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The Perfect Daughter by D. J. Palmer @danielpalmer @StMartinsPress #fiction #bookreview #bookblogger

Kaceey’s Review:

Finding a Penny is supposed to be good luck…right!?💁🏻‍♀‍

Grace and her husband were very content raising their two sons. Though Grace always longed for a daughter. When Grace and her son are out for a walk they come across a sad lost girl all alone in the park. No parents to claim her. Grace swoops in and suddenly has the daughter she always wanted. Renaming her Penny. Only Grace may have gotten more than she bargained for.

Grace’s new extended family are all settling in, until there are some behaviors that can’t explained . Out of character for Penny. In fact, so different than the sweet Penny they have all grown to love, that she is diagnosed with a multiple personality disorder.

When the police come knocking on Graces door to inform her of a murder. Who is involved? Penny? Or one of her other personalities?

I was immediately drawn into this book. Fabulous premise! And I loved the writing. But about mid book it became a bit repetitive and stalled somewhat.

Don’t give up! (And I’m glad I didn’t) because there are some amazing twists at the end!

This is the third book I’ve read and enjoyed from this author and am looking forward to more.

Thank you to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for an ARC to read and review.

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The Nature of Fragile Thing by Susan Meissner @SusanMeissner @BerkleyPub #librarybook #audiobook #historicalfiction #fiction #blogger #bookreviewer

Susanne’s Review:

Completely Captivating!

Sophie is an Irish Immigrant, who after arriving in New York, answers an ad for a mail-order bride.  Arriving in San Francisco shortly thereafter, she immediately marries Martin Hocking, though she does not know him.  He is looking for a mate and most importantly a father to his 5-year-old daughter Kat.  Little does Sophie know, Martin is not who he appears to be.

A few years later, a woman appears on her doorstep, her name is Belinda. Between the two of them, they uncover many a secret about Martin Hocking. Then he arrives home.  Immediately thereafter an earthquake hits.  

The earthquake of 1906, destroying most of San Francisco and many lives.

From that moment on, Sophie, Belinda, and Kat forge a bond. Through trials and tribulations, these three become a family and vow to overcome.

An incredibly well-written, character driven novel that completely enveloped me in the storyline.  This is now the 3rd book that I’ve read by Susan Meissner and she is fast becoming one of my favorite historical fiction authors. 

Thank you to my local library for loaning me a copy of the audiobook.

Published on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram.

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The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller @RandomHouse @NetGalley #mystery #suspense #bookblogger #bookreviewer

Kaceey’s Review:

Money does not always buy you happiness! Just ask the women who live within the walls of Presidio Terrace a gated and most elite community in San Francisco.

Brooke – newly married to her husband who is about 20 years her senior. She is a novelist though nobody takes her too seriously. 

She has a way of hiding in plain sight. 

She is the newest wife on the block and instantly takes to Georgia and Erin

Georgia – we can just call her the black widow.  Two of her husbands have recently passed due to tragic circumstances. She is now engaged to fiancé number three. Will he survive till the epilogue?

Erin – Newscaster for the local TV station. She has a meltdown and walks away from her job. She wants to live Brooke’s seemingly simple life of a trophy wife.

But do we really know what goes on behind closed doors?

This is a very fast-paced easy read that I thoroughly enjoyed. There are some great twists at the end that completely shocked me!

If you are looking for something lite and would be a fun beach read! This is it! Happy reading!

A buddy read with Susanne!

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine for granting my wish!

Susanne’s Review:

Presidio Terrace, a gated community outside of San Francisco, is all about glitz, glamour, secrets, lies, and of course, Trophy Wives.

It sounds almost idyllic, (HA!) unless of course, you’re one of the husbands.  Then it’s downright dangerous!   

For Erin, Georgia, and newcomer Brooke, three women who live in Presidio Terrace, life is about status and prestige.  

Georgia is the one with a bad reputation.  If you call being a new fiancée twice widowed, a bad reputation.  Dubbed the “Black Widow” she can’t wait to marry Robert, who she loves with all her heart. 

Erin’s life is less than stellar, though on the outside looking in, she and her husband appear to have it all.  Looks as we all know are deceiving.  

Though she’s new to the area, Brooke fits right in, whether her husband likes it or not.  

“The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives” by Kristin Miller is a wild and crazy mystery/suspense that had a few surprises in store.  Though I guessed one, the ending got me! While this was a tad over the top, I quite enjoyed it and looked forward to this author’s next release.

A buddy read with Kaceey!

Thank you to Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine and NetGalley for granting my wish.  

