Netgalley Update: Part 2- March Releases

Screen Shot 2016-09-27 at 7.15.36 AM.pngIn February, one of my goals was to make myself more accountable and figure out Mount TBR!  I wanted to try and get my Netgalley stack under control.   For the most part, I think I did okay!

I was able to make a dent in my pile and managed to keep my requesting to a minimum (Go me!).  I still have some March releases in my pile, so here they are!

Are any of these books that you have read?  Anything catch your eye?  Anything on your TBR shelf that we can buddy read?!

Continue reading “Netgalley Update: Part 2- March Releases”

Netgalley Update: Part 1- February Releases

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 5.43.21 PMFor me, January is the month where I flounder like a fish out water as I desperately try to organize my life.  January seemed to last an absolute lifetime and I did indeed spend it aimlessly wandering, trying to get myself back on track.  Yikes…

But, now that February is here, I am ready to make myself accountable and figure out Mount TBR!

One of my main goals for February is to try and get my Netgalley stack under control.  I feel like I request all these books in moments of weakness (aka after reading all my favourite book blogs and developing serious FOMO) and then BAM all are approved at exactly the same time.  OOPS!

So, here are all the books I currently have on my Netgalley shelf releasing in February.  Are any of these books that you have read?  Anything catch your eye?  Anything on your TBR shelf that we can buddy read?!

Continue reading “Netgalley Update: Part 1- February Releases”

Book Review: Into the Black Nowhere (Meg Gardiner) @DuttonBooks @MegGardiner1

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 6.39.04 PM.pngLast year, I was completely obsessed with Unsub, the start of a new series by Meg Gardiner that featured FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix. Heart pounding, dark and visceral, Unsub had me holding on to the edge of my seat and screaming for more. So, of course, I was extremely excited when I found out that the second book in the series, Into the Black Nowhere, would be publishing in January 2018!

Now, without giving away any plot points or information (because I absolutely consider Unsub to be a MUST READ), Unsub left off with quite a few open-ended questions and with a bit of a cliffhanger ending so I was desperate to read the next book. WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN??! I NEEDED ANSWERS! I dove into the book and, I am going to say, Into the Black Nowhere left me feeling a little bit disappointed.

It was absolutely not the writing style; Gardiner’s prose is just as smart and fast paced as I have come to know and love. The book was brilliantly written and filled with witty, smart banter between police, excellent character development and a game of cat and mouse between protagonist and antagonist that kept me turning the pages.

This novel doesn’t really touch on any of the questions I had from the first novel; skimming over the issue, the characters jump right into a new case and move quickly away from the events from the first novel. While I understand that this is an excellent tactic for a sophomore novel in a series (it keeps the readership going and pushes the issues into further novels), I really was looking forward to having some answers!!

Also, notorious serial killer, Ted Bundy, inspires this novel’s antagonist. I am not sure whether or not it was because I knew much more about Ted Bundy than I knew about the Zodiac killer (which is the antagonist that inspired Unsub), but I felt like I wasn’t surprised by anything he did. I knew his MO and I knew the general direction the story would take (I knew he would likely escape police custody, I knew he would likely attack a sorority).

Regardless of this, I really did love the novel for its entertainment value and I will be anxiously awaiting the third novel!

4/5 stars.

Thanks to the author, the publisher for a copy of Into the Black Nowhere; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Jessica and Chandra obviously loved this one too!  Keep reading to read their reviews of Meg Gardiner’s Into the Black Nowhere.

Continue reading “Book Review: Into the Black Nowhere (Meg Gardiner) @DuttonBooks @MegGardiner1”

Book Review: Keep Her Safe (K.A Tucker) @kathleenatucker @SimonSchusterCA

Keep her Safe.png

Ever since I read my first KA Tucker novel (which happened to be the psychological suspense He Will Be My Ruin), I have been obsessed with her writing style.  Her addictive prose, realistic characters and storylines always have me on the edge of my seat and completely entertained.   So, I was thrilled when Keep Her Safe, her newest publication came out last week!

The perfect blend of romantic suspense and fast paced thriller, Keep Her Safe follows Noah Marshall, son of a police chief whose life is rocked when his mother passes away leaving him with the skeletons in her closet and a job to do.  Meanwhile, Gracie is busy trying to survive and care for her drug-addicted mother and the ghost of her father.  As their paths cross, they realize they are trying to solve a common puzzle and soon, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department.

