March TBR

TBR’s are one of my favorite things to read/watch and I’m excited to bring you what I’m going to be reading for the month of March. I am also happy to say that I did pretty great with my February TBR. The only thing that I haven’t yet read is my Book of the Month book and I think there is a good chance I will get to that tonight so I might actually have completed a TBR for once. I did decide to switch up my BoTM book because the one I picked is The Literally Dead Book Club pick for April so I’m holding off until then. In its place I have chosen The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and this is a short 245 page book that I hope I can read in one sitting. Also, I am still working my way through IT by Stephen King but I think I will finish with it early March.  This month I’m also participating in the Backlist Readathon and I will have a separate (minus one) TBR for that coming next Saturday.

I have seven categories of books that I choose from every month plus I have three additional Romanceopoly  books that are bonus books I would like to get to. I have also done really well with this and I only have one book on this list that I haven’t read yet.

Book of the Month

This is an add on to my March box and it is the book I am the most excited about in my order.

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In this twisty tale from Moore (The Sherlockian), the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game, young juror Maya Seale is convinced that African American high school teacher Bobby Nock is innocent of killing the wealthy white female student with whom he appears to have been involved and persuades her fellow jurors likewise. Ten years later, a true-crime docuseries reassembles the jurors, and Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of them is found dead in Maya’s room.

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Not even love can conquer the demons of our pasts…⁣

Flame and Maddie have found solace and safety in one another’s arms, two fractured souls beginning to heal. But no matter how strong their love grows, it can never completely vanquish the demons of their pasts. These demons are dormant, not defeated.⁣

Now a new enemy threatens the Hangmen, and a new revelation threatens the peace Maddie and Flame hold so dear. Flame is fighting a multitude of wars – against the club’s new foe, against the horrors of his past, and against his fears – but the fire in his blood may be the only victor.⁣

As Flame begins to spiral into his own personal hell, it is up to Maddie to bring her husband back into her heart. To remind him that, together, they can face any obstacle standing in their way. To show him that no one and nothing can tear them apart again.

His Maddie.⁣
Her Flame.⁣
The fight for their forever.⁣

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains sexual situations, violence, sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 years and up.

20 Five Star Predictions for 2020

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To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack’s curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating–a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.

Classic

I picked this one because March is Women’s Month and I wanted to read a book from a woman about women. I read this is high school and liked it but I know that I will understand it better now.

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Four mothers, four daughters, four families, whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who’s telling the stories. In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, meet weekly to play mahjong and tell stories of what they left behind in China. United in loss and new hope for their daughters’ futures, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Their daughters, who have never heard these stories, think their mothers’ advice is irrelevant to their modern American lives – until their own inner crises reveal how much they’ve unknowingly inherited of their mothers’ pasts.

With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters. As each woman reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined. Mothers boast or despair over daughters, and daughters roll their eyes even as they feel the inextricable tightening of their matriarchal ties. Tan is an astute storyteller, enticing readers to immerse themselves into these lives of complexity and mystery.

Kindle Unlimited

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Once upon a time, there was a guy who got so fed up with life that he resorted to murder and mayhem just to feel alive.

Lorenzo Gambini is bored. So fucking bored. Most people either annoy him or avoid him, afraid to face him. Figuratively. Literally. With his face partially disfigured, scarred, he looks every bit the monster the stories make him out to be: the notorious menace they call Scar. They say he’s a sociopath. Maybe he’s a psychopath. Whatever path he’s on, people tend to stay far away from it.

Until one day, a young woman bumps right into him–a woman just as fed up with life, but for much different reasons. With a Scarlet Letter inked on her wrist and secrets buried deep in her soul, Morgan Myers is running from something… or maybe somebody. Lorenzo isn’t quite sure.

You can bet your ass he’s going to figure it out, though.

Goodreads TBR

I own this whole trilogy so ideally I would love to read all of them but my goal is only the first one.

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Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Literally Dead Book Club

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Platform Seven at 4am: Peterborough Railway Station is deserted. The man crossing the covered walkway on this freezing November morning is confident he’s alone. As he sits on the metal bench at the far end of the platform it is clear his choice is strategic – he’s as far away from the night staff as he can get. What the man doesn’t realise is that he has company. Lisa Evans knows what he has decided to do. She knows what he is about to do as she tries and fails to stop him walking to the platform edge.

Two deaths on Platform Seven. Two fatalities in eighteen months – surely they’re connected?

No one is more desperate to understand what connects them than Lisa Evans herself. After all, she was the first of the two to die…

Romanceopoly (Sun)

Burger Joint

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A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

Killer Crescent

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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.

Soldier Street

I really struggled with a picking a book for this roll. I do own some military romance but this specifically calls for a romantic suspense with a military hero. I ended up choosing an Under the Covers Book Blog recommendation. I also have previously read a Christina Dodd mystery and enjoyed it so I have high hopes for this one.

