October Book Haul

I went to put this blog post together and realized that the only physical books that I bought last month were my Book of the Month books. I can’t believe that I did that good but it also explains the desire I have had the past week to hit up some of my local bookstores. I did buy some ebooks which are obviously cheaper but also kind of ridiculous since I never prioritize my Kindle books. That is definitely something that I want to work on next year!

 

Ebooks

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WINNER OF THE JAMES HERBERT AWARD FOR HORROR WRITING

“The Troop scared the hell out of me, and I couldn’t put it down. This is old-school horror at its best.” —Stephen King

Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder stumbles upon their campsite—shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare. A horror that spreads faster than fear. A harrowing struggle for survival with no escape from the elements, the infected…or one another.

Part Lord of the Flies, part 28 Days Later—and all-consuming—this tightly written, edge-of-your-seat thriller takes you deep into the heart of darkness, where fear feeds on sanity…and terror hungers for more.

The Troop by Nick Cutter

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I got the call. The dreaded call every child fears. My dad wasn’t well, and the man who had always been my everything needed me.

There was only one thing to do; pack up and head back to my hometown. I had finally made my dream life in the city with the great job and loving boyfriend. But was there really a choice not to go?

I found a wonderful job, a quaint house to rent, my boyfriend was working on joining me in Binghamton, and my favorite pizza place was only miles away. Life was good.

Until I met my neighbor.

It’s been three years since I’d seen Aaron Walters, and my God is he all kinds of sexy gorgeous. Figures. He was supposed to be my forever, the man I grew old with, but he had different plans. How can a man who ripped my heart apart still trip me up? How can he make me still want him now more than ever?

I’m tempted, I’m drawn toward him, I’m completely and utterly unaware that I’m dating his biological brother.

Now two men own my heart. The question is, which brother will I choose?

The Other Brother by Meghan Quinn

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To take back life, one must first face death…

One man stripped of his freedom, his morals…his life.

Conditioned in captivity to maim, to kill and to slaughter, prisoner 818 becomes an unremorseful, unrivaled and unstoppable fighter in the ring. Violence is all he knows. Death and brutality are the masters of his fate.

After years of incarceration in an underground hell, only one thought occupies his mind: revenge…bloody, slow and violent revenge.

Revenge on the man who lied.

Revenge on the man who wronged him.

Revenge on the man who condemned him and turned him into this: a rage-fueled killing machine. A monster void of humanity; a monster filled with hate.

And no one will stand in the way of getting what he wants.

One woman stripped of her freedom, her morals…her life.

Kisa Volkova is the only daughter of Kirill ‘The Silencer’ Volkov, head of the infamous ‘Triad’ bosses of New York’s Russian Bratva. Her life is protected. In reality, it’s a virtual prison. Her father’s savage treatment of his rivals and his lucrative and coveted underground gambling ring—The Dungeon—ensures too many enemies lurk at their door.

She dreams to be set free.

Kisa has known only cruelty and loss in her short life. As manager of her father’s death match enterprise, only grief and pain fill her days. Her mafia boss father, in her world, rules absolute. And her fiancé, Alik Durov, is no better; the Dungeon’s five-time champion, a stone-cold killer, the treasured son of her father’s best friend, and her very own—and much resented—personal guard. Unrivaled in both strength and social standing, Alik controls every facet of Kisa’s life, dominates her every move; keeps her subdued and dead inside…then one night changes everything.

While working for her church—the only reprieve in her constant surveillance—Kisa stumbles across a tattooed, scarred, but stunningly beautiful homeless man on the streets. Something about him stirs feelings deep within her; familiar yet impossibly forbidden desires. He doesn’t talk. Doesn’t communicate with anyone. He’s a man beyond saving, and a man she must quickly forget…for both their sakes.

But when weeks later, out of the blue and to her complete surprise, he’s announced as the replacement fighter in The Dungeon, Kisa knows she’s in a whole lot of trouble. He’s built, ripped and lethally unforgiving to his opponents, leaving fear in his wake and the look of death in his eyes.

Kisa becomes obsessed with him. Yearns for him. Craves his touch. Needs to possess this mysterious man…this man they call Raze.

Raze by Tillie Cole

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Lexy Baker is finally tying the knot with hunky homicide detective Jack Perillo. She’s planned the perfect wedding right down to her custom designed gown. Nothing can go wrong. … Until Lexy stumbles across a double murder and one of the victims is a Bridezilla that Lexy had a major fight with just hours before. This time Jack can’t help her because he’s been taken off the case and the gum chewing ditzy rookie that’s replaced him has put Lexy at the top of the suspect list. Lexy calls on her amateur detective grandmother to help her find the real killer while she’s juggling wedding plans, trying to run her bakery and entertaining her parents who are in town for the wedding. Will Lexy end up with handcuffs slapped on her wrist instead of a wedding ring slid on her finger?

