. It was a great educational experience for the three of us!

While I loved the educational side of the book, I’d be lying if I said that was what drew us in. It was the suspenseful adventure! We were right along side of Kitty and experienced everything she did. It was exhilarating! We loved guessing the outcomes and answers to the mysteries. Sometimes we were right, or one of us anyways. Other times all of us were left with our jaws dropping, shouting, “NO WAY!!!” It was an adventure for us! We’re looking forward to the next great experience with Kitty Hawk!

*I received a free copy via Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review.*

You can currently pick up the next 3 books in the series!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ What it Takes by Kathryn Ascher

What it Takes

Title: What it Takes (Rocky Creek Series, #1)

Author: Kathryn Ascher


Genre: NA / Romance / Suspense


Publisher: BQB Publishing


Release Date: May 27, 2014

Book Description

After graduating college, Kelsey Morgan left her small-town Virginia roots to make it in L.A. After years slogging in commercials and music videos, her movie career is finally taking off. But she’s still miles behind her current costar, and Hollywood playboy, Patrick Lyons. Kelsey does everything she can to avoid Patrick off-set, hoping to not become fodder for the supermarket tabloids that scour the streets for Patrick, trying to get an exclusive look at him and his alleged woman of the week. Kelsy has successfully kept Patrick at a distance, and her reputation intact, until her drunkard brother-in-law Richard threatens to ruin everything by selling her darkest secret to the highest bidder. Now the victim of blackmail, Kelsey has nowhere else to turn but to Patrick’s arms. But, can he be trusted? Or will the past destroy them all before she can find out if he’s the hero she needs?

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My ****4 Star**** Review

Kelsey Morgan waited a whole year to be intimate with Tim and he waited for her. But, apparantly that doesn’t always mean anything. Tim bolts for the door when she reveals she’s pregnant.

The story then jumps ahead about 6 years. Kelsey’s now an actress paired up with Patrick Lyons, playboy extraordinaire. Kelsey will have none of it, though. As a matter of fact, she’s down right rude when it comes to her manners dealing with Patrick. Patrick slowly starts breaking through, however, revealing he has more than just a one-night stand in mind.

When the movie’s done, he chases her home where he meets her sister Janelle and five year old Zach. Kelsey had allowed Janelle and her husband Richard to adopt Zach. However, things didn’t turn out so well after Richard started drinking and leaving marks on Janelle. So, Janelle and Zach are living at Kelsey’s. Richard is not at all happy. Plus Kelsey and Janelle’s mother isn’t pleased with them in the least. A woman should have to tolerate and love her husband regardless.

Things turn really ugly with Richard, and Kelsey struggles with whether to trust Patrick.

The romance sucked me in and the whole Richard debacle really added some tension. The villians in this book are really done up well.

Negatives? The only thing that really bugged me was the ending. I had hoped for better closure between Kelsey and Zach.

Who would I recommend this to? I you’re a fan of romance and suspense, this has both! You’ll experience some violent scenes and some steamy sex scenes. Would I read another Kathryn Ascher novel? Absolutely! This is a great debut!

Warnings: violence, strong language, sex scenes

*I received a copy via NetGalley and BQB Publishing in exchange for an honest review.*

About the Author ~ Kathryn Ascher

kathryn ascher

Born and raised in Virginia, Kathryn Ascher tried her hand at poetry and fiction in high school, but put it all aside when she went to college. After graduating from Virginia Tech with her degree in communications, she married her college sweetheart and went to work for a local radio station. After her first child was born, she became a stay-at-home mom and began spending her free time crafting and reading.

It wasn’t until after the birth of her third child and a blind book exchange that Kathryn decided to give writing another try. When she picked up her first romance novel, she immediately knew that was the genre for her. She was drawn to the strong lead characters and the quirky secondary characters, the settings, the humor, and most importantly the feelings of falling in love for the first time. She hopes that her readers enjoy these aspects in her writings as well.

Kathryn recently moved from Roanoke, Virginia to Land O’ Lakes, Florida with her husband and three children.

Facebook * Tumbler * Website * Goodreads * Twitter

Happy Reading,

Alison