Posted on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan @jcourtsull #fiction #literaryfiction #bookreview #bookreviewer

Susanne’s Review:

Female Friendships can be complicated.  Especially as we get older.  

The dynamics of class, friendship, marriage, motherhood, power, and privilege, are explored to absolute perfection in “Friends and Strangers” by J. Courtney Sullivan. 

Elizabeth is a married mother, who struggles with her new life in Upstate New York.  Having recently moved from Brooklyn, life in Upstate New York, leaves much to be desired.  Though she and her husband Andrew are happy, their marriage isn’t anything to write home about.  Elizabeth is a published writer who is somewhat successful, though she is struggling to find inspiration in her new locale.  

Sam is a college student who begins babysitting for Gil, Elizabeth, and Andrew’s little boy.  Sam has big dreams until she meets Clive while on holiday in England.  Clive is an older guy who doesn’t exactly have his life together.  A whirlwind romance ensues and soon the two plan to marry and Sam’s plans go out the window. 

Though Sam and Elizabeth become close friends, despite their age difference, they don’t tell each other everything, nor do they voice all of their opinions to each other about any concerns they might have, instead they simply try to be supportive, no matter what.  What happens between these two during their friendship, highlights the reasons why sometimes it may be better to be that friend who speaks up and tells it like it is, and says the hard stuff, even if it hurts and/ or it’s hard to hear, instead of just being the supportive friend who simply stands by and gives comfort. 

Throughout this book, class and privilege take center stage, with Elizabeth and Sam, with Sam and her friend Gabby, and with Sam and Elizabeth’s father-in-law.  It is dealt with extremely well and shows the right and wrong way to deal with things.  

“Friends and Strangers” was both fascinating and compelling.  At times I wished I could jump through the pages of the book and tell these characters to truly talk to each other and inform them both that they had misconceptions about the other.  If only they had talked, truly talked, perhaps things would have turned out differently, but alas, this is fiction and it was extremely well done.

If you’re looking for brilliantly plotted, character-driven fiction, this is it. 

This was my first book by J. Courtney Sullivan, it will not be my last.

Thank you to my local library for loaning me a copy of this audiobook.

Review posted on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram.

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The Dating Plan by Sara Desai @saradesaiwrites @BerkleyPub #romcom #fiction #bookblogger #bookreview

Kaceey’s Review:

After a bit of a slow start, waiting for the characters to grab me, I was getting worried. I wasn’t feeling the chemistry…. then suddenly everything changed. And the heat was on!🔥

Daisy Patel is doing her best to avoid all her Aunties. They keep ambushing her everywhere she goes with eligible young men in tow. What drastic measures will she need to take in order to stop the loving (yet meddling) aunties.

Liam Murphy is an old family friend. He was best friends with Daisy’s brother growing up. And Daisy always had the biggest crush on him. When he offered to escort he to her prom she was over the moon. That is until he stood her up, and was never heard from again.

Liam needs to find a wife. His grandfather’s will states that he can inherit the family distillery if he is married before his next birthday and remains married for one year. Only problem is Liam doesn’t even have a girlfriend at the moment, and his birthday is only months away.

When Daisy and Liam collide at a work event. Maybe they can help each-other out with an “arrangement”.

The sparks between the two are still there. But can Daisy forgive Liam for leaving her on her prom night? Can they keep this as a business arrangement?

It was definitely worth the wait to see the chemistry build between these characters! I loved Daisy’s family and her well meaning yet obtrusive Aunties.

Looking Forward to reading more from this author.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing via NetGalley for an ARC to read and review.

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The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird @ChristinaRoseSB @putnambooks @netgalley #fiction #characterdrivenplot #dystopiannovel #bookreview #bookblogger

Susanne’s Review:

Wholly and Completely Brilliant.  

Yes, I read a book about a Pandemic in a Pandemic. 

Some would say that’s in poor taste, and yet, I couldn’t resist. I am not one to shy away from difficult topics and frankly, “The End of Men” is brilliantly written, brilliantly plotted, and gave me a lot to think about given the state of things. For me, this showcased how much has gone on in our world in this last year and how things were handled in comparison to the book (which was written before our pandemic hit – though this book won’t be released until later this month).

The year is 2025 during which time a virus breaks out at an A and E in Scotland. 

The virus impacts only men.  

When a man is admitted, he arrives with what appears to be symptoms of the flu.  Three hours later, he is gone. Shortly thereafter, several more men lose their lives the same way.  All of these men were in the A and E two days prior.  Dr. Amanda McLean is a doctor in the A&E who immediately notices the trend and reports it to HPS to no avail.  

