When Geo was sixteen years old her best friend disappears, or so everyone thought. Only Geo and her older boyfriend Calvin know what really happened to Angela. Fourteen years later the life Geo has built for herself comes crashing to the ground when Angela’s body is discovered buried in the woods behind the house Geo grew up in. Geo is offered a deal—testify against Calvin and serve a short prison sentence. Geo takes the deal. Her former boyfriend, Calvin James, is charged with Angela’s murder. It’s also revealed that he is the Sweetbay Strangler, a serial killer responsible for murdering at least three other women. As Geo faces her demons we learn more about her past and the events leading up to Angela’s murder.
This was definitely a page turner. I stayed up way too late reading this, but I just couldn’t put it down. Although it was ultimately too graphic and violent for me, the story had me intrigued to the very end. There were lots of interesting twists and turns throughout this nail-biting, gripping tale. I always appreciate books in which there are characters that aren’t obviously good or evil, but rather many-layered and complex. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about some of the characters. Also, I was left pondering my own moral compass—wondering how I would proceed if I found myself in a similar situation.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, fast paced thriller. I should warn you that it contains violence, rape, and sex and as such is not appropriate for minors. 4 out of 5 ⭐️
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for sending me an Advanced Readers’ Edition to review. This book will be published on 6/12/18.
(Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. This book subscription box was gifted to me by Capsule Books, but I was under no obligation to post this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own).
Update: March 2019. I am no longer a rep for Capsule Books, but I still love this company and what they represent.
I feel so incredibly honored to have been chosen as one of the spring 2018 reps for Capsule Books. Those of you who know me, know how I love curating capsule wardrobes, so naturally a curated book subscription box is right up my alley. For those of you unfamiliar with this company, Capsule Books is an independent book subscription box company run by a lovely woman named Natasha. Each season Natasha curates three different boxes based on themes. This spring the three capsules were inspired by colors and the moods these colors evoke. There was a red romance capsule, a blue nostalgia capsule, and the one I chose which was a yellow destiny capsule. This photo is of the three books that were in my destiny capsule.
Before you decide which capsule to purchase, Natasha reveals one book from each capsule on her Instagram page @capsulebooks. This book reveal is crucial because it will give you a feel for the sort of books that will be included in each capsule. When I chose the destiny capsule the only book I knew would be included was Maya Angelou’s “Letter to My Daughter.” I’ve been wanting to read this, so I knew the Destiny Capsule was for me. As it turned out there was a book included in the capsule that I had already read, but as it was one of my favorite books from high school (Siddhartha) and I haven’t read it since, I was glad it was included. Once one of the books has been revealed the other two books aren’t revealed until the end of the season, in case you haven’t ordered your capsule and want the books to remain a surprise. I love the mystery of it!
The capsule arrived packaged in a nice cardboard box. There was a gorgeous bookmark from @merakinshop on Instagram in each of Capsule Books spring boxes. Here’s a photo of mine. I don’t collect a lot of bookish goodies, so I really appreciate that this book subscription box focuses on the books rather than a lot of other products. Even more than how expertly Natasha curates each box, I appreciated the handwritten letter that she includes in every single box. The letter explains why each of the books were chosen and suggests a particular reading order. I loved the personal touch. If this weren’t reason alone to support Capsule Books, Natasha also included stationery and a stamped envelope in every capsule to encourage the art of writing letters. As an avid letter writer, I definitely appreciated the inclusion of stationery.
I loved my experience with Capsule Books and will definitely order another in the future. The summer capsules are in the works now and Natasha has just revealed one book from each of the three summer capsules. You can still order the spring capsules until May 31! If you wish to snag one of these before they are gone you can use my rep code CAIT15 for a 15% discount.
⭐️Although I am a rep for Capsule Books, all thoughts and opinions about this service are entirely my own.
Head on over to https://capsulebooks.com/ or check out @capsulebooks on Instagram to find out more about this excellent subscription box.
Thank you to Net Galley and Berkley Publishing for providing me with an e-book copy of “A Dark and Twisting Path” by Julia Buckley to review.
This was one of my favorite mysteries of the year. Although I haven’t read the other books in this series, I didn’t feel disadvantaged. The author sums up the backstory just enough so I could figure out what was going on. This book could definitely work as a stand-alone too.
The main character, Lena London is living her childhood dream. She is co-authoring a book with her favorite author, Camilla Graham. She has a dreamy boyfriend, a circle of wonderful friends, and her dad and stepmom are about to visit her. When her best friend discovers her postman dead on her lawn, Lena quickly realizes that her quiet life is about to get a lot more interesting. It is obvious that the killer tried to frame her boyfriend, the famed Sam West. To further complicate matters, Sam’s ex-wife Victoria has been through some terrible trauma. Her baby was kidnapped by the father and she is desperate to get her back. She has come to rely on Sam for emotional support, much to Lena’s chagrin. Can Lena help Victoria get her baby back and solve the mystery surrounding the dead postman?
This was a solid mystery book. I enjoyed the characters, setting, and plot. It was vivid and well-written. I found myself wishing I could step into this book and mingle with the tight-knit community in spite of the stressful circumstances. There was just enough tension to make this an interesting book without losing the charm. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys mysteries and thrillers. Look out for this book on August 7,2018. 4 out of 5 ⭐️.
I had the great privilege of reading “The Island Villa” by Lily Graham recently. It was vivid, charming, engaging. It isn’t often that I lose myself in a book, so when I started reading this one I wasn’t expecting I would be so completely transported to a sunny island. It was just the sort of armchair holiday I needed.
In “The Island Villa” forty-five year old Charlotte loses her husband to cancer. Soon after he passes away Charlotte discovers he bought the house her grandmother grew up in; a house named Marisal on the tiny island, Formentera, off the coast of Spain. Charlotte follows her husband’s wishes and returns to her roots. She discovers a great-aunt she never knew existed and a group of friends who help her find joy again. As Charlotte begins to heal from her loss and learns to thrive on the island, she hears stories of her ancestors from her aunt. These stories are woven together with her own story.
This book was so charming. Absolutely enchanting! I adored every single one of the characters. It’s one of those books that I wish I could step into. Lily Graham has a gift for describing a place so vividly that you are left with the feeling that you actually visited the place. The only character who seemed flat was a minor character, Charlotte’s best friend. Besides encouraging Charlotte to go to the island, this character wasn’t necessary to the story.
I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to escape to a sunny location. It really is an ideal book to read over the summer. I gave this 4 out of 5 ⭐️!
Thank you to Net Galley for providing me with an ebook review copy.
Somebody’s Daughter by Rochelle B. Weinstein contains an important message for anyone raising a child in today’s social media crazed society. The message seemed more important than the actual story and how it unfolds.
Emma and Bobby Ross live an idyllic existence on Miami Beach. They are still in love, have two delightful twin daughters, and run a thriving hotel business. Of course, nothing is as it seems. When they learn of their daughter Zoe’s indiscretion and realize her mistake is at risk of going viral, their flawless public facade begins to shatter.
As their lives begin to unravel, the Ross family must make a few painful decision. Emma is faced with the ghosts of her past mistake and has to consider sharing the one big secret she has kept from her husband, Zoe has to build up her inner strength to face her public humiliation, and Bobby must transform his beliefs if he is to help his daughter.
This book was painfully reminiscent of a soap opera or cheesy Lifetime television show. The first chapter was absolutely dreadful. I forced myself to continue and I must say it did get better. Zoe had the most depth by far. Most of the characters fell flat. I cared what happened to them because no one should have to deal with what they went through—not because I liked them. The last few chapters made up for the rest of the book. There was some character development and some memorable quotes in the latter part of the book.
Although this is not my preferred genre and I wasn’t a huge fan of the style of writing I recommend it as a must read for any parent navigating the frightening technological world.
I ended up giving this a solid 3 out of 5 ⭐️.
She strolled through the silver, nacreous mist, parting the invisible curtain with her alabaster hands. Her wand, which was gifted from a fallen branch from the great ash wishing tree one May Eve, illuminated the smokey blue fog as she uttered an incantation. She could just barely glimpse a hooded form on the other side. As she stepped through the portal the hooded figure began to take shape as that of the High Priestess—her hearth sister Vivianne. Her sister revealed the crescent moon tattoo on the palm of her hand. She mirrored the High Priestess’s movement in a token of sisterhood and trust before stating the purpose of her clandestine movements on such a momentous occasion—for the Fae Queen had given birth to a daughter that very night. She revealed the Druid trusted her with a powerful secret, marking her as The Keeper of the Prophecy. Her vision must be stored in the Well of Stories without delay.
Two years later...
Marcella sat in the garden watching Clementine form delicate pastries out of mud and twigs. At only two years of age, Clementine was amazingly deft with her minuscule hands. The harsh winter had receded into a distant memory as the snowdrops and daffodils bravely sprung forth from the still cold ground. Although it was a sunny day, Marcella was grateful for her flask of tea and wooly pullover to keep her warm. Clementine seemed impervious to cold, stripping naked to splash in the pond if Marcella dared to turn her back for even a moment. She was grateful her daughter was too busy making mud pies to worry about the discomfort of wearing clothing like a normal human being. But then again, Clementine wasn’t an ordinary human or Marcella’s birth daughter. Not that anyone could tell. She seemed like a perfectly normal child and yet Marcella was well aware of the gaze of strangers as they puzzled over why a typical toddler seemed so extraordinary. The moment always came, sometimes in a matter of minutes, at other times after contact with an individual for weeks when Marcella could feel the person’s energy change. She doubted whether they were aware of their energetic response to a Fae child, rather it was an unconscious awareness of the child’s innate magical abilities. Marcella knew that if she didn’t start working with Clementine soon, her magic would manifest in sudden, perhaps even explosive ways. “I’m just not ready yet,” thought Marcella. She just wanted to enjoy these early days of motherhood that were so precious. Marcella had blossomed into her role as Fairy Godmother and felt she had an important purpose to her life now.
Dodie’s whiskers twitched as she gazed up at Marcella as if she had read her mind and was most sympathetic. Jane just yawned and tucked her paw under the blanket which covered Marcella’s lap. Dodie was Marcella’s familiar, a once wild rabbit who was quite tame now. Jane was a cat that Dodie adopted after she’d been abandoned in The New Forest as a kitten. Marcella had discovered Jane after she stopped a dog from chasing Dodie. She made an instant decision to adopt the kitten, but Dodie wouldn’t allow her to take Jane away from her, so she brought both of them home. They’d been her constant companions ever since and the two of them were inseparable.
“I know Dodie,” said Marcella, “it is time though.” Clementine was still knee deep in the mud, her pink dress with the vine pattern splattered with brown stains. Her golden hair a fuzz of tangled curls. It was a curious shade of shiny yellow-orange. Marcella suspected strangers assumed she dyed her child’s hair. Strangers assumed a lot about Marcella and Clementine and Marcella never thought to correct them. Clementine was quietly singing to herself. Marcella recognized a traditional Fae tune, but didn’t remember teaching it to Clem. She sighed and pulled her mobile phone out of her bag. She sent a quick text to her hearth sister, Vivianne. The message simply read, “It’s time.” Vivianne would know just what she meant.
Thank you to Lori at Get Red PR for gifting me “I Like My Life” by Abby Fabiaschi in exchange for an honest review. This was 4/5 ⭐️!
This book was such a pleasant surprise. In this debut novel by Abby Fabiaschi the theme of fate versus free will is explored as Maddy realizes she is a ghost with unfinished business. She appears to have been the perfect wife and mother who was loved by many. Her husband and teenage daughter are devastated by her sudden death. They question their past actions and attempt to transform their lives for the better. At times poignant and bittersweet, this book was heart wrenching without being dismal. In fact, there was a fair amount of humor to lighten this otherwise tragic tale. In the end I found it was really a coming of age story in which familial love was central. I literally could not put this book down. I look forward to reading anything by this author.
In all fairness I haven’t read the first books in this series. If I had, I might be writing a completely different review. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, so when Lori at Get Red PR offered to gift me this book in exchange for an honest review I jumped at the chance.
Synopsis: For years things have run smoothly at Cavendon Hall, with very few quarrels, dramas, or upsets among the Inghams and the Swanns. But since the end of World War II, things have changed.
The Secrets of Cavendon picks up in the summer of 1949, with the new generation of the estate at the forefront of the scandal and intrigue. With romance, betrayal, heartbreak, and possible murder threatening to tear them apart, the Inghams and Swanns will have to find a way to come together and protect each other in the face of threats they never could have predicted.
I ended up giving this a solid 3⭐️! I found this book monotonous at times, but I did enjoy the setting and the occasional witty dialogue. I’ve never been big on soap operas and this was painfully reminiscent of one. There were a lot of characters to keep track of and I never felt like I bonded with any of them. The best part for me was the setting. I’ve always loved the time period between the 1920s-60s in rural Britain, so that was the highlight of the book for me. I would recommend reading the first books in this series first before attempting this one. If you fall in love with the characters early on, you might appreciate this installment too.
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