Blog Tour: Keeper (Johana Gustawsson) @OrendaBooks #teamorenda

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Last year, I read Block 46, a new novel in a French Noir series by Johana Gustawsson, and was completely blown away. Historical fiction collided with mystery and suspense bringing a fast-paced plot with memorable characters that kept me up late into the night and recommend it to all my friends and coworkers. So, when I was asked to be a part of the blog tour for Gustawsson’s second novel featuring the same detectives as Block 46, Keeper, I enthusiastically agreed!

Once again, Gustawasson combines past with the present as her story unfolds.   Just as dark as Block 46 but in a completely different time period, this time we are transported back and forth from London/Sweden in 2015 and the Jack the Ripper murders which terrorized London in the 1800s. We follow profiler Emily Roy and true crime writer Alexis Castells as they struggle to see how these cases fit together, a copycat killer on the loose and family secrets. Once again, I found myself seriously impressed with how effortlessly the plot was weaved between the time periods.

It is extremely hard to discuss this book without giving anything away but the twist at the end was mind-blowing! Actual jaw-dropping. I was, once again, left reeling by this novel! Who knew that I would love this French Noir genre so much?! Overall, I loved the follow up to Block 46 and Keeper had me up late into the night, devouring pages! I cannot wait to see what Gustawasson will come up with next!

Highly, highly recommended.

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Blog Tour: A Dangerous Game (Heather Graham)

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 11.02.07 PM.pngGood Morning and welcome to my stop on the TLC blog tour for A Dangerous Game, the newest publication by romantic suspense author Heather Graham! I am thrilled to be able to provide a review.

When I found out that this novel was, in fact, the third book in the New York Confidential series, I wasn’t sure whether or not it was a good idea to read this one as a standalone. However, once I read the synopsis, I couldn’t pass it up! Human trafficking, danger and a romantically linked team, A Dangerous Game seemed to have everything that I would want in a read! From what I understand, the novels are written using the same characters throughout but are independent stories, which makes it easy to read them as a standalone.  This was absolutely true! I had no issue following the story or latching on to the main characters. After the first few pages, I was hooked.

Usually, when I read romantic suspense, I expect to have a novel that is heavy on the romance with a little bit of mystery mixed in. But, for this novel, I was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite to be true! I found that A Dangerous Game had plenty of action and a few twists and turns with the romantic element taking more of a backseat.  And, although I did find the general plot quite predictable, I did really find myself enjoying Graham’s writing style. I liked the banter between the characters and the “to the point” prose.

One thing that I struggled with was that A Dangerous Game had a plethora of characters, some easier to keep track of than others, and I found this to be a little bit distracting as I read. Now, as mentioned, I have not read the other books in the series so I am not sure if this was an issue related to that or if it truly was a large number of new characters introduced. Either way, I felt like I could easily have plucked ten characters out of the story immediately and not have missed them.

Overall, I felt like this was an excellent lighter crime read and would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice crime read for the beach; I know I always reach for a romantic suspense when the weather gets warmer!

Blog Tour: The Longest Silence (Debra Webb)

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Good Morning and welcome to my stop on the TLC excerpt tour for the fourth book in the Shades of Death series by Debra Webb, The Longest Silence!

I am thrilled to be able to bring you an excerpt from the first chapter but, first, let’s check out a synopsis of the book!

A killer stole her voice. Now she’s ready to take it back. Don’t miss the chilling Shades of Death series from USA TODAY bestselling author Debra Webb.
 

Joanna Guthrie was free. She had been for eighteen years–or so she needed everyone to believe. What really happened during the longest fourteen days of her life, when she and two other women were held captive by a dangerous serial killer, wasn’t something she could talk about. Not after what they had to do to survive.

But when more women go missing in an eerily similar manner, Jo knows her prolonged silence will only seal their fates. She’s finally ready to talk; she just needs someone to listen. FBI special agent Tony LeDoux can’t deny he finds Jo compelling–he’s just not sure he believes her story. But with the clock ticking, Jo will do anything to convince him, even if it means unearthing long-buried secrets that will land them squarely in the crosshairs of the killer…

Not too shabby huh?  I think this one looks awesome!

Keep reading to check out the excerpt from the first chapter and stay tuned for my review post in March!!

Continue reading “Blog Tour: The Longest Silence (Debra Webb)”

Blog Tour: The Lucky Ones (Tiffany Reisz)

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 7.10.54 PMGood Morning and welcome to my stop on the TLC Blog Tour for The Lucky Ones, by Tiffany Reisz!  This novel quickly rose to the top of my TBR pile when I happened to stumble over a few publicity releases for this novel that compared it to Flowers in the Attic by V.C Andrews. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that Flowers in the Attic happens to be one my favourite books; I am a sucker for the gothic vibe.

Now that I have finished reading, I can attest that The Lucky Ones does have a gothic vibe but, other than that, this novel was absolutely not what I was expecting at all.

The Lucky Ones opens when Allison is called back to her foster home when her foster father, Dr. Vincent Capello, is about to lose his battle with terminal cancer. Heading back to the idyllic beach home after thirteen years away (known as The Dragon) gives Allison mixed feelings. Her memories at The Dragon were positive but short-lived after an accident forces her out of the home and off to live with her great aunt. Known as “the lucky ones” after they were saved by Dr. Capello, Allison is reunited with her foster siblings and if forced to confront her past, but, in doing so, she begins to uncover horrific truths about the family she thought she knew.

First thing first, I did really enjoy the writing style of Tiffany Reisz. This was my first experience with this author and I found her prose easy to become lost in. I had no trouble diving into this novel and settling in. The first chapter gave me a sort of Fifty Shades vibe and I was actually really intrigued to how this was going to tie in with the rest of the novel (it didn’t really…). I still appreciated the ominous tone and the mysterious element surrounding Allison’s childhood.

