February 29, 2016

Review: The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton


Product Description:
In need of a good adventure, Delaney Nichols takes the leap and moves to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine. She doesn't know much about what she's gotten herself into, other than that the work sounds exciting, and that her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime. Edwin has promised that she'll be working with "a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes," and Delaney can't wait to get started.
When she arrives, she meets her new Scottish family; also working at the Cracked Spine are Rosie, perpetually wrapped in scarves, and who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected. An unexpected bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his piercing eyes, and a rolling brogue -- and it doesn't hurt that he looks awfully good in a kilt.
But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact -- a previously undiscovered First Folio of Shakespeare's plays -- goes missing, and Edwin's sister is murdered, seemingly in connection to the missing folio. Delaney decides to do some sleuthing of her own, to find out just what the real story is behind the priceless folio, and how it's connected to the tragic death, all without getting harmed herself.

My Thoughts:
From the cover, I was expecting a typical cozy mystery with an amateur sleuth chasing down the clues and eventually solving the crime. What I got was an amateur sleuth finding pretty much only one clue, asking a few questions and miraculously solving the crime. Nothing really flowed right. 

I don't buy the motivation behind Delaney leaving the US for Scotland, the club Edwin is a part of seems like it should be a bigger part of the story but doesn't amount to much, Rosie witnessing an accident and then ending up flirting with the victim doesn't tie into anything, Delaney hearing voices from the books around her is an interesting side plot but nothing is made of it and I could go on and on but it's all more of the same. 

I was hoping for a whole lot more from the book but at the end of it all I enjoyed the characters so much, I just might read the next book in the series. If it wasn't for side characters like Elias, Tom and even little Hector I wouldn't bother. I hope the storyline flows much better in the next book of the series. If the subplot isn't going to be fully flushed out, I hope Shelton leaves it out so it doesn't distract from what is enjoyable in the storyline. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this to anyone who likes cozy mysteries with more emphasis on good characters rather than a believable plot. 

February 20, 2016

Review: The Exorcist Who Loved Me by Jennifer Savalli



Product Description:
Hiring an exorcist is not something widowed single mom Holly Archer ever thought she’d do. But the blackouts she’s been having mean someone—or something—is hijacking her body and she wants it stopped, like yesterday.
The hottie who shows up at her door is the first man who’s sparked her interest since her awful marriage. It’s no hardship to give herself over to his skills, and in short order the spirit is ejected—and Holly comes face to face with Celia, the ghost of her dead husband’s mistress.
Lawe Callahan figured this would be an easy case, and by morning he’d be headed for another town, leaving Holly and her witchy amber eyes behind. Until she agrees to help the ghost, who refuses to budge until her killer is brought to justice.
As the investigation heats up, so does Lawe and Holly’s attraction. But their differences not only threaten any chance of something real, their quest for the truth could drive a killer to tie up all loose ends—permanently.

My Thoughts:
Cheesy title aside, The Exorcist Who Loved Me was a great book. Being released by Samhain Publishing I also thought it would be a very spicy read but the romance was actually on the tamer side. My beef with romance books is how fast the main characters fall in love and jump into bed and this one is no exception but the story most definitely makes up for it.  
Being haunted by your dead husband's mistress is like the ultimate slap in the face but Holly handles it well and with Lawe's help they uncover the truth of what was thought to be Celia and Holly's husband's accidental death. The way the mystery is solved is very believable and the story flows naturally around it.
This is Book 2 in the Must Love Ghosts series but is also a stand alone as I have not read the 1st book in the series and didn't feel like anything was missing. I enjoyed this one so much, I'll most likely be going back to read book 1, Must Love Ghosts.

Product Description:I highly recommend this one for anyone who loves paranormal romance with a well balanced storyline.  

February 7, 2016

Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald



Product Description:
Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy's funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor―there's not much else to do in a dying small town that's almost beyond repair.
You certainly wouldn't open a bookstore. And definitely not with the tourist in charge. You'd need a vacant storefront (Main Street is full of them), books (Amy's house is full of them), and...customers.
The bookstore might be a little quirky. Then again, so is Sara. But Broken Wheel's own story might be more eccentric and surprising than she thought.

