Genre: Women's Fiction

Guest Review: Safe With Me by K.L. Slater

Posted January 25, 2017 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Safe With Me by K.L. SlaterReviewer: Tina
Safe With Me by K.L. Slater
Published by Bookouture
Publication Date: November 3, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Suspense, Thrillers, Women's Fiction
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four-stars

Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even …

Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.

Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully …

First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…

But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller, perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and The Sister.

I found Safe With Me by K.L Slater on NetGalley when I was looking for a new thriller after reading a couple of lighthearted holiday books. I felt like I needed something with a little more substance after being in happily- ever- after land for awhile. So I read the description and was definitely interested.

I always like to read a couple of summaries on a particular book that I am about to read to give me an idea of if I really want to read it or not. I also like to check a couple reviews from people that I am familiar with on Goodreads or LIbrarything just to see what their views are as well. The book got pretty good reviews from a lot of folks on Goodreads, so I submitted my request and was glad I got selected.

Safe With Me puts you inside the head of a woman who is slowly surrendering her grip on reality, and trust me, it’s kind of a scary place to be. The story line is fast-paced for the most part and is certainly full of twists and turns. There are parts of the book that are pretty intense and the author definitely knows how to keep you guessing. I was surprised to find that the book is actually K.L. Slater’s debut novel.The writing is spot-on, with interesting, well-developed characters that all seem to be harboring their own secrets. Although I can’t say the majority of them were likable, I don’t feel they were intended to be anyway. I felt that the book had a good flow and was a fairly quick read as well.

I finished the book knowing that I would definitely be watching for more from this new author. If this is her first offering to the literary world, I can only imagine what she will come up with next. K.L. Slater did a great job of keeping me guessing, and from what I saw from the several other reviews that I had read, I was not the only one! That is always a sign of a good thriller. A story loses a lot of it’s power when the reader has it figured out by the middle of the book.

I would like to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book to review. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller.

four-stars

Guest Review: Tell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall

Posted December 28, 2016 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Tell Me No Lies by Lisa HallReviewer: Tina
Tell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall
Published by Carina
Publication Date: October 20th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Suspense, Thrillers, Women's Fiction
Pages: 183
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four-stars

From the bestselling author of Between You and Me don’t miss Lisa Hall’s new gripping thriller.

Don’t. Trust. Anyone.

It was supposed to be a fresh start.

A chance to forget the past and embrace the future.

But can you ever really start again?

Or does the past follow you wherever you go…

I have to admit that even though I enjoy many different genres of books, I always tend to gravitate towards women’s fiction and psychological thrillers. I saw Tell Me No Lies on NetGalley and after reading the summary, I submitted my request with my fingers crossed. I had heard a little bit about the author, Lisa Hall, on Goodreads because of her book Between You and Me. One of my “friends” had read it and gave it five stars. So, when I saw that I got approved for a review copy of this one I was pretty stoked. By the way, I purchased Between You and Me on Amazon right before I wrote this review.

I have to tell you that I started this book shortly after I received it and finished it pretty quickly as well. The only problem was that I read it late one night after everybody else went to sleep and my menopausal insomnia chose to keep me up. Yep, you can always count on me for a little TMI! Anyway, being a slightly paranoid person anyway, ( I mean how many times can you check to see if a door is locked??) I started reading and all was good. Well about a third of the way into it, I started getting that creepy vibe and every pop and crack of the house suddenly became somebody coming to get me! Not cool! So, fyi, if you get spooked easy, read this one during the day.

I really did enjoy this book. It was intense read and kept me powering through it because I was determined to finish it before I went to bed. As you read this book you might get that feeling that maybe you read it before, but you probably just watched a movie that was very much like it. I pretty much had it figured out by the last couple of chapters, but I still had to read on as you never know if the author is going to switch it up on you or not! But I have to tell you….I don’t really know how I feel about the ending. I mean I’m not sure if it was so unexpected that I am just freaked out by it or if I hated it. To me it was like driving 85 down the highway and slamming on your brakes! I’m sure Lisa Hall did that on purpose and that it was her intention to leave us all going “WHAT????”. At least I HOPE that was her intention..

I thought this was a great book. It had everything that a really good psychological thriller should have. Well….except that ending. But I will leave that up to you to decide for yourself. I am still on the fence about it. Great book – bizarre ending. Not gonna lie.

I would like to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in return for my honest review. I enjoyed it and think that if the summary sounds interesting you should give it a try. It’s a relatively quick read and only took a couple of hours from start to finish.

four-stars

Guest Review: Evelyn, After by Victoria Helen Stone

Posted December 26, 2016 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Evelyn, After by Victoria Helen StoneReviewer: Tina
Evelyn, After by Victoria Helen Stone
Published by Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Pages: 247
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three-stars

Evelyn Tester is sleepwalking through her suburban life—until a late-night phone call startles her awake. Her husband, a prestigious psychiatrist, has been in an accident. And he isn’t alone.

Suddenly Evelyn’s world isn’t as tidy as she thought. And in the midst of it all is Juliette, not only her husband’s secret lover but also his patient. If news of the affair were to get out, it would ruin more than just Evelyn’s marriage. Although it’s a bitter pill for Evelyn to swallow, protecting her family means staying silent—even if, as she begins to discover, the night of the accident has consequences far more dangerous than the unmasking of an affair.

But the more Evelyn learns about Juliette’s picture-perfect life—complete with a handsome, unsuspecting husband—the more she yearns for revenge…and satisfaction. Her growing obsession fuels her rage, burning away her complacency. What will be left of her after it flames out?

I found Evelyn, After on NetGalley where I was looking for something that would bring me down from my “sugar-high” from over-indulging on a few too many syrupy Christmas stories. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE those kind of books during the holiday season, but a girl has to give herself a break once in awhile. The minute I saw that cover, the first thing I thought was “Oooh!! Somebody’s gonna get it!! It looked creepy BEFORE I read the blurb, and then when I found out the subject, I couldn’t wait to read it. So when I found that I had been given a review copy, I downloaded it immediately and got ready for a wild ride……or so I thought.

The first part of the book was exactly what I would expect in a thriller. We have a car crash and a woman filled with rage after discovering that her husband is having an affair. But, by the middle of the book and nobody is dead yet, I started wondering what the heck was going on. My only suspense at that point was wondering when all the crazy was gonna start!!

So was this woman pissed or what? Yep, she was, but she didn’t go all bat-shit crazy like I expected. Instead she did a little Facebook stalking and a couple “drive-by’s” (not THAT kind…) which is not exactly was I was expecting in a book that is supposed to be a psychological thriller.

What happened instead you ask? Well, our scorned wife lost quite a bit of weight in a relatively short amount of time and went out and bought herself a new wardrobe. Then she had a “revenge-affair” with the other woman’s husband. So… in finding out that her husband was a cheating bastard, she re-invents herself and becomes the woman that she had “lost”. Really???

At this point ,all I could think was “Wow”. And I didn’t mean this in a good way. I wanted her to be so enraged that she lost her damn mind on somebody! Instead I felt like I had just watched a made-for-television drama on WE!

Evelyn, After was NOT a psychological thriller in my humble opinion. Nobody went psycho, and I didn’t get so caught up in the suspense that I ate a whole bag of M&M’s or anything!! The book had some decent DRAMA, but it didn’t scare the bejeezus outta me like I had hoped. I didn’t hate the book, but it just wasn’t what I expected at all. And then to top it off, the ending totally killed it for me.

With all this being said, I thought this book was just okay. If it would’ve had a different cover and had not been labeled a psychological thriller, I might have still picked it, I just would’ve known what NOT to expect. I might have even rated it a bit higher.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with this advance ebook in return for an honest review. I would give this one 3 out of 5 stars.

three-stars

Review: The Other Sister by Dianne Dixon

Posted December 5, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Other Sister by Dianne DixonReviewer: Rowena
The Other Sister by Dianne Dixon
Published by Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Pages: 386
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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two-half-stars

One sister has everything. Her twin hates her for it.

Would life be better without Ali? Probably. At least then people might think about Morgan. Ali's always gotten everything ― she doesn't even realize how much Morgan resents her.

Ali also doesn't realize that when she shuts Morgan out entirely, she will unleash a chain of events that show just how dangerous the underside of love really is. As their lives spin toward something neither one of them can control, a terrifying crime reveals how those who know us best can destroy us...or save us.

It’s been a couple of days since I finished this book and already, I’ve read 3 books. I zipped right through the books that followed this one but it took me for-ever to finish this one. I couldn’t figure this one out for a little bit. It starts off as Women’s Fiction but then veers into Suspense and Thriller and then back at it again with the Women’s Fiction so with all of that madness, it was no wonder that it took me so long to get through. I read The Girl on the Train a couple of months ago for my book club and I didn’t like one person in that book. That entire book was filled with unlikeable characters and I found that I felt the same way about this book. There were just a whole lot of unlikeable characters in this book.

We have fraternal twins Morgan and Ali. Ali is the golden twin while Morgan is the forgotten one. Morgan is insanely jealous of Ali and while Ali feels bad at first, their relationship is just one hot mess. There’s a husband that I wanted to sock in the nuts, a Mom that I wanted to punch in the throat and just a whole lot of different things going on that I wasn’t a fan of. I’m a fan of multiple storylines and lots of things going on in a story if it helps the story along or really, if it’s done right and I just didn’t feel it in this one. I kept having to take a break from reading this one because there was just too much of everything. Too much hatred, too much dark and while some of it was compelling, for the most part, my thoughts ran along the lines of…meh. I guess because I hated everyone in the story, I was never invested in what happened. I almost DNF’d it and I’m glad that I didn’t because the last part of the book was good. You see some character growth, you understand some things but unfortunately, I still didn’t like anyone.

There’s a darkness to everyone in this book that I couldn’t connect with and that really messed with my interest as the story progressed. So while the ending was good, it didn’t really make up for everything else so this isn’t a book that I would re-read or even recommend easily. I also couldn’t really tell if this was a mystery suspense or a dark Women’s Fiction novel and so I couldn’t even properly prepare myself for the kind of story I was going to get and I like to be prepared.


2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars

Guest Review: Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer

Posted December 1, 2016 by Tina R in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Who We Were Before by Leah MercerReviewer: Tina
Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer
Published by Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: October 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Pages: 256
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Zoe knows that it wasn’t really her fault. Of course it wasn’t. But if she’d just grasped harder, run faster, lunged quicker, she might have saved him. And Edward doesn’t really blame her, though his bitter words at the time still haunt her, and he can no more take them back than she can halt the car that killed their son.

Two years on, every day is a tragedy. Edward knows they should take healing steps together, but he’s tired of being shut out. For Zoe, it just seems easier to let grief lead the way.

A weekend in Paris might be their last hope for reconciliation, but mischance sees them separated before they’ve even left Gare du Nord. Lost and alone, Edward and Zoe must try to find their way back to each other—and find their way back to the people they were before.

But is that even possible?

At first I was torn about whether or not I wanted to request Who We Were Before on NetGalley. Emotionally-charged books are always on my radar, but some topics are hard for me to read, especially when they deal with cruelty to children, vulnerable people and animals. I also struggle with topics about losing a loved one to illness or accident, since it is something that I am unfortunately too familiar with. I don’t choose to read too many books like these as they usually leave me emotionally drained for a few days after I read them. But after some debating, I decided that it sounded like a book worth trying.

The first line totally punched me in the stomach, It was like that first drop on a rollecroaster – you know it’s coming, but it still catches you off-guard every time. As adults, we are often faced with baggage that we just can’t let go of, no matter how much we want to. We feel we deserve that pain and the guilt that this baggage gives us. When this involves the loss of a loved one, there is no “getting over it”. Ever. But when you are the cause of the loss or even believe that you are, the burden becomes unfathomable.

This is where the book begins. A child is gone and all the should-haves and could-haves will never change the outcome or bring them back. All you have is the heavy blanket of grief.

The author, Leah Mercer certainly knows how to use words to grab you by the heart and squeeze. Her writing is power-packed with raw emotion. As I sat in the living room reading, my fiance told me that I looked like I was about to cry. I probably was…

Who We Were Before is a story of grief. But, it is also about trying to learn to heal. It got inside my head and caused me to rethink some things. While I can’t tell you that this was an enjoyable read, I can say that I feel it was a necessary one. At least it was for me. I feel like it made me look at things a little differently . So, if you choose to read this one, be prepared to have a big dose of “the feels”. I think the author did a great job and I think you should give it a try.

I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I appreciate the opportunity to discover this book.

four-stars