Once she arrived at The Dragon, the novel sort of began to take a strange turn. It was fairly obvious she was going to have a relationship with one of her foster brothers almost immediately. I didn’t mind that at all. They are foster siblings, not related by blood and, let’s get real; I don’t really have any issue with any sort of strange familial relations in my thrillers. However, I just could not get past the brother/sister references throughout. After they have begun their relationship, they still continuously referred to themselves as brother and sister and that started to really give me a WTF vibe.

Initially, with the bits of mystery/suspense blended in with some romance elements, I thought maybe this would become more “thrilling” as the plot developed but this absolutely teetered more into the romance genre as the novel wore on with the mystery moving into the background. I didn’t actually mind this because I do like a romance novel every now and again and, by the end, I ended up enjoying how unique the tale was; I truly have never read anything remotely like this before. However, I think that readers expecting a mystery will be disappointed.

So, if you are a fan of dark romance, then this may be up your alley but if you are looking for a hard-hitting, suspenseful mystery, this may be lacking.

Thanks to the author, the publisher and TLC blog tour for a copy of this novel; it was a pleasure to provide an honest review.

Blog Tour: Perfect Death (Helen Fields) @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK

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Good morning and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Perfect Death by Helen Fields!

This book, the third in the series featuring D.I Luc Callanach, finds our hero facing one of the coldest and most calculating killers!  Alongside the newly promoted DCI Ava Turner, a serial killer has Edinburgh firmly in his grip. The killer is taking his victims and engineering slow and painful deaths by poison, with his victims entirely unaware of the drugs flooding their bloodstream until it’s too late.

But how do you catch a killer who hides in the shadows? A killer whose pleasure comes from watching pain from afar? Faced with their most difficult case yet, Callanach and Turner soon realise they face a seemingly impossible task…

Fantastic right?  On my stop today, I have an extract to share!

Keep reading to check it out!

Continue reading “Blog Tour: Perfect Death (Helen Fields) @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK”

Blog Tour: The Marriage Pact (Michelle Richmond) @michellerichmon @MichaelJBooks

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 9.36.36 PMEarlier this year, my friends at Penguin Random House UK approached me to take part in an experiential blog tour; they said they wanted to do something with a bit of a twist and I was sold! I am always up for trying some new content on Clues and Reviews. So, when I found out that the tour had to do with the psychological thriller, The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond, I was thrilled. I read this creepy, cult thriller last year and I really loved it (if you missed it, you can check out my review for that one HERE).

The rules of the experiment were simple: I was to take part in the marriage “contract” featured in The Marriage Pact; the one that wreaks havoc on the lives of the protagonists as they go deeper and deeper into this strange marriage cult.  Since I am a newlywed, I figured, why the heck not? Might as well stretch my marriage wings.   So, for two weeks, I lived by the rules and tracked whether or not it impacted my relationship and then reflected on whether or not I would be willing to sign a contract like this one in real life. I did not let my husband know I was partaking in this experiment until the second week since I didn’t think he would really get what I was even talking about. When I finally told him, I was right.

The rules I followed were as such:

1)      Always answer when your partner calls

2)      Exchange at least two thoughtful gifts every month

3)      Cook your partner dinner twice a week

4)      Unfollow your ex on social media

5)      Never spend more than two nights apart

6)      Tell your partner all your passwords

7)      Only wear clothes your partner deems attractive or appropriate.

8)      Enable the ‘find my phone’ feature so your partner always knows where you are

9)      Have no secrets from each other (and confess any old ones!)

10)   Don’t even think about trying to escape…

Care to see how my challenge turned out? Keep reading to see my experience following the contract from The Marriage Pact!

Continue reading “Blog Tour: The Marriage Pact (Michelle Richmond) @michellerichmon @MichaelJBooks”

Blog Blitz: Past Echoes (Graham Smith) @BLOODHOUNDBOOK @GRAHAMSMITH1972

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 9.09.12 AM.pngAfter reading the previous novels in the Jake Boulder series by Graham Smith (Watching the Bodies and Kindred Killers), I was thrilled to be able to read the third book, Past Echoes, as part of the blog tour for Bloodhound Books! Both of the previous novels were fast-paced, suspenseful, action-packed and led by brooding protagonist, Jake Boulder.   Used to his drunken shenanigans and sarcastic banter, I was pleased that this novel showed us the softer, more personal side of Jake Boulder as he collides with a dead woman’s secret, his estranged father and a professional assassin.

So, first thing is first, I highly recommend reading the other two novels in the series before diving into this one. Not only are they fantastic bits of literature, but the storyline in this one directly ties into plot points from the first novels. I think it would be a little hard to follow without having that background knowledge.

I won’t go too much into the plot but there is one thing that I have said before, and I’ll say it again. I find Graham Smith’s writing to be unique like the work of Karin Slaughter. His prose is completely purposeful and done with taste; all of his graphic scenes add so much to the tone and nature of the text without being overdone or offensive.  I found this to be true in Past Echoes, from shootouts to car chases, Smith lays down the action without it feeling distracting.

Overall, I found this instalment in the Jake Boulder series to be a little less action packed the prior two but I did appreciate the softer side of Boulder (mind you, he is no spring chick but more like a shark with half of it’s teeth removed- still a little bit scary but not as vicious!)

If you have not picked up this series yet, I would highly recommend adding it to your TBR pile. It does not disappoint!

Thanks to Bloodhound Books and the author, Graham Smith, for a copy of this novel.  It was my pleasure to provide an honest review!

Be sure to visit the other stops on the Past Echoes Blog Blitz!

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