Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Final Girls by Riley Sager



Publication: July 11, 2017
Publisher: Dutton
Source: Purchased my own copy.

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

“Trust me...Would I ever lead you astray?”

Quincy is the third final girl. Though she likes to pretend that she's not. She likes to pretend that she's normal, but I'm not sure how anyone can be “normal” after they've gone through such a traumatic experience like Quincy has. Even if she can't remember all of the details.  Her seemingly perfect life is going almost according to plan. That is until Sam, the second final girl comes into her life.That’s when things begin to take an interesting turn for Quincy…

I liked how the the story flip flops between present day events and the events at Pine Cottage 10 years ago, where Quincy and her friends was attacked. Quincy is a fighter, she has a temper, and she would do whatever is necessary to survive. But is there a limit to what she would do?
Sam I did not like from the beginning. She seemed very manipulative and I felt like she had an agenda and Quincy was all too easy to be manipulated and pressured into doing things. Which annoyed me. I don’t want to say too much about the storyline and characters because it’s fun to discover things yourself as your reading.

However, I will say that this book is labeled in the mystery, thriller, suspense category and I felt like it fit the bill perfectly. This may even be one of the better mystery/thriller books that I have read so far this year. I ended up listening to the audiobook version of Final Girls. There were two female narrators for this book; Erin Bennett and Hillary Huber. They both did a good job of bringing the characters to life.  It did start off a little slow, but I kept with it until it picked up. I am so glad that I did. Around 75% into the storyline I thought I knew exactly where things were going and how everything was going to be wrapped up. It turns out the author pulled a fast one on me and I ended up knowing nothing! There were surprises and twists to the story that made it even more interesting than it already was. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I cannot wait to see what the author chooses to write next.





RATING: 4 out of 5



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Monday, August 7, 2017

Hunted by Meagan Spooner



Publication: March 14, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased my own copy.

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.
So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?


Yeva (aka Beauty) and her family are wealthy and enjoying life among high society. Well everyone except for Yeva. She tires of the endless parties and vapid chatter with the ladies in their social circle. She longs for more.

When her merchant father loses their fortune, they are forced to leave the city. Her father is determined to get their fortune back and continues working. One day when he is out traveling, he never arrives back home. After weeks of not hearing any word from him,Yeva takes it upon herself to go search for him.  It is then that she finds herself captured by the Beast….

I was really hoping that I would have liked Hunted more than I did. Maybe I’ve read too many Beauty and the Beast retellings? I enjoyed the author’s writing style and the characters were interesting. I loved  the relationship between Yeva and her sisters. They were very close and cared deeply about each other. However, nothing really surprised me in this story and I didn’t really fall in love with the characters. If you happen to love all things Beauty and the Beast then I would recommend Hunted to you.



RATING: 3 out of 5



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Friday, August 4, 2017

Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry: Vote/Enter to Win an ARC!!!

Dear readers,

We're thrilled to bring you TEMPORARY, our first collaboration! It's the story of a hapless New York temp worker and the hot Aussie man who complicates her life. Coming September 12!
But we need your help! We have two blurbs for this book, and we can't make up our minds.

Which version is better? Your vote enters you to win a paperback ARC.

Thank you! Love,
Sarah & Sarina

Blurbs to vote on


Version A:
The most beautiful man she’s ever seen is the same one who can ruin everything.
The first time Grace Kerrington meets Callan Walker she's bowled over by his hotness - and his massive sense of entitlement. She can't believe she's going to have to deal with his smug commentary (in that sexy Australian accent) on a daily basis, all while trying to convince his ball-busting mother to give her a permanent job.
All Callan sees when he looks at Grace is yet another raptor-in-a-suit, wanting to climb the corporate ladder. Sure, she’s sexy, but he has bigger cattle to wrangle - like ensuring his recently deceased uncle’s final wishes are honored.
Grace needs this job--she’s all that stands between her little sister and social services. But Callan is a master player - and a master flirt. She was never supposed to succumb to his charm. But there’s a fine line between locking horns and locking other body parts.
She cannot fall for him. The game he’s playing with his estranged family is dangerous and dirty. Any idiot can see what’s happening between them can only ever be temporary. But Grace’s heart didn’t get the memo…
Warning: contains a hot Aussie who makes even ordinary words sound sexy, a crotch-obsessed poodle, weird Australian cookies, and one fabulous Chanel suit.



