Book Review: Winter In Paradise

Title: Winter In Paradise

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Format: Hardcover

Published: 2018

 

I received this book from a colleague, she’s addicted to buying the latest hardcover reads from Amazon.  I reap the benefits.  I was so excited to read another Elin Hilderbrand book and this novel did not disappoint.  Well, it did, but, I will get into that at the end.

This book hooked me in from the beginning.  First, we read about a family in middle America who seemingly has it all for a low end high class family.  A marriage that is solid, beautiful children, and money to spend without worrying at night.  Then, we read about some friends on the beautiful island of St. John.  Her husband happens to die, mysteriously, in St. John, and his wife had no idea he was even there.

Hilderbrand intertwines the lives of these two groups of people beautifully.  I don’t want to give too much away, it will spoil it for you.  The characters have time to grow and everything feels so real.  I felt like I was driving around the island with how well Hilderbrand described everything.  The details are impeccable, no stone was left unturned.  She leaves you with just enough to develop your own theories on what is happening; some things you will get answers to and others you will not.

I could not put this book down.  Then, it happened.  The end.  I looked around.  I am stunned.  I am still stunned.  This is the first book in her latest winter trilogy series and she makes sure you will stick around for the next installment.  If you can’t read a book and be left with a cliffhanger, knowing an answer is coming in a year, then wait until all 3 books are out in a few years.  Warning, once you start reading you can’t stop so I am sure it will be a binge read.  My only question is can I ore-order book 2 now?

I am giving this book 5 stars.  I was enthralled and finished this book quickly, as I had to find out what was happening.  She leaves us with almost everyone missing a very important phone call except one person.  We find out who was calling since one character answered, and this just opens up a whole new can of worms and new theories I have about what is going on.  I will be impatiently waiting for the 2nd book to come out, Hilderbrand really knows how to keep you hanging on.  I won’t leave you hanging on though, tune in next week for my review of Christmas Glitter by Ann B. Harrison!

Advertisements

Book Review: The Sisters

Title: The Sisters

Author: Rosalind Noonan

Format: Netgalley Advance Readers’ Copy Ebook

Published: 2018

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read The Sisters before its release on November 27, 2018 in exchange for an honest, impartial review.

I want to start out and say that this book may trigger more sensitive readers with regard to the topics of miscarriages and sexual abuse.  It does not delve in deep to these areas, however, they are here in the book.  What saddens me the most is that even though this is a work of fiction, there are innocent children out there today in this situation in this book.

This book is told through the story of 2 families that are connected to each other; Glory Noland and the McCullum family.  The book is broken down in to 3 parts; The Last Time I Saw You, The Shape Of Tea Leaves, and Glory’s Ghost.  Rosalind Noonan does a tremendous job alternating between the stories of Glory and the McCullum family.

Glory goes from the struggle of being in a biracial relationship to being a widow raising 2 biracial children on her own with no family willing to help her.  She meets a group of women at her local mall that call themselves The Sisters and ever so graciously end up taking her in.  On the other side, the McCullum family is secretly struggling to conceive and start a family, but, has all the family support in the world.

This book sucked me in and would not let me go.  I read this book with tears in my eyes so often, just wanting to jump in and help these women and children.  The character development in this book was remarkable and we watch Glory’s young children grow up to be beautiful young women, especially her eldest Ruby.  For a sixteen-year-old girl who has so much going on in her own life with her mother, she was certainly raised to do right in the world and is someone to be proud of.

This is a solid 4 star read for me.  I had to stop myself from reading at some points in time just so I could get some sleep.  I knew if I continued on, more would develop along in the story and the sun would be rising, as it would be time for me to get ready for work.  Noonan’s penmanship in this tale is heartbreakingly real and page turning.  While I would have wished for a different ending, Noonan does what is right and ends this book on realistic terms, which still please me.  Once you pick this book up, you will find it irresistible to put down.  Tune in next week for my review of The Hit by David Baldacci!