Now, don’t be deterred by the romantic suspense aspect of this novel.  It is not overbearing or cringe worthy cheesy, instead, Tucker is able to combine gritty, police procedural components with a few “feel good” elements of a romance to create more of JD Robb or Karen Rose type vibe.  And, if I am being completely truthful, I was more drawn into the budding romance of our protagonists than that of the actual case.  Tucker did a brilliant job at developing such complex and damaged characters; I was desperate for them to succeed.

As the novel develops, Tucker delivers a plethora of twists and turns and I found myself glued to my seat.  There were several moments that were unexpected for me, including the resolution. The final twist at the end came completely out of left field!

Described as Making a Murderer meets ScandalKeep Her Safe packs just the right amount of punch!  I feel like crime fiction fans and fans of the new adult genre (think Colleen Hoover) will really enjoy this novel, I know I did!

Thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review

Chandra and Jessica gave this one a read as well; want to check out what they thought about Keep Her Safe? Keep reading to find out!

Continue reading “Book Review: Keep Her Safe (K.A Tucker) @kathleenatucker @SimonSchusterCA”

Book Review: Anatomy of A Scandal (Sarah Vaughan) @SimonSchusterCA @AtriaMysteryBus @SVaughanAuthor

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 9.35.10 AM.pngWhen choosing a novel, I am typically drawn to anything involving courtroom drama or a he said/she said type storyline. When I discovered that Anatomy of a Scandal, the new novel by Sarah Vaughan, had these exact two things within its storyline, I was sold! Up to the top of my TBR pile, it went.

The novel opens with the introduction of James: loving father, Member of Parliament and accused rapist. His wife, Sophie, is shocked at the accusations and is desperate to protect her family. Kate, the lawyer hired to prosecute the case, is certain James is guilty and should pay for his crimes. As all three viewpoints collide, Vaughan weaves a tale of love, betrayal, deceit and revenge.

When I started reading, I was completely hooked from the first few pages. In fact, I flew through Anatomy of a Scandal within a couple of sittings. Vaughan’s narrative voice is completely addictive and I found myself loving the characters; I found Sophie and Kate to be extremely relatable. Vaughan did a spectacular job at making her characters jump off the pages; there was nothing superficial about them. Instead, Vaughan seemed to delve deep and I found myself completely engrossed as their stories developed. While I loved the female characters, James, on the other hand, I hated from the moment I was introduced to him. Conniving and powerful, I felt like I couldn’t trust him for a second. I loved this juxtaposition within the writing! Having characters I loved and characters I abhorred kept me on the edge of my seat!

As for twists, I felt as if the story was pretty surface. I was able to guess where it was going almost immediately but that didn’t disturb or affect my reading at all. In fact, it made me more curious to see exactly how the story was going to play out.

I think my favourite part of the novel was how relevant it was. With all that is going on in the world involving rape culture, women’s rights and Hollywood/political scandals, I felt as if Anatomy of a Scandal did an amazing job at portraying the system surrounding these issues and what needs to change.

Overall, I really enjoyed Anatomy of a Scandal. If you are looking for a character-centric, slow burn that will get you thinking and leave you feeling, then you will enjoy this one too! However, if you are looking for an extremely fast-paced, thrill ride type of novel this one will likely disappoint.

I gave it 4/5 stars.

Thanks to the author (Sarah Vaughan), the publisher (Atria/Simon and Schuster Canada) and Netgalley for copies of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Obviously, #cjsreads had to make this one of our January picks!  Keep reading to see what Jessica and Chandra thought!

Continue reading “Book Review: Anatomy of A Scandal (Sarah Vaughan) @SimonSchusterCA @AtriaMysteryBus @SVaughanAuthor”

Book Talk Tuesday: Top 10 Thrillers at Chapters-Indigo

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 5.43.21 PMBook Talk Tuesday is a new feature that I am bringing over to Clues and Reviews to give me a weekly excuse to just ramble on about bookish things.

I feel like I sometimes get so caught up in reviewing or participating in blog tours that I forget the reason I started this blog- to chat about books!

Today, I want to hone in on the newest Top Ten list curated by Chapters-Indigo (the Canadian bookstore chain, for those of you who don’t know) featuring the Top Ten Thrillers for January 2018.

Do I agree with what they have chosen for their list?  Did any of the books make my TBR pile?  Have you read any of their choices?

Keep reading and chat books with me!

Continue reading “Book Talk Tuesday: Top 10 Thrillers at Chapters-Indigo”

Book Review: The Company of Demons (Michael Jordan) @GreenleafBookGr @mjordanauthor

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 9.46.22 AM.pngI really enjoy a legal thriller. Give me a John Grisham or Michael Connelly novel and I am one happy camper! So, when I read the synopsis of The Company of Demons, the psychological legal thriller by Michael Jordan, I dove right in.   Meeting a lawyer, John Coleman, who discovers the corpse of his friend behind their neighbourhood bar sending shockwaves through the city and bringing back painful memories of a killer who dismembered and taunted police decades earlier and vanished. As John tries to cope, he is hired by the victim’s daughter, Jennifer, to handle her father’s estate and soon finds himself entangled with a biker gang, dirty cops and romantic feelings.