Version B:
The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.
And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.
I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful -- pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full time job for me. It has to.
But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works--if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can't afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.
Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo...



VOTE HERE
Sarina Social
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Sarah Social
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Twisted (Imperfect Love Universe) by Mandi Beck



Publication: June 4, 2017
Publisher: Kindle Worlds
Source: Purchased my own copy.

Three friends walk into a bar . . . One walks out the fake girlfriend of a hot, bearded Scotsman.
Fannin McGuire is up for promotion at Tate and Cane Enterprises, but first she has to make it through her stepsister’s wedding. To Fannin’s ex. Yep. Her ex-fiancé is about to be her new brother-in-law. One big happy family. And lucky her, she also gets to work with him.
While Fannin is putting all of her energy into her career, her ex is putting all of his energy into making her life hell. Just when Fannin is sure she’ll be attending the wedding without a plus one, in walks Jasper James to save the day. He’s the bartender at the Iron Flask, the account she’s trying to land, and everything she didn’t know she needed or wanted. Before Fannin knows what’s happening, Jasper is playing knight in shining armor and she likes it. And him. A lot. With his smooth Scottish accent, ridiculously good looks, and that beard? She doesn’t stand a chance.
Jasper isn’t in the habit of rescuing anyone. But when Fannin is confronted by her ex about her lack of a date for his upcoming nuptials, Jasper can’t help but step in. Her wild hair, violet eyes, and killer legs have him doing a few things he normally wouldn’t. Never mind that he shouldn’t be getting involved with the woman in charge of making the bar a global success.
Their fake relationship becomes more real than either thought it would. Now they’re at the mercy of their feelings when truths are twisted, and the lies don’t taste as smooth as the whisky.


Fannin is beautiful, witty, and very independent. At the moment, she’s all about working hard and proving herself so she can get promoted. Unfortunately she has to work with her sleazy ex-fiance, but she won’t let that stop her from going for what she wants.  
Enter Jasper. Once they cross paths at the bar he works at, sparks fly and steamy moments follow soon afterward. Jasper is one sexy Scot! He is very confident and has a great sense of humor. He and Fannin make a great couple.

Twisted is a fun and swoon worthy novella that did not feel like a novella. It felt complete, but I really wished this was a full length novel. I just wanted more time with the characters.  I loved Jasper and Fannin!

This was the first book that I’ve read by Mandi Beck, but I definitely want to check out more of her work. Especially if it is anything like this one. If you are looking for a quick romance read or just looking for a good romance read, then I would recommend Twisted in a heartbeat.


RATING: 5 out of 5


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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bitten (Women of the Otherworld #1) by Kelley Armstrong



Publication: September 7, 2004
Publisher: Penguin Group/Plume
Source: Purchased my own copy.

Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.
So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

So one weekend in April, I discovered the Bitten tv series on Netflix and decided to watch it. I was surprised to find out that the show was based on the book series written by Kelley Armstrong. I love Kelley Armstrong’s writing. Well I devoured all three seasons and was super bummed to find out that the show was cancelled. I always find out about the good stuff late! Because I wanted more, I checked out the books online and ended up purchasing the audiobook.

The narrator, Aasne Vigesaa did such a great job with this book. I loved how she portrayed Elena, Clayton, Jeremy, and the other characters. The story started off a little slow..Elena is living a good life with her live in boyfriend Phillip in Toronto. She still struggles with the change of shifting from human to wolf, but for now it’s under control.

“He had told me so much. That I’d been sure I knew him completely. Then I found out how wrong I’d been. Sometimes that deception was worse than being bitten.”

