The August Plan…

Happy Monday, everyone!!

I can’t believe that August is already here!

This year feels like it has flown by, and we are getting close to my favorite time of the year: Fall!! Unfortunately, for me, this year the Fall season is bringing me back to school. I’ve decided to pursue another degree, and I start back in September. That means that I am trying to get in as much fun reading as I can this month!

I am going to try to get through as many of these as possible before the Fall quarter starts:

I am currently reading Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, which I am enjoying. I’m also making my way through Preacher for the first time, and wondering why I’ve waited so long to read it!

What are your reading plans for August? Do you have any big upcoming plans for fall?

What should I read next?!

Let me know your thoughts!!

Have a great week!

Always,

T

Pretty Guilty Women

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Author: Gina LaManna

Genre: Thriller

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmarks

Pages: 336

Four old college roommates, all who’ve grown apart, reunite as Whitney is to become the new Mrs. Banks at a posh resort wedding. They each have their own reasons for attending, aside from seeing Whitney wed. If nothing, it should be a relaxing weekend at the fancy resort. 

Lulu is on her latest rich husband, a Banks relative, and they are coming up on their five year mark. She is sure that her husband is hiding something, and she plans to use this trip to find out what is going on and save her marriage. Something, however, goes terribly wrong at the Banks wedding. Someone’s dead. Four separate women confess to committing the murder alone. Why would the all confess? Who is telling the truth? 

I’ve read several of Gina LaManna’s Magic & Mixology series books, so I was very excited to receive the ARC to this book. For some reason, I always enjoy reading a great thriller in the summer, and this one didn’t disappoint. I loved that, like her previous series, this is full of strong female characters. All of these characters have a great story and are well developed. Even if you don’t love them right away, you come to root for them in the end. By the end of the book, I wanted to hang out and have some wine with these ladies! The author used descriptions freely, but not so much that they got in the way of the story. The plot moved along at a steady pace, with no very slow places. This book felt very much in the same arena as Big Little Lies, Not That I Could Tell, etc, with that great blend of women’s fiction and thriller. If you are a fan of those, I feel that you would really enjoy this. I look forward to reading more from this author! (P.S. If you’re a fan of books with a lot of fun and magic- check out her Magic & Mixology series! I love it!)

This releases on 9/3/19. 

Many thanks to the publisher for the ARC! 

The Brief

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Author: Simon Michael

Series: Charles Holborne Legal Thrillers

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Sapere Books

Charles Holborne is a Jewish Barrister from the East End who is ostracized by his classist colleagues who don’t want him to be a part of their profession. Welcome to the 60’s! All of his feelings and anger are taking a toll on his relationships, especially with his wife whose family family believes that she married beneath her. He’s hopeful that the case that he just landed will turn things around for him, but a crime is committed that may may just make things even worse. 

I am a big fan of British mysteries and thrillers, and this was no exception. The author obviously  has knowledge of the legal system, as he did a wonderful job of detailing the system without making it sound bogged down like an essay. I really enjoyed the 1960’s setting. It made for a most interesting setting and set up for this story. The plot moved along at a really nice pace with very few slow areas. The characters were all very well developed. The main character was complex and one that I could really root for, even when I might have questioned his actions a bit. He was a bit of an anti-hero, which I love in any story. The story had enough twists and turns to keep me intrigued. I’ll definitely be picking up the sequel to see what happens next in Charles’ story! 

Here There Are Monsters

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Author: Amelinda Berube

Genre: YA Fantasy/Thriller

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Pages: 352

Skye has grown up being the protector to her younger sister, Deirdre. Deirdre was always caught up in her games of queens, castles, and knights, and drug Skye in to them with her. She named Skye the Queen of Swords, the one that would protect her against everything, and that’s what she became. She also became an outcast because of it, the weird girl’s weird sister. When they moved to their new home, far away from their previous residence, Skye felt it was time for a new start. When they arrive, Deirdre is delighted that their new home is surrounded by woods and swamps to explore and create new kingdoms in. Skye, however, is done playing Deirdre’s games and makes a new circle of friends to call her own. Left to care for Deirdre while their parents are out one evening, Skye falls asleep and is awoken by her mother frantically looking for Deirdre. Deirdre is gone. Rescue crews continue searching to no avail, until Skye knows that she is the one who must go and find her. She must become her sister’s protector and play the games once again. 

