Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Coming September 2022: In Vino Veritas in the World of True North

 


More coming from the
World of True North and In Vino Veritas
The Wine Bar and Bookstore are OPEN!


September 8th


Wildfire by Garrett Leigh

Goodreads → https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61147568-wildfire 

Amazon → Coming Soon

Counterpoint by J.E Birk 

Goodreads → https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61147540-counterpoint 

Amazon→ https://geni.us/Counterpoint-amz




September 13th


Unmanageable by Leslie McAdam 

Goodreads → https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61147579-unmanageable 

Amazon→ https://geni.us/Unmanageable-amz

Underdog by L.A. Witt

Goodreads →https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61147599-underdog

Amazon → Coming soon





September 22nd


Wonderland by Rachel Ember 

Goodreads → https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61147559-wonderland 

Amazon → https://geni.us/Wonderland-amz

Dauntless by Victoria Denault

Goodreads → https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61147549-dauntless 

Amazon → Coming Soon





Saturday, May 21, 2022

Blog Tour Review & Excerpt: 5 Stars for On A Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass



ON A QUIET STREET
Author: Seraphina Nova Glass
ISBN: 9781525899751
Publication Date: May 17, 2022
Publisher: Graydon House Books

Book Summary:

A simple arrangement. A web of deceit with shocking consequences.

Welcome to Brighton Hills: an exclusive, gated community set against the stunning backdrop of the Oregon coast. Home to doctors, lawyers, judges--all the most upstanding members of society. Nothing ever goes wrong here. Right?

Cora's husband, Finn, is a cheater. She knows it; she just needs to prove it. She's tired of being the nagging, suspicious wife who analyzes her husband's every move. She needs to catch him in the act. And what better way to do that than to set him up for a fall?

Paige has nothing to lose. After she lost her only child in a hit-and-run last year, her life fell apart: her marriage has imploded, she finds herself screaming at baristas and mail carriers, and she's so convinced Caleb's death wasn't an accident that she's secretly spying on all everyone in Brighton Hills so she can find the murderer. So it's easy for her to entrap Finn and prove what kind of man he really is.

But Paige and Cora are about to discover far more than a cheating husband. What starts as a little agreement between friends sets into motion a series of events neither of them could have ever predicted, and that exposes the deep fault lines in Brighton Hills. Especially concerning their mysterious new neighbor, Georgia, a beautiful recluse who has deep, dark secrets of her own...

Buy Links:

BookShop.org   |  Harlequin  |  Barnes & NobleAmazon  |  Books-A-Million  |  Powell’s 

 

 

 Excerpt

ONE

Paige

 
Paige stands, watering her marigolds in the front yard and marvels at how ugly they are. The sweet-potato-orange flowers remind her of a couch from the 1970s, and she suddenly hates them. She crouches down, ready to rip them from their roots, wondering why she ever planted such an ugly thing next to her pristine Russian sage, and then the memory steals her breath. The church Mother’s Day picnic when Caleb was in the sixth grade. Some moron had let the potato salad sit too long in the sun, and Caleb got food poisoning. All the kids got to pick a flower plant to give to their moms, and even though Caleb was puking mayonnaise, he insisted on going over to pick his flower to give her. He was so proud to hand it to her in its little plastic pot, and she said they’d plant it in the yard and they’d always have his special marigolds to look at. How could she have forgotten?

She feels tears rise in her throat but swallows them down. Her dachshund, Christopher, waddles over and noses her arm: he always senses when she’s going to cry, which is almost all the time since Caleb died. She kisses his head and looks at her now-beautiful marigolds. She’s interrupted by the kid who de-livers the newspaper as he rides his bike into the cul-de-sac and tosses a rolled-up paper, hitting little Christopher on his back.

“Are you a fucking psychopath?” Paige screams, jumping to her feet and hurling the paper back at the kid, which hits him in the head and knocks him off his bike.

“What the hell is wrong with you, lady?” he yells back, scrambling to gather himself and pick up his bike.