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I have three confessions to make:
1. I’ve got the scar of a gunshot on my forehead.
2. I don’t remember an entire year of my life.
3. My name is Kellen Adams…and that’s half a lie.

Girl running…from a year she can’t remember, from a husband she prays is dead, from homelessness and fear. Tough, capable Kellen Adams takes a job as assistant manager of a remote vacation resort on the North Pacific Coast. There amid the towering storms and the lashing waves, she hopes to find sanctuary. But when she discovers a woman’s dead and mutilated body, she’s soon trying to keep her own secrets while investigating first one murder…then another.

Now every guest and employee is a suspect. Every friendly face a mask. Every kind word a lie. Kellen’s driven to defend her job, her friends and the place she’s come to call home. Yet she wonders–with the scar of a gunshot on her forehead and amnesia that leaves her unsure of her own past–could the killer be staring her in the face?

~Cassie

Library Haul

I recently took a bit of time for myself and went to the library to pick up a hold I had and see what books I could find that are on my TBR. I have spoken before about how much I love my local library and I find it to be such a calming place. They also have a really great kid’s area for when I do go with my boys. This year one of my goals is to concentrate on getting my Goodreads TBR down and I just went through and took hundreds of books off that list. So I know that what I have left on there are all books that I really want to read. It is still an extremely high number so I need to start working on it!

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Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

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Discover how to embrace your best basic self in this laugh-out-loud funny guidebook from the breakout star of Bravo’s hit reality show Vanderpump Rules, perfect for fans of the relatable and entertaining books by The Betches and Andi Dorfman.

Millions of Vanderpump Rules viewers and podcast listeners know Stassi Schroeder as a major defender of Basic Bitch rights. There’s nothing more boring than people who take themselves too seriously or think that you have to be pretentious to be cool. Stassi champions the things that many of us are afraid to love publicly for fear of being labeled basic: lattes, pugs, bubbly cocktails, millennial pink, #OOTD (outfit of the day, obvs), astrology, hot dogs, the perfect pair of Louboutins, romantic comedies…the list goes on and on.

This book is for people tired of pretending they would rather see a Daniel Day-Lewis movie about sewing or read War and Peacethan watch a Saw marathon or read…well, this book!

In Next Level Basic, the reality star, podcast queen, and ranch dressing expert gives you hilarious and pointed lessons on how to have fun and celebrate yourself, with exclusive stories from her own life and on the set of Vanderpump Rules. From her very public breakups to her most intimate details about her plastic surgery, Stassi shares her own personal experiences with her trademark honesty—all with the hope you can learn something from them.

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Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart.

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Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?

—Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1813

By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend’s sister, the lovely—and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it’s all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.

But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it’s his devilish smile, certainly it’s the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her… but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke… for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love…

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Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters—and fall in love in this thrilling and romantic book from award-winning authors Amal-El Mohtar and Max Gladstone.

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.

Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.

Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right?

Cowritten by two beloved and award-winning sci-fi writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.

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From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person.

Life is both fleeting and dangerous, and there is no point in denying yourself pleasure, or being anything other than what you are.

Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.

In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves-and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.

Now ninety-five years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life – and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. At some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time, she muses. After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is. Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.

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A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself.

The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings.

At the end of the school year, Ivan goes to Budapest for the summer, and Selin heads to the Hungarian countryside, to teach English in a program run by one of Ivan’s friends. On the way, she spends two weeks visiting Paris with Svetlana. Selin’s summer in Europe does not resonate with anything she has previously heard about the typical experiences of American college students, or indeed of any other kinds of people. For Selin, this is a journey further inside herself: a coming to grips with the ineffable and exhilarating confusion of first love, and with the growing consciousness that she is doomed to become a writer.

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WINNER OF THE 2015 MAN BOOKER PRIZE FOR FICTION From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a masterfully written novel that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s.

On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert, gunmen stormed his house, machine guns blazing. The attack nearly killed the Reggae superstar, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Marley would go on to perform at the free concert on December 5, but he left the country the next day, not to return for two years.

Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters—assassins, journalists, drug dealers, and even ghosts—A Brief History of Seven Killings is the fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time and its bloody aftermath, from the streets and slums of Kingston in the 70s, to the crack wars in 80s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the 90s. Brilliantly inventive and stunningly ambitious, this novel is a revealing modern epic that will secure Marlon James’ place among the great literary talents of his generation.

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I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

~Cassie

Netgalley Review: The Other People by C.J. Tudor

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Publication Date: January 23, 2020

Publisher: Penguin

Pages: 400

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 4/5

This is a well done and engrossing mystery that kept me guessing all the way through. The book follows Gabe, whose wife and daughter were murdered, but he knows that he saw his daughter, Izzy, while he was driving home that day. No one else believes that she is alive but he has spent the last three years searching for her and then he discovers, with the help of a friend, the car that he last saw his daughter in. This discovery begins the slow unraveling of the mystery. Is Gabe’s daughter really alive? And if she is, who took her and why?

This is also a multi perspective story and I thought the way all the stories merged together was exceptional. The plot did require a lot of coincidences though and a few I can take but this was too much. There was a supernatural element to this story that was mildly interesting when it was introduced but I quickly started disliking. I will credit Tudor will being creative and I think she did pull it off relatively well. However, I wish she had spent more time working out the story so it didn’t need so many coincidences to work and cut out the mystical element completely.

It is frustrating that these great mystery books keep getting marketed as thrillers because there is nothing all that exciting that happens in this book. This is very much a well thought out and woven together mystery that slowly unfolds as the book goes on. I think if you go into this thinking thriller you might find the book boring but if the premise sounds interesting to you I think you will like the journey this book takes you on. Also, for anyone who read and loved Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough then I think you will really enjoy this book because it has the same kind of vibe.

~Cassie

 

WWW Wednesday 2/26/20

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It’s Wednesday which means it’s time for another WWW post. This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and to participate all you need to do is answer 3 W questions.

Over the weekend I realized that there was only a week left of this month and while I have read a lot of books not many of them have been from my TBR. So this week I have been concentrating on my TBR books and trying to end the month strong. In order to do this I have had to put Greenlanders to the side until this week is over, which is a bummer since I’m still enjoying it so much.

What are you currently reading?

 

I have been picking up IT on and off and while I won’t finish it this month I will be finishing it soon. Stephen King’s mind is a twisted brilliant place and I am enjoying this book a lot. I am also half way through with Little Men. I definitely don’t love it nearly as much as Little Women but it is a fun book about the adventures of children. I appreciate the glimpse into what child rearing looked like in the late 1800’s and how somethings have remained the same. I’m also very glad that a lot has changed though!

What did you recently finish reading?

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I finished this last night and I will have a review coming for it tomorrow. I have since borrowed Tudor’s previous two books from the library because I really loved her writing.

What do you think you will read next?

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This is my last January Romanceopoly pick and I only have one more Romanceopoly book to read after this. I’m pretty happy at how well I have been able to keep up with this game. It’s been awhile since I read a dark romance and I can’t wait to dive into this one.

~Cassie

Blog Tour: Revelations of a Secret Princess by Annie West

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I’m here to do my last review for the HQN Spring Blog Tour. This was a fun and cute romance that I think so many of my fellow romance lovers would enjoy.

cover image_Revelations of a Secret Princess by Annie West (Presents)

About REVELATIONS OF A SECRET PRINCESS: To find her precious daughter, stolen from her at birth, Princess Carolina will do anything. Including masquerading as a nanny! Jake Maynard, her daughter’s uncle, is all that’s standing in the way of the reunion Caro has yearned for. If only her body got the message he’s the enemy…

Caro knows this powerful billionaire won’t give up the only family he has left. Yet after years of emotional numbness, Jake is reawakening her! He shows Caro a life filled with passion, not protocol, but what will happen when Jake discovers her true identity?

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Review

I instantly connected with our heroine, Caro and I think that is why I found this book to be so enjoyable. She has such a harrowing back story and I was rooting for her to get the future she deserves. I didn’t like the hero of the story, Jake, as much but I did love them together. Like Caro, Jake has some demons from his past that he needed to overcome and I enjoyed how they (for the most part) understood each other.

I did struggle with the author’s writing style at times. Most of the book flowed really well and I thought everything was evenly paced. There were times, though, where the way the sentences were structured took me completely out of the story. I did like the way the story ended and I hope that it was also setting up a future book in this same world. As always, there is an excerpt down below for you if you keep scrolling.

Author photo_Annie West

About ANNIE WEST: Annie has devoted her life to an intensive study of charismatic heroes who cause the best kind of trouble in the lives of their heroines. As a sideline she researches locations for romance, from vibrant cities to desert encampments and fairytale castles. Annie lives in eastern Australia with her hero husband, between sandy beaches and gorgeous wine country. She finds writing the perfect excuse to postpone housework. To contact her or join her newsletter, visit www.annie-west.com

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Excerpt – REVELATIONS OF A SECRET PRINCESS by Annie West (Harlequin Presents)

‘Jake, did you say it was St Ancilla Caro went to?’

Reluctantly Jake looked up from his emails. This project grew more complex by the hour and he wasn’t devoting as much time to it as he should. He’d spent the morning with Ariane.

On the other hand, his niece’s ease with him felt like victory. He owed her thawing, in part, to Caro, who’d done an amazing job in a short time. He’d been right to hire her.

Neil sank into the chair on the other side of his desk. His expression was unreadable, yet the fine hairs on the back of Jake’s neck stood to attention.

‘That’s right. What’s happened?’

Jake leaned back in his chair. A tough early life, a stint in the army then years devoted to wheeling and dealing in the turbulent field of international finance meant it took a lot to unnerve him.

‘I tracked down another on our list of potential investors and discovered they were in St Ancilla for a big event.’ Neil passed his tablet across the desk. It displayed a news article. If you could call it real news. Some royal event.

‘So? Wait a few days then make contact.’ 