She thought that she was done with the pack until she gets a call from Jeremy...the pack Alpha. Then she has no choice but to return home to find out what is happening.

At home, she discovers that the pack is being targeted. Bodies are being disposed of on their property. Everyone in the pack is tasked with finding clues and the culprit. Things quickly escalate and it takes everyone rallying together as a family to go up against the threat.

Bitten was a great book. It started off a little slow, but I really enjoyed listening to it. The characters are unique and interesting. The storyline was easy to follow and get into.  My only disappointed is that the second book that follows has a different narrator, so I am going to be reading the next book instead of listening to it. I am curious to see where the author takes these characters in the following books...especially compared to the events in the tv show.





RATING: 5 out of 5



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Friday, July 21, 2017

A Talent For Murder by Andrew Wilson Blog Tour!


Publication: July 11, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: Publisher
Discover the real-life mystery centered on the queen of crime herself: Agatha Christie. In this tantalizing new novel, Christie’s mysterious ten-day disappearance serves as the starting point for a gripping novel, in which Christie herself is pulled into a case of blackmail and murder.

“I wouldn’t scream if I were you. Unless you want the whole world to learn about your husband and his mistress.”
Agatha Christie, in London to visit her literary agent, is boarding a train, preoccupied with the devastating knowledge that her husband is having an affair. She feels a light touch on her back, causing her to lose her balance, then a sense of someone pulling her to safety from the rush of the incoming train. So begins a terrifying sequence of events—for her rescuer is no guardian angel, rather he is a blackmailer of the most insidious, manipulative kind.
“You, Mrs. Christie, are going to commit a murder. But, before then, you are going to disappear.”
Writing about murder is a far cry from committing a crime, and Agatha must use every ounce of her cleverness and resourcefulness to thwart an adversary determined to exploit her expertise and knowledge about the act of murder to kill on his behalf.

In A Talent for Murder, Andrew Wilson ingeniously explores Agatha Christie’s odd ten-day disappearance in 1926 and weaves an utterly compelling and convincing story around this still unsolved mystery involving the world’s bestselling novelist.


The Facts
Agatha Christie never spoke of her ten-day disappearance in the winter of 1926, and it has remained one of the most intriguing mysteries of modern times. She eventually turned up in a seaside hotel, registered under the name of her husband's mistress.
The official statement released by the family was that Christie suffered a sudden episode of amnesia as the result of a car crash. She rarely talked about the experience, and omitted its mention entirely from her autobiography.



*************************************

Agatha Christie has always seemed to have a great talent for developing entertaining whodunits with unsuspecting culprits. But for 11 days...and even longer after that, she becomes the story that everyone is talking about…

It’s 1926, Agatha Christie is at the top of her writing game; her sixth novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, was very popular. But unfortunately her life outside of her writing only looked good to outsiders. Having to deal with her husband is having an affair and the passing of her mother is a lot for Mrs. Christie to deal with. Then one day, she decides to go for a drive and "The Queen of Mystery" soon becomes a mystery herself.

Andrew Wilson, a great fan of Agatha Christie manages to create an intriguing story in the same vein as Christie’s mysteries. The author does extensive research into Christie's life and uses that to create his own spin on what he believes occurred during those missing days that no one really can account for except Agatha Christie herself.  A Talent for Murder, is a good story if you enjoy a cozy mystery or the works of Agatha Christie, like myself.


RATING: 3 out of 5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrew Wilson is the highly-acclaimed author of biographies of Patricia Highsmith, Sylvia Plath, Alexander McQueen, as well as Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived. His first novel, The Lying Tongue, was published by Atria in 2007. His journalism has appeared inThe Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, and The Washington Post.
Find Andrew Wilson Online
Twitter: @andrewwilsonaw
A TALENT FOR MURDER: A Novel by Andrew Wilson
Atria Hardcover | ISBN: 9781501145063 | On sale: July 11, 2017 | 320 pages | $26.00
eBook: Atria | ISBN: 9781501145087 | On sale: July 11, 2017 | 320 pages | $13.99


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