“What’s wrong with me? You tried to kill my dog. Why don’t you watch what the fuck you’re doing?”

His face contorts, and he tries to pedal away, but Paige grabs the garden hose and sprays him down until he’s out of reach. “Little monster!” she yells after him.

Thirty minutes later, the police ring her doorbell, but Paige doesn’t answer. She sits in the back garden, drinking coffee out of a lopsided clay mug with the word Mom carved into it by little fingers. She strokes Christopher’s head and examines the ivy climbing up the brick of the garage and wonders if it’s bad for the foundation. When she hears the ring again, she hollers at them.

“I’m not getting up for you people. If you need to talk to me, I’m back here.” She enjoys making them squeeze around the side of the house and hopes they rub up against the poi-son oak on their way.

“Morning, Mrs. Moretti,” one of the officers says. It’s the girl cop, Hernandez. Then the white guy chimes in. She hates him. Miller. Of course they sent Miller with his creepy mustache. He looks more like a child molester than a cop, she thinks. How does anyone take him seriously?

“We received a complaint,” he says.

“Oh, ya did, did ya? You guys actually looking into cases these days? Actually following up on shit?” Paige says, still petting the dog and not looking at them.

“You assaulted a fifteen-year-old? Come on.”

“Oh, I did no such thing,” she snaps.

Hernandez sits across from Paige. “You wanna tell us what d id happen, then?”

“Are you planning on arresting me if I don’t?” she asks, and the two officers give each other a silent look she can’t read.

“His parents don’t want to press charges so…”

Paige doesn’t say anything. They don’t have to tell her it’s because they pity her.

“But, Paige,” Miller says, “we can’t keep coming out here for this sort of thing.”

“Good,” Paige says firmly. “Maybe it will free you up to do your real job and find out who killed my son.” Hernandez stands.

“Again, you know we aren’t the detectives on the—” But before Hernandez can finish, Paige interrupts, not wanting to hear the excuses.

“And maybe go charge the idiot kid for trying to kill my dog. How about that?”

Paige stands and goes inside, not waiting for a response. She hears them mumble something to one another and make their way out. She can’t restrain herself or force herself to be kind. She used to be kind, but now, it’s as though her brain has been rewired. Defensiveness inhabits the place where empathy used to live. The uniforms of the cops trigger her, too; it reminds her of that night, the red, flashing lights a nightmarish strobe from a movie scene. A horror movie, not real life. It can’t be her real life. She still can’t accept that.

The uniforms spoke, saying condescending things, pulling her away, calling her ma’am, and asking stupid questions. Now, when she sees them, it brings up regrets. She doesn’t know why this happens, but the uniforms bring her back to that night, and it makes her long for the chance to do all the things she never did with Caleb and mourn over the times they did have. It forces fragments of memories to materialize, like when he was six, he wanted a My Little Pony named Star Prancer. It was pink with purple flowers in its mane, and she didn’t let him have it because she thought she was protecting him from being made fun of at school. Now, the memory fills her with self-reproach.

She tries not to think about the time she fell asleep on the couch watching Rugrats with him when he was just a toddler and woke up to his screaming because he’d fallen off the couch and hit his head on the coffee table. He was okay, but it could have been worse. He could have put his finger in an outlet, pushed on the window screen and fallen to his death from the second floor, drunk the bleach under the sink! When this memory comes, she has to quickly stand up and busy herself, push out a heavy breath, and shake off the shame it brings. He could have died from her negligence that afternoon. She never told Grant. She told Cora once, who said every parent has a moment like that, it’s life. People fall asleep. But Paige has never forgiven herself. She loved Caleb more than life, and now the doubt and little moments of regret push into her thoughts and render her miserable and anxious all the time.