‘Check out the photo. The second one.’

Jake looked again, scrolling past a photo of a young, formally dressed couple smiling at the camera with all the animation of marionettes. Prince Paul of St Ancilla and Princess Eva of Tarentia, just engaged.

Beneath was a group photo. An ornate balcony on an imposing building, crammed with elegant women and men in heavily decorated dress uniforms.

‘And?’ Jake had no interest in aristocracy. He did business with them but his personal experiences with them hadn’t been happy. First had been the entitled foreigner who’d lured his mother away, on condition she abandon her kids. Then just months ago, his own girlfriend suggested he put Ariane in an orphanage rather than bother with her. Both had been uncaring of anyone else, expecting the world to revolve around them.

‘Look closely. The one in blue.’

Jake frowned. Several of those uniforms were blue, plus a blonde in ice blue and…

He stared. It couldn’t be.

Of course it couldn’t. The woman in the deep blue dress was a vibrant redhead, not a brunette. Yet Jake felt adrenaline burst into his blood with a jolt.

He zoomed in on the woman, amazed at the likeness.

‘Princess Carolina of St Ancilla. The King’s eldest child.’ Neil’s voice was flat with suppressed excitement.

Princess Carolina?’ Carolina. Caro.

No. It was impossible. Mere coincidence.

Yet the buzz in Jake’s bloodstream didn’t abate.

‘Yes, but she’s not his heir. Her younger brother is. Carolina isn’t in the limelight these days. She lives 

fairly quietly in the north of the island though she’s very active in a number of charities, especially relating to children.’

Jake peered at the woman. She was a ringer for Caro, except for the clothes and hair. And the royal connections.

‘Maybe our Caro is a distant relative.’

Our Caro? His choice of words made her sound—

‘There’s more.’ Neil took the device and opened another page, handing it back. With his usual efficiency he’d collated a precis on the woman.

The Princess had a string of names, had been born almost twenty-five years ago and lost her mother early.

Her father had remarried when she was two and she had three half-brothers. She’d studied in the US but didn’t finish her degree. There’d been a scandal. He read headlines about wild parties and drug use. Jake wasn’t surprised. Most of Fiona’s privileged friends preferred parties to work. What did surprise him was that after returning to St Ancilla, Princess Carolina had all but dropped off the radar. She didn’t live in the palace, merely appearing in the press at charity events or major royal celebrations like this, her half-brother’s engagement.

He scrolled lower, studying the shots Neil had collected. Stiff and formal on the same balcony with her family when she was a little girl. Again in her teens, looking almost gawky despite her expensive clothes and with her flame-colored hair now turning auburn, her head turned towards her father, her expression curiously closed. A shot of her with one of her brothers, both smiling for the camera but neither looking happy. 

Jake began to feel almost sorry for her. Had the wild partying been rebellion after an unhappy childhood?

Then he scrolled lower and his breath caught.

This photo was different. Candid. He doubted she knew it had been taken. She wore casual clothes, her hair in a ponytail and she was in a crowd with other young people. At a party, by the look of it. She was half turned away, looking over her shoulder, but there was no mistaking the warmth in her expression as she smiled at someone beyond the camera. Her eyes, a remarkable deep violet, glowed. She glowed. Jake felt the impact of her joy judder through him.

He swallowed, mesmerized by those eyes. They were so like Ariane’s that for a moment everything, his pulse and his breathing, seemed to stop. He’d always thought the color rare. Maybe not so on St Ancilla.

He touched the screen, enlarged the photo and then his breath really did stop.

There, on the back of her shoulder next to the strap of her top, was a small birthmark shaped like a comma.

Jake had seen that mark three nights ago.

It had peeked out beneath the strap of a grey camisole when he’d held Caro in his arms. 

###

~Cassie

 

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

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Publication Date: August 27, 2019

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Pages: 440

Genre: Historical Romance

Rating: 4/5

I think this might be my favorite marriage of convenience book I have read. Dr. Alexandra Lane and Duke Piers Atherton were so swoon worthy as they started falling in love with each other that I couldn’t get enough. This historical fiction book starts off when Alexandra is at school with her best friends, Francesca and Cecilia, and one night her headmaster rapes her and she fights back. The repercussions of this night continually haunt Alexandra and this is what leads her to proposing marriage to the Duke. The chemistry they have together jumps off the page and dang can Byrne write some sexy smutty scenes.

Not only were the characters well written but I also loved the mystery element of this story. Both Piers and Alexandra have enemies who want to see them dead and because of this the book is packed with lots of drama. I also enjoyed the fact that I had no clue who Alexandra’s blackmailer was and I loved the reveal.

I went into this book not realizing that it dealt so heavily with rape. There is an author’s note at the beginning that clues the reader in but I wasn’t prepared at all for the on page rape scene in the prologue. I think this book is also very authentic to how life is like for a rape survivor and it has the potential to be triggering so just know that before starting.