Truly fast-paced, I sat down and finished this book over the course of an afternoon. I could not put it down as I watched our protagonist, John, get himself deeper and deeper into trouble. The ultimate anti-hero, I actually found myself hating him. It almost felt completely unbelievable how many terrible choices he made!! Page after page, I read (pretty much in horror) as he continued down the wrong path. I was so mad. However, kudos to Jordan who was able to create a character that made me feel so many emotions!

Continue reading “Book Review: The Company of Demons (Michael Jordan) @GreenleafBookGr @mjordanauthor”

Book Review: The Night Bird (Brian Freeman) @bfreemanbooks

Last year, The Night Bird by Brian Freeman, was a book that I saw often. Several bloggers had posted about the book, it came up constantly when scrolling through my suggested reads on Amazon and, finally, in the Goodreads Choice Awards. I figured this was a sign that I needed to add this book to my TBR pile.

While picking my books for the Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge, I was sure to fit this into my rotation (prompt 26: a book with an animal in the title) and picked it up on January 1; now that I have finished this book, I feel like a fool. I should never have waited to read this book!! The Night Bird had everything that I look for in a compelling read: an intriguing protagonist, a creepy killer and a hypnotizing plot. I could not put this book down.

The novel opens with the introduction of a homicide detective, Frost Easton. He is a jack-of-all-trades type of cop who has committed fully to the police force after the murder of his sister. When two, unrelated young women die, in what seems to be some sort of psychotic break, Easton leads the investigation and discovers something far more sinister. Both women have one thing in common: they both when through hypnosis to relieve themselves of crippling fear and they both were patients of the same doctor. Francesca Stein’s therapy is controversial but effective; she stands by her methods until she starts to receive threatening messages from someone named The Night Bird and realizes that the deaths of her patients were not coincidental. As time begins to run out, this gifted doctor and the devoted police officer must come together to try and stop the cunning killer before he claims another victim.

Now, I am not one for lengthy plot descriptions in my reviews but I cannot get over how DIFFERENT this novel was. I loved the concept of the hypnosis, memory changes and the mind control. The psychology of this fascinates me and I felt like Freeman did an excellent job with his portrayal. I have read other books with the memory/mind control type of spin and, in the end, it usually ends up feeling a little bit like sci-fi. I never felt that way during my reading.

As for characterization, Frost Easton reminded me of the detectives I have been loving recently: Sam Porter from the 4MK series by J.D Barker and William Fawkes from the Ragdoll series by Daniel Cole. Young, a bit jaded and seriously smart, Easton was extremely likeable and I found myself rooting for him entirely. I also loved Francesca “Frankie” Stein. I am all about a strong, female character giving the big, bad detectives a run for their money!

Overall, I LOVED this book and cannot wait for the second book in the series, The Voice Inside, to be released later this month. You better bet that I will be moving that to the top of my TBR pile!

Book Review: The Big Lie (Julie Mayhew) @Candlewick @JulieMayhew

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 8.42.50 PM.pngI find myself drawn to the same books continuously. When it isn’t thrillers or suspense titles, you can find me stuck in a good romance or some historical fiction. Preferably, fiction set around the Second World War, tales of human resiliency and the rebellion fascinate me. Ironically, with all my changing genres, I don’t read a lot of novels in the YA genre, but when I do, I often find myself drawn to the dystopian sort. I love getting lost in this sort of “what if” world that feels too real, too close for comfort.   Needless to say, when I stumbled across The Big Lie, the upcoming novel by Julie Mayhew, a dystopian, coming of age, YA novel set in modern day Nazi occupied England, I threw this one at the top of my TBR pile and dove in.

The novel surrounds a young girl, Jessika, who is a model citizen living in Nazi-run England. She obeys her father, she tries to impress her elders and she is loyal to her country. However, her neighbour and best friend Clementine is not the same. Clem is loud and outspoken, much to Jess’ dismay.   The louder Clem gets, the more nervous Jess becomes until she finds herself wrapped up so tightly in Clem’s world that things start to feel confusing. Jess has always thought she was doing the right thing, but what happens when the right things start to feel wrong?

Continue reading “Book Review: The Big Lie (Julie Mayhew) @Candlewick @JulieMayhew”