Book Review: The Victims’ Club

Title: The Victims’ Club

Author: Jeffery Deaver

Format: Kindle Single Edition

Published: 2018

Being an Amazon Prime member, I get access to 10 books at a time that I can check out of the Kindle library for free.  I wanted to explore a Kindle Single story and chose this one.  Overall, it took about an hour to read which is great if you are looking for a quick read.  I would not recommend reading this in anything but one (or two really close together) sittings.

What was awesome about this story was you pretty much dove right in to the meat and potatoes.  A university professor was at a party off-campus when she was drugged and compromising pictures were taken of her and spread around campus.  It is up to the job of Jon Avery, private investigator, to figure out whodunit.

You can tell the author has experience and knowledge in law enforcement because he hooks you in.  Right away Avery has taken the case over from a colleague who has to go out of town.  The experience Avery has shines right through and is up against a lot of odds.

Avery feels everyone around him knows who committed the crime, however, no one wants to speak up.  Avery feels that even the college knows who was involved.  The college essentially threatens him that if he goes public with accusing any star athletes of such a crime, he will be punished.

Since this is a Kindle Single, the story is so short we find out who did it quickly.  Honestly, I had no idea it would take the twist it did at the end.  The way that Deaver penned this story was done just so remarkably, you will leave thinking there is hope that not everything is corrupted in this world.  Our protagonist was able to delicately seek out the truth and pull out information from people most people would not be able to.

I am giving this book 4 stars.  I enjoyed this short story and was left feeling as if I read an entire novel.  There was certainly a beginning, climatic suspense, and ending which can sometimes be difficult within a short story.  I felt all the necessary information was presented in the book and you are left satisfied.  Tune in next Thursday for my review of The Truth Waits by Susanna Beard!

Book Review: The Diagnosis Is Murder

Title: The Diagnosis Is Murder

Author: Steven Gossington

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2017

Thank you to Hidden Gems for the free copy of The Diagnosis Is Murder in exchange for my honest book review!

What an interesting book.  We meet Laura Valorian, an ER doctor, who seems to be carrying some baggage with her.  When it comes to child abuse cases, Dr. Valorian tends to lose her cool and go overboard.  This all stems from her once missing a case of child abuse in the ER and that child goes on to later die.  As the story progresses she works through her issues with this.

The characters throughout this mystery get introduced to us one at a time.  This is much appreciated so you are not overwhelmed at the beginning with a ton of characters to remember.  Gossington builds the characters slowly, but, does not neglect their development.

A fellow colleague at the hospital comes in unresponsive to the ER.  It is a conceited surgeon and he unfortunately succumbs to his “heart attack” and dies.  Dr. Valorian has a gut feeling that he did not die of natural causes and ends up doing some gutsy private investigation work.  Along the way she connects with Alec, a private investigator, who decides to help her out free of charge.  They set forth together and narrow down the potential list of suspects and look for possible motives.

Throughout the story I felt like there were mini stories taking place as well.  Dr. Valorian had a medical student intern in the ER and he came with his own baggage and story.  Alec also comes with baggage and his own story too.  They all intertwined nicely and just when I thought the story was over, it wasn’t.  The little stories ended up combining to fill in the larger story and kept the book going.  I was glad because I was not quite ready end to see the end of Dr. Valorian.

This is book one and I am disappointed there is no book two yet, Dr. Valorian is a very enjoyable character.  It was a fun, light read and kept my attention with the twists and turns.  I also could tell that Gossington has experience working in the ER as those little details shined through in this book.  I also appreciated that this book was not overrun with medical terminology that a common person, such as myself, would have a hard time understanding.  Sometimes doctors get a little ahead of themselves (and show off with fancy words) when they write a book, however, Gossington does not and this attributes to the book being a great read!

I am giving this book 4 stars.  I enjoyed the plot and the ending was satisfying.  I am hoping that there will be a book two and we will see even more character development with Dr. Valorian and Alec, and I will be the first in line to buy book two, you can bet your bottom dollar on that one!  Tune in next Thursday for my review of Lifeline by Abbey Lee Nash!

