The Argument

US Publication – December 10, 2019

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Description

It happens to every mother. One day, the daughter whose whole world you once were, becomes someone you barely know. And you don’t know the secrets she’s hiding…

One night, 15-year-old Olivia comes home late from a party she was strictly forbidden from going to, and she and her mother, Hannah, start arguing. Soon Olivia speaks the words that every parent has heard from their teenage child:

I hate you. You’ve ruined my life. And I’m never speaking to you again.’

Olivia has never been an easy child, a sharp contrast to her easy-going, happy-go-lucky little sister. But Hannah thinks Olivia’s outburst is the end of a normal family argument. In fact, it’s only the beginning of a nightmare…

After one day of silence, Hannah thinks Olivia is taking a teenage sulk too far. After two days, she starts to feel anxious that something more serious could be going on. After a week, when her daughter still hasn’t spoken, Hannah knows that Olivia is hiding a bigger darkness – something that could threaten to tear their precious family apart…

The Argument is an unputdownable psychological thriller that asks how far we can push our families before they finally break. Perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, The Woman in the Window, and The Silent Patient.

 

My Thoughts

When Hannah’s 15-year-old daughter Olivia defies her parents and sneaks out to a party, I thought, ok, not great behavior, but how many teenagers have done the same thing. Olivia’s response when caught isn’t odd either, she tells her mother she hates her and will never speak to her again. Then some strange events start happening to Hannah, and she is sure she knows who is to blame. Not her younger daughter and certainly not her husband, which means Olivia must have an agenda and Hannah does like it, not one bit.

The Argument wasn’t at all the book I thought it would be. Distraught parents, a rebellious teenager, and the perfect younger sister are all present and accounted for, but an unreliable narrator makes the things that occur appear obvious until the author turns everything upside down. All I can say without entering spoiler territory is nothing is as it seems. This was a quick read at just over 200 pages, and when I reached the end, I looked back and could see how skillfully the author had fooled me. My first book by Victoria Jenkins and not my last.

I received a DRC from Bookouture through NetGalley.

A Madness of Sunshine

amadnessofsunshine

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US Publication – December 3,2019

Description

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh welcomes you to a remote town on the edge of the world where even the blinding brightness of the sun can’t mask the darkness that lies deep within a killer.…

On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; the children, more than schoolmates.

That is until one fateful summer—and several vanished bodies—shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that’s left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement to not look back. But they can’t run from the past forever.

Eight years later, a beautiful young woman disappears without a trace, and the residents of Golden Cove wonder if their home shelters something far more dangerous than an unforgiving landscape.

It’s not long before the dark past collides with the haunting present and deadly secrets come to light.

 

My Thoughts

When Anahera left Golden Cove, the isolated coastal New Zealand town where she grew up, she had no reason to believe she would ever return. But fate can have other plans, and the sudden death of her husband and the heartbreaking secret he kept from her, have Anahera fleeing her new life and coming home. Desolate, wild, beautiful, and economically divided, the residents of Golden Cove are fiercely loyal to those who belong and slow to accept outsiders.


Will Gallagher is the newest law enforcement officer and an outsider. He seems smart and capable, and yet he has been sent to an out of the way community where opportunities for advancement are nonexistent. Something in his past must have warranted his banishment, but what? Anahera doesn’t want anything to do with Will, but, once again, fate has its own agenda. When a local girl, Miri, goes missing, Anahera and Will race against the clock, uncovering the many secrets these small-town residents hold. Numerous potential suspects send the investigation into many different directions, making A Madness of Sunshine a true whodunnit and why.


A beautiful setting, complex and damaged characters, and a mystery that kept me flipping pages to discover Mira’s fate. My first read by Nalini Singh and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.


I received a DRC from Berkley through Edelweiss +.

The Rise of Magicks

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US Publication – November 26, 2019

Description

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Year One and Of Blood and Bone concludes her stunning new trilogy praised as “A match for end-of-the-world classics like Stephen King’s The Stand.”

After the sickness known as the Doom destroyed civilization, magick has become commonplace, and Fallon Swift has spent her young years learning its ways. Fallon cannot live in peace until she frees those who have been preyed upon by the government or the fanatical Purity Warriors, endlessly hunted or locked up in laboratories, brutalized for years on end. She is determined to save even those who have been complicit with this evil out of fear or weakness—if, indeed, they can be saved.

