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review 2018-03-14 11:58
Blood Red by Wendy Corsi Staub
Blood Red Mundy's Landing Book One - Wendy Corsi Staub

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This book was very well done. I have had a review copy of this book for a very long time and really regretting the fact that I didn't read this one a long time ago. I love a good mystery thriller and this book pulled me in right from the start. I had such a good time trying to figure out how everything would come together and who the killer would be in the end. I glad I finally decided to give this book a try.

I have to admit that some of my favorite parts of the book were the parts that let us in the killer's head. I liked the fact that we get to meet the killer from the very beginning of the book and even learn his name very early. His identity and everything about him was still a complete mystery to me. The book isn't overly bloody but getting to really see the thought process of this killer really took the story to a new level.

Rowan is a teacher and mother of three in the town of Mundy's Landing. She leads a happy life now despite a mistake that she made and put behind her in the past. When a simple package shows up that could threaten everything, she tries to figure out what is going on. Mick, Rowan's teenage son, leads the busy life of a high school boy. He plays a sport at the school and works a part-time job where he is trying his best to be noticed by the pretty teen girl. Rowan and Mick tell the majority of the story along with the killer but we do also get to hear from a couple of police detectives and Rowan's sister, Noreen.

There were times in the book that I did wonder where things were leading. Honestly, I couldn't understand why Rowan was making such a big deal about things. I kind of wanted to tell her to just move on but I had a feeling that there would be more to the story and there was. It was really the killer's point of view that helped keep the story moving forward. By the end of the book, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough because I had to know what would happen next.

I would recommend this book to others. I liked how all of the pieces of this book came together to tell a very exciting story. This book is the start of a trilogy but I really felt like the story in this book is complete. I am not sure if I will be reading the other installments in this series but I do hope to read more from Wendy Corsi Staub in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from HarperCollins - William Morrow via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
This was very well done. There were a whole lot of things going on in this book and part of the mystery was trying to figure out how everything would come together. Three were a lot of POVs that were used to tell the story and I liked that we got to see things from the killer's point of view even though I had no clue regarding his identity or motivation. 

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review 2018-03-07 13:27
The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason
The Rest Falls Away (The Gardella Vampire Hunters: Victoria Book 1) - Colleen Gleason

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this book quite a bit. I am so glad that I finally was able to get around to reading this book. I am kind of ashamed that I have had a review copy of this book for so long and neglected to read it until now. I really had a good time getting to know Victoria as she worked to find a husband at the same time she was becoming a vampire hunter. This book was a whole lot of fun from beginning to end.

I have read a lot of paranormal romances since it is one of my favorite genres. I haven't read too many that had a historical setting though and I really liked that aspect of this book. I think it would be hard enough to learn to kill vampires without worrying about being a proper lady or finding a husband at the same time. I really liked this aspect of the story and found it to be very well done.

I love a good vampire story so I do have to admit that I liked the parts of the book where Victoria was battling vampires the most in the book. Victoria really has some pretty amazing vampire hunting skills and it was just a lot of fun to watch. When she fought alongside Max, it was even more exciting because the stakes were usually just a bit higher. 

I liked the characters in this book. Victoria was tough and not afraid to try to get what she wants in a period of time where that was pretty unusual for a woman. Max was a bit of a mystery but he seemed to always watch out for Victoria. I have a feeling that there is a lot more to learn about it and I am looking forward to that in future installments. Sebastian was a character that I was never fully trusted. It seemed like he was Victoria's ally at times but I was never completely sure. There were other characters that added to the story and were very well done.

I do recommend this book to others. It was just a whole lot of fun to read and I had a great time with it. I am a little mad that I waited so long to start reading this series and can't wait to read more very soon!

I received a review copy of this book from Avid Press via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
This was fun! Victoria is trying to find a good husband while she is taking on the role of vampire hunter. It was entertaining watching her trying to balance both sides of her life. Of course, I found the vampire parts to be the most interesting but I liked the idea of her living a double life.

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review 2018-02-26 12:51
Skitter by Ezekiel Boone
Skitter - Ezekiel Boone

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I am really enjoying this series. I have had a copy of this book for a long time. I had planned to read it around the publication date but for some reason it didn't happen. I am glad that I was able to get to it now because it really is a great story. This is the second book in the Hatching series which is a series that really does need to be read in order since this is a continuation of the story from the first book. I ended up enjoying this book just as much as the first book.

I really like the way that this story is told. I don't think it would work for every book but it does work well with this story. We get to see the outbreak from a lot of different points of view instead of following only a handful of characters. Sometimes we get a point of view and never encounter that character again. Other times, we get to see a point of view at various points in the story. All of these points of view helps to really paint a picture of the outbreak across the globe.

The spider outbreak in the first book was bad and many had hoped that would get better. It looks like it might be getting better. The spiders seem to have died off a bit and the pods are being taken care of. Unfortunately, things can get worse. Much worse. The spider outbreak takes a turn that is truly frightening and it was really interesting to see how things were developing and how the key characters would deal with it.

