Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: Forgotten in Death (In Death #53) – J.D. Robb

Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Review:

I have no idea why I didn’t review this book the first time I read it when it was obviously a 5-star review for me and is one of my favorite series. But better late than never, right? And I can say that the second time around, Forgotten In Death was once again a 5-star review for me.

This new case from the first body to the second pulled at the heartstrings. It was just so sad and that sadness kept tugging at me. Their fates were so tragic. The case in itself was actually two cases and it was intriguing to see Eve tackling it from two different ends.

The conclusion to both cases was absolutely satisfying. I loved the ending chapters and how Eve found justice for her two victims. In every Eve Dallas book I read, I always find the strength and courage to keep going on. This series is one with values, justice, about doing the right thing. About hope.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

*Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: In the latest novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, homicide detective Eve Dallas sifts through the wreckage of the past to find a killer. The body was left in a dumpster like so much trash, the victim a woman of no fixed address, known for offering paper flowers in return for spare change―and for keeping the cops informed of any infractions she witnessed on the street. But the notebook where she scribbled her intel on litterers and other such offenders is nowhere to be found. Then Eve is summoned away to a nearby building site to view more remains―in this case decades old, adorned with gold jewelry and fine clothing―unearthed by recent construction work. She isn’t happy when she realizes that the scene of the crime belongs to her husband, Roarke―not that it should surprise her, since the Irish billionaire owns a good chunk of New York. Now Eve must enter a complex world of real estate development, family history, shady deals, and shocking secrets to find justice for two women whose lives were thrown away…
Posted in ARC Reviews, Book Blog, Book Reviews

e-ARC Review: The Silence That Binds Us – Joanna Ho

Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult, Mental Health, Asian, Racism

Release Date: 14 June 2022

Review:

First of all, that cover is absolutely apt for this book. It was what drew me to it. I have anxiety and depression and sometimes it feels like I’m drowning and the surface feels too far away. This cover emphasized that and resonated with me.

Maybelline’s brother was the perfect one, who had his life all figured out, who he wanted to be, where he wanted to go to college whereas Maybelline can’t seem to get her mother’s approval for even one achievement. Then the unthinkable happens and Danny takes his own life, leaving May and her family reeling in the aftermath.

The author’s writing was exceptional. She did a remarkable job emphasizing and showing difficult issues such as mental health and racism. I liked that she didn’t just focus on Asian but Black people and the ignorance of others over the prejudice they have to endure.

Best of all, you could see May’s character growth as she fell down and picked herself back up, how she learned to see the world as it was and not how she wanted it to be. And you couldn’t help but love Tiya, Marc, Hugh, and Celeste.

The emotions in the story surged through and had a huge impact on me. The grief and the guilt, the sibling love between May and Danny, the friendships, that glimmer of hope at the end. And there were scenes that ripped your heart out and left you in tears.

The fact that the author could pull these powerful emotions in me says it all. This is by no means an easy story, with powerful scenes that will change you forever. And that is exactly why you need to read it.

Thanks to HarperCollins Canada for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Synopsis:
Maybelline Chen isn’t the Chinese Taiwanese American daughter her mother expects her to be. May prefers hoodies over dresses and wants to become a writer. When asked, her mom can’t come up with one specific reason for why she’s proud of her only daughter. May’s beloved brother, Danny, on the other hand, has just been admitted to Princeton. But Danny secretly struggles with depression, and when he dies by suicide, May’s world is shattered.
In the aftermath, racist accusations are hurled against May’s parents for putting too much “pressure” on him. May’s father tells her to keep her head down. Instead, May challenges these ugly stereotypes through her writing. Yet the consequences of speaking out run much deeper than anyone could foresee. Who gets to tell our stories, and who gets silenced? It’s up to May to take back the narrative.

 

Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: Nightwork – Nora Roberts

Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Intrigue

Review:

As a die-hard fan, I’m always on the lookout for new book releases of Nora Roberts and though lately there have been more misses than hits, Nightwork did not disappoint. From the get-go, I loved Harry Booth. He snuck in my heart and stayed there.