Strengthened by the bond she shares with her fellow warrior, Duncan, Fallon has already succeeded in rescuing countless shifters and elves and ordinary humans. Now she must help them heal—and rediscover the light and faith within themselves. For although from the time of her birth, she has been The One, she is still only one. And as she faces down an old nemesis, sets her sights on the enemy’s stronghold, and pursues her destiny—to finally restore the mystical shield that once protected them all—she will need an army behind her…

My Thoughts

The Rise of Magicks concludes Nora Robert’s Chronicles of The One trilogy. I enjoyed the first book, Year One, thought the second book, Of Blood and Bone, was okay, and here I am, back in this strange, magical, and oftentimes cruel world with fingers crossed, hoping that good will triumph over evil. Magic is everywhere after The Doom. The only real question is can those who embrace dark magic defeat Fallon, the citizens of New Hope, and those looking to build a better world.
The first two books build towards this inevitable conclusion, an epic battle between the dark and the light. There is loss, friendship, love, and most importantly, hope throughout all three books. The Rise of Magicks does a wonderful job of wrapping up all of the character stories and plot points. The ending, while satisfying, did leave me curious about what will happen now in this new world, and if the author chose to continue this story, I would be along for the ride.
An enjoyable read, and one that I would recommend. I would strongly suggest you start with Year One, though there is enough backstory, so you wouldn’t be lost if you started with this book.

The Rise of Magicks

theriseofmagicksUS Publication – 11/26/2019

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Description

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Year One and Of Blood and Bone concludes her stunning trilogy that the New York Times Book Review praised as “A match for end-of-the-world classics like Stephen King’s The Stand.”

After the sickness known as the Doom destroyed civilization, magick has become commonplace, and Fallon Swift has spent her young years learning its ways. Fallon cannot live in peace until she frees those who have been preyed upon by the government or the fanatical Purity Warriors, endlessly hunted or locked up in laboratories, brutalized for years on end. She is determined to save even those who have been complicit with this evil out of fear or weakness—if, indeed, they can be saved.

Strengthened by the bond she shares with her fellow warrior, Duncan, Fallon has already succeeded in rescuing countless shifters and elves and ordinary humans. Now she must help them heal—and rediscover the light and faith within themselves. For although from the time of her birth, she has been The One, she is still only one. And as she faces down an old nemesis, sets her sights on the enemy’s stronghold, and pursues her destiny—to finally restore the mystical shield that once protected them all—she will need an army behind her…

My Thoughts

The Rise of Magicks concludes Nora Robert’s Chronicles of The One trilogy. I enjoyed the first book, Year One, thought the second book, Of Blood and Bone, was okay, and here I am, back in this strange, magical, and oftentimes cruel world with fingers crossed, hoping that good will triumph over evil. Magic is everywhere after The Doom. The only real question is can those who embrace dark magic defeat Fallon, the citizens of New Hope, and those looking to build a better world.

The first two books build towards this inevitable conclusion, an epic battle between the dark and the light. There is loss, friendship, love, and most importantly, hope throughout all three books. The Rise of Magicks does a wonderful job of wrapping up all of the character stories and plot points. The ending, while satisfying, did leave me curious about what will happen now in this new world, and if the author chose to continue this story, I would be along for the ride.

An enjoyable read, and one that I would recommend. I would strongly suggest you start with Year One, though there is enough backstory, so you wouldn’t be lost if you started with this book.

My Review System

To be totally clear, I have been known to use other emojis, but I always rate on a 1-5 scale!

5 stars – Absolutely loved everything about the book! It was unique or presented something in a different way, and I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended.

4 stars – A really solid read that made me glad I read the book. I didn’t stay up all night or abandon my plans, but I would recommend it without hesitation.

3 stars – An ok read and I might try another book by the same author to see if their writing style was a good fit for me.

2 stars – The book just didn’t work for me & I’ll try and explain why.

1 star – I have never read a 1-star book( yet), but I would have to hate it to give it this rating.