This was a really exciting story. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next with the spider outbreak and was also eager to find out what the authorities would decide to do to handle things. I couldn't imagine being responsible or having people look to you for answers during a time like this. Whenever I had a guess about how things would go, I would quickly find out that I was wrong so I just kept turning pages to enjoy the story.

I would recommend this series to others. This creepy crawly story was very original and entertaining. I ended up most of the book in a single evening because I had to see how things would work out. I am really excited to start the next book, Zero Day, very soon.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Atria/Emily Bestler Books via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I love the way this story is laid out. We learn what is going on in the world piece by piece. Some of the characters from the first book play important roles in this book and we meet some new characters. Lots of creepy crawly goodness here. 

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review 2017-12-28 18:03
Choked Up by Janey Mack
Choked Up - Janey Mack

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was an okay read for me. I decided to read this book because it seemed to be exactly what I was in the mood to read. I remembered seeing some comparisons to Evanovich and thought a mystery with a side of laughter would be just perfect. Unfortunately, I didn't find this book funny. At all. I didn't crack a smile even once so that is a pretty big disappointment. The mystery did hold my interest though. It wasn't a bad read but it wasn't quite what I thought it would be.

Maisie McGrane comes from family of police officers and defense attorneys. Maisie is a meter maid which isn't exactly the same thing. Maisie does want to join the police but her family has blocked her path so she jumps at the chance to work undercover with a special unit. She is eager to quit her job and start her new career until she learns that they want her to continue working as she gathers information.

Maisie jumps into her new role completely. She is soon an important part of the life a notorious mobster, Stannis. There are quite a few action scenes with Maisie finding herself in danger more often than can be healthy. She must keep the mobster happy while feeding information to her contacts. Hopefully she can remain safe and explain things to her boyfriend later. 

Maisie seemed to be in way over her head. I can't say that I really liked her or disliked her character. I didn't have a lot of confidence in her abilities and thought some of her actions were pretty questionable. Her boyfriend, Hank, didn't seem real to me at all. His character did remind me a bit of Ranger from the Stephanie Plum series but even little more perfect and superheroish. 

In the end, I think that this story was rather forgettable. This is the second book in the series but I didn't feel like I was missing anything by reading out of order. I was really curious about how everything would work out which kept the pages turning but I don't plan to read any additional books in the series. 

I received an advanced reader edition of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I thought this was okay. I saw this book being compared to the Stephanie Plum series so I expected it to be funny. I didn't find it funny which was a disappointment. I found that I was bored during sections of the book as well. I did wonder how Maisie would get herself out of the situation she was in and kept trying to figure out if anyone else was undercover.

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review 2017-12-25 02:41
Home for Christmas by Lily Everett
Home for Christmas - Lily Everett

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

Well, this was a disappointment. I have read Lily Everett before and really enjoyed her work so I decided that this would be the book that I would read leading up to Christmas this year. I just knew that this would be a great read. Unfortunately, this book really didn't work for me. I am not sure if my reading tastes have changed since I last read this author or if it is just this book but this wasn't the enjoyable reading experience I had hoped it would be.

Libby Leeds has been living a lie. She is a well known author with a column that is supposed to be non-fiction but her life looks nothing like that column. She gets caught with her deception when her boss invites a well known hero to her home in Sanctuary Island for Christmas dinner. She is then forced to reconnect with family and do her best to be the woman the world knows from her column.

Owen was wounded in action and has been working hard to get back into shape so he can return to duty. He has recently discovered that he has a young child who is now living with his sister in Sanctuary Island. He is headed to there to get to know his child and get therapy. He accepts the invitation to have dinner with Libby since he wants to share the perfect Christmas with his daughter.

I didn't like Libby or Owen. Libby is living an absolute lie. Owen seems to only be able to focus on going back to active duty. Libby is even pretending to be married for a good portion of the book so this romance just never worked for me. I honestly didn't see a lot of chemistry between them. This is a very tame romance and I just didn't feel the spark that I would have hoped to see.

I think that my biggest issue with the book was that so much of the story seemed pointless. Once Libby opens up to Owen, I didn't see the point of continuing with the charade. There is a secondary romance that added nothing to the story and only contained a few short scenes. I found that I was often bored while reading this book and had to read passages more than once because my mind would wander. 

I would say that the best parts of the book included the scenes with Libby's grandfather and Owen's daughter. Those two characters were the highlight of the story and I would have really liked to see a bit more of them. The book does have a very strong Christmas theme with just about everything Christmas making an appearance at least once. 

I will not be recommending this book to others. I think that this was a rather forgettable story that was a bit too sweet for my tastes. I won't hesitate to read more from Lily Everett in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
This was a bit of a disappointment for me. It was overly sweet and I found myself rather bored at times. I couldn't connect with either of the main characters and much of the plot seemed pointless. Caitlyn and Grandpa were the highlights of the story. There was a whole lot of Christmas worked into the book which is another plus.

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