She didn’t stay home like Cora, she practically lived at the restaurant. She ran it for years. Caleb grew up doing his homework in the kitchen break room and helping wipe down tables and hand out menus. He seemed to love it. He didn’t watch TV all afternoon after school, he talked to new people, learned skills. But did she only tell herself that to alleviate the guilt? Would he have thrived more if he had had a more nor mal day-to-day? When he clung to her leg that first day of preschool, should she have forced him to go? Should he have let him change his college major so many times? Had he been happy? Had she done right by him?

And why was there a gun at the scene? Was he in trouble, and she didn’t know? Did he have friends she didn’t know about? He’d told her everything, she thought. They were close. Weren’t they?

As she approaches the kitchen window to put her mug down, she sees Grant pulling up outside. She can see him shaking his head at the sight of the cops before he even gets out of the car.

He doesn’t mention the police when he comes in. He silently pours himself a cup of coffee and finds Paige back out in the garden, where she has scurried to upon seeing him. He hands her a copy of the Times after removing the crossword puzzle for himself and then peers at it over his glasses.

He doesn’t speak until Christopher comes to greet him, and then he says, “Who wants a pocket cookie?” and takes a small dog biscuit from his shirt pocket and smiles down at little Christopher, who devours it.

This is how it’s been for the many months since Grant and Paige suffered insurmountable loss. It might be possible to get through it to the other side, but maybe not together, Paige said to Grant one night after one of many arguments about how they should cope. Grant wanted to sit in his old, leather recliner in the downstairs family room and stare into the wood-burning fireplace, Christopher at his feet, drinking a scotch and absorbing the quiet and stillness.

Paige, on the other hand, wanted to scream at everyone she met. She wanted to abuse the police for not finding who was responsible for the hit-and-run. She wanted to spend her days posting flyers offering a reward to anyone with information, even though she knew only eight percent of hit-and-runs are ever solved. When the world didn’t respond the way she needed, she stopped helping run the small restaurant they owned so she could just hole up at home and shout at Jeopardy! and paper boys. She needed to take up space and be loud. They each couldn’t stand how the other was mourning, so finally, Grant moved into the small apartment above their little Italian place, Moretti’s, and gave Paige the space she needed to take up.

Now—almost a year since the tragic day—Grant still comes over every Sunday to make sure the take-out boxes are picked up and the trash is taken out, that she’s taking care of herself and the house isn’t falling apart. And to kiss her on the cheek before he leaves and tell her he loves her. He doesn’t make observations or suggestions, just benign comments about the recent news headlines or the new baked mostaccioli special at the restaurant.

She sees him spot the pair of binoculars on the small table next to her Adirondack chair. She doesn’t need to lie and say she’s bird-watching or some nonsense. He knows she thinks one of the neighbors killed her son. She’s sure of it. It’s a gated community, and very few people come in and out who don’t live here. Especially that late at night. The entrance camera was conveniently disabled that night, so that makes her think it wasn’t an accident but planned. There was a gun next to Caleb’s body, but it wasn’t fired, and there was no gunshot wound. Something was very wrong with this scenario, and if the po-lice won’t prove homicide, she’s going to uncover which of her bastard neighbors had a motive.

She has repeated all of this to Grant a thousand times, and he used to implore her to try to focus on work or take a vacation—anything but obsess—and to warn her that she was destroying her health and their relationship, but he stopped responding to this sort of conspiracy-theory talk months ago.

“What’s the latest?” is all he asks, looking away from the binoculars and back to his crossword. She gives a dismissive wave of her hand, a sort of I know you don’t really want to hear about it gesture. Then, after a few moments, she says, “Danny Howell at 6758. He hasn’t driven his Mercedes in months.” She gives Grant a triumphant look, but he doesn’t appear to be following.

“Okay,” he says, filling in the word ostrich.

“So I broke into his garage to see what the deal was, and there’s a dent in his bumper.”

“You broke in?” he asks, concerned. She knows the How-ells have five vehicles, and the dent could be from a myriad of causes over the last year, but she won’t let it go.