Book Review: The Perfect Couple

Title: The Perfect Couple

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Format: Hardcover

Published: 2018

 

 

This book landed on my lap thanks to a co-worker at work.  Her exact words to me were, “Do you want to read a book about a wedding where the maid of honor ends up dead on the day of the wedding?”  How can you say no to that?!

It is extremely difficult to be reading a book that someone else has read and you see them every day.  Each day I would walk in to her office and make some crazy exclamation and she would laugh.  When I finished the book, I walked in to her office and went, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! REALLY?” and all she could do was say that was why she kept her mouth shut and just laughed at me each time.

This book had some great twists and turns.  Just when I thought it was going one way, and I was convinced I knew who did it, something else would happen and I would think something else.  I truly never guessed the ending.  I was never remotely even close to thinking it.

So let’s delve in to the meat of the story shall we?  Celeste Otis, plain Jane, college educated, modest living girl is engaged to be married to Benji Winbury, trust fund baby, silver spoon fed, wealthy man on Nantucket Island.  Celeste has allowed Benji’s mother, acclaimed author and trust fund baby herself, to plan the entire wedding.  As the wedding fast approaches she starts to develop a stutter that is attributed to stress.

Celeste’s mother is battling cancer and does not have very long to live so Celeste is adamant on being married soon so her mother can be there.  On the morning of the wedding Celeste discovers her only true friend, her best friend, and maid of honor, floating in the water on the shoreline.  The wedding is cancelled and a full-on investigation is launched.

The book takes us on twists and turns and we get to see how the romance started between Celeste and Benji.  The Winbury family also has some dark secrets that start to come out of the woodwork.  Just because you seemingly have it all does not mean you have it all together.  This set of issues the family has are none that I would want if that is what came with having all the money in the world.

I am giving this book 5 stars simply for the fact that I could not put this book down.  It captivated me and had me intrigued at what was happening.  I had fun coming up with some pretty elaborate theories of whodunit throughout reading this book.  I was satisfied with how Hilderbrand chose to end this book and even happier that we find out exactly how the maid of honor died.  There was no assuming of how her circumstances came to be and for that, I applaud Hilderbrand.  Tune in next week for my review of The Diagnosis Is Murder by Steven Gossington!

Book Review: Whisper Me This

Title: Whisper Me This

Author: Kerry Anne King

Format: Amazon First Reads Kindle Edition

Published: 2018

 

I love, love, love, LOVE, my Amazon Prime membership benefits!  This month I selection Whisper Me This which comes out on August 1st and I am telling you, it is priced right at either $4.99 Kindle edition or $9.99 hardcover, SO PRE-ORDER NOW.  Why?  This story actually had an ENDING.  Yes, the story satisfies you with not an open ended, wishy washy ending, but, a solid, you know what happens ending.  Thank you Ms. King!!

The story starts off a little iffy where we meet this wishy-washy woman who cannot make a decision to save her life, Maisey Addington.  Next to the word indecisive in the dictionary should be a picture of this character!  She has an estranged relationship from her parents which I blame on all the pressure her mother kept putting on her to do more with her life.

We find Maisey has a child and an ex-boyfriend (aka baby daddy) and gets along amicably.  There’s not much too exciting going on until her mother falls ill and she gets a call from the police telling her she should come right away.  Her and her daughter hop on a plane and travel all night to get to her mother to see what exactly is going on.

Her father is fraught and one would think he has Alzheimer’s from his sudden, erratic behavior.  What we find out is that the noisey neighbor noticed no one was going in or out of the house for a few days so she called the police.  What they ultimately found was Maisey’s mother laying unconscious in bed with a head injury. She had been there for 3 days.  Yeah.

Her father insists that she wanted to die at home but a living will can never be producted.  When Maisey makes it home she finds her father throwing papers into a fire in the living room and immediately calls 911 thinking the whole house is on fire and here we meet Tony.  The small town hero who is there and befriends Maisey and helps her with her mother’s sudden downfall.

Enter the twist.  Going through all of her mother’s things she stumbled upon the fact that she has a twin sister, Marley.  She used to play with an imaginary friend named Marley until her mother scolded her and told her to stop.  Was she imagining things?  Did she really have a sister?  Read to find out!

