The No Show by Beth O’Leary #betholeary @BerkleyPub @NetGalley #contemporaryfiction

Susanne’s Review:

Whatever I thought this book was, I was so wrong!  When it all came together, my Jaw Dropped.

Looks are deceiving, that’s all I’ll say.

Here we have Miranda, Siobhan and Jane.  Three very different women, looking for romance.  What they find is something completely unexpected.

This is the third novel that I’ve read by Beth O’Leary and I found it to be quite clever. At times sweet, sad and romantic, it kept me glued to the pages till the very end.

A buddy read with Kaceey that definitely got our attention.

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

Published on Goodreads and Twitter.

Kaceey’s Review:

This definitely wasnt what I was expecting!

Three women…one man. Nope, you’re right. That does not add up to happiness.

I won’t reveal many details regarding the storyline. It would be like walking a minefield of spoilers. 

So… I’ll focus on my feelings towards this latest work by Beth O’Leary. 

The build-up was a bit too long. I was desperate for something more to happen. Waiting for the inevitable collision. I found myself enjoying the story but with a constant, nagging feeling something was missing.

And once the pieces came together it was too little too late, leaving me a bit disappointed. Again, it’s also possible I was expecting something different?💁🏻‍♀️

I’ll leave it at that and just hope it works better for you!

A buddy read with Susanne.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing

The book Of Cold Cases by Simone St. James @simone_stjames @BerkleyPub @NetGalley #fiction #paranormal #suspense #bookreview

Susanne’s Review:

Atmospheric, Suspenseful and Eerie!  Simone St. James does it again.  


Claire Lake, Oregon:

Shea Collins is a true crime blogger, fascinated by cold cases.  As a child, she escaped an abduction.  Though it has had a huge impact on her life, Shea survived.

In 1977, several men were murdered. Victims of a female serial killer named the Lady Killer, who left notes at the scene of each crime.  At the time, Beth Greer was arrested, though she was never convicted.  Beth now lives a reclusive life in Claire Lake, until she is discovered by Shea Collins who asks for an interview.

These two meet at Beth’s home, where everything is exactly as it was 40+ years prior, when both of Beth’s parents died leaving Beth alone in a mansion. The atmosphere is uncomfortable, cold, chilling, and absolutely terrifying. Yet Shea will do anything for a story and over time, she gets one.

A thrilling paranormal mystery that left me chilled to the bone, eagerly awaiting Simone St. James’ next novel.  

This was another buddy read with Kaceey!

Huge thanks to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for the arc. 

Kaceey’s Review:

Halloween may be sometime away, but if you’re interested in an eerie read, this is it!

Shea is a receptionist at a physician’s office. A real sleeper. Nothing ever exciting happens here. (Just the way she likes it.) Until a woman suddenly walks through the door. Shea is positive she knows her…but just can’t place her.🤔

Shea has a rather interesting side hobby, hosting a wildly popular blog dealing with true crimes. Wait a second… that’s it! That’s where she knows this woman from! She got away with murder and she’s standing in front of her! Shea is quick to realize this is a golden opportunity to meet and interview the infamous Beth Greer. But Shea may be in over her head with this one.

This book had an other-world, spooky tone to it right up to the end. I don’t do horror and I wouldn’t classify this one as part of that genre. Let’s just say a paranormal vibe.👻

Another fun buddy read with Susanne!

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing

The Finalists by David Bell @BerkleyPub @NetGalley #fiction #thriller #bookreview #bookblogger

Kaceey’s Review:

Hmmm…I really struggled trying to write this review. As a devoted fan of this author I’m always on the lookout for his latest. Unfortunately this may be my least favorite of his works.

Private college can be outrageously expensive. So if a huge scholarship were being offered by the college’s main benefactor wouldn’t you want it? Of course! Heck, you don’t even have to apply! The benefactor chooses YOU and 5 others to compete for it. As the stakes rise the competition turns deadly. Now the participants must decide if the scholarship is worth their lives!

For me, some of the storyline just didn’t add up. I’m all for checking my believability at the door but this just asked too much even from me. The actions of the students and their college administrator didn’t ring true or realistic to me. I love a locked-room mystery and think this may have worked (somewhat) if the location would have been different. I can’t say much more without risking spoilers so I’ll just leave it at that.

What I did enjoy is the ease of David Bell’s writing. Short, quick chapters that always end with a bit of a cliffhanger so you can’t stop. And I didn’t! I finished in only a couple sittings. 