Wedded Blintz by Leighann Dobbs

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My Savior… Or My Ruin?

One night, and my entire life went up in flames. All because of him. Jafar. As my world burned down around me, he offered me a choice. Walk away with nothing but my freedom… Or rise to his challenge and win my fortune back.

I bargained.

I lost.

Now Jafar owns me, and even as my mind rails against his rules, my body loves the punishments he deals out when I break them.

But a gilded cage is still a prison, I’ll do anything to obtain my freedom.

Even betray the man I’m falling for.

Desperate Measures by Katee Robert

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An eerie, old Scottish manor in the middle of nowhere that’s now hers.

Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago—her father.

Leaving London behind to settle the inheritance from her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home, nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, joined by the half-sister who’s almost a stranger to her.

Ailsa can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her—as if her past hungers to consume her. She also can’t ignore how the neighbourhood animals refuse to set one foot within the gates of the garden.

When the first nighttime intruder shows up, Ailsa fears that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything.

The Missing Years by Lexie Elliot

Book of the Month

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The heart-pounding debut from the creator of the hit Scandinavian television show The Killing.

If you find one, he’s already found you.

A psychopath is terrorizing Copenhagen.

His calling card is a “chestnut man”—a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts—which he leaves at each bloody crime scene.

Examining the dolls, forensics makes a shocking discovery—a fingerprint belonging to a young girl, a government minister’s daughter who had been kidnapped and murdered a year ago.

A tragic coincidence—or something more twisted?

To save innocent lives, a pair of detectives must put aside their differences to piece together the Chestnut Man’s gruesome clues.

Because it’s clear that the madman is on a mission that is far from over.

And no one is safe.

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup

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In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…

The Whisper Man by Alex North

~Cassie

ARC Review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

*Thank you to Netgalley for giving me a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

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Publication Date: November 5, 2019

Publisher: Atria Books

Pages: 352

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 5/5

The Family Upstairs is about a woman, Libby, who recently turned 25 and discovers that her birth parents have left her a house in a trust that she is now eligible to receive. Upon seeing the house she decides that she needs to know the history of who she is and what exactly happened at the house 25 years ago that left her an orphan. Libby’s story of trying to figure this mystery out is also interspersed with two other narrators who help to give us the full spectrum of what exactly happened at the house.  One narrator is giving us the full story of what led to the events of Libby’s parent dying starting from the beginning and the other is Lucy, who is a present day narrator, and currently in a bad spot in her life and knows that the baby from the house is now 25.

I loved this book! It was so enthralling and dark that I was hooked from the beginning. I read the majority of this book in one sitting because I couldn’t wait to find out how all the different perspectives connected together. The way Jewell pieced this story together with all three different narratives was perfection. Sometimes the stories would weave together and other times they would build on each other to keep the momentum of the story racing forward. Obviously I loved the pacing of the story and there were enough twists, turns and reveals to keep me captivated the whole way through.

A big aspect of this story (and probably the reason I love it so much) was the cult aspect. I am so fascinated by cults and the story behind them. I have watched countless documentaries and read a fair share of non fiction (and fiction) books about them because I am so intrigued about how people get involved with and stay with cults. This book definitely has a layer of that going throughout it and I couldn’t get enough.

If you are someone who doesn’t find cults as appealing as me then you might not like this book as much as I did. However, this is one of my top books of this year so if you are in the mood for a thriller then I highly suggest this one.

~Cassie

 

ARC Review: The Other Wife by Claire McGowan

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review. 

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Publication Date: October 24, 2019

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Pages: 322

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 4/5

This is one of the best thrillers that I have read in awhile. The Other Wife starts off with us being introduced to three narrators: Nora, Elle, and Suzi. Suzi is pregnant and her life with her husband is not healthy or good in any way. Nora is a widow and Elle is married with a seemingly perfect life but there are secrets and lies that will unravel her life.

This story is extremely engaging and fast paced. Very early on I figured out something and I was preparing myself to be disappointed when it got revealed at the end. However, this thing I thought I figured out got revealed pretty early on in the book and the rest of the time I was totally captivated trying to figure out what was going to happen next. McGowan kept building and building the story up to the final reveal and I really liked how it all ended up. None of the characters are that likable but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment an any way.

