Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review - The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

Book Publication - February 2015

Book Summary

In a tantalizing set-up reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train… On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a clich√©.
But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse. . . .
Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda's demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.
Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, one they both cannot survive . . . with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

My Review - 4 star

This book is the Champion of Coincidence.  In the moment I understand not questioning parts but for the reader is makes you smile and at the end I had a good laugh at the expense of the characters.  I am surprised this came out last year, I don't think I heard much about it but can see it being on Thriller fans to be read list.

The intro fascinated me, strangers, Lily and Ted meet at an airport bar and over drinks plan to kill Ted's wife. Okay, realistic NO, but maybe for a murderer this is normal behaviour.  Grief, alcohol, anger and feelings of revenge, oh the thrill of planning a murder for the fun of it then realize your new friend is serious.    I started to get turned off by the ludicrous story-line then BAM you are like what the hell just happened, laugh and continue on in disbelief.

'And while I was agreeing what kept me going was the knowledge that she was going to die, and I was going to be the one who made that happen.   I thought about it constantly, turning the idea around in my mind like looking at a diamond from every possible perspective, looking for flaws or cracks, looking for guilt or second thoughts, and I ground none.  Kindle 15%

This thriller was entertaining and I couldn't stop reading because I just had to know how it all was entangled and would end.  This was a chess game but who wins?

'We understood that survival was everything.  It was the meaning of life.  And to take another life was, in many ways, the greatest expression of what it meant to be alive.  Kindle 69%

I thought Lily was the best character and we got to understand background story which helped the present and future.  The Detective on the case I really enjoyed and wish he didn't become so taken by Lily that it became stalker like, I wish it was just amazing detective work.

The ending of the book was brilliant, I laughed out loud, all the coincidences will come crashing down.  Loved it.  Overall I did enjoy but the beginning before the BAM made it hard to get into for me.  Also, each chapter was told from a character but this overall needs better execution, improvement over time from the author. I loved the title of this book, superb.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My Top Ten Books of 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. If you can't come up with ten, don't worry about it---post as many as you can!

I start looking forward to this meme as soon as December begins.  It is the time I add many books to my 2017 to be read list.  Thank you bloggers.

I only had one 5 star read this year but all the others are 4 1/2 and memorable.

My Review 5 star - Adult Fiction/Suspense

I couldn't stop reading this, I wanted to call in to work and say I had more important things to do, which was finishing this book.  The story completely captured my attention.   This is the perfect book for an advocate group on sexual abuse to read and discuss with each other.  What I loved the best that Steena Holmes did was not make it emotionally driven to the point where you have to warn readers about possible triggers to sexual abuse as their were no descriptions.  This wasn't about the act but more about what do you do with suspicions or when a young child repeats something and your unsure.

My Review 4 1/2 stars - Adult Fiction/Historical 

I can see why this gem made so many bloggers favourite list, it was the perfect execution from beginning to end, capturing all issues.  Even though historical is not my thing, this was beautiful and Kristin Hannah truly showed her talent, gaining new fans for sure but still not letting her loyal fans down, remarkable to me. 

The intensity in this book is non stop, shocking and many moments I realized I was holding my breath.  I am so impressed this is a debut, well done BA Paris.  I felt relieved at the end which isn't a good thing but my oh my, intense.  The summary says we all know a couple like Jack and Grace, I sure as hell hope not.  That thought is scary and very creepy, there are some things I will never overlook with friends now.  I will give a warning, this is probably the worst kind of mental manipulation abuse I have read, it can be very hard to read if you are not into emotional intense reads.  I found this harder to read them physical abuse.

My Review 4 1/2 stars -  Psychological Thriller

I really like mental games and the serial killer put the victims through the worst mental game, a survival game and really no one wins.  The survivor sometimes suffering more than the victim.  I realized it would really depend who I was imprisoned with.  I thought the serial killer did a great job on choosing.  I like to be in control so I think the choice would be to kill myself or the other but letting my guard down and being killed, nope, isn't that terrible, but this is the torture they go through while starving.

My Review 4 1/2 stars - Psychological Suspense

Wow, wow and wow.  This is a book I wished I was able to read in 1 seating, staying up until almost 2am for two nights is not me but I couldn't get enough.  The storytelling has you on the edge of your seat.

My Review 4 1/2 stars - Crime/Police Procedural

This crime thriller/police procedural will keep you fully engaged, the tension is constant and when it all comes together, BAM, I was pleased. I also really enjoyed all the characters, Robert Bryndza gave the characters a genuine place where you felt you understood decisions, good and bad which helped the dialogue to feel real also.