“Yes, and it’s a good thing I did. I’m gonna go back and take photos. See if the police can tell if it looks like he might have hit a person.” She knows there is a sad desperation in her voice as she works herself up. “You think they can tell that? Like if the dent were a pole from a drive-through, they could see paint or the scratches or something, right? I bet they can tell.”

“It’s worth a shot,” he says, and she knows what he wants to say, also knows he won’t waste words telling her not to break into the garage a second time for photos. He changes the subject.

“I’m looking for someone to help out at the restaurant a few days a week—mostly just a piano player for the dinner crowd—but I could use a little bookkeeping and scheduling, too,” he says, and Paige knows it’s a soft attempt to distract her, but she doesn’t bite.

“Oh, well, good luck. I hope you find someone,” she says, and they stare off into the backyard trees.

“The ivy is looking robust,” he comments after a few minutes of silence.

“You think it’s hurting the foundation?” she asks.

“Nah,” he says, and he reaches over and places his hand over hers on the arm of her chair for a few moments before getting up to go. On his way out, he kisses her on the cheek, tells her he loves her. Then he loads the dishwasher and takes out the trash before heading to his car. She watches him reluctantly leaving, knowing that he wishes he could stay, that things were different.

When Paige hears the sound of Grant’s motor fade as he turns out of the front gate, she imagines herself calling him on his cell and telling him to come back and pick her up, that she’ll come to Moretti’s with him and do all the scheduling and books, that she’ll learn to play the piano just so she can make him happy. And, after all the patrons leave for the night, they’ll share bottles of Chianti on checkered tablecloths in a dimly lit back booth. They’ll eat linguini and clams and have a Lady and the Tramp moment, and they will be happy again.

Paige does not do this. She goes into the living room and closes the drapes Grant opened, blocking out the sunlight, then she crawls under a bunched-up duvet on the couch that smells like sour milk, and she begs for sleep.

Excerpted from On A Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass, Copyright © 2022 by Seraphina Nova Glass. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

 

 

 What I thought about On A Quiet Street

Three families deal from a quiet, gated community deal with their secrets.lies and much more in this familiy oriented thriller from Seraphina Nova Glass.

The story opens with someone dying under very suspicious circumstances.  It's not quite clear what exactly happens, but when the reader meats Cora, Paige and Georgia, it is revealed that Paige is grieving for her lost son and Cora is suspicious that her husband is cheating ... again. And their mysterious, young, gorgeous neighbor Georgia is most likely agoraphobic according to her husband but it turns out her story is so much more complicated. 

Only all is not what it seems in this gated community.

Each of the women are dealing with something and they are going to get to the bottom of their situations. Over the course of the story, the truth comes out about Finn's cheating, Paige's son and the real reason Georgia never leaves the house. The story alternates between the point of view between these three women. 
 
I found this story to be absolutely engaging.  I didn't want to put the book down (which is sometimes inconvenient) but wow, I really loved this story and how it was presented to me.  The tensions built steadily from the start, culminating in a terrific conclusion that had me scratching my head about how they all got away with what they did.  Sorry, but I don't want to spoil it with the details -- this is not a story where good and bad are easily identified. The women tell lies too, and the question becomes whether they were any different than the lies ties by Finn and Georgia's husband?  Did the end justify the means?  I asked myself these questions and I loved that this story made me really want to examine these issues.  This book would be perfect for book club conversations.  

I did have some questions about the easy forgiveness among the women that really made me wonder if they could be that forgiving after everything that transpired. There were parts of the book that I wanted to scream at the characters (especially some of the reckless things Paige does throughout) and I loved that I had that level of engagement with this book.

Overall, I loved this story. It was constructed very well for a family oriented thriller and the characters were very interesting and multi-faceted.  I really liked all 3 of the women characters and how they came together.  While I was still left with a few questions regarding that opening scene, I did like there was some closure there. A truly entertaining family thriller. 


   About the Author

Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and playwright-in-residence at the University of Texas, Arlington, where she teaches film studies and playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and she's also a screenwriter and award-winning playwright. Seraphina has traveled the world using theatre and film as a teaching tool, living in South Africa, Guam and Kenya as a volunteer teacher, AIDS relief worker, and documentary filmmaker.

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @SeraphinaNova

Facebook: Seraphina Nova Glass: Author

Goodreads


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Blog Tour Review: Curious Obsession by Elora Nicole Ramirez


CURIOUS OBSESSION

by Elora Nicole Ramirez!

Check it out and be sure
to grab your copy today!

Title: Curious Obsession
Author:
Elora Nicole Ramirez
Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Curious Obsession:

One moment Juniper Reese existed, and the next she vanished into thin air.

This is how it feels for Lavender, her twin, when she receives the call that Juniper didn’t show up to her job one morning. Still adjusting to Juniper’s cross-country move to run from the ghosts of their mother’s death, Lavender knows something is wrong — but she also knows her sister is still alive.

 

As she follows Juniper’s footsteps in an unfamiliar town, she begins to uncover a plot that seems to suggest her sister was being stalked before her disappearance. Now it’s on her to find Juniper before time runs out and convince those around her that her disappearance wasn’t an attempt to “get away.”

 

What she doesn’t know is that she’s being watched by someone who just realized perfection came twice. He begins to hone in on Lavender, his attention never satisfied until he can have them both for himself.

 

Will Lavender be able to find her sister before time runs out?

Or will she be the next target in an obsession gone wrong?

 

Order Your Copy!

Amazon | Paperback

Add to Goodreads 





What I thought about Curious Obsession

High School teacher Juniper Reese is missing. Her twin sister Lavender is called and she travels cross country to find out what is going on. As with many missing person cases, it takes a while for authority figures to agree that she's missing. But over the course of the book, evidence is revealed that Juniper is in a very serious situation.   
 
The first half of the book builds some nice tension as Lavender looks for her sister. It can get a bit repetitious and at one point I wished things were moving more quickly. There's also a nice dichotomy between the fear Lavender feels for her sister and the romantic feelings she's experiencing for one of her sister's colleagues. 

This is a book with building tensions which typically mean there should be some payoff at some point. Unfortunately, I found the second half disappointing as I waited for the big moment. The flashback to what happened to Juniper in the days leading up to her abduction slowed things down with more repetition that filled in some minor details but spent too much time on unnecessary details in the school. 

I did enjoy how their mother was involved in the story..this was my favorite part. I also thought the stalker aspect well done. I could feel the tension and eyes on them. I did find myself wanting to know more about the stalker or maybe more on how he got away with it.
 
The story is told in multiple point of views. It feels strange to say I liked Lavender over Juniper, but I did. Juniper and others around her made so many mistakes it totally annoyed me.  

There were aspects I liked about this book, and things I thought could have been better. The writing is good and there's a nice tension to the story, the stalker is definitely creepy, and there are some romantic elements that I enjoyed. But there were also other aspects that bugged me, so I'm giving this three and a half stars. 



About the Author


Elora Ramirez has always been a word girl.   It started when she was four, when she taught herself how to read and write as a way to entertain herself while her grandmother kicked and danced in aerobics class. She cut her teeth on books from Dr. Seuss and writing anywhere she could find the space — including her Fischer Price kitchenette, the pages of picture books, and Highlights Magazines.   She's matured a bit since then, now choosing to write in the margins of her books and on the mirrors of her bathroom ideas and thoughts surrounding story and what makes us human. By day she leads a team at a tech company, waking up before the sun rises to get in her love for words before stepping into her role of helping others see the plot line of their own story under development.   Intuition and beauty get her through the day, as well as her chef-husband and their little lion son. Curious Obsession is her fourth novel.  

Connect with the Author:

Website | Goodreads

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Cover Reveal: Be With Me (Adair Family #4) by Samantha Young

 

 Samantha Young has revealed the cover for Be With Me!

Releasing: July 12, 2022

 

Cover Design: Hang Le

Photography: Sara Eirew

Models: Quinn & Honey

 

It was the friends-with-benefits proposition he never saw coming...

