Tag Archives: 4 Stars

From the Ashes (Alice Worth Series) by Lisa Edmonds – My Review

Title: From The Ashes (Alice Worth Series)

Author: Lisa Edmonds

Genre: Urban Fantasy

You’re probably wondering how I ended up in jail with no magic. Believe it or not, it started in a used bookstore called McCann’s, just after lunch…

Meet Alice Worth. Mage private investigator, smart-ass, whisky connoisseur. As a PI who follows her own code, Alice has done plenty of things that might have landed her in jail, but she never expected to end up handcuffed to a table in an interrogation room on her day off. The situation goes from merely inconvenient to deadly serious when she discovers nothing about the crime she’s accused of is what it seems.

From The Ashes is a quick short read that features my girl Alice! She suddenly finds herself in a situation that she can’t easily get out of….or can she? I thought this little side story gave us a little more insight into Alice and her past. It makes me wonder if I’ll get another visit from a certain character in one of the other books…. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*

This novella is available exclusively from www.LisaEdmonds.com.


White Ivy: A Novel by Susie Yang – My Review

Title: White Ivy: A Novel

Author: Susie Yang

Release Date: September 8th 2020

Genre: Asian American Literature

A dazzling debut novel about a young woman’s dark obsession with her privileged classmate and the lengths she’ll go to win his love—from prizewinning Chinese American author Susie Yang.

Ivy Lin is a thief and a liar—but you’d never know it by looking at her.

Raised outside of Boston, Ivy’s immigrant grandmother relies on Ivy’s mild appearance for cover as she teaches her granddaughter how to pilfer items from yard sales and second-hand shops. Thieving allows Ivy to accumulate the trappings of a suburban teen—and, most importantly, to attract the attention of Gideon Speyer, the golden boy of a wealthy political family. But when Ivy’s mother discovers her trespasses, punishment is swift and Ivy is sent to China, and her dream instantly evaporates.

Years later, Ivy has grown into a poised yet restless young woman, haunted by her conflicting feelings about her upbringing and her family. Back in Boston, when Ivy bumps into Sylvia Speyer, Gideon’s sister, a reconnection with Gideon seems not only inevitable—it feels like fate.

Slowly, Ivy sinks her claws into Gideon and the entire Speyer clan by attending fancy dinners, and weekend getaways to the cape. But just as Ivy is about to have everything she’s ever wanted, a ghost from her past resurfaces, threatening the nearly perfect life she’s worked so hard to build.

Filled with surprising twists and offering sharp insights into the immigrant experience, White Ivy is both a love triangle and a coming-of-age story, as well as a glimpse into the dark side of a woman who yearns for success at any cost.

After I finished this book, I had to take some time to reflect. The ending and the book as a whole had me feeling conflicted. The story is a well written one. Some parts that had me shaking my head and I think it had to do more with the characters actions rather than the story. The story was really good! I loved reading about how Ivy grew up, her experiences and how they shaped her into the person she ended up becoming. On the other hand, I didn’t agree with a lot of the choices she made and cringed at most of them and I think that’s what had me conflicted. All that being said, this is a great story. The author has a great storytelling style and I think the story challenges us in a way. I highly enjoyed it. I look forward to what Miss Yang comes out with next. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Little Deadly Secrets: A Novel – My Review

Title: Little Deadly Secrets: A Novel

Author: Pamela Crane

Release Date: August 18th 2020

Genre: Psychological Thriller

From USA Today bestselling author Pamela Crane comes an addictively readable domestic suspense novel…

Mackenzie, Robin, and Lily have been inseparable forever, sharing life’s ups and downs and growing even closer as the years have gone by. They know everything about each other. Or so they believe.

Nothing could come between these three best friends . . .

Except for a betrayal.

Nothing could turn them against each other . . .

Except for a terrible past mistake.

Nothing could tear them apart . . .

Except for murder.

This book was like a train wreck and also a soap opera all rolled into one. What I mean by that is, there’s so much going on! Different views, loyalties being tested and lots of secrets. It had a kind of devilish vibe to it. I was very entertained and also invested. I needed to see how it would all end. At times, I had to set the book down and shake my head while saying to myself, “why would they do that?!” The story had good pacing. The build up to the end was a good one. The characters were also good. I went back and forth between liking and disliking some of the characters. Some drove me crazy! In the end some of them surprised me by their actions and I was there for it! 

As a whole, this was a pretty entertaining read. You have secrets, lies, and betrayal. All that will have you invested like I was. I did enjoy this author’s writing style and storytelling. I look forward to reading more from her! I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The Deathless (The Deathless Trilogy, Book 1) by Peter Newman – My Review

Title: The Deathless (The Deathless Trilogy, Book 1)

Author: Peter Newman

Release Date: June 14th 2018

Genre: Fantasy

From the Gemmell Award-winning author of THE VAGRANT, a thrilling new series of power, intrigue, and magic.

THE DEMONS

Creatures lurk in the endless forests of the Wild, plucking victims from those who scratch a living by the sides of the great Godroads, paths of crystal which provide refuge from the infernal tide.

THE DEATHLESS

Humanity’s protectors reign within crystal castles held aloft on magical currents – seven timeless royal families, born and reborn into flawless bodies. As immortal as the precious stones from which they take their names, they fight to hold the Wild at bay. For generations a fragile balance has held.

AND THE DAMNED…

House Sapphire, one of the ancient Deathless families, is riven by suspicion and grief. Their hunting expeditions against the Wild are failing and entire villages have begun to disappear.

Then, when assassins strike, House Sapphire shatters.

NOTHING LASTS FOREVER

The Deathless is a very interesting fantasy read. The world the author has created is different and unique. I really liked the use of crystals and houses. The beginning was a little slow going for me. There are multiple story lines happening all at once. That didn’t throw me off. It was the pacing, which I knew was part of the story building. Once it hit a certain point, I was rapidly page turning to see what would happen next. The characters were well written. There were some I preferred reading about more than the others. A lot of them surprised me. It’s a good thing. The story is intriguing and unique. There was a great build up and I wasn’t disappointed. There are some twists that even I didn’t see coming. Once I finished, I just kind of sat there like “whoa” because it was that good. 

As a whole, this is a wonderful read. It has fantasy and action. Some really good twists. I look forward to reading the next book! This was the first book I’ve read by this author and I enjoyed his writing style and I look forward to reading more of his work. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Hollywood Park: A Memoir by Mikel Jollett – My Review

New Release

Title:

Hollywood Park: A Memoir

Author: Mikel Jollett

Release Date: May 26th 2020

Genre: Memoir, Survival

HOLLYWOOD PARK is a remarkable memoir of a tumultuous life. Mikel Jollett was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. Yet, ultimately, his is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer.

We were never young. We were just too afraid of ourselves. No one told us who we were or what we were or where all our parents went. They would arrive like ghosts, visiting us for a morning, an afternoon. They would sit with us or walk around the grounds, to laugh or cry or toss us in the air while we screamed. Then they’d disappear again, for weeks, for months, for years, leaving us alone with our memories and dreams, our questions and confusion. …

So begins Hollywood Park, Mikel Jollett’s remarkable memoir. His story opens in an experimental commune in California, which later morphed into the Church of Synanon, one of the country’s most infamous and dangerous cults. Per the leader’s mandate, all children, including Jollett and his older brother, were separated from their parents when they were six months old, and handed over to the cult’s “School.” After spending years in what was essentially an orphanage, Mikel escaped the cult one morning with his mother and older brother. But in many ways, life outside Synanon was even harder and more erratic.

In his raw, poetic and powerful voice, Jollett portrays a childhood filled with abject poverty, trauma, emotional abuse, delinquency and the lure of drugs and alcohol. Raised by a clinically depressed mother, tormented by his angry older brother, subjected to the unpredictability of troubled step-fathers and longing for contact with his father, a former heroin addict and ex-con, Jollett slowly, often painfully, builds a life that leads him to Stanford University and, eventually, to finding his voice as a writer and musician.

Hollywood Park is told at first through the limited perspective of a child, and then broadens as Jollett begins to understand the world around him. Although Mikel Jollett’s story is filled with heartbreak, it is ultimately an unforgettable portrayal of love at its fiercest and most loyal.

Hollywood Park is the memoir of Mikel Jollett.