I mentioned earlier that I loved the reveal at the end of the story but the ending quickly went downhill from there. The story started to get so over the top that I thought it ruined the great pacing the rest of the story had. I also didn’t think the epilogue brought much to the story and I would have liked a slower paced ending instead. Although this is the first book in a series so maybe the epilogue is important to the setup of the second book.

If you are someone who doesn’t read a lot of historical romance then I think this is the perfect book for you to dip your toes into the genre. Also, if you are a romance fan than I’m sure this book is already on your radar and I think you won’t be disappointed by it. This is my first Kerrigan Byrne book and I can’t wait to read more. I know her last book, The Highwayman, was very popular when it came out and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

~Cassie

On My Radar: March 2020

I haven’t done one of these in a couple of months but I really like spotlighting books that I have my eye on. There are so many amazing books coming out every month that it is so hard to keep on top of all of them. Especially in March where there are a ridiculous amount of books that I want to read coming out. It will take a while for me to get my hands on all of these books but I will be keeping my eye out to add them to my collection.  Also, a few of these I already have via Netgalley/publishers and a couple of them are a part of blog tours I will be participating in.

March 3

This was my February Book of the Month pick but I still wanted to put it on the list because it is one of my most anticipated releases of the year. This is also the April Literally Dead Book Club pick so as much as I want to read it now I will be holding off until then. 

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You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.

You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.

Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.

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A chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.

Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s A Secret History.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. The killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.

To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects—and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.

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The Gemini Thief could be anyone. Your father, your mother, your best friend’s crazy uncle. Some country music star’s deranged sister. Anyone.

The Gemini Thief is a serial kidnapper, who takes three boys and holds them captive from June 1st to June 30th of the following year. The June Boys endure thirteen months of being stolen, hidden, observed, and fed before they are released, unharmed, by their masked captor. The Thief is a pro, having eluded authorities for nearly a decade and taken at least twelve boys.

Now Thea Delacroix has reason to believe the Gemini Thief took a thirteenth victim: her cousin, Aulus McClaghen.

But the game changes when one of the kidnapped boys turns up dead. Together with her boyfriend Nick and her best friends, Thea is determined to find the Gemini Thief and the remaining boys before it’s too late. Only she’s beginning to wonder something sinister, something repulsive, something unbelievable, and yet, not impossible:

What if her father is the Gemini Thief?

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In this sophisticated, suspenseful debut reminiscent of Laura Lippman and Chloe Benjamin, two young women become unlikely friends during one fateful summer in Atlantic City as mysterious disappearances hit dangerously close to home.

Summer has come to Atlantic City but the boardwalk is empty of tourists, the casino lights have dimmed, and two Jane Does are laid out in the marshland behind the Sunset Motel, just west of town. Only one person even knows they’re there.

Meanwhile, Clara, a young boardwalk psychic, struggles to attract clients for the tarot readings that pay her rent. When she begins to experience very real and disturbing visions, she suspects they could be related to the recent cases of women gone missing in town. When Clara meets Lily, an ex-Soho art gallery girl who is working at a desolate casino spa and reeling from a personal tragedy, she thinks Lily may be able to help her. But Lily has her own demons to face. If they can put the pieces together in time, they may save another lost girl—so long as their efforts don’t attract perilous attention first. Can they break the ill-fated cycle, or will they join the other victims?

Evocative, eerie, and compelling, Please See Us is a fast-paced psychological thriller that explores the intersection of womanhood, power, and violence.

March 10

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A magician linked to three murders and suspicious deaths years ago disappears in the middle of his new act in New York Timesbestseller Phillip Margolin’s latest thriller featuring Robin Lockwood

Robin Lockwood is a young criminal defense attorney and partner in a prominent law firm in Portland, Oregon. A former MMA fighter and Yale Law graduate, she joined the firm of legal legend Regina Barrister not long before Regina was forced into retirement by early onset Alzheimer’s.

One of Regina’s former clients, Robert Chesterfield, shows up in the law office with an odd request―he’s seeking help from his old attorney in acquiring patent protection for an illusion. Chesterfield is a professional magician of some reknown and he has a major new trick he’s about to debut. This is out of the scope of the law firm’s expertise, but when Robin Lockwood looks into his previous relationship with the firm, she learns that twenty years ago he was arrested for two murders, one attempted murder, and was involved in the potentially suspicious death of his very rich wife. At the time, Regina Barrister defended him with ease, after which he resumed his career as a magician in Las Vegas.

Now, decades later, he debuts his new trick―only to disappear at the end. He’s a man with more than one dark past and many enemies―is his disappearance tied to one of the many people who have good reason to hate him? Was he killed and his body disposed of, or did he use his considerable skills to engineer his own disappearance?

Robin Lockwood must unravel the tangled skein of murder and bloody mischief to learn how it all ties together.

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Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessais an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

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Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he’ll soon discover that real life is better than fiction.

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assist Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even while she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.

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An English manor home, an unsolved mystery, too many suspects to count… It’s the perfect holiday for romance novelist Sara Medlar.

After solving two murder cases in their hometown of Lachlan, Florida, Sara Medlar, her niece Kate and their friend Jack need a change of scenery. Sara arranges for them to visit an old friend of hers in England. Upon arrival at Oxley Manor, a centuries-old estate that has been converted to a luxury hotel, Kate and Jack quickly realize that Sara is up to something. They learn that Sara has also invited a number of others to join them at Oxley.

When everyone assembles, Sara lets them know why they are there. Decades earlier, two people ran off together from Oxley and haven’t been heard from since—and Sara wants to solve the case. As the people who were there the night the two went missing, the guests find themselves cast in a live mystery-theater event.

In reenacting the events of that night, it becomes clear that everyone has something to hide and no one is safe, especially when the discovery of a body makes it clear that at least one of the people who disappeared was murdered.

Sara, Jack and Kate are once again at the heart of a mysterious case that only they are able to solve. But someone is willing to continue to kill to keep the truth about Oxley Manor buried, and none of the guests are safe.

New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux has crafted another irresistible case in her bestselling Medlar Mystery series.

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Lakshmi Shastri has spent years carving out a life for herself as a henna artist after fleeing her abusive husband and backward rural village for the Rajasthan capital. Well-versed in apothecary and the miraculous properties of herbs, her services (the effects of which are far more than just aesthetic) are highly sought after by upper-caste women, and Lakshmi’s success brings her within inches from her, and her country’s, ultimate goal: total independence. That is, until the past she has so desperately tried to run from comes knocking at her door…

March 16

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Book two of NOLA Knights, the heart-stoppingly sexy spin-off series by Men of Haven author Rhenna Morgan

As an avtoritet for the most powerful crime syndicate in New Orleans, Kir Vasilek doesn’t act without purpose, doesn’t speak without thought and never, ever loses his cool. The lives of his brothers, his family, depend on it. But then Cassie McClintock strolls back into his life, and staying cool is next to impossible. Cassie was the one who got away—and Kir is willing to break all his own rules to keep it from happening ever again.

It’s one thing to report on the Russian mafia; it’s quite another to sleep with one of them, especially one as dangerous, and as sinfully sexy, as Kir Vasilek. Even though the information he once provided helped make her career—and the memory of his touch still keeps her up at night—Cassie knows too much about his world to go down that path.

But when Kir reaches out for help after a rival family comes for one of his own, Cassie doesn’t want to say no, either to investigating a gruesome murder or to the heat that pulls her right back into his arms…and his heart. Taming Kir—and helping to save the family she’s come to call her own—is not the story she thought she’d write, but it’s the one she’s determined will get a happy ending.

Hers to Tame is the highly anticipated follow-up to His to Defend. And don’t miss Roman’s story in Mine to Keep, coming soon from Rhenna Morgan and Carina Press.

March 17

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A timeless love story with bite.

It was a night like any other for funeral home director Ginny Lynn, until the exceptionally handsome—and unfortunately deceased—young man on her embalming table sat up, opened his emerald eyes and changed the course of her life forever, making her feel quite fluttery while he was at it.

Humans aren’t supposed to know Jonas Cantrell, or any vampire, exists. It’s kind of a major rule. Despite his instantaneous bond with perfectly peculiar Ginny, he has no choice but to erase her memories of their one and only meeting.

That was the plan. Before a reluctant Jonas can wipe Ginny’s mind clean, she reveals a secret that brings their worlds crashing together. Human and vampire. Past and present. Darkness and light. And while their love is strictly forbidden, it might be the only thing that can save them…

Reborn Yesterday is a standalone paranormal romantic comedy with a happily ever after.

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more forgetting time.
more midnight dances with yourself
.”

amanda lovelace, the bestselling & award-winning author of the “women are some kind of magic” poetry series, presents a new companion series, “you are your own fairy tale” the first installment, break your glass slippers, is about overcoming those who don’t see your worth, even if that person is sometimes yourself. in the epic tale of your life, you are the most important character while everyone is but a forgotten footnote. even the prince.

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A page-turning novel of suspense about the perfect family, and the perfect lies, by the bestselling author of When I’m Gone and The Waiting Room.

Adopted by her controlling foster mother at the age of eight, twenty-year-old Tara has seen little of the outside world. Lonely, punished for the slightest offense, her only distraction comes from watching the Feely family’s online videos. They’re an affectionate vlogging quintet and an internet sensation. Most important, they are Tara’s mental refuge. Then the opportunity arises for them to be something more. When Tara accepts an internship with the close-knit clan, they’re her escape.

Daring to run away, and defying Mother’s rules, Tara is welcomed into the loving fold. But the more Tara gets to know them, the more she realizes that not everything is as it seems. As secrets slowly surface, the image of the perfect family begins to crack. For Tara, it’s another trap.

To claim a life of her own, she’ll need a new escape plan. Because as the show’s popularity explodes, reaching even more fascinated viewers, Tara can’t shake the feeling that Mother is among their ranks. She’s watching. She’s waiting. She’ll never let her go.

March 24

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From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it.

Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass and cedar palace on an island in British Columbia. Jonathan Alkaitis works in finance and owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it’s the beginning of their life together. That same day, Vincent’s half-brother, Paul, scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: “Why don’t you swallow broken glass.” Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship. Weaving together the lives of these characters, The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the skyscrapers of Manhattan, and the wilderness of northern Vancouver Island, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts.

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Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.

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Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.

Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five.

But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.

March 31

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A spellbinding story of a mother with nothing left to lose who sets out on an all-consuming quest for justice after her daughter is murdered on the town playground.

Sometimes the answers are worse than the questions. Sometimes it’s better not to know.

Set in the poorest part of the Missouri Ozarks, in a small town with big secrets, The Familiar Dark opens with a murder. Eve Taggert, desperate with grief over losing her daughter, takes it upon herself to find out the truth about what happened. Eve is no stranger to the dark side of life, having been raised by a hard-edged mother whose lessons Eve tried not to pass on to her own daughter. But Eve may need her mother’s cruel brand of strength if she’s going to face the reality about her daughter’s death and about her own true nature. Her quest for justice takes her from the seedy underbelly of town to the quiet woods and, most frighteningly, back to her mother’s trailer for a final lesson.

The Familiar Dark is a story about the bonds of family–women doing the best they can for their daughters in dire circumstances–as well as a story about how even the darkest and most terrifying of places can provide the comfort of home.

 

 

 

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

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Publication Date: February 18, 2020

Publisher: Berkley

Pages: 336

Genre: Mystery with a paranormal element

Rating: 4/5

This is a really well thought out and beautifully crafted mystery with strong paranormal elements. It is a dual timeline story following Viv in 1982 and her niece, Carly in the present day. Viv has left home and is hitchhiking her way to New York City when she decides to stop and stay in Fell, NY. She starts working the night shift of the Sun Down Motel and through her experiences at the motel she becomes intrigued by all the murders that have happened in Fell in recent years. Once Viv starts investigating she starts putting the pieces together of how these women are not only connected to each other but also to the motel. Then, one night, while she is working Viv disappears with all of her things left in the motel office. Carly visits Fell because now that her mom has died she wants to figure out what exactly happened with her Aunt. Viv’s disappearance has been a shadow looming over Carly and her family’s life and she wants to find some closure. While staying in Fell Carly’s life starts to eerily mimic her Aunt’s as she is working to solve the mystery of her disappearance.

The way St. James is able to interweave these two storylines together is so well done that this book almost begs to be read in one sitting. Everything is so connected and moves together so well that the mystery is superbly unraveled. The atmosphere and the setting made the Sun Down almost a character in its own right. The paranormal aspect of this story was also really well done and felt believably real. While both Viv and Carly were both well fleshed out characters I was more connected to Viv. I think this is because I was just really invested in solving the murders and while I really wanted to know what happened to Viv it wasn’t to the same level.

I do have point out though, that as much as I loved this book, the entire story was pretty predictable. There wasn’t a single reveal that came as a surprise to me but I also read a lot of mystery/thrillers so that may be the reason. It didn’t hamper my enjoyment at all but I did want to mention it. On the other hand I was disappointed by the ending. The conclusion of the mystery aspect was well done it was the things that happened after that I didn’t like.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is in the mood for a good mystery. I think this is the perfect rainy/snowy day read that will make you happy you get to stay inside all day. Last year I read The Broken Girls by the same author and that one is a historical fiction mystery with paranormal elements that also has a dual timeline. I think it’s safe to say that St. James knows what she’s good at and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with in the future. I also plan on diving into her backlist!

~Cassie

Contemporary-a-thon Round 6 Wrap Up

This readathon might have been my most successful ever! I also read so much last week that I burned myself out and actually stopped participating in this readathon a day early. I probably could have read one more thing but I was so over Contemporary books by the end that I just needed a break. Which is kinda weird since I loved almost everything that I read. I was also doing some other reading for reviews and my TBR so that probably played a lot into it. So onto the four books that I read and the one I DNF’d (eek).

New to you author

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Rating: 3/5

This is just an ok book. I really liked the dystopian aspect of people receiving phone calls informing them they are going to die that day. However, I have learned over the years that I am the type of reader that prefers characters over story so for me to really enjoy a book I need that connection with characters. I didn’t hate these characters but I also didn’t really care for them. I would also have preferred this book to focus on the friendship between the two main characters and not force a romance on them.

Diverse book/Book with an illustrated cover

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Rating: 4/5

This was such a great YA Contemporary. I will forever buy anything Elizabeth Acevedo writes because she has such a distinctive voice and tells such powerful stories. I loved the characters, all the food talk, the conflict and the hispanic & black culture that this book teaches the reader about. I wish we had seen more of Emoni as a teen mom and less of the romance that didn’t really bring much to the story.

Read a book with green on the cover/Backlist book

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Rating: 4.5/5

OMG you guys! This book is actually set in my hometown! I was so shocked when I started reading and it was set in Sunnyvale. Wow, there are plenty of books set in the Bay Area but none that I have ever read in that particular city. Beyond that super exciting fact, I also really loved this story. The romance, the drama, the characters everything just worked for me. The only reason I didn’t give this book five stars is because I didn’t like how all the good drama and conflict was conveniently wrapped up in a few pages right at the end of the story. I don’t like when authors just brush off an ending like that but I’m giving it more of a pass then I would normally because I really loved the rest of the book. I just wish Hoang had skipped the epilogue, which wasn’t needed, and devoted some more time to writing a better ending.

Also, since this is set in my actual hometown I’m using it for my Romanceoploy roll for The Bar.

Read a beloved book by someone in the book community

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Rating: 4.5/5

So many people love this book and it is for good reason. This was the fun, sexy small town romance I was wanting. I absolutely loved the main characters and their romance was so sweet and steamy. I am so excited that the author is writing more books in this world because I just need more from these characters and this world. I especially can’t wait for Georgie’s sister, Bethany’s book because she really stole every scene she was in. Also, Georgie’s brother, Stephen and his wife have a caveman like relationship and I’m interested to find out if Bailey can sway me to liking them, if they ever get their own book. I was so close to giving this five stars but I don’t like how Georgie had to have a makeover before people started to notice her and take her seriously. I’m sure there is a conversation to be had about how clothes affect our confidence and what not but that isn’t what seemed to happen here. Travis shouldn’t have had to see Georgie’s curves to get all territorial over her but he definitely treats her right once he has her.

DNF

There are some spoilers for this book below. This is the last book I’m going to talk about so you can just exit now if you don’t want to Also, this book is very highly rated on Goodreads so I am definitely in the minority with how I feel about it.

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I made it to page 133 of this book before I just couldn’t take it any longer and had to DNF. I think for me I really struggle with Christina Lauren when they are writing younger characters. Last year I  DNF’d their YA book, The House. I also could not stand the main character, Macy and I just knew that what ever caused the riff between her and Elliot was going to be ridiculous and not worth her avoiding him for 11 years. Or however long it had been. Also, I’m not one to complain about cheating in a book because I don’t mind it if it brings drama and conflict to the story. In this book though, she is emotionally cheating on her fiancee to the point where she actively avoids having sex with him. Then she waits until they do have sex to tell him that she had dinner with her “ex first everything” and he basically says that it doesn’t bother him as long as they can keep having sex. I stopped reading after that because what is the actual point of bringing any of that into the story!?! It brings absolutely nothing since it is already extremely obvious that they don’t belong together.

~Cassie

 

WWW Wednesday 2/19/20

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Today is Wednesday which means its time to answer the three W questions. This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and all you need to do to participate is answer the following questions.

What are you currently reading?

I just started this book last night and I am pleasantly surprised at how captivating this story is. I usually shy away from reading big books on my Kindle but I decided since my husband got me a new one for Valentine’s Day that I would try it out. I used to have a Kindle Fire, which died right before Christmas, and now I have a basic Kindle that I am loving reading on so much more. Anyways, I gave you all that background just to say that I am only 6% through this 609 page book and so much has already happened that I just want to keep reading to see where this story is going to go.

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Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author Jane Smiley’s The Greenlanders is an enthralling novel in the epic tradition of the old Norse sagas.Set in the fourteenth century in Europe’s most farflung outpost, a land of glittering fjords, blasting winds, sun-warmed meadows, and high, dark mountains, The Greenlandersis the story of one family–proud landowner Asgeir Gunnarsson; his daughter Margret, whose willful independence leads her into passionate adultery and exile; and his son Gunnar, whose quest for knowledge is at the compelling center of this unforgettable book. Jane Smiley takes us into this world of farmers, priests, and lawspeakers, of hunts and feasts and long-standing feuds, and by an act of literary magic, makes a remote time, place, and people not only real but dear to us.

What did you recently finish reading?

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Last month I started listening to the Read Me Romance podcast on the nights I couldn’t sleep and this was the novella that was read during the two episodes that I have listened to. It is no secret that I love romance but wow was this one bad. It was ridiculous and over the top but strangely that was the only part that I appreciated. What I couldn’t stand was the longer the story went on the more I disliked the male main character, Bull. I found him to be emotionally abusive to our young, naive, heroine and the epilogue just confirmed it to me. I have rarely in my life given a book one star but this one definitely deserves it.

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I also finished this play last night and I thought it was fantastic. It perfectly captured the essence of what it must have felt like to live during late 1600’s puritanical Salem. I also found it fascinating that Miller wrote it as a slight against McCarthyism and how these two blights in America’s history are so similar.

What do you think you will read next?

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I need a new physical book to read and this one is on my February TBR. Thankfully I have previously already read more than half of this book but starting it this late probably means I won’t finish it until early next month.

~Cassie