While this wasn’t a favorite I’m still a huge fan and already queuing up for next years’ release!

Hoping I’m just an outlier and you all love it!

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

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney @alicewriterland @Flatironbooks @NetGalley #macmillanpublishers #mystery #thriller #bookblogger

Twisted, Wicked & Wholly Unreliable.  

Leave it to Alice Feeney to keep me on my toes!

Ah, Marriage! Just the thought of it gives me those warm fuzzy feelings. Kidding, not Kidding! (Baawaaah!!)  

Adam and Amelia Wright are going away for a little romantic weekend to a cottage in Scotland.  Amelia thinks it’s necessary to rebuild their relationship.  Workaholic Adam doesn’t exactly agree.  

Little do they know, this weekend away will do them more harm than good.

For each year of marriage, traditional gifts have been exchanged. You know the drill….paper, cotton…etc. Adam’s wife always writes a note divulging a little secret, that she has never given him, till now. When she does, everything comes crashing down… and then some.  

Alice Feeney is the master of twisty turny lies and deceit and she sure fooled me. Having read all of her books to date, this was my second favorite of hers after Sometimes I Lie.

A buddy listen/read with Kaceey that kept us both glued to our earbuds.

Thank you to Macmillan Publishers/Flatiron Books for the arc via NetGalley.

Published on Goodreads and Twitter.

56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard @cathryanhoward @BlackstoneAudio @NetGalley #mystery #thriller

Kaceey’s Review:

Are you ready to revisit lockdown?

I most assuredly didn’t think I was. This book sat tucked away on my shelf for months. But now, as we all begin moving forward searching for a smidge of normalcy, I felt it would be safe to finally pick this one up.

Now I’m asking myself… This was so darn good! What took me so long!‍🤦🏻‍♀️

Oliver and Ciara only recently met, having gone on just a few dates when the forming clouds of Covid began sweeping across the entire globe. 

Once the Irish government ordered its citizens into lockdown for two weeks, the new couple decide to face it together and spend the lockdown at Olivers’ place. 

Naturally, the two are apprehensive about making such a hasty and bold commitment. After all, they barely know one another. Can Oliver win over Ciara during this time? Or will she discover what secret he’s desperate to hide?

This book was so ingenious! I just loved the writing and dare say this could be my favorite Catherine Ryan Howard novel to date. I was instantly drawn into the storyline, and though it was nothing like I expected…it worked superbly!

I realize there are some readers that may still be hesitant to read about a time we all want desperately to forget. But trust me here…it’s just the backdrop for this brilliant book. There is so much more to this suspenseful storyline. 

A buddy read with Susanne that surprised both of us and we couldn’t stop talking about its originality.

Thank you to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing.

Susanne’s Review:

You know those books that sit on your shelf for over a year and you almost dread reading them for one reason or another, then once you pick them up you’re pleasantly surprised? 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard was one of those books.

It’s a “Covid” book. Written about those days in Lockdown. Just the idea of reading it seemed unappealing (I’m not even sure why I requested it). Lucky for me, the synopsis was wholly different from the book itself and I found the book to be entertaining, interesting, and wholly refreshing.  

56 Days Ago, Ciara and Oliver met at a market in Dublin.  At that moment, a spark was lit. 

First, these two shared a cup of coffee, then drinks, and then during Covid Lockdown, they moved in together. It seems like an opportunity to get to know each other better and forge an incredible bond. 

What happens next, however, is wholly unexpected. To say that I was shocked is an understatement. The how and the why is totally wild, and completely mind-bending.  While I expected this one to be a tad difficult to read, it didn’t induce any anxiety whatsoever.  A fantastic mystery/suspense that kept me glued to the edge of my seat.

This was a highly entertaining read with Kaceey!

Thank you to Blackstone Publishing via NetGalley for the arc.

Published on Goodreads and Twitter.

Now I See You by Shannon Work (Mountain Resort Mystery Series, #1) #goodreadsgiveaway #fiction #thriller #bookreview

Kaceey’s Review:

T.V. anchor Georgia Glass prepares for the opportunity of a lifetime. Hosting her own investigative show in L.A. But before embarking on this epic journey she chooses to take a few weeks off to tend to her newly inherited home in Aspen. First project…renovating the garage! Huh? Well, that certainly wouldn’t have been my pick on where to start a reno, but that’s just me.💁‍♀️

Turns out, it would become a chilling choice after Georgia and her contractor stumble across the body of a young woman in that garage. Once the police arrive at the scene it becomes clear. The picture-perfect resort community of Aspen has a serial killer on the loose!

This book read easily enough with short chapters but could easily have been significantly shorter. Just too much.

The ending was a bit obvious (to me) leaving me a bit underwhelmed. This is book one of a new series but I’m not sure it hooked me enough to continue on.

Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways.

The Wedding Season by Katy Birchall @KatyBirchall @StMartinsPress @NetGalley #womensfiction #contemporaryfiction #bookreviewers

Kaceey’s Review:

Freya’s life took a head-whipping turn, from the happiest moments completing her last-minute preparations for her wedding, to shock and devastation when her fiancé Matthew calls off the wedding the day before the nuptials.

How will Freya recover? Will she recover? Will her heart ever mend enough for her to leave the house without breaking down? 

It’s wedding season, and all… and I mean ALL of her friends have weddings planned this year. Freya is obligated to attend each one. But how? 

Her besties come up with a creative plan to distract her during each wedding. She must perform an outrageous task during each wedding…each building in complexity. (And embarrassment) All to bring Freya out of her cocoon and find that life can be joyful once more. (Just what good friends are for!)

What I really enjoyed about this read: The heart-warming friendships Freya had, and how everyone rallied around her to help her heal. Her father and brother were amazing as well. And yes, I grew to love her mom too.

What I didn’t enjoy: For the first third of the book it was the overwhelming sadness and heartache Freya endured. Just difficult to read. ( Maybe ‘cause I’m such a softie 💞).

Overall, the spirit of the weddings and the healing of hearts through the strength and love of family and friends won me over.

This was a buddy read with Susanne that gave us lots to talk about. Love, loss, and of course friendship!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press

Susanne’s Review:

The Wedding Season is Exactly What this Girl Needed!

Charming, Fearless, Funny, Romantic, Sad, Serious & Sweet! 

The day Matthew calls off the wedding, Freya’s once-perfect life is destroyed. Everything she thought she knew about love and herself, is shattered into pieces. To make matters even worse, hers was the first wedding of the season and she has seven more to go and somehow, she has to get through all of them! 

Her best friends, however, come up with a plan. They come up with a series of challenges for Freya to complete at each and every wedding to distract her and against all odds, it works. The only thing left is for Freya to dig down deep and confront her true feelings and work on herself, which as we all know is the hardest part.

I adored all of the characters here and rooted for Freya throughout. I don’t want to spoil anything but I will say that this book has a bit of everything in it. Fabulous witty banter, romance, best friends, and a heart-wrenching storyline. It will make you laugh and smile and yes, may perhaps make you shed a tear or two.

This was another buddy read with my bestie Kaceey which gave us a lot to discuss, especially compared to most contemporary fiction novels that we read – perhaps because this one dug a little deeper.  

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley for the arc.

Unmissing by Minka Kent @AmazonPub @NetGalley #thriller #fiction #bookreview #bookblogger

Kaceey’s Review:

Knock, Knock! ✊

Luca and Merritt are living their best life that feels very close to perfect…. Until Merritt answers the door-bell one night. Standing before him is a woman…a woman claiming to be Luca’s first wife. But that’s impossible! His first wife Lydia is dead!

Ooh, what a twisty one this was! You’ll think you have this one figured out. You may think you know the direction the author is headed. Not even close! Be prepared to be taken on a slippery, thrill ride filled with one shock after another! I’m keeping this brief to avoid any spoilers.

Mina Kent is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors! Luckily I have a few more of her older books on my shelf to keep me busy until her next release!

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas &Mercer

Here For The Drama by Kate Bromley @kbromleywrites @HarlequinBooks @NetGalley #romcom #romance #bookreview #bookblogger

Susanne’s Review:

The Honest Truth?  I was not “Here for the Drama.”

My thought while reading this was: REALLY?!  No one’s lives are that dramatic!! (Even for actors and playwrights!)  It’s just not possible.  

My eyes were constantly rolling.

Yes, this book had its cute moments, I cannot tell a lie, but for me, they were few and far between.

Though I adored Kate Bromley’s first novel Talk Bookish to Me, this one just didn’t cut it.

This was a buddy read with Kaceey and truth be told, she liked it more than I did.

Thanks to Harlequin Trade Publishing for the arc via NetGalley.

Published on Goodreads and Twitter

Kaceey’s Review:

Winnie is employed as a personal assistant to successful playwright Juliette Brassard. Her dream is to write her own play, currently a work in progress. Hoping Juliette would help by giving her work a quick look, she’s disappointed when she refuses. She seems quite content leaving things status quo.

During a trip to London Juliette’s demands become a bit too much, asking Winnie to engage in several on-line dates to gather material for a new project. And to complicate things, the only man Winnie wants to date is Liam, Juliette’s nephew. Upon discovering this budding romance, Juliette is quick to forbid it! Hmmm….

This book was cute, but maybe a bit too sugary for me. I was hoping for something just a bit deeper. But, if you‘re looking for a light rom-com this fits the bill perfectly.

A buddy read with Susanne that left both of us with a bit of a sugar rush?🤣

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing – Graydon House

One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner @LisaGardnerBks @DuttonBooks @NetGalley

Pulse Pounding!

Kaceey’s Review:

Frankie Elkin has devoted her life to helping find people once the authorities have given up. She is rather broken but continues to forge ahead, putting others ahead before herself.  

When she hears about a search party that has gathered for the fifth anniversary of Tim, a missing hiker, she quickly hitches a ride to Wyoming to join the search/recovery party.  

A ragtag of a team including the hiker’s father – large and in charge, the local mountain guide, a large man who dedicates his time in search of Bigfoot (yup! Not a misprint…he is determined to find Bigfoot!) and the missing hikers 4 closest friends (who were hiking/camping with Tim when he vanished).

Only for some reason, they don’t seem to want her there.  Hmmm….. is someone hiding something? Frankie is determined to find out what exactly happened to this hiker.

Wow!  This was one frightening hike! There is definitely more going on in these mountains and it’s not long before they are in over their heads and may find themselves in the same predicament as Tim. Now it’s a fight for survival! 

So I’m not the most outdoorsy person around. (to say the least). Sitting in my backyard with a book and a cup of tea is as close to camping as I will get. And after reading this book! Yup! I am staying put!

My only drawback- I did have a few issues with some of the medical aspects of this book. When I read I try to put my nurse’s cap aside (no! I don’t really have one! Eeks!) But there were just too many times I shook my head with some of the inaccuracies.

A buddy read with Susanne that garnered a lot of discussions.

Susanne’s Review:

Love the storyline and the tension but this one didn’t quite do it for me – and I have a great reason.  It’s all about Frankie..

Hear me out Folks!

I’m a huge Lisa Gardner fan.  While I haven’t yet read all of her books, I’ve read most of them and will say that Flora Dane is my favorite character of Lisa Gardner’s so far. Having read the prior Frankie Elkin’s book, I admit to being a little disappointed. I didn’t quite feel the same adoration for her, so I went into this one with a bit of trepidation. (I admit, however, that it takes time to love a new character). That said, we all got to know who Frankie was, quite well, in Before She Disappeared. In that book, Frankie was a pretty tough gal, who was kind, yet strong and was a hard nut to crack.  

First, let me say that I really enjoyed the storyline in One Step Too Far, including Frankie, aiding in the search for Tim O’Day, who has been missing in the wilderness in Ramsey, Wyoming for over 5 years. Someone doesn’t want him found and they will do anything to stop that from happening. 

The tension here never lets up. Full of action, intrigue, and suspense, I was all in! (So was Kaceey!  Whoop!) 

My issue with this book is with the character of Frankie, herself. Here, Frankie seemed like an entirely different character than she did in Before She Disappeared. It’s true that Frankie was out of her element in the woods, having never really been hiking, camping, or rock climbing before, however, the core elements that made up her character in the prior book were missing here – she was neither mentally strong nor self-assured or even remotely confident in her persons, until the very end of the novel. Simply put, she seemed like an entirely different character altogether. If I ignored that aspect of the book, I enjoyed it immensely.  I chalked this up to this only being the second book in the series and the author, Lisa Gardner, not quite having her character fully fleshed out yet, which was unfortunate. I do however look forward to seeing what happens with Frankie Elkins as I think she has potential.  (That said, I personally hope Flora Dane’s story isn’t over yet!) 

A fantastic buddy read with Kaceey that gave us much to discuss.  Kaceey, thank you for listening to my thoughts on this one – especially all of my thoughts on the character of Frankie!  You’re the best! 

A big thank you to Penguin Group Dutton for the arc via NetGalley.

Published on Goodreads and Twitter.