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review 2018-04-23 15:29
The Luckiest Woman Ever
The Luckiest Woman Ever (Molly Sutton Mysteries) (Volume 2) - Nell Goddin

At the local fine dining restaurant, Molly eavesdrops on a wealthy old woman's not-very-happy birthday party. Known throughout the village for being contemptuous and unlikable, her assembled partygoers look less than thrilled to be there. At the end of the evening, Molly finds the woman lying dead on the bathroom floor and it's determined that the woman died from cyanide poisoning. Molly, having witnessed the whole evening, begins to investigate (which is a good thing, since the local police chief isn't very good at solving murders.) What she uncovers is decades of secrets, lies and a rage that has simmered for decades.

 

This is quickly shaping up to be a favorite series, I'm really enjoying Molly's adventures in France. This one introduced some new characters that I hope will be returning. And the victim! While a nasty character you love to hate is common in books, this one really takes the cake. She was gleefully hurtful, thoroughly vile, and mercilessly horrible and yet I still loved her antics (or maybe I was just waiting for the moment she paid for it, I don't know. But what a delightfully rotten character!

 

Really, if I wasn't so wholly caught up in the story, I probably would've figured out the clues, but no, it all just flew past me. Lots of red herrings threw me off track and the pace was perfect to keep me turning pages. The ending was a lot better than the first book; I was riveted, watching it all unfold. This was a thoroughly enjoyable cozy read, perfect to curl up with, especially if you have a croissant and a glass of fine wine.

 

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text 2018-04-23 14:58
Reading progress update: I've read 155 out of 469 pages.
Smilla's Sense of Snow - Peter Høeg,Tiina Nunnally

Not typical Nordic Noir.  Smilla is a civilian and not your typical Dane.  It took me 100 pages before I thought, "Okay, I like this."  Much more literary than your average murder mystery.

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review 2018-04-23 14:18
Rocky Mountain Refuge
Rocky Mountain Refuge - Nicky James

Once again Nicky James tackles a very serious mental condition and does so with such thoughtfulness, such care and with love.

 

Not everything in life is easy, you know. It’s the people who risk facing the hard stuff and the scary stuff every day who come out stronger in the end.

 

And while this is a quote from the book, this could certainly apply to the author as well.  She does not shy away from difficult stories.  From stories of loss, mental health and death.  She tackles these head on and with such love. And it is these stories which grab hold of your heart and soul and that ultimately become some of the most memorable reads for me.  

 

This is one of those stories.  The ability to get into the head of our sweet Huxley could not have been easy to write but my heavens...I felt it all.  Every fear, every doubt.  And to not only write about this character's condition but to develop an equally complex character in Aspen whose patience, love and understanding leads this character home could not have been easy.  And where they ultimately found home was just perfection.

 

This is quite a long book and one that builds quite beautifully.  Trust is not something that comes easily and therefore it takes time.  

 

Not all people are out to get you, Huxley. Some people just want to be nice. 

 

How do you build trust with someone who doubts your every move? Who reads things into statements differently and has fears you cannot begin to understand?  

 

That definitely takes patience and time.

 

This book is that exploration. It is that journey of trust which is told here.  And while your heart breaks, you understand the journey is not an easy one. Mental health is not easy.  You cannot simply take a pill and make things better.  Mental health affects the person and those around them in such a special way.  And living with this falls on both parties. 

 

Trust. Love. Understanding. Patience.

 

I cannot recommend this book and others by Nicky James enough.  Open your heart to some feels you will not soon forget.

 

 

 

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review 2018-04-23 12:59
Hard to Get
Hard to Get - Jaclyn Quinn

I have to say, there is something about Jacyln Quinn's writing, stories and characters that just pull me in completely.  I loved Gabe from the first book.  His wit and style made me very curious about this man and his "relationship" tactics. 

 

Well, let's just say, he is nothing like he seems.  Honest, sweet and such a devoted friend he is indeed.  But there was much more to this man than met the eye and I loved him all the more.

 

Enter Nate.  My heavens, this was also a character who is not at all what he seemed in the first book.  His pushback and protective nature was wonderfully developed.  And his story is one that I honestly did not see coming.  But work it did...and it certainly worked on our sweet Gabe.  

 

As with book one, the dialogue for me feels so natural and the situations never feel contrived.  Once again I was drawn into this setting, this cast of characters, their friendships and love for another.  The friendship that has been formed between Gabe and Jonah is the perfect example.  These two are wonderful together.

 

I eagerly await Jonah's story...he needs him something amazing and the shy ginger may be absolutely perfect.  Can't wait!

 

An ARC was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-23 09:37
Murder Off Miami
Murder Off Miami - J.G. Links,Dennis Wheatley

Well, after a day preparing for having friends around for dinner yesterday, I wasn't able to get back to this until today.  

 

(Full disclosure: I'm not all that concerned about spoilers here, given the unique nature of the tome and the knowledge that the only other person I know to have a copy of it has already read it - and taken way better notes.)

 

The good news is I was right - I guessed the killer.  The not as good news is that I did it almost immediately.  The entire thing hinged on a false assumption made at the start, around page 15 or so.  If the reader picks up on that false assumption, the rest of the file is really rather extraneous.  In fact, I was more than a little nervous about looking at the solution because I felt like I had to be missing something.  It turns out I was, but only a handful of smaller clues that supported the answer.  I'd have really liked having to rely on those clues; solving the mystery would have been a lot more fun if I'd had to search them out.  As it was, I was so certain about the twist, I didn't look very hard at the evidence.

 

There's one caveat to my gripes though; if I'm being objective (and I try to be), I have to say that this mystery file probably suffers to a greater degree because I've read another - one written later and by another author - first.  That one, File on Fenton and Farr, was far more intricately plotted, and strung the actual clues out far longer, than Murder Off Miami, leaving me tossing theories around until almost the very end.  I got that one right too, but I had to really work for it, and if anything, that's what disappointed me about this one.

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