She is deemed a stark raving lunatic by her peers at HPS and her messages are ignored.  

And so it begins.  An Outbreak of Epic Proportions.  

Once it starts, entire families stay home. Women, men, children.  Yet this virus does not discriminate.  If you are of the male species, you are at risk, unless you are immune.  

Amanda McLean will not rest until she is taken seriously and until she does everything she can to help.  

There is Catherine, who after facing a devastating loss, compiles stories of families who have also suffered.  There are Elizabeth in the UK and Lisa in Canada, both of whom are scientists and who work to find a vaccine. There is Toby, who is currently on a boat off the coast of Iceland with his identical twin Mark, hoping to stay alive.  

These characters and their stories will stay with me.  Heartbreaking, yet hopeful at the same time, these characters were a great reminder that we must take stock in each other and be there for each other during these incredibly tough times. 

The analysis behind how scientists in this book discovered that the male plague impacted only men (with women being carriers) and why some men were immune was truly fascinating, as was how long it took for a vaccine to be discovered. That alone gave me pause considering where we are at in the world, with this pandemic.

It also made me extremely thankful.  I just received the second dose of the vaccine and am so very grateful. 

All in all, “The End of Men” gave me a lot to ponder.  The storyline was extremely well done as was the character development.  I truly enjoyed getting to know all of the characters (even though there were a lot to keep track of) and will not forget them anytime soon.  Reading this now, made me appreciate life that much more and it gave me a lot of perspective. 

I have to give kudos to the author for an incredible accomplishment. This is brilliant, character-driven fiction at its finest.  This book will most certainly be on my Goodreads Best-of-List for 2021.

Thank you to Cassie at  Putnam Books/GP Putnam’s Sons for the arc via NetGalley.

Posted on Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Find You First by Linwood Barclay @linwood_barclay @WmMorrowBooks #mystery #suspense #bookblogger #bookreviewer

Susanne’s Review:

My First Linwood Barclay! WHAT Took Me SO Long?!  

The Good News?! It was a Complete Success!

When single millionaire Miles Cookson finds out that he has a fatal disease, he sets out to make things right. Years prior, when he was a young man, he donated his sperm and could potentially have fathered several children. The chances are that he could have passed this terminal disease on to them. Now, he wants to find them and help them out the best way he knows how but giving them a part of his fortune.  

Unfortunately for him, someone wants to stop that from happening and the outcome for his heirs ain’t pretty. 

A race against time. Mystery and intrigue that will blow your mind. Connections that steal your heart. 

“Find You First” by Linwood Barclay exceeded my expectations. It was a well-written, suspenseful, character-driven mystery suspense that kept me glued to the plot for the entirety of the novel. Though this was my first Linwood Barclay, it will not be my last.

Thank you to my book buddy Kaceey for recommending Linwood Barclay to me and for reading it with me. SO glad we both loved it.

Thank you also to Sam Glatt of Harper Collins – William Morrow, & Scene of the Crime for the arc.

Published on Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Kaceey’s Review:

Once again Linwood Barclay nails it with an unputdownable thrill ride!

I have been reading this author’s books for years and I know I’m always guaranteed an exciting read when I pick up one of his books. 

Miles Cookson just received devastating news. He has a terminal disease. Not even his millions of dollars he has earned in his tech company can save him. But maybe he can use his wealth to help others he may have inadvertently passed on his illness to. You see he has Huntington’s Disease, which is a genetic disorder. Offspring have a one in four chance of carrying the gene that will one day claim their lives.

Only Mikes never had children…at least the traditional way. But as a struggling young man, he did donate his sperm to a fertility clinic. Now he needs to track down his potential grown children to warn them and assist in helping pay for any care they may need.

Sounds simple right? But what if these ‘kids’ are vanishing before he can find them? Who else is tracking them….and why?

Linwood Barclay has the gift of pulling you into the story right from the beginning. Fasten your seat belt because you are about to be taken on one heck of a ride.

There are shocking moments and plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing! 

If you’ve never read a book by this author…. What are you waiting for!? This would be a great one to start with. I’ve read them all…. so now I have to sit and wait for his next release! Finger poised over the request button!👆🏼🙏🏼

A buddy read with Susanne!

Thank you to Sam Glatt, Scene of the Crime Early Read program, and William Morrow via Netgalley for an ARC to read and review.