I empathized so much with him, over the huge responsibility he shouldered, what he took upon himself to try to pay the bills and take care of his mother. How can you fault him his choices?

I loved how the author portrayed him from a child to a teen to a young man, and as an adult. Harry Booth already had the maturity of an adult at a very young age but you could see the difference in age and experience as we followed his journey into adulthood.

The period of his life when he first met Miranda had me chuckling over how she baffled him. He needed that upheaval in his life. I can go on and on over how much I loved this book and it will still not be enough.

This story right here, is why I love Nora Roberts’ books so much. Her ability to craft a poignant story, with compelling characters, vivid descriptions, dashes of dark humor here and there, a deep abiding love, passion, intrigue, and an apt ending leaves me in awe.

Thanks to the publisher St Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Synopsis:
Harry Booth started stealing at nine to keep a roof over his ailing mother’s head, slipping into luxurious, empty homes at night to find items he could trade for precious cash. When his mother finally succumbed to cancer, he left Chicago—but kept up his nightwork.
Wandering from the Outer Banks to Savannah to New Orleans, he dons new identities and stays careful, observant, distant. He can’t afford to attract attention—or get attached. Still, he can’t help letting his guard down when he meets Miranda Emerson. But the powerful bond between them cannot last—because not all thieves follow Harry’s code of honor. Some pay others to take risks so they can hoard more treasures. Some are driven by a desire to own people the way they own paintings and jewels. And after Harry takes a lucrative job commissioned by Carter LaPorte, LaPorte sees a tool he can use, and decides he wants to own Harry.
The man is a predator more frightening than the alligators that haunt the bayou—and when he strongarms Harry into robbing a Baltimore museum, Harry abandons Miranda—cruelly, with no explanation—and disappears. But no matter what name he uses or where he goes, LaPorte casts a shadow over Harry’s life. To truly free himself, he must face down his enemy once and for all. Only then can he hope to possess something more valuable than anything he has ever stolen…

 

Posted in ARC Reviews, Book Blog, Book Reviews, Netgalley

eARC Review: Shadow Fallen (Dream-Hunters #6) – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: PNR, Fantasy

Review:

I’ve been a faithful fan of the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon since back when the books were still being released. 16 years later and I’m amazed at the evolution of the Dark Hunters and Dream Hunters and the connections between all the stories and characters.

Meet our tortured hero, Valteri – deemed terrifying and unlovable and a horrible demon – because of, guess what? The color of his eyes! People can be so cruel. The one thing I’ve always admired about Sherrilyn Kenyon’s stories is her ability to show the worst of humankind. And the best of it.

Stuck in a predicament not of her own choosing, Ariel still saw Valteri for who he truly was. I loved that about her. She didn’t let the prejudice and bigotry of other people stop her from seeing Valteri’s good heart.

And of course we can’t forget all the hidden nuclear secrets, appearance of some favorite characters, a surprising cameo and a satisfying end. The pacing was a bit slower than usual but overall it was a nice addition to both the Dark Hunter and Dream Hunter series.

A big thanks to NetGalley & Macmillan-Tor/Forge for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Synopsis:
For centuries, Ariel has fought the forces of evil. Her task was to protect the souls of innocent mortals when they die. Captured by a powerful sorceress, she is transformed into a human who has no memory of her real life or calling.
And is plunked into the middle of the Norman invasion of England.
Cursed the moment he was born with a “demonic deformity,” Valteri wants nothing of this earth except to depart it and will do his duty to his king until then. When a strange noblewoman is brought before him, Valteri realizes he has met her before…in his dreams. When others come for her, bringing with them preternatural predators, he is faced with a destiny he had no idea was waiting. One he wants no part of.
The truth is that Valteri isn’t just a knight of William the Conqueror. He is the son of one of the deadliest powers in existence, and if he doesn’t restore Ariel to her place, she is not the only one who will be in peril. The world itself hangs in the balance, and he is the necessary key to hold back the powers of evil. But only if he can find a way to work with the woman who stands for everything in the universe he hates.