My Review 4 1/2 stars - Memoir

This is not my kind of book but I downloaded the sample and was laughing, became engaged and had to read it.  I'm glad I did, very fun book.  I was happy to see the inside of a celebrity from their point of view.  I found it light, fun, badassary (Shonda added this to her Dictionary as a new word).  I was a Grey's Anatomy fan but now I can say I'm a Shonda fan. 

My Review 4 1/2 stars Suspense - My choice for Book Club and a video discussion with author

In February I said this would make my Top Ten List.  I saw this book mentioned during a book meme, I was intrigued and downloaded it.  Sometimes the best books are the one's you know nothing about outside of the summary.  I want to just say read it, there is something for all, especially the thriller, mystery fans but I think this is perfect for the YA fans that want to get into thrillers.  I was captivated and didn't want to go to sleep nights and even bought it to work, which I never do, I just couldn't get enough and had to know what was going to happen.

My Review 4 1/2 stars (Book 5) - My Favourite author and series

The Forensic Instinct team can do no wrong, absolutely love these characters.  Andrea Kane makes me feel at home and her writing immediately grabs me and I'm in the comfort of my book journey with this team, I am one of them....

My Review 4 1/2 stars - Investigative Thriller

I think JT Ellison has officially became my favourite investigative thriller author and to think the first book I read by her I wasn't impressed, so glad I tried again.  She gives me everything I want now.  The feeling of being on the edge and can't read fast enough to know how it will end.  Allowing the reader to be part of the investigation as clues are revealed.  Really great characters who you begin to connect with and look forward to seeing more of. There are always connections which highlights how small our world really is, I find this so true and exciting.

I would love to see these 3 read more around the blogosphere.  
*The Word Game, Unhinge and The Drowning Game.*

NOTE:  Please check your junk folders as I have commented on 6+ blogs without the comments showing.

Thanks for visiting Tea Time with Marce.  Happy Holidays

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Review - The Mistletoe Secret by Richard Paul Evans

Book Summary

The master of the holiday novel presents the moving story of two people who brave loneliness and loss to find love.

Dear Universe,
Is anyone out there?

Thinking no one is reading, a blogger who calls herself LBH writes about her most personal feelings, especially her overwhelming loneliness. She goes from day to day showing a brave face to the world while inside she longs to know how it would feel if one person cared about her.

Alex Bartlett cares. He’s reading her posts in Daytona Beach, Florida. Nursing his own broken heart and trust issues, he finds himself falling for this sensitive, vulnerable woman whose feelings mirror his own. Following a trail of clues LBH has inadvertently revealed, he discovers that she lives in the small town of Midway, Utah. He makes his way there just after Thanksgiving, determined to find LBH. Maybe she’s a Lisa, Lori, or a Luanne. Instead, he finds a woman named Aria, a waitress at the Mistletoe Diner, who encourages Alex in his search while serving his pie along with some much-needed sympathy and companionship.

Alex finally finds his LBH, a woman who is as beautiful and kind as he imagined she would be. How can he tell her that he knows her secret? What’s holding him back? Could it be his feelings for Aria?

My Review - 5 stars

I bought this as part of my book club's gift this year and read on Kindle in case they talk about it.  This is my first book by Richard Paul Evans and I really enjoyed it.  Once I got into the story I couldn't stop, I stayed up late last night finishing it with a smile.

Holiday stories are predictable, there is some sadness but they always end in happiness.  This to me is an expectation.  I really liked how the author tried to put a wrench in the story-line, having you second guess your thoughts and then it all turns out for the best, I enjoyed this spin.

Alex is out with his friends and they tell him to stop moping, why don't he go online and meet someone, join a dating site.  As Alex decides why not, he come across a blog 'Is Anyone Out There' that captures his interest.  A lady only known as LBH writes a honest blog about being lonely and it touches Alex.  Instead of going on dates from the site he decides to try and find LBH.

What if the world's best-kept secret was that the whole world was lonely?  Kindle 44%

I enjoyed the style of sharing the blog posts and could see how Alex was touched by the writing.  Off he goes and ends up with a list of 18 names with the initials LBH in Midway, Utah.  He comes across some interesting people during his search.  A really lovely book with sweet characters.  Some fell the ultimate romance story and others were very weary about a stranger looking for a woman without knowing her name, a little creepy.  This all made it real and a sweet story to read.

Along his search he meets a beautiful waitress Aria.  Does Aria keep him away from truly continuing his search?  Does he find possible love with LBH or Aria?  The new LBH stands for Loved By Him.   A beautiful holiday story and I look forward to reading more by Richard Paul Evans.

It is the end of the story but I loved this quote and want to share.

We fear jumping because we fear falling.  We fear being broken.  But still, jump we must, because it's only in jumping that we'll ever find someone to catch us. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Review - Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes

Book summary

An old case makes Detective Inspector Louisa Smith some new enemies in this spellbinding second installment of New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Haynes’s Briarstone crime series that combines literary suspense and page-turning thrills.
Ten years ago, 15-year-old Scarlett Rainsford vanished while on a family holiday in Greece. Was she abducted, or did she run away from her severely dysfunctional family? Lou Smith worked the case as a police constable, and failing to find Scarlett has been one of the biggest regrets of her career. No one is more shocked than Lou to learn that Scarlett has unexpectedly been found during a Special Branch raid of a brothel in Briarstone.
Lou and her Major Crime team are already stretched working two troubling cases: nineteen-year-old Ian Palmer was found badly beaten; and soon after, bar owner Carl McVey was found half-buried in the woods, his Rolex and money gone. While Lou tries to establish the links between the two cases, DS Sam Hollands works with Special Branch to question Scarlett. What happened to her? Where has she been until now? How did she end up back here? And why is her family—with the exception of her emotionally fragile younger sister, Juliette—less than enthusiastic about her return?
When another brutal assault and homicide are linked to the McVey murder, Lou’s cases collide, and the clues all point in one terrifying direction. As the pressure and the danger mount, it becomes clear that the silent, secretive Scarlett holds the key to everything.

My Review - 3 star

I was looking forward to reading another by Elizabeth Haynes as Into the Darkest Corner is one of my favourite reads period, one I recommend often.  I was disappointed by this one.  It is the 2nd in a series and usually I would start from the beginning but the 1st didn't intrigue me, so I will say, that may have been a mistake but I didn't feel like I missed out on anything.

I enjoyed the character of Scarlett and was really disappointed at the ending, I felt like why did I go on that journey with Scarlett for it to end like that.  And also the ending with her sister we knew as a reader but it just all came to an end and I didn't feel fulfilled as a reader after the whole story.  I wonder if Elizabeth Haynes changed the story from her initial plan towards the ending.  Never getting the parents story, especially the dads was a let down.

Ten years of hell, Scarlett lived ten years of hell when she was taken and put into a life of prostitution.  When she is found and meets her mom again, what a shocker, punch in the gut reunion.  "I haven't forgotten, you know.  I saw you.   I saw you."  Kindle 38%  Can you imagine seeing your mom when you are being thrown in a van.  You would believe you would be saved and then nothing, ten years of nothing and then not even a sorry.  "Sometimes you make mistakes.  And if you don't own up to them, sooner or later they turn into bigger mistakes and bigger ones, and then you can't admit to them at all, ever."  Kindle 89%  This family was dysfunctional on a level of hate, I had nothing for the parents and understand the ending but still felt like something was missing, I needed closure.

The drug, human trafficking, crime groups case the police were trying to take down was a separate story which didn't engage me and this may have been from book 1.  The style of adding evidence is usually quite entertaining and makes me feel like part of the investigative team.  I thought this was worthless and didn't add to the readers enjoyment, also adding to the book being longer then necessary.

There were characters I enjoyed but overall this one just did not work for me, very disappointed.  I enjoyed the ten year timelines then coming together at the end, that was executed well.  It only gets a 3 because I completed it without skimming.  I would have went back to book 1 if I really enjoyed this one, but I won't now.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

It's Monday - What are you reading?

Book Date now hosts It's Monday What Are Your Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read List.

I am almost complete with the decorating, love the smell of a real Christmas tree, definitely starting to feel like Christmas.  This has been a sad and weird year globally with the politics and violence but I am trying to remain grateful and fulfill my life with happiness. 

I'm currently reading

I think this will be my Christmas read.  What is one of your favourites and what have you chose this year?

Book Summary

Becca Fletcher has always hated Christmas but she has her reasons for being Little Miss Grinch. Now, though, she can’t avoid her version of ho-ho-hell – because she’s travelling to the Comfort Food Cafe to spend the festive season with her sister Laura and her family. She’s expecting mulled wine, 24-hour Christmas movie marathons and all kinds of very merry torture.
Little does Becca know that the Comfort Food Cafe is like no other place on earth. Perched on a snow-covered hill, it’s a place full of friendship where broken hearts can heal, new love can blossom and where Becca’s Christmas miracle really could happen – if only she can let it…

My Christmas Eve recommendation is..... I loved it.

I reviewed - it was entertaining.  My Review

I am unsure what last 2 - 3 books to read for the year.  Recommend a must read please, what is the book you wanted everyone to read this year?

Have a great week.