My only criticism of this book is that there were a few side stories that I didn’t feel were necessary to the main plot. I don’t think it added much of anything to the story and the book would have had more of an impact without these added distractions.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to read a great thriller. This book has a lot of great twists and reveals that built up to an ending I didn’t see coming. Also, this book is currently on Kindle Unlimited which is a great deal! I have previously bought a Claire McGowan book on my kindle and it has definitely moved up on my priority list because I can’t wait to see what else this author can do.

~Cassie

October Wrap Up + Stats

October has come to an end and while I was able to read 14 books (and DNF’d one) I kind of feel let down. I didn’t finish a single book on my VICTOBER TBR which I’m very disappointed by. I will finish Wuthering Heights today but that will of course be in my November wrap up. I also didn’t complete as many books as I wanted on my October TBR as I thought I would be. Part of the reason is that I decided about mid way through October that I really want to knock down all the books I currently have on my Netgalley shelf this year. Most of them haven’t come out yet but there are some that came out during the summer that I still haven’t read or reviewed. I really want to go into the new year with a good system for reading and reviewing ARC’s and I want to be able to start with a blank slate. With all that being said I still read 14 books and most of them were really good.

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This was a let down. It was an ok YA romance but I just wanted more. I never felt the connection between Millie and Flora beyond just friends and Millie thinking Flora was pretty.

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ARC Review: Dreams of 18 by Saffron Kent

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Rating: 4.5/5

This was so good! A terrific crime fiction with dual narrators and also dual timelines. I didn’t like the detective this series is based around too much but I really connected with the kidnapping victim Flora and her story. She is a survivor of a past kidnapping (yes she gets kidnapped AGAIN) and she is dealing with all the horrific things she went through during the year plus that she was taken. This book doesn’t shy away from the darkness that Flora endures so keep that in mind if this sounds intriguing to you.

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Rating: 4/5

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

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Rating: 4/5

ARC Review: The Dinner Party by R.J. Parker

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Rating: 3/5

This had much more of the fun trashiness that was missing from the second book. I love how the book ended and I really feel like it went full circle. Logan has annoyed me from the first book but, while he was still irritating, I felt like he was finally more of a fleshed out character There are two more books in this series and I am a little apprehensive of continuing on. I read the synopsis of the fourth book and I was shocked. So if you haven’t read the previous three I highly suggest you don’t sneak a peek at that book!

Spookathon 2019 Wrap Up

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Rating: 2/5

This is a typical Shari Lapena with multiple narrators and a twisty turny ride of a book. Unfortunately this is my least favorite of her books. I didn’t like any of the characters and by the end of the book I didn’t care who killed who or why. Which doesn’t bode well for a thriller.

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Rating: 3/5

Blog Tour Review: Meant to Be Yours (Happily Inc #5) by Susan Mallery

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Rating: 2.5/5

Netgalley Review: The Shape of the Night by Tess Gerritsen

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Rating: DNF

I tried for a couple of weeks to read this and I only got to 18%. This book came out in 2006 so it is obviously not written by Agatha Christie and it is a poor imitation of her writing. The publishers should have chosen to modernize Poirot instead of trying to copy the brilliance that is Agatha Christie.

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Rating: 4/5

I have a full review coming up this week for this book but just know that this is one of the best thrillers I have read this year. I had no idea how this book was going to end and I couldn’t wait to find out. Also, if you have Kindle Unlimited this book is on there so you should check it out!

Stats

Male Author:  3                              1-299 pages: 4                      Physically own: 4

Female Author: 11                        300-499 pages: 10                Ebook own: 6

500+ pages: 0                       Library ebook: 2

Library physical: 2

1*:  0                      Classic: 1                                                                      ARC: 5

2*:  3                      Thriller/Mystery/ Suspense: 7                               Recently Published: 6

3*:  3                      Romance: 3                                                                  Older Release: 3

4*:  7                      YA Contemporary: 1

5*:  1                      Horror: 1

Paranormal: 1

 

~Cassie

 

 

 

November TBR

It’s the second to last month of the year… How crazy is that?! I have a lot of eARC’s this month so I picked books off my shelf that are on the smaller side or I feel like I can get through quickly. I still have a book that I am currently reading (Wuthering Heights) but I hope to finish that by the end of the weekend and then I can dive into the following books.

Library

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The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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The Stranger by Albert Camus

Book of the Month

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Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

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Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

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Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Backlist Books

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Elevation by Stephen King

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The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

~Cassie