 

Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

eARC Review: The Tangleroot Palace – Marjorie M. Liu

Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Fantasy, Horror, PNR

Release Date: 05 Apr 2022

Review:

I came across this book on NetGalley and the title – “The Tangleroot Palace” was the first thing to intrigue me. I’m so glad I requested it and was lucky enough to get approved for it. From the first page, the author’s words caught my attention and held it, refusing to let go.

The Tangleroot Palace is a collection of 7 short stories and usually, for this type of novel, I’d review the book as a whole. But there was such depth and individuality to each story that it’s only fair to review each one.

1 – Sympathy For The Bones
This was such a creepy little story and bloody fantastic in its creepiness about fairness and justice and the difference between helping someone out of the kindness of your heart and helping only to keep someone beholden to you. A lesson the young girl forced into apprenticeship to a Blair-type witch learned in time to save as much of her soul as she could. Is there forgiveness and redemption for acts committed when you had no other choice to try to save your soul? I want to think so, at least for this young girl who should have had people to love and care for her.

2 – The Briar and The Rose
Stuck in your own body, helpless to do anything but watch and scream inside. And the desperation of one who would do anything to release that imprisoned soul. It was heartbreaking to see the struggle and the pain. I wanted more details on the conclusion but it was an apt ending so it didn’t disappoint.

3 – The Light and The Fury
There’s nothing pretty about war – no dignity, no honor. One woman alone, longing for peace but burdened with saving her people. Another intriguing plot-line, centering around crystal skulls, which can be fascinating but personally, I find kind of creepy at the same time.

4 – The Last Dignity of Man
I found this one to be a heartbreaking story despite the creepy element – the hopeless, never-ending search for a cherished wish and the desperate struggle to find a way to get past the heartbreak of knowing that wish would never come true. The ending hit me totally out of the blue, I did not see that coming but it stayed with me for a long time.

5 – Where The Heart Lives
Oh, this is definitely one of my favorites in this collection. I have a soft spot for paranormal romance and I loved the main characters. You couldn’t help but love Lucy and Barnabus. And the romance between them was intense yet sweet at the same time.

6 – After The Blood
Ah, this collection wouldn’t be complete without at least one vampire story with an apocalyptic bend to it, and tragedy and heartbreak. I loved Amanda and you can’t help but empathize with her and Henry, our tortured vampire.

7 – The Tangleroot Palace
One last story to round off the collection and leave you with smiles. I loved Salinda and Mickel and the plot-line was predictable but not without its charm.

For a collection of short stories, the 7 stories did not feel like short stories. They left a hell of an impact on me and with a wish for more. The author’s writing was a pleasure to read and I am definitely getting The Tangleroot Palace in hardback for my collection.

A big thanks to NetGalley & Titan Books for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Synopsis:
New York Times bestseller and Hugo, British Fantasy, Romantic Times, and Eisner award-winning author of the graphic novel, Monstress, Marjorie Liu leads you deep into the heart of the tangled woods. In her long-awaited debut story collection, dark, lush, and spellbinding short fiction you will find unexpected detours, dangerous magic, and even more dangerous women.
Briar, bodyguard for a body-stealing sorceress, discovers her love for Rose, whose true soul emerges only once a week. An apprentice witch seeks her freedom through betrayal, the bones of the innocent, and a meticulously-plotted spell. In a world powered by crystal skulls, a warrior returns to save China from invasion by her jealous ex. A princess runs away from an arranged marriage, finding family in a strange troupe of traveling actors at the border of the kingdom’s deep, dark woods.
Concluding with a gorgeous full-length novella, Marjorie Liu’s first short fiction collection is an unflinching sojourn into her thorny tales of love, revenge, and new beginnings.
Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: Abandoned in Death (In Death #54) – J.D. Robb

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Review:

The best thing about February is always a new In Death book. This time we’ve got number 54 in the series – Abandoned In Death. Eve’s latest case is a race against time to find the killer while a hostage’s life hangs in the balance.

This latest case wasn’t as gripping as I’d expected. The storyline dragged a bit and was kind of repetitive. I missed having that feeling of depth to a great story.