Let’s start with the cover of this book. How creepy and beautiful is that?! It’s very fitting with the tone and story, and I just love it. Now that I got that out of the way, on to the book itself. It started out a bit slow for me, so I was a bit anxious that I wasn’t going to like it and I was not happy about that, as I went in to this very hopeful (this is definitely my kind of read!). Fortunately, it did pick up after a bit and I got in to it. The story is told in alternating time periods, as it flashes back between earlier in the girls’ childhood and present day. I did enjoy that as it gives a clearer picture as to what may have led up to the present day situation. The characters, especially the main characters, were well developed. The two main characters, Deirdre and Skye, however, were not particularly likeable characters in my opinion. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the main characters do not have to be likable for a book to read well. I do know that some readers are put off by this, so I wanted to throw it in in case this is a sticking point for you. There are some supernatural elements that come in to play as the book moves on, and this was a fun element. It is a very atmospheric book, which I believe may have been my favorite thing about the writing of this book. The author did a wonderful job of building the world/atmosphere and making it fit the story well. Where the beginning of the book suffered from a bit of a slow start, the end could have used a bit of a slow down. It felt a bit rushed to tie everything up, and left me feeling like a may have missed something. Overall, though, it was a solid read and if the author were to write something else in the same genre, I’d pick it up. 

This book will be released on August 1.

Many thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to review this.

Black Wolf (Natalya Ivanova, Book 2)

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Author: G.D. Abson

Genre: Crime Fiction/Thriller/Noir

Publisher: Mirror Books

Pages: 336

A woman is found dead outside of St. Petersburg. After investigating, Captain Natalya Ivanova links her to an anti-Putin activist group. A government group that has been looking in to this group steps in and shuts down her investigation before it gets anywhere. After another activist disappears, Natalya is forced to go undercover in an attempt to discover what is really going on and find the murderer. This decision could put not only her career, but her family and personal life at risk. 

I was hoping for something a bit different than my “normal” thriller when I received this copy of Black Wolf, and boy did I get it with this wonderfully written crime fiction noir. This novel grabbed me and pulled me in to the story from the very beginning, and I did not want to put it down. The writing is beautifully atmospheric, and although I’ve never been to Russia, I could picture everything vividly. The story is very much character driven, so thankfully the author does a wonderful job of writing complex and multifaceted characters. I enjoyed getting to know each of them and their stories, especially Natalya, who presented a wonderful strong female lead. This was exactly the gritty crime drama that I was looking for, and I enjoyed it immensely! This is the first of Abson’s books that I have read, but it is the second in this series. The first is Motherland, and you can bet that I will be picking that one up! 

This title releases on May 16. 

Many thanks to Mirror Books for the ARC! 

Small Kingdoms and Other Stories

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Author: Charlaine Harris

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Publisher: JABerwocky

Pages: 176

Anne DeWitt is not the kind of principal that one wants to cross. Before coming to Travis High she had quite a different job at a very different type of school, and a different name. That was before the incident, of course. She now has her new name, new job, new town, and new life- unless her old one catches up with her. Anne likes her new life, a lot in fact, and she’s willing to do anything to protect it… anything. She may have to put that resolve to the test when her past makes an appearance in her present. 

As a long time fan of Charlaine Harris’ work, I was very excited to receive her latest work for review, and I was not disappointed! This is a book of four short stories centered around Anne and another character (introduced in the first story) Holt, and their exploits under new identities and new lives. Both of the main characters are well developed the first story and continue to become more fleshed out as the stories continue on. The secondary characters that are introduced in each story are also interesting and well developed. These stories were very different from my favorite series’ of Harris’ (Midnight, Texas is one of my favorite trilogies!), but it is definitely written with her voice and style. While I certainly wouldn’t say that it is laugh out loud funny, there is some great snark and sass combined with a bit of dark humor from these characters that I found quite enjoyable. I truly didn’t want these stories to end, and hope that there are more to come from this world! 

Many thanks to JABerwocky for the ARC! 

This is out May 28! 

 

Big Little Lies

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Author: Liane Moriarty

Genre: Thriller/Psych Thriller

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Pages: 460

 

Someone is dead… Was it murder, an accident, or somewhere in between? Welcome to the Pirriwee Peninsula in the suburbs of Australia, where everyone knows everyone, or so it would seem. Jane, a young mother to five-year-old Ziggy, has just moved here to start over. She is young enough that she is mistaken as a nanny. She befriends Madeline, who is as outspoken as they come, has a teenage daughter whom she fears that she is losing, and a son in Ziggy’s class. Her ex-husband and his wife have also moved to the Peninsula, and have a daughter the same age, in the same class. We also meet Celeste, a beauty to behold, with rambunctious twin boys, a wealthy corporate husband, and a mind that is constantly running in circles. With them, along with the rest of the cast, we learn that it’s the little lies, that could have the largest impact.

This is the first of Liane Moriarty’s novels that I have read. I admit that I, initially, picked it up because I wanted to watch the miniseries, and I won’t watch until I have read the book. (Yes, I am one of those people!) I am very glad that I picked it up! This book reminds me of a cross between Pretty Little Liars and Desperate Housewives- It was delicious! Once I got in to it, I didn’t want to put it down. The characters are all well fleshed out, with very individual personalities that allow the reader to decide to love or hate them (or somewhere in between). It really took me until very close to the reveal to decide what the answer to the actual mystery was, but I didn’t see the twist coming! I will definitely give another of her books a try in the future.