A heartwarming reminder of why we are booklovers, this is a sweet, smart story about how books find us, change us, and connect us.

My Thoughts:
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a sugary sweet story that was a little too predictable for me. I didn't connect with any of the characters nor was I rooting for them in any way throughout the story.... but it was a cute story. 

I like the idea of a complete stranger from another country pulling together the small town and helping the residents who were quickly losing hope. I just wish there were a little more twists and turns so I didn't see every plot line coming from a mile away. 

I especially love all the talk of books and how Sara shares books with the town. I think that's what saved the book from being a total dud for me. Overall it was an enjoyable read, I just feel it had potential to be a much better story. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this one for anyone who loves light and fluffy chic-lit.

January 20, 2016

Review: The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton



Product Description:
The gripping, moving story of a mother and daughter's quest to uncover a dark secret in the Alaskan wilderness, from the New York Times bestselling author of Sister and Afterwards.

Thrillingly suspenseful and atmospheric, The Quality of Silence is the story of Yasmin, a beautiful astrophysicist, and her precocious deaf daughter, Ruby, who arrive in a remote part of Alaska to be told that Ruby's father, Matt, has been the victim of a catastrophic accident. Unable to accept his death as truth, Yasmin and Ruby set out into the hostile winter of the Alaskan tundra in search of answers. But as a storm closes in, Yasmin realizes that a very human danger may be keeping pace with them. And with no one else on the road to help, they must keep moving, alone and terrified, through an endless Alaskan night.


My Thoughts:
Instead of a satisfying suspense thriller, I found myself aggravated by The Quality of Silence. It's really not believable that Yasmin would drag Ruby through all the horrors they faced because her husband kissed another woman and she didn't want to face the fact that her may now be dead. Really? You're going to "borrow" an extra large rig that is fully loaded and trek down one of the most dangerous roads ever, with a bad guy on your heels? Nope, I don't believe it. Although I finished the book, I found myself skimming through most of the 2nd half and found the ending so disappointing it was almost rage inducing. 

My Recommendation:
Pass on this one.

January 19, 2016

Review: Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon



Product Description:
Alex Dale is lost. Destructive habits have cost her a marriage and a journalism career. All she has left is her routine: a morning run until her body aches, then a few hours of forgettable work before the past grabs hold and drags her down. Every day is treading water, every night is drowning. Until Alex discovers Amy Stevenson. Amy Stevenson, who was just another girl from a nearby town until the day she was found unconscious after a merciless assault. Amy Stevenson, who has been in a coma for fifteen years, forgotten by the world. Amy Stevenson, who, unbeknownst to her doctors, remains locked inside her body, conscious but paralyzed, reliving the past.
 
Soon Alex’s routine includes visiting hours at the hospital, then interviews with the original suspects in the attack. But what starts as a reporter’s story becomes a personal obsession. How do you solve a crime when the only witness lived but cannot tell the tale? Unable to tear herself away from her attempt to uncover the unspeakable truth, Alex realizes she’s not just chasing a story—she’s seeking salvation.
 
Shifting from present to past and back again, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer until its heart-stopping conclusion. The result is an utterly immersive, unforgettable debut.


My Thoughts:
Wow, Try Not to Breathe really pulled on my heart strings. What a sad, sad character Alex was. I felt so much empathy for her and was genuinely invested in how everything would turn out, hoping for a happy ending. She had a great life until her alcoholism ruined everything then she struggled to pick up the pieces and somehow get through her tragic days. 

Then you have Amy. Her young life cut short, trapped in a coma for 15 years yet she still has some semblance of consciousness leaving her internally and forever bewildered. Sob!

Although nothing about the story ends in a happily ever after, both Alex and Amy make major strides in improving their lives. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this one for anyone who loves a suspense thriller full of emotion.