J.D. Robb did this story a tad different, writing it in two time periods, the past and the present, merging together at the end. This difference added value to the whole story, including that incredible twist about who the killer was. I did not see that one coming.

Though I love the In Death series, the newer books after the first 46 books haven’t had the same greatness as the earlier ones. Some have been more misses than hits. Others like Faithless In Death were pretty amazing additions to the series.

That said, I still enjoyed getting my much-needed dose of Eve and Roarke along with all my favorite secondary characters. And who can regret some Bella and Mavis time, right?

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

*Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Homicide detective Eve Dallas must untangle a twisted family history while a hostage’s life hangs in the balance—in the new In Death novel by #1 New York Times bestselling J. D. Robb.
The woman’s body was found on a bench in a New York City playground. She was clean, her hair neatly arranged, her makeup carefully applied. But other things were very wrong—like the tattoo and piercings, clearly new. The clothes, decades out of date. The fatal wound hidden beneath a ribbon around her neck. And the note: Bad Mommy, written in crayon as if by a child.
It seems clear the killer’s childhood was traumatic—a situation Eve is all too familiar with herself. Yet the clues point to a perpetrator who’d be around sixty, and there are no records of old crimes with a similar MO. What was the trigger that apparently reopened such an old wound and sent someone over the edge? When Eve learns that other young women have recently vanished, the case grows even more urgent—and to solve it she’ll need to find her way into a hidden place of dim light and concrete, into the distant past, and into the depths of a shattered mind.

 

Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews, Netgalley

Book Review: Quiet No More – Nikki Barthelmess

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Review:

Life after surviving sexual assault. How do you do it? How do you pick up the pieces and get on with your life? Is that what you’re supposed to do? Can you? That is what Victoria strives to figure out after surviving sexual assault by her father and the hardship of foster care.

Victoria’s now in college, trying to get through her classes while inside her emotions are all messed-up. Her father’s sentencing looms ahead and she’s stuck in a love-and-hate tug of war for him, trying to grasp the right thing to do.

I empathized with Victoria over what she was undergoing and the author did a good job showing her doubts, confusion, her pain, her struggle not to let what happened to her drown her.

Right and wrong have always been pretty black and white for me. So I wanted Victoria to see her father for what he was, and I wanted her to make the right decisions but it’s hard to do that when you’ve been pushed into a certain mold.

What her so-called friend did was horrible and a breach of trust and friendship. I don’t condone that. Quiet No More is a book worth reading, providing awareness on what victims and survivors of abuse face from friends and family, strangers and society in general.

Synopsis: College freshman Victoria Parker is trying to move on with her life after surviving sexual assault by her father and six months in foster care. She’s focusing on the positives–attending college, living on her own, repairing old relationships and making new ones, and getting involved with an abuse survivors activist group on campus. But everything’s thrown into disarray when a strange woman shows up, claiming to be Victoria’s aunt and asking Victoria to lie about what happened to her. With her father’s sentencing in a few months, she’s nervous about having to share the truth of what happened with a judge. She’s not even sure if she has the strength to go through with it. But when her fellow club members begin pressuring her to speak out, Victoria has to decide how to share her story while remaining true to herself.
Posted in ARC Reviews, Book Blog, Book Reviews, Netgalley

ARC Review: Fable (Fable #1) by Adrienne Young

Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pub Date: 01 Sep 2020

Review:

One fateful night leaves Fable without a mother and abandoned on an island where she has to fend for herself until the day she finds passage off it with the help of a young trader, West. And so begins the start of unlikely alliances as they strive to navigate peril and keep their head above water.

Fable’s story, how she had to strive to live, to survive, broke my heart. I felt so much pain for this young girl, left to fend alone, having to stay on guard all the time. I wanted to hug her and make her life better. Give her food, shelter, protect her. The author wove such a heartbreaking character with a core of steel that you couldn’t help but feel for her.

As for West? He was an enigma, layers and layers of complications and secrets. I wanted to know everything about him, and finding those answers, getting to know him better – drew me in deeper. The ending chapters? Oh, I tipped over the edge and fell for him.

The side-characters, the crew of the Marigold—each one with their unique voices, charmed and endeared me to their plights. As secrets are revealed and pacts made, this story grabs you and hooks you in to the last page.

The world-building and descriptions were excellent. The author’s writing was a pleasure to read and the cliffhanger left me in high anticipation for more. This was my first book by Adrienne Young, and I have to say she completely won me over. I cannot wait to read the next book.

*Thanks to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.⁣

Synopsis: As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father. But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive. Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.
Posted in Blog Tours, Book Blog

Blog Tour – More Than Maybe – Erin Hahn

Hola, Book Dragons! I’m excited to be participating in the blog tour for the book, More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn. A big thanks to the publisher, St Martin’s Press, for the ARC and for allowing me to participate in the blog tour.

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Synopsis:
Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

In More Than Maybe, Erin Hahn’s swooniest book yet, Luke and Vada must decide how deep their feelings run and what it would mean to give love a try.

Review:

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Luke and Vada, two teens with a deep love for music, and a secret, unrequited crush on each other. Introverted Luke writes and records songs in secret. He runs a podcast with his twin brother, Cullen and when Cullen broadcasts the song Luke wrote and sang for Vada in secret, oh boy, it opens a whole can of worms.

If you know me or follow my blog, you know how much I love music. So this book was right up my alley. Add in an introverted, gorgeous guy, I’m all done for. Luke was super shy and super introverted. Now for a guy like that, singing in front of crowds is an excruciating ordeal. But he was talented and he had a gift for song-writing and singing. So where did that leave him? I felt bad for him, over his struggles, and his feelings for Vada.

Vada had her own struggles, worrying about money for college with a deadbeat dad. It sucks when the parent isn’t there for you, when they force you to be the adult. Add in the psyche manipulation and a girl’s got a lot of issues to deal with. That’s where the music comes in, as the best outlet for all the unhappiness, frustration, and rage inside.

I love how the author crafted such intense emotions to show how music makes us feel. That intensity showed in Luke and Vada’s feelings for each other. The first half of the book grabbed me by the throat. That first non-date scene? Holy cow, I was awed. The only complaint I have is the slow-burn aspect of the relationship. I wanted more intensity like the first half of the book showed.

Except for that, More Than Maybe was everything I feel about music, how the lyrics and melody of a song can get inside of me and shake my heart.

∼Lyn

BOOK LINKS

Publisher: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250231642
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51178403-more-than-maybe
Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/More-Than-Maybe-Erin-Hahn/dp/1250231647

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Erin Hahn_credit_Hilary Nichols PhotographyERIN HAHN is the author of You’d Be Mine and More Than Maybe. She teaches elementary, would rather be outside and makes a lot of playlists. So many playlists in fact, that she decided to write books to match them! She married her very own YA love interest who she met on her first day of college and has two kids who are much, much cooler than she ever was at their age. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, aka the greenest place on earth and has a cat named Gus who plays fetch and a dog named June who doesn’t.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: https://www.erinphahn.com/
Twitter: @erinhahn_author
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17130322.Erin_Hahn
Instagram: @erinhahn_author

Posted in Book Blog, Netgalley

NetGalley presents… AudioBooks!

Hola, Book Dragons! Tornado warning here! Ooh, it’s gone dark and stormy. Spooky weather. My favorite. 😀 I like some sunshine now and then but this kind of weather, dark and stormy? It just makes me smile. Though I do hope we don’t actually get a tornado and that no one is hurt.

But I digress. I don’t know if many of you have heard about this or not, but NetGalley now has its own mobile shelf app, and *drumroll* now offers audiobooks for requests. There are even popular books like Beth O’Leary’s The Switch already available as “Listen Now” if you’d care to give it a gander.

Here’s the link that gives you all the details on it: https://netgalley.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360048125994

The mobile app is actually just a shelf app for your approved books which you can read on the app but I still prefer my Kindle for E-Books. The app also allows you to listen to the audiobooks you’ve been approved for. I gave it a try and it’s pretty good. The audiobook function is a good, clear one, almost like Audible.

So if you like audiobooks, here’s the chance for you to listen to new ones for free on NetGalley. Mazel Tov!

∼Lyn