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review 2018-06-19 04:31
Bring Me Back
Bring Me Back: A Novel - B.A. Paris

Bring Me Back hooked me pretty quickly with its dark and creepy opener and part one kept with that tone as the tension builds. Add in our totally unreliable narrator, Finn, and the questions mount up. Is Layla alive? Is someone messing with Finn? What's up with the Russian nesting dolls? The story is more telling than showing, but with an intriguing premise and good start, I was hoping for an edge of your seat thriller. However, when I started reading Part Two, the story started going downhill for me. It didn't take long to figure out where things were going - anyone who has ever watched a soap opera has seen this storyline at least once and it was no more plausible in print than it was on TV. I did keep reading, mostly in hope that I was wrong about where this one would go, and while I didn't have all the details worked out, I did have the gist of it. To sum it up, this one started out as a solid four-star read, but ended at one to two disappointing stars with the overly done conclusion, so I split the difference with an it's okay rating. 

 

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review 2018-05-24 21:38
Bring Me Back
Bring Me Back: A Novel - B.A. Paris
I was thrilled to get a copy of this novel, as I feel that I just can’t get enough of this author. I absolutely loved the first two novels that she wrote but there was something about this novel that set it apart from the others. The premise was good, the deception was fantastic, but there were times while I was reading that I felt that I was not connected to the author’s writing.
 
This novel travels between two time periods. In the past, a couple stops while traveling so the gentleman can take a restroom break. When he returns to their car, his girlfriend is no longer in their vehicle. He waits for her but she does not return, he searches for her with no luck and then, he finally summons the police. With the police on the scene, the man gives his account of the incident, only he does not give the police every detail of what occurred, only what he wants the police to know. We then fast-forward twelve years and as readers, we witness the ramifications of that incident.
 
Here’s the thing, as I read, I felt that in parts of the novel that the characters were scripted. They acted, they sounded like, and they behaved like, they were in a play. They didn’t seem natural, they acted like someone told them how to behave, as if they were following a script. I think it had to be the way that the words were strung together in certain parts of the novel as I didn’t occur throughout the whole novel and it didn’t occur with a certain character or scene. It was sporadic.
 
I found the whole mystery of the dolls creepy and bizarre with this novel and I thought that the relationship between Layla and Ellen created some interesting drama and twists to the story. I didn’t have any intense feeling towards the girls in this novel but I disliked Finn, such a devious person that tried to wear his heart on his sleeve so others could see it. I liked the last sentence that the author wrote in this novel, it really pertains to this novel and it made me think.
 
I enjoyed this novel, the suspense and the edginess of the novel kept me turning the pages. A huge fan of B.A. Paris, I can’t wait for the next novel that she writes.
#BringMeBack
 
Thank you, St. Martin’s Press, for sending me a copy of this novel, I greatly appreciate it. This review is my own opinion of this novel.

 

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review 2018-05-14 22:51
THE BREAK DOWN by B. A. Paris
The Break Down - B.A. Paris

I don't normally read psychological thrillers because they trigger issues for me but this is our book club book this month so I read it.  It's a good story.  I was sucked into from the first moment (of course, I did have all the lights on.)  I guessed what was happening to her within the first chapter and I was right.  I knew her husband was up to no good and I was right.  I did not guess the murderer and was only half right on the reason for the murder.  I was guessing up to the end on how it would all fall into place.  Luck was on Cass' side and she deserved it.  I'll read this author again.

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review 2018-05-10 18:42
Solid new mystery from B.A.Paris with nothing too groundbreaking, BUT resounding sense of sorrow and sadness at ending
Bring Me Back: A Novel - B.A. Paris

I love a good mystery and especially ones that are set in England (where I am from), written by British authors, and somehow they keep making their way to me for review; pretty convenient actually. I say keep them coming honestly. I'm a pretty good litmus test for whether the Brit lingo is going to work well here (plus it always wins bonus points from me).

So Bring Me Back, with its beautiful bright yellow cover, along with some standout pink font, is the the third novel from B.A. Paris, and judging from her past successes, this will catch the eye of many mystery fans for many reasons beyond the cover.
It has a very simple premise really: a couple is away on holiday, skiing in Megeve, France, and then are driving back home through France to England. They make a stop for the toilets (at a rest area) at night, and that’s when Layla goes missing, and Finn goes looking for her, and reports her as missing…she is never seen or heard from again, and in some minds, presumed dead. Finn is cleared as a suspect, but it seems that could be from some of the embellishments he told the French police.
The novel is written from Finn's perspective, at least at the beginning; we are given accounts of Before Layla, and Now/After Layla. He is now, at least in theory, years away from what happened at that rest stop, and is about to marry Layla's sister Ellen, but it seems that he is still obsessed with Layla's disappearance, as well as it being obvious he's not wholly in love with Ellen. Finn isn't the most endearing character, since he is not entirely trustworthy and too neurotic to be that type of protagonist. But as the reader, we realize he doesn’t know the full truth about what happened that night at the rest stop.
Suddenly, these tiny (Matryoska) nesting Russian dolls start appearing in Finn's life, popping up in the strangest of places, at the bar of the local pub, on the wall outside their house; these are a sign of something that Ellen and Layla shared as children, and when Finn starts getting cryptic emails from someone, it's all too much. He has too many theories. Is Layla alive?

After about halfway through the book the tone and pace change, and while I felt a few dragging parts (Finn's neurotic brain!), the mystery unfolds evenly, with a great big thunderbolt at the end. My heart really left this book feeling so very sad, for so many reasons; there was a horrific crime of of the past, a number of mistakes of recent past, and then sad stories of the present. Even if you guess towards the end what is happening, I urge that fully read through to the end because that’s where it all comes together in all its sweet sorrow.
Some of the mystery tropes may be familiar (I can't name for spoilers) but this was an engaging, if heart-wrenching at the end, read.

*Note: I received a wonderful surprise early copy of this from St. Martin’s Press. Thank you! This does not affect my views or opinions.

 

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review 2018-05-08 20:25
Paris Ever After - K.S.R. Burns

3.5 Stars

I requested this book because I absolutely loved the cover. And with it being set in Paris, I was definitely in.

The book was decent. I loved Amy's adventures in Paris and her quirky friends. Unfortunately, what I was hoping for and what really happened never seemed to jive at all, for me.

First of all, Amy got on my nerves constantly. She was a nice person, but her talk about William this and William that got on my last nerve. Sure, he was the father of her baby, but hello he was an A$$. At the beginning of the book, she seemed a whole lot stronger and less immature. I'm not sure if this was because the author wanted to convey her mixed feelings or what. That part I can understand. However, towards the middle of the book, Amy just went on and on and on about William. Then, we finally get to meet this man of Amy's. That was when I started skipping pages left and right. He was egotistical, all knowing and rather boring.

This was definitely not what I was expecting. I don't understand why so many times the female lead in a rom com has to be so dingy and flighty. I mean rom com doesn't mean airhead or even rhyme with it. 

I think it all went downhill for me when Amy wanted to leave her idyllic life she had built in Paris and return to America. Yeah, I know he's the father. How could anyone reading the book not know? I didn't count the number of times this was stated in the book, but it was significant. The redundancy was just too crazy for me.

I'm just going to finish by saying it was an okay book for me. It had it's great parts and then there was the redundancy. I'm sorry, the guy may have been the sperm donor but he was not husband, or even father, material.

Thanks to Velvet Morning Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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