While Arran Adair might have followed the call of wanderlust in his younger years, it isn't the reason he stayed away from Ardnoch. Home now, desperate to put the sins of his past behind him, and rebuild his life in the Scottish Highlands, Arran could never have predicted Eredine Willows. The Ardnoch Estate Pilates instructor is a complicated mystery and one Arran can't help but want to solve.

Eredine has spent the last eight years hiding in Scotland and building walls between her and the people she cares about. Arran is the first Adair who doesn't treat her as if she's fragile and demands a genuine friendship. Yet, the attraction sizzling between them is undeniable. So when she realizes she trusts him, Eredine surprises them both by offering Arran one night of no-strings passion.

Arran knows one night will inevitably lead to a desire for more and he's willing to stay by Eredine's side for as long as it takes to convince her there's something real between them. However, just when Arran thinks they might build a future together, Eredine's past returns to stalk her. And Arran won't just have to battle her demons to keep them together. He'll need to battle his own.


Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3y1aZB8

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3kkLkv5

Nook: https://bit.ly/3vpinUS

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3LHIufP

 

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3KkyQ0Y

 

Meet Samantha

Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She's been nominated for several Goodreads Choice Awards. Samantha writes adult contemporary and paranormal romance, YA urban fantasy and YA contemporary fiction and is currently published in 31 countries.

She resides in Scotland.

Connect with Samantha

Website: http://authorsamanthayoung.com

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2FWgYdn

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2H47kEP

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSamanthaYoung/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1520019958258238/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorsamanthayoung/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorSamYoung

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2D241eO

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/samyoungauthor/

Verve: https://www.ververomance.com/app/authorsamanthayoung

Review: Kiss Hard (Hard Play #4) by Nalini Singh

 

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh brings you a sinfully playful contemporary romance between two sworn enemies turned partners in crime…

Daniel Esera is a young god on the rugby field, a sexy and charming man who’s got the world at his feet. There’s just one problem: his sudden potent attraction to his number one nemesis—Catie River. No. Just no. Not happening.

Catie River is on her way to Paralympic gold, and she’s not about to allow Danny “Hotshot” Esera to derail her plans. Too bad her body isn’t cooperating. Even worse? Her heart might be coming along for the ride. No. Nope. Never.

The pair are united in their desire to remain enemies…until a stranger’s reckless action threatens both their careers. Now, the only way out for Catie and Danny is to pretend to be in a relationship. How bad can it be? They’re adults in full control of their hormones and their hearts. There will be no kissing. No PDA. And definitely no falling in love.

Let the games begin.

 

AppleBooks  •  Amazon  • Nook

 Add to Goodreads

Read an Excerpt

What I thought about Kiss Hard

In Kiss Hard, Danny Esera, youngest of the rugby phenoms in the Esera family is having some issues with his game among other things.  When he's out at a club one night, his drink is tampered with and he ends up with an overdose in the hospital.  Good thing Catie was there to take care of him.  

Catie and Danny have a long history together.  Both being athletes and competitive, they often spend plenty of time ribbing each other.  She calls him her nemesis --and Danny said the same about her, until they are forced together by circumstances after the drugging incident.  

Their time together gives them the opportunity to see each other in a different light and that's all it takes for this relationship to bloom.  And it's even more cute than it already is when all of the family don't bat an eye that Danny and Catie are together romantically.  

Catie does have some trust issues to deal with, and Danny has to make some big and difficult decisions about his career in rugby. I loved how Danny's family rallies around him to help him with the aftermath of the drug incident and with his career decisions.  Catie is a lovely character, and it's so very easy to cheer for her in this romance. 

Kiss Hard is a sweet, low-conflict, friends-to-lovers romance that I really enjoyed.  Danny is just lovely as he realizes the depth of his feelings for Catie, even though she's a little more shy about trusting him completely. They are destined for each other even though everyone knows that but them. 

