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review 2018-04-19 03:15
She Was the Quiet One
She Was the Quiet One - Michele Campbell

Twin sisters Rose and Bel Enright couldn't be more different. Rose is serious about her education, she's quiet and isn't as pretty as her sister. Bel is a wild child who runs with a bad crowd at their new school. The Odell School is a prestigious New Hampshire boarding school. This was their chance to start anew after leaving California but nothing's gotten better between the sisters. In fact, things have gotten much worse. Especially when one of them is accused of murdering the other.

Sarah Donovan is the wife of a handsome, charismatic, ambitious teacher who is determined to rise through the ranks. She's trying her best to be happy and supportive but she knows her husband well enough to notice the warning signs. Doesn't she? But surely he's not involved in the murder of a student. Right?

I was sucked in from page one. I love stories about boarding schools with all their drama and secrets and coverups. Which twin was killed?! And why? Does it have anything to do with a certain handsome teacher? Could one twin murder the other? Could another student have done it? There were a few different possibilities that kept me guessing. I found part one very compelling and suspenseful. I was so absorbed in the story that I felt like I was there. But once I got into part two my interest started to wane. I found it repetitious, it dragged on and on. Some things were convenient. And I didn't really care for the ending. Overall though I did enjoy this book.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the invite to read this ARC through Netgalley.

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review 2018-04-13 18:30
WINTERBAY ABBEY by John Bladek and Javonna Duroe, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Winterbay Abbey: A Ghost Story - John Bladek,Davonna Juroe,Matt Godfrey

 

WINTERBAY ABBEY is a beautifully written Gothic style ghost story and I adored it, from start to finish!

 

When I saw this being compared to Susan Hill's THE WOMAN IN BLACK, I was a bit hesitant because, to be honest, I did not like that tale AT ALL. It was repetitious and I felt it lacked the Gothic, quiet horror atmosphere that I love so much. I needn't have worried because this book was much better than that one and it had the added advantage of Matt Godfrey's narration.

 

This is the story of a man and his wife, Will & Emily, getting over a recent accident where the wife nearly lost her hand. They've also just discovered that Emily is pregnant. Her damaged hand has affected her ability to contribute to the family's financial resources and times are tight. When Will's boss offers makes him take a job in Maine drawing up architecture plans to turn an abandoned abbey into a resort hotel, he jumps on the chance to secure his family's financial future. At the last minute, he decided to invite Emily to meet him there. Will their plans work out? Will they succeed in having a happy and healthy family? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I do love me a quiet horror story. What does that mean? For me, it means atmospheric, inspiring feelings of dread and fear, without spilling a lot of blood and guts. This must be difficult to write, because, to be honest, I haven't read that many good, quiet horror stories. This one is better than good, it's fantastic! There were a few instances where I thought Will made a bad decision or two, but overall, I also felt that it was realistic in the telling, and I was rooting for our couple to make it through.

 

With the always rich narration of Matt Godfrey, I felt this couple come to life. I hope that you give it a chance and let Will and Emily come alive for you.

 

Highly recommended!

 

Get your copy here: WINTERBAY ABBEY

 

*Thanks to narrator and friend, Matt Godfrey, for the audio copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!* 

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review 2018-03-28 03:26
A thoughful tale of time travel
The Year of the Quiet Sun - Wilson Tucker

Time travel ranks as the most difficult of science fiction genres. Though there are numerous stories featuring characters voyaging into the past to change history or venturing into the future to see what will become of humanity, most break down on various points of logic. As a result, in spite of the numerous novels, short stories, movies, and television series which incorporate time travel into the plot, there are only a few in which it is done well enough to deserve to be remembered.

Wilson Tucker’s novel ranks among the few in this category. In it, a demographer and biblical scholar is recruited to join a government team surveying the future. As they do so, they witness a deteriorating world torn apart by racial and political strife thanks to weak and egotistical leaders. Here Tucker establishes time travel using a series of consistent rules that work very effectively, allowing him to focus on the plot and characters. These are the true strengths of the novel, for while the future he extrapolates seems a dated product of its times thanks to the luxury of hindsight, it is just the background for a poignant inquiry into the fate of society as seen through the lives of five very different people. This results in a thoughtful tale that is a must-read for any fan of science fiction, one that demonstrates how best to tell a time travel story that works.

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review 2018-03-05 18:45
I'll Bring You the Birds From Out of the Sky by Brian Hodge
I'll Bring You the Birds from Out of the Sky - Brian Hodge

Brian Hodge is an outstanding writer and as such, how could I'LL BRING YOU THE BIRDS FROM OUT OF THE SKY be anything less than outstanding? In fact, if there was a word-I would rate this book higher than outstanding. How about exceptional? Yeah, let's go with EXCEPTIONAL.

 

In this novella length tale, we meet Mr. Timothy Randolph, an art dealer and curator of folk art. When Nona brings him a sample painting of her grandfather's, Timothy is intrigued and immediately sets off with her to see more of her grandpa's work. In the Appalachian mountains, they find a LOT more than they bargained for, and they will both be changed forever.

 

I didn't expect this tale to go where it did. Even in this short length of a story, Brian Hodge delivers the creeps on a magnificent scale. Not going to lie: I totally shuddered at the description of one character's

eye.

(spoiler show)

 I even had to put the book down for a minute. Not for long though, because I had to see what happened next. (Even now, just thinking about it, I have goosebumps.)

 

That's it! That's all I'm going to say. If you've read Brian Hodge before, you already know what I'm talking about. If you haven't read Brian Hodge before, start here. At only $2.99 for the Kindle version, take a chance and you'll get to see what I'm talking about for yourself.

 

Simply, my HIGHEST recommendation!

 

*A HUGE thanks goes out to my friend Andi, who gifted me a beautiful signed copy which I'll treasure forever.* 

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review 2018-02-02 21:52
His Quiet Agent by Ada Maria Soto 4 Star Review
His Quiet Agent - Ada Maria Soto

Arthur Drams works for a secret government security agency, but all he really does is spend his days in a cubical writing reports no one reads. After getting another “lateral promotion” by a supervisor who barely remembers his name, it’s suggested that Arthur try to ‘make friends’ and ‘get noticed’ in order to move up the ladder. It’s like high school all over again: his attempts to be friendly come across as awkward and creepy, and no one wants to sit at the same table with him at lunch. In a last-ditch attempt to be seen as friendly and outgoing, he decides to make friends with The Alien, aka Agent Martin Grove, known for his strange eating habits, unusual reading choices, and the fact that no one has spoken to him in three years.

Starting with a short, surprisingly interesting conversation on sociology books, Arthur slowly begins to chip away at The Alien’s walls using home-cooked meals to lure the secretive agent out of his abrasive shell. Except Martin just might be something closer to an actual secret agent than paper-pusher Arthur is, and it might be more than hearts at risk when something more than friendship begins to develop.

 

Review

 

I loved this romance with its complex heroes and slow build. I don't want to give anything away but the perfectly paced unveiling of each character and watching the romance bloom was great.

Each hero is complex and so interesting.

However, the payoff in this book is disappointing. One of the heroes is asexual so it wasn't a sexual connection I was looking for...but an emotionial intimacy is faded to black as well and some mysteries about the characters are hinted at but not revealed. 

I will for sure read more by this writer but I hope for a more fulfilling closing.

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