Twenty-one Truths about Love

US Publication – November 19,2019

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Book Description

1. Daniel Mayrock loves his wife Jill…more than anything.

2. Dan quit his job and opened a bookshop.

3. Jill is ready to have a baby.

4. Dan is scared; the bookshop isn’t doing well. Financial crisis is imminent.

5. Dan hasn’t told Jill about their financial trouble. He’s ashamed.

6. Then Jill gets pregnant.

This heartfelt story is about the lengths one man will go to and the risks he will take to save his family. But Dan doesn’t just want to save his failing bookstore and his family’s finances—he wants to become someone.

1. Dan wants to do something special.

2. He’s a man who is tired of feeling ordinary.

3. He’s sick of feeling like a failure.

4. Of living in the shadow of his wife’s deceased first husband.

My Thoughts

I have to say I was skeptical about this book. After all, my life is one big list, broken down into daily manageable( ha)tasks, that often end up moving from one list to another. Could a book written entirely in list form captivate me or just plain annoy me? Well, I can honestly say that it grabbed my interest almost from the first page and never let go.

Dan owns a bookstore and isn’t making much money. He is in debt and when his wife Jill wants to start a family, he is determined to figure out a way to make everything work. The book chronicles his fear of failure as well as his many plans to take care of his family. I laughed along with Dan and was touched by his views on what it means to be a man. Twenty-one Truths About Love is uniquely written and I managed to push aside a few of my lists to finish. If the book description appeals to you, I would recommend taking a chance on this originally written book.

I received a DRC from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley.

The Manor House Murder

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US Publication – 11/8/2019

Description

Discover a new series of murder mysteries set in an idyllic English village. From million-selling author Faith Martin. Meet Monica Noble: the vicar’s wife with a taste for solving crimes. Please note this book was first published as “AN UNHOLY SHAME” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO.

THE WEEKEND TURN MURDEROUS Monica Noble and her husband Graham, the local vicar, are invited to participate in a high-flying church conference being held at a swanky manor-house hotel in their village. At the Saturday night dinner, the ambitious female cleric Celia Gordon tragically dies, seemingly of a peanut allergy. But when Chief Superintendent Jason Dury arrives on the scene he quickly discovers that it’s a case of murder. And Monica’s husband is the prime suspect. Other suspects include an eminent bishop, an archdeacon viciously opposed to female clergy, and his wife, the curator of a local museum, who is definitely up to something. But if Monica is to find out who killed Celia, and free her husband from suspicion, she must grapple with a very ruthless — and increasingly desperate — killer, putting herself and those around her in mortal danger. This is the third of a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with great characters and baffling crimes which will keep you gripped till the final page.

Perfect for fans of classic whodunits by authors like Agatha Christie, LJ Ross, TE Kinsey, and J.R. Ellis.

MONICA NOBLE was widowed young, leaving her to raise her feisty daughter on her own. That is until she met and fell in love with Graham Noble, a country vicar (pastor), who enticed her to leave her high-flying job in advertising in the city and move to the Cotswold countryside. There she found bucolic life very pleasant indeed — until murder started to rear its ugly head. And she discovered, to everyone’s surprise, that she had a flair for solving the most unholy of crimes.

My Thoughts

The Manor House Murder is the third book in Faith Martin’s Monica Noble, vicar’s wife and amateur sleuth series. Whether Monica and her husband Graham are at home, at work, or at play, it seems that murder has a way of landing right in front of this couple. Graham is speaking at a conference held at a local hotel. Monica is invited to join Graham for dinner on Saturday night, and even though there is a tremendous amount of tension between some of the clerics, no one suspects that murder would be served with dessert.

Unfortunately, Celia Gordon seems to succumb to an allergic reaction to peanuts, a tragic accident at first glance. But when the police arrive, Chief Superintendent Jason Drury discovers that a clever murderer had a hand in Celia’s demise. Can the police figure out this baffling crime or will Monica be called on once again to determine whodunnit and why?

Another enjoyable cozy mystery on a lazy Sunday afternoon. There are numerous potential suspects, including Graham. It took me a while to figure out the relationships among all the conference attendees, and I felt like I was missing some obvious clue. Indeed I was as the reveal arrived before I had settled on a suspect. My record with this series stands at one killer guessed, and two to Monica Noble! Maybe I will even the score when the next book is released!-