I love this contemporary series from Nalini Singh. Even though most readers may know her as a paranormal author, her contemporary series really rock my world. My only complaint is that I'm usually left wanting more!

 
 
 


 Author Information


Nalini Singh is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series. She lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing.

If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts and free short stories on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. The Rock Kiss books are all stand alone and can be read in any order.

STALK HER:  
Website | Facebook |  Instagram  |  Twitter | Goodreads

 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Review:My Wife Is Missing by D. J. Palmer

When a woman disappears with her two children, one husband will do anything to find them--even confront the secrets of his own past--in D. J. Palmer's My Wife Is Missing, a twisty thriller from the author of The New Husband.

A family vacation turns into a nightmare for Michael Hart when he discovers his wife and two children have disappeared from their New York City hotel room. Horrified, he fears they’ve been kidnapped. Michael’s frantic search to find them takes a shocking turn when he discovers that his wife, Natalie, appears to have left quite willingly, taking their children with her. The police want to know why, and so does Michael. But there may be a reason why Natalie ran, something Michael can’t tell the police—the truth about his past.

While untangling his deceptions might be the key to locating Natalie, Michael knows it could also be his undoing. To find his wife, he must now turn to the one person capable of exposing all that he’s been hiding. Natalie thinks she has Michael all figured out and has hatched a plan to escape from him permanently. One detail, though, threatens to derail her efforts: sleep—or more accurately, the lack of it. Since the moment the shocking revelations about her husband came to light, Natalie’s insomnia has worsened to the point that she now suffers from delusions.

Are her fears about Michael valid—or a symptom of her condition? With her children’s lives at risk, the stakes for Natalie could not be higher. On her own, running low on energy and resources, avoiding increasingly close calls with Michael—who is on the hunt and closing in fast—Natalie needs someone to turn to for help. But who can she trust when she can’t even trust herself?

 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

 


What I thought about My Wife Is Missing

Michael Hart takes his family to New York City on a vacation, only to find them missing when he brings some pizza back to the hotel room. The opening of this mystery/psychological thriller  grabbed me right away.

The first complication is that Natalie isn't all that stable -- she has insomnia and some other issues that may or may not be related to her sleep deprivation.  There is a dual pov to help fill in the blanks, and at times both characters are unlikable.

Since this is a mystery, I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm not going to get into the details of the plot.  There's more to things and bigger reveals as the story moves along.  The middle is a bit slow and repeats and the big payoff is in the last twenty five percent of the book.  There are secrets.  There are twists.  The question becomes which one do you believe?  Even though some of the plot elements were a touch unrealistic, it did keep me guessing.

Overall, I did enjoy this story and it worked for me as a mystery/psychological thriller as long as I didn't spend a lot of time questioning things and just went with the flow of the story, which was okay by me. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Review:Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting

 

Having just broken up with her boyfriend, London Spark is not in the mood to be hit on. Especially not when she’s out celebrating her single status with her sisters. So when a very attractive man pays for their drinks and then slips her his number, she passes it right back to him with a ‘thanks, but no thanks’. As the business administrator for their family’s event hotel, the Spark House, London has more important things to worry about, like bringing in new clientele.

As luck would have it, a multi-million-dollar company calls a few months later asking for a meeting to discuss a potential partnership, and London is eager to prove to her sisters, and herself, that she can land this deal. Just when she thinks she has nailed her presentation, the company’s CEO, Jackson Holt, walks in and inserts himself into the meeting. Not only that, but he also happens to be the same guy she turned down at the bar a few months ago.

As they begin to spend more time together, their working relationship blossoms into something more. It isn’t until their professional entanglements are finally over, that London and Jackson are finally ready to take the next step in their relationship. But between Jackson’s secretive past and London’s struggle with her sisters, London must question where she really stands - not just with Jackson, but with the Spark House, too.

 

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What I thought about Starry Eyed Love

In a return to Spark House, Starry-Eyed Love is the second book in this romantic comedy series and it's London Sparks story.  Having just broken up with her boyfriend, she's sworn off men and goes out with her sisters to celebrate and she dismisses an attractive man hitting on her in the bar. 

Fast forward and London finds herself working with Jackson Holt, the man who approached her at the bar.  They become business associates, and well it's a romantic comedy, so you can pretty much guess what's going to happen between these two.  I was really glad that this relationship takes a while to build and grow.  

There's some nice banter between these two as well to keep things light and fluffy.  There is some conflict and the story does rely on the usual miscommunication for this.  

This was a cute romance that works if you are in the mood for something not too heavy, with a sense of humor and a light touch.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author HELENA HUNTING lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard. She writes all things romance -- contemporary, romantic comedy, sports and angsty new adult. Some of her books include Meet CutePucked, and Shacking Up. Helena loves to bake cupcakes, has been known to listen to a song on repeat 1512 times while writing a book, and if she has to be away from her family, prefers to be in warm weather with her friends.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Review: Breathless by Amy McCulloch

 

AS SEEN ON THE TODAY SHOW A high-altitude thriller that will take your breath away—Cecily Wong is on her most dangerous climb yet, miles above sea level. But the elements are nothing compared to one chilling truth: There’s a killer on the mountain.
 
“A vertigo-inducing page-turner by an author who brings the high-stakes world of expert mountain-climbing to life on the page.” —Nita Prose, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maid


Journalist Cecily Wong is in over her head. She’s come to Manaslu, the eighth-highest peak in the world, to interview internationally famous mountaineer Charles McVeigh on the last leg of a record-breaking series of summits. She’s given up everything for this story—her boyfriend, her life savings, the peace she’s made with her climbing failures in the past—but it’s a career-making opportunity. It could finally put her life back on track.
 
But when one climber dies in what everyone else assumes is a freak accident, she fears their expedition is in danger. And by the time a second climber dies, it’s too late to turn back. Stranded on a mountain in one of the most remote regions of the world, she’ll have to battle more than the elements in a harrowing fight for survival against a killer who is picking them off one by one.

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What I thought about Breathless

I'm really torn on this book. Most times I think that's a good thing because it usually means the book made me feel something. I was drawn to this because of the adventure aspect. I'd read a book last year about mountain climbing that I enjoyed, so I decided to give this one a try.

Breathless contains the typical elements you would expect -- man against mountain and in this case, man against man, but this is really Cecily's story. I really liked the character, and the author does a good job of showing who she is. Cecily doesn't always make the right decisions, but she has good instincts.

The mystery / thriller aspect worked for me in general, though the pace of the first eighty percent of this story was quite slow with periodic flare-ups to keep things interesting.Then everything concluded so quickly at the end I didn't have time to savor the developments. A lot happens very quickly at the conclusion of the story, but I ultimately loved the final scene.

Overall, I enjoyed the story but wished things had moved along a little more evenly throughout the book. There's a good supply of heroes and villains, a mystery that will keep you guessing until the end, and Cecily's story is interesting and engaging (it was what kept me reading). The author's notes at the end are also worth a look. 




About the Author

Amy McCulloch is a Chinese-White author, born in the UK, raised in Ottawa, Canada, now based in London, UK. She is the co-author of the #1 YA bestselling novel THE MAGPIE SOCIETY: One for Sorrow, and has written seven solo novels for children and young adults. She has hit the bestseller lists in several countries around the world, and been published in fifteen different languages. Breathless is her adult thriller debut.

Before becoming a full-time writer, she was editorial director for Penguin Random House Children’s Books. In 2013, she was named one of The Bookseller‘s Rising Stars of publishing.

When not writing, she loves travelling, hiking and mountaineering. In September 2019, she became the youngest Canadian woman to climb Mt Manaslu in Nepal – the world’s eighth highest mountain at 8,163m (26,781ft). Other addictions include coffee, ramen and really great books.

 Twitter : @amymcculloch

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amymccullochbooks

 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amymccullochbooks/

Website:  https://amymcculloch.net/

 

 


 

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