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert @TaliaHibbert @WmMorrowBooks @HarperAudio #audiobook #fiction #romcom #bookblogger #bookreview

Kaceey’s Review:

I’ve seen fabulous reviews for this series, and for some reason I kept passing it by. Never taking the time to take a closer look. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of the audio version of book three in the series Act Your Age, Eve Brown. So I knew it was crucial to start at the beginning with the first book to learn what all the excitement for this series was all about.

And SO glad I did! It was just delightful!

Chloe is an un-apologetic “Grump.” And she has every right to be. She has fibromyalgia that leaves her in a constant state of pain. Her fiancé and friends have all but abandoned her and her walls are up. That is, until she meets the superintendent of her apartment complex…Red!

Red is instantly taken with Chloe. He sees beyond her grumpy attitude and knows there is a warm, loving woman who deserves to be cherished behind those self-imposed walls. He doesn’t need a happy-go-lucky gal…Red wants Chloe!

⚠️Warning! There is major heat between Chloe and Red!🔥🔥

These two characters lit up the pages…well in my case….my 🎧.

I am now library waiting for the next audio in the series Take A Hint, Dani Brown.

Shiver by Allie Reynolds @AuthorAllieR @PutnamBooks #fiction #suspense #bookreview #blogger

Susanne’s Review:

A Locked Room Mystery at a Ski Chalet in the French Alps?  

Does this sound like Déjà vu or is it just me?  Baaawaaahh!

In “Shiver” five former friends reunite under suspicious circumstances.  It’s been 10 years since Saskia disappeared and someone wants answers.  Immediately upon arrival, things go awry.  From cell phones being stolen to secrets being outed – tensions are high! 

Soon things go from bad to worse when scary things start happening and it’s clear that no one is safe.  The question is, who has it out for who?  Is it one of the five friends who reunited for the weekend or is it someone else entirely?  What’s clear is that no one (and I mean no one) can be trusted!

Told both in the past and present tense, this is one locked room mystery that’s not to be missed.  Though I’m not a skier myself, I was gripped to this debut novel for dear life. I listened to the audiobook version of this and quite enjoyed it.

Thank you to my local library for loaning me a copy.

Review posted on Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix @grady_hendrix @BerkleyPub #fiction #thriller #bookreview #bookblogger

Kaceey’s Review:

Are you a fan of the old slasher movies? Did you find yourself screaming at the teenagers not to go into the basement? The movies where there would be one line girl who survived the massacre by killing the deranged monster. She is what’s referred to as a Final Girl. This is their story! 

Lynette is a final girl. Though some others have a hard time calling her that since she never actually killed her monster. But she is part of the support group with five other Final Girls. Though it seems that the ties that bind are quickly fraying. 

These women can never seem to completely move forward as there is always some fan who wants their moment of fame by bringing the past to life. Could one of these deranged Final Girl Buff’s now be hunting the remaining girls? Is Lynette the only one who believes they are in danger? Can she save her fellow survivors before it’s too late?

It’s difficult to put in words how I felt about this book. I thought the writing was great and it held my attention and kept me wanting to know how it all turned out. 

So perhaps it was the subject matter itself. I was a fan of these movies when I was younger. But maybe not so much anymore.🤷🏻‍♀️. I do like my thrillers dark, but this seemed especially dark and somewhat gruesome as the massacres were detailed. 

This was my first read by this author, and I am definitely interested to see what he comes up with next.

A buddy read with Susanne!

Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing via Netgalley for an ARC to read and review. 

Susanne’s Review:

Complete Insanity!

Women who’ve Survived the Unthinkable Only to Face it All Over Again.  

They are “The Final Girl Support Group” and they meet in secret. They have always thought they were the toughest, most bada$$ women out there.  

Turns out they were wrong.

That’s right: These women survived massacres and are now known as “Final Girls.” Once again, they are being hunted down and killed and this time there’s no stopping whoever is responsible, as the culprit wants every last one of them wiped out.  

Folks, let me just say that this book is Bat-Sh&t Crazy. And I’m talking Completely Crazy with a side of Tartar Sauce. Throw in some Mayonnaise and a Cat-Fight and I would have run screaming.

What started as intriguing and wildly entertaining, bordered on somewhat ridiculous as the book went on, and soon became a little too much for me to handle.  

For me, this book was kind of like Thanksgiving Dinner.  Wholly enjoyable at first until you eat too much and then it’s simply too much.  

If you like Totally Convoluted, Completely Bat-Sh&t Crazy Storylines, this book is Most Definitely for You!

A buddy read with Kaceey that left us both reeling.

Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley for the arc.

Published on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram.