Sunday, August 23, 2015

Broken Promise (Promise Falls #1)

Linwood Barclay

After his wife’s death and the collapse of his newspaper, David Harwood has no choice but to uproot his nine-year-old son and move back into his childhood home in Promise Falls, New York. David believes his life is in free fall, and he can’t find a way to stop his descent.

Then he comes across a family secret of epic proportions. A year after a devastating miscarriage, David’s cousin Marla has continued to struggle. But when David’s mother asks him to check on her, he’s horrified to discover that she’s been secretly raising a child who is not her own—a baby she claims was a gift from an “angel” left on her porch.

When the baby’s real mother is found murdered, David can’t help wanting to piece together what happened—even if it means proving his own cousin’s guilt. But as he uncovers each piece of evidence, David realizes that Marla’s mysterious child is just the tip of the iceberg.

Other strange things are happening. Animals are found ritually slaughtered. An ominous abandoned Ferris wheel seems to stand as a warning that something dark has infected Promise Falls. And someone has decided that the entire town must pay for the sins of its past…in blood(from Netgalley).

My Thoughts

David is forced to move back to his hometown with his son Ethan. Until he can get a job, they are living with his parents. A simple act of kindness towards his cousin Marla gets David involved in situations he could have never predicted. In trying to help Marla out, David uncovers many secrets and they don’t just involve his family.

This was a fast paced, easy read. There is a lot going in this story, but the author handled the different plot lines quite well. David is a likeable character, so it was easy to get caught up in his story. For me, the best past is this is book one of a series. The author left us with some unanswered questions that have me looking forward to whatever comes next.

My thanks to Penguin Group. via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Mask

Taylor Stevens

Vanessa Michael Munroe, chameleon and information hunter, has a reputation for getting things done: dangerous and not quite legal things that have taken her undercover into some of the world's deadliest places. Still healing from a Somali hijacking gone wrong and a brutal attack that left her near death, Munroe joins her lover, Miles Bradford, in Japan where he's working as a security consultant protecting high-value technology from industrial espionage. In the domesticity of their routine she finds long sought-after peace—until Bradford is arrested for murder, and the same interests who targeted him come after her, too.
Searching for answers and fighting to stay alive, Munroe will soon discover how far she'll go to save Bradford from spending the next twenty years in locked-up isolation; how many laws she'll break when the truth seems worse than his lies; and who to trust and who she must kill. Because she's a strategist and hunter with a predator's instincts, and the man she loves has just stabbed her in the back.
With break-neck pacing, incendiary prose, and an unforgettable cast of characters, The Mask features Vanessa Michael Munroe: a brilliant, lethal heroine who will stop at nothing to find the truth, no matter what it may cost.

My Thoughts

Vanessa Michael Munroe needs some down time after her last adventure. She goes to Japan to spend time with her boyfriend Miles Bradford, who is working as a security consultant. Suddenly, he is charged with murder. It’s Vanessa’s job to work the puzzle that will hopefully set him free.

What I like about this series and this particular character, is that Vanessa has to use both her brain and her brawn to get into and/or out of certain situations. She is one smart cookie and these story really require the reader to pay attention as we follow along while Vanessa works to solve the problem. And from a physical standpoint - you do NOT want to mess with her.

Honestly, this story had my heart pounding from excitement (hmm - can this be consider cardio work out? Sorry - I digress). This is one of a very few series that is on my must read list. Sometimes by book number 5 or 6, I start to tire of a series. But not this one. I always look forward to seeing what situation Vanessa gets into next, and how she will use her wits and physical prowess to to deal with it.

Many thanks to Crown Publishing, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Little Paris Bookshop

Nina George

There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that's how I sell books.”

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country's rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people's lives. (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

Jean Perdu has taken an old barge and turned it into a book store called Literary Apothecary. People come in thinking they know what book they want to buy, but Perdu knows otherwise. He has an uncanny ability to access what book the buyer NEEDS. His ability to help others fix themselves by selling them the right book has endeared him to many. On a personal level, he has been unable to get over a lost love that happened 20 plus years ago. Finally decides to head out on a journey in the hopes that he will resolve his own heartache.

The author has given us a very likeable character in Jean Perdu. He is dedicated to helping others through books. His sad heart makes it impossible to find new love and one can’t help but cheer for him as he travels in search of closure. He brings along two book store cats and a quirky author who is also in search of a new life. They meet some fun/odd/unique people along the way.

I will admit that any book that has the word “library”, “book store” or “book shop” always catches my eye. As someone who loves to read, I make the assumption that books with these words in the title will be worth reading. This assumption does not always prove true, but it sure did with this book. My first reaction was to call this book cute. But it really is more than that. It is about friendship, trust, a bit of heartache and ultimately, the power of love.

Nicely done Ms. George!

My thanks to Crown Publishing, via Netgally, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review. It was very entertaining and made me smile.