This book touches on a lot of abuse.  When they find her mother and examine her they discover she has had a lot of broken bones.  They accuse her husband of abusing her but Maisey defends her father and could never imagine him hurting her.  So how did she get all of the broken bones?  Tony does his best to stay away from Maisey as he himself is haunted from an abused past as well.  Although I absolutely love and adore Tony and his family, they are truly genuine, great people.

Maisey starts to learn to stand up for herself and grows a backbone and starts to make decisions.  I love this.  She truly grows throughout the book with the help of her daughter, Elle.  I don’t think Maisey would have been able to survive her trip without her daughter.  She is done with her ex-boyfriend controlling and ruining her life (he always seems to show up when she has a date, despite the fact that he’s married with a newborn baby now).

Overall, this book earned a solid 5.  It is rare to find a book that ends on a SOLID note and this one did just that.  I would classify this book as mystery with a touch of romance, not too much.  The mystery takes the fore front and honestly, I didn’t see the twist that came at the end with Marley.  But the book ends in the future and we can get closure on what happens to everyone, yay. Tune in next Thursday for my review of I Wish You Happy by Kerry Anne King (I told you I was blown away by the writing, I had to immediately read another one of hers)!

Book Review: The Boy At The Door

Title: The Boy At The Door

Author: Alex Dahl

Format: Advance Reader’s Copy Paperback

Published: 2018

Thank you, Penguin Random House, for the advance reader’s copy of The Boy At The Door which is out in just a few days on July 24th!!  I love my psychological thrillers and this one had some unpredictable twists and turns.

Imagine a picturesque lake in Norway with a beautiful mansion on the edge with the perfect husband and wife to the townspeople.  Throw in 2 semi-lovely daughters and there you have it.  Except just because you can have it all, doesn’t mean you really do.  Meet Cecilia Wilberg, the woman who easily could have it all.

I really started to dislike Cecilia.  She drinks a lot, takes quite a few prescription pills, seemingly ignores her daughters Nicoline and Hermine, and doesn’t always treat her husband, Johan, the nicest.  Cecilia works part-time as an interior designer and keeps up all social appearances by regularly holding social events at her house, as well as attending them.

Enter Tobias.  A little boy left at pool class which one of Cecilia’s daughter attends.  The receptionist begs her to take him home and she begrudgingly obliges.  When she arrives at his house she finds that it’s abandoned so she takes him home with her for the night.  He says he goes to school in the next town over so she decides she’ll just take him there in the morning and they can sort out where his parents are.

The next morning, she gets a phone call from the school wondering why she dropped this little boy off as he doesn’t attend school there.  Insert the jaw drop now.  Cecilia ends up taking care of the boy as the authorities try and figure out who his parents are.  Little do we know that Cecilia will figure it all out before they get a chance.

Cecilia goes on with the authorities with an, “I’ll do whatever I want because I get out of anything,” attitude.  A typical rich person attitude when money can buy the finest lawyer if need be.  Does this come back to bite her in the butt?  Only at the very end of the book, you’ll see.

Cecilia is also best described as a compulsive liar and it kept me guessing what was the truth and what wasn’t.  As the story goes on with Tobias’ parents the author does an AMAZING job at having me second guess what really happened.  In fact, I believed a lie to be the truth (and then was angry when it was only a lie).  You’ll have to pick up this book to find out more.  But let me warn you, once you pick it up you will find it hard to put down!

Overall, I give A Boy At The Door a rating of 4.  The ending satisfied me as I felt Cecilia got what she deserved.  The book kept me guessing and I can always appreciate that.  In fact, I read this book throughout my amazing Mediterranean cruise, even waking up at sunrise in Barcelona just to fit a few more chapters before seeing all the sights.  A book that kept me wanting to hang out in a chair on vacation instead of partying it up says a lot.  Do yourself a favor and seek out this book to read it.  Let me know when you do!  Tune in next Thursday for my review of Whisper Me This by Kerry Anne King!

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: