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review 2018-09-13 19:08
The fairy tale you thought you knew...The story of the Sea Witch, the villainess from Hans Christian Anderson's classic tale The Little Mermaid.
Sea Witch - Sarah Henning

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Sea Witch

Sarah Henning

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Ever since her best friend Anna died, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. Hiding her talents, mourning her loss, drowning in her guilt.

Then a girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears on the shore, and the two girls catch the eyes of two charming princes. Suddenly Evie feels like she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But magic isn’t kind, and her new friend harbors secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad—or on two legs—without Evie’s help. And when Evie reaches deep into the power of her magic to save her friend’s humanity—and her prince’s heart—she discovers, too late, what she’s bargained away.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This wasn't exactly what I was expecting…at first its girls dancing with boys and "wouldn't it be fun if we got together with cousins, what fun we would have, oh la".  Ugh.  There was a little bit of darkness and witchiness lurking in the story at that point.  Then about 60% into it…BAM…the story takes a twist down the dark & nasty…

 

Overall that turn made this, by far, a better story than it was shaping up to be.  So if your willing to hang in there through the less than worthwhile parts of the story, I think it will end up being a mostly satisfying read, as long as you don't pick apart its inconsistencies. And especially, if you like the Little Mermaid, although it's more of a backstory than a retelling.

 

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~MY RATING~

☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.7/5

Main Characters~ 3.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 3/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2.8/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Well…

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Book Cover~ It's super gorgeous…love it.

Narration~ 3.5 for Billie Fulford-Brown, she was okay…I just had a difficult time with her accent.

Setting~ Havnestad, Denmark

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I used this for Fear the Drowning Deep Square in Halloween Bingo

 

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review 2018-09-11 20:38
My very first cozy mystery...
A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder - Julie Anne Lindsey

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder

Julie Ann Lindsey

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IT manager Mia Connors is up to her tortoiseshell glasses in technical drama when a glitch in the Horseshoe Falls email system disrupts security and sends errant messages to residents of the gated community. The snafu's timing couldn't be worse—Renaissance Faire season is in full swing and Mia's family's business relies on her presence.

Mia doesn't have time to hunt down a computer hacker. Her best friend has disappeared, and she finds another of her friends murdered—in her office. When the hunky new head of Horseshoe Falls security identifies Mia as the prime suspect, her anxiety level registers on the Richter scale.

Eager to clear her name, Mia moves into action to locate her missing buddy and find out who killed their friend. But her quick tongue gets her into trouble with more than the new head of security. When Mia begins receiving threats, the killer makes it clear that he's closer than she'd ever imagined.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Cozy Mysteries are not really my cuppa…and I'm probably not the best one to judge this type of book.  But overall this ended up being not so bad.  The first half did kind of drag and did feel a little too sickly sweet…but once the mystery started getting closer to being solved, I started getting into it more.  I even lol'd a few times.  I can see why others would like this genre of mystery…it's probably perfect for someone who doesn't like a lot of graphic gore and sexy type scenes.

 

 

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.7/5

Characters~ 4.3/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3/5

Addictiveness~ 2.8/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.5/5

Ending~ 3.8/5 Cliffhanger~ a "to be continued"…

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Book Cover~ I like it.

Series~ Geek Girl Mysteries #1

Setting~ Horseshoe Falls

Source~ Kindle eBook (Library)

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I used this for Cozy Mystery Square in Halloween Bingo (Duh...)

 

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review 2018-09-10 18:19
What not to do when you find something in the water...
Something in the Water - Catherine Steadman

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~BOOK BLURB~

Something In The Water

Catherine Steadman

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If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?

 

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .

 

Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?

 

Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .

 

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This has a killer start, like literally…and then segues into 3 months earlier…from there we get Erin's story of how she got to that point.  You start out knowing how it's going to end, but you're still left pondering throughout the story on how it could have gotten to that point.  The question is…does it all come together in a plausible way…my answer to that question is:  maybe, sort of... 

 

Either way, the story itself is quite entertaining, some of the decisions this couple make, either together or separately, are purely ludicrous.  They are sort of like a train wreck running full speed ahead.  The writing is a tad on the choppy side but this is narrated by the author herself and I think she does admiral job, she is an actress after all.  Who better to read your own words with the right inflection than you, yourself…

 

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.5/5 

Main Characters~ 3.3/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.5/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.3/5

Originality~ 3.8/5

Ending~ 3.5/5  Cliffhanger~ Nope

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Book Cover~  It's good…goes with the story.

Narration~ ☆4.5☆ for Catherine Steadman, she narrated her own book…she wasn't half bad.

Setting~ London, England and Bora Bora

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I used this book to fill my New Release Square for Halloween Bingo

 

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review 2018-09-03 20:23
3.5 OUT OF 5 "HEY NONNY NONNY" STARS
Speak Easy, Speak Love - McKelle George

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Speak Easy, Speak Love

McKelle George

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Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

 

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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If my rating was solely based on the cover, this would easily be a Five-Star read.  Unfortunately, it can't be based solely on the cover.  I didn't know anything about Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing going into this, but I googled it and read a summary of it.  Basically, that just gave the underlying plot away...I'm not sure if it wise for me to have done that, though.  This was an adorably done and clever take on the era, with generally likable characters.  Although, it is possible she tried to work too many relevant elements from the 1920's into this one story.

 

Sadly, the writing was too difficult and disjointed for me to follow, especially with any kind of action depicted.  This slowed my reading time immensely and kept me from wanting to continue at times.  Despite all that, I did love the ending, when all the love matches came together and whatnot.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.5/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 2.7/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.8/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4.3/5

Ending~ 4.2/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~  It's so pretty…I quite love it.

Setting~ 1920's Long Island and surrounding New York area.

Source~ Kindle eBook (Library)

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review 2018-08-31 18:39
3.5 OUT OF 5 "Picking the right narrator is so important" STARS
The Swan & the Jackal - J.A. Redmerski

 

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Swan and the Jackal

J.A. Redmerski

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Fredrik Gustavsson never considered the possibility of love, or that anyone could ever understand or accept his dark and bloody lifestyle—until he met Seraphina, a woman as vicious and blood-thirsty as Fredrik himself. They spent two short but unforgettable years together, full of lust and killing and the darkest kind of love that two people can share. 

 

And then Seraphina was gone. 

 

It’s been six years since Fredrik’s lover and sadistic partner in crime turned his world upside-down. Seraphina went into hiding and has eluded him ever since. Now, he’s getting closer to finding her, and an innocent woman named Cassia is the key to drawing Seraphina from the shadows. But Cassia—after sustaining injuries from a fire that Seraphina ignited—suffers from amnesia and can’t give Fredrik the information he desperately seeks. Having no other choice, Fredrik has been keeping Cassia locked in his basement as he not only tries to get her to recall her past—because she and Seraphina share it—but also to protect her from Seraphina, who clearly wants her dead. 

 

But Cassia is a light in the darkness that Fredrik never believed existed. After a year subjected to her kindness and compassion, he finds himself struggling with his love for Seraphina, and his growing feelings for Cassia—because he knows that to love one, the other must die. 

 

Will light win out over darkness, or will something more powerful than either further destroy an already tortured soul?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I know I would've liked this more if she had a different narrator for Fredrik.  Fredrik's story is a dark, twisted, and deeply sinister story and this narrator didn't pull that off, at all.   His voices for other people were just comical…so not the right vibe.  This is one of those books that would have been better if I actually read it. 

 

This whole series is on the dark side, and this is billed as being a dangerous and boundary-pushing crime and suspense series, and I would say that is true.  I went into the first book in this series, Killing Sarai, thinking it would be all sunshine and rainbows by the ending; and so I was disappointed when it wasn't like that. For Reviving Izabel, I was more aware of what this series is about and I was really able to let go of that hope, and I liked it so much more.  With The Swan & the Jackal, I personally believe this ending was done just the way it needed to be.  This is not cute and fluffy romance, it's gritty and raw, yet it has sophistication. 

 

*Disclaimer:  Do not read this series if you need to have a happy ending…because there hasn't been one of those yet.  This series is not for everybody, it's different and sometimes different is good 

  

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.7/5

Main Characters~ 3.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 2/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 3.7/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.8/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.7/5

Originality~ 4.3/5

Ending~ 4.2/5  Cliffhanger~ I know the series continues, but Frederic's story has some closure.

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Book Cover~ It goes with the book well.

Narration~ 1 for Luke Daniels, he was awful, I did not like him at all…his voices were just so wrong.5 for Andi Arndt & Kate Reinders, they were both very good, but unfortunately, at least 3/4 of the book is from Victor's pov.

Series~ In the Company of Killers #3

Setting~ Baltimore, Maryland mostly…

Source~ I own Audible Audiobook

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