This book had me feeling a lot of different emotions. From sadness to anger to happiness. Most of all, it was inspiring. What Mikel went through was heart wrenching. From escaping a cult to living with unresolved trauma, it brought tears to my eyes. As I was reading, I realized I liked his dad way more than his mom. I couldn’t put my finger on why. I mean yes I wasn’t a fan of how she treated him and his brother. Towards the end of the book, I had my answer. Mikel grew up in a different time. Different views and political opinions. All were influences forced upon him. You follow Mikel on his journey through life. The ups and downs and the hard lessons he had to learn along the way. This memoir is very well written. I honestly hadn’t heard of Mikel’s band but I plan on checking out their music. I applaud Mikel for writing this book. It took courage and I know it wasn’t easy but he did it and it could help someone else dealing with some of the things he went through. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Orion (Satan’s Pride Book 3) by A.G. Kirkham – My Review

Title: Orion (Satan’s Pride Book 3)

Author: A.G. Kirkham

Release Date: May 5th 2020

Genre: MC Romance

Orion – sign of the club and shield.  He lost it all before he found the family he’s committed to now, Satan’s Pride.  He survives the loss of his mother, the coldness of his father and the sudden death of his wife and child.  He survived this all and the only casualty was his heart.  He vowed to never love again, so he would never relive that pain.  Can one woman make him learn to give all of himself one more time?

Viviana loved everything and everyone.  She embraced life, even though her childhood was filled with turbulence and abandonment.  She wanted a family to call her own and when she became pregnant, she believed her choice was to flee, giving Orion the freedom she thought he wanted.

Can these two souls leave the past in the past and listen to their hearts instead?

Hot damn! This book has it all. Action, sexy time, and hot men. Yes please! The story grabbed my attention right from the beginning. This is definitely a guilty pleasure read! I was already familiar with most of the characters from reading War’s book. The author has created some pretty great characters and I’ve grown very fond of them. I LOVE the strong women characters in this series! The story has a good balance of drama and action along with some pretty sexy scenes. I devoured this book! I can’t wait to see what’s next in this series. I give this 4 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


A Man Betrayed: (A Quinn Winters Novel) (Quinn Winters Series Book 3) by Ivy Love – My Review

Title:

A Man Betrayed: (A Quinn Winters Novel) (Quinn Winters Series Book 3)

Author: Ivy Love

Release Date: April 6th 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense 

A new romantic suspense novel by Ivy Love.

All books in this series can be read as stand-alone books, but it is recommended to read them in order.

I wasn’t always a technical analyst for the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit.
I spent my life hunting the worst of the worst.
Then he came along.
First, he took my family.
Then he took my chance at love.
He’s taken everything I’ve ever cared about away from me.
Now, he’s trying to steal what’s left of me.
But, he doesn’t know who he’s messing with.
I’m hunting him now.
I’m taking back my life.

A Man Betrayed is a fast read filled with suspense! This is part of the Quinn Winters series but reads as a standalone. I enjoyed the story and the characters were good. It was everything that I’ve come to expect from Ivy Love. With a few surprises thrown in because that’s what she does. I LOVE Piper! She’s a fierce woman and I love it. I was hooked and read this book straight through. I couldn’t get enough! I highly recommend checking out the whole series! I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Girls of Brackenhill by Kate Moretti – My Review

Title: Girls of Brackenhill

Author: Kate Moretti

Release Date: September 22nd 2020

Genre: Domestic Thrillers

Haunted by her sister’s disappearance, a troubled woman becomes consumed by past secrets in this gripping thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year.

When Hannah Maloney’s aunt dies in a car accident, she returns to her family’s castle in the Catskills and the epicenter of a childhood trauma: her sister’s unsolved disappearance. It’s been seventeen years, and though desperate to start a new life with her fiancé, Hannah is compelled to question the events of her last summer at Brackenhill.

When a human bone is found near the estate, Hannah is convinced it belongs to her long-lost sister. She launches her own investigation into that magical summer that ended in a nightmare. As strange happenings plague the castle, Hannah uncovers disturbing details about the past and startling realizations about her own repressed childhood memories.

Fueled by guilt over her sister’s vanishing, Hannah becomes obsessed with discovering what happened all those years ago, but by the time Hannah realizes some mysteries are best left buried, it’s too late to stop digging. Overwhelmed by what she has exposed, Hannah isn’t sure her new life can survive her old ghosts.

Let’s start with the cons. At times I struggled through the story. It lagged in a lot of places and seemed to drag on. Hannah wasn’t a very likable character but maybe that was the point. I found myself many times putting the book aside and doing something else but I refused to give up on the book! I hoped it wouldn’t disappoint me. 

What I DID enjoy about the book, was all the mystery behind Brackenhill. There’s stories and the history behind the families that have lived there. We got just a taste and I wanted more! I did enjoy the “THEN” scenes. The secrets and lies made for some really great twists. One I did not see coming. Nice. I’m really glad I didn’t give up on the book. 

All of that being said, this is a pretty good read. If you can be patient, the payoff is worth it. I wasn’t disappointed. I was pleased at the ending! I am curious about more books by this author and will look into them. I give this 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Somewhere in the Dark: A Novel by R.J. Jacobs – My Review

Title: Somewhere in the Dark: A Novel

Author: R.J. Jacobs

Release Date: August 11th 2020

Genre: Psychological Thrillers

Exploring lives on the brink of disaster, R. J. Jacobs returns with another compulsively readable novel of suspense for fans of B. A. Paris and Mary Kubica.

Do the mistakes of the past mark us as guilty for life?

After a childhood marred by neglect, Jessie Duval’s finally got it together. With an apartment in Nashville and a job with a catering company, she’s thriving.

But all that changes when Jessie works an event where celebrities will be in attendance–including the one person from her past she must avoid at all costs: singer Shelly James. Jessie doesn’t hate Shelly. Quite the opposite. One summer, she followed Shelly’s tour everywhere. Only, Shelly wasn’t flattered; she was terrified by Jessie’s devotion–especially after Jessie was arrested. But after a year of therapy, Jessie understands what happened. She’s not the same person anymore.

Jessie keeps her head down, but when Shelly is found dead, Jessie’s troubled past comes tumbling out and she quickly becomes a suspect in the high-profile murder. As the police close in on her, ignoring other credible leads, Jessie realizes Shelly’s murder will be pinned on her–the perfect scapegoat–unless she finds the real killer. And no one knows Shelly’s life and inner circle better than her. But she will have to go deeper into the dark–if ever she wants to find her way out.

This was a fast paced read that will have you guessing until the end.

I was looking for something to read that would give me a reality escape and this book was the answer! I loved that the author gave us a backstory right away. It helped me understand the character much more. While this was a highly enjoyable read for me, there were some parts that lagged and some parts that felt rushed. It wasn’t enough to take away from the story and the story ended up finding its way. There are some really good twists and I like that I couldn’t figure out who did it. I was so engaged in the story that I didn’t put it down once. I HAD to know how it would end!

This is a great thrilling suspense filled read! Somewhere in the Dark is my first R.J. Jacobs read. I enjoyed his writing style and look forward to reading more. I give this 4 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Mayhem: A Novel by Estelle Laure – My Review

Title: Mayhem: A Novel

Author: Estelle Laure

Release Date: July 14th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

The Lost Boys meets The Female of the Species in this supernatural feminist YA novel.

It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else.

But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good.

But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.

From the acclaimed author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back, Estelle Laure offers a riveting and complex story with magical elements about a family of women contending with what appears to be an irreversible destiny, taking control and saying when enough is enough.

This book had me at The Lost Boys mashup. That is one of my favorite movies and I wondered if this book would do it justice.

I went into this excited about the mashup, not going to lie. I wanted to see how the author was going to incorporate it into the story. I gotta say it was interesting. I didn’t hate it. While I appreciated the mashup, I worried if there was blatant copying of said movie. Worries aside, I began reading. The story was pretty enjoyable for me. I was surprised that this YA read had a dark vibe to it. I personally loved that. Being set in the 80’s was also a plus for me. A total 80’s chick right here! I loved the mystery surrounding the magic. The author gave just enough for the reader to know but still keep it a mystery. The characters were pretty cool. Some I wasn’t sure about but you can’t love them all! 

Tragedy, secrets, and empowerment is what fueled the story for me. This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I plan on checking out more of her work. All in all, this was enjoyable for me and I recommend giving it a chance. Especially if you’re a fan of said movie. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*